"Our Town" Research

   555 N. THIRD STREET
MCFADDIN-WARD HOUSE VISITOR CENTER CORNER


The McFaddin-Ward House Visitor Center area once encompassed several addresses:


1910 Calder was the first structure on the 1900 block of Calder and McFaddin. In 1916 it was the home of Robert A. Greer, an attorney with Greer, Nall and Bowers. H.R. Kiger lived there in 1920 with his wife, Florida Belle.



In 1927 and 1929 directories, Dr. Ollie S. Hodges, an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist, and his wife Claire owned the home. Their daughter, also named Claire, later married George Sessions Perry, who wrote the 1941 best-selling novel, Hold Autumn in Your Hand. The home was later demolished to make way for commercial structures.

1902 Calder began life in 1933 as Humble Oil and Refining Company Station Number 202, later becoming Jerry’s Service Station, Pete West Humble Service Station, and Butler and Son Service Station. In 1984 it was Select Cars and Service, offering customers gas, mechanical repair, and used cars.
An Old Humble Oil and Refining Company sign.

1930 Calder did not appear in early directories. In 1960 the address applied to two businesses: Pancho’s Paint and Body Shop and Melancon Florist. In 1984 the building was vacant.

1960 Calder was the Beaumont Infirmary from 1959-1967; in 1968 it was listed as Angie Nall Hospital. Angie Nall operated a private educational and treatment facility for children with learning disabilities.

555 North Third was built around 1947 as the Crocker Health Service belonging to chiropractor Loyal E. Crocker.


From 1966-1979, the building stood vacant, then became a dormitory for Angie Nall School and later Angie Nall Hospital.

The last directory listing for 555 North Third was in 1982 for M.A. McCasland.

In 1985, the two remaining structures, Crocker Clinic and the service station, were demolished to make way for construction of the visitor center for the McFaddin-Ward House Museum, which opened in March of 1986.





725 N. THIRD STREET


725 Third Street ca. 1908

The Administrative Office of the McFaddin-Ward House was built about 1902 by W.C. Averill, along with the other houses on the west side of this Third Street block, as a rental property. The first resident was Robert L. Cairncross, a passenger conductor for the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad.

Harry Maxson ca. 1909
In 1909 Harry and Marion Maxson moved into the house. He was a clerk at Heisig and Smelker, a real estate and insurance firm. She was a native of Connecticut, he a "handsome star football player" from Galveston who had survived the terrible 1900 storm there.

Like other women in this era (even wealthy ones!), Marion kept chickens. She gave them distinguished names, such as Catherine de Medici, Diane de Poitiers, and Nero. In a 1909 letter to her sister, Marion confessed that "Eggs are the object but our hens have to be squeezed almost before they will arise to the occasion." She added that “we have been enjoying Nero as soup lately.”


Marion Maxson with chickens ca. 1909
In 1916 the Averill family sold the house to F.W. Yates, who sold it in 1925 to M.V. Sawyer. Subsequent owners were L.C. Dick, Gray Realty, Enoch Stallcup, Jefferson Mauldin, Alton and Rebecca Cryer, and Euell O. and Shirley Ann Wharton. The McFaddin-Ward House bought it in 1989.


















585 N. FOURTH STREET


The home at 585 North Fourth Street was destroyed by fire in 2007 after serving the neighborhood as both the residence for several families and as commercial property. The large, stately home was built in 1910 for Underwood Nazro and his family. Nazro was a successful independent oil man who eventually went to work for Gulf Pipe Line Company. In 1916 Nazro transferred to Houston to manage the Texas office for the company.
585 N. Fourth Street


The Nazros sold their home to John Henry Phelan, one of the earliest business partners in the Yount-Lee Oil Company which formed in 1915. From 1913 to 1926, Phelan was president of the company he founded, the Phelan Grocery Company. In 1928, he turned over management of the wholesale grocery business to others and worked full-time as the secretary-treasurer for Yount-Lee.



In 1935, the Phelans moved to the estate known as the Phelan Mansion at Calder and 11th Street, and daughter Margaret and her husband Randolph Reed became the owners of 585 North Fourth where they lived for 20 years.
After 1955 when the Reeds moved away from the home, the history is a bit sketchy. Many Beaumonters may remember the grand old home as a retail store selling bridal gowns with such names as Custom Bridal Shop in 1967, Bridals and Formals in 1973, and Cricchio Bridal and Formals as late as 1990.
The home was purchased by a California couple in the mid 90s, and they still owned the home when it burned on March 28, 2008.




777 N. FOURTH STREET

On September 4, 1927, fifteen “hardy souls” signed the church roster as charter members of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church of Beaumont, meeting for a time in temporary locations. The growing congregation soon purchased a residence at 2005 Hazel to use as its worship space and pastor’s living quarters. This chapel/parsonage accommodated the congregation for ten years.

This structure at 2005 Hazel Street housed the growing congregation for its first 10 years. It was used as a worship space and pastor's living quarters. The interior of the structure was redesigned to accomodate 75 congregants.
On October 1, 1938, a brand new sanctuary was dedicated, and in June 1939, C.A. Woytek became the pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and kept that post for 37 ½ years. The Beaumont Journal reported on the young minister’s posting, “Latest Addition to Local Ministerial Family Takes Degree, Bride and Pastorate in Memorable Month.” Under his leadership, Bethlehem Lutheran Church enjoyed many years of growth and stability.

Pastor O.J. Schmidt lays the cornerstone of the first "real church."











The congregation, led by Pastor Woytek, reorganized the youth and men’s organizations, started a Boy Scout troop, conducted adult and youth confirmation classes, and broadcast worship services over the local radio station KFDM. In January of 1942, the “mission congregation” became self-supporting with a membership of 150 baptized and 100 confirmed members. Post WWII prosperity brought about the expansion of Bethlehem’s physical plant, and that included purchasing, in 1945, the residence at 2020 Harrison to use as a parsonage.

Dedicated on Oct. 1, 1938, this sanctuary was designed by member Charles Weber, and constructed by his father Herman Weber. (The former parsonage can be seen on the left.) It continued to serve as a parsonage and education space.







Next came the addition of an education building adjoining the sanctuary, which took the place of the original house/church building/parsonage. That structure was sold for $1500 and was moved to make room for the addition. The church and education buildings were air conditioned in 1953. Another expansion for a larger sanctuary was the next move for Bethlehem. The church purchased a large two-story frame home at the corner of North and Fourth Streets. This building, named Luther Hall was used until 1960.

Member George Langhoff, who came to Beaumont from Germany in 1927, built most of the furnishings seen here in this photo - the altar for $50, each pew for $16 (plus $13.50 for materials). Each pew was made by hand, finished with ten coats of lacquer, and handrubbed after each coat.

The stained-glass window depicting Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane was dedicated in early 1954. The art glass piece was placed aove the altar in the church.
The fifties brought national publicity to Bethlehem Lutheran and Pastor Woytek as the funeral of Babe Didrickson Zaharias was held in the church on September 28, 1956. President Eisenhower began his press conference on September 27 by announcing that the gold and silver Olympic medalist, “World’s Greatest Woman Athlete,” finally “had to lose this last one of all her battles” in “her gallant fight against cancer.”
Mildred Ella "Babe" Zaharias: June 26, 1911 - Sept. 27, 1956



More than 200 people attended "Babe's" funeral in 1956.

Pastor Woytek’s sermon expressed that “We are pleased to have the privilege of conducting this service here in our city of Beaumont and in our humble and simple House of God in her memory….We are pleased that she kept the faith in which she was baptized and trained ... she also prayed daily.”
The 1960s brought both practical and aesthetic improvements to the facilities of the growing congregation. Groundbreaking for the present worship space and office wing took place in October of 1960, with D. Rex Goode of Beaumont as architect and Herman Weber again serving as contractor.

The building of the "high-pitched" roof.
"The high-pitched roof sanctuary is 90 by 50 feet and will seat 300 in nave proper ... Rectangles of colored glass are set in the outside wall as there are three crosses in white glass, reminiscent of the three crosses of Calvary. A large wooden cross hangs on the wall above the altar." - Beaumont Journal, June 18, 1961














Eight months later, June 18, 1961, the present church was dedicated. Parking problems were alleviated with the purchase in 1963 of a lot to the west of the church. A pair of bronze candleholders, angels holding up lights of adoration and praise to Christ who died on the cross and rose victorious from the grave, were sculpted by member David Cargill and donated in 1963 in memory of his father.


The pipe organ, donated by Dr. and Mrs. E. Suehs and their son, Dr, James Suehs, was dedicated Sept. 13, 1964. The only tracker-action pipe organ in the area, the pipes and keyboard were made in Germany, and the organ was built by master organ-builder Otto Hoffman of Austin. A small panel may be removed to reveal the mechanical action. Hoffman constructed the organ specifically to complement the contemporary design of the worship space.

Otto Hoffman installs the lathe-work that forms the mechanical action powering the pipe-organ.

Pastor Woytek retired in 1976 and was designated Pastor Emeritus. The congregation grew from 91 baptized members when he arrived in 1939 to 600. More than 2013 members had come into the church during his tenure; he performed 697 baptisms and 293 marriage ceremonies.

Over the past 20 years, the church has undergone various facelifts and building projects. In early 1990 a bell tower was constructed in the courtyard. The free-standing altar was completed and dedicated in 1993. Sculpted by David Cargill, who was assisted by member Cu Cong Nguyen, tof God’s grace, faithfulness, and the promise of salvation.
In October of 1995 the congregation broke ground for a spacious new narthex, an education wing, and renovation of the interior and exterior of the fellowship hall (original church). Designed by architect Charles Thompson, this project created the distinctive entrance seen today on Fourth Street. Another David Cargill sculpture was added as focal point in the narthex (entry hall).




755 N. FIFTH STREET
This home was built in the early 1920s for Edward Stedman Jr. and his wife Marjorie. Ed was the assistant manager of Stedman Fruit Company.


Edward Stedman Jr.


The Stedman Company had its offices on the corner of Park and Bowie downtown (currently offices of Provost and Umphrey Law Firm). The 1927 directory listed it as being a supplier of “wholesale fruits, produce, confectioners, paper products and cold storage.”

The Stedman Company is pictured on the lower left-hand side.


In 1940, the company branched out to include paper boxes, automobile tires, wine and liquor, and Budweiser beer.


An ad for The Stedman Company.


Like many early-to-mid twentieth-century homes, this house had an apartment in the rear, usually for domestic employees; this one is listed as being vacant in directories through 1940, however.

After the Stedman family, the home had several owners and was even listed in the 1967 city directory as Richardson Nursing Home.





135 N. SEVENTH STREET

Built in 1927 for J.T. Shelby and his wife Laura McReynolds Shelby, this house is a variation on an English theme. It replaced a smaller wood-frame house owned by John F. and Geraldine Goodhue that was moved to South Street.

J.T. Shelby, 1927
J.T. Shelby was an oil and investments man, as well as active vice-president of City National Bank and treasurer of Magnolia Improvement Company.


An ad for The City National Bank of Beaumont.

The present owner found the original architectural plans for this home, along with notes written by Mrs. Shelby. Those notes contained details about the types of draperies and rugs Mrs. Shelby would be purchasing to decorate the house once it was completed.

This well-constructed home has many unique interior architectural details, one being arched doorways between the main downstairs rooms that give them a very open feeling. The floors are all original hardwood and the downstairs sunroom has the original mosaic tile. The walls are the original plaster that was used in homes in that time period. There are eight rooms downstairs and six rooms upstairs, along with two full baths and one half-bath.

Another unusual feature of this home was an original full basement, but it was later filled in. The attic is fully floored and contains a large walk-in cedar closet. For its day, this house was built with excellent storage space, such as large bedroom closets, as well as several closets in the oversized hallways. The home also features a system of call pipes that were once used to “call down” from upstairs rooms when something or someone was needed upstairs. At some point during the Shelbys’ ownership, an elevator was added and it is still functional today.

This property also has an oversized one-car garage with servants’ quarters located above it. In 1927 Leona Rogers, the Shelbys’ cook, lived there, and in 1933 Douglas Jones, the family butler, lived there.





2490 ASHLEY
THE DOCTOR BUFORD BARR HOME

The large eight-room, four-bathroom Georgian-Style home was built in 1948 by Beaumont medical doctor Buford Barr and his wife, Juanita. Juanita worked for her husband as a surgery nurse until they started a family.

Dr. Buford Barr

Together they raised three children, Buford, Tom and Ann, who grew up in the house. She described the house as a wonderful and spacious home, with plenty of room to play in the extra side yard. Doctor Barr died in 1967 and his wife Juanita continued to live in the home until 1996, when she moved to a nursing home.

Hotel Dieu Hospital, where Dr. Barr practiced. (1950)

In 1997, the house was sold to Rhett Haliday who lived in the house for one year. In 1998, the house was purchased by Attorney James Makin and his wife, Lynda Kay, who work together in their law office at 1900 Broadway.

Improvements and repairs to the house, both inside and outside, began immediately. Old carpet was removed and oak floors, fireplace mantel, walls and ceilings were all refurbished. Crown molding was added throughout the house, as were several built-in bookcases. The kitchen was completely gutted; and from 2 tiny rooms and a hallway, there is now one large modern kitchen. The laundry room, originally in the garage, was moved inside and old wall heaters removed and replaced with cabinets. Landscaping was added and a wrought iron fence replaced the old chain link fence.
In 2008 a pool house, outdoor kitchen and pool were built in the side yard. This previously unused area, now very tropical, is the scene of many social activities with family and friends.






1822 BROADWAY
          

In July of 1909, O.H. Pennock, a Beaumont "capitalist" who dealt in real estate, investments, fire insurance and rentals, purchased two lots from Mrs. Kydie Coward McKee for $350.00. Later that year, he broke ground for one of Beaumont’s first “Bungalow Style” homes with neoclassical details. A Houston architect designed and built the raised 1 ½ story home with hipped roof and bracketed eaves.
1822 Broadway
         
The house exterior features a wraparound porch with twelve columns and Corinthian capitals made of horsehair plaster, a large bay window in the front room with a Chippendale transom and three Ionic pilasters between the windows, and a Florentine-style front doorway with diamond-patterned glass.

The first floor features a massive front entrance, parlor and dining room with mahogany columns and leaded glass. Other first-floor rooms include two kitchens (the original 1909 kitchen with Butler’s pantry and a working kitchen) the master bedroom, and a garden room.

In 1910 Mr. and Mrs. Pennock and their daughter Gloria moved into this upper middle class home. In 1919 they finished out the second floor, adding a dance area with heart pine flooring, an upstairs parlor and two bedrooms. The Pennocks were quite elderly by the time they sold their home in 1959.

In 1966 the home became The Halfway House, a coffee house for young “hippie” students and patrons of live music. This gathering place was where soon-to-be well known artists such as Janis Joplin (who scratched her name in the newel post on the second floor landing), Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, and Townes Van Zandt performed on the stage in an area that had once been the first-floor parlor.

The home was eventually converted into six apartments; then in 1998, the current owners purchased the property and have spent the last 14 years restoring the home to its original glory.


O.H. Pennock ad in 1916 Beaumont directory
















 



1900 BROADWAY
THE JOSEPH ROSENTHAL HOME
The Rosenthal home and carriage house were built by Joseph Rosenthal in 1925. The nine-room house has two staircases, two sunrooms, three bathrooms, a butler’s pantry and a large room on the third floor. Huge artificial logs were shipped from London for the gas-burning fireplace in the living room. There was at one time a dumbwaiter.

1900 Broadway
Joseph was the President of Rosenthal’s Department Store, established in 1901 and located on Pearl Street. A Beaumont Enterprise ad reads “Rosenthal’s -- Where Women and Style Get Acquainted.” Most of Joseph Rosenthal’s family worked at the store. Although he remained a bachelor, his brother Frank married and Frank’s family also lived at 1900 Broadway.

Ad from a 1909 Beaumont directory

Joseph was the president of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce and active in the Jewish community; according to a 1933 Beaumont Enterprise article, “everyone is acquainted with his active participation in civic and philanthropic activity in the city.”


Ad from a 1916 Beaumont directory

Joseph died in 1957 at the age of 90, and his brother Frank continued to live at the home until his death in 1965 when he was 91.
In 1974 the house was bought by Angie Nall, daughter of a lumber and oil millionaire who founded Angie Nall School for Learning Disabilities (later also called ADHD). The school occupied several homes on Broadway; 1900 Broadway was used for therapy. The staff consisted of pediatricians, psychologists and specially trained teachers, and a combination of behavioral therapy and special education techniques were used. The kitchen cabinets still have the words carved in the wood: “Pens, Pencils, Carbon Paper.”
In 1980, the house was purchased by Carl and Lizzie Gibbs, who lived there with their two daughters and sold antiques on consignment. In 1996, the house was purchased by attorney James Makin and his wife Lynda Kay for their law office. The house was brought up to commercial code, the carriage house restored, and the third floor finished into a break room.




1849 CALDER AVENUE
The J.L. Hooks home was, according to one description, “an imposing two-story house, complete with sixteen fireplaces, placed strategically to ventilate through two massive stacks,” and complete with servants’ quarters and stables.
Joseph Lamar Hooks was named for early Texas statesman Mirabeau B. Lamar, but was reportedly called “Sam” when he misbehaved, after Sam Houston, Lamar’s political enemy. The name “Sam” stuck. Sam married Corrie Herring on June 21, 1892, when she was just 16.
In 1903, following the 1901 Spindletop oil discovery, Sam and two of his brothers, Ben and Bud, brought in the first gusher in the Saratoga oil field in Hardin County, bringing all three a comfortable amount of money.
In 1904, Sam and Corrie moved to Beaumont, where for $9,000 they built a home of pine on the western outskirts of town, moving in even before it was completed. The street number, 1849, was the same year the Hooks family moved to Texas from Georgia.
Sam invested in a saloon, the Manhattan Bar, and in other real estate properties. He prospered and ultimately invested in five other saloons. During Prohibition he is listed in the Beaumont directory as a stockman.
Sam and Corrie had seven children: Verna May (who married Marrs McLean, one of the discoverers of the 1925 Spindletop oil field), Olga Ina, Rufus Herring, Joseph Lamar II, Sam B.), Corrie Louise, and William Edward.

Hooks family party, 1931, Corrie and Sam Hooks 4th and 5th from right
     
In the early 1900s, Sam’s sister, Lucina Abigail “Sine” Turner, lived nearby at 1915 Calder; and Sine’s daughter, Orlou Ferguson Turner, lived at 2035 Calder. Sine’s son, William Hardee Turner, built the house at 2240 Calder and lived there until 1914, when he sold it to the Homer Chambers family.

In the 1933 Beaumont directory Sam and Corrie’s daughter Corrie Louise was living with them, while their son Rufus and his wife Nitis were living in an apartment at 1805 Calder. The Hooks family tended to hang together.

After the death of both J.L. and Corrie Hooks, the home stood vacant for some years before being demolished in the late 1960s or early 1970s.





2210 CALDER AVENUE
This grand house that stood on the corner at 2210 Calder was built in 1902 and was named Arbol Grande – which is Spanish for Big Tree. It was the home of J. Frank and Alice Carroll Keith. Both came from old Beaumont lumber families—sometimes referred to as “sawmill aristocracy.”
Keith home under construction


Keith home, taken from west side

The house was completed in 1902 and was designed by George Barber, an architect from Tennessee whose plans could be ordered by mail and who designed several other Beaumont homes. The mansion had a basement, an indoor swimming pool fed by an artesian well, and a ballroom on the third floor. There was also a large outdoor concrete pond that held the overflow from the well and helped to drain the property, since this entire area of town had poor drainage.
Keith home from Calder Avenue
Postcard of Keith home
Mr. Keith passed away suddenly in 1921. His widow lived in the house until October of 1948, when she sold the property to Weingarten’s for a supermarket. The house was demolished and the building that now stands was built in its place. Mrs. Keith passed away in 1956.
The Keith family made many contributions to the arts, medicine, education and other worthy 
 causes that benefited the people of Beaumont.




2240 CALDER AVENUE
CHAMBERS HOUSE MUSEUM

Chambers house before 1924 renovation
The Chambers House was built in 1906 by Beaumont lumberman William Hardee Turner. In 1914, Charles Homer and Edith Fuller Chambers purchased the house and moved in with their two daughters: Ruth, who was twelve years old, and Florence, who was two.

In the early 1900s, Homer Chambers and his father, C.R. Chambers, founded Chambers Hardware Company. In addition to being vice-president of Chambers Hardware Company, Homer Chambers was also president of the Gilbert Company and Minor Oil Company.
Chambers Hardware ad in 1909 Beaumont directory

In 1924 Mr. Chambers renovated the house, adding a sun parlor, sleeping porch, and second bath to the interior. In the front, he extended the roofline and added large columns, giving the house a colonial appearance.

Ruth and Florence never married and continued to live in the house after their parents passed away, tending their flowers and traveling extensively.

After Florence, the last surviving sister, died in May of 2004, the Beaumont Heritage Society got the first glimpse of the interior of the house. It was a treasure trove of furniture, personal items and artifacts that had survived nearly 100 years. Although it has been referred to as a restoration, it really is a conservation project, since virtually nothing had been changed during that time. Entering the house is truly like stepping back in time.

Over the last several years, the Beaumont Heritage Society and the overseers of the C. Homer and Edith Fuller Chambers Foundation have painstakingly worked to restore the home and contents to reflect the period from 1920 - 1945, with the emphasis being on the 1920s.






2280 CALDER AVENUE
DUFF HOUSE

The Duff House was built at 2280 Calder Avenue in 1910 by Judge Frederick Joseph and Mrs. Clinton Terry Duff. Judge Duff was born in Brazoria County in August of 1859 and was an outstanding figure in Southeast Texas as an accomplished attorney and Judge. He came to the area in 1901 during Spindletop and was instrumental in establishing many of the railroads in Beaumont.
The Calder street car stopped in mid-block between 7th and 8th streets, the only place in town it did so. A street car had once run over a bird dog belonging to Hardee Turner, the first resident of 2240 Calder, and Turner sued. Mr. Duff was Turner’s lawyer, and Mr. Harrison was the street car lawyer.


One term of the final settlement was that the car stopped in the middle of the block so that Messrs. Turner, Duff, and Harrison, who lived at 2225 Calder, could get on without walking to the usual corner stop.

Judge Duff died in his home on Friday, August 19, 1932, at 5:30 p.m., and his funeral was held at the residence at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 20, 1932. The last known occupants of the home were Mrs. Louis Clinton Duff, Sr. and her son, Clinton Terry Duff, Jr.

The house was demolished by Fekac Demolition Company in 1968. Before demolition, the front door and sidelights were salvaged and can now be admired at the home of Jimmy and Merle Booker at 935 Dowlen Road in Beaumont (pictured).






2290 CALDER AVENUE
MINOR HOUSE
Florence Chambers remembered the Minor home as similar to the Chambers House. She said it sat a little higher and described it as more “Galvestonian” with a wider porch that was partially screened in on the west side. The porch had green slatted blinds that could be let down depending on the weather.




Born in 1857 in Williamsburg, Virginia, Farrell Dabney Minor moved with his family to Galveston at the age of 14. At 16, he went to work for Walter Gresham, a respected Galveston lawyer and former Confederate soldier. Mr. Gresham loaned him the money to attend law school at University of Virginia, where he graduated in 1880. He returned to Galveston to practice and married his wife Eleanor there in 1886.
Mr. Minor was a member of the group of men who drafted the “Galveston Plan” for city governance in the wake of the 1900 storm. That plan was later adopted by many cities during the progressive era of municipal reform.
In 1901, the Minors moved from Galveston to Beaumont, bringing their only child, Farrell Dabney, Jr. Mr. Minor continued practicing law and served as secretary and attorney for Minor Oil Company. He was active in the community, serving the Boy Scouts and Red Cross among others.
Farrell Minor Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps, earning his law degree at University of Virginia and returning to Beaumont to practice with his father. He volunteered to serve in World War I and gave his life on a French battlefield August 29, 1918. After his death, Mr. and Mrs. Minor stayed in the home until their own deaths in 1932 and 1946, respectively. After Mrs. Minor died, the house was demolished.




2310 CALDER AVENUE

2310 Calder ca. 1900
        

Built in 1899-1900 for Rufus Dudley and Lillian Webber Kent, the home was described in specifications as a “first-rate two-story frame residence.” It originally stood on 20 acres of land, part of the original William McFaddin Survey granted by the Republic of Texas. William McFaddin was R.D. Kent’s grandfather. When William and his wife Rachel died, the heirs had the land surveyed, creating the McFaddin-Averill Addition, and divided it up among themselves.

The Kent home was only the second home built in the neighborhood, which began just west of the Sabine and East Texas Railroad tracks; the first was the home of William McFaddin, where R.D. Kent grew up. A few homes for railroad workers were clustered along the tracks, but did not extend into the old William McFaddin home place and pasture. Calder Avenue as a public road ended at the tracks, and beyond that a gate opened onto a private dirt road that provided access to the McFaddin and Kent homes. The area was known as the “little ranch."

2310 Calder ca. 1961

A 1961 Beaumont Journal article described the original homesite: "Near the house were horse stables, the main barn and a farm, complete with rows of tall corn, and a variety of animals and fowl...Raised in the house were the six Kent children."

The six were Druzilla, Alice, Rachel, William Webber (known as Pat), Janice, and Helene Kent Hartel. Four of the daughters were teachers; Druzilla taught home economics. Alice violin, Rachel piano, and Janice art. Helene Hartel was in the business world, and Pat served as Jefferson County Judge.


Rufus Dudley Kent
Lillian Webber Kent





















2409 EVALON

In 1938, when gasoline cost 10 cents a gallon, a loaf of bread 9 cents, the Fair Labor Standards Act set minimum wage at 25 cents an hour, and the average cost of a new home was $3900, William Graves Martin and his wife Ettalee built a six-room house at 2490 Evalon on 1½ lots in block 34 of the Averill Addition. The Travis County couple purchased the land from John B. Goodhue, an oil investor and vice-president at the Goodhue Building Company in Beaumont.

The 1870 sq. ft. house was valued at $2.50 per square foot, or $4680.00. The garage apartment brought the sum up to $5620. Construction began in mid-October, 1938 and was completed on February 1, 1939.

The White House, ca. 1940
William Martin was assistant secretary-treasurer of the White House Dry Goods Company. The White House, founded in Hillsboro, Texas, had occupied two different locations on Pearl Street since opening a Beaumont store in 1902. In the fall of 1940 the store moved to a new three-story, air-conditioned building at 702 Orleans.

In 1950, William Martin added two bedrooms and a bath upstairs and a screened porch downstairs, bringing the house to its current size. That year the home was valued at $15.00 per square foot.
         

In December of 1955, William and Ettalee sold their house to Dean and Dorothy Dorchester. Dean was a chemist.
Other owners have come and gone. But since childhood, the current owner, Sue Daniels, has dreamed of living in an old house in the historic district. This dream came true in April of 2007. The house, with its peaceful backyard, enchanting courtyard, oak floors, spacious screened porch and wonderful neighborhood is truly a dream come true!






2495 EVALON
“A Tale of Two Houses”

          This house is linked to a much older home in Orange. The other house, built in 1900, was owned by Lutcher Brown, son of the noted Dr. Edgar Brown and brother of Edgar Brown, Jr. It was originally located on Green Street and was later moved to 9th and Pine, just behind the First Presbyterian Church (built by Mrs. Henry Jacob Lutcher), when Green Street was enlarged and the church acquired it for use as a manse. 


Lutcher Brown house on Green Street
 
          The house at Ninth and Pine was bought from Lutcher Brown by Leonard F. Benckenstein. Leonard’s grandson, Fred Lock Benckenstein, married Caliste Boykin (also called "Peter" by her friends) in 1942. In 1948 they made plans to build a house in Beaumont at the corner of Evalon and Ninth and decided to model it after Fred's grandfather's home in Orange. Today, if you compare that home with our home, the similarity is striking. In fact, you cannot see our house and then the one in Orange and not recognize the same design.

Lutcher Brown house after move to Pine Street
 
       Lutcher Brown’s 1900 home included a small "model" of the main house that served as a playhouse for the children. This playhouse was in the backyard of the house when it was on Green Street. When the home was moved to Ninth and Pine in Orange, the playhouse was moved to Fred Benckenstein’s home at Evalon and Ninth in Beaumont. That playhouse, a small model of the Lutcher Brown house and our house, sits in our backyard to this day!

Playhouse from Lutcher Brown home in Orange
            Fred Lock Benckenstein was an attorney at Benckenstein, Wells, and Duncan, with offices in the San Jacinto Building in downtown Beaumont. In 1949 the Benckensteins’ phone number was 2-5235, and Edna Batiste, probably a domestic employee, was listed as living in the rear of the address.


          Fred was born in Beaumont in 1918 and attended Beaumont public schools, though he obtained his college and law education in Virginia. In 1943 he was admitted to the State Bar of Texas. His principal practice was in Admiralty Law. His study was paneled in cypress taken from the deck of a ship; one of the companies that he had defended gave it to him when they decommissioned it.
Fred Lock Benckenstein
          Fred enjoyed working in his backyard shop on Evalon and riding his bicycle around the neighborhood, in the process visiting with other residents. He was known as a true gentleman, friendly and unassuming, and always willing to extend a helping hand.

