Eli T. Merriman, a director of the Commercial club, pioneer newspaper man of the Gulf Coast country and a representative business man, yesterday pointed out to The Caller that two paramount matters of importance that should now engage the people of this city is first a campaign to bring winter visitors her and second renewed efforts to secure factories and more payrolls.

Mr. Merriman in discussing these matters said:

“As to the winter visitors, or tourists, it is certain that the hundreds and thousands that have been going to Europe annually from the northern states to spend their winters and millions of dollars are not going there this year, nor are they likely to go there in great numbers for a long time to come.  Most of them are going somewhere.  They have the ______   They are going to travel southward to Florida, some are coming to Texas while not a few are going to California.  Florida and California which have been getting winter visitors for years on special trains, are already planning to secure the tourists in greater numbers than ever before.  Florida relying mainly on the New England and North Atlantic states for her tourists realizing that Texas and California are favored more by people from Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and other northern and western states.

“One advantage Texas has over California is that of the short distance from most of the states just named, being hundreds of miles nearer to them but in order to get the greatest number of tourists some good missionary work must be done.  We must advertise and go after them.  The climate down here in south Texas, along the coast especially, is as fine if not finer than that of California.  Corpus Christi is prepared now as never before to take care of thousands of winter visitors, having fine hotels and rooming houses, two of the hotels being of the most modern class.  No finer or more comfortable can be found in the South.

“Our city now has miles of paved street, good street car system, etc.  The managers of our tourist hotels, The Nueces and Corpus Beach hotels, should get busy now or during the month of August, and with the assistance of our citizens, put an agent or agents in the field, or establish an agency in St. Louis, Chicago or some of the leading cities. The tourists need to be shown, shown pictures and plenty of them: pictures of the hotels, causeway, the bluff beautification, street scenes, hunting scenes, pictures of the bay and gulf, showing the fishing, bathing, boating, etc. as well as told of them.  Also of the wonderful health record.

George H. Paul showed up the advantages of this coast county to the people of the northwest and soon brought into Corpus Christi and the country south of us train loads of home seekers.  Why can not the same thing be done with the winter tourists?  It can be if the proper steps are taken and the right inducements are offered.

“It would be a grand advertisement for the hotels and our [colorful?] city if the Nueces or Corpus Beach should have a special train of northern tourists sleepers come rolling into Corpus Christi some fine morning, the tourists coming here to make this their winter headquarters.  What railroad company wouldn’t be glad to have the hauling of such a train into the city and gladly help advertise and bring us more visitors here this coming winter for there is no nicer place in which to spend the winter.

As to home industries, Corpus Christi [really?] needs more of them.  To make a pay roll, our city needs factories, large and small.  We want a brick factory. On the corner of Water and Peoples street is a two story brick building that has stood there over half a century, the red brick made here before the Civil War.  There are others.  What was done here then can be done again.

“Corpus Christi should have a creamery, also a cannery and pickling plant.  Tomatoes are going to waste in the fields around Corpus Christi, they may be bad now for hauling them in almost.  This city should have a large storage plant.

“It was reported on the street this week that a box of cucumbers raised here this spring has just been shipped back to this city by express to supply the demand. No doubt there may be some Corpus Christi cabbage or lettuce coming back here shortly by express for sale at a good price, which our farmers ought to receive.  They would be glad to get half such a price and [?] will be charged.  And Corpus Christi will soon have an abundance of good water which has been a long felt want.

“Cheap water and clear water and with natural gas close at hand, a movement, well organized, should be started here for getting factories.  In the town of Houston, _________ not much larger than Corpus Christi, there are factories on every hand, one employing twelve hundred persons.  The town has tree clock factories, a box factory, a bell factory, glass factory, typewriter machine factory, iron foundry, silverware factory, fishing rod and tackle factory, men’s underwear factory, overall factory, etc.  All the raw material is shipped there, the cotton coming form the South.  Factories mean pay rolls and we should work to get them.  With a good number of factories Corpus Christi with the natural advantage she already has would soon become a much larger and more productive city.”


