“1857, March 3: James Birch wins a government contract to deliver mail from San Antonio, Texas to San Diego, California via El Paso. Because mules pulled his wagons, the service becomes known as the Jackass Mail.” – Leon Metz, El Paso Chronicles
Category: Leon Metz
“1849, November 10: Texas Judge Spruce M. Baird arrives in Santa Fe and declares Santa Fe part of Texas. The natives ignore him, so after a brief period he returns to Austin and argues that New Mexico is in rebellion.” – Leon Metz, El Paso Chronicles
“1924, July 26: Dr. Lawrence A. Nixon, a black physician, is turned away from the East El Paso Fire Station when he tries to vote. This sets in place a chain of legal challenges that do not end until they reach the United States Supreme Court.
“1927, March 7: The rights of Dr. Lawrence A. Nixon, a black physician, are vindicated at the United States Supreme Court. Unfortunately, Oliver Wendell Holmes, who wrote the decision, concentrated on ‘equal rights’ and not ‘voting rights.’ So voting rights for blacks were flouted in Texas for a few more years.”
— Leon Metz, El Paso Chronicles
“1908, January 10: The Women’s Club of El Paso has served notice that it objects to the aggregation of idle men basking in the sun on the Oregon Street side of the Plaza. The men ‘take delight in surveying the women as they pass and making remarks about them.’ “ – Leon Metz, El Paso Chronicles
“1882, May 27: El Paso City Marshal Dallas Stoudenmire meets with the city council to discuss his dismissal. The big marshal walks into the conference room twirling his six shooter and saying, ‘I can straddle every goddamned alderman here.’ The meeting was adjourned.
“May 29: Stoudenmire sobers up and resigns.”
– Leon Metz, El Paso Chronicles
“1871, August 7: The Mesilla riot occurs. As the liquor flowed, Democrats and Republicans paraded in opposite directions around the Mesilla, New Mexico, plaza. A collision took place, and that sparked the fighting. When it ended, nine men lay dead and between 40 and 50 were wounded. No charges were brought.” – Leon Metz, El Paso Chronicles
“1870, December 7: The Salt War explodes as politicians begin killing each other on the streets of El Paso. Attorney Ben Williams is drinking and ranting in Ben Dowell’s saloon when Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain walks in. Fountain is shot twice, his life saved by a pocket watch stopping one of the bullets. Fountain alerts District Judge Gaylord Clarke and State Police Captain Albert French who pursue Williams into his residence. The door is broken down, and the confrontation moved to the street where Williams kills Judge Clarke with a shotgun. Williams was then slain by Captain French who shot him twice.” – Leon Metz, El Paso Chronicles