  
 

2395 GLADYS

The house at 2395 Gladys was built in 1941 by Seth and Jessamine Hale Birdwell. Jessamine had drawn up the house plans based on an old farmhouse in East Texas that she liked. 
Birdwell house in 1949 snow

Jessamine Hale Birdwell
Jessamine worked to get the plans just the way she wanted, and at one point her husband told her that war was coming and that if she was going to build, she needed to build. Construction was done by Homer H. Howell of Howell Lumber Company in Beaumont, and the house was finally completed in October 1941, barely two months before Pearl Harbor on December 7 marked the country’s entry into World War II.
Jessamine was born in Smith County but had lived in Beaumont with her uncle and aunt, Stuart and Ida Smith, and attended Beaumont schools. Seth Birdwell was from Tyler. He met Jessamine while he was working on a road crew for her father and she was teaching school in Tyler. When she came to Beaumont, he followed her, getting work at Magnolia Refinery and living in a boarding house.
Seth Birdwell
Seth continued to work at Magnolia during World War II, riding his bicycle from 2395 Gladys to the refinery in order to save gas ration points. He and his co-workers at Magnolia played baseball from time to time with Babe Didrikson (later Zaharias), who as a child lived on Doucette Street near Magnolia Refinery. After Babe became famous, he played golf with her. A lifelong sports aficionado, Seth was also one of the organizers of the Labor Day tennis tournament.
The Birdwells’ three daughters—Caroline, Lou, and Linda—grew up in the house. At the time the house was built, it was located in a rural area, with only the Cargill home nearby; Linda was able to keep her horse on the property.
Seth and Jessamine lived in this home until their deaths, Jessamine being the last to die in 1993. Today their daughter Linda Bullard lives here with her family.








2150 HARRISON

     This home once belonged to the family of Dr. James Bridges, who sold it to Mary Fern Byrd, owner of a local dry cleaning business. It was purchased from Mary Byrd in 1973 by Thomas Sibley, whose parents, Vance and Mary Ruth Sibley, lived in it until late 1976. In that year Thomas married Kathleen Quick, and when the elder Sibleys decided to move to a smaller house, a cottage on 20th street, Thomas and Kathleen moved in.
     
      Thomas and Kathleen Sibley had two daughters, Sarah Elizabeth Sibley (Cox) and Marilouise Sibley (Avery). Tom made a major addition to the home in 1983 when he removed the garage and added approximately 1800 square feet to the house, consisting of a large den downstairs and a fourth bedroom, bath and laundry room upstairs. 
  


     Tom then purchased the east 15 feet of lot 8 and all of Lot 9, property that lies behind the main house, from a Mrs. Jones. He also bought Lot 10 from Parker Allen, the purchase giving him ownership of Lots 3, 4, east 15’ of Lot 8, all of Lots 9 and 10 in the Averill Addition. 

     Tom had a three-car garage with guest house moved from Lot 10 to Lot 9 and part of Lot 8 and had the structure rebuilt from the frame up. These projects were completed in 1984.


     The wrought iron fence in the front yard has an interesting history; it is approximately 125 years old and originally surrounded the Sibley burial plot in Robeline, Louisiana.  It was given to Vance Sibley, as the oldest living Sibley family member, at the time the cemetery became perpetual care. He moved it and had it installed here. Fortunately, the Company that made the fence, Stewart Iron Works of Cincinnati, is still in business and can supply replacement pieces. The Sibley name plate on the front gate also includes the name Stewart Iron Works.

     Thyrza Head Looney and her daughter Thyrza Looney Tyrrell served as interior design consultants for the house, which continued as a work in progress until their deaths.  Thyrza Tyrrell was the last to die about 2007. 

 


2330 HARRISON

WALKER HOME


     When construction began on the Walker home in 1940, there were few, if any, contemporary homes in the Averill Addition. Attached garages and casement windows were in magazines only. This single story on the wide lot piqued the curiosity of one gentleman until he approached the contractor one day and asked, “Is this going to be a restaurant?”

     J.T. “Turney” and Katherine (White) Walker were delighted to know their home was going to be a new look for the neighborhood, both having grown up in traditional mission style homes.

Newspaper photo with headline about the Walker home.

     
The interior was an open concept with lots of windows and natural light and cool breezes from the casements that could be left open even when it rained, as the wide eaves offered protection.



No. 2 washtubs made for great fun in the 1940s.

     Mrs. Walker asked the contractor to add shelving under the windows across the front and gave him a picture of how it should look. After he agreed, she gave him a flower pot and asked if he would cut holes every 2 feet to fit pots that size. She later filled these with cactus of all colors. A rose garden was filled with vegetables and, during WWII, a large horseradish was placed among the rose bushes. Across the back of the lot in a shallow ditch, purple iris bloomed.


     Neighbors talked, walked their dogs or sat in the shade on the east side of the house before dinner, sipping iced tea or a highball, relaxing and talking over the day’s events. It was on a day like this that the Magnolia Refinery whistles blew, St. Anne’s Church bells rang, car horns and radios blared! Someone ran outside and shouted “It’s over!!! The WAR is over!!!”


     We moved many times after leaving Harrison Street, but my heart and memories are always true to those days in September when we all walked to school together, through the corner lot covered in fall wildflowers to Averill School. It was a different time and place, but a lovely time to be a child.

 

2360 HARRISON


      This house was built sometime between 1920 and 1927, along with several other homes in the immediate vicinity. Mr. Hubert Taylor Fuller, his wife Frances Edens Fuller, and their daughter Ruth were the original residents. In 1933 a maid, Annie Stephney, was living in the garage apartment behind the house.

      Dr. Alexander is listed in the 1929 Builders of Beaumont book as a physician and surgeon, with offices in the Goodhue Building. The Goodhue Building, an Art Deco structure finished in 1927, was one of several buildings constructed with money from the 1925 Spindletop oil boom that brought an era of prosperity to Beaumont.

Pictured: Annie Stephey, Jerome Terry and Edens Fuller.

      In 1916 and 1920, when the Fullers lived at 934 Calder Avenue, Mr. Fuller was listed as president of the Chambers Hardware Company, but changes would soon come.


E.L. Wilson Hardware Company ad, 1920.

      In the 1927 directory, 934 Calder Avenue is vacant, and the family has moved to 2360 Harrison. That same year, Fuller gave his occupation as a traveling salesman for E.L. Wilson Hardware Company, located in a large building on the corner of Pearl and Liberty. He was also by that time Vice President of the Gilbert Oil Company, operating out of his residence at 934 Calder Avenue.


     Hubert Fuller was a member of the Gilbert family, who owned the Gilbert Oil Company. The Gilberts owned land in Sour Lake where oil was found, and the Gilbert Oil Company was founded after the oil field came in there. 

      Other Gilbert relatives included Ruth and Florence Chambers, who lived at 2240 Calder.




2370 HARRISON

     The first city directory listing for this house was in 1933. It belonged to Dr. Hugh E. Alexander and his wife Frances. Not many years before, Dr. Alexander had lived at 2235 Hazel, not many blocks away. He must have liked this neighborhood but perhaps wanted a larger or newer home.
Dr. Hugh E. Alexander

The Goodhue Building, second from the left, ca. 1937.

      A number of doctors and dentists had their offices there. Previously, Dr. Alexander’s office had been in the Perlstein Building.
      In 1933 Beaumont had a population of about 58,000. The directory for that year lists 85 doctors. All are designated “physicians and surgeons,” without being divided into areas of specialization. Other health care listings in 1933 include 45 nurses and 39 “druggists” or pharmacies. Beaumont’s two hospitals were Hotel Dieu on Sabine Pass Avenue and Beaumont General Hospital on Broadway, which later became St. Therese Hospital.
A Hotel Dieu ad from 1920.

     Hugh Alexander Sr. died July 24, 1967. His son, Hugh Jr., was also a physician, carrying on the family tradition.



2390 Harrison
  
             This house was the home of Roy S. Nelson and his wife, Ida May “Skipper” Nelson. 
          A native of Pennsylvania, Roy Nelson traveled extensively in his work with the electrical industry, from Puerto Rico to Jamaica to Baton Rouge to El Paso, before coming to Beaumont in 1942 to assume the presidency of Gulf States Utilities Company (now Entergy). 


Reddy Kilowatt, Gulf States Utilities "mascot" for many years
           Nelson met his wife on a ship bound from Jamaica to Boston. Her destination was originally the Army-Navy game with a date, but Nelson talked her out of it and into marrying him before the ship docked.
               Roy Nelson’s moral strength and character were widely known. A boiler needed repair in a plant where he was working as chief engineer, and rather than appoint someone, he did the repairs himself, dressed in burlap and sacking while someone hosed him down. His fellow workers began calling him “Shadrach,” after one of the three Biblical Israelites who survived the Babylonians’ fiery furnace.

Roy S. Nelson
            In 1956 Nelson, because of “his many valuable contributions to the civic, economic and cultural life of Beaumont,” received the Exchange Club’s Golden Deeds Award.

Queen Janie Nelson and King Walter Casey, 1952
            The Nelsons’ daughter Janie was crowned Neches River Festival queen in 1952.




2450 HARRISON
CASWELL HOME
     This cottage style house, built in 1930 by K.L. Roberts, was the home of Sallie Merrit Caswell, the widow of Worthy Hilliard Caswell, whose father J.M. “Captain Jack” Caswell, settled in Beaumont during the early 1860s, after a colorful career as a steamboat captain on the Mississippi River. 

      His son, Worthy, was born in 1869 at a location that would become the site of Hotel Dieu Hospital. After they married in 1895, they settled in the Voth-Rosedale community where he helped to organize the school, serving for many years on the school board.


     In June, 1925, Worthy and his youngest daughter, Vaughnie, were returning from a graduation event when, on a sharp curve on Old Voth Road, they were hit by a train and killed. His son, William Hilliard, “Hilly” Caswell, a student at Texas A&M, returned to Beaumont to care for his mother, and soon began his 50 year career at Gulf States Utilities, where he used his photography skills to take many aerial and ground photos for the company.

William Hilliard "Hilly" Caswell

      In February 1929, Hilly married Velma White, and they, with Ms. Sallie, moved into their new home at 2450 Harrison in 1931. Velma, taught first grade at Pennsylvania School for 41 years. Though she and Hilly had no children of their own, she claimed each one of her students and her nieces and nephews as her own.

 

     After Ms. Sallie’s death, some cosmetic changes were made to the home: the porch was enclosed, a second bath was added with a large closet, and additional storage for the “out of town” guests. Velma and Hilly enjoyed entertaining their many friends and family, especially their “grandchildren”, who called them their dear “Baboo and Bubba”, and who later gifted them with another generation to love and be loved by.





      An interesting note….the beautiful oak tree in the front yard, was used as a survey marker on the original plat, and described as “southwest corner of property marker 6” diameter oak tree.”





2455 HARRISON

          This house first appeared in the 1929 Beaumont directory and belonged to Henry Grady and Martha Beatrix Prather.  Grady Prather was a partner with his brother-in-law Robert Hooks in Prather and Hooks. Prather and Hooks operated gas stations (known as “filling stations” in those days) providing Beaumonters with “oils, gas, tires, tubes, wholesale and retail, batteries and auto accessories.” The firm had three locations in 1929: Neches and Milam, Franklin and Railroad Avenue, and Pine and Ash. In 1935, Prather and Hooks auto repairs was located at 1100 Pearl.   

Grady Prather, 1929
              Martha Beatrix “Trixie” Hooks Prather was born in Kountze, Texas. Her father, Ben Hooks, and three of his brothers brought in the first gusher in the Saratoga oil field in 1903. One of those uncles, Sam Hooks, lived nearby at 1849 Calder.  


            The 1933 directory lists Trixie Prather as a teacher at George O’Brien Millard Elementary School, located downtown on Magazine Street near its intersection with Pearl. She continued to teach at Millard for several years but in 1940 was listed only as teaching music from her home.

Ad for Prather & Hooks in 1929 Beaumont Directory

            Prather and Hooks operated into the mid-1930s; after that, Grady’s job changed several times. In 1937 he was working for Mauritz-Howard Corporation as a salesman, in 1938 he owned the Grady Electric Company, and in the 1940s and 1950s he owned Grady’s Toy Store.

            Years later, the house was owned by William W. Phillips, Jr., and his wife Nell. Phillips was president of American National Bank. After his death, Nell lived in the house for five years.

The current owners describe their acquisition of the house:

In 1987 we were driving through Old Town and saw this house, which had great curb appeal and appeared to be well maintained. We looked at the house and fell in love with the large rooms, high ceilings and crown moldings. Since acquiring the house we have updated the kitchen and master bathroom and made many cosmetic changes. In 2000 we tore down the old garage and replaced it with a new garage, pool house and swimming pool. Recently, we installed gas lights on the front porch and changed the siding to “HardiePlank.”

The Oaks Historic District offers a traditional neighborhood with sidewalks, large trees and great access to anywhere within Beaumont. We have many friends who live in the neighborhood and could not imagine living anywhere different.

 



2474 HARRISON

          In 1940 the residents of the home at 2474 Harrison were Felton L. Colvin and his wife Ellzey. That year is the first year that address appears in the directory, so apparently it was their new home.

       Felton Colvin was the general agent for the Kansas City Southern Railway and the Louisiana and Arkansas Railway.

          His office was in the Kansas City Southern-Missouri Pacific depot on the corner of Jefferson and Gilbert streets downtown.

The Kansas City Southern-Missouri Pacific Depot.

          It would be difficult to overstate the importance of railroads to a city in years past. Until the Interstate Highway system was put in, trains were the primary means of transporting people and freight between towns. The 1940 Beaumont Directory lists four “major trunk-line systems” as coming through Beaumont: the Kansas City Southern, the Missouri Pacific, the Santa Fe, and the Southern Pacific.
The well-known Southern Kansas City Lines logo.

          The KCS came to Beaumont in 1897 and went all the way from Kansas City to the brand-new town of Port Arthur. Beaumont: Chronicle of Promise states that “In an attempt to find a short route to ship Kansas wheat to the coast, a Kansas City promoter named Arthur Stillwell built a railway in 1897 called the Kansas City Southern, running through Beaumont to the Gulf. Stillwell laid out a 4,000-acre townsite on the shores of Sabine Lake to serve as its terminus, and the town, Port Arthur, was named for him.”
          Beaumont: A Pictorial History says that “financial troubles beset Stillwell, and after passing into receivership, the company was reorganized by John W. ‘Bet-a-Million’ Gates.”
          Usually several railway companies shared facilities, and in Beaumont the Kansas City Southern and Missouri Pacific rail lines used the same tracks and the same depot.





2130 HAZEL



      Shortly after the turn of the twentieth century, Americans began choosing a style of home that was less opulent and better suited to their smaller city lots. Therefore, the American foursquare home became immensely popular. It was a two-story house consisting of a layout of four rooms on each level. It was also characterized by dormers, inside arches, hip roofs, and wide hallways.


2130 Hazel


     The American foursquare home at 2130 Hazel was built by William S. Stanley in 1907. Shortly after, Dr. Howard Burch Pedigo moved into the house with his wife May and daughter Maydee.
 
     In 1901, Dr. Howard Burch Pedigo was busy earning his medical degree from Tulane University. He then practiced medicine in Kountze, Texas for two years. After that he practiced in Dearborn, Texas, for three years, before coming to Beaumont in 1906. During World War I he also served in the medical corps in a camp in Georgia, earning the rank of captain.
 
     Dr. Pedigo moved to 2130 Hazel shortly after coming to Beaumont. He was a well-respected doctor in Beaumont for 30 years, with his office in the Goodhue Building. His early years spent in the house were good, but later, due to failing health, Dr. Pedigo took his life here July 11, 1939.
 
A newpaper clipping about Dr. Pedigo's funeral services.


     Dr. Frank Bevil Hart and his wife, Anna, were next to occupy the house. Dr. Hart spent his early years in Kountze, Texas. A veteran of World War I, he served as a physician in the Army Medical Corps. He began the civilian practice of general medicine in Sour Lake, Texas, in 1918. After moving to Beaumont, Dr. Hart was the doctor for Beaumont Independent School District for many years.

Dr. Frank Hart's obituary piece.
     Dr. Hart’s son, Bevil, told of good times on Hazel Street with good memories of his childhood and swimming in the indoor pool across the street. At the age of 81, after a lengthy illness, Dr. Hart died at this residence July 31, 1975.

     Several families owned the home in the 1980s. With little attention paid to upkeep, the house was slowly falling into disrepair.
 
     Oneida and John Berube took possession of the house in January, 1996 and began the monumental task of bringing the house back to life.
 
     It has been the site of many happy times. In 2002, Neida’s son, Alan Toronjo, and his Ukranian fiancĂ©, Natalia Chulupa, were married in the front parlor. With the addition of a swimming pool, the house is now the place for cookouts and swimming with neighbors and friends. It is also the home where daughter Julie and grandchildren Gabriel, Dimitri, and Sophia are making lasting memories.






2145 HAZEL

        This unique craftsman-style home was built by Jerry Clemmons Stedman in 1912. Jerry and his second wife, Mary C. Hall, made a life here for 20 years, until Jerry died in 1932. Mary continued to occupy this house until 1952, when she sold it to Roline and Ione Walker.


       Roline Walker owned and operated Walker’s Beaumont Pharmacy, while his wife Ione taught elementary school. Their son Jack, a chemist with Mobil Oil Co., and his wife Grace bought the notable house very near his parents on the corner of McFaddin and 5th St. - the Wiess home, in which the agreement that began what is now the Exxon Oil Company was first signed.
      After Grace became ill, it was decided that the younger Walkers would move into the Hazel house so that Jack’s parents could help with Grace’s care and the raising of the family’s two daughters, Kathleen Anne and Ninette. Beginning in 1958, all three Walker generations occupied the house on Hazel at the same time.

The Walker family.

        The ground floor has a colorful history. In the beginning, a portion of it was used as servants’ quarters. The big open area was the scene of teen parties and such, with Miss Mary Ann Stedman (Howell) entertaining friends. Then when the Walkers owned the house, Ione turned the bottom floor into apartments. As a life-long educator, Ione had many friends who were widowed school teachers. She had the apartments finished for her lady friends who weren’t comfortable living alone. Prominent Beaumont resident Sally Keith was among Ione’s apartment dwellers.

One of Beaumont’s first swimming pools was located under this house. It was described as a glorified horse trough, or big bath tub, that was filled for use and then drained.  But - It was a pool nonetheless! Its outline can still be seen today.

       Mary Hall Stedman was one of the first organizers of Beaumont’s Humane Society. The gravestones of her “beloved pointers, treasured companions”, Bill and Mary, were lovingly placed next to the house on its east side. Being avid animal devotees, as well as staunch St. Mark’s Episcopalians, were common themes running throughout the Stedman home’s history, from its beginning with the Jerry C. Stedman family to the three generations of Walkers, and now to its current residents, Ralph and Virginia Jordan.

       Ultimately, throughout its history, “This house provided an environment in which you were ‘safe,’ one in which you were loved; and one in which you were healed,” according to Ninette Teel (granddaughter of Roline and Ione Walker).  

2575 HAZEL
       My parents, older sister and I moved into this house in 1955. My younger sister was born a year later. This is the house where we grew up – our childhood home. Built in 1927-28, with O. C. White listed as the first owner, the house had several occupants over the years before our family bought it and made it our home. A simple, unpretentious little house, it always felt inviting and comfortable to us and our friends (possibly the aroma of Italian cooking in the kitchen had something to do with this).

     The neighbors and neighborhood were great. During this time, the Gaylynn Theater was one block away on 11th Street with the Gaylynn Record Salon just around the corner from the theater.

The Gaylynn Theatre

       There was a wonderful little mom and pop grocery store on the corner of Hazel and 7th Streets (the building still stands) that sold the best comic books for 10 cents each. Even if you didn’t want to buy them, you could sit on the floor and read them for as long as you wanted – the owners didn’t mind.
         My sisters and I took swimming lessons from Moody Picket, who lived at 2608 Hazel. We enjoyed the porch swing that Mrs. Louise A. Ricker, who lived across the street at 2570 Hazel, kindly shared with us. Dr. Herman B. Williford, our next door neighbor at 2565 Hazel, allowed his wonderful dog, Twinkles, to adopt our family.
       We had relatives, my Aunt and Uncle Rose and Louis Oddo and their son Sam, living down the street at 2525 Hazel Street. Around the corner at 2685 Harrison Street another aunt and uncle, Mary and Jake Daleo, and their children, Maryann and Jude, lived. Saint Anne School and Church were walking distance from our house, as was the Henke and Pillot grocery store on the corner of North and 11th Streets. My mom and I would catch the bus on the corner of Hazel and 10th Streets and ride downtown. Coming home, the bus would conveniently drop us in front of Rao’s Bakery.
       The neighborhood has changed over the years, as most neighborhoods do. The house still remains in our possession, but we have discussed the possibility of putting it up for sale. Should this happen, it will close a most important chapter in our lives. Childhood homes and neighborhoods play a major role in shaping who we are. Change and moving on are both inevitable and necessary, but not always easyto accept.         
2425 LAUREL

        In the 1927 directory, John B. Cheesman and his wife Althea are owners of this house. They are possibly the original owners. John worked as a “promoter” for Uvalde Rock Asphalt Company paving contractors, with offices on the 5th floor of the Valentine Wiess Building in downtown Beaumont. Althea was a bookkeeper at C. Flanagan and Sons, a stevedore firm in Beaumont’s San Jacinto Building.

The San Jacinto Building, pictured left.

       In 1933, August Balzer and his wife Helen lived in this house. August was an entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, located in the Valentine Wiess Building. His supervisor was J.F. Coffey. A Federal entomologist would have been important to this area, not only to local agriculture, but to community health.


      The Department of Agriculture was only one of a number of Federal agencies represented in Beaumont, including a United States Collector of Customs and a United States Bureau of Prohibition. The Prohibition office would not stay open in Beaumont much longer, as Prohibition was repealed in December of 1933.



       Helen Balzer taught at David Crockett Junior High School at 1400 Royal Street. Crockett was the second junior high school built in Beaumont, the first being Dick Dowling Junior High. In 1933 the student enrollment in Beaumont schools was 12, 818, and according to the 1933 directory, “not more than thirty-five pupils per teacher in classrooms.”

         Beaumont also had two other school districts, South Park and French.



2110 Liberty

        This house was built sometime between 1909 and 1916.
      Edward P. Bennett was living at 2110 Liberty in 1916. Bennett was the cashier for Texas Bank & Trust Company and the secretary-treasurer of Pierce-Goodell Piano Company.

Vintage Steinway Piano Ad

       Pierce-Goodell Piano Company, a large store located downtown at 616-618 Pearl, carried “pianos, organs, victrolas and musical merchandise.” Pianos were especially important fixtures in early twentieth-century homes, in the days before phonographs were common and before radios had been invented. Young ladies were encouraged to learn to play so they could entertain visitors. Pianos were also considered to be very valuable pieces of furniture.
       In 1920 Joseph R. Leguenec and his wife May A. lived there. Leguenec was in the rice business.
        In the 1927 directory, and continuing to the 1940 directory, at least, William M. and Mary Lou Campbell owned the house at 2110 Liberty. Campbell was an oil operator and in 1940 was listed as the vice president and manager of the Eunice-Crowley Oil Company.
       The 1967 directory lists D.J. and Rosa Lee Johnson as living at that address. D.J. Johnson was an engineer for Southern Pacific Railway Company.

2211 LIBERTY
THE GETER HOME

A.B. Marks, 1929
        Our home was built in 1923. Research and interviews revealed it was originally owned by the Abraham B. Marks family. A.B. Marks was secretary-treasurer of the Globe Laundry Company, located at 601-605 Neches. The Globe Laundry advertised as being “Launderers, Master Cleaners, Dyers and Hatters.” (Laundries often dyed clothing and steamed and reshaped men’s hats.) In 1933, Marks was also vice president of Rupert Cox Auto Supply Company.
          The apartment in the rear of the house was occupied in 1927 by Frieda Foerster and from approximately 1929 to 1937 by Ella Johnson; both are listed in the city directory as domestic employees.
        The house is zoned both commercial and residential.
        In the late 1950s the house was sold to the John Evans family. In 1961 they used it as a bed and breakfast during the recovery from Hurricane Carla, which destroyed a number of beach houses on the Bolivar Peninsula.
        In the 1970s Norma Pontiff Evans owned and operated Ye Old Sewing Shoppe on the first floor of the home. The shop later moved to 3675 Calder.
        In the 1990s, Ferguson Studio Photography, Associated Studios, and Harold’s Photography shared the bottom floor of the home.
       Norma Pontiff Evans provided us with some of this information when we purchased the house from her in 1999. Norma is now deceased.




2471 LONG



         This house was built in 1946 for Charles Anthony Brocato and Amelia Serio Brocato. The builder was a Mr. Carothers. Mrs. Brocato insisted on having a family room, which would not have been a standard feature at that time.


Before the Brocatos moved to Long Avenue, they lived at their grocery store at 1260 North Pearl, in an older residential area just north of downtown, near the Neches River. It was not uncommon in that era for people to live either behind or above their places of work.

Grocers in 1940 Beaumont directory took up nearly 2 pages.

In early-to-mid-twentieth century, before giant supermarkets dominated the economy, small grocers operated in residential neighborhoods. In 1940, Beaumont had over 200 grocery stores, four of them operated by members of the Brocato family.

The first important event in the house was the marriage of Connie Brocato. She and her new husband shared the house with her parents for about a year after the marriage.

The Brocatos lived in the house until the early 1950's, possibly 1951 or 1952. After that, they rented it out. In 1953, the house sustained major damage in a fire, caused by a tenant who left a curling iron on. The interior walls still bear the marks of the fire under the sheetrock, and you can smell a faint smoky smell if the walls are opened.

During my recent renovation, I found a lot of newspapers stuffed in the attic dating from the early 1950's, including articles reporting the Lamar State College of Technology football team’s bowl game and the appointment of Eisenhower's cabinet. The house has passed through a number of owners since then, but the floor plan of the house is essentially unaltered from the original.



2534 LONG

THE GARDENER HOME

         Built in 1938 for Beaumont physician John C. Gardneer, his wife Martha, and their young family, this colonial revival home was designed by architect Bartlett Cooke of San Antonio. Dr. J.N. Gardener completed his medical studies and practiced in San Antonio in the early 1920s and may have become familiar with this architect during that time. Cooke famously designed the first building for Joske’s department store in San Antonio. This house is an excellent example of one of the many period styles popularly revived in the 1920s and 1930s.

        The Gardeners moved here from 2245 Hazel once the house was completed. Dr. Gardener practiced with Dr. Hugh Alexander on the 6th floor of the Goodhue building downtown.

        Dr. J.N. Gardener’s son, Dr. J.T. Gardener, moved back to his childhood home to raise his own family after the death of his parents in the early 1970s. The house remained in the Gardener family until Dr. J.T. Gardener and his wife unexpectedly passed away in 2000.

     Dr. J.T. Gardener’s wife, Katherine Wilhelmine Conti of Victoria, Texas, was an accomplished person in her own right. Licensed to practice law in 1954 at the age of 23, she was one of the only three women in her graduating glass of 145 at the University of Texas at Austin Law School. Please visit the Web site for a look into how brides-to-be were feted in 1956 and a letter from Katherine’s mother, found when the house was completely renovated in 2003, imploring her career-minded daughter to focus on her wedding plans.



2585 LONG

This house sits on Block 40, Lots 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the Averill Addition of Beaumont, Texas. These lots, part of the W.P.H. McFaddin estate, were sold in 1937 and 1938 for payment of debts.

Mr. William Wesley Kyle (W.W. Kyle II) subsequently purchased the lots from two separate buyers in 1945 and 1947. The home was completed by 1950 by Jasper architect Arthur K. Stone, a family relative. Mr. Kyle’s wife, Carol Tyrrell Kyle, modeled the house after the historic home of George Wythe in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

George Wythe house, Colonial Williamsburg

         T
he brick used to build the Kyle House, as it is often called in Beaumont social circles, was handmade in Mexico. It was chosen because of its mellow aged look that resembled the exterior of the Wythe House. A San Antonio artist custom made the mailbox and sconces; Mrs. Kyle anxiously awaited them and was elated when they finally arrived.

The similarities between the Wythe and Kyle houses extend to the interior. The entry was closely replicated to offer visitors a grand entrance, complete with a winding staircase overlooking the grand foyer. Finishing touches include an intricately carved banister, and multi-layered crown molding around the ceiling.

Mrs. Kyle liked to entertain, so the pattern of the downstairs rooms provides a circular flow for guests. The first floor includes a kitchen, butler’s pantry, dining room, grand foyer, parlor and powder room. The second floor includes 3 bedrooms, two baths, a cedar closet, and linen closet. The home also has a three-car garage, storage room and maid’s quarters.

In 1973, after the passing of W.W. Kyle II, additions to the home included a breakfast room, a large library with lawyer block paneling, hidden bookcases and an elevator to the second-floor master bedroom.


          Mrs. Kyle lived in the home until her death in 1997. The only change made to the home since that time was modernization of the kitchen in 1998. The current owners acquired the property in 2006.





2565 Louisiana

This house was built ca. 1866 on Elizabeth Street by George W Smyth Jr., son of George W. Smyth, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.  It was originally a Greek Revival cottage with square columns; the gingerbread trim was added to the porch sometime before its move to Louisiana Street.

George W. Smyth, Sr.
George W. Smyth, Jr.



George W. Smyth Jr. was a prominent lumberman in Beaumont, president of the Sabine Tram and Lumber Company. Some years after building this house, he built a much larger domed house at 526 Elizabeth, across from the First Presbyterian Church on the corner of Ann and Elizabeth. His original home stood behind the new house and was used for domestic employee housing and storage. 

                                                



The next generation of Smyths sold the big house, which became a nursing home called “The Palms.”  George’s daughter and her husband Charles E. Walden built a large house with columns at 450 Washington Boulevard, now used by the Health Department of the City of Beaumont. 

During World War II, Charles Walden’s son and daughter-in-law Smyth and Louella Ward Walden were given the original 1860s home. They moved it to its present site at 2565 Louisiana Street. During the move, the procession carrying the house turned at 7th and Calder and cracked the pavement all the way across the intersection.
Andrew Smyth

Smyth and Louella Walden told the story that Andrew Smyth, brother of George W. Smyth Sr. and captain of the Neches River steamboat Laura, died in the front bedroom of this house.  

In 2012 this home was purchased by the Eggert family and is in the process of being restored.


