Monday, March 7, 2011

Kicking Up a Muss in the Irrepressable Melodeon

Yes, indeed, the Melodeon had a bad reputation. The saloon seems to have only been in business for less than two years, as the only period I find mention of the joint is in 1868 and early 1869. It was located on Postoffice, but I have yet to find the exact address. Does anybody know?

Reports of various "events" at the Melodeon made the newspaper police beat as early as April 11, 1868. A unnamed soldier on detachment in Galveston "was arrested and locked up in the jail last night, for kicking up a fuss at the front of the Melodeon. He was intoxicated."

A month later, on May 29th, the newspaper reported a fight at the bar: "John Rich alias Rickaby and Scottie [?] late a hotel runner, had a lively scrimmage in a box at the Melodeon last night. Rickaby was imprisoned."

On September 30th, When Alonzo Chinn and John Davis "were fined respectively $10 and $15 for kicking up a disturbance at the Melodeon last night" the editor of the paper, Willard Richardson, couldn't help but admonish them with, "Expensive fun, gentlemen."

Later that year, on November 5th, the Daily News reported on the 'Fatherly Advice' offered a unnamed miscreant, but I suspect that the young man in question was a local boy of some respectable family. The police chiefs efforts of "moral suasion" suggests to me that a sound beating was inflicted upon the pistol-packing bacchanalian.
  
"It was yesterday reported to Capt. McCormick, Chief of Police, that a certain young man drew a loaded revolver in the Melodeon on Tuesday night last. It was not seen by any of the police, and he consequently escaped arrest. Chief Mack, however, accosted the young hopeful on the street yesterday, and took it upon himself to give him some fatherly advice. Mack evidently has a high appreciation of the beneficial effects of moral suasion, and so he gave the gay and festive habitue of the Melodeon a moral lecture that we trust will sink into the soil, take root and bring forth the fruits of repentence and reformation.

"From what we can learn about the matter the lecture of Chief Mack was very complete in itself, and it is necessary for us to add to it a peroration of our own; but we improve the occasion to inform the young man referred to that he stands on dangerous ground, and that if he is found in a public place with arms on his person after what has already transpired his pockets will be made to bleed and his tarnished reputation will be further soiled and blasted by his name being published and held up to public censure and scorn."

A week later, on November the 12th, editor Richardson really tore into the Melodeon, probably after having his fill of the constant reports of pie-eyed and pugilisticly inclined patrons. Sadly, though, his post-Civil War racial bias really is rather disquieting.

"The Melodeon.—This 'free-and-easy,' on Postoffice street, is nightly the rendezvous for all the filthy, foul-tongued and hell bound negro harlots in the city, and hardly a day passes that some of these disgusting excrescences upon the body politic are now arraigned before the [court] Recorder to answer the various charges that are preferred against them.

"We presume that the Melodeon is a licensed institution, and that its proprietors have a perfect right under the law to 'run their machine' in any manner they see proper so the laws are not transgressed. But this mingling together of the white and black races on the same floor, as is nightly seen there, is too near social equality for our sanction or justification. We maintain that it should not be tolerated. Similar free shows are run and supported in other cities, but we have never before heard of negro women forming a part of the audience. We regard this portion of the arrangement as a nuisance; are we not right?"

In the next days issue, Richardson again reports the doings at the saloon in his usual succinct manner, that one H. Schulzenger was "charged with being drunk and disorderly at the Melodeon last night. The evidence was insufficient to a conviction, and the case was dismissed without cost." But, he couldn't let the dive-bar off without a darkly humorous poke; "The Melodeon rarely fails to furnish us with an item."

Richardson continues to add his feelings to the November 18th report that "John Lynn was taken to the station and required to give bond for his appearance this morning to answer the charge of kicking up a muss in the irrepressable Melodeon." The next day, Mr. Lynn was fined $5.00 and court costs.

The last report I've found on the Melodeon comes from January 19, 1869 when William McMullen was fined five dollars and court costs for being drunk and disorderly at the Melodeon. Because of the lack of further reports on this dive, I can only guess that the joint was either out-of-business, or simply plying its trade under a new name. Its location on Postoffice Street foretells the infamous brothels and barrooms that lined the street early in the next century. But its exact location is a mystery to me at this time. Perhaps a thorough search of the city directories of those years may provide the locale.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A beer-jerker at the famous Melodeon

Part of the fun in doing these write-ups is the odd bits-and-pieces of history that I stumble across while looking for something else altogether.

A case in point:

H. Barttele, accused of using insulting and abusive language to Mrs. Hyre, a beer-jerker at the famous Melodeon, (a friend at our elbow suggests "infamous," but we are opposed to calling hard names) was discharged, and the case dismissed without costs. [Galveston Daily News, November 15, 1868]

Some things never change, do they?

I did a little further research into the Melodeon, but I honestly didn't expect to find much about the saloon. To my surprise, I found that maybe the bar deserved its disreputable reputation.

It seems that earlier that year, on January 21, 1868, young Mr. James Day had committed suicide by taking morphine. Day, aged 18, was a native of Canada, and a clown and female impersonator [!!] with the Haight & Chambers' Circus. At the time of his death he was employed by the Melodeon Concert Hall in Galveston.

In March of that year it was reported that the circus stock of Haight & Chambers’ Palace Show and Menagerie was sold off by order of the Houston court. All the saddles, harness, tents, assorted livestock, and even the trick horse "Stonewall" (which brought $250) were auctioned off. All told the stock brought just over $2,400.

I have read that Galveston was used as winter quarters for travelling circuses. It could be that this circus was wintering in Houston, and ran out of funds. If anyone knows about this subject, drop me a line.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Old Red on a 1905 Victorian Postcard


Here's a nice early postcard of Old Red, also known as the University of Texas Medical College Building, with construction begun in 1890 under supervision of architect Nicholas J. Clayton. This view actually dates from before the 1900 Storm, showing the central cupola and a conical roof-cap on the visible wing, both of which were damaged in the hurricane, and removed. (See below for post-storm postcard view.)

This so-called 'Undivided Back Postcard' from 1901-1907, was postmarked June 24, 1905 in Galveston, routed through New York City, and arriving at its destination in Bergen, Norway on July 6. The card was published for Ferdinand Ohlendorf, a bookseller in Galveston, by the Tom Jones Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. Ohlendorf's bookstore, which also sold stationery, fountain pens, pencils, students note books, magazines, newspapers and of course, postcards, was located at 2015 Market Street.

Ohlendorf was born in Hanover, Germany on October 11, 1862, and died in Galveston on August 31, 1953, almost 91 years old. He married Fredirike Kobrock in Galveston on January 22, 1888. She was born in 1863, probably in Germany, and died in Galveston on November 16, 1946.


This postcard shows the Medical College after the 1900 Storm with the reconstructed roof.  The damage to the roof of Old Red allowed for the addition of sky lights, which had always been wanted for the dissection room.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gresham Mansion's Stolen Winged Lion Returned

After more than two and a half years of absence, the winged lion that was stolen from its perch at the entrance to the 1893 Bishop’s Palace at 14th Street and Broadway will soon return home. Galveston Historical Foundation announced today that the 3-foot tall, 80- pound cast zinc statue, stolen in May of 2008, has been recovered. It will be restored and remounted on its granite and sandstone pillar opposite its twin, according to Dwayne Jones, GHF Executive Director.


“We were heartbroken when the statue was discovered missing,” said Jones, “but we found a lot of support from the community and around the state in trying to locate it. Still, after a year, and then two years, without success, I frankly had lost hope of ever seeing it again.”
The statue was found and purchased by an anonymous donor who notified GHF and made it available to foundation staff, according to Jones. GHF operates the Bishop’s Palace, which is owned by the Galveston/Houston Archdiocese. “It is the most popular historic attraction in Galveston,” said Jones. “People all over really have a lot of affection for it—and for the lions that seem to guard the entrance.”
“We are delighted to have the lion back,” said Jones, “but it will take some repairs to the column and the casting itself before we can put it back where it belongs. It will be a lot more securely fastened this time. We don’t want to lose it again.”
Plans for a celebration of the statue’s return are underway, and will be announced soon, said Jones.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wilbur Alexander Cherry 1820-1873

Wilbur Alexander Cherry, early Galveston newspaper owner and editor, was born in New Haven, Oswego Co., New York on January 4, 1820 to Samuel Cherry and Abigail Delano. (Abigail Delano and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt are 3rd cousins 2 times removed.) He died on June 12, 1873 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas, and was buried there in the Old City Cemetery.


His Life and Newspaper Career

Wilbur Cherry, at the age of fifteen ran away from home, and came to Texas in 1835, settling in Liberty County. There he joined Captain Andrew Briscoe's Company of Liberty Volunteers on November 21, 1835. He participated in the Texas war of independence, and was under the command of Ben Milam at the seige of Bexar in December of 1835, along with his later partner Michael Cronican.

After the Texas Revolution Cherry joined the Army of the Republic of Texas. On December 24, 1839 he received a bounty payment of thirty dollars for enlisting as a private in Second Lt. R. W. Lee's Company F of Col. Edward Burleson's First Regiment, Infantry. He served briefly in Capt. Benjamin Y. Gillen's Company I and on May 19, 1840, transferred into Capt. Adam Clendenin's Company A at Galveston. [Thomas W. Cutrer, "CHERRY, WILBUR H.," Handbook of Texas Online]

After his military service he spent a short time in Austin working as a printer. Austin had become the capital city for the Republic in 1839, and a number of papers had been started which would have provided ample work for an itinerant pressman. With the failure of the Santa Fe Expedition in 1842, President Sam Houston, fearing a Mexican response, moved the capital back to the city of Houston. This move drove a spike through the fortunes of most all the Austin presses, forcing them to either closure or removal. Cherry most probably left Austin during this period, and relocated to Galveston by 1842 or 1843.

Back in Galveston, he met up with his old friend from the army, Michael Cronican, and together they decided to try their hand at newspaper publishing. According to Ben Stuart, the type and press for publishing the paper were rented from Samuel Bangs, who had the distinction of publishing Galveston's first newspaper, for four dollars a month.

"One historical source describes them in the terminology of the printing trade at the time, Cronican as "an expert press man" and Cherry as "an expert roller of ink on the Washington hand press.... When they took over the paper from Bangs they leased from him the press and type used to print 'The Daily Galvestonian' and 'The Daily News', and their paper came off the press as a semi-weekly. A note on the masthead declared that the paper was to be printed "as soon as possible after the arrival of the boat from New Orleans." [Galveston Daily News, February 23, 1969]

In an article from the November 28, 1961 'Galveston Daily News', the writer states that "Opinions differ as to the location of 'The News' in its early infancy. Some say that Michael Cronican and Wilbur Cherry when they took over The News were located at 68-70 Tremont between Mechanic and Strand or what would be the site of the Washington Hotel today. The other was 100-104 Tremont or the southeast corner of Tremont and Mechanic.



This drawing by Emil Bunjes gives his conception of the frame building — little more than a shack — which housed 'The News' in its infancy. It is believed George H. French published his paper, 'The Daily News,' there on April 11, 1842. It is known 'The News' was housed there a short time later when Wilbur Cherry and Michael Cronican took it over. The building stood at 68-70 Tremont or 23rd, on the east side of the street, and was rented from J. P. Davie. [Galveston Daily News, February 23, 1969]

In June 24, 1843 issue of the 'Civilian' newspaper, Hamilton Stuart reported that Michael Cronican and Wilbur Cherry "had commenced , in this city, the publication of a small semi-weekly entitled 'The News.'" This paper was the parent of the 'Galveston News,' which became the only paper from this period in Texas history to continue on into the twentieth century.

After Michael Cronican's departure from 'The News,' he "tried his hand at running a hotel between San Felipe and Houston. Then, in Nov. 1845, with John S. (Rip) Ford, a noted Texas frontier character, he purchased 'The Texas National Register,' a paper printed in Austin. Later Cronican became owner and publisher of a newspaper in San Antonio, 'The Western Texian,' which began publication in 1848. Cronican died in San Antonio during the cholera epidemic of 1849." [Galveston Daily News, February 23, 1969]

After Cherry bought out Cronican, "it was Cherry, so one historical source declares, who inserted the word "Galveston" into the name of 'The News.' [Galveston Daily News, February 23, 1969] Cherry continued in partnership with Richard Drake Sebring as his editor, and the semi-weekly became a tri-weekly. Their partnership lasted only a short while, until July of 1844, when Sebring died, probably of tuberculosis.

Cherry then brought in Benjamin F. Neal, who had been printer of a paper called the 'San Luis Advocate,' to help run the paper. Cherry gave Neal a half-interest in 'The Weekly News' in exchange for the Advocate's printing equipment. "The schooner transporting this equipment from San Luis to Galveston capsized in West Bay, and the press was dumped into the water. The press was later salvaged, cleaned up, oiled, and put to work." [Galveston Daily News, February 23, 1969]

Although 'The News' claimed to be politically independent, it was in fact staunchly anti-Houston in its editorial stand, largely in response to the Houston administration's antipathy toward the Texas Navy, whose home port was Galveston.

While Cherry was one of the leading businessmen of Galveston during the 1840's, he was "less than adept" as an editor. Impressed with Willard Richardson's editorial competence and aggressive style at the 'Texas Telegraph and Register,' Cherry and Neal offered him the post as editor at 'The News'. Richardson bought out Cherry the following year and soon developed the 'Galveston News' into Texas' leading newspaper.

I find no mention of Cherry after 1845 to early 1850. I suspect he was working for various papers as a printer, but there is an elusive note that says he dabbled in the real estate market at one point in his business career. A letter dated July of 1851 in which he discusses his land dealings in Liberty seems to verify this.

In February of 1850 Cherry joined with J. M. Gibson to publish the 'Galveston Journal' which became "the leading Whig paper in the state in 1852." [Lone Stars and State Gazettes, Marilyn McAdams Sibley] In July, 1851 Gibson sold off his share to Cherry, who kept the paper alive despite threats of foreclosure. Although he appealed to his customers to pay their bills, Cherry removed himself as publisher in June of 1853 and sold the paper to S. Carter and H. H. Smith.

Cherry later started the 'Herald' in 1857 in partnership with J. C. Hepperla, George Copeland, J. J. Dunn and A. M. Dunn. The Marshall 'Texas Republican' of May 16, 1857, reported that "printers at Galveston recently struck for New Orleans prices, and, many being unemployed, five went into business for themselves to establish the Daily and Weekly 'Herald.'" It ceased to be issued in October of the same year, "not from choice," noted the 'San Antonio Herald' of October 20, 1857, "but from necessity." Of the five printers who started the paper, only two remained. (For many years, Galveston had the reputation as being a graveyard for newspapers.)

After the failure of the 'Herald' Cherry never again started a newspaper. I can only imagine that the expenses of financing a new operation, supporting a growing family, and the onset of the Civil War gave him pause. But printers ink ran through his blood, so Wilbur never strayed far from the presses. In the 1859-1860 city directory, Wilbur is enumerated as a printer working on 23rd Street, between Avenues B and C.

In the 1866-1867 Galveston city directory he is reported as being the foreman at the "News job office." In the 1868-1869 and 1870 directories he is simply listed as "printer" at 118 Market. In 1872, the year before he died, he was working for Robert C. Clarke as a printer.

Ben C. Stuart wrote in his "History of Newspapers in Texas" that Cherry was "one of the old-time printers" who knew the trade "from the ground up" and who turned out proof so clean that it hardly required marking for errors. Appropriately, before he died he had returned to the news as a printer.

Cherry died on June 12, 1873 in Galveston. The Galveston Typographical Union met beforehand at McKenna's job office and attended the funeral. In the Galveston Daily News of Friday, June 13, 1873, Willard Richardson wrote his heartfelt (and decidedly flowery Victorian) memorial to Cherry:

Right often are we called upon to record the doings of death in the circles of our friends and of our distinguished fellow citizens. Few indeed have been his visits of the household of the News. Seldom—and thankful are we for it—has he laid his icy hand on any one of our number. But he has now come for one, and taken from among us Wilbur Cherry. As one of the News family he was the oldest—not in years, but in his connection with this journal.

In 1844 the present senior proprietor of the News became associated with Mr. Cherry as editor of the paper, and in the year following bought out his interest. Although he then ceased to be a proprietor, his connection ended not until last night, when he died. Occasionally he would accept employment and take work in other places, but he ever returned to what he considered his business home.

Wilber Cherry came to Texas as early as the year '39 [more likely 1835], and worked in Austin as a printer at the time it became the capital city. He afterward resided near Liberty, and came to Galveston in the year '43 or '44 associated himself with Mr. Michael Cronican, who was then publishing the News, and a little subsequently Mr. Willard Richardson became its writing editor.

In 1847 Mr. Cherry married Mrs. French, a widow who survives him, and is for the second time bereft. He leaves one daughter and three sons, neither of whom is married, and also a step-daughter who is married.

The toilsome life of a practical printer has in it but few events to arrest public attention. It is a daily conflict with the stern duties of life in all its relations of husband, father and citizen, employer and employee. How well Mr. Cherry discharged these varied relations, no men knew better than those whose sad duty it is to put in form the words and the types that compose this the last record of his earthly virtues. They part from their friend with that sorrow to which long companionship gives birth, and in a steadfast faith that with his errors all corrected, and his proof clean, he will rise to that life immortal which awaits all who steadily strive to do well while on earth.

To his widow and his children they render their sympathy and words of condolence — a sympathy which is heart-felt, and words which express their own deep emotions. May the sweetest mercies of Heaven rest on the wiow and the orphans of their officemate; may he hedge them round with his protecting arm, and may they always find, in every printer, a friend and a brother.
Family Life

Wilbur Cherry married Catherine Rebecca Crosby in Galveston on August 7, 1847. Catherine Crosby had previously married George H. French in Galveston on January 20, 1842. French died shortly therafter, most probably in 1843 or 1844, during a yellow fever epidemic. Catherine and George had a daughter, Josephine, born around January of 1843.


George French, along with his brother Henry, were well known in printing circles along the Texas coast. They printed, edited, or published several newspapers, usually in cooperation with the pioneer printer Samuel Bangs. Bangs had also married their sister Caroline French, who also contributed to this newspaper family by writing articles under the pen name "Cora", which was also the name of Wilbur and Catherine Cherry's first child.

Catherine was born in Sligo, Ireland sometime around 1826, and arrived in the United States the same year, according to the note in the 1900 Census. In an article in the March 15, 1888 Galveston News she was visiting her daughter Cora Currie in Abilene, Texas. It was reported that the trip was the first time since her arrival in Galveston in 1830 that she had been more than 50 miles "from the sound of the breakers on its shore." The later emigration date makes more sense.

Ben C. Stuart, writing in an article dated September 1, 1907, related that "the old Cherry homestead [was] built in the early '40s and occupied from 1842 to the present day by the venerable Mrs. Wilbur Cherry.... There is probably no other instance in Galveston where the same person has occupied the same home for a period of more than sixty-five years."

Catherine continued to reside at 1602 Church St. past the turn of the century. Catherine died at her daughter Cora's house at 1828 Avenue M in Galveston on February 15, 1908, at the age of 82. She was buried alongside her husband in the Old City Cemetery in Galveston.

Catherine and Wilbur had five children together:

1. Cora, was born July 25, 1848, and died September 6, 1912.
2. Charles Chester, was born January 12, 1851, and died April 30, 1912.
3. Edwin Dugat, was born December 6, 1853, and died November 27, 1932.
4. Wilbur Alexander, was born October 14, 1854, and died February 6, 1889.
5. William H. Sandusky Cherry, was born December 25, 1856, and died August 2, 1858.

Children of Wilbur and Catherine Cherry

Josephine French Cherry, was the daughter of Catherine and her first husband George French. She was born sometime around January of 1843 in Galveston. I haven't found out if she was legally adopted by Cherry, and in the 1860 Galveston census she was listed as J. French, so I don't know is she used French or Cherry as her maiden name throughout her life.

She married Paul Logre (or Loguery) on May 25, 1891 in Galveston. Paul Logre was born in Texas on January 1, 1836, the son of Frank Brashear Logre of France, and died February 16, 1921 in Galveston. Paul had previously married Catherine (Kitty) Conlon in Galveston on November 6, 1874. Paul and Kitty had at least two children from this marriage.

I haven't been able to find Josephine's death date, but she must have died prior to the 1910 census.

In the 1873 Galveston city directory, Paul Logre was a baggage agent at the Galveston Depot, and lived at the corner of 33rd and Market. He was listed in the 1875-76 directory as baggage master with the Galveston Houston & Henderson railroad, and resided at the corner of Avenue K and 26th. He lived at the same address in 1876-67.

In 1900 they were living at Josephine's mothers house at 1602 Church St. They had at least two children, whose names wern't listed, so perhaps they were away at school.

The Galveston census of 1910 and 1920 lists Paul Logre living at 1024 Avenue G with his daughter Lillie and her husband Maurice H. Van Liew, their daughter Hortense, and Paul's son Edward F. Logre.

Cora Cherry, was born July 25, 1848 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas, and died September 6, 1912 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas.

Cora married John Grant Currie on December 15, 1874 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. John was born on 16 Nov 1845 in Scotland. He died on November 4, 1924 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas.

1873 Galveston City Directory: J. G. Currie, with McAlpine & Baldridge at 425 Postoffice, residence at the corner of 32nd[?] and Postoffice.

1875-76 & 1876-77 Galveston City Directory: J. G. Currie, bookkeeper & cashier with McAlpine & Baldridge, residence at the corner of Avenue F (Church) and 16th Street.

On the 1910 Galveston census, the family was living at 1828 Avenue M.

Cora died September 6, 1912 at the family residence at 2963[??] Avenue O1/2 "after a lingering illness," reported the Galveston News, and had "surrounded herself with a large circle of friends." Her funeral was held, on September 7, at her home.

They had the following children:

1. John Wilbur Currie was born on July 3, 1880 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. He died on January 21, 1937 in McAllen, Hidalgo Co., Texas. He was buried in Dallas, Dallas Co., Texas. John Currie was an auditor living in Dallas, Texas.

John married Louie Salmonds.

2. Cora Cherry Currie was born on April 19, 1886 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. She died on February 13, 1967 in Houston, Harris Co., Texas. She was buried on February 16, 1967 in Old City Cemetery, Galveston, Texas.

Cora married [unnamed] Clark.

Charles Chester Cherry, was born January 12, 1851 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas, and died April 30, 1912 in San Antonio, Bexar Co., Texas.

Charles married Mary Elizabeth Lanier on November 29, 1885 in Erath Co., Texas. Mary was born about June of 1870 in Erath Co., Texas. She died after 1934 in Nocona, Montague Co., Texas.

In the 1870 Galveston city directory, C. C. Cherry is listed as a clerk for a cotton press at the corner of Mechanic and 30th. Chester is listed, in 1872, simply as a clerk., living at his parents house on Church. He next appears in the 1875-76 directory working for the Galveston City railroad and living at 21st and Avenue I. In the 1876-77 directory he is listed as a clerk living back at his mothers house on Church.

They had the following children:

1. [unknown] Cherry was born about 1887 in of Erath Co., Texas. NN died before 1900.

2. Chester Wilbur Cherry was born on July 17, 1889 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. He died on July 20, 1967 in Odessa, Extor Co., Texas. He was buried on July 22, 1967 in Sunset Memorial Garden, Odessa, Texas.

Chester married (1) Elizabeth Strong on March 12, 1911 in Austin, Travis Co., Texas. Elizabeth was born on September 24, 1887 in Ellis, Texas. She died on June 20, 1975 in Albuquerque, Bernalillo, New Mexico. She was buried on June 23, 1975 in Sunset Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Chester married (2) Kanie Virginia Carter about 1931. Kanie was born about 1902 in Comanche, Comanche Co., Texas. She died in Nocona, Texas. She was buried in Nocona, Texas.

3. John J. Cherry was born on July 17, 1891 in of Erath Co., Texas. He died on February 2, 1905 in Stephenville, Erath Co., Texas. He was buried in Lowell Cemetery, Erath Co., Texas.

4. Leslie Cherry was born before 1895 in of Erath Co., Texas. He died on February 24, 1896 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. He was buried in Old City Cemetery, Galveston, Texas.

Edwin Dugat Cherry, was born December 6, 1853 in Galveston, and died November 27, 1932 in Galveston. He was buried on February 27, 1932 in the Galveston City Cemetery. Edwin never married, and had lived at 911 Ave. E, with his brother Wilbur and his family.

Ed Cherry is listed in the 1872 Galveston city directory as a ticket clerk for the City railroad, 239 Centre (21st) at the corner of Church. He lives at his parents home on Church.

Ed was working for Brown and Lang (Henry M. Lang married Clara Gruetzmacher) in the 1873 directory. In the 1875-76 snd the 1876-77 directories he's back with the City railroad, and lives at the family home on Church.

Wilbur Alexander Cherry, was born October 14, 1854 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas, and died February 6, 1889 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas.

In the 1875-76 Galveston city directory, W. Cherry was clerking for Brown and Lang, and lives at his parents home on Church St. He is still working for the same firm, now called J. S. Brown & Co., in the 1876-77 directory.

Wilbur married Ida Mae Van Ness, daughter of William Van Ness and Kate Wiley on December 20, 1881 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. Ida was born on February 20, 1858 in Aurora, Indiana. She died on August 30, 1928 at 911 Ave. E, in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. In her obituary in the September 1, 1928 Galveston News, it was reported that she was the adopted daughter of Judge Sanford Mason. Funeral services were held at the family residence at 911 Postoffice Street and she was buried at Galveston Memorial Park.

Wilbur and Ida had the following children:

1. Ida Mae Cherry was born on January 10, 1883 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. She died on October 12, 1976 at 911 Ave. E, in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. She was a bank clerk. She never married.

2. Alice Jeanette Cherry was born in June of 1885 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. She died on November 9, 1971 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. She never married.

3. Sanford Mason Cherry was born in of June 1885 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. He died on December 4, 1946 in Beaumont, Jefferson Co., Texas.

4. Wilbur Alexander Cherry was born on November 18, 1887 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. He died on September 15, 1976 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas.

5. Mildred Edith Cherry was born on November 18, 1887 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. She died on September 15, 1976 at 911 Ave. E, in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. She was a retired lab technician.

William H. Sandusky Cherry, was born December 25, 1856 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas, and died August 2, 1858 in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas.

He was named for a noted cartographer who had died almost ten years previously. He published his "Plan of the City of Galveston Texas" in 1845. I haven't found a relationship between these families, as yet.

William H. Sandusky, draftsman and surveyor, was born on January 29, 1813, in Columbus, Ohio, the son of John and Elizabeth (Clarno) Sandusky. At an early age he moved to Pekin, Illinois. In 1838 he established himself in Austin, Texas, as an artist and draftsman. He assisted in surveying the town and making a map of it. He served the state as a surveyor and later as registrar of the General Land Office. In 1840 he was appointed secretary to President Mirabeau B. Lamar; a year later he resigned for health reasons. On May 11, 1841, he was appointed draftsman for the coastal survey of Texas under Edwin Ward Moore. Sandusky married Jane McKnight, and the couple lived in Galveston, where he advertised as a maker of maps, charts, landscapes, and plans of cities and towns. He worked in Galveston until his death on January 18, 1847. Though reflecting limited skill, his sketches of the city of Austin add important material to the early historical record of the city. --Pauline A. Pinckney, "SANDUSKY, WILLIAM H.," Handbook of Texas Online.

The Wilbur Cherry House, 1602 Church Street

The Wilbur Cherry House, 1602 Church Street


Sometime between 1852-54, Wilbur Cherry built his Greek Revival house at 1602 Church Street and lived in it for an unknown length of time, probably until his death in 1873. No architect has been assigned this house, and one speculation is that Cherry himself designed the residence. In an interview in the August 10, 1967 Galveston News, Miss Alice Cherry stated that she remembered her grandmother Catherine Cherry "saying the lumber was bought from Mobile, Ala. It had low ceilings. The Yankees didn't build high ceilings," she chuckled.

On November 13, 1885 a disasterous fire erupted at the Vulcan Foundry on Ave. A between 16th and 17th streets, and swept through the area of the city in which the house is located, consuming some forty blocks. This house was one of the few that were not burned.

Miss Alice Cherry related that "grandma" Catherine "didn't have a speck of insurance. She kept saying that if the house only survived that fire, she would get fire insurance the next day. Well, the house was spared and she had to get insurance. But, you know, she never needed it afterwards.

This house represents the typical less-pretentious Greek Revival residence of the early days of Galveston. The simple lines of the house exhibit no applied or meaningless decorations. Anne Brindley noted in her book "Historic Galveston Homes" that the house was "built for comfort and not for show."

It is a two story frame building with the typical central hall flanked on each side by one room. A double gallery extends across the front and is supported by square wood pillars. The roof is gabled and exterior chimneys, removed sometime after 1967, were located at each end gable.

Several additions have been added to the rear. The largest is a one room, two-story addition at the northeast corner of the house. All additions appear to be much later than the house.

In 1967, the Cherry House was one of 25 Galveston structures singled out for study for the Historic American Buildings Survey by John C. Garner, Jr. The following description comes from his inventory. My comments are in brackets.

The overall dimensions of the house measures, before the later additions, 20' x 36', including the 5' deep gallery. Erected on brick pier foundations, the building is a heavy braced-framed structure with weatherboard siding, which was covered by aluminum siding [before 1967, and since removed].

A three bay double gallery extends across the front facade. It is supported by square pillars having simple antae moldings for capitals. A wood railing encloses the porch. Access to the porch is by a set of wooden steps in the central bay.

The entrance doorway is typical of this style, having glass transom and side-lights. All the windows are six-over-six light double-hung wood sash. The roof is a simple gable with a characteristic classical molded cornice makes a return at each end.

The original house consisted of a central stair-hall flanked by a parlor at each side. In later years other additions have been added at the rear. Located on the west wall of the hall, the stairway is a quarter-turn stair with winders and has a heavy but simple newel post and railing. [This staircase is still in its original location.]

