Main at Walker - Beatty Building
12 July 1916: 1. 902 Main: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.; 904 Main: Auto & Motor Boat Co.; 2. 814 Main: Bender Hotel built by life-long bachelor Eugene Leon Bender (1868-1934), 12 floors, 1909 [See also Bender Hotel]; 3. 806 Main: Carter Building, 17 stories, 1910; 4. 708-710 Main: Texas Company Building, 10 floors, 1908; 5. 909 Texas: Rice Hotel, 17 floors, opened 1913;
6. 220 Main: Union National Bank, 12 floors, 1910; 7. 201 Main: First National Bank, 8 floors, 1904, expanded along Main Street in 1909; 8. 405 Main: Scanlan Building, 12 floors, 1909; 9. 513-19 Main: Binz Building, built by Jacob Binz (1828-1913), 6 floors, 1895; On May 19, 1912 the 7-story Stowers Furniture Store was destroyed in one of Houston's most destructive fires. This image must have been taken after this event and before the Kress Store was built on the site in 1913. 10. 811-13 Main: Keithly Co., plumbers; 811.5 Main: Oakland Apartments, furn rooms, Mrs. Mattie Haggard; 11. 815 Main: The brand new Beatty Building dominating the right side of the scene was built for David R. Beatty (1859-1923) to house his oil and gas operations, 6 floors, 1912. Beatty was born in Canada of Irish immigrants, David Beatty and Mary Crawford who were on their way to Sonoma County, CA and Allen County, KS. David married Annette Evans (1866-1929) in Kansas and moved to Galveston before 1899 where he was a corporate officer in Sonoita Valley & Colonization Company. After the 1900 storm, he moved to Houston and began investing in the booming petroleum business. Beatty Building tenants included the owner in suite 304 - 305; Mrs. Bessie U. Still, Osteopath in suite 210; and Mrs. Edward Lytton Wells, teacher of Psychology in suite 306-307. Ground floor stores were Charles Pavlovich, confectionery at 815 Main, Teetshorn's Book Store at 817 Main [Belle Teetshorn wrote another postcard in this series], Doscher's Jewelry Store at 819, and Public Drug Company at 821 Main; 12. 901 Main: John W. L. Daniel, Druggist; 903 Main: Houston Phonograph Co.; 905 Main: James L. Akers, confectionery; Robert Luepke, florist; 13. 907 Main: Diamond Rubber Company, auto tires; 909 Main: Richmond Dairy Lunch Co., a restaurant.
28 April 2017: 1. 820 Main: Walker at Main Garage built in 2007 on the site of the Bender Hotel (later renamed the San Jacinto Hotel, then renovated into an office building, the San Jacinto Building), 12 floors, 1909 (demolished in March 2004); 2. 812 Main: Battlestein's Building, 10 floors, 1923; 3. 806 Main: JW Mariott Houston (Carter Building, vertical cladding from 1969 removed, the building renovated 2012-14 into a hotel), 23 floors; 4. 712 Main: Gulf Building, 36 floors, 1929; 5. 600 Main: JPMorgan Chase Center, 20 floors, 1982; 6. 609 Main: Hines North Tower (Block 69), 48 floors, 2014-2017; 7. 713 Main: AC Hotel (Rusk Building, Mason Block, Houston Bar Center Building), 10 floors, 1917, renovated into a hotel 2018-2019;
8. 811 Main: BG Group Place (Main Place, Block 93) was built on the site of the Beatty Building, 46 floors, 2008-2011; 9. 901 Main: Main Street Market (Krupp & Tuffly building, a shoe shore built in the Art Deco style in 1929 [See Krupp & Tuffly at an earlier store on Congress]), 4 floors. The architectural details have been obscured by marble panels erected in 1964, but the marquee facade has recently been host to rotating art displays and other design projects.
Postmarked: 12 July 1916; Houston, Texas “C”
Stamp” 1c Green George Washington #405
To: Mr S. Miner
Message: July 12 – 16
Dad. We are in Houston Texas enroute to the border. Don’t S… us here we will go We both are feeling fine Have been on the road since Sunday noon get there we are going tomorrow night Are having the time of our lives on this trip
When Elbert wrote this postcard to his father in 1916 he was on his way to the Mexican border on the “Mexican Punitive Campaign.” Another postcard in this series was written by a soldier on his way to the border, Murray Millard from New York State, who passed through Houston a couple of months later on September 10th. The conflict was an outcome of the Civil War in Mexico which began as a challenge to the government of Porfirio Diaz in 1910, and much of the struggle was in the Northern Mexico states of Chihuahua and Sonora, and the American states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Much of the conflict played out on the borderlands between the two nations. As Mexican armies sparred in the area, General Pershing was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to defend the border, and he was given permission to violate Mexican sovereignty if necessary and take American forces into Mexico.
