The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 63
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Harris County, 1822-1845
ernor of the state of Texas, and state treasurer, succeeded by serv-
ice on the board of pardons, rounded out a stainless life devoted
to the public good.
Another of the early residents of Houston, who enjoyed the dis-
tinction of serving as governor of Texas, was J. W. Henderson,
who, having been elected lieutenant-governor, succeeded to this
office, when Governor Bell was elected to the United States Sen-
ate. He was a leader in the politics of his State as long as he
Colonel James F. Reilly, who first won distinction as a military
man, while Captain of the Milam Guards, was selected to repre-
sent the Republic as charge d'affaires at Washington. The diplo-
matic talents of this cultured gentleman so identified him with
Texas, that, in later years, when President Buchanan wished to
honor the State by a foreign appointment, he made Colonel Reilly
minister from the United States to Russia.
The names of William M. Rice, W. A. Van Alstyne, James H.
Stevens, B. A. Shepherd and W. J. Hutchins, all merchants of the
city of Houston before the period of annexation, are to be found
on the board of directors of the first successful railroad built in
Texas, The Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado. They all ac-
cumulated fortunes; they were men of liberal views, who saw be-
yond the boundary of their own immediate business and knew that
combination was necessary for the enlargement and development
of the State's resources.
One of these, who built the nucleus of a fortune in the early
days when Houston was a very small town, left the bulk of his
immense estate, to be expended in building, equipping and main-
taining The Rice Institute. This noble foundation which com-
memorates its founder, William M. Rice, opened its doors to the
public in October, 1912, and has begun its educational work, al-
though several years must elapse before the completion of the
grand pile requisite for so large and costly an institution of learn-
To attempt a contrast between the past and the present would
draw me too far afield. It is apparent to all that the day of small
things, which has been my theme, is gone. Especially in writing
of the city of Houston, have I sought to bring forward the public
spirit that animated her citizens; how it prompted them from the
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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/m1/72/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.