Who were the people who visited the Tower Hotel Courts in Dallas during its prime and for what purpose? I got my answer.
I was recently contacted by a stranger who has ephemera from the Tower Hotel Courts. These are items that are unique and personal to her family. I asked for permission to share the information and she agreed. I am grateful for this privilege and excited to share the stories. Enjoy!
It all started when Angelia* McDaniel came across ephemera from the Tower Hotel Courts while cleaning her parents’ home. (They passed away in 2013). Her parents, John Dennis Rush, Jr. and Letha Floyace** Grimes Rush were married on February 5, 1955 in Wichita Falls, Texas. They spent their honeymoon at the Tower Hotel Courts!
* Pronounced as Angela
**Pronounced to rhyme with Joyce
Below is a newspaper clipping with her parents’ wedding announcement. We believe it is from the Times Record News in Wichita Falls. I typed the article for ease of reading. The last line of text is highlighted for emphasis.
“Couple Wed at Base Chapel, To Establish Home Here
In a candlelight ceremony performed Feb. 5 in a chapel at Sheppard Air Force Base, Miss Letha Floyace Grimes became the bride of A/1C John D. Rush Jr.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Grimes, Temple, Okla., and the groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Rush, Philadelphia, Miss.
Major Cornelius R. Sharbaugh, chaplain, was officiant for the service. Picardy gladioli and ferns, flanked by branched candelabra formed the floral setting.
The bride wore a pastel Italian silk ballerina with matching pink accessories. She carried a nosegay of garnet rosebuds with satin showers.
Mrs. Glenn Boydstun, Comanche, Okla., as matron of honor for her niece, wore an avocada ensemble, matching accessories and a shoulder corsage of pink carnations.
Eugene Raupp was best man.
A graduate of Temple High School, the bride attended Cameron Junior College, Lawton, Okla., and is currently employed at Sheppard Air Force Base.
The groom, a graduate of Longino, Miss., High School, attended Cookville Polytechnic School at Cookville, Tenn. He entered the U. S. Air Force in 1951 and since his return from Korea, he has been located at Sheppard Air Force Base.
The couple is establishing a home at 1663 Pearl.”
Angelia found another newspaper clipping among her parents’ belongings. We believe it is from The Temple Tribune newspaper. This version has a few more descriptions. I typed up key variations below.
“The impressive ceremony was performed before a background of velvet drapes with two large arrangements of salmon pink picard gladiolus and commodore fern, with lighted candles held by branched candelabra. Nuptial music was presented by Mrs. Ella Sharbaugh, organist.
For her wedding, the bride chose a dress of soft pink pure Italian silk over pink nylon. The dress was styled with close fitting bodice and full skirt of [walking length?]. Her hat and veil were of matching pink and she carried a bouquet of garnet rosebuds with satin streamers.
She also carried out the tradition of something old, new, borrowed and blue and for luck, a penny in her shoe.
Mrs. Glenn Boydstun, Comanche, was her niece’s matron of honor. Her dress was avocado green trimmed in beige and fashioned with a high neckline and accented with a silhouette collar. She carried a bouquet of deep pink carnations and wore matching accessories.”
“After a wedding trip the couple will be at home in Wichita Falls.”
– The last line mentioned the “wedding trip”, which we know was the Tower Hotel Courts.
– Instead of listing their address the article mentions Wichita Falls.
– I had been puzzling over the first wedding announcement that mentioned the color of the matron of honor’s dress as “avocada.” The second article lists it as “avocado,” which makes more sense. There was no spellcheck at that time—but all these years later we haven’t entirely improved – now we have the hazards of autocorrect!
– I have never heard of the tradition of the penny in the shoe for luck. (I had to ask Angelia if it had been kept after all these years. Sadly, no, but the article keeps the memory going.)
– The wedding announcements are like time capsules. They include details on fashion and décor as well as background information on the couple and guests. These are useful clues that can help with further research. It is also interesting to compare and contrast with modern wedding announcements.
Angelia was able to locate letters between her mother and father before they were married. Her mother’s return address was the same address listed in the wedding announcement, 1663 Pearl. She believes her mother rented the property.
I searched the address on Google Maps. There is an empty lot where the house used to be. See the photo below courtesy of Google Maps. The shot is from June 2019.
I contacted the local government offices in Wichita Falls to find out when the home was demolished. The information they have is that it was demolished in 2003 by the property owners and the new address is 2001 Brook Ave. The new address makes sense because the lot has evidence of 3 driveways and it is on the corner of a street. See the image from Google Maps below, the view is from Brook Ave, dated June 2019.
Tip: If you are unfamiliar with the feature, Google Maps has the option to view the same location over a period of years. You can cycle through to see the changes. This is not available for every location but it is worth exploring.
I’ll be publishing the next installment of this series soon. It features some very interesting ephemera from the Tower Hotel Courts you won’t find elsewhere.