Main at Texas - South
19 January 1913: The white building past the intersection of Capitol and Main, Stowers Furniture Store, burned to the ground on 19 May 1912, taking with it the structure across Capitol Street to the left in this view, the Temple Building. The image, therefore, dates at least a year earlier than the postmark. 1. 609-15 Main: Bering C. L. & Theo., jr., hardware [See note below] ; 611½ Main: Lauricella Cologero, shoemaker; 613 Main: Turner Millinery; 615 Main: E. M. Parrish Book & Stationery Co.; 2. 615-621 Main: Temple Building, 4 stories, destroyed 1912; 3. 701-703 Main: Stowers Furniture Store, 7 floors, destroyed 19 May 1912; 4. 709-711 Main: Mason Building with various stores and offices including Thomas Goggan & Bros. pianos; 5. 820 Main: Bender Hotel, 12 floors, 1909; 6. 806 Main: Carter Building, 17 floors, 1910; 7. 708 Main: The Texas Company Building, 10 floors, 1908; 8. 702-704 Main: Adoue Blaine Hardware Co.; upper floors, the Levy Building (professional offices, dentists, architects, lawyers, real estate agents, some offices of the Texas Company from the adjacent building); 9. 614 Main: Capitol Hotel, Richard Rodgers (1867-1922), proprietor; 612 Main: Marquee for The Pantitorium [See note below]; 610½ Marquee for Richard C. Bass, dentist; 10. 606-08 Main: Marquee for S. H. Kress & Co., 5, 10, and 25c store, managed by F. E. Haynes, a postcard collector and exchange member whose postcard is another in this series, Taub House; 604 Main: Marquee for Shotwell & Harris clothing store [See note below].
29 May 2015: 1. 609 Main: Under Construction - Hines North Tower (Block 69), 48 floors, 2014-2017. The sharply angled roof-line evokes Pennzoil Place, an earlier project of Gerald D. Hines, famous Houston-based developer; 2. 705 Main: St. Germain (S. H. Kress Five and Dime department store), 8 floors, 1913 (renovated 1999 to apartments); 3. 711 Main: Capitol Lofts (M. E. Foster Building, Southern Standard Building), 10 floors, 1908; 4. 811 Main: BG Group Place (Main Place, Block 93), 46 floors, 2011; 5. 917 Main: Kirby Building (Palais Royal), 11 floors, 1926, renovated 2004 into upscale rental apartments; 6. 1001 McKinney: City National Bank building, 22 floors, 1947-9; 7. 1021 Main: One City Centre (First National Bank), 32 floors, 1961; 8. 914 Main: Commerce Tower, 24 floors, 1929 (converted into condominiums 2003); 9. 806 Main: JW Mariott Houston (Carter Building), 23 floors with the last 6 added in 1923 to the original 17 story building of 1910;
10. 712 Main: Gulf Building, 36 floors, 1929; 11. 708 Main: The Great Jones Building (Bankers Mortgage), 10 floors, 1908, with an expansion to Capitol Street in 1921; 12. 600 Main: JPMorgan Chase Center, 20 floors, 1982.
See also Main at Capitol for a similar view from just a little further south on Main Street.
Postmarked: 19 January 1913; Houston, Texas
Stamp: 1c Green George Washington #405
To: Mrs. R. Baird
Message: Houston Tex
Got here from New Orleans last night. Looks like a good town. Will write later.
Bering Hardware store at 609-615 was owned and managed by Charles Lewis Bering (1870-1952) and his cousin Theodore C. Bering (1870-1932). Another cousin and his brother-in-law were founders of Bering-Cortes Hardware store, a similar enterprise owned and managed by Julius Cornelius Bering (1864-1935) and Henry William Cortes (1856-1908). It is the latter store that was the ancestor of the more recent Bering Hardware store on Westheimer. The Bering family came from Germany to Texas in 1846, brothers Conrad (1830-1915) and August (1827) founded a lumber company; August’s son Julius and his brother-in-law founded Bering Cortes Hardware, while sons of two of August’s brothers, Charles H. (1939-1931) and Theodore Ludwig (1836-1911), founded Bering Hardware.
Shotwell & Harris men’s clothing store at 604 Main was owned and managed by William Ira Shotwell (1875-1946) and Isaac Harris (1873-?).
The Pantitorium at 612 Main did cleaning, pressing and dyeing of clothes; the proprietor was Samuel A. Thompson (1854-1929).
Bruce was a 21 year old young man arriving in Houston, most probably by train. He was about 2200 miles from his home in the Portland, Oregon area, and wrote this brief note to his mother in a bit of a rush. He had already been on his own for a few years, living away from home as an 18-year-old with his Aunt Mary Harris in Portland while he worked for a freight office. His arrival from New Orleans suggests he was on a longer trip, and Houston may have been on his way home.
His mother was Isabel “Belle” Hines Davis Baird, mother of four children and descendant of early Oregon pioneers. Belle’s parents were Thomas Crawford Davis (1821-1887) and Nancy Ann Hines (1830-1891); her grandfather, William Tolbert Hines died on the Oregon Trail in 1847 as the family came West in covered wagons on the promise of free land. The Snake River crossing in Idaho was notoriously dangerous, and Hines was swept off his horse by the current and drowned in the turbulent waters. T.C. Davis took up his land warrant in Yamhill County, southwest of Portland and took up farming in the very rich land of the Willamette Valley. Belle grew up there and in 1878 married Richard Baird, Sr. who had immigrated from Dundee, Scotland three years before.
After his Texas trip, Bruce returned to Portland, Oregon where he remained the rest of his life, working first as a clerk for Pacific Telephone and Telegraph, bond salesman in a bonding house, and for many years as a salesman in the neon advertising business. In 1918 he married Eva Lena Jeannet, daughter of Henry Frank Jeannet from Switzerland and Philomene Richard Jeannet from French Canada who had immigrated in 1878.
Eva died 24 December 1966 and Bruce died 4 July 1971, both in Multnomah County, OR, in the Portland area. Their burials have not been located. They had no children.