All floors are wood and appear to be modern. [Since Hurricane Ike of 2008, the floors were covered in oak laminate flooring.] Ceilings have modern fiber tiles. [Since replaced by sheetrock.]

Typical molded four panel wood doors. [Interior doors have all been replaced, at least on the first floor. The front door may be original, though with the large pane of glass replaced with plastic.]

Some original pintel [sic] hinges and rim locks of the period are extant. [I have seen no pintle hinges, and while the front door is certainly old and may be original, it's locks are much later.]

Typical wood molded trim around doors and windows. [All replaced since Ike, at least on the first floor.] Fireplaces covered. [Removed since 1967.]

The house was sold off after the death of Catherine Cherry in 1908. The first owner of the house after the Cherry's was Ernest F. Schmidt, who remodeled it into apartments. The house had to have been virtually gutted adding bathrooms and kitchens for four apartments. The owner of the house in 1967 was Mrs. Beatrice C. Gutierrez. She said she bought it through a realtor "about 10 years ago."

Sometime after the 1967 inventory the fireplaces were removed. Repairs made after Hurricane Ike also caused a further loss of original interior features, especially on the first floor. In August of 1979, the house was listed for sale for $38,750.00. In June of 1985, it was again offered for sale, but there was no posted price this time.

At the rear of the property, along the alley, is a large wood house that was originally located on the St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica property at 20th and Church streets. After completion of the new rectory in 1907 Catherine Cherry paid $100 for the building and spent $250 to move it to her property.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Day - Galveston - 1894

THANKSGIVING DAY.

How It Will Be Observed in Galveston--The Church Services.

EVERYBODY WILL EAT PIE

Orphan Children Made Happy—Needs of the Old Woman's Home—Hospital Patients Will Feast.
Poor gobble-gobble! No longer will he strut in the barnyard singing his monotonous chant. Stripped of his feathers, he lies stuffed in the hot oven of nearly every kitchen in the land, a savory sacrifice to a thanksgiving nation. And the rest of the feast. What boy grown to manhood's estate does not remember the turkey, the chicken, the gravy and cranberry sauce, the celery and olives, the wealth of vegetables, ending with plum pudding, mince and pumpkin pie, fruit, nuts and raisins? And then the dreams that came in the silent watches of the night!

There are those who have not the advantages of the home feast, and it was among the different benevolent institutions that a News reporter strolled yesterday afternoon and evening.

HOME FOR HOMELESS CHILDREN.

All afternoon wagons and carriages had driven up to the entrance of the home for homeless children on Twenty-ninth and Winnie, leaving good things more than enough for to-day's feast. At the particular moment the visitor from The News approached a clatter of children's voices rent the air. Mrs. Dart had just driven up in a carriage filled with as many little presents as ever Santa Claus loaded in his sleigh on the eve before Christmas. There were dollies, big and little, hoops, jumping jacks, picture books and toys of all kinds, which she passed out to the bright-eyed, excited children who clambered around her carriage. A few feet away the second wagon load of presents from the children of the Third district school at Thirty-first street and avenue L was being unloaded. The two big boys who brought the load had no need for assistants to carry the goods into the house. Everyone, from little tots 3 years old up, wanted to carry something in. The scene reminded this visitor of a lot of Palmer Cox's Brownies attacking a grocery wagon. They were in and under and all around the wagon, and it was fortunate that the horse was a gentle animal, or some of the little Brownies would have been trampled upon.

The two wagon loads contributed by the scholars of this school consisted of two or three hundred cans of vegetables, fruit and sardines, and four sacks of flour, potatoes, coffee, apples, sugar, oranges, grapes. The canned fruit came in like pickle casters at a wedding. The school at Thirty-fifth street and avenue P 1/2 added to the canned assortment. The Bath avenue school sent vegetables and fruit. Miss Warner's kindergarten sent donations of eatables. Some big-hearted unknown sent up a a dozen turkeys. The Farris club sent in $20 in cash. There were other gifts, so many that all can not be enumerated.

The dinner, which will be served to the twenty-five little folks about 2 o'clock today, will be prepared by the ladies of the society. The matron, Mrs. Anna Hughes, will have the virtues of her medicine chest tested to-morrow, from all appearances.

PROTESTANT OHPHANS' HOME.

All was expectancy about the Protestant orphans' home when a News reporter peeped into that model of neatness yesterday. The different churches of the city take turs in preparing the Thanksgiving dinner, and this year the ladies of the synagogue will perform that duly. All that the matron, Mrs. Christie, will have to do will be to make the oyster soup. This is the one day in the year on which the children get oyster soup. The dinner will consist of turkey and cranberry sauce, ham, vegetables, cake, etc. The ladies will wait upon the children themselves. There are thirty-six children in the home at present, ranging from 2 to 16 years of age. Mrs. Chrlstie only has one assistant, each child doing some work. Even 4-year-olds are taught to make their own beds.

OLD WOMAN'S HOME.

