W.B. Houston House

This magnificent house was built in 1895 by cattle baron and noted Texas trail driver, William Buckner Houston. W. B. Houston was born in DeWitt County, Texas, May 6, 1852, the son of James Andrew Dunn and Julia A. Harris Houston. At the age of nineteen, he struck out on his own and, with no backing, became one of the most successful cattlemen in the state. William owned 6,000 acres in Gonzales county. The magnitude of the Houston ranching empire is indicated by two articles in the March 17, 1884, edition of The Gonzales Inquirer. One article states that "J.D. Houston and others are shipping 10,000 head of cattle to Wichita Falls." The other article relates that "J.D. and W.B. Houston will have 3,000 - 4,000 head of two year olds on the trail in two weeks."

On January 30, 1884, William married Ada Lewis, born September 24, 1857, the daughter of Judge Everett Lewis and Alice Josephine Strictland Lewis of Gonzales. William and Ada had one daughter, Ada Lewis Houston. Baby Ada's mother died January 5, 1889, and is buried in the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery in the Lewis family plot.

On December 7, 1892, William married Sue Lewis Jones, born November 23, 1867, in Gonzales County. She was the daughter of Augustus H. Jones and Minerva Lewis Jones who came to Texas from Georgia. The house William and Sue built is a late Queen Anne style featuring towers, turrets, wrap-around porches and other unique architectural embellishments. The interior is beautifully designed with original parquet floors, fireplaces, and embossed ceilings. The woodwork is longleaf pine and includes towering pillars at the parlor entrance, a magnificent staircase in the foyer, pocket doors and decorative paneling. A conservatory, extending from the formal dining room through glass pocket doors, houses exotic plants and flowers. Of significant interest are the hand-painted murals that adorn the parlor ceiling and dining room walls. The murals were painted by Sue who studied art in Europe. The classical style of the 1800's, so typical of the Victorian era, greatly influenced her work.

Address: 
621 St. George Street, Gonzales

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