10/29/1969"The only mule car in existence that was used between two cities, and two nations ..." was dedicated in a new location today by a gathering of city and civic officials from both sides of the border.
"Mandy" the mule. The new location is on the corner of El Paso and Missouri streets, midway between the locations La Villita and the new Civic Center.
MAYOR PETE de Wetter was master of ceremonies for todays dedication. Juarez Mayor Pro Tem Javier Ito Acosta represented Juarez.
Licenciado Clemente Bolio, president of the Juarez Historical Society (Sociedad de Estudios Historicos) joined his counterpart, Mr. Bailey, in savoring the moment that reflected an era in the histories of the two cities.
Also on hand were County Judge Colbert Coldwell, Chris Fox, William Hooten, and Maj. Gen. Richard T. Cassidy. The 424th Army Band furnished music for the ceremonies.
Mr. Bailey drew a history of the trolley from its working days between the two international cities to its appearance as an endeared relic in San Jacinto Plaza on Sept. 14, 1955, to the new location on Cleveland Square.
He quoted historian Owen P. White who said that El Paso was "the only city in the United States that grew so fast that to get out of the way of itself it had to erect a street car line before it built a public school house.
AT ONE TIME there were two and probably four mule or horse drawn trolley car lines, Bailey said. One went from Pioneer plaza to Stanton street and across into Mexico. In 1892 Zach White built the Santa Fe Bridge and the line was then extended to use both bridges for the round trip.
An interested special guest at the ceremonies was Jesse B. Binkley, who was a part-time worker on the only El Paso-Juarez line in 1901. He served as a conductor on Sundays and other days when a two-man crew was needed.
The year 1901 was the last year when mules were used.
In 1902 the electrification of streets made the animal-drawn vehicles yield to the bright, shiny, humming mechanical -monsters.
Mr. Binkley never got over his trolley experience and in 1940 recognized that the last remaining mule car was a valuable historic relic. He was given the car by Roy Nelson, then president of the El Paso Electric Company, and he in turn, gave it to the City.
The Second World War delayed the cars emergence from the Electric Company yards. In late 1955, Binkley once again started the proceedings necessary to bring the relic to the sight of El Paso. El Paso City Lines repaired the trolley; the Oddfellows lodge donated a replica of the mule (later named Mandy); and the Popular donated the manikin passengers.
THE 1955 dedication in San Jacinto Plaza was a bi-national affair then as the one today.
Juarez Mayor Pedro Garcia joined El Paso Mayor Tom Rogers in dedicating the international street car.
Little boys looking on at today’s dedication knew little of the ways of these things, and listened with even less interest. What challenged their eyes was the sight of an oddly-shaped and oddly-colored vehicle that looked like it would be fun to ride. No fumes or pollution either!