True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 215
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 215
The people of Houston really do not appreciate what the
Turners have done for the city and the state. The first semipublic
school in Houston was established by the Turners two
years after the close of the war. Those who could pay for the
education of their children did so, but there was a deficit always
and the Turners made this good from their treasury. By misrepresenting
the South the emigration agents were turning the
tide of emigration to the West and North. To counteract this
the Turners prepared and had printed, at their own
thousands of pamphlets which they sent broadcast over Germany
and other points from which desirable emigrants were
coming to this country. In this way they secured for Texas
numbers of the best citizens the state has today.
I say nothing of their record as musicians, for everybody
knows that but for the Turners Houston would never have attained
its prominence as a music-loving community as soon as
it did, nor have attained the high position it now holds in the
musical world. That is the one thing that everybody knows
about the Turners, but the things I have mentioned are not so
generally known nor appreciated as they should be.
OLD SWIMMING HOLES.
F ever a place has been absolutely ruined and sent to the
eternal bow-wows by modern improvement and expansion,
that place is Houston, judged from a boy's point of view.
Huge buildings of stone and brick, paved streets, factories and
shops of all kinds are well enough for the grownups, but they
are not conducive to that unalloyed happiness the old-time boys
enjoyed. I don't know how the modern boy gets any enjoyment
at all out of life. If he wants to learn to swim he is given lessons
in a tank. If he wants to go fishing he has to take a train
and go somewhere else to do it. If he wants to go out in the
woods to gather wild flowers for his sweetheart or get some
sweet gum he has to go miles and miles in an automobile, while
if he wants to go hunting he has to go away off to do so. To
indulge in any of these delightful sports, this modern boy has
to make as much preparation as if he were going on a long railway
journey. Not content with expanding out all over the old
hunting and fishing places, thus wiping them off the map, modern
Houston has gone a step further and absolutely ruined the
bayou. Looking at the dirty, grease-covered bayou of today, one
would never think that at one time it was one of the prettiest
streams in Texas; that its water was clean and limpid, covered
with water lillies and filled with fish and crabs, and that its
banks were grassy and overgrown with wild flowers. "Going
in swimming" was then one of the greatest delights of the Houston
boys and from about the middle of April until late in the fall
the swimming holes were generally well filled from morning
till night. There were some favorite swimming holes, but I
venture to say that 99 per cent of the boys learned to swim in
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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/m1/215/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .