The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967 Page: 322
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of one hundred miles-we passed through a timber country, mud
spits swampy and low, with numerous sawmill on either side of
track and many of them good one. I believe the country in that
vicinity must be soon stripped. I saw many places where portable
mills had at one time, apparently done considerable business, and
concluded business. Unprofitably as I am told by people whom I
meet on trains. From Texarkana west, passed two flourishing cities
Dallas and Fort Worth, both of which show thrift and enterprise.
They are both located in a fine agricultural region, farmers show-
ing their prosperity by owning good buildings and in good repair.
Of the country west of Fort Worth the less said of it the better.
It may be all right that such a country is in Texas but in Wisconsin
we wouldn't count it. Still it raises sage brush and cactus but
nothing else known to the vegetable kingdom. Our porter says the
land is so poor that you can't raise an umbrella, and to raise a
fuss is out of the question, but in the latter case I must disagree
with him. Each town we passed has been at some time or other the
scene of bloodshed and places are pointed out to you where Judge
So and So or Col. So and So fell-and I notice these things
occur or are recited to have occurred about election time or at
the wind-up of some horse race. Of one thing I was somewhat
surprised, and that is that so many bluffs or mountains exist in
Texas. From Ft Worth to Sierra Blanca where we breakfasted this
a m, we ascend four thousand feet and from Sierra Blanca to El
Paso a distance of sixty miles we descend one thousand feet. Great
mountains tower heavenward, as bare of verdure as my man's head
is of hair. rocks not large seem to form them-and when amidst
them you come upon a section house neat and well kept with
yards decorated with nature's only production, "cactus," it seems
like an oasis in a great desert. A few miles east of here we pass
Fort Hancock where Uncle Sam is guarding our frontier which
seems almost unnecessary-as I believe no human being even a
Mexican could cross to a point where he could harm any one.
Of this place much could be said of interest, but time and space
forbid. It is cosmopolitan if anything. Here you find people from
every state in the union-negroes Mexicans Jews, [illegible]. We
have been to Mexico the whole afternoon (which by the way is
across the river) in Juarez-formerly Paso Del Norte. It is a typical
Mexican town. Dr. Vilas formerly of Lake City, Minn., on whom
I called informed us that it is in every sense a Mexican town, none
more so in all Mexico. We visited the church (Catholic of course)
saw devout worshippers on their knees-(there are no seats), visited
the pen in which a bull fight is to be held tomorrow at two p. m. the
old fort, the jail, the quarters of Mexican soldiers, shops, restau-
rants & cet. To describe to you all we saw would be a task I
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967, periodical, 1967; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/m1/340/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.