True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 231
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 231
army of occupation at his back. Still on the whole he did what
most any stickler for military methods would have done were
he in his place, for he had rather desperate people to contend
with and some very few tough citizens as well.
Finally this old court house outlived its usefulness and it was
decided to tear it down and erect a new one on the same site.
This was in the early 80's. There was a great deal of opposition
to the new court house, nor was this opposition confined
to the taxpayers. The county commissioners were by no means
unanimous in its favor. They fought among themselves and
finally the question became a matter of debate in the newspapers.
I remember it well and you will see later why I do.
Colonel Hamp Cook was the Houston representative of the Galveston
News and he wrote so much and wrote so well that it
was not long before both he and The News became factors in
the fight. The discussions became somewhat bitter and were
verging rapidly on the coffee and pistol stage when Colonel Cook
learned that one of the commissioners had taken the warpath
and was out for his scalp. The colonel came to me and told
me of his trouble and ended by borrowing a fine Colt's sixshooter
with which to down the warlike commissioner on sight.
I did not see Colonel Cook for a week or ten days and I never did
see my pistol again. I heard afterward that the two had met
on the street and adjourned to Japhet's saloon to talk it over.
They stayed so long that when they came out neither had a
very clear idea of what had occurred except that they had sworn
to be lifelong friends. Neither could remember what had become
of my pistol. The colonel offered me a brand new one, but
I refused. being more than satisfied at the peaceful solution of
the question. After awhile all obstacles were overcome and the
old court house was torn down and the new one erected. That
one stood there until lately torn down to make place for the
present magnificent building.
This briefly is a history of the Harris County court house and
from it it is evident that the present court house is the fourth
brick building erected on that square, whether the county records
show such to be the case or not.
A DEADLY FIGHT
A FEW evenings ago I was talking with Captain T. H.
Hunter, formerly of Huntsville, but at present a citizen
of Houston, about the Cortena trouble on the Rio Grande
in 1859. Captain Hunter was a Texas state ranger at that time
and took an active part in the campaign against the Mexican
outlaw and his followers. During the conversation Captain
Hunter mentioned the fact that he and some members of his
command had on one occasion escorted Judge E. J. Davis into
Brownsville. The mention of the name of Judge Davis awakened
in me many bitter memories, as it always will do with any old
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/m1/231/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .