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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

News & Updates

I want to catch up on news-&-update items that have collected in the recent past.  The first is an identification sent from Donna Christopher Baker (DHS '63) regarding the man in the photo below.

Moses Shelton near the time of his retirement in the '60s.
She spoke with her aunt, Faye Martin Baker, who tells us his name was Moses Shelton.  Faye said he also worked for her father, Robert F. Martin, who ran the lumberyard.  Many thanks to Donna and Faye for this identification.

I got some help from Jackie James (SLHS '57).  She has told me her father is the man on the far left in this photo from 1959, showing a tour of the new Melt House.  I wondered if that was her father (not W. H. Louviere, Sr.), but I couldn't be sure without confirmation.

 L to r: Tom James, Hugh Lynn, W. O. Caraway, & George Andre touring Imperial's new Melt House in 1959.
Jackie also told me the next photo was taken at the Slot home on Dogwood back in the '60s, and that's her daughter, Lynn Elise Slot, who died just a few months after this photo was taken.

Wayne Landin (DHS '66) helped with the photo I posted of the Presbyterian fundraising committee.   That is Rev. Donald Davidson in the center and his wife hidden behind the model of a church, which Ernie Wood is handing her.  Thanks, Wayne.  (His parents are on the right.  Bob Armstrong is on the far left.)

My thanks go to Randy Trncak (DHS '65) for help in identifying more children in Stephanie Youngblood Wilson's (DHS '65) photo of her kindergarten class at Mrs. Boyer's.  Randy told me that is Martha Greenwald on the swing at the far right with Roy Cordes, Jr. (DHS '65) and Danny Hrncir second from the left.  (I think I may have misidentified Danny as Bruce Edwards, Jr. when I originally posted this.)

Last, the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation is participating in Houston's 2016 FotoFest.  They are open on Thursday and Friday afternoons, as well as Saturdays.  (Call 281-494-0261 to confirm exact times.)  They have 8 new photos illustrating Sugar Land's era as a company town.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

More People of Old Sugar Land

I got a message from Linda Cruse Wilson (DHS '65) asking if I had a photo of her sister Blanche who attended Sugar Land High School, although the Cruse family lived in Fresno.  I have a 1947 Sugar Land annual, so I told her I'd check.  

I found her in the Class of '48, so she'd have been in the junior class that year,.  I have a graduation photo for the class from the following year, but Blanche doesn't appear in it.  In fact, the '47 annual shows 17 students in the class, but 15 graduated the following year.  Maybe Blanche moved over to Missouri City High School.

There are some very familiar faces (to me) in that class.  Click the image to view the album of selected photos from the '47 Gator yearbook.  (I saw my mother in the photo of the band class at the end.)
This next item is a few more excerpts from the '61 edition of The Log, Sugar Land Junior High's yearbook. I recognize many knuckleheads in there.  Click the image to view the album.
Finally, I want to thank Bill Fisher (DHS '71) for posting this family photo on Facebook.  It shows the Frank Fisher family when they lived in Kerrville in 1960. I may be wrong about this, but I think his father was principal at Pasadena High School before coming to Dulles in the early 1960s.

Char House & Groesbeck Brick

The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation has a copy of the Texas Commercial News printed in Sugar Land on December 12, 1925.  It contains an article on the newly completed Char House, which you can view in its entirety by clicking on this link.

I have taken the following excerpt about the brick used in its construction.  

The Char House, just completed, is built of brick. One million blocks of burned clay furnished by the Groesbeck Standard Brick Company and shipped from their plant at Groesbeck, Texas; selected for their quality -- their beauty in appearance. Their color is a bright cherry red, non-scumming, very attractive, but insignificant all when compared with the actual quality of the product within itself.

The "Groesbeck" Brick is noted in Texas and over the south for its hardness of texture -- its low absorption. In meeting the tests layed down by the American Society for Testing Materials, it rated 319% higher than their requirements called for in compressive strength. 20% higher in modulus of rupture (cross bending strength) and showed to have three percent less absorption. The last figure is nine percent lower than that exacted by government architects in the erection of Federal Buildings.

The "Groesbeck" Cherry Red Face Brick is made in three styles and textures, different from the square cornered smooth texture product used in the Char House. A round edge face brick, matte face brick and a ruffmingle complete the quartet. The latter is an entirely new product introduced in the first part of this month and designed particularly for the new irregular styles in residence construction.

These four separate products, three of which are Face Brick, have grown from the reputation of the old brick manufactured at Groesbeck and sold for years in small stock quantities for lumber yards.

The present management under the leadership of A. M. Smith, for years associated with the brick industry in Texas, has within the last two years greatly enlarged the plant, modernizing it in every respect, and is now one of the leaders in the brick industry in Texas. Millions of their product are distributed annually within Texas, with large shipments into New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, in many cases where the freight is larger than the cost of the product itself.


I want to thank everyone who has sent me albums of historic photos.  I've received some extraordinarily good ones in the past month or so.  Here are three -- click the images to view the albums.

US Red Cross personnel landing at a Normandy Beach in June 1944.

Earliest known image of Abraham Lincoln.

Bat Masterson in the 1920s when he was a sportswriter for a NYC newspaper.