Source: Corpus Christi Caller & Daily Herald, July 14, 1915, p. 8, c. 3 and 4

Research by:  Monsignor Michael A. Howell

Transcribed by:  Kathryn H. Martin, member Coastal Bend Genealogical Society



E. T. Merriman to Ask Texas Editorial Association to Hold Their 1915 Convention Here


That it is practically assured that the Texas Editorial Association will meet here in November was the statement made yesterday by E. T. Merriman, one of the pioneer editors of Texas.  The Texas Editorial Association is composed of editors who have been in the profession for twenty-five years or longer.  The conventions of the Association are usually attended by thirty or forty members, and have heretofore been held at Rockport, at the Oakshore Club, or at Houston.

Mr. Merriman has extended the Association an invitation to meet in Corpus Christi, and he stated that it is practically assured that the invitation will be accepted.  In entertaining the visiting editors, should they come to Corpus Christi, Mr. Merriman will be assisted by the local press and the Commercial Club.  The convention will last three days, one of which will be devoted to a trip by boat to Port Aransas.  Other diversions will include an automobile drive over the city and across the causeway which will have been completed at that time.

Many of the editors are usually accompanied by their wives, and will probably spend several weeks in the city.  Prominent among the members of Colonel Frank Holland, publisher of Holland’s Magazine and Farm and Ranch Magazine at Dallas, and one of the best known publishers in the South.


Source: Corpus Christi Caller & Daily Herald, July 31, 1915, p. 3, c. 4

Research by:  Monsignor Michael A. Howell

Transcribed by:  Kathryn H. Martin, member Coastal Bend Genealogical Society






Eli T. Merriman, a Member of the Board Points Out advantages of This City for Military Camp

The Commercial Club directors at their semi-monthly meeting to be held tomorrow night will complete plans for presenting an invitation to the War Department asking that the Second Division of the United States Army now at Texas City be transferred to Corpus Christi, should it be decided to remove the camp, as now seems probable.

Congressman Garner who represents the Corpus Christi district will be asked to assist Corpus Christi in securing the division which consists of 8,000 men.  There are so many reasons why Corpus Christi would prove an admirable location for a military camp that the Commercial Club believes that the War Department will at least give the local claims very earnest consideration.

Eli T. Merriman, a pioneer resident and a director of the club in discussing the matter yesterday said:

“Taylor’s army was stationed at Corpus Christi before our last war with Mexico, because of its advantageous location.  After that war for a long time and after the Civil War, Uncle Sam kept several regiments of troops here. Corpus Christi is a hundred and fifty miles nearer to the lower Rio Grande than San Antonio and about the same distance to Laredo.

“We have direct rail communication over the St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Railroad with both Brownsville and Sam [Fardveg?], two most important points on the lower Rio Grande, direct rail communication via the Texas Mexican with Laredo, a very important point on the Rio Grande, also direct rail communication over the Link road, with Uvalde, Carrizo Springs, and the western border, also direct communication by rail including “The Sap,” over three rail roads with points north. Corpus Christi is within eighteen miles of Port Aransas and the gulf where United States transports can get soldiers, if stationed at Corpus Christi, by rail or water in less than one hour time.  Corpus Christi with its forty foot bluff is the safest place from the storms of the gulf of any place of importance on the entire Texas coast, being least subject to storms of any city on the Texas coast.  Another advantage Corpus Christi has is its health.  Few places in the south can compare with it.  We have the records to show no malaria here, but plenty of pure air fresh from the sea.  Bring the troops here.”


Source: Corpus Christi Caller & Daily Herald, August 22, 1915, p. 5, c. 3

Research by:  Monsignor Michael A. Howell

Transcribed by:  Kathryn H. Martin, member Coastal Bend Genealogical Society

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