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P.O. Box 505         Coldspring, Texas 77331          Hours: 10-4 Thurs-Saturday           936-653-2009
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. The town moves cont'd.

     Glover reminded the residents of a mistake in 1877 made my Cold Springs residents when they rejected the opportunity of God's blessing them with the present Houston East and West Texas Railroad, etc, "and instead of accepting said road they actually drove it away and things have naturally stayed away."
     He also appealed for a building of brick and stressed that the residents of the community could manufacture the material themselves.  Whether this was his idea or merely an echo of talk making the rounds is anybody's guess.
     However, just as important or more so at the time, was the widespread demand of 'good roads', a need that was instrumental in the creation of a "Booster Club," the 1915 equivalent of a Chamber of Commerce, to further the needs of the community.
     Good roads in the county was high on their list of priorities, and the next two years were to see remarkable improvements to local roads, thanks to the voters who approved everyo one of several road bond issues.
     The reason for this sudden concern with roads was probably due to the rapidly growing popularity of automobile owners.  The number of people converting from the horse or mule to the gasoline engine was increasing at such a rate that the diehards felt obligated to form a club call the "Soriful Non-Car-Owners Society."
     The really big road issue was a proposed road from Lufkin to Houston and the people of San Jacinto County were determined that it should go through the county and Cold Springs.  While the commissioners were touring the state, other local leaders were attending a meeting at Livingston concerning this proposed highway.  When the commissioners returned,  they set a bond election for July 21 to finance a road to Cleveland.   Liberty County said they would build the remaining three and a half miles.
     "The era of rail road building in Texas has past, " wrote the Times editor.  "There will be but few railroads built in Texas in the future, but the next quarter century will be the building era of public highways; and pioneers in this enterpirse.....Where the first public highways are made there will be the center of thrift and industry.  The most prosperous rural districts in Texas are those that have the best in the way of public highways..."
     Meanwhile, a commitee to determine the site of the Cleveland road were working on it even before the election, but the pointed out one ticklish porblem: since the site of the courthouse hadn't been chosen, they weren't sure where to begin it.  It still hadn't been chosed by the time the successful bond election had come and gone.  (Cold Springs voted 94 to 0 on the $48,000 bond issue.)  The Polk County Enterprise declared that this road would be the first link in the Lufkin-Houston highway.
     Finally in August, five months after the fire, a $50,000 contract to build the courthouse was let.  The site had still not been chosen, but it was already understood it would be on higher ground.  Again from the Times: "It is hoped that when the Court House is completed several other nice buildings will be built.  This with other enterprise means that our town is on the eve of prosperity."
     Finally a spot was chose, or rather, donated.  The Times reports that on October 9, J.M. Hansbro (the editor's uncle) went into Cleveland to draw up a deed to donate several lots over to the county for the courthouse site.  The property has been in the family since it was first granted to Hansbro's grandfathers, Col. Robert Rankin, a pioneer settler of the area.
     The commissioners also put the old town square up for public auction, in spite of a push to turn it into a public park.  By the next week, streets at the new town site were being graded and a contract was accepted from Price & Williamson of Houston to build a concrete structure and a starting date of Jan 1, 1917 was determined.
     But it was the end of January before building materials started to arrive for construction.
     By the, the people had other things on their mind.  The county election was coming up and politics was on everyone's tongue.  But work continued.  While laborers worked on the foundation, work also began on a brick kiln near N.R. Dodson's home to make brick for the courthouse and a second one would follow a few months later.  In March, a year after the fire, the concrete work had begun.  Residents could take pride in the fat that they would have the fourth largest courthouse in the state.
 

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