Main at Dallas - South
1909: The southwest corner of Main and Dallas was a residential district with many fine homes. In the foreground was the turreted home of Henry S. Fox, then president of the Houston National Bank. Just beyond to the south was the home of Van Alstyle designed in part by Nicholas Clayton, an architect whose work in Galveston included Old Red at UT Medical Branch, still standing, and Ursuline Academy, razed after Hurricane Carla in 1961. At the corner of the next block down, Polk Street, was the home of the Taub family (see Taub House), whose philanthropic son Ben lent his name to Ben Taub Hospital many years after these views.
8 October 2011: The Van Alstyne house was sold to John F. Dickerson, then demolished in 1921 to allow the construction of the Humble Oil Company headquarters on the south half of the block. The historic Fox home was moved to face Dallas and became a boarding house before it was razed in 1927 to allow construction of the 17 story Humble Tower. The Humble Building was the first office building to be equipped with a central air-conditioning system in 1932. The block is now occupied by Marriott properties: The Courtyard at Marriott at 916 Dallas and Residence Inn at 904 Dallas.
To: Boon Hayes Drexel, Mo.
Postmarked: 30 October 1909 from Houston, Tex.
Message: My Dear Aunt, Uncle Grandma and Grandpa. As I did not know Grandpa's address I will have to send his love with yours. How is Grangma is she still sick and Papa when you see him tell him to write and you also. Kiss Aunt Lulu & Grandpa.
Write to me soon.
St. Agnes Academy
Saint Agnes Academy was a “boarding and day school for young ladies and girls” located on Houston’s South Side at 3900 Fannin between Truxillo and Cleburne at Isabella. It was a fairly small school, with about 20 Dominican sisters as teachers, a few boarders, and a larger group of day students. Gale could have been either, and it has not been possible to identify her with any certainty.
"Boon," Gale's Uncle John Boone Hays, was the son of James Samuel Hays ("Grandpa”) and Mary Ellen Stuart ("Grandma"), born 16 September 1884 in Bates County, MO. Boone was the 3rd great grandson of Daniel Boone, and very proud of his American heritage, but he was almost as proud of his English Stuart lineage as a descendant from Scottish Stuart aristocrats. Drexel was once called Stuart City, and it was said Lincoln was once a family employee. Boone was something of a newlywed, having married Lula Lee Kimbro ("Aunt") just a year before the postcard, and they still lived just down Cass Street from his parents. The family ran a grocery store in Drexel, Cass County, MO for many years. After James Samuel Hays died in 1921, Boone Hays went on to become a mortician and funeral director in Drexel, but where he acquired his training is not clear.
Lula Lee died 8 January 1947 in Drexel, and was buried there in Sharon Cemetery. Boone married again to Sybil Marie Green on 15 October 1963. Boone died 17 December 1971 in Cass County, MO, and was buried there in Sharon Cemetery near his first wife.
Gale should have been easy to find. Grandpa and Grandma seem to have had only three sons: Henry Claude Hays (1871), James Amazon Hays (1873), and John Boone Hays (1884), but family research in the last decade of the 19th century is made difficult by a lack of federal records. Henry Claude and Barbara Hays had no children by 1900, and James A. and Hattie Stuart Hays had only Nadine G. (born 1897, but who is reported to be named Nadine Grace). Of course, Gale could have been from the family of an undiscovered Hays daughter, or from the Stuart line. Until the 1909 St. Agnes records are uncovered, she may have to remain unknown.