Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 25 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
which the wanderer had traveled; and this may be true,
but it is not wise to analyze too severely the things that
give us pleasure. They are few enough at best.
Our currency was the Mexican silver dollar, then at
par, and the Mexican ounce, a gold coin worth sixteen
There were no banks, and no drafts or checks except
those given out by the paymasters and quartermasters of
the United States Army.
Everybody loaned money when he had it, but only for
accommodation. I knew of only one man in the whole
valley who loaned money at interest or required security.
It was no unusual thing for merchants to loan large
quantities of their goods, bales of prints and muslin and
sacks of sugar and coffee to their neighbor merchants,
to be repaid in kind when their wagon train arrived.
Carriages and buggies were considered as almost community
property, and the man who refused to lend them
was considered a bad neighbor.
Everybody had credit at "the store," and everybody
paid up-sooner or later.
There were no hotels. Travelers stopped at each
other's houses and even strangers were welcome there.
Any one having any claim to gentility or education was
cheerfully received and entertained by the officers at the
army posts, and many, very many, by the collector of
customs at El Paso.
There was one peculiar fact about the El Paso of those
early days, for which I could never give any good reason.
Perhaps there were several reasons.
Our little village was better known, or, rather, it had
greater notoriety and elicited more interest and inquiry,
than any other town in the United States of twenty times
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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/m1/25/?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; .