True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 179
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 179
I read of a fellow out in a West Texas town who armed himself
with a piece of lead pipe and strolled down the street,
slugging every man whose looks he did not like. When I read
that my thoughts reverted to Billy Toole, for that was his
method of doing business, barring the lead pipe, of course.
LIKE Waller County. I like Hempstead and I like the people
who live up that way. There are many reasons for this.
Personally I have none but the pleasantest memories of
the old town of Hempstead, for it occupies first place in my own
My first stage ride was made from Houston to Hempstead,
though I must admit that my memory of it is only in spots, one
of the "spots" being a large drove of wild horses which we saw
on the prairie about fifteen miles from Houston, and another
"spot" being our arrival at Hempstead. The first railroad ride
I ever took was from Houston to Hempstead when the Houston
and Texas Central Railway was completed to that place. There
was a big barbecue and everybody in Houston went on that
excursion. Later I spent some very happy school vacations at
the hospitable home of Mr. Jarad Groce, near Hempstead.
All these things combined render my memory of Hempstead
and Waller County very pleasant. The people up that way
are noted for their hospitality and kindly reception of strangers.
That, of course, is commendable, but it is not the reason I like
them. I know I may shock some of The Chronicle's readers
when I say it, but my real admiration for the Waller County
people is due to the fact that they are not "pikers." Whatever
they do they throw their whole heart and souls into it and do
it completely. They remind me of a sleeping volcano that lies
dormant for years and then suddenly blows up and leaves only
the fragments behind.
When they are peacefully inclined, jack rabbits are as raging
hyenas compared to them, but when they start on the other tack
they do not raise any Sunday school "hades" or "Gehenita," or
anything so euphonious sounding as that, but start right in with
the genuine article and raise unadulterated hell. It has been
said that any sport who, ambitious of becoming a bad man, was
on the warpath seeking trouble, could find more of the genuine
article, done up in a greater variety of styles, in Hempstead than
in any other place in Texas. Just why this is so no one seems to
understand, for as a rule the people of Waller County are among
the best in the state and year after year the most profound
peace, law and order prevail.
Still there are always toes to be trodden on, and a Waller
County man was never known to thwart the intentions of a
would-be treader by withdrawing his toes. The trouble hunter
is always sure of being met fully half way. There must be
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/m1/179/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .