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KESSLER, HENRY

KESSLER, HENRY (?–1840). Henry Kessler (Kesler), businessman and civic leader, was a Silesian who immigrated to Texas by 1836 and is probably the man of that name who was awarded a bounty certificate for 320 acres of land for his services in the Texas army from April 11 to July 20, 1836. As early as November 1837 he was operating a general store in Houston known as Kessler's Arcade; the establishment was enlarged in October 1838 to include a restaurant and bar. Soldiers used scrip at the Round Tent Bar, and the arcade, which provided German newspapers and music, was a popular meetingplace and polling station. Kessler experimented with mulberry trees and had a garden famous for its corn. He served as treasurer of the Buffalo Bayou Company, organized to make the bayou navigable, was a member of the Houston City Council, treasurer of a city school, vice president of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, a member of the board of health, and secretary of the Houston Post Oak Jockey Club. He married Mary Bonzano on March 22, 1838. A notice of December 25, 1840, indicated that Kessler's wife had been appointed his administrator.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Telegraph and Texas Register, March 27, 1839, January 6, 1841. Max Freund, Gustav Dresel's Houston Journal (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1954).

Diana J. Kleiner

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Diana J. Kleiner, "KESSLER, HENRY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fke37), accessed July 31, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.