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Galveston in Galveston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Hutchings, Sealy & Co.

1897

 
 
Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
1. Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Marker
Inscription.
This impressive building contains grey and pink granite, red Texas sandstone, and buff colored terra cotta. Designed in the Neo-Renaissance style by Galveston architect Nicholas J. Clayton, it was built in 1895 for the banking firm of Ball, Hutchings & Co.

Although the three-story building appears to be a single structure, it actually consists of two adjoining structures made to look like one. The corner structure housed the bank and the easterly building the offices. The two buildings are crowned by an elaborate stone cornice with the Lone Star medallion on panels of the entablature and with the dates 1854 and 1895 in the stonework.

Ball, Hutchings & Co. was established in 1854 with George Ball, John H. Hutchings, and John Sealy as partners. As bankers and dealers in wholesale dry goods, the firm was the first of its kind in Texas and its influence was felt throughout the state. In 1858, the assets and liabilities of the Samuel May Williams' Commercial and Agricultural Bank, the only chartered bank in Texas prior to the Civil War, were taken over by Ball, Hutchings & Co.

When the Federal blockade closed the port of Galveston during the Civil War, the firm moved to Houston for the duration of the war and from there carried on trade in cotton as a means to help the Confederacy. In 1867, George
Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
2. Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Marker (tall view)
Sealy, younger brother of John Sealy, was made a partner in the firm.

The bank was reorganized in 1897 as Hutchings, Sealy & Co. After a merger in 1930 with the South Texas National Bank, the name of the bank was changed to the Hutchings-Sealy National Bank. And in 1958, after a merger with the First National Bank of Galveston, to First Hutchings-Sealy National Bank of Galveston. Based on these mergers, the bank has the distinction of being the oldest bank in Texas.

In 1933, Hutchings-Sealy National Bank was moved to the Rosenberg Bank at 22nd and Market Streets. In 1956, a new building was constructed for the bank at 22nd and Market. In 1972, a ten story building was erected for the bank between 22nd, 23rd, Market and Mechanic Streets.

American Indemnity Company was founded here in 1913 and occupied the building until 1958. After Hurricane Carla severely damaged its building in 1961, Ursuline Academy held classes here for several years.

The bank has played an important role in Galveston's commercial history. George Ball, John H. Hutchings, John Sealy and George Sealy were influential in many industries including railroads, steamship lines, and the wharves. They were civic-minded men whose concern for the citizens of their city led them to establish and support hospitals, schools, and orphanages.

In 1985, George and Cynthia
Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
3. Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Marker (wide view)
Mitchel began restoration of this landmark.
 
Location. 29° 18.422′ N, 94° 47.716′ W. Marker is in Galveston, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is on Strand Street east of 24th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2326 Strand Street, Galveston TX 77550, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Buildings (here, next to this marker); Nicholas J. Clayton (a few steps from this marker); Mitchell Street (a few steps from this marker); 1871 Thomas Jefferson League Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Saengerfest Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Jefferson League Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Mardi Gras in Galveston (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Tremont Houses (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Galveston.
 
Regarding Hutchings, Sealy & Co.. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (1992)
 
Also see . . .
1. Hutchings-Sealy building,. The Hutchings-Sealy building, located on The Strand in Galveston, Texas, is a historic property representing one of the earliest examples of steel frame-based construction
Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Marker (<i>side two</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
4. Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Marker (side two)
in the state. When built, it replaced the original Hutchings-Sealy Bank building, which had an older construction type and was in need of retrofitting. Designed and built in 1895 and 1896, the building has since survived all storms and hurricanes that have passed through the area – including the 1900 storm that devastated surrounding structures and neighborhoods. (Submitted on June 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. John Henry Hutchings. In 1859–60 Hutchings, as alderman of Galveston, negotiated the bonds for the first bridge across the bay and was also instrumental in improving the harbor and in bringing the Mallory Steamship Line to Galveston. During the Civil War the firm moved to Houston, where the partners were active in importing arms and other war matériel, exporting cotton, and running the blockade on a large scale. Hutchings also served as state judge and commissioner of the Confederate States court. (Submitted on June 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. John Hutchings (John II) Sealy. Sealy received his diploma from Princeton University in 1891 as one of that school's youngest graduates to date. His father died in 1884, and upon graduation Sealy assumed the role of full partner in the Hutchings-Sealy Bank, of which his father was a cofounder. Sealy endeared himself to the Galveston community through his philanthropic
Marker (<i>side two</i>) detail: Historic Photo of Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Buildings image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Rosenberg Library
5. Marker (side two) detail: Historic Photo of Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Buildings
and civic endeavors. Best known for the lifelong support he provided to the John Sealy Hospital, named in honor of his father, Sealy's other contributions included serving as treasurer for the Diocese of Texas of the Episcopal Church, trustee of the Galveston city schools, founding board member and president of the Rosenberg Library, and member of the University of Texas Board of Regents. Said to be the wealthiest man in Texas, he died unexpectedly on February 19, 1926, in Neuilly, France, on his way back from Italy, where he had gone to be treated for malignant carbuncles. (Submitted on June 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. ArchitectureIndustry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesWar, US Civil
 
Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Buildings (<i>south side view; marker visible left of center</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
6. Hutchings, Sealy & Co. Buildings (south side view; marker visible left of center)
Hutchings, Sealy & Company Buildings (<i>corner view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 14, 2018
7. Hutchings, Sealy & Company Buildings (corner view)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7. submitted on June 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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