Thursday, September 18, 2014

Things were really hopping in San diego as 1887 drew to a close

The Flores heirs of the town tract of San Diego confirmed the acts of trustees Collins and Perez who had power to sell lots in the town. The questions as to title in San Diego were settled.

While six trains a day were making stops in San Diego over the Texas-Mexican Railroad, the correspondent for the San Antonio Express leaved impression that “City in the Woods” was dull, dried up and completely without business. Moreover, San Diego had experienced no failures among its merchants; slowly, maybe, but gradually the town was improving and progressing.

M. C. Spann sold stock of goods to E. N. Gray, Charles F. Stillman, Placido Benavides and Saturnino Vera. L. Levy made improvements to his premises, adding a new roof and making other repairs. Pena and Miret renamed their saloon “The True Blue.” Mr. Yzaguara painted the sign.

Dr. Newton of Rio Grande City relocated to San Diego and opened an office to practice medicine. He had earned a reputation for treating yellow fever. Manuel Feuille, assistant postmaster, served as agent for a New York firm that enlarged pictures.

Addie Feuille started school at the Academy for girls. Mr. Pollard was at the San Diego schools. He ranked nine out of 40 when he got his certificate in Austin. Pollard started school for boys with good attendance. Louis Pueblo ran the private school. Capt. E. N. Gray advertised and secured a teacher from Houston.

Professor S. G. Glona was visiting his father in-law Judge J. Williamson Moses and was serenated by a San Diego string band.

The Frontier Battalion of Texas Rangers, Company C, was stationed in Collins. Sgt. Grimes and three men were sent to Duval County in pursuit of horse thieves. They returned on Oct. 4 without success. Two days later, Private Durbin and three others were sent to Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Duval Counties and arrested Donacio Ochoa, Augustine Felipe and Amando Oyos. The following day, Sgt. Grimes and four others were sent to Concepcion to arrest smugglers and horse thieves. They arrested Baltazar Rito for horse theft, Nicolas Sanchez and Andres Delgado for smuggling, and Hilario Cruz for carrying a pistol. They were turned over to civil authorities. Pvt. McNamara was assigned to special duty in Duval County.

Sheriff Wright, under execution, levied on 19 horses, 32 cattle, and 28 bucks belonging to A. L. Labbe on a judgment in favor of R. H. Corbet. Labbe appealed. E. H. and Emile Labbe recovered the 19 horses and 32 head of cattle taken by the sheriff, saying they were the owners and not their father. They did not claim the sheep.

Deputy U. S. Marshall arrested and carried to San Antonio seven mescal vendors.

S. G. Golager passed though San Diego on his way to Beeville with large drove of mares. Ford Dix shipped six carloads of mares, 100 in number, from San Diego. Five cars were headed for Florida and one to South Carolina.

Wool clips were coming in but none had sold yet although a couple of buyers were in town “prospecting.” More than 100 bags came in and F. Gueydan & Co. had more than 400 bags. Large bales of cotton were also at the depot.

Two bear shows were in San Diego and attracted small boys. Boy with “nigger shooter” destroyed sign at post office.

J. W. Shaw was presented with baby boy. Fred Franks married Eleanor Victorian, second daughter of Judge J. W. Moses.

The Uniques baseball team went to Corpus Christi to play “Bluff City.” The Tex-Mex sold excursion tickets for $1.60 round trip.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

1887 events in Duval were full of the happenings of daily living

At the end of July 1887 the Duval County Grand Jury returned 26 true bills. District court action saw 11 convictions and an acquittal. The Corpus Christi Caller did not report names of any of the parties indicted, convicted or acquitted.

Capt. E. N. Gray, Julian Palacios and George Bodet were named jury commissioners to select petit and grand jury for the court’s next term. Frank Feuille was becoming a popular defense attorney.

County attorney C. L. Coyner, meanwhile, took time off from his legal duties to buy and move into the Caldwell property next to Judge J. Williamson Moses’ residence. A. L. Muel and Capt. B. Miret were thinking of building new homes. Muel bought property near Sidbury Lumber and Miret built a little cottage on Plaza No. 2 on property he bought from Judge James O. Luby. L. Pena started a bakery in house opposite J. W. Shaw’s Livery Stable.

On the last Saturday of July, six dances were held in San Diego and all were attended. Music as well as partners were in high demand.

The newspaper reported that beggars and vagrants infested San Diego streets daily. One vagabond, an old man with a staff, would to go to every house with a bag and was said to feed two or three prostitutes with what he begged from “good-hearted matrons.” He asked for money but took what he could get.

In August, examinations of teachers took place. A full Board of Education was present, including members Croft, Taylor and Parkham. Teachers examined were Addie Feuille, Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Valls, Hays Dix, Mrs. Sutherland, John McIntire and T. S. Moise; the first two for first grade, the last for third and others for second. Miss Feuille got first grade certification; Mrs. Valls, second grade; all others failed. Later, the Board of Education granted Mr. McEutere a third grade certificate.

B. Miret and N. Pena merged saloons into one called Pena & Miret. It was the only saloon left in town. Juan Puig sold Glover ranch back to Glover Bros.

Catholic bishop confirmed 300 children and then went to Benavides, Concepcion, Clovis and Realitos.

The election to prohibit liquor sales went down in flames, 385 to 17. The victors were still “taking their todies” in Duval County. They needed the cool ones, as the thermometer reached 104 at the end of August.

P. S. Coy returned to Corpus Christi from San Antonio where he and Deputy Marshall Bell arrested Santos Salazar for robbing the Pena and Rio Grande City stage. Salazar was from the Collins area.

At the start of September 1887, the newspaper reported that night trains were disturbing the sleep of residents. Trains were busy transporting cattle.

Antonio Garcia Tovar married Dolores Canales of Lampazo, Mexico. Father Peter Bard presided over the marriage of Stephen Chapa, son of Fermin Chapa, to Serviana Herrera at a ranch 10 miles from San Diego. Cayetano Rios and his wife served as padrinos.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

“Mexicans” had rough time in district court

Results of the district court session in July 1887 did not prove well for “Mexicans,” as the Corpus Christi Caller called citizens of Mexican descent. Not surprisingly, these poor “Mexicans” were also criminals so the Caller saw no need to use their names.

There were 11 convictions for felony and one for aggravated assault. One “Mexican” was convicted of murder and received a 30-year sentence in the “pen.” Another one received 15 years for horse theft and forgery; one got two years for bigamy; another was sentenced to two years for cattle theft; and yet another received a two-year sentence for assault with intent to commit murder. The district attorney lost one case; have to assume it was one lucky Mexican.

The Honorable John C. Russell presided over district court on July 11, 1887. Other court officers included district attorney D. McNeil Turner, sheriff L. L. Wright, county attorney C. L. Coyner and district clerk R. B. Glover. Not a “Mexican” among the lot. The empaneled grand jury included C. K. Gravis, foreman, F. K. Ridder, Julian Palacios, R. R. Savage, J. W. Shaw, William Hebbron, Placido Benavides, G. I. Reynolds, Archie Parr, James Bryden, Fred Frank, and William Hubbard. The grand jury returned six true bills and all parties were quickly jailed. Three of the indictments were for horse theft, one for assault with intent to commit murder, and two for forgery.

Attorneys attending district court were J. O. Luby, J. W. Moses, Frank Feuille, Pat O’Dougherty from San Patricio County, J. S. McCampbell and Stanley Welch from Corpus Christi and C. C. Pierce of Laredo. Four murder cases were set for the following Tuesday.

Most of the town’s population was in attendance in court.

Rev. A. H. Sutherland of San Antonio gave several prohibition speeches, one in Spanish to a good-sized crowd. The Caller correspondent thought it was “interesting in the extreme.” Duval County was believed to be anti-prohibitionist, but people were willing to listen to opposing views. Rev. Sutherland and attorney Welch also debated prohibition to a crowded house. The Caller correspondent–Jeffreys–noted, “Mr. Welch proved himself worthy of grit of a true Democrat.”

Prohibition did not seem to excite people much. The Rev. S. Trefonio, a Mexican minister, spoke in Spanish on the plaza in favor of prohibition to a small crowd. He was not enthusiastically receive. The general impression, said the Caller, was that he did his cause more harm than good.

In other news, the Caller reported the church fair was a success and made $100. It did not mention which church. Performers included the vocal duet of Hays Dix and his sister, Mrs. Sutherland; a vocal comic duet by Dix and Coyner; a piano duet by Misses Croft and Garcia; a vocal solo by Mrs. Jarvis of Canada; and an instrumental solo by Lillie Ridder. After the church fair, young people hired music and went to another house and danced until early hours of the morning.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fourth of July was big celebration in San Diego

On July 2, 1887, The Corp Christi Caller reported that Moritz Cohn of E. Morris & Co. was delivering quite a number of ready-made suits to boys in San Diegoy. William Hubbard, meanwhile, reported that the well digging at N. G. Collins' place was not going well. A foul air was being encountered at 150 feet and scarce water was found.

Judge Wright bound Pancho Bazan (?) to grand jury for allegedly stealing pair of boots. The accused failed to post bond and was jailed. There were 16 prisoners in the county jail.

E. E. Denner married Johanna Nathan.

The following week, the jail’s population had grown to 19 as the district court opened its session. A disturbance in the town’s west side the previous Saturday night resulted in one man charged with assault to murder and carrying firearms and another was held for assault.

