The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 45
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Harris County, 1822-1845
were made by many prominent citizens, and General Houston made
a strong argument in favor of temperance.
Meantime the carpenters, whose services were in great demand,
united, and established a bill of prices for work; they organized as
"Master Carpenters," in February of the same year, and their ex-
ample was soon followed by the printers, who formed the Texas
Beside these evidences of progressive organization, which sig-
nalized the momentous year of 1839, Houston could boast of a
Fire Company and Fire Engine No. 1; a Board of Health, and a
corps of City Hospital Surgeons; merchants, who advertised to
have constantly on hand a supply of ice (although it was brought
by sailing vessels form New England), and others who had schoon-
ers ready to carry passengers or freight from Houston to New
York. There was "A Young Men's Society" which met in the
Senate chamber, and debated such questions as, "Ought duelling
to be punished as a Capital Crime ?" There was a dancing and
waltzing acamedy, where the latest dances from New York were
taught, a fancy bakery on Main Street, where fine cakes were
made and sold. Select military balls were given on the anniver-
sary of the battle of San Jacinto, when only the officers of the
army and navy, their families, with others specially invited, were
allowed to be present. Public dinners, given to distinguished visit-
ers, whom business or curiosity called to the capital, were marked
by after dinner speeches of rhetorical merit worthy to rival those
on similar occasions in older and more pretentious cities.
The cause of education was represented by several private
schools, but was chiefly centered in the "Houston City School,"
conducted on broad lines, which made it virtually open to rich
and poor. A tuition fee of three dollars per month was charged,
but the children of parents unable to pay this amount were ad-
mitted free. The course of study embraced all branches taught in
first class academies, and its business affairs were under the man-
agement of a school committee.
There was, however, one serious drawback to improvement, and
the increase of population in Houston, which was lightly touched
upon by the newspapers of that day, and which limited knowledge
"The Morning Star, June 4, 1839.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/54/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.