True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 126
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126 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
doned and the people returned home. They mourned for the
drummer as for one dead. About midnight they heard shrieks
eomjng from the back of the hotel and on rushing there found
a half crazy negro stable boy who swore that he had seen a
ghost. Investigation resulted in finding a very naked and half
dead drummer hiding in the horse lot. He had attempted to
get into the back door of the hotel but unfortunately ran across
the stable boy. In a few minutes the story was all over town
sad the drummer left town on the first freight train that passed
without waiting to kill Colonel McCarthy as he had sworn to
do more than a hundred times that day.
EARLY HOUSTON DOCTORS.
A old "Uncle Remus" used to say to the "Little Boy"
when he began one of his stories, "This ain't no tale."
It is merely writing down some memories that came to
me the other day when Judge J. K. P. Gillaspie allowed me to
look over an old court record that belonged to Judge Andrews,
one of Houston's early justices of the peace. The record is for
the year i859, and aside from the memories evoked by reading
the names of those who had business in the court, it has no
great value. There is the usual number of disorderly conducts,
breaches of the peace and suits for small debts. One feature
that stands out prominently is the number of suits filed against
delinquent patients by the doctors of that day.
Now in reading over those old names I find something entirely
foreign to the court and its record connected with nearly
every one of them. The personality of the actors appears vividly
before me, and when I read that Dr. W. H. Howard is suing
Mr. Blank for $25 for medical attention I do not think of the
suit at all, but of Dr. Howard and of his ways and doings. The
doctor was one of the leading physicians of Houston, for years.
He was a man of profound learning and one of the best equipped
physicians of his day. His great and leading characteristics
were absolute loyalty to his friends and his detestation of
shams and frauds. He had the courage of his convictions and
was always willing to back up his opinions. He was a large
man, had injured his knee, which resulted in making it stiff, and
always carried a heavy walking stick. His size and that stick
generally combined to bring him out winner in every combat
he entered. It may be said here that only strangers ever
tackled the doctor, for his combative nature was too well understood
by those who knew him to allow them to make the mistake
of "riling him." Personally, I never saw the doctor in
but one engagement, but that was a good one and might have
been a record one but for our interference. Of course, it was
with another doctor and occurred during a consultation of phy-.
sicians over a case of supposed yellow fever. That was an occasion
that afforded lots of amusement outside the fight. Yellow
fever was dreaded by everybody and by none more than by the
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/126/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .