First National Bank
28 February 1910: The First National Bank, originally chartered in 1866, soon came under the control of Benjamin Armistead Shepherd (1814-1891), long-time friend of Sam Houston from their times together in Nashville, TN. He and his son-in-law, Alexander P. Root (1840-1908) grew the bank through the last of the 19th century, and in 1903 purchased the southeast corner lot at Franklin and Main. The 8-story new-classical building at 201 Main Street was only 25 feet wide at the beginning, but was Houston’s first steel-frame structure, its first real skyscraper. By 1905 offices were fully leased and expansion became possible when, in the Panic of 1907, the private bank of Thomas William House, Jr. (1847-1923) failed and First National Bank purchased its buildings to its south. The architects had them razed and enlarged the façade to a width of 75 feet in the same style. In 1911 another small annex was added to the rear, and in 1918 the bank bought property behind the building and expanded it to the corner of Fannin, doubling the size of the structure when it re-opened in 1925. The First National Bank merged with City National Bank in 1956, and in 1961 moved into towering modern headquarters at 1021 Main [Seen in many other views in this series: Main at Bell, Main at Lamar]. Afterwards various tenants occupied offices in the old building over the years, including the law firm of Vinson & Elkins.
21 November 2020: After the First National Bank relocated, the building was purchased by the mortgage banking firm Lomas and Nettleton, the name by which the building now goes. In 1999 the building was converted to the Franklin Lofts residences, which it remains today. The ground floor and mezzanine contain an event venue, “The Corinthian,” flanked by thirty-five-foot-high Corinthian columns extending up through the surrounding mezzanine including the elaborate plaster ceiling dating from the 1925 expansion and renovation.
Postmarked: 28 February 1910; Houston, Tex. “R”
Stamp: 1c Green Ben Franklin #331
To: Mrs. G. Bean
128 Austin Ave
Message: Houston feb 28
Mrs. Bean your brother stop over to see us & wanted me to drop you a card I had lost your address from Mrs. F. D. Horton 1411 Hadley Ave
Mrs. G. Bean was Georgina Bean, second wife of William Bean, a Weatherford blacksmith from Tennessee. Georgina Hyde Jenkins was born at Penryn in the Carrick Roads and Truro River port area near Falmouth, Cornwall, England. She was the daughter of Jonas Jenkins (1837-1866), a coast guard pilot at St. Makes, Cornwall, son of Jonas Jenkins (1807-1895) and Jane Bickford (1811-1892). Jonas, Jr. married Elizabeth Jane Hall (1838-1924) and they had two children, Georgina (1860) and Charles Frederick (1865) in Cornwall. At the age of 28 Jonas died and Elizabeth became a teacher to support the children. When Georgina was 20 she herself taught school and lived with her grandparents, Isaac and Elizabeth Hall in Veryan, Cornwall. There Georgina met and married Charles H. Fugler, son of Thomas and Harriett Fugler of Truro, a carpenter; they had a son, Ernest Charles Fugler in 1886.
On 15 May 1888 the small family disembarked from the S.S. Polynesian bound from Liverpool to the US, settling in St. Louis. Within a year a catastrophe befell the family when Charles was injured in an accident in September 1889 and died of a fractured skull at the age of 27. Georgina buried him at the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, then carried on as best she could. She found her way to Parker County just west of Fort Worth, TX, where on August 1, 1891 she married William Leonidias Bean. With Ernest Charles Fugler as William’s step-son, they started another family: Carrie C. [or E.] (b. 1892), Eva M. (1895, bluntly described in the 1910 census as “cripple”), and William C. (1898). Of course, Georgina became the stepmother of William Bean’s children by his first wife, Martha I. Clark (1860-1889): Mary A. (1878), Ellis (1880), and Bertie A. (1887). Georgina must have remembered the hard times back in Cornwall and in 1908 she sponsored the immigration of her 42 year old bachelor brother Charles Frederick Jenkins, who arrived in New Orleans on what must have been a slow boat via Panama and Costa Rica, with the promise of railroad work.
The author of the postcard was Mrs. Fred D. Horton, Ella W. Strong, who lived at 1411 Hadley between Austin and LaBranch. She and Fred were from Northampton, Massachusetts, married there 15 July 1879. They had three children: Dwight Fred Horton, born in Buffalo, Erie County, NY in 1881; Gladys, 1899 in Cleveland, TX northeast of Houston; and Harvey Howard in 1903 in Cleburne, Johnson County, TX. Fred was an engineer and general contractor who brought the business to Houston before 1910.
Ella mentions that Georgina’s brother Charles Jenkins had stopped by to see her and Fred, and Charles had wanted her to send a card. She and Georgina had apparently been in some kind of contact earlier, and she apologized that she had lost the address, but of course Jenkins had it. Their connection may have been primarily through the brother, whose business connection with F. D. Horton & Sons may have provided the bridge.
Georgina became a widow in 1912 when her husband died, leaving her to provide for minor children Eva (16) and William C., Jr. (13). Her eldest child, Ernest Charles Fugler had been married by then for a little more than a year to Amy B. Deare in Los Angeles where he was working in the shipyards. Her twenty year old daughter Carrie (20) found work as a school teacher, and the family was able to stay at their Weatherford home at 501 Brazos Street. William, Jr. became a mechanic in a garage, and by 1930 Georgina’s brother joined the family as nominal head of household. By 1940 they all moved into a more rural area near Anetta southeast of Weatherford, where Charles ran a filling station and grocery store, and William, Jr. began to farm.
Georgina died in 1949 and was buried in Millsap Cemetery near Weatherford, joining her husband William Leonidas Bean (1849-1912) and his first wife Martha Clark (1860-1889) there. Eva Maud Bean (1895-1948) died in 1948 and Charles Frederick Jenkins died in 1955 and they were also buried in Millsap Cemetery. Others in the cemetery include children of William and Martha Bean who died as children: Charles A. Bean (1875-1881) died at age 6; Lottie E. Bean (1882-1883), died at 4 months; Susan Bean (1884-1884) died at 10 years. Daughters of William Bean and Martha Clark who lived to adulthood lived out their lives in the north central plains section of Texas: Bertie Ann Bean Blair (1887-1975); Mary Alice Bean Wingo (1876-1851); Willie Inez Bean Dutton Jones (1880-1964). Georgiana’s firstborn Ernest Charles Fugler (1886-1969) is interred in Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, CA. Carrie Elizabeth Bean (1892-1971) married Jeff A. Jones (1895-1969) are they buried in Oakland Cemetery in Weatherford. William Charles Bean (1899-1962) is buried in Memory Gardens of the Valley in Weatherford.