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Not Just Another Pretty Face

The League-Kempner House is a stunning example of late Victorian architecture, but there's more to her than just good looks. The families associated with the house played a significant role in the history of not only Galveston, but other surrounding cities, most notably J.C. League's creation of League City, and the Kempner family's development of Sugarland. Nellie League, J.C.'s wife, was the daughter of George Ball, a prominent Galveston businessman and philanthropist. He donated the money to build what is believed to be the oldest public school in Texas. And the house was designed by Nicholas Clayton, Galveston's most celebrated architect. That's quite the role call!


Galveston, and these families, have fascinating histories, Our mission is to restore the League-Kempner House and also help preserve those histories. To that end, we've been working on collaborations with local Historians. On a recent beautiful spring day, we met up with historian and author Kathleen Maca at a cemetery (actually seven different cemeteries - who knew? Well, Kathleen did!) to visit the gravesites of J.C. and Nellie League and Eliza Kempner. Check out the pictures and video below to find out what we learned. This fall, Kathleen will be offering a combined cemetery and house tour highlighting the families and their stories. We can't wait!





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