Houston's founding Allen brothers have finally assumed their posts outside City Hall, 76 years late.

Workers installed the sculptures Friday afternoon, drilling holes in the pedestals set aside for the statues when the building was erected in 1939 and epoxying the 5-foot-5-inch brothers into place.  

The bronze statues were delayed because Mayor Oscar Holcombe said the $8,000 required in fall 1939 -- about $137,000 in today's dollars - for them had been spent on construction. 

 

The statues of Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen were commissioned using $70,000 in private donations gathered by Houston history buff and genealogist Lynna Kay Shuffield and her local United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter.

Houston artist Lori Betz made the statues. Here is a longer story we wrote recently about this effort.

"My mother has a rule: If you see something broken or it needs to be fixed, stop and fix it," Shuffield has said. "It hadn't been done; it needed to be done, so I decided to do it."

The brothers, real estate speculators in the tradition of many modern wheeler-dealers, bought a league and a half of land at the confluence of Buffalo and White Oak bayous in 1836, at the dawn of Texas independence. They named the new village Houston and enthusiastically misrepresented the region's climate to help attract settlers, touting "the sea breeze in all its freshness."

John Kirby Allen was a "dandy," resplendent in fashionable garb, while Augustus Allen was a surveyor, and is depicted holding the tools of that trade.