Patricia Thompson, wife of William B. Thompson, took us on a tour of the Galveston home where her paternal grandmother, Beatrice Moser, lived during the early 1900s. Here is Patricia posing with her two daughters, Katie and Liza. Patricia, who grew up in Houston, remembers visiting the home often as a child.
The family would come to Galveston on weekends to visit relatives, go to the beach, and dine at her father’s favorite restaurant, Gaidos’, the same place where we dined on Monday night! Patricia remembers these trips fondly. Her father wouldn’t let the family leave Houston until 3 p.m. so that the children wouldn’t burn in the afternoon sun. They would go to Stewart Beach, where Patricia took her children on Tuesday afternoon.
Beatrice, whose family immigrated from Portugal, survived the Great Flood of 1900 in this house; she was in her teens at the time. Her husband-to-be made it through the calamity by going to a church and tying himself to the steeple alongside the priest, so that they wouldn’t be thrown by the wind and waves.
Beatrice attended the former Ursuline School in Galveston. It was wiped out in the flood and moved to Dallas. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Liza and Katie attend that school today.
Beatrice had an older brother whose family was less fortunate. Though the brother survived, the rest of the family did not. They were caught in the storm at the family dairy farm. The great uncle luckily was at his office downtown, on higher ground.
Beatice and her husband owned a bar. It helped that her husband’s brother, Bill, was a cop. Only one of the grandfather’s sisters married; the other were all teachers, which meant they always had jobs, even during the during the Great Depression. After their parents died, they continued to live in the the family house on Post Street. Patricia was unable to locate that house on this visit. Maybe next time.
The brother of Patricia’s grandfather, Bernard Roemer, was a priest who earned the title Monsignor.