21 March 1912: The Darlington Apartments, Inc., at 1104-1110 Crawford at Lamar was owned by three investors: 1) President Grafton Waples (1862-1922); 2) Secretary Daniel Denton Cooley (1850-1933), grandfather of famed heart surgeon Denton Arthur Cooley (1920-2016); 3) Treasurer William Bartlett Chew (1851-1932). Grafton Waples occupied the house at 1512 Lamar adjacent to the apartments [just to the left in the postcard view], convenient to his on-site management of the property. Cooley was one of the initial residents of Houston Heights, and his grand 1893 house at 1802 Boulevard served as an example of the kind of homes the neighborhood was encouraging. Chew was the president of Commercial National Bank at the northwest corner of Franklin and Main, with other business interests as president of Carson Sewall & Co., grocers and cotton factors at 116-120 Travis at Franklin, vice-president of the Cleveland Compress, vice-president of Hogan-Allnoch Dry Goods Company [See Preston Bridge, treasurer of the Houston Cotton Exchange & Board of Trade. Chew was no stranger to downtown urban living, his residence was #4b at the Beaconsfield. At far right was a boarding house operated by Allen Fitzherbert Davis (1882-1915) and his wife Emily Turzille. Davis was born in Barbados and came briefly to Houston before moving to Brooklyn where he died after a brief illness at the age of 33.
A few of the 1912 tenants of the Darlington are known. #2: David Warren Huddleston (1886-1958) [and his wife Lena], general clerk at the office of the president and general manager of The Trinity & Brazos River Valley (T. & B. V. RR) with offices in the Union Station; #3: Annie L. Gaskill (1885-1984, m. Kahle) and her sisters, Pauline (1888-1970), Mildred (1890-1961, m. Montgomery), and Sarah (1892-1968), daughters of Clinton Gaskill, whose first wife Sarah Lee (1860-1896) had died and he then remarried and started a second family; #5: Charles Marshall Heard (1881-1915) and his wife Clayton Laura Boales (1884-1914), a lumber salesman; #7: Ewart Alexander Beveridge (1882-1975), manager of S. Marshall Bulley & Son, an nternational cotton exporter based in Liverpool, England, and his wife Minette Maltman (1881-1976). The year before he had been a tenant at The Waverly Flats. He was a Scotsman who immigrated to the US in 1905 from his home in Liverpool. When he was naturalized in Houston, Grafton Waples, owner of the Darlington Apartments where he lived, was a supporting witness; #8: Isaac H. Cohn, Vice President and general manager of National Iron and Steel Company, whose brother Jacob R. Cohn was secretary and treasurer of the firm, he lived in the Oxford Flats in 1912; #9: George E. Gilmar (1865-1946) an oil producer and his wife Rosalie Cohn (1875-1944); #10: Charles Hubbard Dunbar (1878-1928), secretary and general manager of Houston Gas Company, a utility firm founded by Houston Lawyer, Captain James Addison Baker (1857-1941).
14 May 2019: Before Discovery Green opened in 2008 the streets aligned in a grid pattern, but as the plan for the downtown park was realized, Lamar was reconfigured to curve to the south and end at George Brown Convention Center Complex. Little was sacrificed for the park as much of the real estate had been surface level parking lot; the Darlington Apartments had long been demolished. The corner on which it sat straddled Discovery Green and the new curve of Lamar Street, and the line of oaks delineated the former street front.
Postmarked: 21 March 1912; Houston Tex. “C”
Stamp: 1c Green Ben Franklin #374
To: Robt McFarland
2871 22nd St
San Francisco Calif.
Message: Received Welcome Card
1802 Polk Ave.
Robert Harrison McFarland (1889-1954) and Charles Lasne (1892-1953) were members of a postcard exchange club, HAL, and other than this postcard correspondence, were almost certainly not personally connected. These exchanges were a phenomenon of the early twentieth century when America was waking up to its role as the world’s driver of industry and democracy. People were hungry to reach out and see what the rest of the nation was like, and the penny postcard coupled with high-quality color-lithographed postcards made these peeks at the rest of the country irresistible. The exchange clubs provided members with a vetted list of people across the nation who were interested in the exchange, and permitted a level of security in a world where frauds of the snake-oil-salesman variety might be a risk in a random exchange.
