True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 222
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222 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
reputation was such that the officers knew he would at least
try to carry out his threat, so they swore in some deputies and
placed a strongly armed guard in front of the jail. Promptly on
time Woodlief showed up, smoking a long stem pipe. He advanced
to within 20 feet of where the guard was standing. Then
waving his hand and ordering them to stand aside he reached
for his pistol. The next moment he fell dead, pierced by a number
of balls, for the guard literally riddled his body. If that
was not committing suicide, what was it?
Like most of the gun fighters who were not taken off in their
prime, Woodlief deteriorated toward the end, but the deterioration
was physical and moral only, for his gameness stayed with
him to the last and he died as he had lived, without fear of
God or man.
FAMOUS FOR MUD.
I SAW some workmen repairing the pavement on Main Street
the other day and it occurred to me what a vast difference
there is between the streets of today and those of thirty
years ago. At that time Houston was justly famed for its mud.
There was considerable traffic on Main, Preston, Congress and
other streets in the business part of town and also on some of
the side streets, and as there wereno pavements, when it rained
everything fairly bogged down. The mud, too, was not the milk
and water slush we have today, but was the genuine old-fashioned
thing and was so outrageous that the Houstonians actually got
to be proud of it, just as the old gun fighters were proud of
their wicked records.
Every winter was bad enough, but that of 1879-80 carried off
the prize for outrageousness. About the middle of October it
commenced to rain and kept it up until the middle of November.
Then "the oldest citizen" and the weather prophet showed up
and announced that it would rain for forty days and nights, and
then commenced a new deal just as though it had never even
sprinkled before that. The forty-first and fifty-first days were
worse than any that had preceded them and it began to look as
if it were never going to stop raining.
Now, weather such as that would be pretty bad today, so one
can imagine what it was then with no paved streets nor sidewalks.
Drays, buggies, wagons and other vehicles bogged down
on the business streets and were left there to be dug out later
when they could be moved without fear of having them bog
down on the next block. Finally it got so bad that only the
most imperative necessity would make people venture out in a
carriage or buggy. One or two public hacks would get out occasionally,
but it cost about as much to ride in one of these for,
say a mile, as it would cost today to go to New Orleans.
Right in the middle of all this magnificent weather the Z. Z.
Club concluded to give its annual ball. Giving the ball was
easy enough, but getting the ladies there and home again with-
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/m1/222/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .