the construction of a new light system in the summer of 1900, Hallettsville
started a nine-year run of development that included the construction of new buildings,
the beginning of new businesses, and renovations to existing structures. |
| The Hallettsville
Herald reported the little town’s progress, as it always had. The purchase
price for the light plant was $2,740. The new machinery was bought from General
Electric after their bid was found to be lower than that of Westinghouse. The
newspaper gave this account: “The new system contemplates four arc lights, one
on each corner of the square which will add to the appearance of the city at night.”
Extensions were make available so that electric lines could reach the
outskirts of town and provide lights for the oil mill and depot.
for building the new plant was with the San
Antonio firm of W.G. Schurwith & Co. It provided for a 1200 light incandescent
power system with a separate circuit for arc lights.
In 1903, the city
continued to improve when a new ice factory came to town. According to the newspaper,
Joseph Schmidt was the owner of the business. There was some haggling over the
proposed location of the plant and Schmidt eventually had to change his plans.
The complaint over the original location came from the owners of the Lindenberg
Hotel. They were upset that the plant would be running around the clock and were
afraid that the noise would disturb the hotel guests. Schmidt leased some land
from Cornelia McDermott that was located on a lot opposite the jail and behind
the San Antonio Brewery warehouse. Evidently this worked out well for all concerned
and the ice plant was built. “Every man in Hallettsville
and the adjoining country that uses ice should patronize this institution,” wrote
the Hallettsville Herald.
During the summer of 1909, downtown growth
of the city was in full swing. Lay Drug Store was under construction and the paper
reported that the foundation had been completed and the east wall erected. The
entire floor of the building was covered with tile.
The frame building,
owned by D.B. Howerton, was being torn down and he was erecting a new brick warehouse
next to Lay Drug Store. Observers noted that once Howerton’s building was complete,
all structures on the north side of the square would be made of brick.
was during this same period that the Fink Hotel was erected and the brick building
occupied by Mrs. B.F. Arnim was being renovated. The paper reported that the S.C.
Patton residence had been thoroughly repaired and put in good condition. Also,
the Knights of Pythias and Woodmen Hall were nearing completion. “The Bohemian
Lodge at this place has purchased a lot and will soon begin the erection of a
lodge building. In a few days the city will complete the laying of water mains
to portions of town that have been without them,” said a Herald writer.
Over the years we have seen many businesses come and go, but the old brick
buildings are still standing on the square. Unlike today’s architecture these
are structures with character and style, a tribute to the creativity of the men
who built them.
© Murray Montgomery
Star Diary March
17 , 2009 Column
| Texas Towns | People
| Texas Architecture