Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 21 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
there were good people here also, and for the few who
were capable of doing business and willing to work, the
opportunities were as good then and as profitable as they
have ever been since that time. The products of the
mines, crudely worked, in northern Mexico, were brought
to El Paso and exchanged for merchandise or money.
The military posts (forts) in northwest Texas and southern
New Mexico were supplied with corn, flour, beef,
hay, fuel, etc., by El Paso merchants and contractors.
The Overland Mail Company then operated a weekly
line of mail coaches, drawn by six animals, between St.
Louis and San Francisco. The time between these two
cities was usually twenty-six days, the distance being
2,600 miles. These splendid Concord coaches (now
almost gone out of use) carried the United States mail,
for a Government subsidy, and usually four to nine
through passengers, besides the driver and "conductor."
Changes of animals were made at "stations" built of rock
or adobe, every twenty-five to forty miles, or wherever
the company could find a stream, or spring, or waterhole.
These coaches traveled day and night, in all kinds
El Paso was at this time (1858) the terminus of two
other important stage routes-one from Santa Fe, New
Mexico, and the other from San Antonio, Texas. These
were in every particular so similar to the greater "Overland"
route that a description is unnecessary. There
was also a stage line to Chihuahua.
These mail coaches were the forerunners of the "Limited
Express" and the Pullman sleeper of the present day;
and the rough, brave men who drove and managed them
and protected the stations, fighting Indians the while,
were the pioneers, the Daniel Boones and Simon Kentons
of this frontier! They opened the way for the South
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Mills, William W. Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills., book, 1901; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6112/m1/21/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .