THE CITY OF HOUSON, TEXA 49
of houses erected in Houston, but they were all
wooden structures or primitive log cabins Not until
nine years after the town was established was there
a brick building put up. During the year 1845 Mr.
Cornelius Ennis and General E. B. Nichols erected
two brick buildings on the east side of Main street,
between Congress and Commerce avenues. One was
where the Western Union Telegraph Office now is
and the other was where the Converse building is
Seven years later, in 1852, Mr. Paul Bremond
erected a brick building and the next year Mr. B.
A. Shepherd erected his bank building on the corner
of Main and Congress, across the street from the
present magnificent Union Bank building.
All these first brick buildings were small twostory
affairs, and as small as they were they seem
to have been ahead of the time for in most of them
the second stories were used only as lumber rooms.
On March 10, 1859, the first note of Houston's
real progress was sounded by the fire bell. At the
time it was regarded as a great disaster, and from a
money point of view it was something of the kind,
since the loss was placed at about $800,000, with
little or no insurance. A great fire broke out at midnight
on the corner of Main and Congress and
raged for eight hours. All the block on the west
side of Main between Preston and Congress was
destroyed and half of the block on the opposite side
of Main was also consumed. These houses were
Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/. Accessed December 4, 2013.