German Lutheran Church
1908. On this block of Texas Avenue were The Fire Station on the southwest corner, a residence, and the German Lutheran Church.
2014. The John S. Dunn Outreach Center and a parking garage for Christ Church has replaced the German Lutheran Church. Homeless outreach in Houston is somewhat in flux, and the very much needed food service has been called into question.
Postmarked Houston, Tex Mar 1 1908 5:30 AM
To: J. L. Frank
Bushnell Ill. Postmarked Bushnell, Ill Mar 3 1908 3:30 PM
"Will you please send me the address of the person you exchange cards with in Greenland - I have cards from many foreign countries but none from Greenland.
1119 Jefferson Ave
Houston - Texas
Feb 29, 1908
Belle Teetshorn was born 12 July 1893, so she was only 14 years old when she wrote this postcard to J. L. Frank. Her house at 1119 Jefferson was a fairly average house in a residential neighborhood south of the business district. It was not a crowded household by early 20th century standards. There were her parents, Marshall and Jemima, her older brother Roy and younger sister Alice, and like many middle class families in Houston at the time, they had live-in black servants, James Gilliam, a yardsman and Mary Gilliam, a cook. The Teetshorn family had come to Texas about 1895 from Utters Corners, a tiny community northeast of Janesville, WI where Ora Bell’s grandfather, Cyrus, was a farmer.
Teetshorn Bookstore at 1009 Congress was very much a family enterprise owned by her father Marshall, and staffed over the years by just about all the family members. The bookstore was publisher of postcards under their own label, so Belle’s interest in postcards was quite natural. Even her own family home at 1119 Jefferson was the subject of their cards, a rather unpretentious house now occupied by the offices of the Arch- diocese of Houston Galveston. Even as a youth she was a serious collector, and quite systematic in her approach.
The family had moved about; Marshall was born in Wisconsin (1862), Jemima was from New York (1864), Roy was born in Minnesota (1890), Bell in Wisconsin (1893), and Alice in Texas (1897). They had lived at 712 Chenevert at Capitol in 1900: Marshall L. (37), Jennora G. (37), Ray G. (10), Ora B. [this is Bell] (6), Allice (3); Lizzie (30) and Bertie (10) Pitman were black servants.The family was deeply involved in the bookstore operations. The jobs of president, vice- president, secretary-treasurer, and bookkeeper were occupied by one or the other of the children of Marshall Teetshorn and Jemima Gould at various points in time: Ray, Alice and Ora Bell.
A year after the card on 22 July 1909 her brother Ray Gould Teetshorn was nearly drowned when a fishing pier on which he was watching a storm blow in from the Gulf collapsed into the raging surf. After a harrowing 24-hour adventure in which he and and four others clung onto debris, he was rescued, but several others drowned. The news made the papers all across America, and of course, in Houston and Galveston. [See San Jacinto Bridge, another postcard in this series with a connection to this storm.]
They remained at 1119 Jefferson through 1920, their brother had moved out of the house but the single sisters, Bell (26) and Alice (23) remained, with Bell was secretary and Alice treasurer. None of the family has been located in 1930. Bell and Alice seem to have lived in Southeast Texas as spinsters until their deaths in 1976 and 1977 in Galveston, apparently neither married as their surnames had not changed since childhood. The Teetshorn beachhead in Houston left no descendants: Ray died in 1918 without leaving any children and neither Alice or Ora Bell ever married. There is, however, a Teetshorn Street in Woodland Heights named to honor Roy, one of many such streets in Houston whose namesake was a World War I soldier. All but Alice are buried in Forest Park Cemetery.
It is not clear who J. L. Frank of Bushnell, Ill, may have been. There is a John T. Frank at 250 Gridley Street, the only one of that surname and initials in 1910 in Bushnell. He is 42, a restaurant owner living at 250 Gridley Street, married to Minnie (35) with two children, George (2) and Mildred (3/12). Bell may have met him through a postcard exchange club, but it is hard to imagine what else they might have had in common. There are also three other families by the surname of Frank in Bushnell in 1910, others may have moved from the area in the interim from 1908 until 1910. J. L. Frank was apparently a fellow collector and someone she had exchanged cards with, but it is most likely someone she had never met.