Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Kin to a Corpus Christi Mayor!

A. Albert & Annie Wolfe Lichtenstein, 1939
Annie Carol Wolfe Lichtenstein (1911-2002), is the daughter of Abram Cecil Wolfe (1883-1952), my mother's great uncle and younger brother of my great-grandfather, Louis Henry Wolfe (1872-1929).  Annie is a first cousin to my grandmother, Sara Melzina Wolfe Guokas Archibald (1908-1997).

Annie was born in Nueces County, Texas, and grew up in Corpus Christi.  She married Abraham Albert Lichtenstein Jr. also of Corpus Christi, in August 1939. "A. Albert" was vice-president of M. Lichtenstein and Sons, the department store established by his grandfather, Moritz Lichtenstein (1835-1904), in 1874.  His older brother Morris L. Lichtenstein (1901-1970) was president.  More about the store in a future post.

From 1940 to at least 1944, Albert and Annie were living at 810 S. Carancahua,  This home was still standing when I last visited Corpus Christi in May 2006.  It was easy to find, because of the stone pictured at left, on the walkway next to the street.

By 1946, the family was living at 235 Louisiana, which was their home through at least 1960.  Albert ran for mayor in 1953.  According to a February 3, 1999 article by Murphy Givens in the Corpus Christi Caller Times,
After announcing his candidacy, he and his wife {Annie] departed for a 60-day Mediterranean cruise. Despite the fact that he did not campaign, he won the election as part of what was called the Better Government Party. But he did not finish his term.
    Albert was a fierce supporter of a toll tunnel under the ship channel to relieve the traffic bottleneck caused by the bascule bridge. When the City Council on March 24, 1954, voted to go for a high bridge instead -- mainly because the state highway department would pay for it -- Albert Lichtenstein stood up and resigned. He left his seat at the council table and took a seat in the audience.

I discovered another interesting connection I have with Mayor Lichtenstein.  My favorite park and pool in Corpus Christi, Collier, were, according to another Caller Times article by Murphy Givens (March 25, 2009), "named for W.B. Collier, Corpus Christi's city manager from 1949 to 1953. Collier resigned when Albert Lichtenstein was elected mayor, saying he wouldn't serve as city manager with Lichtenstein as mayor 'for all the tea in China.' He [Collier] died of a heart attack two years later."

In August 2006, the house at 810 S. Carancahua was moved half a mile to a new location at 715 Ayers, where it is now used as a law office.  The 38-foot-tall two-story house, with walls made of 3-inch stucco, weighed 128 tons and took quite a bit of effort to move from its position on Corpus Christi's bluff area.  The block on Carancahua where it was located was part of two blocks being cleared for development of the Bluff Apartments - although nothing has been built yet on this house's former site.  Albert's nephew Morris L. Lichtenstein Jr. (1932-1995) had acquired the land on the two blocks over a 40 year period.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

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