One Hundred Years Ago: 12/23/1914

Did the ride on Mr. Appel's Galveston County Courthouse elevator back in 1914 really feel this good?

Did the ride on Mr. Appel’s Galveston County Courthouse elevator back in 1914 really feel this good? ~ What do you think?


A hundred years, these were a few of the stories floating through our Houston-Galveston neighborhood, dateline 12/23/1914, on the way to Christmas Day 1914. All of these brief column reports appeared on Page 6 of the 12/23/1914 edition of The Galveston Daily News:



Former Iron Man Pitcher of Philadelphia Athletics Writes Letter to Otto Sens of Buffs

Special to the News ~

Houston, Tex., Dec. 22 ~ Jack Coombs, late iron man of the Philadelphia Athletics, probably will be in Houston within a few days for a visit. Otto Sens, president of the local baseball club (The Houston Buffs), received a letter from him today in which he expressed a desire to enjoy the party of baseball men who are contemplating a hunting expedition near Carrizo Springs. Coombs is spending the winter with relatives in Palestine.



Princeton Report Shows Only Two Athletic Branches Make Money

Princeton, New Jersey, Dec. 22 ~ Football and baseball are the only two self-supporting branches of athletics at Princeton, according to the annual report of the Athletic Association, which was made public today. The report covered the period from July 11, 1912 to July 10, 1914. The figures for the past football season are not yet complete, but in 1913, football netted the association $38,341, while in baseball last spring $9,318 was cleared. The $48,000 from these two sports had to be applied to track, crew, and the minor sports which do not make their running expenses.



Captain of Christmas Day Swim Receives Offers of Aid by Galvestonians

Galveston, Dec. 23 ~ Since Walter Mayer, Cashier of the Galveston Commercial Association, called for volunteers to take a dip with him in the surf on Christmas morning, able-bodied and hardy citizens have been stopping him on the street to tell him they are prepared to take a chance. Mr. Mayer himself is somewhat uncertain, but if the sun shines that morning, he will lead his recruits into the sparkling waters. One city fireman wrote him a letter pledging his services on the ground that it was a patriotic duty no Galvestonian should refuse. “It would be a big boost to Galveston,” he wrote, “and it pays to advertise.”



Christmas Elevator Is Decorated to Harmonize with the Christmas Spirit, Like Oaring with Santa

Galveston, Dec. 23 ~ To take a make-believe trip with Santa Claus in his sleigh is an easy matter in Galveston. Just step into the courthouse and then inside the elevator and say to the elevator man:

“To the top floor, please,” and lo, you will experience all the sensations of skimming through the air and over housetops with Kris Kringle.

The cause of it all is the desire of the veteran courthouse elevator man, Richard Appel, to symbolize the spirit of the season with appropriate decorations in the cage whose orbit is from the basement to the top floor of the Galveston County courthouse. Everything but the toys is there, and one could imagine he saw even those among the many colored lights, fluttering evergreen and pictures showing the Christ in various stages of his life.

Mr. Appel says he believes in one’s showing his appreciation of the season by brightening things up a bit. He has succeeded admirably.


~ Galveston Daily News, December 23, 1914, Page 6.


Pecan Park Eagle Note: As we all know, technology has done a lot to alter the volume and course of our imaginations over the past century. Can you imagine talking today’s kids into putting down their “Apples” long enough to go ride the decorated courthouse elevator with “Mr. Appel” in 2014?

Happy last minute shopping, everybody who waited until now. ~ Tomorrow is Christmas Eve day.



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