True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 242
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242 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
"When was so and so's headright located?"
"Who was the original owner of the lots where the Rice Hotel
now stands ?"
"Do you remember a man by the name of Jackson who came
to Texas in 1836, located somewhere near Harrisburg and afterward
went to Philadelphia in 1852 or '53 and died there?"
These are a few samples of the inquiries I receive nearly
every day. The other day I received a call from a very pleasant
old gentleman whom I had never seen before. I admit that when
I heard him outside inquiring for "old man Young" I felt like
going out and mounting him, but after he came in he was so
pleasant and entertaining that I was sincerely glad he had come.
He wanted information, of course, and it was about a race
horse. He wanted to know who brought a certain race horse to
Houston, cleaned up all the sports here, then went up the state
and repeated the operation of skinnin' 'em up there. He knew
all about the performances of the horse, but could not find out
who brought him to Houston. He explained that his question
had a business rather than a sporting intent, for on the identity
of the importer of that horse hinged the ownership of a valuable
tract of land either in or near Houston.
I was sorry that I could not help him out, and told him so.
After he had gone I got to thinking of old-time horsemen and
race horses I had known. I found that my acquaintance in that
line had been very limited and that I could recall but two instances
of where horse races had left any impression at all on
my mind, and in both of these it was the results rather than the
races themselves that I remembered. In both the results were
disastrous to the too zealous action of the admirers or owners
of the horses.
In 1870, and for a few years after, the Texas State Fair was
held in Houston. The first was over on the north side of the
bayou and was in Macatee's warehouse. The next year the association
purchased the old Hadley place out on Main Street, known
for years after as the Fair Grounds. After moving out there
a racing association was organized and everything was done to
encourage the raising of fine horses, stock,\ etc. There was a
good race course laid out, and some good races were pulled off
every year. There was one fine horse named after Colonel Scott
Anderson of Eagle Lake. I am not certain, but I believe Colonel
Anderson owned this horse. On one point I am certain-Scott
Anderson was one of the fleetest and best horses that ever appeared
on a Texas track.
As the boys say, he could hold one hand behind him and whip
any horse he ever came in competition with. Of course, when
Scott Anderson showed up in a race his backers had to give big
odds to get any bets at all against their favorite. One of the
greatest admirers and strongest backers of Scott Anderson on
any and all occasions was a man named Gregory, who owned a
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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/m1/242/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .