Main at Bell
1914: The intersection of Main at Bell was largely a residential section where workers walked or took the trolley for a nickel to offices in the business section further down Main Street to the north. The Carter Building, the tallest structure in town at the time, can be seen as a ghostly tower in mid-frame in the distance [See Carter Building, in which the Methodist Church can be seen in the distance as viewed from farther north on Main Street.]
For a view from nearly the same angle just a few years earlier, when the street trees did not obscure Methodist Church, see Main at Bell - Methodist Church. For a view two streets north towards Methodist Church before it was build in 1912, see Main at Polk South posted in 1909.
R. P. O., Railway Post Office postmarks were applied by postal officers stationed on trains or even streetcars. Passengers would hand their mail directly to agents, or to special mailboxes at stations for cancellation and posting. Often these postmarks were a bit smudged from hand cancels applied on unstable rail cars [Philatelists have specialized societies catering to collectors of these postmarks: see The R. P. O. Postmark Page.]
2015: Gone entirely are the middle-class homes that once lined Main Street here, although mid rise and high rise condos and apartments are beginning to bring an urban life to the area in recent years. The Carter Building remains, renovated as the J. W. Marriott Houston Downtown now dwarfed by much larger buildings on all sides, and no longer discernible amid the more recent high rise office buildings.
To: Mrs. N. Everline
Postmarked: 8 November 1914; Houston, Tex. R. P. O.
Stamp: 1c Green George Washington #405
Message: Houston, Tex.
We arrived here this am from Galveston - Leave at noon for San Antonio - Have sure had a week of pleasure but am getting tired of loafing - But will soon cut it out Now, George is with us. All well - Love to all
Lafayette Perry Everline was a 45 year old rail yard manager from Canadian, a town in the northeast corner of the northeast Texas panhandle, writing his mother back in Kansas, Nancy Ricketts Everline. She was the widow of George M. Everline, former County Clerk, Probate Judge, Major and Justice of the Peace in Anderson County, KS, who had committed suicide ten years earlier over his overwhelming health concerns. Nancy’s father had brought the family to Kansas during the Civil War after General Jackson commandeered his farm and drove him from the property. The Everline and Ricketts families were close, and Nancy’s father, had been living with her when he died. He is buried in Garnett Cemetery, John Ricketts (1807-1888).
Perry was apparently on a leisure trip with his family traveling through Texas, including Houston, Galveston, and San Antonio. His wife, Estella Mae Marshall Graves Everline, and his son, George Franklin Everline, about to turn 22, were along, but his postcard does not mention his daughter Estella Mae, who would have been about 16.
The Everline family moved to Slaton near Lubbock about 1920 where Perry worked as a rail yard manager, and later to Huntington Park, Los Angeles County where Perry died in 1930 at the age of 62 and Estella in 1936 at the age of 68.