Frank Fly House

Frank Merriman Fly, born June 12, 1866, in Big Hill, Gonzales County, Texas, was the son of George Washington LaFayette Fly and Mary Callie Bell Fly. He worked for his brother in the old Peck & Fly store, but was always interested in law enforcement. He served as deputy sheriff under Sheriff Dick Glover and later worked in the county clerk's office. When Glover was killed by Gregorio Cortez in 1901, Fly was appointed sheriff. On November 11, 1908, he married Stella Miller and they had five children. Stella, born April 26,1885, was the daughter of Robert L. and Sara Hopkins Miller of Waelder, Texas. In 1909 Frank joined the Gonzales State Bank with W.J. Bright and, upon Bright's retirement, Fly became the bank president where he served until 1940. During the depression in the 1930's, Fly used most of his fortune to save the bank from ruin.

In April, 1914, Frank and Stella employed builder Capp Smith from Waelder to build this Four-Square style home. Completed in September of the same year, the three-story brick residence has a spacious terrazzo front porch framed by four columns of solid brick. The exterior walls are almost two feet of solid brick and extend seven feet into the ground to form a half cellar that houses the original coal furnace. As in most of the brick homes built in this era, the brick was manufactured in Gonzales. All woodwork inside was purchased from a local lumberyard and turned on a hand lathe on the site. The three formal rooms downstairs are separated by sets of nine-foot golden-oak doors. The floors throughout the formal rooms are tongue and groove golden-oak. Elsewhere they are made of wide curly pine. The central stairwell, also of curly pine, forms a single-stepped, double landing with a 90-degree turn to reach the second floor. All woodwork has the original finish and all of the home's solid brass hardware, from the dome supporting the light fixtures to the finger lifts on the windows, is original.

Address: 
827 St. Joseph Street, Gonzales

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