1961-09-20 1. 1126 Travis: Lynn's, a women's clothing store, with parking on upper levels; 2. 1100 Travis: Foley Brothers Garage, linked to store via a tunnel under Travis Street; 3. 1100 Block Travis: Parking structure, parts of which were built in 1922, later expanded; 4. 910 Travis: Bank of the Southwest, 24 floors, 1956; 5. 815 Walker: Mellie Esperson Building, 19 floors, 1941; 6. 808 Travis: Niels Esperson Building, 32 floors, 1927; 7. 801-809 Texas: The Chronicle Building, 10 floors, 1910/1923, demolished 2017; 8. 902-910 Walker: Commerce Building Addition, 11 floors (garage on floors 1-5); 9. 900 McKinney: Lamar Hotel Annex, 9 floors, 1927-1985;
10. 1110 Main: Foley Brothers Dry Goods Company, 10 floors, 1947 (renovations 1957).
10-22-2021: 1. 1110 Travis: Travis Place Garage [once the Foley Brothers garage]; 1947; 2. 1010 Travis: Travis Place, 9 floors, 1968 [The southwestern quarter of the block was once the site of an apartment building, the Waverly]; 3. 910 Travis: Bank of the Southwest, 24 floors, 1956; 4. 808 Travis: Niels Esperson Building, 32 floors, 1927; 5. 808 Capitol: Bank of America Tower (Capitol Tower), 35 floors, 2019; 6. 600 Travis: JPMorgan Chase Tower (Texas Commerce), 75 floors, 1982; 7. 1000 Main: Reliant Energy Plaza, north tower; 8. 1000 Main: Reliant Energy Plaza, parking structure, street level shops. To the right out of view is the 23 story Hilcorp Energy Building at 1110 Main which replaced Foleys in 2016 after Foleys was imploded on 21 September 2013. .
Postmarked: 20 September 1961; Houston, Tex. 7
Stamp: 3c Deep Violet Statue of Liberty #1035
To: Mrs. H. F. Strecker
1128 E Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz. Calif.
Message: Sept 18 - 61
Hello Frieda, I am glad to hear from you, in acknowledge-ment of the Death of Art. This leaves only Blanche and me now of a family of ten. Thank you Frieda With Love Harry R.
“Harry R.” was Harry Chester Reynolds, a resident of Houston since 1937, owner of Reynolds’ Barber Shop at 2117 North Main just north of downtown. He lived at 415 Henry (a house built in 1910 and still standing), just a 700 feet commute from his workplace. He was mourning the death of his brother Arthur Burkett Reynolds, who had died in Stockton, San Joaquin County, CA on September 9, 1961. The brothers grew up together, Art was just 2 years older and even as adults they had a lot in common. Art was also a barber and owned a shop within an easy walk of his home at 643 E. Main to the shop at 1220 E. Channel Street. Both were short by contemporary standards, Harry 5’ 5” and Art 5’ 7”, both had blue eyes and grey hair, but Art was quite stout at 207 pounds, and Harry thinner at 150 pounds (at least on the World War II draft registrations in April 1942).
Harry’s postcard was a prompt reply to information from a former neighbor, Mrs. Herman F. Strecker. The Reynolds, the Lehmans, and the Streckers were farmers in the rich delta farmlands of the San Joaquin River in California’s Central Valley region near Stockton. The grandfather of Harry and Art, James Andrew Reynolds (1806-1867) and Martha Ramsey Reynolds (1804-1899), came to California in the 1850’s, and established a large family in the area around what is now Manteca, CA.
Harry and Art were among the 10 children of James Andrew Reynolds (1840-1937) and Ambysette Stephenson (1845-1927), brothers to: Adella Reynolds Horner (1870-1937), James Frederick Reynolds (1872-1947), Rosanna Reynolds (d. 1875), Andrew Ellsworth Reynolds (d. 1876), Irvin Clifford Reynolds (1876-1957), Alice A. (1872-1902), Leroy Andrew Reynolds (1879-1958). As he mentions in the postcard, Harry and his sister, Blanche Reynolds Shearburn (b. 1889), were the last surviving from the family after the death of Arthur.
