A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912 Page: 52
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52 A THUMB-NAL HITORY OF
tonic sites of the city, for it stands where the first
Land Office of the Republic was situated, when
Houston was the Capital of Texas. Its erection
marked the beginning of a new era for Houston
architecturally, for it was the introduction of the
modern skyscraper, buildings for which Houston
has since grown famous.
Today Houston has more skyscrapers than any
city in Texas and their number is being constantly
The first public buildings in Houston were the
County courthouse and the County jail, erected in
1888 by Harrisburg county, as Harris county was
then called. /They were both primitive in every sense
of the word. The courthouse was a double log cabin,
with a broad passage between the two rooms, such
a building as is still occasionally seen on old plantations.
The rooms were each sixteen feet square, the
court being in one room and the clerk's office in the
other. The jail was something of a curiosity, being
simply a square log box having neither doors nor
windows There was but one opening, that being a
trampjdo at thetop. Access to the jail-was through
this trap door. A prisoner was taken to the roof by
means of a ladder. The ladder was then drawn up
and lowered into the jail. The prisoner defended
and then the ladder was drawn up and the trap shut
It was al very simple, but very cumbersome as well
Both the jail and courthouse were located on the
Congress avenue side of courthouse square, near the
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Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912, book, 1912; Houston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/m1/60/?rotate=270: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .