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Sunday, May 11, 2014

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.