 
1895 MCFADDIN
GARTH HOUSE
       This house, now the home of the Garth House--Mickey Mehaffy Children's Advocacy Program, Inc., first stood at 1425 Calder on the site where the Mildred Building stands today. The home was built in 1913, one of fifteen Colonial Revival houses built in Beaumont before 1915, by owner and occupant Dr. James W. Garth and his wife Esther Tyrrell Garth.
The Garth House
        In 1927, Dr. Garth sold the house to Daniel Bowie (D.B.) Clark, who was Beaumont Fire Marshall, and his wife Zoe. Clark in turn sold the site where his home stood to Miles Frank Yount in 1928 and had the house moved to its present location. The move, which took most of a week, was accomplished using “draft animals” pulling the house over logs. The Clark family actually slept in the house during the move.

       In 1945, after D.B. Clark had retired as Fire Marshall, a fire broke out on the downstairs porch located on the back (south) side of the home. The flames climbed up to the roof and across the house before being extinguished. The Clarks were unable to repair the home to its original design but stayed in their beloved home until the mid-sixties when the new owners turned the old beauty into apartments.
       In 1982 the house was bought by Frank Inzer. In 1985, after receiving a modest grant from the Beaumont Landmark Commission, Mr. Inzer painstakingly restored the home to its original appearance, completing much of the craftsman work himself.
      In 1985 the Beaumont Heritage Society put the house on its historic homes tour, enlisting local decorators to finish and furnish the interior of the home in a manner faithful to its early twentieth-century roots.
       In 1991, the house was purchased by Catholic Charities to be the home of the newly created Mickey Mehaffy Children’s Advocacy Program.




1906 MCFADDIN

        James McFaddin moved with his family to Texas in 1823 and made his home in several areas of east Texas, settling finally in 1833 on the banks of the Neches River. Only three families lived in Jefferson County when the McFaddins arrived: Noah Tevis, Tom Lewis, and Christian Hillebrandt.  James located his homestead adjoining the Tevis claim on its north line. This land was later officially granted to him by the Republic of Texas.

       In 1845, William, eldest of the McFaddin children, received 177 acres of land from the Republic of Texas for his service during the fight for Independence. His land lay to the west of his father’s; there he and his wife Rachel built a log cabin and began to raise a large family.

        In 1853 he bought 45 ½ acres of land adjoining his on the south between his cabin and the Liberty Road and built a large two-story home. That house was located where Broussard’s Mortuary stands today.
William McFaddin's two-story home.

         William died in 1897 leaving a large real estate and cattle empire. The home and the land on which it sat, he willed to his daughter Di Averill; the remainder of his property was divided among his heirs. In 1905, the house caught fire; Di and her family barely got out with their lives. The house was a total loss. Di and her husband, Colonel W.C. Averill set out to build a fine new home at 1906 McFaddin.
        Once the house was built, the Averills determined that the house was too large for their needs. But, it was just right for her brother, W.P.H. McFaddin, and his growing family. The siblings traded homes, the McFaddin’s Queen Ann style home for the Beaux-arts style mansion of the Averills. The McFaddins moved to 1906 McFaddin in January 1907.

The main house, picture from the south end.

        During its occupancy, this home was filled with family and laughter and social activities. Three children were raised here. Mamie Louise McFaddin, the eldest, married Carroll Ward in 1919. They made their home in here, along with her mom and dad. In later years, Mrs. Ward determined that her beloved home should be saved. She created the Mamie McFaddin Ward Heritage Foundation and pledged her resources to ensure the museum would be a cultural and educational resource for the community.



1929 McFaddin
Florence Stratton House

       This house was built in 1929 by Florence Stratton, who was a newspaper writer at different times for the Beaumont Journal and Beaumont Enterprise. Her most noted column for the Enterprise was “Susie Spindletop’s Weekly Letter,” a chatty column about goings-on in town. She was also the author of several books, one of them The Story of Beaumont, written in 1925.

Florence Stratton
       Ms. Stratton built the house using plans from an old house in Maine that she admired. She also utilized bricks from Beaumont’s 1892 courthouse building on the home’s exterior, as well as handmade bricks from her grandfather’s plantation for the four fireplaces.

Jefferson County Courthouse
       Ms. Stratton died in 1938. She never married, and her niece and nephew-in-law, Eunice and Arthur Stephens, lived in the house after her death until Arthur Stephens died about 1966.

       From 1966 through 1970, Arthur’s widow Eunice operated The Attic Shop, an antique shop, at the residence. In 1971, Victor Kuritz was listed at that address, but in 1972 Mrs. Eunice Stephens resumed residence. In 1976, the house was sold to an artist, Frances Arredondo.


  
2205 NORTH STREET

          Built in 1922 for the original owners, George T. Adams, Sr. and his wife Stella, this Georgian Colonial home was designed by Henry Conrad Mauer, a prominent Beaumont architect who had begun a stellar career after the 1901 Spindletop oil boom. This home was thought to have been Mr. Mauer's last residential project before he began concentrating on select commercial assignments.
S.L. Adams ad in Beaumont directory
          Mr. Adams was the president of the S.L. Adams & Co. Hardware and Marine Supplies store, located on Fannin in downtown Beaumont.  There were also stores located in Port Arthur & Sabine.  Mr. Adams was related to Henry Conrad Mauer's wife, Kate, which may have contributed to the opportunity of having Mr. Mauer design the home.  The 1927 City Directory indicates Margaret Richardson lived in the rear property and was a cook for the family. 
H.C. Mauer, designer of 2205 North

          In the 1940 City Directory the listing for George T. Adams, Jr. and his wife, Judith, indicates they were residing at 2290 North Street in the Margene Apts.  Later George,Jr., and Judith moved into the home.  There were several more owners through the years; and the current owner, Dr. Maria Felicia Cavallini, purchased the property in 2002.

          The house features an open-concept floor plan with one room flowing into the next. The wooden floors and 10-foot ceilings are some of the many quality features that make this carefully crafted home unique.  Wanting to preserve the historical integrity of the house, Dr. Cavallini researched authentic color choices to paint each of the rooms, including the original bathroom upstairs. 

          Featured on the Old Town Home Tour in 2005, the antique-filled home boasts clean lines and an open, airy feel that makes the home welcoming and comfortable.



2223 NORTH STREET

          The land was part of the William McFaddin grant from the state of Texas around 1836; it then became part of the Averill Addition, which was first surveyed in 1905.    
          
          C. L. Rutt and wife Matilda purchased the property and had the house built but never lived in it.  Designed by local architect F.W. Steinman, the home was completed in 1909 by local contractor L.J. Russell.  It was then sold to James A. and Carrie Miller, who owned the property from 1909 until 1920.  From 1912 to 1915 they rented the home to Lemmel and Adele Preston.  Subsequent owners were Edson and Marguerite Hammel (1920-1937), Arthur and Dagny Matthews (1920-1937) Jerry and Catherine Turek (1951-1970), and Paul and Ada Walker (1970-1978). The current owners, Dale and Nathalie Hallmark, purchased the home in 1978.

          Both the Texas Historical Sites Inventory and Beaumont Historic Landmark Commission describe the style of home as Vernacular Victorian:  a one-story frame house with hip roof porch and five Doric columns (original) representative of middle-class housing built in Beaumont after the turn of the century.
          
          The home boasts a number of original features:
Unusual upper gable window-hexagonal pieces of rolled glass framed with wood
 
Art glass in left side of porch window

    

    






 
Cedar shake shingles replaced after Hurricane Rita













7 rooms with 12-foot ceilings for a tall Christmas tree!

Surprises:
-  1” X 8” tongue-and-groove horizontal walls and ceiling in kitchen treated with creosote—hard to wallpaper!
·        -  Flue opening in front bedroom
·        -  Brick chimney, possibly for cook stove, inside kitchen—closed due to deterioration
·        -  No closets in original floor plans
·        -  Double flooring found in several areas
·        -  Portion of left front porch closed in for cedar closet
·        -  Wood and glass Mother-in-law door on left replaced, but has original glass

 



2395 NORTH STREET

          The 1931 Beaumont directory lists 2395 North as being the home of Jesse B. and Mildred W. Shaddix. The Shaddix family originally came from Atlanta, Georgia.

          Jesse was a salesman for Brown Cracker and Candy Company, located at 1030 Fannin. Other firms in the 1000 block of Fannin in the early 1930s included Texas Bread Company, Modern Cleaners and Hatters, Wilson and Company whole meats, and Service Tire and Repair Company. By 1940, he had become an agent for Southland Life Insurance Company, located in the American National Bank Building at the corner of Orleans and Bowie.

Averill School, 1912
          Mildred taught music at Averill Elementary School, which was built in 1910 on Seventh Street between North and Hazel. A 1909 bond issue authorized $100,000 for construction of three brick elementary schools: Averill, South End, and Millard. Averill, named for W.C. Averill, who donated the land, was a new school, built to accommodate all the children in the growing neighborhood that stretched along Calder Avenue from First to Eighth Street.


Mrs. Shaddix at piano for Averill's May Fete, 1929

          According to newspaper and scrapbook records, Mildred Shaddix taught at Averill for at least 11 years. In 1927 she and another teacher, Miss Price, took their classes for a picnic at Magnolia Park.  An article in the November 23, 1929 Beaumont Journal reported that Mrs. Shaddix taught the “Melody Way” piano classes (a piano method for schools) to 15 students. In 1934 her music students won a cup for Averill from the Texas Federation of Music Clubs, while in 1938 her students presented an opera, “Cinderella and the Golden Slipper,” on the Averill stage.

          In 1929, James Shaddix, an Averill student, gave a presentation on traffic accidents at a school “safety meeting.” This might possibly have been James and Mildred’s son. 

Mrs. Shaddix mentioned in Junior Journal page of Beaumont Journal

                In 1943 Mildred Shaddix is listed as a teacher at David Crockett Junior High School, and in 1949 she was teaching music at Dick Dowling Junior High. Jesse Shaddix apparently died about 1950; the directory for that year lists her as his widow, living at the same address.
          
          Today, 2395 North is a work in progress. The current owners, the Dickensons, have always wanted a historical house and are excited to be able to preserve a part of Beaumont history.


