True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 183
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 183
"If I had a wife and she wouldn't dress fine,
Whiskey, oh whiskey!
I'd leave this world and climb a pine.
Whiskey, oh my whiskey!
Big John, who had a powerful voice, would sing:
"If I had a wife who wouldn't dress fine,"
and then the crowd would join in with
"Whiskey, oh whiskey!"
It was fine. There were about fifty verses, but the one I give
is all that I remember. The air was very musical and the
words fitted well to the beat of the handlebars, so that the work
of handling them became a real pleasure instead of hard work,
as it would have been without the singing. It was something
like going to a good concert to attend a fire in those days.
I don't know that there is such a thing as a negro fire company
in existence today anywhere in the United States, but if
there is, it can't, with modern fire fighting apparatus, be anything
like the old negro company that Houston had during the
UTTING that tablet on the Rice Hotel building to designate
the point where the capitol of the Republic of Texas
once stood was a good idea, but there are one or two
other points whose historical memories also should be preserved.
One of the chief of these is the Preston Street bridge, for where
it stands once stood the pioneer bridge of Houston, over which
passed the commerce of Texas. Until 1842 there was no bridge
across Buffalo Bayou. There was little or no need for one, for
north of Houston there was only scant settlement and what
travel was done was mainly to and from the west over the San
Felipe Road, which passed to the west of the bayou. The stray
farmer or traveler from the north or east had either to go
around the head of the bayou or use Stockbridge ford at the
foot of Texas Avenue. But in the early 40's a bridge became
absolutely necessary, because Montgomery, Washington and
Grimes Counties were settling up rapidly and the farmers desired
some speedier means of getting to the "city."
The city built the bridge at the foot of Preston Street, as it
was called then, and it stood for a number of years, until swept
away by a big rise in the bayou. When it was replaced a longer,
higher and stronger bridge was built, and this was known as the
"Long Bridge." It stood for years and was the only means of
communication between Houston and the rapidly growing interior.
Over it passed the cotton, hides, corn and all fErm prodS
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/m1/183/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .