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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Newcomer to Austin, Texas, Unfavorably Impressed (1878)

The following is an excerpt from a collection of Tolles family correspondence held by the Duke University library.

Shortly after settling in Austin, Texas, in 1878, Jennie Tolles wrote to her older sister Katie, to report the alarming goings-on:
Yesterday there was a man murdered right down town just a littel [sic] ways from the office, he was an alderman, a Mr. Markley. He was killed by Alderman Wall. They are trying to have a big market built in the 6th ward. Mr Wall didn't like it because Mr (Markley) didn't vote the same as he did. So Mr Wall drew out a great long Bowie knife from his waistband and stabbed him twice through the heart. Mr Markley dropped right down dead on the sidewalk. They sent right off for his wife and... she came right down there where he was laying a-bleeding. Oh it is terrible, he leaves a poor wife and two little children. Their [sic] are just such things a-going on here all the time. It is the worst place we have ever got into. You can't express your opinions but what you are in danger of your lives.

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