viewed as a commodity, is one of the few things that can go from interesting
to stale to interesting again.
Consider some of the goings on in West
Texas in December 1884 and January 1885 as reported by the newly
founded San Angelo Standard:
train was held up at the Orier station near the Pecos
river by twenty cowboys. They placed cartridges on the track
and fired volleys at the train. Seems they had just been paid off
and were on a Christmas spree."
Commentary: Cowboys will be cowboys. Surely they were only having
sport with passengers from back East. On the other hand, they might
have needed some more beer money.
"One of San
Angelo's tailors, having a large lot of dude trousers left over,
has made them into gun scabbards. All the alteration that was necessary
was to sew up one end."
Commentary: Mae West would have had fun with that one. (Hint: "Is
that a pistol in your pocket?")
say we are indebted to Pompeii for canned fruit. Some jars of preserved
figs were found in a lava-covered house. The contents were so good
that fruit canning was introduced the next year in the United States."
In addition to the figs, archeologists found packages of Twinkies.
the likelihood is that the census will show a population of six
million for Texas. Future presidents are being born in Texas at
the present moment."
Commentary: Nah, Texas would only have three million-plus residents
in 1900. But that presidential prediction was only off by six years.
Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34th president, was born in Denison
on Oct. 14, 1890.
Angelo should be incorporated. The streets in the additions
run almost at right angles with those in town, and it will cost
much less to straighten them now than it will in years hence."
Commentary: Another 19 years would go by before San
Angelo's incorporation in 1903. The city now has some 660 lane
miles of paved streets.
Rio, an Englishman, a passenger on the Sunset train, with a
long range rifle, shot and killed a deer. This at 2,000 yards from
Commentary: While some rifles back then were capable of firing a
lethal bullet 3,000 or more yards, hitting a deer at 2,000 yards
was a heck of a shot. If the train was moving at the time, it's
pretty hard to believe.
"If we catch
the son-of-a-gun that steals our wood, we will not send him to jail.
Oh, no; we will only start a first class funeral with him, that's
Commentary: Priced a cord of firewood lately?
are still being found in goodly numbers on the desert of Texas and
New Mexico, or the Llano Estacado."
Commentary: West Texans may have thought the American bison was
still abundant, but years of unregulated hunting had considerably
thinned the herds. In only a few more years, they were just about
ago Abilene was
thrown into a fever of excitement by discovering that a supposed
young man, recently arrived, was a female. She was arrested at the
time and fined for the offense of wearing male attire."
Commentary: No comment...ary.
cars of tools, suitable for railroad building, belonging to the
Santa Fe road have arrived at Lampasas.
It is said the workmen will begin work with their faces toward Tom
Commentary: The Santa Fe reached San
Angelo on Sept. 30, 1888. Passenger service continued until
of snow fell on Thursday night. On Friday, sleigh-riding and snow-balling
were prevailing diversions. One of the sleighs resembled a kitchen
table turned upside down."
Commentary: Average annual snowfall in San
Angelo is one inch.
"If all the
fruit trees brought in for the last couple of weeks, grow as well
as they say, we will have a regular forest around San
Angelo in a few years."
Angelo residents are still waiting on that forest.
a store with some limburger cheese that does not need advertising.
When the wind blows from that side we have to use the back alley
and make a detour to get to our boarding house."
Commentary: Limburger cheese comes in sealed packages these days.
But best to hold your breath when a cattle truck goes by.
Angelo is very much in need of a calaboose into which petty
offenders can be placed. The new jail is only large enough to hold
the most desperate desperadoes."
Commentary: Some things don't change. The Tom
Green County jail has beds for 449 occupants. In the spring
of 2015 the lockup was operating at 99 percent capacity.
December 21, 2016
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