Home > Andrews/Price Family, Clark/Ince Family, Darden, Flewellen, Howard Family > History of the Clarks, Andrews, Tilghman, Flewellen families from cousin Gary Helm Darden, Ph.D.

History of the Clarks, Andrews, Tilghman, Flewellen families from cousin Gary Helm Darden, Ph.D.

February 22nd, 2017

Hello Everyone,

I most appreciate this conversation and help with family information. To clarify to all in this conversation my relation to you is that I’m the youngest son of Nancy Clark Ince Darden (1937-2010), the sister of Elizabeth “Betty” Ince Hughston (1934-2015), and they were the daughter of Eugenia Helm Ince (1909-2007), whom we called “Nina.” She was the oldest daughter of Elizabeth “Bessie” Clark Helm (1884-1966). So the names Elizabeth, Eugenia, and Nancy have been carried down for many generations. Sadly, Nancy died of lung cancer in 2010 and Betty died of pancreatic cancer in 2015. I live in New York City and am a university history professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in New Jersey. It’s a large private university similar to SMU or TCU. My father and brother are all still in Dallas.
I’ll add below what I know, and I apologize if you’ve already heard it or already knew.
Per Sperry’s question –– and as I understand it from my grandmother –– Elizabeth “Bessie” Clark Helm and her sister Nancy Ella Clark (1888-1977) were largely raised by Eugenia “Jennie” Andrews Flewellen (1840-1923), their great aunt, at the house on 410 Austin Street. The girls’ mother Nancy “Nannie” Tilghman Dickinson (1862-1888) died due to complications from giving birth to Nancy Clark in 1888. The newborn Nancy was adopted by one of the sons of Eugenia Flewellen, but Bessie was not adopted and officially remained a Clark. So I assume that’s why Bessie was not in the Flewellen will.
However, I do know that “Aunt Nancy” Howard as she was known to my grandmother, transferred the deed to at least 3 or 4 farms to her sister “Bessie” Helm because, as I was told, Aunt Nancy thought it was only fair given their childhood and upbringing. That land went to my grandmother and was sold off (minus the mineral rights) from the late 1960s and through the 1970s.

“Bessie” and Nancy’s father, George Aldridge Clark (1855-1925), known as “Daddy Clark” to my grandmother, had Sunday dinner with his two daughters every week at 410 Austin Street. He resided in a residential hotel and socialized at the City Club, and never remarried. He owned a fire insurance company. Apparently he drank a lot which explains why Bessie became a lifelong Prohibitionist. And they were still known in Houston as the “Clark sisters” and both were sent East for their two-year “finishing” school –– Nancy to Hollins in Roanoke, Va, and Bessie to Agnes Scott in Atlanta. Both made their debut in Houston and both were married in a double wedding at the house on 410 Austin Street in 1908, according to my grandmother. At some point in Bessie’s life, owing to being frequently sick as a child, she indeed converted to Christian Science, although having been raised in an Episcopalian family. No one else in my mother’s family became a devout Christian Scientist.
Both Bessie Helm and Nancy Howard named their first-born daughters “Eugenia” in her honor. So then we have “Gene” Helm and “Gene” Howard as the family dubbed them apparently. I know they were very close growing up and would be sent to visit each other between Dallas and Houston. They also had a fierce rivalry over which city was better! When Gene Howard was studying art in Philadelphia, I believe that’s the city, Gene Helm was sent by train to visit her and some other relatives in DC. Being around 1932, it was the middle of the Depression and my grandmother was shocked to see all the homelessness, bread lines, and begging in the streets.
Eugenia “Jennie” Andrews was given a full set of F.W. Cooper coin silver flatware, serving pieces, and full tea set by her parents when she married Dr. Robert Flewellen in 1860 and “F” was engraved on all the pieces. When Eugenia Flewellen –– known as “Grandmother” to both Gene Helm & Gene Howard –– died in 1923, the silver flatware and some serving pieces were left to “Gene” Helm and the silver tea set and some serving pieces were left to “Gene” Howard. I was left the silver tableware and serving pieces by my grandmother, and the tea set was on the buffet in Gene Howard Hunt’s home in Austin when we gathered there after her funeral in 1990. I drove my mother and grandmother down to the funeral; it was during winter break of my senior year of college. This is when I met most of you all.
Also much of the furnishings from 410 Austin Street were divided up by Nancy Howard (who inherited the house) and Bessie Helm in 1923, and a large number of items were shipped to Dallas where “Bessie” Clark Helm lived after she married. The house sat empty as commercial development ate up downtown Houston. It was sold and torn down in 1938, I believe, and was one of the last or very last original homes left in downtown Houston. I believe Nancy Howard had moved out the Rivers Oaks at this point. My grandmother Gene Helm inherited all of her mother’s family heirlooms, and since no one really wanted a lot of these Victorian antiques, they went largely to me through my mother. I will send pictures of the silver and furniture from 410 Austin Street house that I have, and I’d love to see any images of the tea set if it’s still around. I will also send copies of other family photos that I have. Above all, if anyone has a photo of the 410 Austin Street house I would love to get a copy scanned or made!
Incidentally, in case you didn’t know, when William Tilghman, the husband of Eugenia Price (1805-1873) died she soon thereafter in 1830 married the foreman on their Plantation in Hanover, Va, John Day Andrews. This caused quite the scandal as he was seen beneath her by her parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Price. She was even disowned by her parents. She had two daughters with Tilghman –– one of them being Elizabeth “Bettie” Tilghman (1826-1876), whose second husband was John Dickinson from Kelso Scotland, and from whom our shared line descends –– and two daughters with Andrews –– one being Eugenia “Jennie” Andrews Flewellen.
From what I can tell around 1837 they moved to the then new frontier city of Houston, then the Republic of Texas. In a classic tale of geographic and social mobility through migration, Andrews became the 5th Mayor of Houston (1841-42) and the prominent patriarch of one of the “first families” of Houston. Their house on 410 Austin Street was finished around 1838, according to one book whose pages I will send you all, and in the Greek Revival style. Well after the Civil War, Col. John D. Andrews –– I have no idea how or when the “Col” title came in –– had the house redesigned in a more ornate Italianate style then popular but the columns remained. I have a picture of Bessie Clark and her then finance Thomas Helm on the second floor porch of the house.
I know you all have seen the oil painting of John D. Andrews, which Malcolm has, but I found via the Ancestry .com  a photo of him (see below) likely from after the Civil War. He lived to be 87 and died in 1882 –– nine year after his wife Eugenia died in 1873. Both images are now uploaded to the Ancestry cite on my profile tree. The resemblance to the painting is quite remarkable. Do we know when the paintings were made of John and Eugenia (both below)? Judging by the clothing and their age I assume 1830s and after they moved to Houston. I can tell you that Eugenia Price Andrew’s eyes and facial features could be seen in my grandmother, aunt (Betty Ince Hughston) and cousin (Susan Hughston Bogard).
Well, I do hope this narrative is useful, or at least interesting to read. You can, perhaps, see why I became a college history professor! I welcome any stories or photos. And I will send in another email photos of the silver, furniture, and family photos, etc.
All the Best, Gary
Gary Helm Darden, Ph.D.
John D. Andrews Post Civil War

John D. Andrews Post Civil War

John D Andrews Earlier

John D Andrews Earlier

Eugenia Price Andrews - Formerly Eugenia Tilghman

Eugenia Price Andrews – Formerly Eugenia Tilghman

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