2390 PECOS


2390 Pecos, above

        This home, built in 1928 for Thornton H. & Mabel G. Bowers, was designed by Architect Ben Irby, who was listed in the “Builders of Beaumont” published in 1929. John E. Heartfield was the contractor, and Frank Bertschler designed the landscape. The approximately 3,000 square-foot house is a 1920s interpretation of the conventional colonial style, with hall and vestibule in the center, flanked on one side by living room and open porch, and on the other by dining room, kitchen and entry.  It was featured in “Better Homes & Gardens Magazine” in 1940.
Judge Masterson

       In 1931 the home was purchased by Robert Ernest Masterson, Attorney-at-Law, the same year he was listed in Who’s Who in Texas.  He was the son of Marshall and Sarah Masterson and married Kate Selman of Village Mills in 1905.  According to information from the Beaumont Enterprise in 1999 regarding the Oaks Historic District Homes that were to be spotlighted in “Restore America,” “Ernest Masterson was a Beaumont attorney and Jefferson County Judge for many years.”  After the death of Judge Masterson, Kate Masterson lived in the home until her death in 1976. 

       The home remained unoccupied for approximately three years and was purchased in 1979 by James Stone.  It was in need of extensive renovation but no structural changes were made to the original floor plan. 

2390 Pecos before paint removal

2390 Pecos after paint removal
       In 1981 it was purchased by the current owner, William Johnson.  He began restoration work, removing the white paint from the brick exterior walls and adding a black iron fence with brick posts.  Much of the original landscaping remains and the gardens were included in the 1993 tours sponsored by the Beaumont Garden Club.  Among the attractions in the garden is a lion’s head fountain.

Pecos Boulevard is the oldest surviving boulevard in Beaumont.










2490 PECOS

       The first residents of 2490 Pecos were Reuben G. Carlton and his wife Mary C. Carlton, in the mid-1920s. R.G. Carlton owned and managed Carlton Furniture Company at 351 Forsythe Avenue in downtown Beaumont.

A Carlton Furniture Company ad.

        This two-story Colonial style home reflected twentieth-century architectural trends away from nineteenth-century Victorian designs that featured broad front porches and verandas.

        The house was one of a number of homes built in the 1920s in the neighborhood adjacent to the new Beaumont High School campus. Pecos Boulevard, in fact, dead-ended in the center of the school grounds. The school opened in 1930 in what was then the “west end” of Beaumont to accommodate the city’s growth.

Beaumont High School, 1930.
       The Carltons occupied 2490 Pecos for many years; after Mr. Carlton’s death his widow continued to live in the house, at least until 1974.

       In 1984 Steven E. Drake is listed in the city directory as a “new householder.”

       In 1991 James W. Stone purchased the house.



2320 SOUTH STREET
THE RAYMOND A. COALE HOME

          This Tudor-style home, built in 1932 for Raymond and Ophelia Coale, is simpler in form than early and high Victorian homes, yet it shows a lingering desire for that era with its irregular outline. It suggests the historic Tudor style through the use of gables, peaks and window styles.

          The inside also gives the feeling of an English country home, with its arched doorways and windows. Mr. Coale owned a successful lumber company in Beaumont and the craftsmanship of this home is exemplified in the materials and workmanship throughout. It is so well constructed that it is possible to hang a picture anywhere, no need to find a stud; and the outside brick walls were built using cement instead of regular mortar. Some modern updates, such as central air conditioning and heating, were added in the 1950s.
          
Photo found in house of Ray Coale's daughter Carmen
       Raymond Coale, President and General Manager of Coale Lumber Company, was very active in local government , serving as a city councilman in 1930 and later elected as city commissioner in 1938. In 1934 he became a member of the city’s port commission through an assignment by city council.  Mr. Coale also served on the Chamber of Commerce Board, YMBL, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Beaumont Club.

        In 1938, Mr. Coale was elected mayor of Beaumont.  According to a letter found in the attic, which was addressed to him, the political campaign had been somewhat “heated;” and one of his adversaries wrote the letter as an explanation of his viewpoint and to offer his best wishes!  After serving one term, Raymond Coale announced his retirement from politics. Mr. Coale lived to be 100 years old.  

 
Letter to Ray Coale found in house at 2320 South
 


















2335 South Street



       This old house has been our home since 2005.  It first appears in the 1927-28 City Directory listed with owners Clarence C. and Lois Kelley.  The Kelleys occupied the house until 1961.  It sat vacant for one year, until 1963, when it was purchased by Audrey Hebert.  She lived here until 2001, at which time Jeff McManus bought the house.  Jeff rented it for a short time, remodeled it and sold the house to us.


       It is rumored that, at one time, there was a potato chip factory in the back yard!  This seems a little difficult to believe, but the garage is built with steel I-beams, and there was a concrete stairway (removed after Hurricane Rita) that led to what must have been a second floor. 


      Mr. Kelley owned a wholesale produce company, with the same address as his home, and perhaps he ran his business, not a potato chip factory, from the garage. Or perhaps he made potato chips as part of his produce business.  The only potato chip manufacturer listed in the 1927 directory is on Grand Avenue.




       We really don’t know, but we do know that today, the “factory” has been replaced with a small vegetable garden, and two of the bedrooms in the house have become art studios.  Our five-year-old granddaughter runs a “cafĂ©” in our kitchen on weekends.  Her lively play and chatter fills the house.  We enjoy living here!






14 comments:

  1. Wonderful work. This needs to continue, and would love to assist.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mr. deCordova!

      Thanks for the feedback! We would love your help. At your convenience, please get in touch with Judy Linsley, Curator of Interpretation and Education at (409) 832-1906 or jlinsley@mcfaddin-ward.org to let her know how you would like to be involved. We may do another event highlighting the research this April, and will be working to gather more information.

      Looking forward to hearing from you,

      Carol Cuccio
      Public Relations Coordinator

      Delete
  2. Hello, Mr. deCordova--
    We're delighted you're interested in our project. The research has been great fun, and we've found out all sorts of interesting things about the homes and people in this neighborhood. We're still actively seeking information about the houses that we haven't yet researched, and about the neighborhood in general. We'd love to have you join us. Contact me if you'd like to help--409-832-1906 or jlinsley@mcfaddin-ward.org.

    Thanks,

    Judy Linsley, Curator of interpretation and education

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  3. My grandfather bought the 1900 Broadway house in 1963 and sold it in the summer of 1967. The name is Delbert H Reeves. There are still living family Reeves members if you want more info regarding house.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Josette!

      Thank you for your message! We would love more information on the house! Get in contact with Judy Linsley at jlinsley@mcfaddin-ward.org or (409) 832-1906.

      Best Regards,
      Carol Cuccio
      Public Relations Coordinator
      McFaddin-Ward House Museum
      (409) 832-1906

      Delete
  4. Very Informative! This blog is great source of information which is very useful for me. Thank you very much for sharing this!

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    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your feedback, John! We are so excited about the project and look forward to the forward momentum this has inspired in historic homes research! Check out this recent gallery the Beaumont Enterprise did on the project. We are just thrilled. http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Our-Town-Neighborhood-Tour-4508414.php

    Best Regards,
    Carol Cuccio
    Public Relations Coordinator
    McFaddin-Ward House Museum
    (409) 832-1906

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love all this information thank you! In 1971 I visited Katherine Phelan Carmody (Katherine Phelan) parents home in Beaumont. We were visiting from Shreveport where we live. I was 11 years old at the time, and loved the home. Katherine was the mother of my childhood friend Caroline Carmody. At that time both of Katherine's parents were living in the home. I would guess that time Katherine was around 47 years old, and her parents were in their 60s. I cannot find any info. on her parents or the home. Katheine was one of 13 children. I am wondering if her fatherinlaw was John Henry Phelan. If you could share any info about parents and the family home, I would greatly appreciate. I think, but I am not sure, that Katherine's mothers name was also Katherine and MAYBE her father's name was Anthony. Any help you can give me I would greatly appreciate. Janie Johnson email Janiegrantfleming@yahoo.com

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  7. Does anyone know the history of Anthony "Mickey" Phelan's home on Ashley Street? He was married to Katherine Huey Phelan. I stayed in their home in the early 70s and have great memories of the family and the home. From research, it looks like the home is gone. A photo of the home would be great, in addition to why is was torn down. Thank you! Janie Johnson janiegrantfleming@yahoo.com

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  8. HI Judy, I found the Phelan House of Anthony and Katherine Huey Phelan. It is located at 2930 Ashely. Unfortunately, it looks abandoned. My memories of that home are so special. I thought I would update you. I visited Anthony and Katherine Huey Phelan with my childhood friend in 1971 when I was 11. They were her grandparents and my friend's mother was their daughter, Katherine Anne Phelan Carmody who moved to Shreveport from Beaumont when she married Thomas Carmody. When my friend visited Beaumont to visit her grandparents, she always invited me to join her. Oh the memories of that special family and beautiful home. Old Beaumont must have been very special. It now seems as if the neighborhood has fallen on bad times. A lot of people seen walking up and down the streets, abandoned homes, homes falling apart. It seems the neighborhood is not what is use to be. I understand it is due to the economy and so many born in Beaumont leaving as adults. Thank you for all your help. Please keep me posted if anyone buys the home and updates it. I doubt that will happen. I walked around the home and it is falling apart at the seams, literally. In addition, there must be around 100 cats in need of rescue. So sad...... Janie 512 736-2697

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  9. Hi, Janie--Thanks for the information! I know it made you sad to see the house that way. As with any older neighborhood, some parts of this one look better than others; the two hurricanes we endured in 2005 and 2008 didn't help! But a lot of people truly love this neighborhood and are working hard to preserve it and the beautiful homes in it. I'll certainly keep you posted if I hear anything further about the house, especially if it's good news. Thank you so much for your interest. Judy Linsley

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  10. Hey !!! Thanks for sharing very important information on this blog

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Isabella! Yes, thank you for your interest. You can elect to "join this blog" on the right panel to get updates every time something new is added. If you are in Beaumont for our next tour, we hope you'll join us! Our upcoming community picnic kicks off the event. Details may be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/518471664898419/.

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  11. Isabella--Thanks for your interest! We're trying to add more addresses, a few at a time, plus any additional information we get, so check in from time to time for new entries.

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