20 February 1929: 1. 24 Courtlandt Place (1920): William Cutter Hunt (1882-1955), agent for steamship lines, e.g. White Star Lines, Leyland Lines; 2. 22 Courtlandt Place (1925): Murray Brashear Jones (1886-1963), an attorney whose grandfather Isaac Wright Brashear (1811-1859) was a state senator in the 1840’s and whose Uncle Henry Brashear built the Brashear Building in 1882 at 910 Prairie, one of the few downtown Houston buildings remaining from the period; His wife was Alice Baker Jones (1887-1978), daughter of Captain James Addison Baker (1857-1941), who bought the home for her. Captain Baker was a law partner in his father’s late 19th century firm, Baker & Botts, which held so many legal connections to William Marsh Rice (1816-1900); 3. 20 Courtlandt Place (1916): Dr. Judson Ludwell Taylor (1881-1944), a surgeon and brother-in-law of William Thomas Carter, Jr. next door; 4. 18 Courtlandt Place (1912): William Thomas Carter, Jr. (1887-1857), son of William Thomas Carter (1856-1921), one of Houston’s most successful lumbermen [his widowed mother had been the matron of the property until her death just a month before the postcard was sent]; 5. 16 Courtlandt Place (1912): James Judson Carroll (1876-1938), another brother-in-law of his neighbor William Thomas Carter, Jr., who was manager of his father-in-law’s 5th Ward lumberyard; 6. 14 Courtlandt Place: (1920) Robert Decan Randolph (1891-1989), yet another brother-in-law of William Thomas Carter in #18.
It is worth noting that buildings at the rear of each of these fine homes housed black members of the service class who worked for their employers in the main house. 1. 24 Courtlandt Place: Ira Clark worked off-site as a U.S. postal carrier; his wife Ethel Butler Clark and Bessie Counter served the Hunt family; 2. 22 Courtlandt Place: Paul Fleming, who worked off-site as an apartment manager and his wife Effie Fleming who served the Jones family, as well as Cecelia Holmes, cook, and Thelma Ryan, servant; 3. 20 Courtlandt Place: Caywood Lewis, who served as the Taylor family chauffeur and Lillie Bluett, general servant; 4. 18 Courtlandt Place: Lydia Anna Zahn (1902-1998) a white live-in maid in the main house, and in the rear house, cooks Australia Young and Nellie Daninger, who served the Carter family; 5. 16 Courtlandt Place: Ocea Watson (1905-1962), cook who served the Carroll family; 6. 14 Courtlandt Place: Drew Hart Rice (1904-1975), butler and Richard Vinson, chauffeur with his wife Anna, cook as well as Olvie Harris, porter & off-site auto paint store worker and his wife Annabel, who served the Randolph family.
18 June 2021: Before the Hogg Brothers, Will Clifford Hogg (1875-1940) and Mike Hogg (1885-1941), began to develop River Oaks as a gated golf-course community in the early 1920’s, wealthy Houstonians sought homes on South Main Street between Elgin and downtown, or in two more private enclaves: Westmoreland and Courtlandt Place, first developed as a gated community in 1906. The first houses starting to go up on Courtlandt in 1909, but unlike most of Houston, the residents owned the street itself, and thus could gate it off for the ultimate in privacy. When Joseph Wesley Link was developing the Montrose District to the west in 1912, he wanted the street open for access to his community, and Courtlandt Place residents agreed to do so in exchange for the city services of paving and maintenance, lights, and traffic management. In 1982 the neighborhood reverted to resident control, and the gates were once again locked tight. The homes are largely intact, kept up to date over the years with renovations, some of them quite extensive. It remains one of the most exclusive communities in Houston.
Postmarked: 20 February 1929; Houston Texas 1
To: Mrs Frank Walters.
1942 East Bowman St.
South Bend. Indiana
Message: Dear Mother & D
Leave here tomorrow for Tulsa Okl How are you and grandpa we are all fine. The weather is a little cool today Will be expecting a letter from you when we get to Tulsa Okla.
Mrs. Frank Walters was born Cordelia McCutchen in 1865 in Fulton County, OH, twin to Cornelia McCutchen. They were the third and fourth children of Springer McCutchen and Isabell Miller and siblings to James Oscar, Emily J., and Samuel. The family moved from Ohio to northern Indiana before 1880, and settled in Goshen, the county seat of Elkhart County, IN.
Cordelia was accompanied by her husband, Frank Walters (1862-1934) and their daughter, Phyllis, not quite 6 years old. This was Cordelia’s second family, she had been married in 1882 to William Sheetz (1855-1920) by whom she had Charles Sheetz (1892-1958) and Mabel, who was 33 years old when she sent this postcard to her mother back home in Indiana. She had married Irvin Charles Peck on 9 May 1914 in Goshen, and on 28 June 1914 lost her daughter Evelyn Louise to spina bifida after only a month and 2 days. Two years later she lost another child to this same disease, Donald William Peck on 14 September 1916 after 5 months and 1 day, and soon another child, Helen J. died on 22 February 1918 after only 12 days of life. Their surviving child, Phyllis June Peck was born 6 June 1923, and she would be the last of Mabel’s children.
Mabel’s trip to Houston may have been somewhat work-related for her husband Irvin, who was a woodworker in a sawmill in Elkhart County, IN. Since the lumber industry in East Texas was among the most important in the US, he would at least have been interested Houston’s local industry, and might have been dispatched to visit some lumber companies. The next stop on their trip was to be Tulsa, OK where they would be expecting a letter from Cordelia. It seems likely they were going there to visit relatives who would be holding the letter, but none have been identified there.
Mabel and Irvin returned to Elkhart County, IN after the trip, and would live out their lives there. Cordelia’s husband, Frank Walters, died just 5 years later in 1934 of heart disease. Cordelia moved to South Bend, IN and late in life married one last time to Harry Garner (1875-1947). Cordelia died in 1949 and was buried in Oakridge Cemetery in Goshen, a resting place shared by her father, Springer McCutchan (1831-1879), mother Isabell Miller (1835-1916), sister Emily J. (1860-1887), brother James Oscar (1858-1944), and brother Samuel (1873-1885), who tragically drowned as a 12 year old when a bridge failed and his brother James’s teamster company wagon dumped him into the river as he was riding on the back. Cordelia’s twin sister Cornelia (1865-1903) is buried there too; her husband, Samuel William Buckmaster (1862-1942), remarried and moved to Michigan where he died in Barry County.
Irvin died in in 1969, Mabel died in 1974; they are buried in Violett Cemetery in Goshen. Phyllis married James Ethelbert Warrick in 1944 as he prepared himself for service in WWII at Reserve Officers’ School, serving as Lieutenant JG in the Naval Reserve Officers Corp. He died in 2003 and he is buried in Arlington Park Cemetery in Milwaukee, WS with a marker that indicates “Diane M.” was his wife. Phyllis died in 2010, her last residence in Spring, Harris County, TX.