True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 151
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIA.NS 151
the man who tried to give a yellow fever patient any would
have been looked upon as a would-be assassin.
Where patients could not get proper nursing, they died like
sheep, and they died in a hurry, too. I remember the great epidemic
of 1867. I had come home from college during the summer
vacation, and just about the time I was getting ready to go
back the yellow fever broke out and I could not go because
Houston was quarantined again at once and travel ceased.
Having had the fever I was safe in going everywhere and saw
a great deal of the fever. I remember four young men who had
just come to Houston from the North. They were not the least
afraid of the disease and laughed at their friends who warned
them against exposing themselves to the night air. I remember
ex-Mayor I. C. Lord telling them of the danger and warning
them to be careful. They had rooms in the Kennedy building
on market square and were over at the market at the time the
conversation took place. That night the oldest one was stricken,
the next morning the others were down and four days after old
man Pannel buried all four of them.
There used to be all kinds of queer stories floating about,
saying this and that one died, come to and then died again. A
story was current to the effect that a horse drawing a drayload
of coffins to the graveyard became frightened, ran away
and spilt part of the load. It was said that one of the coffins
burst open and that its occupant, a negro woman, got up and
made a bee-line for home, got in bed again, got well and "lived
happily for years after." Now, I don't vouch for the truth of any
of these stories, but some funny things happened. Dr. Magide
died and was laid out. All preparations were completed for burying
him, when he came to life. He was placed in bed again and
heroic efforts were made to save him, but all in vain He lived
24 hours and died, the last time for good.
It was during that epidemic that one of the funniest panics On
record took place. As all grown folk, who were able to nurse,
were engaged in that way it became necessary for the boys to
sit up with the dead, when the death occurred too late in the
afternoon to permit of burial at once.
The editor of one of the leading newspapers in Houston died
late in the afternoon and Dick Fuller and Fish Allen volunteered
to sit up with the body. The editor was living in the Ennis resi
dence on Court House square at the time of his death and the
body, after being placed in a coffin, was placed in the back pat
lor on the ground floor. Dick and Fish began their lonely watch.
All went well so long as they could hear people moving either
in the house or in the street. Finally about midnight everything
became quiet and they began to feel depressed. Like boys,
they endeavored to cheer things up by talking about ghosts and
such cheerful subjects. Dick asked Fish what he would do ff
the dead man should rise up in his coffin. Before Fish could
reply there was a terrible shriek near the open window and with
a great bound an immense black cat leaped on the window sil
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/151/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .