True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 229
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 229
stream. In time the big stump became greatly worn and finally
almost useless, so it was determined to remove it and substitute
a post. It occupied the exact spot where the best leverage could
be obtained, so its removal was absolutely necessary. It was
no easy thing to do, so after much cutting and digging it was
decided to blow it up with gunpowder. Holes were bored in the
stump and these were filled with powder and a fuse was attached.
About twenty-five pounds of powder was used and as a
big explosion was looked for, everybody ran for cover when the
fuse was lighted. The fuse sparkled a bit and then apparently
went out, but a minute later little puffs of smoke showed it was
still burning. The crowd was on tiptoe of expectancy, looking
momentarily for the big explosion, when they were horrified
to see this man I speak of come out of some coffee bean weeds
that grew on the bank further up stream and walk direct to the
stump. People shouted to him to go back but he paid no attention
and calmly advanced, puffing a big cigar. He went to the
stump and, finding that the fuse had really gone out, he lighted
it with his cigar and stood there while it sputtered and went out
again. Then he picked up the fuse, examined it and threw it into
the bayou. Kneeling down, he raked the loose powder into a
train and coolly touched it off with his cigar. There was a terrible
explosion and everything in the vicinity of the stump was
hidden from view by smoke. When it cleared away the chap
was flat on the ground, entirely unhurt. How he escaped being
killed or seriously injured was a miracle. Now, if any of the old
timers, and there are lots of them in Houston, more than I ever
dreamed of, remember these two men and their queer doings
they can give The Chronicle some very interesting reading
HOUSTON'8 FOUR BRICK COURT HOUSES.
I WAS much interested in a discussion that took place yesterday
afternoon between an old citizen and a county official,
relative to the court house history of Harris County. The
old citizen contended that the present magnificent building is
the fourth brick court house that has been erected on that block.
The county official said that there had been only three and he
could prove it by the county records.
Now, if the county official-be correct the county records are
radically wrong, for this is the fourth brick building that has
been erected there. Long before my day, and in fact before the
day of any one except the very, very old settlers, there used to
be a frame building on the northwest corner of the square, which
was the original court house, while the jail was another frame
building on the southeast corner. In the early 40's these buildings
were torn down and a small two-story brick court house
was erected in the middle of the block. The jail was located at
the north end of the market building, which was a long frame
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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/m1/229/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .