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Thomas W. House
Birth: Mar. 4, 1814
Stoke St Gregory
Taunton Deane Borough
Somerset, England
Death: Jan. 17, 1880
San Antonio
Bexar County
Texas, USA

Houston Mayor. He was born in the village of Stoke St. Gregory, Somersethire, England. He immigrated to America, landing in New York in 1835 where he earned his living as a baker. The next year, he moved to New Orleans to take charge of the bakery at the St. Charles Hotel. In 1838, he established the firm of House and Loveridge in Houston. In 1840 he began accepting bank deposits, the beginning of The House Bank. He produced and sold the first ice cream in Houston, restricting his confections to one side of the store and placed dry good on the other side. In 1853, he paid $40,000 for the large jobbing business of "James H. Stevens and Company", which was the largest sum of money to change hands in Houston up to that time. He changed the name to "T. W. House and Company" and was the largest wholesale in the state; accepting cotton in payment for goods and setting up cotton factoring as a separate department. In 1851 House helped organize the Houston and Galveston Navigation Company "to navigate steamboats between Houston and Galveston and on other streams tributary to Galveston Bay," carrying passengers, freight, and United States mail. He also worked with the Texas Transportation Company, the Houston Direct Navigation Company, and the Buffalo Bayou Ship Channel Company, all of which contributed to the development of Houston.. He was active in organizing the first street railway, the Board of Trade and Cotton Exchange, and the Houston and Texas Central and other railroads. On the organization of Protection Fire Company, in 1848, he became a member and remained one as long as he lived. In 1857, and again in 1861, he was chosen a member of the Board of Aldermen of the city, and served two terms of two years each. In 1862 he was elected Mayor and held this office one term. In 1866 he organized the city's first public utility, the Houston Gas Company. The general public was indifferent to this; however, hotels and other public places were the first to install gas, then private homes accepted the innovation, and finally gas street lights appeared. It is difficult to overestimate House's share in the building of Houston. He was a charter member of the Ship Channel Company, and was always a stanch friend of that enterprise. House died in San Antonio, where he had gone for medical attention and his will directed that for five years his estate should be held together and his banking and mercantile business should be carried on in his name. (bio by: H M G) 
Family links: 
  Mary Elizabeth Shearn House (1822 - 1870)*
  Mary Elizabeth House Caldwell (1841 - 1885)*
  Charles J. House (1844 - 1850)*
  Thomas William House (1847 - 1923)*
  John Henry Bower House (1848 - 1905)*
  Charles Shearn House (1849 - 1896)*
  Jimmie House (1852 - 1868)*
  George R. House (1855 - 1876)*
  Edward Mandell House (1858 - 1938)*
*Calculated relationship
Glenwood Cemetery
Harris County
Texas, USA
Plot: Sect. C-4, Lot 153
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: K
Record added: Mar 06, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8477706
Thomas W. House
Added by: Marianne Gilbert
Thomas W. House
Added by: Julie Karen Hancock (Cooper) Jackson
Thomas W. House
Added by: Julie Karen Hancock (Cooper) Jackson
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Thomas William House
- Jonathan Robert De Mallie, Historian
 Added: Jun. 20, 2015

- R I P
 Added: Jan. 17, 2015

- Suzy E.
 Added: Nov. 12, 2014
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