September 28, 2009

Soapy Smith in Gonzales, Texas, 1883.

(Click image to enlarge)
Gonzales county occupation tax, 1883
Jeff Smith collection

The above document is one of the more fragile ones in the Smith family collections. It is an occupation tax receipt that Soapy Smith received after paying the $3.00 fee to operate his swindles in Gonzales, Texas county as a "seventh class merchant" for the period of one year beginning on January 25, 1883, the date the document was signed.

The receipt is signed by A. T. Bass, the tax collector. Bass was also the counties one time Surveyor and had been a captain in the county sheriff's department. The Comptroller of Public Accounts also signed it but I could not find the name of the person, only the office. It appears to read "Wm. Brown."

The Gonzales Branch Railroad Company was chartered on November 12, 1881. Twelve miles of track between Gonzales and Harwood, Texas, and a connection with the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway were completed in August 1882. This is the probable method of arriving into Gonzales.

(Click image to enlarge)
Three-card monte gang working a train


* Jeff Smith collection


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