'Old' Families Lend Stability To Area
One of the principal factors in Palestine's unique stability and continuity has been an inherent loyalty among the descendants of its early inhabitants to their hometown.
This is reflected in the large number of "old" and influential families, firms and facilities maintained down through many generations here. It is attested, for example, in the listings in old directories of Palestine.
This never has been the fastest-growing city, the richest or the most changeable piece of landscape. Hensley-Arnold Company of Houston compiled and Williams Printing House, Palestine, in 1898 printed the 1898-99 Palestine City Directory.
The population of Palestine by actual count then was 10,529.
The name listings began with B. Abernathy, bartender, Buckborn Saloon, and ended with H. Zincke, I&GN carpenter, 528 Louisiana. Ewing and Deming were proprietors of the daffy and weekly Advocate, published at 612 Spring. A. B. Bailey, furniture dealer, had the business at 102 Main and lived at 136 Crawford. Advertisers included: S. P. Allen, marble works; Anderson & Hurley, blacksmiths; Alf. Ash, The Fair; Mrs. Hannah Ash, millinery; Bailey; W. R. Baty & Company, plumber; G. W. Beardsley, bicycles; Charles Bodden, meat market; Edw. Blair, blacksmith; Boatner & Fox, tailors; G. W. Bordeaux, gents furnishers; William Branagan, groceries; P. W. Brown, attorney; Wm. and G. D. Broyles, lumber; G. W. Burkitt, contractor; C. C. Castles, shoemaker; E. Cossette, groceries; H. L. Cook, groceries; Also, Max Davidson, commission; F. L. Davis, dentist; O. J. Dugey, original sample store; Louis Durr & Sons, stationers; R. Egan, groceries; L. Englemayer, painter; P. B. Ezell, livery; First National Bank; W. B. Flanagan, gents furnishers; Gardner & Gardner, attorneys; Gould & Ewing, attorneys; W. H. Gohlman, physician; A. C. Green, real estate; Thomas B. Greenwood and Son, attorneys; Albert G. Greenwood, attorney; Thomas E. Hall (c), livery; T. M. Haynes, drugs;
And Hearne & Moore, drugs; Hodges Dry Goods Company; Hotel Nolen; Huff & Keady, tailors; International Business College; I&GN Railroad; George J. Jordan, cigar manufacturer; John A. Kelly, blacksmith;
Also, P. A. Kolstad and Bro., jewelers; W. M. Lacy & Bro., groceries; Ben Landan, saloon; S. Maier, wholesale cigars; Miss Bella Maymon, millinery; Mechanics' Building & Loan Association; C. Metzler, meat market; H. L. Miller, dye works; Theo. Miller, contractor; W. A. Millican, painter; Mistrot Bros. & Co., dry goods;
And C. L. Murff, tailor; Murphy Inge, commission; Magnolia Meat Market; New England Bakery; John Ormond, transfer; Pacific Express Company; Palestine Steam Laundry; Palestine National Bank; Palestine Electric Light Company; Palestine Ice Company; J. D. Phillips, groceries; J. M. Pool, saloon; Ramsey & Williams, blacksmith; Charles A. Radeick, groceries; N. R. Royall, banker; Sawyers & Nemer; Silliman Hardware & Gro. Co.; A. N. Spaith, meat market; S. H. Stanton, barber; Swift & Co., stationers and sporting goods; Syrian American Fruit Co.; Teah & Co., dry goods; A. M. Threadgill, jeweler; P. Tighe, saloon; Donna L. Van, barber; W. W. Wainwright, novelty works; Watson, Durham & Co., dry goods; J. H. Woodard, public weigher; Word & Gooch, attorneys; G. A. Wright, dry goods and groceries.
The 1902-1903 General Directory of the City of Palestine was published by Hodge-Pearson Publishing Company, 203 Line Street, Palestine. It is a handsome bluebacked book with web-cloth attachment to hang it on the wail.
It lists the population of 11,970, "derived from an indefallable system of computation, and is correct, with the exception of a probably few who might have been overlooked."
The press then was represented by the Daily Herald, the Daily Visitor, the Daily News, the Weekly Advocate, the Weekly Herald and Faithful Words, a monthly.
Taxable values of the city were $4,045,930 and the tax rate was 90 cents, "lower than nine-tenths of the cities in Texas," and the city's bonded debt was $102,000.
First name in the listings was M. Abram, railroad machinist, 17 DeBard; the last name, "H. Zinkie," railroad carpenter, obviously a misspelling of "Zincke," who still lived at 528 Louisiana, phone 559.
Spindletop had blown the lid off the Texas oil pot and the back cover of the 1902-3 directory was devoted to Palestine Oil and Development Company of Palestine and Beaumont with incorporated capital stock of $1 million. Texas home office was in the First National Bank Building, Palestine, with branch offices in Beaumont and Austin.
The firm's business was listed as: Producers, shippers and exporters of liquid asphalt, sand asphalt, lubricating and fuel oil. In those pre-jaloppy days, oil for the lamps of Palestine -- and China -- constituted a major "fuel" demand, along with axle grease for wagons and buggies.
Along in that era John Nemer was digging shallow wells at Jarvis and shipping the heavy oil East to be made into healing ichtyolic ointments to heal cuts, bruises and other maims.
Sam Rollins was draying mightily with his transfer line, including a "first-class spring furniture van for moving household goods and pianos." Ed Watkins' Lunch Counter had "something good to eat," with hot chili a specialty, along with choice meats, game and fish in season.
W. E. Swift, the Book Man, was advertising "the most complete line of fishing tackle, guns, ammuniitions and sporting goods in the city." Directly under this bid to sell sporting goods, W. H. Nance was offering tombstones, monuments, flagstone and builders' stone on Ave. A.
Watkins Studio had a page showing its prize picture at San Antonio Photographic Convention, 1902, showing a distinguished gentleman in close-cropped whiskers and pince-nez and three pretty little girls in lace-decorated white dresses and beautiful long curls.
The Daily Herald was delivered by carrier for 10 cents a week by "The Hamilton Boys, You Know," publishers.