I thought it’d be fun to look at some of the laws that are still on the books today. Here are a few interesting ones I found in my file. All are Texas laws and I added the town or area of Texas it’s applicable to. Many are statewide and I’m sure some have been amended.
• Temple, Texas: Cattle thieves may be hanged on the spot. No one may ride a horse and buggy through the town square, but they can ride their horse in the saloon.
• The capital of Texas, Austin: Wire cutters cannot be carried in your pocket.
• San Antonio, Texas: It is illegal for both sexes to flirt or respond to flirtation using the eyes and/or hands. It is also illegal to urinate on the Alamo.
• Texarkana: Owners of horses may not ride them at night without tail lights.
• It is illegal to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel. It’s illegal to milk another’s cow.
• In Kingsville, there is a law against two pigs having sex on the city’s airport property. Why just the city’s airport property? Don’t ask me!
• It’s illegal to dust any public building with a feather duster.
• In El Paso, churches, hotels, halls of assembly, stores, markets, banking rooms, railroad depots, and saloons are required to provide spittoons “of a kind and number to efficiently contain expectorations into them.
• In other parts of Texas you can’t land an airplane on the beach, throw trash from an airplane, or inhale fumes from model glue, not to mention you must obtain permission from the director of parks and recreation before getting drunk in any city park. This is where “Don’t Mess With Texas” comes in loud and clear!
• Texas is a common law state, so you can be legally married by publicly introducing a person as your husband or wife three times. So my advice to you, be careful what you say when you have your snoot full in a Texas honky tonk.
• Port Arthur: Obnoxious odors may not be emitted while in an elevator.
Some of these laws have been changed or strengthened, especially involving drinking and driving, while some like having wire cutters in your pocket or shooting buffalo from a second floor window of a hotel remains in full force and effect. So every time I look at the new Marriott being built, I wonder if they’ll add that law to the notice they put on the inside of your hotel room? I might just have to call them and find out.
But the best law of all: A cowman cannot tuck his pants into one boot unless he owns ten or more head of cattle. I have no idea what the purpose of this law might have been. Do you?
Are there any old laws that are unique to your part of the country that you’d like to share with us today?
To one lucky reader who leaves a comment, I’ll give them their choice of an eBook or an autographed book of my newest Kasota Springs Romance Out of a Texas Night.