When the reporter visited Miss Gray, matron of the old woman's home, yesterday at noon, the prospects were not so bright for a big feast as at the two homes for children. There are eight old women at the home, one of whom is 87 and two 78 years of age. The building is small and ten people would crowd the place. Ten or twelve applicants are unable to obtain admission. The late Henry Rosenberg left $30,000 for this home, but it is only available for building, and the association, of which Mrs. Geo. P. Finlay is president, is suffering for cash. Of the eight occupants one, widow of a soldier in the Mexican war, is able to pay $5 of her pension each month. Another is paid for by the Presbyterian church society. The other six are entirely dependent upon charity. A little while ago the cook had to be dispensed with for want of funds and an old lady on crutches does the cooking. A citizen writes to The News about the home as follows:

"I fear that the citizens are not aware of the needs of the old woman's association. Their finances are running very low, and without assistance they will have to give up, which would be a shame. The old women have to do the work, and are all sorely afflicted. Three use canes; one can't walk at all, one is on crutches and others are crippled or suffering with chronic diseases. I was there the other day and actually saw the one on crutches cooking. She was thankful that she was able to do something to show her gratitude. Now if some one would donate so much a year so that the ladies could hire a woman to do all the work it would be a deed of charity. I understand that the population of this city is 45,000. In such a city is it possible that the moneyed men are not going to help the ladies? I care not what business they follow or what denomination of the Christian religion they belong to. I beseech them to deal out their charity lavishly on Thanksgiving day to the old woman's home at 3027 avenue L, corner of Thirty-first and avenue L. Let this be a thanksgiving long to be remembered, even long after every present member has passed to the great beyond. Don't forget that we all are growing old and that the wheel of fortune turns, and some day, when forsaken by sons and daughters, your mothers may be knocking at the old woman's home for admittance. God forbid it is my prayer."

ST. MARY'S INFIRMARY.

An extra dinner will be served to the patients in St. Mary's Infirmary this noon by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, consisting of turkey and dressing, light pudding, nice soups and the like. There are 105 patients in the hospital, in every stage of illness from nearly every complaint except contagious diseases. Ninety of these are pay patients and fifteen charity patients. The patients for whom the sisters receive a remuneration are marine, county and Santa Fe railroad patients and some twenty-five who are paying individually for the most excellent service they receive. Five or six of the patients are there from old age and expect to remain there until death carries them away.

The News reporter was shown over the hospital by a sister. Everything was spotlessly clean and the different wards showed much attention upon the part of the thirty-five sisters at present in the mother house.

THE SEALY HOSPITAL.

Dr. Gammon, superintendent of the Sealy hospital, was engaged in the rather peculiar occupation of slicing a cat's tail when the reporter called upon him in the laboratory of the medical college yesterday. The cat was dead and the slicing was done in the interest of science, not for a Thanksgiving dinner for the hospital patients. The doctor said that there were ninety-eight patients in the Sealy hospital just at present and they certainly would have a little turkey and cranberry sauce. There are three kinds of diet in the Sealy. Those who have a good, hard working stomach and digestive organs were on house diet and could eat anything from beef broth to a keg of nails. Another class were on soft diet and had to be looked after. The third class were on milk diet, and even pictures of turkeys had to be turned to the wall in their apartments.

CHURCH SERVICES.

Union Thanksgiving services will be held in the First Presbyterian church this morning, beginning at 11 o'clock. Rev. J. W. Lowber will preach the sermon. Other resident clergymen will participate in the services.
Thanksgiving service will be held at Grace church at 11 a. m. According to custom the thank offerings will be distributed between the homes for old women, orphans and homeless children. The pastor requests all his people and all who would like to contribute to send their offerings to the church before 10 o'clock.
Thanksgiving services todasy at the Mount Olive Baptist church on Thirty-sixth and avenue I [Sealy Avenue]. Thanksgiving sermon at 3.30 p. m. by the pastor, Rev. E. M. Wright. At 8 p. m. sermon by Rev R. M. Floyd, D. D., of San Antonio, superintendent of missions for the Baptist general convention, colored, of Texas, assisted by Rev. M. E. Terrell of this city.

WILL CLOSE TO-DAY.

The following petition was circulated and signed by those whose names are attached:
Galveston, Tex., Nov. 28.—Thursday, November 29. Thanksgiving day, being a legal holiday, we, the undersigned, agree to close our respective places of business at 12 o'clock m. on that day.
Marx & Blum.
Leon & H. Blum.
J. Rosentfield & Co.
The Galveston dry goods company.
Mayer, Kahn & Freiberg.
Ulhmann, Lewis & Co.
P. J. Willis & Bro.
R. B. Hawley & Co.
Gus Lewy & Co.
J. S. Brown hardware company
Mensing Bros. & Co.
Focke, Wilkens & Lange
Penland & Breath.
Jake Davis & Co.
Gust Heye & Co.
Sass & Cohen.
J. F. Smith & Bro.


All the bnnks in the city will close to-day.
There will be no school to-day. School to-morrow as usual.
The criminal district and the recorder's courts will not sit to-day.
All the local insurance agents will close their offices to-day.
Yesterday Mayor Fly gave orders to Chief of Police Lordan to liberate the eight city prisoners in the county Jail, that they might properly give thanks.


--Article from the Galveston Daily News, Thursday, November 29, 1894