Main at Gray
10 January 1914: Gray and Main was the heart of residential Houston when this postcard was made some time before 1913. A trolley ran up to the commercial area of town for a nickel, or for those who have kept up-to-date, a Model-T Ford could bring you back and forth in a few minutes.
1. 2016 Main: The front porch of the grand home of Abraham M. Levy (1859-1924), proprietor of Levy Brothers Dry Goods Company; 2. 2004 Main: Home of Albert Lewellyn Nelms (1863-1925), partner in the cotton trading firm, Inman, Nelms & Company; 3. 806 Main: Carter Building, 17 floors, 1910, the firm of Samuel Fain Carter (1857-1928), lumberman and founder of Lumberman's National Bank, renamed Second National Bank in 1923; 4. 2003 Main: Home of Edwin Theodore Dumble (1852-1927) general manager of the Rio Bravo Oil Company, Director of the Texas Geological Society; 5. 2017 Main: Home of Irish immigrant, Hugh Hamilton (1853-1922), owner of the Houston Houston Ice & Brewing Co (later called the Magnolia Brewery), with a huge physical plant on Washington Avenue north of Buffalo Bayou.
If the trees were not so dense, two grand homes of important citizens could also be seen: A. 1916 Main and Pierce: the home of Horace Baldwin Rice (1861-1929), mayor of Houston 1896-1898. B. 1917 Main at Pierce: the home of the 7 Scanlan sisters (Alberta, Caroline, Charlotte, Kate, Lillian, Mary E., and Stella, none of whom ever married), who built the Scanlan Building at Main and Preston to honor their father, Thomas Howe Scanlan (1832-1906), reconstruction era mayor of Houston, 1870-1873.
3 February 2016: Out of view on the right is the Greyhound Bus station, and visible across West Gray a MacDonalds franchise is crowded with travelers day and night. Gone are the stately homes that once sheltered the town's leading citizens, replaced with mid-rise and high-rise structures or parking lots waiting to be developed. The Carter Building, remodeled and rebranded as JW Mariott Houston, a luxury hotel, is obscured by many taller skyscrapers.
1. 2016 Main: The Levy Mansion has been replaced by 2016 Main, a high-rise condominium building, 2016 Main, 26 floors, 1965; 2. 1900 Main: Lee P. Brown Metro Administration Building, 14 floors, 2005; 3. 1000 Main: Reliant Energy Plaza, 36 floors, 2003; 4. 811 Main: Main Place (BG Group Place), 46 floors, 2008/2011; 5. 1021 Main: One City Centre (First City National Bank), 32 floors, 1959/1961; 6. 1801 Main: Amegy Bank Building, 14 floors, 1957 (post-modern glass skin replaced the original facade in 2000); 7. 1100 Leeland: Houston House, a rental apartment tower, 31 floors, 1965; 8. 1301 McKinney; Fullbright Tower (3 Houston Center), 52 floors, 1982; 9. 1400 McKinney: One Park Place (Park Tower), 37 floors, 2009; 10. 1115 San Jacinto: Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 2008; 11. 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, (Old) Sacred Heart church building 1912, currently not used as a church.
To: Miss Lora Durand
Date: [From message] Rockville, Mo. 1-10-1914
Stamp: Never affixed, not postmarked
Message:My dear Lora:
I have looked at the picture of you girls more than once. You both look so cute on those great big rocks with snow in front of you and it looks like snow where Inamae is sitting. I guess you girls made the snowball I wish you would write me something about the scenery and how you like your new home.
Lovingly Mrs. Mellon
[carried over onto the address side of the card] Rockville, Mo. 1-10-1914.
Jessie Lora was nine years old when she received this postcard, her little sister Ina Mae just seven. They were daughters of Walter Wilbur Durand and Effie J. Peeler of Rockville, Bates County, MO. Their former neighbor, Mrs. Melton wrote to reassure the girls that they were not forgotten in Rockville. She was Caroline Burry Sykes, second wife of Benjamin Melton,
Carrie had a son, Horace Abner Sykes from her previous marriage, who had moved to Idaho. It seemed like everyone from Missouri was moving further Out West as so many had done in the last century. Caroline herself joined him there before 1920, but it was not to be a fortuitous move. In the summer of that year, Benjamin died in Caldwell, ID, and was buried in Canyon Hill Cemetery.
Laura went to the University of Wyoming in Laramie in 1923 for a couple of years before working in Kansas City, but she returned to Rockville in 1926 to marry George Sunderwirth, a former neighbor, and settle down back in her old home town. Ina May married William Arthur Harkin of Montana and moved to that state. Their parents, Walter and Effie Durand, continued to farm in Wyoming until after 1940 when they moved to Boise, ID.
Carrie Melton died in 1928 and is buried beside her husband Benjamin. Horace Sykes died in 1956, Walter Durand in 1966 and his wide, Effie in 1972. All are buried in Boise, ID. Lora Durand and George Sunderwirth died in Missouri, she in 1969 and he in 1983, and they are buried in Prairie City Cemetery, Bates County, MO. William Harkin died in 1996 and Ina May died in 1999 in Boulder, CO.