Most of the Reynolds family stayed close to their origins in Central California, some moving to the Santa Cruz area, but Harry seems to have strayed the farthest. In 1910 he worked as a barber in Santa Cruz while living with his parents and sister Blanche. He did military service in 1917-18 in WWI in the Navy as a 2nd Class Seaman, which may have given him a taste for a more nomadic life, and a possible livelihood. He has not been found in the census of 1920, but may have been a mariner in the Puget Sound traffic on the West Coast up to Alaska, and missed out on the enumeration. By 1930 he was once again making a living as a barber in Bremerton, Kitsap County, WA (through 1930, 32, 34), west of Seattle across the sound. He was in partnership with Charles Walters at a shop at 119 Washington Avenue, a location now just off the naval port facilities. On this census Harry was listed as divorced, so there must have been a marriage some time in the 1920’s.
In 1932 he married Anna McDonald Stevenson [no apparent relation to his mother, Alice Ambysette Stephenson], who must have separated from her husband Walter James Stevenson about this time, leaving her in charge of daughters Grace (b. 1913), Roberta L. (1916), and Anna (1918). Harry’s wife Anna was the daughter of Delia Heath and James McDonald, and was born in Canada in 1892. Her grandfather was an English immigrant to Canada, Samuel Munn Heath (1830-1896), her grandmother Canadian Elizabeth Crow (1824-1897). Anna McDonald immigrated to Seneca County, Ohio in 1907 with her mother to join her aunt Anna, wife of Lewis G. Slater. Anna and Walter married in 1912 in Seneca County, OH, moved to Yakima, Yakima County, WA by 1920, and Everett, Snohomish County, WA by 1930.
Harry and Anna moved from the Northwest after their marriage, living in San Diego in 1935, then Houston in 1937. Harry remained in Houston the rest of his life, and it was there in 1970 that he died and was buried in South Park Cemetery near Pearland in Brazoria County, TX. The informant on his death certificate was his step-daughter, Roberta Stevenson Aucoin, who evidently was close to Harry in the absence of children of his own. Whether Anna survived Harry is not known, nor has her burial site been located.
Freida Johanna Lehmann Strecker was Herman’s second wife, his first, Agnes J. Grosser, died in 1903, and two years later he married Freida. She became mother to his daughter Helen (1896) and they added their own daughter Agnes Hildamarie in 1906, Martha Dorothea in 1914 (she died at age 8), Florence 1916, Herman 1918, Arnold Lehman 1925. Herman was a German immigrant born in Zduny, Krotoschin, Prussia, immigrating in 1884 with his older brother Carl, just a year after the death of his father, August Ferdinand Strecker in Germany. First of the family to immigrate to America was his brother Adolph Strecker, 13 years older than Herman, who immigrated in 1870 and settled in San Francisco where he was a barber at the turn of the 20th Century. His mother, Pauline August Grandlich immigrated as well, she died in San Francisco in 1899, siblings Carl August (1861), Ida Helen (1863), and Clara (1868) became Californians as well. Freida lived near Stockton most of her life, moving to Santa Cruz later in life, where Harry wrote her the postcard in 1961. Many of Harry’s siblings also lived in the area of Santa Cruz including, brother Irvin Clifford Reynolds (1876-1957), brother Leroy Andrew Reynolds (1879-1958), sister Blanche Reynolds Shearburn, who moved to Santa Cruz before 1930 to care for her aging widowed father. Others stayed in the Stockton area, Arthur Burdett Reynolds (1884-1961), Deela Reynolds Horner (1870-1937), or in central California, Irvin Clifford Reynolds (1876-1957) in Berkeley. Blanche Reynolds Shearburn died in 1972 and is buried in Contra Costa County, CA. Frieda outlived them all, and died in 1991 at the age of 106. She is buried in Stockton Rural Cemetery in San Joaquin County, as are Herman Strecker (1866-1950) and Agnes Grosser Strecker (1875-1903).