The Waldo Mansion - A Confederate veteran, J. P. Waldo (1839-1896) settled in Houston after the Civil War. He married Mary Virginia Gentry (1849-1922), daughter of railroad promoter Abram Gentry. Waldo soon became a prosperous railroad executive. In 1885 he built this house at the corner of Rusk and Caroline (2 mi. N). A Mansard roof and tower originally topped the mansion. Elegant millwork adorns the interior. In 1905 Waldo's son Wilmer (1876-1962) moved the house to this site, then a fashionable area on the edge of town. He rebuilt it without most of its Victorian detailing. The Waldo family lived here until 1966.
Ezekial and Mary Jane Miller House - Came to Texas about 1900 and began a successful timber business. Of Scotch-Irish descent, Miller became known as a prominent merchant and civic leader in Houston. He had this residence built in 1905 for his wife, Mary Jane, and their five children. The home is a significant example of the blending of Queen Anne and colonial revival styles by early 20th-century Houston builders. Prominent features include its corner tower and dormer window.
Harper House - Constructed in 1905 from mail-order house plans designed by Tennessee architect George Barber, this residence in the Westmoreland Historic District was first occupied by Benjamin and Bertie Harper and their two children. Ben Harper owned Union Iron Works, Inc., and was vice-president of the Harris County Bank and Trust Company. Exhibiting characteristics of a late Queen Anne design with its wrapped porch, decorative gable, projecting bays and Doric columns, the Harper House fits Barber's design No. 234, labeled "Suburban Beauty" in an 1899 issue of American Homes.
The 1905 Gilmer Cage Cohn house is a stately pillared classical revival residence that reflects a respect for antiquity.It is a well designed and early example of this style in Houston.Brian Brewster and Edna (Daffan) Gilmer were the first owners.B.B. Gilmer was the secretary-treasurer of the Standard Milling Company when he bought this lot.He organized the Southern Drug Company and became a national leader in his industry.Gilmer also made significant civic contributions, including terms as president of the Houston Chamber of Commerce and the Houston Bankers, Wholesalers, and Manufacturers Association. After a short time in the house, the Gilmers sold the property to Elliott and Roene (Masterson) Cage.Elliott was a prominent Houston attorney and proprietor of the Cage Cotton Company, while Roene was President and longtime board member of DePelchin Faith Home.By 1920, the Cages sold the house to Harry Joseph Cohn, a native of Latvia, and his wife, Etta Frieda, a native of Russia.Harry Cohn was a prosperous merchant in dry goods and furniture.The Cohn family lived in the house for 64 years. The historic property includes a large main house and a detached two-story carriage house with both structures clad in horizontal wood siding.Four monumental columns with ionic capitals dominate the house's three bay main fašade.The house shows both neo-classical and arts and crafts influence.Significant features include the main columns and inset porch, corner pilasters, low hipped roof with tympanum, window and door molding, off center entrance and elliptical second floor balcony with balustrade.
A native of Cameron, Texas, Lou Kemp had a long career as an asphalt salesman and executive of the Texas Company (Texaco), but his passionate avocation, starting in 1920, was historical research. During the extensive travel required by his work, Kemp investigated and documented the facts of early Texas history in great detail. Upon discovering that the graves of many notable Texans were unmarked or neglected, he arranged for the reinterment of more than 100 Texas heroes and statesmen in the Texas State Cemetery, where the roads were dedicated to Kemp in 1932.
Kemp became a Texas history expert, a tireless speaker, and a prolific writer of books, articles and biographies (notably The Heroes of San Jacinto and The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence). He was president of the Texas State Historical Association and an original member of the Texas State Historical Survey Committee (now Texas Historical Commission). He chaired the Advisory Board of Texas Historians for the 1936 Texas Centennial, directing placement of more than 1,100 markers, monuments, and buildings across Texas. An organizing trustee and long-time president of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association, he was instrumental in creating the San Jacinto Museum and Monument, on which is carved Kemp’s summary of the Battle of San Jacinto.
Kemp married Violet Volz in 1925, and they had three sons. He lived at 214 Westmoreland Avenue in Houston from 1919 until his death, amassing an extensive collection of books and records on Texas History. Kemp is buried in the Texas State Cemetery. Governor Price Daniel wrote, “Louis Wiltz Kemp ranks with the immortals of Texas history. To my knowledge, no other person did more during his lifetime to preserve the great heritage of Texas.”