GREAT CITIZENS - MELLIE KEENAN ESPERSON
After Esperson's death, his wife Mellie Keenan Esperson, assumed the management and planning responsibilities of his many businesses. One of her early construction projects, the million dollar Majestic Theater, opened in 1923. An accomplished business woman and administrator in her own right, Mellie was born in Manhattan, Kansas around 1870, and was reared and educated in Oklahoma. Although her husband's initial business ventures were failures, Mellie believed in him and encouraged him in all his endeavors.
Three years after her husband's death, Mellie married Harry Ewing Stewart, the Post-Dispatch advertising manager. She remained however, in control of the Esperson interests. She planned and built the 32-story Niels Esperson Building in memory of her husband. At the time of its completion in 1927, five years after his death, it was the tallest building in Texas and the third tallest in the United States. In 1934, Mellie and Harry Stewart were divorced, after he moved to Dallas. In 1941, she completed the Mellie Esperson Building next to the one named after her husband. Although she died without revealing her age, it is believed that she was about 75 years old at the time of her death.