Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000 Page: 40
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
hotels (the St. James and the Commercial), a restaurant and three saloons, three livery
stables, three shoe stores, a tailor shop, and a saddle shop run by A. F. Rose. A third hotel
had been destroyed by fire in October. There were also Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges,
each of which had established a cemetery. Late that year, Jackson, Weimar's founder,
finally moved to town, where he opened a livery stable. 52
To extend its line west, the railroad had selected a route through Columbus that
effectively bypassed its depots. Realizing that the agreement that had been reached be-
tween the railroad and William Jefferson Jones and George W. Smith on August 11, 1867,
whereby the railroad would pay Jones and Smith for passage across their property on the
north side of Columbus, would, over time, cost them a fortune, the railroad set out to find
another way to cross the west side of Columbus. Except for Jones's and Smith's vacant lots
on the north side of town, houses and commercial buildings blocked their way. That left the
obvious alternative: a city street. On February 11, 1873, the railroad secured the permission
of the City of Columbus to construct track either on Crockett or on Preston Street, and
shortly afterward, began laying their track along Crockett. However, the new route created
two problems for the railroad in town. Westbound trains stopping in Columbus had to be
diverted from the main line to the depots in the north part of town, then back up onto or
across the bridge before proceeding; and eastbound trains had to stop on the bridge and back
up to the depots. Secondly, the new route down Crockett Street did not afford the railroad
enough room to build their customary side track, on which freight trains could stop to be
loaded and unloaded while other trains passed through town. In early 1874, the railroad
moved to solve these problems. On February 24, 1874, they asked the Columbus city council
for titles to Preston Street between Back and Travis Streets, to the portion of Bowie Street
north of Preston, and to a lot on the corner of Crockett and Travis Streets in the heart of the
city's commercial district. They hoped to move their passenger depot to the downtown lot
and to construct a side track along Preston Street and move their freight depot to the re-
quested part of Bowie Street. As leverage, they suggested that both depots might be moved
to a farm of about 20 acres west of town that the railroad had purchased on March 21, 1873.
In response to the requests, a group of citizens raised the money necessary to purchase the
downtown lot for the railroad. By April, the passenger depot had been moved to its new
location on the corner of Crockett and Travis Streets. The city, however, was apparently
reluctant to give up Preston Street, and, on June 9, 1874, the railroad, again using the twenty-
acre site west of town as its threatened alternative, asked for additional land on the south
52 Petition of the Citizens of Weimar in Colorado County Relative to the Formation of a New
County, May 27, 1876, Memorials and Petitions, Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin;
Colorado Citizen, April 13, 1876, July 6, 1876, August 10, 1876, March 8, 1877, March 22, 1877,
October 18, 1877, December 13, 1877, January 17, 1878. Menefee County was to contain parts of
Fayette, Caldwell, Gonzales, DeWitt, Lavaca and Colorado Counties.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000, periodical, January 2000; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151408/m1/40/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.