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Mellie Esperson was the most powerful businesswoman in Houston and built the tallest skyscraper in the Lone Star State.
With the wealth from more than 200 successful oil wells, the former Kansas farm girl ran the business after her husband's sudden death, diversifying into real estate development, rice farms, and the city's ship channel.
Esperson kept business offices on the twenty-fifth floor of her skyscraper and took daily afternoon tea on a private roof garden overlooking her holdings. She named the building after her deceased husband and later built a companion skyscraper next door, named after herself, with every floor connected.
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