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Monday, May 19, 2014

More People of Old Sugar Land

Sugar Land Volunteer Fire Department in 1948.

L-to-R: Willie Reese, Jim Nation, & John Cooper at 1949 Imperial Awards Banquet.

1958 Imperial Awards Banquet at Lakeview campus cafeteria.

1962 Imperial Awards Banquet at Lakeview campus cafeteria.

Imperial union negotiations in 1963.

Oates Carroway, Imperial Purchasing Director, with my father (C. E. Kelly, Jr.) on the right and Julius Jochec on the left.

Can anyone guess the identity of these people?  (The baby is now a grandmother.)

September 1964.  (Lum Harris was a resident of Sugar Land, Texas.)

John Binford on the left and my grandfather (C. E. Kelly, Sr.) on the right.  They were both refinery gatemen in 1962.

Another Sugar Land baseball team in 1919.

Otis Enquist, the man to call if you needed some repair work on you company house.

W. H. Louviere, Sr. with Governor Price Daniel circa 1960 as they celebrate Imperial's 15 billionth pound of sugar.

Earl Tise, Sr. in the late 1950s

More Images of Old Sugar Land

The first 3 photos come from an anonymous donor.  I will give these photos to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation on his behalf.  (Thanks for the kind donation.)

Coca-Cola bottlers enjoy a customer-appreciation event at Imperial Sugar in the late 1920s.

I'm not certain I've seen these aerial photos before.  They give a good view of the area around the Char House in the mid 1930s.

Downtown Sugar Land mid 1930s.

Another aerial of downtown Sugar Land in the mid 1930s.

I've blown up a couple of areas to show some detail.  This first one shows a good portion of the town's commercial district.  Note the building on the far left.  It housed the town's bakery, cafe, and barber shop. Also notice the flower arrangements in the esplanade.  The one on the left says, 'Sugar Land, Texas.'  I think the one on the right is the logo for the Southern Pacific Railroad.  My mother has told me that the depot manager, Mr. Bagesse, tended these civic flower beds and kept them looking beautiful.

This next blow-up shows the area where the fire house was located.  It's the building with the square facade on the second floor.  The building to the right looks like a large garage, which is what it was.  Imperial and the Sugarland Industries probably maintained their vehicles there at the time these photos were taken.  Eventually, the volunteer fire department kept it's vehicles there.  You can see a billboard in front of the garage.  I have the artwork for its design.  Unfortunately, I don't have it available, but it's a black background with text saying 'Imperial Sugar' and a cotton sack of sugar on the right.

Cotton sacks of sugar, 1930s(?)
Raw Sugar Warehouse, late 1950s

Automated Distribution Warehouse under construction in late 1960s.

A History of Sugarland Industries - Part 9: Oil

Bob Armstrong says in his book, Sugar Land, Texas and The Imperial Sugar Company, that W. T. Eldridge, Sr., Stanley Kempner, and other associates leased (for 3 years) the rights to drill for oil on Sugarland Industries property in the early 1920s.  Armstrong says they never found oil, but I'm almost certain there were wells on the east side of the Brazos River below Sugar Land.  Maybe they weren't on Industries land.  I hope to find more on this story.

Regardless, the following newspaper articles announced drilling projects in the early 1920s.  

On a lighter note, and probably more appealing to local residents, Sugar Land got an ice cream-making plant.  Obviously, it didn't rival Blue Bell.

Belknap Realty Brochure

I posted the aerial photograph from this brochure a while ago, but an anonymous donor has given me an original print, so I thought I'd post the complete brochure and the new photos.  (They are great photos, so thanks very much to the anonymous donor.)

There are a couple of clues which lead me to thinking these photos were taken in 1967.  There's no date on the brochure, so that's the best I can do.  Click on the image to view Belknap Realty's brochure, touting the quality of life in Sugar Land.
Here are three aerial photos taken for the brochure, the last two weren't used.

This photo was cropped and used in the brochure.
These next photos were taken at higher elevations and not used in the brochure.  They give a good view of the area east and northeast of Sugar Land.  Nothing but vacant land, or farm land sits on the west side of the Freeway in Stafford.  Also note the Southwest Freeway ends at Sugar Creek Boulevard.  It wouldn't reach the Brazos River until the mid-to-late 1970s.

Union Pacific Is Restoring A 'Big Boy' Locomotive

Thanks once again to Richard Bunting (DHS '67) for sending me an interesting transportation-related email message.  The topic this time is Union Pacific's project to restore one of the biggest steam locomotives ever built.  Click here to view the article, which includes a short video of the locomotive as it's being towed to a workshop in Wyoming.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A History of Sugarland Industries - Part 8: Before The Beginning

I've noted before that the Sugarland Industries were incorporated in 1919.  The document below, which I found in an old scrapbook, is the very brief minutes of an Imperial Sugar Company board meeting, convened in Sugar Land on September 17, 1909.

Although the Industries is not mentioned by name in the minutes, the subsidiaries are covered in discussion.  The minutes say Imperial Sugar and the other 5 companies (the core of Sugarland Industries) will pay W. T. Eldridge, Sr. $12,000 per year.  He will also receive 5% of the net corporate profits, AND living expenses including a residence.  (Click here for a photo of the house.)

It all sounds very informal.  A handful of men met in Eldridge's office, ran through the election of officers quickly (because they had decided all that long before the meeting), and then had a quick vote on points of discussion before adjourning.

I know from other documents filed in the 1920s that Eldridge's compensation package didn't change much over the years.  That part of the board's business was probably 'rubber-stamped' in the annual meetings.

Also note that I. H. Kempner, Sr. was not Imperial's president.  His younger brother Dan served as president during the early years.  I. H., Sr. became president a few years later when the family decided Dan should oversee other interests in Galveston.

Notice the minutes mention Jonathan Lane.  He and Eldridge became business associates back when Eldridge was creating his empire in Eagle Lake.  Lane is an interesting man in his own right.  Here's a photo and short bio I found in a Houston business directory published in 1915.

Juneteenth To Receive Texas Historical Marker

I received a press release from the Texas Historical Commission announcing a new state historical marker in Galveston commemorating Juneteenth.  Click here for more information.

A Stainless Steel 1936 Ford Sedan

[I think most people missed this post because of the peculiarities of Google Blogger, so I'm posting it again.]
Thank you, Richard Bunting (DHS '67), for sending me these photos of an unusual 1936 Ford Sedan.  I especially wanted to show the interior shots because they depict the simplicity of most old cars.  (Of course, pictures of the engine indicate a further area of simplicity unheard of in contemporary cars.) I've included some text describing this relic.

In 1935, officials at Allegheny Ludlum Steel Division and the Ford Motor Company collaborated on an experiment that would become a legacy and a tribute to one of the most dynamic metals ever developed. Allegheny Ludlum, a pioneer producer of stainless steel, proposed the idea of creating a stainless steel car to Ford.  The idea took shape in the form of a 1936 Deluxe Sedan.

That car became the centerpiece of a campaign to expose the public to the new metal and its many uses.

This is the 1936 Ford Tudor Sedan built for and owned by Allegheny Ludlum Steel. This is 1 of only 4 in existence and is the only one currently in running & in road worthy condition.
The jaw-dropping beauty offered here is one of that tiny production run, recently restored by Lon Kruger, one of the world’s best restorers. The car utilizes the standard 221/85 HP flathead mated to a 3-speed manual and working Columbia overdrive, and has been driven just 18 miles since its restoration.

The only privately owned example, it won 2 trophies at the Early V8 Club Auburn 2009 event, 1st Place at the 2009 Hershey AACA event and was nominated for the 2009 AACA Car of the Year.

The car is in exceptional condition, with the interior and even the frame looking great. All 4 cars each had over 200,000 miles on them before they removed them from service.
These cars were built for Allegheny as promotional and marketing projects. The top salesmen each year were given the honor of driving them for one year. The V-8 engine (max 85 hp) ran like a sewing machine and was surprisingly smooth and quiet.

I thought this was a much better looking automobile than the Ford Thunderbird that visited us last year.

FYI, the car was insured (we were told) for the trip to Louisville via covered trailer for $1.5 million.


We were also told that the dies were ruined by stamping the stainless car parts, making these the last of these cars ever produced.

Here's a photo of a standard 1936 2-door Ford Sedan.

More People of Old Sugar Land: W. T. Eldridge, Sr. & Laura Steinman

I found the following short article in a copy of the local Sugar Land weekly, the Texas Industrial News, dated August 1919.  (Actually, it's a reprint of one which in The Houston Post.)  It is very understated considering he's a co-owner of the town and its sole business, plus he's roughly twice as old as his bride.  (He was 54, and she was in her early 20s.)  Just a few paragraphs was sufficient coverage, I guess.

The image is difficult to read, so I've transcribed it below.

Wedding of Interest

A wedding of interest to many friends was that of W. T. Eldridge, Sr., of Sugar Land, and Miss Laura Steinman, which occurred at 10 o'clock Wednesday morning at the residence of the officiating minister, Rev. Thomas C. Johnston, in the presence of members of the immediate families.  The bride, a former student of Schulenburg, associated for the past few months with The Sugarland Industries, is a young woman of great personal charm and is a popular member of the younger set of Sugar Land.  She wore her traveling suit of dark blue.

The groom is a prominent citizen of Sugar Land, for a number of years owner of large interests in that city, where he has given his time recently to the management of the Sugar Land Railway, of which (he) is president.

Mr. and Mrs. Eldridge left after the ceremony for a trip through the North and West, Chicago, Yellowstone Park and the Grand Canyon being some of the points to be visited. -- Houston Post

Their marriage was brief and ended tragically.  A few months after their wedding they traveled to New York City where Laura became ill and suddenly died.  Eldridge was moved to create the Laura Eldridge Memorial Hospital Association, which endowed medical care for Imperial and Sugarland Industries employees and built two hospitals.

I don't have a photo of Mrs. Eldridge, but here's a photo of Mr. Eldridge taken a few years before the marriage.
I've posted numerous photographs of their home.  It was the Ellis Plantation home which was moved into Sugar Land in 1908, and eventually demolished in 1963.  I've posted the photo below because it shows the home before it was moved next to the Char House.  Notice the Imperial offices do not appear to the left of the house.  I believe this picture was taken when the home sat out at the Imperial Sugar Mill, on the south bank of Oyster Creek across from today's Constellation Park.

More People of Old Sugar Land: Carlos Alva Slaughter, M.D.

Sugar Land's early doctors had rather peculiar names.  The previous blog post mentioned Doctor Deatherage, who was actually the first physician in town.  This time we revisit Dr. Carlos Alva Slaughter.  [Thanks again to Janice Hrncir, who recently donated items to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation which her mother, Iris Hrncir, inherited from Dr. Slaughter.  Mrs. Hrncir was Dr. Slaughter's long-time assistant at the old Sugar Land clinic.]

I think many of us never thought much about Dr. Slaughter's surname unless an outsider pointed out the irony.  Dr. Slaughter was just Dr. Slaughter to most of us.  I'll bet I wasn't the only local who never thought of him as a young man.  Well, here he is as a boy and young man.

He attended Austin College although he graduated as a pre-med student from UT in Austin (I think).  You see the cover of the 1919 Austin College yearbook and his picture (highlighted in red) in the freshman class.

I'm having a little trouble determining his birth date, but I think he's a 16-year old freshman.  I've heard he finished high school early and enter college early, too.

This next document indicates he took classes at East Texas State in Commerce, Texas during the summer of 1922.  I presume he took summer courses, so he could graduate early.  He did well in a couple of education courses, a history course, and what appears to be a social science course.

Here are a couple of photos of him as a college student.  I found some info suggesting he graduated from UT in 1925, and I assume that's when he got his bachelor's degree.  If that's true, then the photo of him in cap and gown should appear in the Longhorn yearbook.

Finally, here's certificate of appreciation he received for serving on the Fort Bend County draft board during WWII.  (Note FDR's signature.)

Photos from the 1971 Viking Yearbook Part 3

Here's the final batch of images from the 1971 Dulles High Viking.  There are some memorable people and iconic items in these photos - in my opinion.  Thank you Betty Ann Jenkins Williams (DHS '71) for letting me scan Denise's yearbook. Click on the photo to view the album.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The DHS Class of '74 Celebrates Their 40th Anniversary

The 1974 Class of Dulles High School is celebrating their 40th anniversary reunion on July 26th at the Swinging Door.  I don't think it's too late to join the fun.  Click this link for more informationHere's their Facebook page if you prefer to contact them there

And, here are a few photos to ponder.  I hope to have more before the big do in July.