James "Jim" Robert Tinsley was born in Gonzales, Texas, July 31, 1877, the son of John Willis and Dora Houston Tinsley. Dora was the sister of Robert Andrew, James Dunn and William Buckner Houston. Jim Robert married Roberta Partain March 15, 1917, and had two sons. Roberta, born April 12, 1894, at Deming Bridge, Matagorda County, Texas, was the daughter of Robert Abner Partain of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Ella Burns Partain of Texas. In 1918, at the request of Jim Robert's grandmother, Julia A. Harris Houston Matthews, he and Roberta moved from Columbus, Texas, to Gonzales where Jim Robert took up management of the family ranch.
In 1918, when Jim Robert and Roberta arrived in Gonzales, Grandmother Matthews gave them the lot and employed Fred Meisenhelder to build this bungalow style house as a mirror image of, but slightly smaller than, the M.J. Koch house on the southwest corner of the same block. The floors and woodwork in the spacious rooms are made of longleaf pine and oak and the interior doors are beautiful oak veneer. Grandson John L. Tinsley initiated a major renovation/restoration project in 1998 to insure that this beautiful home survives the next eighty years.