True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 181
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 181
martial law. One day Colonel Kirby came to Houston to consult
with the commander of the post, whose office was on the second
floor of the old Wilson building,corner of Main Street and Congress
Avenue. On the same day and at the same hour Captain
Steel went to consult Judge Hamblen, his lawyer, who had an
office in the same building just opposite the commander's office.
Their business completed, both Kirby and Steel stepped out in
the hall from the respective offices and for the first time since
their trouble, came face to face. Not a word was spoken by
either. Like a flash Steel drew his pistol and fired and Kirby
sank to the floor and died. Steel was arrested and placed in
jail. He was soon admitted to bail and then his case came to
trial and he was acquitted.
At the time when Colonel Kirby was killed he had a young
son only four or five years old. This boy was too young to
appreciate the great loss he had sustained, but as he grew up
he learned all the details, and though he never gave a hint of
that fact, he evidently brooded over it atd determined to be
avenged. He was sent away to one of the older states and graduated
from a leading college with honor. He then entered a law
school, developed fine oratorical power and graduated at the
head of his class. He returned home, and as his fame had preceded
him, he was given a royal welcome by his own friends
and by those of his father.
In the meantime Captain Steel had moved back to Waller
County and was living in or near Hempstead. Young Kirby
never mentioned Steel's name and gave no indication that he
knew of his existence. Kirby did know it, though, and had made
all his plans. The following Sunday morning Steel, now an old
man, was coming out of the church door with his old wife holding
to his arm. As he got completely out he was confronted by
young Kirby, who had stepped from behind a tree, with a gun in
his hand. Again the old tragedy was re-started. Steel and
Kirby again faced each other, though in this last meeting the
ground of vantage was shifted and Kirby held the winning hand.
Again not a word was spoken. There was a sharp report and
Steel was sent to his final account in identically the same way
that he had sent Colonel Kirby to his. Young Kirby disappeared
at once. If any effort was ever made to catch him it was only
perfunctory and half-hearted, for everybody felt that he had
done only right in killing the man who had killed his father and
doing it in the same way that the first killing had been done.
Now, this is only one of many similar cases that took place
in Waller and neighboring counties, and while there are no feuds
up that way now there is lots of the same blood that caused the
old ones, and while conditions now do not favor family bickerings
and contentions, there is the same old martial spirit up
that way that occasionally slips its bridle and, as remarked already,
proceeds to raise genuine hell.
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/m1/181/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .