From Clay Street
12 June 1915: When the Methodist congregation decided to move from Shearn Methodist Church on Texas Avenue, one trustee resigned because the location on Clay Street was too far out of town, but the city of Houston would eventually spread far past the church. 1. 1312 Main: First Methodist Church, 1910; 2. 1306 Main: The Boarding house of Miss Elizabeth Kirby, born in 1878 in Massachusetts of Irish parents; 3. 1302 Main: The home of Jacob Nathan Taub (1847-1931), whose family included Ben Taub (1889-1982), Houston philanthropist and namesake for Ben Taub General Hospital (See Taub House); 4. 911 Walker: Bender Hotel, 12 floors, 1909; 5. 920 Main at McKinney, First Presbyterian Church, whose 100 foot spire towered over Main Street when it was built in 1896; 6. 806 Main: The Carter Building, 17 floors, 1910.
3 February 2006: In the century since the postcard was sent, the residences have been sold and replaced by various businesses several times over. Now this church is considered very much a part of the downtown district. 1. 1200 Louisiana: Hyatt Regency Hotel, 30 Floors, 1972; 2. 1201 Louisiana, Total Plaza (Entex, United Gas Building), 35 floors, 1971; 3. 903 Travis (1320 Main): First Methodist Church Educational Building, 6 floors, 1929; 4. 1300 Main: Conoco Building (now Travis Tower), 21 floors, 1955; 5. 1320 Main: First Methodist Church, 1910; 6. 916 Dallas: Courtyard Marriott (Humble Building, renovated 2003 into a hotel), 9 floors, 1921; 7. 1110 Main: Foleys, 6 floors, 1947 (1957 4 more floors added); (Macy's, imploded 21 September 2013, replaced by Hilcorp Energy Tower 1111 Travis, 23 floors, 2016); 8. 1000 Main: Reliant Energy Plaza, 36 floors, 2003; 9. 914 Main: Commerce Tower, 24 floors, 1929 (converted into condominiums 2003).
Postmarked: 12 June 1915; Conroe, TX
Stamp: 1c Green George Washington #405
To: Mrs. W. M. Bly
Stillman Valley, Illinois
Brother Jim seems to be doing fine is much better every way. Is eating a little soft food. Topsey said over the phone this morn that he slept well. Its very inconvenient for him to be away from his business just now.
With Love, Julia"
Julia Bly was the 47 year old daughter of William Bly and Frances Comstock. Her “Brother Jim,” actually a half-brother, was James Oscar Henry Bennette, often called “J.O.H.”, 52 years old. He eventually recovered fully from his illness and went on to build up his timber and sawmill business in Conroe. He was born in Herkimer County, NY, and had come from Stillman Valley, IL by way of Dallas and Robertson County ten years prior. He became a prominent citizen of Conroe, serving the community in many ways including serving as president of the Conroe School Board for 10 years.
J.O.H.’s father, James Madison Bennett and Julia’s father, William Morgan Bly, were both Civil War soldiers. Bennette died of disease in Yorktown, VA on May 26, 1862 and is buried there. His friend William Morgan Bly enlisted three months later, and family legend says he was a POW held by the confederates.
Like her step-brother, Julia’s husband, Rozell Pullman was from Herkimer County, and the Pullman, Bly and Bennette families were joined by many linkages. Julia Elizabeth Bly, J.O.H. Bennett, and Rozell Pullman were third cousins, their second great-grandparents were John Pullman and Esther Cooper. Rozell married Julia in Stillman Valley, Ogle County in 1888, and remained in the north-central Illinois area until they came to Conroe because of encouraging stories by Julia’s half-brother and his wife, Irene “Topsy.”
It is perhaps ironic that Julia worried so about the health of her brother, as she would live only another two years. She died of breast cancer on June 26, 1917, and just a little more than a year later, her father died in Illinois, followed in 1931 by Julia’s mother. That same year “Topsy” died in Conroe. Julia’s husband, Rozell Pullman died in the home of their daughter in San Antonio in 1936. Julia, Irene, J.O.H. and Rozell are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Conroe. William Bly and Frances Comstock Bly are buried in Stillman Valley Cemetery, IL.