It was 110 years ago that things started changing fast in Sealy. It was a time of new growth, modernization and revitalization of our town and the Sealy News was where residents got all their information. I had the opportunity to ready the 1913 Sealy Newspapers in their archives the past month. Since my ‘cottage’ (as they called homes) was built in 1910 and restored to its original condition, reading them in my living room truly made me feel like I was living in that time. The following would be my story about Sealy if I had…

We haven’t seen the rates go up for our Sealy News Subscription in quite a few years. A one-year subscription is $1.50; however, we can just get six-months for 75 cents or 3 months for 40 cents. I like to read it every week for a few reasons. They are great at keeping us up to date on politics, new businesses in town, changes in businesses, city improvements, town events and (most importantly), who is visiting who! It seems like every week the Haynes, Schaers, Hackbarths and Engelkings are going out of town to visit or have guests in town!

The year started out on a sad note when we lost Mr. Daniel Haynes on February 28th. His success with the Haynes Mattress Factory really helped Sealy grow and we know his son will do a fine job with the company.

We had a good line up on our baseball team this year. Even though we had a few games cancelled due to weather or train tickets not being delivered in time, we had a winning year. Congratulations to all our boys!
Catcher G. Baade
Pitcher C. Baade
1st Base H. Kastrop
2nd Base Smith
3rd Base Delay
Short Stop Jeschke
Left Field R. Hackbarth
Center Field Hill
Right Field Hirsch

This fall, we got a new Superintendent for Sealy School District from Austin so the following is our 1913-1914 school year staff:
Mr. W. O. Jenkins – Superintendent
Miss Estell Cahn
Miss Anice Jenkins
Miss Dora Shaw
Miss Annie Schaer
Mrs W. R. Cook

My 5-room cottage sits across the street from the Sealy Opera House and there are events there nearly every week. The Leidertafel Singing Club has 27 members now and we always enjoy their performances there. 2 or 3 times a year we have a Masquerade Ball at the Opera House where we see people from Broomtown, Cat Spring, Mixville, Orange Hill, Eagle Lake and Bellville. Outside of that, there are always fabulous plays and opera’s to keep us entertained.

The Novelty Theatre is where we go to see motion picture shows. They just built a first-class facility this year by contractor Mr. C. F. Adams. It’s on Mr. W. N. Sanders lot next to the Sealy Garage on Fowlkes Street. Messrs. W. N. Sanders and Frank Krampitz spent a whole day in Houston looking at new machines before they decided on the one they wanted to purchase. They say it’s practically fire proof since the outer walls are constructed of imitation stone iron and the inner walls with steel sheeting. The picture machine booth was constructed with asbestos making it absolutely safe from any danger of fire.

Speaking of fires, we had a big one this year. The large 2-story residence near the Katy Depot was erected for Dr. Bailey nearly 30 years ago. A fire started in the kitchen and it was all the current residents could do to get out their belongings. Even though their place was a total loss, the others in the area were grateful to everyone that helped to save theirs from burning also. The one neighbors house caught fire 3 times but they were able to put it out.

It seems like everyone is either building new or re-building this year. The German Methodist Church had contractor Mr. Olof Johnson build them a new church on Meyer Street in the South-End Addition. Prior to that, they would rotate cottages to meet in.

The Sante Fe Railroad built a new Union Station in Sealy by contractor Mr. H. D. McCoy. The Passenger depot is all stucco near where it intersects with the Katy line. The new Freight Depot is at the same site as the old Passenger and Freight Depot and the added a bunk house. The total cost for all was $24,000!

The Farmers National Bank got a new building as well. The brick, one-story building is 30 X 60 feet and sits on the corner of 2nd Street and Fowlkes. Messrs. John T. Colleton and Olof Johnson were the contractors there. Even the Sealy Oil Mill enlarges their hull house so now it is double the size.

Mrs. M. Fischl sold The New Sass Hotel to Mr. & Mrs. D. C. Newbill of Alvin. Just a few months later, Mr. Newbill was at an event in San Felipe where he got into a quarrel with a few others. When it was over, he had a large cut in his back and several bruises. He was lucky to recover. Mr. T. E. Gammage sold Mistrot Bros. & Co. to Mr. J. H. Lawrence & sons from Lufkin. Mr. Gammage moved to Texas City where he could open a larger department store after doing so well here.

We lost an old landmark this year. Mr. Olof Johnson was hired to tear down the two-story frame building on Fowlkes Street north of the Post Office. Mrs. Emma Phillips wanted to erect a rent cottage in that location. She sold the lot to Mr. W. F. Meyer but retained the building. In the deal, she was to remove the old building to make room for an up-to-date brick structure to be built by Mr. Meyer. The new building will have the drug and jewelry store of W. F. Meyer & Co. It’s a shame to see it go as it was originally built in 1883 for Dr. Nat Magruder. The first floor was were Drs. Nat and Ed Magruder had their drug store and physicians office. Their sister, Mrs. Rider, and her children resided on the 2nd floor. Later, it held H. Schumacher Dry Goods, then Schier Bros. General Merchandise and W. A. Sander General Merchandise.

Mr. W. I. Hill was talking about the first building built in Sealy as he remembers it well. It was a store building for Mr. R. P. Josey on a lot on Front Street, opposite the Sante Fe Station. He helped his brother, Mr. J. H. Hill, haul the foundation blocks by wagon from Mill Creek when he was 9 years old. When they arrived with the first load, the only landmark was a big pole standing upright with an old steers head fastened to the top. The 2nd business in Sealy was built for Captain F. M. Kidd (Captain Bass) to be occupied as a saloon.

Beyond the businesses, there are a lot of people building or buying new residences! Mr. R. A. Engelking purchased the 36 acre tract of land adjoining Sealy on the southeast side to build his new home. Now there is speculation he will move the “La Belle” Broom Factory from Broomtown to Sealy. If he does this, it will make it easier to get the materials from the freight depot to the factory. The factory must be doing well since he also bought himself a new Ford Automobile in Houston!

Mr. Olof Johnson built a 10-room cottage home for Mr. Daniel Lepp on the corner of 2nd Street & Meyer Street. He used to live on Fowlkes Street adjoining his bakery building. Mr. G. R. Borgel, (cashier at Citizens State Bank) bought his old home and moved it to the South-End Addition of Sealy. That allowed Mr. Lepp to expand his bakery.

Mrs. John Schier built a 5-room cottage with two porches on the corner of 1st & Atchison Street. It is directly across the street to the east of her current house. The cashier at Farmers National Bank, Mr. E. L. Gallia, purchased Mr. H. W. Hackbarths house on the corner of 5th and Hardeman Street. Mrs. Hackbarth held a lot of social events there while they were there.

They are trying to start a “Building Lot Club” in the South-End Addition. They are held a meeting for everyone to attend outlining the details. To be a lot owner, you must be a club member and you make your first payment for only 10 cents. From there, you make weekly payments on the lot which increases by 10 cents every week until paid in full. There are 3 periods of payments; 49 weeks is the cheapest, then 55 weeks and 57 weeks. My math may not be that good, but it looks like you would end up paying $122.50, $154.00 or $165.30 respectively. I’m not sure that’s a good deal since Mr. August Goebel is selling 10 acres of improved land adjoining Sealy on the west for $2,000. It already has a good residence and out buildings on it.

Mr. Elliott E. Bailey sure made the headlines this year. As the owner of Sealy Garage, he is already well known in our town. He completed the bus he was building and put it into service in Sealy this year. It has a 40-horse motor that was completely re-built and the bus portion was built regulation style. It has a rear entrance, aisle and upholstered seats and seats 8 or more. He also brought an airship to Sealy! As an aviator, he purchased a Curtis biplane airship which he keeps at Sealy Aviation Grounds at the Price place just west of Sealy. By the end of the year, he sold his garage so he could go to selling cars and conducting exhibition flights. The Beckman Brothers own it now.

So many other new things came our way to make us a modern town. This spring, during the drought, they improved all our roads (town and rural) by raising them 1 to 3 feet to keep the rain water from flowing over them. They also have been stringing telephone lines from Sealy to all our neighboring communities. We saw poles going up all year long.

I think the biggest change was by Sealy Water Company. For years, so many would get ill from our unsanitary conditions and they promise indoor plumbing will be the solution to that. They have been advertising their services and appliances all year long, but it was Mr. F. W. Hackbarth who got others to lead by his example. He put in a septic 5 feet wide X 19 feet wide and 9 feet deep to so all buildings on his block could get appliances. By the end of the year, Sealy Water Company had extensions for water pipes for 1,500 in the northwest part of town and the High School even got a drinking fountain. In no time at all, we will be a modern, metropolitan city!