Vol MMXIII, No 188
July 7, 1883
Texan, Munson receives French Legion of Honor
Texan Peter Grayson dies in Tennessee
Peter Grayson was the Texas naval attache to the United States in 1838, when Sam Houston selected him to succeed him as President. The Texas Constitution prevented Houston himself from running.
Unfortunately, while in Tennessee, Grayson was rejected by a woman he had proposed to, and shortly afterward, on this date in 1838, he committed suicide.
Houston's second choice, James Collinsworth, drowned in Galveston, opening the election to Houston's rival, Mirabeau B Lamar, who eventually became the second President.
T.V. Munson honored
On this date in 1883, the French Minister of Agriculture, Pierre Viala, arrived in Denison, to confer the Chevalier du Mérite Agricole (The French Legion of Honor) to Thomas V Munson for his work is saving the wine industry in France.
In the late 1870s and early 1880, vinards in France were being wiped out by the root lice disease Phylloxera. Munson traveled 50,000 miles in research of a grape plant that was resistant to the disease. When he began his research at Denison he struck pay dirt. Thousands of root stock were sent to France, and a massing plant grafting program implemented.
Three years later, on October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France honoring American Friendship, would be dedicated in New York harbor.
So, it is a historical fact, that every bottle of French Cognac, Champagne, and Bordeaux, has it's roots in Texas.
Billy Preston hits Billboard No 1
On this date in 1973, Houston born Billy Preston hit No. 1 on Billboards Hot 100 with his recording "Will It Go Round In Circles". A year later, Preston hit No. 1 again with "Nothin' from Nothin'".
BBB&C Railroad Sold to pay Judgements
Following the civil war, Texas' first railroad hit financial difficulties and unable to pay it's debts. To satisfy judgements against the line, which extended from Harrisburg (Houston) to Columbus (the last 3 miles over the Columbus Tap Railroad), was sold on this date in 1868 for $13,000 by Harris County sheriff William Sledge.
The new owners, which included Slege and Thomas W Pierce renovated the railroad, even adding a new locomotive. On July 20, 1870 a new charter would be formed and the railroad name changed to Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway.
This new line eventually became the oldest section of the Southern Pacific, helping to extend Southern Pacific's Sunset Route from El Paso to San Antonio, completing the nation's second Trans-Continental Railroad.
Port of Valesco opens for Commerce
On this date in 1891, the Port of Valesco opened. It will be a major port between Galveston and Corpus Christi following the loss of Indianola to a hurricane five years before.