Robert was the only child of Robert Everett McFarland from Ohio and Ida Beckworth from Connecticut. It is uncertain where they met, but they came to San Francisco where their son was born. Father and son worked at Western Sugar Refinery Company at 60 California, no doubt accessible to their house at 2871 22nd Street by street car. Robert, Sr. was watchman and Robert, Jr. was assistant chemist at a vast company founded by Claus Spreckles with corporate tentacles in sugar beet fields in California and sugar cane acreage in Hawaii with refineries in both places. The postcard would arrive at a most inopportune time, as Robert, Sr. died on 10 March just 11 days before Charles Lasne mailed his postcard. Robert stayed with his widowed mother, but before 1920 she was placed in the Home of the Incurable at 2750 Geary and died 11 September 1920. He married Louise Andree (1891-1981) after 1920, and they remained in San Francisco. Robert left Western Sugar and for many years he worked in the Rincon Annex of the U. S. Post Office at 75 Mission Street, now famous for murals by Anton Refregier (1905-1979), and lived at 133 Foerster. He died in 1954 in San Francisco without any progeny; his final resting place has not been located.
Charles Lasne was a first-generation immigrant, son of jeweler Pascal Theodore Lasne (1847-1926), born in Paris, France and immigrated to the United States in 1882. Before coming to Houston, Pascal had a jewelry business in Charlotte, NC, but after his French wife Elise died there in 1884, he married on 6 December 1886 to Isabella Annette Boone (1862-1938) and came to Houston after their daughter Eugenie was born. In Houston Pascal had a workshop at Sweeney Loan Company, pawnbrokers and jewelers at 310 Main [a century later the location of the popular after-work bar, Pastry Wars] and took in flute students at home; his daughter Pearl was a sales lady at Mistrot-Munn [See LINK: http://www.houstontimeportal.net/munns.html], and Charles was an employee of Houston Manufacturing Jewelry Company at 304½ Main just up the block from his father.
The next year Charles married Dollie Marie Hodges (1893-1969), and they continued to live with his father and mother through 1920. Charles’ first marriage ended a few years later and Dolly married Jesse Rufus Lamb (1885-1963). Charles married again about 1924 to Anna Marie Ernestine Richarz (1894-1974) from Giddings, Lee County, TX. She had been married previously to Edward Graham Waring (1894-1964) so Charles became the step-father to Dorothy Clara Waring (b 1914) and Richard Gross Waring (1916-1940). Charles’ older sister Pearl Cecelia married in 1912 to Marion Prince Hodges (1893-1956), who was from Buncombe, GA; he seems to bear no apparent relation to Dolly Hodges, daughter of James H. Hodges (1843-1899) from New York, and Sallie Winifred Quinnan (1866-1908) from Georgia. Pearl’s fate is a bit uncertain since M. P. Hodges married Ruth Grace Cook in 1926, so Pearl was either deceased or divorced by then.
Charles’ other sister, Eugenie married Connie Lawson Looper in 1909; he was a clerk at Houston Belt and Terminal Railway, an extensive network of lines that linked the railroads feeding into Union Station [LINK]. Connie Looper died unexpectedly in the county jail of “manic exhaustion” in 1921, but why he was there is unclear without further research; he was buried in an unmarked grave in Hollywood Cemetery. Eugenia was obliged to find employment to support herself and her 8 year old daughter Elizabeth Isabel, and became a saleslady at the new dry goods store Harris-Hahlo [mentioned in LINK Interurban].
Paschal Lasne died in 1926 and was buried in Magnolia Cemetery on West Dallas Street; Isabella Annette Lasne died in 1938 and was buried next to her husband. Charles gave up the jewelry business some time before 1930 when he was employed as a county navigation officer, a wharf policeman in 1940. Charles died in 1953 of cerebral hemorrhage and diabetes and was buried in Forest Park, Lawndale. His widow Annie died in 1974 and was buried nearby. After Conrad Looper died, his widow Eugenia Lasne married James Robert Elliott (1878-1946); she died in in 1953 and they are buried in Forest Park as well. Their daughter Elizabeth Isabel Looper (1913-1988) married Ido Alphonso Olson (1904-1990) and they operated a photo processing firm in Galveston until it was destroyed in 1961 in Hurricane Carla, after which they moved to Fullerton, Orange County, CA where they were buried in Loma Vista Cemetery.