A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 14, 2010
Heavenly Houston (Houston nickname)

"Heavenly Houston” is a nickname for the city of Houston that was popular in the early 1900s, but that is not used today. The nickname was coined by Houston (TX) Post writer George M. Bailey, who died at age 63 in 1927.

“Heavenly Houston” is cited in print from 1907.


Wikipedia: Houston
Houston (pronounced /ˈhjuːstən/) is the fourth-largest city in the United States and the largest city in the state of Texas. As of the 2008 U.S. Census estimate, the city had a population of 2.2 million within an area of 600 square miles (1,600 km2). Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area—the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population over 5.7 million.

9 November 1907, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 1, col. 1:
“On this bright and beautiful day in Heavenly Houston, the only spot where water is permitted to be mentioned, and that only for purposes of navigation and bathing, it gives me great pleasure to accept the honor you have conferred upon me.”
(Col. I. M. Standifer—ed.)

19 November 1909, Columbus (OH) , pg. 4:
A contemporary declares that George Bailey, of the Houston Post, is a confirmed bachelor. If this is true, it is proof that the red-headed widows of Heavenly Houston are not altogether so charming and captivating as he would have the rest of the world believe.

Google Books
25 February 1911, The Journal of the Senate of Texas (Thirty-Second Legislature), pg. 664, col. 2:
...to lend your aid to the appropriate celebration of this great day and to enjoy for a space in heavenly Houston that political peace and legislative rest that has to some extent eluded you since January 10, 1911.

May 1911, The Tailor (Official Organ of the Journeymen Tailors’ Union of AMerica), pg. 7, col. 1:
Bythe way, I see a great many of the newspapers throughout the country are poking fun at Houston. Some of them call it “Heavenly Houston.” Others insist on saying “Hungry Houston.” Personally, I favor the latter appellation.

Google Books
June 1913, The Rotarian, ‘The Rotary Club of Houston” by Robert H. Cornell, President, pg. 17, col. 2:
While optimism is contagious in “heavenly Houston,” not one of the sextette in his fondest dreams ever imagined our club would become the power in business efficiency, fraternalism and the aid in civic development that it has proved.

OCLC WorldCat record
Something about Houston
Author: Louis J Hennessey
Publisher: Houston [Tex. : s.n., 1915]
Edition/Format: Book : English
Notes: Caption title. Cover title: A glimpse of heavenly Houston.
Description: 32 p. : ill. ; 20 x 25 cm.
Other Titles: Glimpse of heavenly Houston.

Google Books
The book of the opening of the Rice institute;
Being an account ... in three volumes of an academic festival held in celebration of the formal opening of the Rice institute, a university of liberal and technical learning founded in the city of Houston, Texas,

By Rice University.
Houston, TX
1915?
Pg. 126:
Houston — heavenly Houston, as it has been happily named by a distinguished local editor of more than local fame — ...

19 July 1917, Montgomery (AL) Advertiser, Letters to the Editor, pg. 4:
“HEAVENLY HOUSTON.”
Edior The Advertiser:
This is a name coined and copyrighted by the “pert paragrapher of the Houston Post,” and since given wide publicity by the energetic Chamber of COmmerce of Houston. The words in quotation are the words of Dr. Ira Landrith, of Nashville, Tenn., erstwhile, candidate for Vice-President of the United States on the prohibition ticket spoken beforethe Christian Endeavor convention in Houston some weeks ago of his friend Colonel George M. Bailey.
(Letter by Ross Spier—ed.)

Google Books
The voice of the Negro 1919
By Robert Thomas Kerlin
New York, NY: E.P. Dutton
1920
Pg. 98:
Digressing for a moment: It is next to impossible for an unescorted, decent-looking colored woman to appear on the streets even in ‘heavenly Houston’ without being insulted and pursued by ‘lecherous brutes’ whose racial connection is not of Hamitic descent.

Google Books
June 1941, The Crisis, “Houston Awaits Conference,” pg. 194, col. 1:
Texans call Houston, their largest city, “Heavenly Houston,” and many conventions of all types have been its guests.

Houston (TX) Press
Houston 101: Yet Another New Nickname For The Bayou City, Er, Space City, Um, H-Town...
By John Nova Lomax, Tuesday, Mar. 9 2010 @ 8:01AM
Unlike, say, the Big Apple or the Eternal City, Houston has never quite settled on one definitive nickname. A Canadian newspaper has just announced that we have a new one, but more on that in a second…
(...)
In the early 1900s, some local African-American journalists called the city Heavenly Houston for its relatively enlightened (by contemporary Deep South standards) racial climate and bustling economy. Today, that name lives on only in the NFSW Web Site of this (history-minded?) local escort.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, March 14, 2010 • Permalink