Palestine History Written in 1936
Palestine. It may be appropriately said that Palestine, at present a bustling little city of approximately 15,000, has all the essential advantages necessary to the growth of a great industrial and agricultural center. It is the home of the general offices and the shops of the I&GN Railway system; it is the center of a great agricultural section; and it is the headquarters for numerous oil fields. Anyone of these conditions should develop a thriving center, but take the combination as it exists and it would seem that a great city must result.
A live Chamber of Commerce is aiding this logical development of Palestine. For several years past this has managed that no opportunity that came knocking at Palestine’s door has been turned away.
Palestine’s churches and schools are substantial and beautiful as to buildings, with ample and appropriate equipment.
Palestine’s city government consists of a Mayor and Commissioners. Its police and fire departments are both well equipped, and it has one of the best water systems to be found. Located in Palestine are the splendid IGN Hospital and several other privately owned sanitariums, the R. R. YMCA, the largest in the South, and one of only two in Texas, and Carnegie Library. Palestine has paved streets.
After all, the true test of any town lies in the character of its citizens; whether they are courteous or suspicious, friendly or distant, cordial or hostile. In all sincerity it may be affirmed that the Palestine residents are noticeably warm-hearted, and hospitable. Again the writer feels impelled to give her personal experience to prove her point.
In 1898, she left her childhood home to come to Palestine to live. The grim necessity for the change was very poignant to one who clung to dear familiar objects, animate and inanimate. For two weeks before the change was made, she nightly watered her pillow with her tears. As she bade farewell to objects held dear, it seemed that no other place could ever seem like home.
Arrival in Palestine was at night. The next afternoon, tired from unpacking, it was decided to “drop everything” and go for a drive. Our family swarmed into the “surrey” and started out to see the town. It was June and we drove out South Sycamore Street. To a group accustomed to the treeless streets found in prairie towns of that day, that first view of Sycamore Street was breath-taking! The tall trees on either side made a cool leafy aisle, their graceful branches providing a perfect arch overhead. The cosy [sic] homes were ablaze with the profusion of flowers found in Palestine in June. Those flowers, and trees—the beautiful homes themselves—seemed to raise voices and cry: “You are going to like Palestine, you know you are.”