Avelino Perez’ ranch, two miles from town, had grass in abundance and 40 acres of cotton and watermelons. Rev. Sutherland of San Diego planned to make prohibition speech in San Diego.

San Diego celebrated the Fourth of July in grand style. In the afternoon, the Gun Club assembled “in brilliant array.” The grounds were decorated with American flags, tents were put up, lemonade and beer were handed out to the ladies and visitors, and a band of musicians played.

A great crowd enjoyed the festivities. A Mr. Tibilier raised an Irish flag among the American and Texas flags. There was also a Mexican flag, “As no American could be more enthusiastic than were the Mexicans in celebrating the day," the newspaper reported.

Gun Club members included Charley Hoffman, M. C. Spann, Ferdinand Tibilier, George Bodet, Frank Gravis as well as new members, Avelino García Tovar, Eusebio Martínez, and Antonio Rosales. W. B. Croft and John Buckley were also present.

On entering the grounds, the Gun Club formed a procession with the band of musicians. Everyone went to serenade J. O. Luby, club president, who had to attend to business in his law office and could not attend the celebration. Some anti England comments were made, which may have been the real excuse or the native Englishman’s absence, the newspaper said in jest.

Over in Benavides the Fourth of July was celebrated on a small scale with 13 guns fired. An excursion train, meanwhile, ran over a cow and cut off the tail of one of Mrs. Villarreal’s pigs, “to the delight o the boys.”

The county attorney had a “purely Mexican” case at Benavides where the jury, witnesses, defendant, nor opposing counsel spoke English. And the audience was all Mexicans. The newspaper expressed surprise that even under these circumstance the jury fined the defendant $5, which he paid along with court costs. And “they say Mexicans don’t want law enforced,” reported the correspondent named Jeffreys.

E. L. Feuille of San Diego made photo enlargements of crayon size, 20 x 24 and 32 x 36 in fine gilt frames for $25. His offer was good for only couple of weeks.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Part 2: social happenings in 1887

Victor Garcia, 74, married his seventh wife when he was 40 and reportedly had 15 children with her. All were living and doing well. He had another 16 children by six former wives. The Corpus Christi newspaper correspondent quipped that it looked like Garcia was “good for 20 more years.”

President Cleveland pardoned Robert Doughty, the stepson of Duval County Assessor Frank C. Gravis. His crime was not reported.

Ranch men were feeding cattle prickly pear and cottonseed with success. John C. Caldwell was surveying in Duval County and found some strange antlers. One was of a deer head with a third horn or antler growing out six 6 inches from its forehead. The other oddity was two heads of stag’s antlers horns locked until death during a fight. The horns were on display at Wolfram’s Saloon in Corpus Christi.

Judge Luby was finishing up a house near J. W. Shaw’s residence, which he would rent to L. Pena. Capt. E. E. Deviney will also rent a house from Luby.

Toribio Guerra bought the Ybanez ranch and Juan Puig bought the Glover ranch near Benavides.

Ludwig Brandt, 66, a resident of Duval County for nine years, died suddenly. He was a skilled mechanic from Germany who had worked for the Russian government. He was the father of Otto Brandt of San Diego. He was Lutheran and his wife survived him.

A Mrs. Benavides died leaving eight children and a husband. She had made reputation for herself by fighting a wild cat that had attacked her four-months-old baby in its cradle several months before. She killed cat and saved child.

County Treasurer George Bodet; Sheriff Wright, Deputy Sheriff Leno Cuellar, Juan Gonger (Gongora?), and Ramon Gonzales went to Floresville as witnesses in a case against Guerra and Martinez who were charged with horse theft.

M. Cohn, one of San Diego’s merchants, used to ride a fine horse on city streets. Business has increased so much that he is talking of getting married, settling down, and quitting his “wild habits.”

Judge Luby; Commissioners Edward Corkill, William Hebbron, Frederick Ridder, and Pedro Eznal met as a Board of Equalization.

Father Bard married L. Pena and Adelaida del Barrio. Also married a couple who had run away.

A rattlesnake bit a little boy, whose last name was Bryden. Dr. L. B. Wright attended to his wound.

E. Corkill was gathering cattle in Realitos to take to the Indian Territory. The town was improving rapidly. The “Alcalde” had all stumps and brush cut and cleared out of the city limits. From the amount of freight that arrives weekly, it is becoming an important station. The ranch men and local merchants Downs, Cadena, and Staples do extensive business.

Judge Luby named W. B. Croft, William Taylor, and Henry Parkham to the Board of Examiners. The law required three teachers with certifications to be members of the board, but the judge wrote to the state superintendent pointing out that if he appointed teachers as the law required, he would have to name his mother and sister. He asked that a waiver be granted allowing him to appoint three “competent” persons and it was approved.

At the end of June, A. L. Muil finished the Catholic Church in Benavides.