The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 236
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The receipts of the Austin City Railroad on Saturday and Sunday
amounted to $116-$43 on Saturday and $73 on Sunday. We under-
stand that $2o a day pays all the incidental expenses of the road, so
the flattering receipts of the first two business days of the road indicate
that the enterprise will prove a paying investment. .... We look upon
the Austin street railway as a great stimulator to the growth and
prosperity of this city.'
At the end of a ten-day period, the paper jubilantly related
that the earnings had averaged about $50 a day-far exceeding
expectations. "The road has been built in spite of a positive and
formidable opposition, and it is especially pleasing that the enter-
prise is so flattering at the beginning."2
An average of $50 a day was difficult to maintain and necessi-
tated unusual catering to the riding public. Officials leaned back-
ward in an attempt to please. Drivers of the little cars were
required to look right and left at every crossing and to stop at any
point where a passenger wished to board or alight. The speed
necessarily was slow, but the situation was improved by trotting
the mules wherever conditions permitted. A maximum load of a
dozen passengers soon tired the animals, and fresh animals were
used after each trip.
Out of traditional deference and courtesy, male passengers were
not permitted to smoke if there was a woman in the car. If men
were smoking when a woman entered, the courtesy of the times
required them to discontinue. Rarely did the driver have to ask
a man to stop smoking.
The mule-drawn streetcar service from 1875 through 1890 was
reasonably satisfactory. The riders had never known a better
system; it was on a par with other means of local transportation.
The driver was the chief salesman for the company. Though
blustery, he was cheerful, called people by their names, and was
well liked. He was poorly protected from the weather, but he
never complained. His hours were crowded with activity: looking
out for more passengers, seeing that those who boarded paid their
fare, keeping horses and other vehicles off the tracks, and seeing
that the tails of the mules did not get over the lines.
In the early part of 1878 the ownership of the streetcar system
'Austin Daily Democratic Statesman, January g9, 1875.
2Ibid., January 26, 1875.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/277/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.