Main at Bell
1912: This section of Main Street was largely residential at the time, easily accessible to the main business section a few blocks to the north by electric trolley, by carriage or new-dangled automobile, or more leisurely by walking, At center distance visible as a dark shadow is the Carter Building, the tallest in town. The turreted residence to the left has not been identified.
For a view a few years later when the street trees have had a chance to grow, see Main at Bell North. For a view two streets north in this direction toward Methodist Church before it was build in 1910, see Main at Polk South posted in 1909.
2010: The backdrop to Methodist Church is Travis Tower, a 21 story commercial office building built in 1955. This section of Main Street was once mostly residential homes owned by the leading citizens of Houston. As they moved farther south to areas now considered Midtown, or to River Oaks in the late 1920's and 1930's, the homes became boarding houses for a few years before they were demolished to accommodate parking lots for businesses to the north. Residential life is beginning to return to the area with the construction of mid rise and high rise condominiums and apartment blocks over the last few years.
To: Mrs Louis Runge
#1202 Market St.
Postmarked: Houston, Tex. Oct 15, 1912
Stamp: 1c Green Ben Franklin #374
Message: 102 Huntington Ave.
You'll no doubt be surprised to see I am so near to you. Should have written you about getting your nice letters, but my hands have been full all summer. I am here for six weeks only .. and if I can arrange it, will see you good people while here. Love to all. Lovingly
Eliza Black was just ten days shy of her 32nd birthday when she wrote this postcard in 1912 from 102 Huntington. The street was in a new development called the Fairview Addition at the western edge of town, and their house was at the confluence of Huntington Street (later Hyde Park), Genessee and Albany. Their entire block has now been cleared to the ground and fenced in to serve as a power station in the heart of the Montrose.
Eliza, the daughter of John Wesley Yeargain and Kate Coulter, was born in 1880 in Canton, MS. Her husband, Gordon Landauer Black, a couple of years younger, was born in 1882 in New Orleans, son of Charles Black and Fannie Hamlin. Gordon worked in wholesale grocery business, but with the advent of moving pictures a few years later, he began managing theaters of the moving picture show businesses, Star Theater, the Rex Theater. They lived for many years at 102 Hyde Park and raised their children, Fannie and Elise, there.
Louis Herman Runge, a Galveston rancher, was of German heritage, grandson of Henry Runge born in Bremen, Germany in the early years of the 19th century. The Runge’s settled in Indianola before the devastating hurricanes of the late 19th century drove them to Galveston and other parts of south Texas
Gordon Black died in 1951 and Eliza died 1952 and they are buried in Forest Park Cemetery. The Runge family members are buried in Trinity Episcopal Cemetery in Galveston in a family plot clustered around the tall fluted column of their forefather, Henry Runge (1816-1873).