San Marcos, Tx. 1902-1908. ,374pp. Large folio. Original half calf and cloth, spine gilt. Light wear and soiling to boards, spine and corners a bit scuffed. Contemporary typescript sheet pasted to front flyleaf. Minor soiling and wear to contents. Very good. Item #1484
Extensive, early 20th-century court docket recording book for the city of San Marcos, Texas, the seat of Hays County, located about half way between Austin and San Antonio. The nearly four hundred entries, one on each page, cover the seven years from 1902 to 1908, and note the name of the defendant, the offense, and any convictions and punishments accorded. As one might expect, many of the cases are for public drunkenness or disturbing the peace, and there are also a number of defendants charged with "gaming" and the occasional assault or charge of fighting in the streets. On May 25, 1904, Charlie Matts was tried for "Cruely and unmercifully beating and abusing a certain horse then in his possession," for which he was fined $5 plus court costs amounting to $12.25. In a case against Juan Garcia on April 20, 1905, he was charged with "unlawfully keeping and permitting his place of business to be open for purpose of barter and sale, and unlawfully selling certain goods, etc. on Sunday, April 9th, 1905, after 9 o'clock A.M. on said day." Garcia was fined $20. Other interesting charges include "unlawfully carrying a pistol," "fast driving," "riding train" (presumably without a ticket), "using abusive language," and "placing filth in the public streets." The typescript sheet in the front of the volume outlines fees for the court, including the cost of the clerk and the city attorney (who makes double on a "not guilty" plea conviction). A useful record of legal activities in a small, central Texas town that had a population of just over 2000 inhabitants at the turn of the 20th century.