Main above Capitol
1919: On the right at the near corner is the Capitol Hotel, and farther down, Adoue-Blaine Hardware in red brick with white trim. Just past, The Great Jones Building, headquarters of Jesse Jones. The pink structure is the Carter Building, and nearly on the horizon, Methodist Church bell tower. On the left just past Capitol Street is Stowers and Gimbels, followed by the Oliver Music Company building.
29 May 2015: On the left, the Kress Building built in 1913 on the site of Stowers and Gimbels as Stowers had built their own building at 820 Fannin at Walker, now refit as Aloft Hotel. On the right, in front of the Metro Train is the parking structure structure for J. P. Morgan Chase Tower, the first floor of which is retail. Past the train the Great Jones Building expanded to the corner, covering the footprint of the Adoue-Blaine Hardware Store. The Carter Building has been renovated to near its original condition as the J. W. Marriott Hotel Downtown.
To: Mrs.Nellie Tripp
448 Harriet St.
Postmarked: Jan 22, 1919
Stamp: 2c Carmine George Washington #406
Message: Dear Friend:-
Many thanks for your very nice card received. We have been having very nice weather the past few days but it is raining tonight, we have had a great deal more than our share of rain this winter. Christmas was a lonely day for me as I had nobody with me to liven things up.
With a tidy script in clean black ink, Oscar divulges such intimate feelings about a lonely Christmas nearly a month ago, it might seem Nellie was an old friend. Like many Americans in the early years of the 20th century, they had in common the hobby of exchanging picture postcards with strangers to collect images of America and have brief conversations with pen-pals. Nellie may have visited Houston after they met through postcards, but there seems to be very little else to link the wife of a house painter in Michigan to a typesetter and printer in Houston.
Oscar was at the time living alone in Hotel Houston near courthouse square while his family remained behind in Corpus Christi. He had been moving around a lot in the past few years, from Corpus to Bryan to Houston in search of work. Oscar’s occupation was a family business, his father and brother all were in the trade. They had come from Indiana to Texas and worked in Dallas, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Bryan, Beeville, Lake Charles, LA, and Houston.
Oscar had married a Mexican-American with deep connections to Corpus, and through all his various moves she may have been reluctant to move away. After the death of her mother in 1913 and her father by grieving suicide in 1917 it may have been harder still, but the year following the postcard she came to Houston to join her husband. Oscar did not live much longer, dying in 1926 and is buried in Hollywood Cemetery.