Houston Water and Light Plant.
Houston, Miss., a small town of 1,000 inhabitants, was without a water and light plant up to 1906. About that time the city felt its need of such a municipal department and the people voted $20,000 in bonds for the purpose of establishing a water and light system. One year later the town voted $6,000 more to complete the system, making a total cost of $26,000. From its beginning up to January 1 last, the plant ran behind each year, the deficiency at the end of last year being $2,700. With the determination of putting the plant on a paying basis the town decided to procure the services of a suitable man. They found such in the person of Rev. E. E. Thornton, and installed him in the position of superintendent on January 1, 1911. Mr. Thornton had often demonstrated in many ways his business ability. As an evidence of this it is only necessary to say that during his ministry he has built churches in Lexington, Durant and Water Valley. Miss., and several other buildings, valued at from $6,000 to $10,000 each. During all this time Mr. Thornton has been filling the pastorate of several Baptist churches. At the present time he is engaged in several enterprises. With his natural ability, the Rev. Mr. Thornton took hold of the Houston water plant with the determination of putting it on a paying basis, in which he has succeeded to a remarkable extent, notwithstanding he was inexperienced in this particular line of work. The first three months of his incumbency was used to overhaul the machinery, paint the water tank and otherwise put the system in working order. At the present time he is engaged in installing water and light meters on all services where the water is used more than for ordinary family use. Where there is stock or garden or yard hose used, the patron is placed on a meter. This is done by the patron paying for the meter, but when left to the management, the meter is placed free of charge. The people of Houston are congratulating themselves upon having succeeded in placing their water and light plant upon its feet, and hope in the future to be able to make other advancement along the line of success. Paradoxical as it may seem, this minister is a man of means, and an exceptionally good financier, which fact being well known, led to his election to the position of superintendent. He is said to have saved the town considerable money by displaying good business judgment in purchasing for his department, and has also the reputation of being the best collector the town has ever had. He is the owner of two productive farms, a beautiful home in the town of Houston, an orchard of 2,000 trees and also a hog ranch. For a diversion he preaches each Sunday, and oneday last week he baptised 16 persons. He is doing practically four men’s work, and is not yet 60 years of age.