Matters had come to a head on January 11, 1916 when 18 American employees of the American Smelting and Refining Company of Tucson, AZ were killed in Santa Isabel, Chihuahua, and on March 9, 1916 when Mexican forces attacked Columbus New Mexico, resulting in 16 American and many more Mexican deaths. American On June 3rdCongress enacted the National Defense Act of 1916 Federalizing the National Guard and specifying the circumstances when it could take action. More than 140,000 troops were called up, but none saw combat in the Mexican Punitive Expedition, and in actuality most units were assigned only as static guards for railroad bridges and border crossing points.
Elbert reassures his father, “We both are feeling fine,” so it seems likely one of his brothers was also called up. He speaks of the tour as if it was a lark, but militarism would not be kind to his brothers. His father was Selden Miner, scion of a line of Americans which stretched back to Clement Minor (1560-1640) of Chew Magna, Somerset, England [an ancestor shared by this author, whose great grandmother was Selden’s seventh cousin]. Selden’s grandfather, Charles Boardman Miner (1813-1927) came to northeast Kansas in 1881 and settled in Sabetha. At the time of the postcard, Selden was a widow, his wife Ada Lucille Chapin, had died in 1914, just a year after their son Carroll Hamilton died just after his 4th birthday. Selden married his second wife, Lucy L. Pugsley in 1919.
Elbert Byron Miner was the eldest child of Selden and Ada Chapin Miner, with three surviving brothers in 1916, Ralph Chapin (about to turn 21 in ten days), Erle Selden (19), and Glenn Ernest (18). Elbert and Ralph would go on to serve in WWI, Elbert achieving the rank of Sergeant and Ralph rising to 2nd Lieutenant, so perhaps these were the two brothers on the expedition together. Ralph would be wounded in the war, becoming a disabled soldier, then a patient at the Veterans Hospital at Fort Lyon in Bent County near Los Animas, CO in 1930. He never seems to have been fully rehabilitated, eventually was rehabilitated enough to earn a little as a bookkeeper for an automobile repair service, but his wife, Goldie Hartman was the primary breadwinner as a secretary for a daily newspaper. Ralph did collaborate with a fellow citizen of their home town of Sabetha, KS, Samuel Benjamin Conrad, to win a patent [#1,288,839] in 1924 for a holder to secure old cans on the side of automobiles or farm vehicles, but it is unclear whether this was a financial success.
Elbert’s brother Glenn joined the Navy and was discharged before 1920. Like Ralph, he suffered a disability and was a patient at the Veterans Hospital in Prescott, Yavapai County, AZ in 1930. He was a trained engineer with 5 years of college, who seemed to have lived on Chicago’s South Side after leaving his family of origin in Sabetha after 1920. He married Catherine, daughter of Ernest and Elizabeth Leytze of Blue Island, Cook County, IL. Catherine had a son by this marriage, Robert Golden Miner (1923-2011), but Glenn did not seem to maintain a relationship with Catherine or his son. His second wife was Laura E. Kershaw, daughter of Raleigh Kershaw (1867-1945), also a South Side resident, by whom he had two children who died as infants or toddlers, Donald Glenn (1925-1927) and Edith Lorraine (1926-1927), and perhaps another child as well. He did not seem to maintain relations with this family, either. His third wife was Pamela Sullinger who he married in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico in 1944, but this marriage seems to have been as short-lived as the others. Late in life he married Hope L., a WWII Tech Corporal.
Elbert served in WWI as a Sergeant in Co. L of the 102nd Infantry. He returned from the war to Sabetha and married Maude E. Finical, daughter of Lovica (b. 1881 in NE) and William Henry Finical (1877-1952). They had a daughter Margaret in 1922, but the marriage seemed unstable, and Maud eventually separated and married Oscar Lee Wiar of Falls City, Richardson County, NE some time after Oscar’s first wife died in 1932. Elbert worked as a postal carrier in northeast Kansas, living in Seneca, Nemaha County (1930) and Hamlin, Brown County (1940). Margaret stayed part of the time with her father (1930, 1940) and part of the time with her mother in Falls City, NE (1935). Elbert married Bertha (1895) before 1940; she had been living in St. Louis, MO in 1935.
Erle Miner did not seem to have a military career, married about 1925 and became an engineer, moving to New Jersey where he worked for AT&T in New York City. Elbert and his wife Mary had two children: Marian F. (born 1926 in Kansas) and Richard, born in 1931 in New Jersey.
Many of the Sabetha Miner family members are buried in Sabetha Cemetery: Charles Boardman Miner (1813-1898), Selden Miner (1867-1939), Elbert Miner (1893-1950), Ralph C. Miner (1895-1968), Carroll Miner (1909-1913). Glenn Miner (1898-1972) is buried in Santa Fe National Cemetery in New Mexico next to his wife Hope (1909-1984).