17 November 1914: Lumberman’s Bank was built by Samuel Fain Carter (1857-1928), who at 13 left school in Sherman, TX to work as a printer’s devil apprentice, soon graduating to compositor and typesetter. As a young man he moved to Galveston to work on the Galveston News, the oldest newspaper in Texas, but in 1881 he relocated to Beaumont to work as the bookkeeper for a shingle mill. After buying a working interest in an East Texas lumber company Carter became one of the state’s most successful timber entrepreneurs. Partnering with M. T. Jones, uncle of Jesse Holman Jones, the Emporia Lumber Company headquartered in Houston and soon led the industry there. Leaving the lumber business in 1907, Carter turned to banking, formed the Lumberman’s Bank, and built the Prince Building in 1908 to house the offices. In 1910 he built the Carter Building at 806 Main at Rusk four blocks south of the Prince Building. The bank remained at Main at Pierce until 1923 when it relocated to the Carter Building and was renamed The Second National Bank.
1. 909-11 Prairie: Kessler & Dixon, groceries, feed, liquor, and produce; John Franklin Kessler (1850-1921) and his son-in-law, Thomas Kenney Dixon (1869-1955); 2. 911.5 Prairie: Lumbermans Nat'l Bank Building, 3 floors, 1908; 3. 416 Main: (Street level entrance to upstairs rooms) A] The Cabinet Bar with billiard parlor, Isaac “Ike” Samuels (1864-1935), proprietor, B] Moritz Weil cigars; 4. 414 Main: First floor - Dudley Brothers restaurant, Jesse Greenbury Dudley (1872-1921) and Henry Malcolm Dudley (1875-1940) / Second floor - Chiangalakes & Kousiakes (George Chiangalakes, John P. Kousiakes), proprietors of the Star Dressing Club and shoe shining parlor; 5. 412 A; Fox Joe S. & Bro. (Joe S. and William B.), clothing, men's furnishings, hats / 412 B Main: Glenora Mike
10 May 2017: 1. 419 Travis: El Big Bad (formerly Cabo), 2 floors, 1896; On the site of Keser & Dixon there is a vacant lot accommodating a mechanical space for 419 Travis and the loading dock for Local Foods; 2. 800 Preston: Construction cranes for One Market Square parking structure, 10 floors, for the planned Market Square Tower, 2017/2018; 3. 777 Preston: Market Square Tower with its famous hanging pool, the highest pool in Texas with a glass bottom projecting over the edge of the building, 40 floors, 2014/2017; 4. 900 Preston: Aris at Market Square, apartments with retail stores on street level, 32 floors, 2017; 5. 919 Prairie: The Prince Building was demolished in 1934 and Byrd's Department Store was built from scratch on the site by Houston architect Joseph Finger. In 2005 the structure was remodeled into Byrd's Loft apartments; and now Local Foods occupies the first level; 6. 416 Main: Bovine & Barley, gastropub; 7. 412 Main: Moxy Hotel (State National Bank), 15 floors, 1923; 8. 410 Main: The Commoner Cocktail Bar / The Boulevardier, an event space on the second floor; 9. 402 Main: Citizens National Bank building, 8 floors (9th added in 1928), 1925.
Postmarked: 17 November 1914; Beaumont, Tex.
Stamp 1c Green George Washington #405
To: Miss Christella Diesel
East Main St.
Message: Houston Heigths Texas
Nov 15 - 14
I went through this Bank It is beautiful. I wish you could have seen the flower parade last week it was grand. And the flower show well it couldn’t be grander roses roses I wish you could have seen them too Regards to All Mrs G.
The Bottler Brothers – Eugene (1858-1930) and William (1866-1942) ran their smoke shop and newspaper-magazine business for many years in this location, and sold their own line of postcards as well, of which three are included in this series: Shearn Methodist, Sam Houston Gate, and Jones Mansion. Eugene’s son, Eugene Dysart Bottler (1894-1949) managed to live a fabulous life initially grounded by the business. At an early age he was captivated by motion pictures, and his mother, Vera Ruth Dysart Bottler (1868-1928) took him to Manhattan so he could study for a career in acting. While the Bottler Brothers remained in Houston to manage the business, Vera and her son moved to Los Angeles so Eugene Dysart could audition at various studios, living at 738 Union Drive near McArthur Park. In New Orleans in 1921 he married a rich divorcée 30 years his senior, Clara Durant (1864-1940), whose first husband was William Durant (1861-1947) founder of General Motors. Moving to Beverley Hills, CA he purchased a grand mansion at 613 Mountain Drive a (very posh) block from Sunset Boulevard. From there he motored around Hollywood touring his friends to all the hot spots. His mother became ill in 1928 when he was in France and he rushed back to come to her aid, but she died on the 4th of October. Two years later his father died in Houston and his remains were brought to Cathedral Mausoleum in Hollywood to he interred beside his wife. The share of the Clara Durant Bottler fortune fell to Raymond Bottler (1915-1966), and his heirs have been benefactors of a set of famous Chinese Paintings now hanging at the Hammer Pavilion of the Los Angeles County Museum.
Christella was only 14 when Mrs. G. wrote this postcard to her, daughter of Lillie S. Bode and Christian H. Diesel, a bank bookkeeper in Carlinville, IL. Mrs. G. does not specify her last name, and does not seem to be a relative. She speaks with such familiarity that it seems clear she is some kind of mentor or teacher for teenage Christella. Carlinville had a music teacher who was a neighbor, Angie Bell Gore (1861-1930), teaching students at 327 South East Street, eight blocks from the Diesel family at 717 East Main Street. Angie, the wife of Truman Keller Gore (1856-1941), had a daughter Genevieve about three years older than Christella, and had lost two children to an early death, Angie A. Gore (1881-1882) and Thomas B. Gore (1902-1903). Mrs. G. may have yearned for the quasi-maternal connection that teaching sometimes provides, and remembered her student when she took a trip to Houston Heights where she wrote the postcard and Beaumont where she mailed it.
Christella Bode Diesel was the only child of Christian Diesel (1856-1939) and Lillie Bode (1864-1946), lifetime residents of Carlinville, Macoupin County, IL. Christian was a bookkeeper and bank cashier most of his working life, and provided for the education of his daughter. The educational scene in Carlinville was dominated by Blackburn College where classes began in 1855, and a small but well respected liberal-arts college was built up over the decades. It was there that Christella earned her first years two years of higher education, followed by two years at James Millikin University in Decatur, IL where she achieved a BA in English in 1924. Christella worked as a teacher most of her career, and married quite late in life to a bachelor 18 years older, Aloysius Peter Westermeier (1882-1947) of Carlinville, the Chief Deputy County Treasurer of Macoupin County. After his death she was on the English faculty at various high schools south of Springfield, IL not far from Carlinville, including Morrisonville in 1954 and Piasa in 1965.
She died in 2005 in Lake Forest, Lake County, IL north of Chicago. The burials of neither Christella Westermeier nor Aloysius Peter Westermeier have been located for this study.