Main at Texas - North
13 March 1908: 1. 518-520 Main: Rice Hotel (owned by the estate of William Marsh Rice), a businessman's overnight stay, a good hotel, but not the best in town, 5 floors, 1883-1911; 2. 420 Main: Lumberman’s Bank (Samuel Fain Carter, president, see Carter Building, 3 floors, 1908; 3. 320 Main: Kiam Building (Edward Kiam, owner selling clothes, hats, shoes, see Kiam Building), 5 floors, 1893; 4. 201 Main: First National Bank Building, 8 floors, 1904; 5. 317 Main: Fox Building, Levy & Wolf shoe store on first floor, professional offices (real estate, physicians, dentists, lawyers) on floors 2 and 3; 6. 411-413 Main: Foley Brothers, James A. and Patrick C. (whose uncle William L. Foley had a similar store next to the Cotton Exchange), selling dry goods, notions, millinery, fancy goods and Ladies Home Journal patterns; 7. 513-519 Main: The Binz Building, perhaps the most desired commercial building in Houston of the era, 6 floors, 1895.
20 June 2004: 1. 909 Texas: Rice Hotel, 17 floors, opened 1913, 3rd wing added in 1925, 18th floor added 1951; 2. 420 Main: Byrd’s Lofts (converted Byrd’s Department Store, built on the site of Lumberman’s Bank), 4 floors, 1934; 3. 412 Main: Moxy Hotel (State National Bank), 15 floors, 1923; 4. 402 Main: Citizens National Bank building, 9 floors, 1924; 5. 320 Main: Kiam Building, 5 floors, 1893; 6. 220 Main: Hotel Icon (Union National Bank), 12 floors, 1910; 7. 917 Franklin: Commercial National Bank, 6 floors, 1870; 8. 201 Main: Franklin Lofts (First National Bank), 8 floors, 1904 (with later additions and extensions); 9. 405 Main: Scanlan Building, 12 floors, 1909; 10. 1001 Texas: Binz Building, 13 floors, 1982 (on the site of the original 1895 building and an interim building of the same name 1951-1981).
Postmarked Houston, Tex. Mar 13 1908 8-- PM
To: Harrold Bown
3810 E. 26th St.
Message on front: "Bldg. on left is Rice Hotel
Bldg. or [sic] right is Binz bldg, where Tozier is engineer.
William Forest Bown writes his younger brother Harrold Truman Bown back in Kansas City, sons of William Trueman and Grace May Bown. William, Sr. was born in Kansas City, but had resettled in Houston where he was a stationary engineer for the Brazos Hotel, with a residence at 1341 Yale in Houston Heights. Kansas City was a much larger metropolis at the time with 250,000 inhabitants to Houston’s 75,000, but Houston was still a magnet for those looking for work.
“Tozier” was Benjamin Franklin Tozier, an engineer, machinist, and electrician with an office in the Binz Building. He, too, had come from Kansas City a few years before, so they probably met then.
Their stay was to be brief in Houston. By the time of World War I, William Sr.,and Jr. were back in Kansas City living at 2619 E. 25th where both worked for Kansas City Terminal Railroad, one of several railway links joining Houston and Kansas City. Harrold claimed the same address while he worked in Oklahoma, there leaving behind the grave of an infant son by the same name in 1923. By the 1940’s all three would be living as close neighbors across the Kansas-Missouri state line in the suburban community of Southridge, Johnson County, KS. William, father and son still worked for the railroad, Harrold owned a grocery store. Grace Bown died in 1952, William, Sr. died in 1969, and William, Jr. in 1976.
Tozier would return to his family resettled in Los Angeles and his career as an engineer, living in a series of beach communities, Venice Beach, Long Beach, and Porterville near Fresno in Tulare County. He died in 1942 and is buried in Glendale.