Grimes County, Texas
Historical Marker 8622
This building was built ca 1835-1840. It was first know as the Miss Sally Thompson School Building. That is how it is listed on historical marker 8622. Then it became the home of Mrs. J. H. [Irene T.] Allen. She lived there for many years, including 1957 when she wrote The Saga of Anderson. The house was beautifully restored by the next owners and it was bought in 1999 by the current owner, Tana Shaffer.
A native of England, Joseph Brooks (1831-89) migrated to Texas with his wife Mary Ann (Farrer) (1833-1900) in 1853. After serving in the Civil War, Brooks moved to Navasota, where he survived an 1867 yellow fever epidemic and became a leading area lumberman. In the 1870s he had this home built for his family. Originally Victorian in design, it was modified with classical revival detailing in 1909-11 by the Brooks' daughter Mary Elizabeth Brooks Salyer. Recorded texas Historic Landmark - 1981
Historical Marker 8569
Built 1848. Has hand-hewn cedar in log foundation, ceilings and beams. For 115 years in family of Isham D. Davis, whose wife, Martha, was a daughter of Mathew Caldwell, one of the signers of Texas Declaration of Independence. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965
Historical Marker 8572
412 Manley St.,
Newlyweds John Thomas and Maude Martin Evans built this house in 1894 on land given to them by his mother. A ticket agent for the International and Great Northern Railway Company, Evans also served the City of Navasota as alderman and city treasurer. The typical 19th-century vernacular house features a gable roof, and a three-bay porch with elaborate balustrade, turned wood posts, spindlework frieze, and jig-sawn brackets.
Mattie Brigance Foster, daughter of Grimes County settler Franklin Brigance, had this home built in 1900 shortly after the death of her husband. Incorporating elements of the colonial revival and shingle styles, the house is of cypress frame construction and features a multi-gabled roof. Its design is indicative of the movement away from the elaborate detailing of the Victorian era. The home remained in the Foster family for 60 years. Incise on base: Sponsored by Salih M. Yilmaz, M.D., Ph.D.
The Foster - Wier House, built in 1859, is an example of vernacular Texas Greek Revival architecture. It faces northwest on State Highway 90. The house is a detached, one and one-half story dwelling on piers with a cellar and three native sandstone chimneys, two located on the north side and one on the south side of the house. Originally there were four chimneys (accommodating the cellar and the first floor) on each side, but two were removed at an indeterminable date. In the early 1900s, the back porch was enclosed, and the bath and the originally detached kitchen were added to the rear. In 1971, the house was rehabilitated to its present condition.
A large porch runs across the front of the structure. It is supported by six simply designed white columns. The front door, symmetrically centered on the porch, has triple lights on each side, with a decorative wood panel approximately one foot off the porch floor. The door is flanked by two large double-hung, 6/6 windows, two small windows upstairs and three larger windows downstairs, all with screens. The south, rear chimney originally was located between the back window and the cellar steps. On the north side are four screened windows, three 6/6, double- hung windows which are part of the added kitchen. The front chimney on the north side has recently been rebuilt. the back of the house has a door and six screened windows. Three windows are large 6/6, double-hung, two are 3/3, double- hung, and one is 4/4, double-hung. Originally, a small porch was located to the rear, but only the original ceiling remains. Three dormer windows across the front are symmetrically spaced and are double-hung with 6/6 panes.
The floor plan, two rooms deep, with a wide central hallway, makes excellent use of the northwest winds. The rooms on the west side have always been used as bedrooms. Each has a closet. On the east side are the front parlor and the informal dining room. The second floor was used mainly for storage until it was completed in 1971. The cellar, only one-half underground, was used as the formal dining room with a food storage room toward the rear. The underground cistern is located in this cellar storage room. The house is presently painted white with brown shutters.
The remaining out buildings, which are considered contributing to the historical integrity of the structure, are the ruins of a cotton gin and an underground cistern. The cistern, located approximately 200 feet from the house, was part of the commissary building. Only the lower, stone portion of the cotton gin remains, approximately 500 feet north-northeast of the house. Both exterior structures, and the house, occupy approximately 5 acres.
The Foster House is representative of a vernacular Texas nineteenth century Greek Revival structure. The mixture of the climatically practical central hallway floor plan with the classically influenced exterior detailing create a style of architecture which was needed in southeast Texas to cope with the warm, humid weather. Mr. Ira Malcolm Camp, who moved to Texas from Georgia, built the house in 1859. It was Mr. Camp's familiarity with this southern style of architecture which influenced the design of the Foster House. Mr. Birdsall P. Briscoe, while recording for the Historic American Buildings Survey (1936), said of it, "I regard it as one of the best examples of early residential work I have found in Texas that follow so closely similar work in Virginia and the other Atlantic seaboard states."
The house was built by Mr. Camp for his daughter who married Sheriff Jeff Gibbs. Sheriff Gibbs is noted as being the first sheriff elected in Grimes County on the Republican ticket, a major political accomplishment at the time. In 1883, Mr. R. B. S. Foster purchased the house along with 200 acres of land. Mr. Foster was a successful farmer and rancher who invested money in surrounding lands which eventually amounted to several thousand acres. The Fosters, with their three children who were born in the home, resided there until Mr. Foster's death in 1899. In 1900 the Foster's ranch overseer moved into the home. In 1915 Robert F. foster, R. B. S. Foster's son, became the occupant. In 1966, Robert F. Wier, namesake and kinsman of Mr. Foster, moved into the house and is the present resident. Mr. Wier restores the cellar and the north front chimney in 1971.
The land which originally comprised the Foster House was a large complex that represented farm life in the 1800's. Located in the complex was a cotton gin, a creamery, a carriage house, a dippping vat for cattle, the kitchen with an underground cistern, several slave houses (later used by tenant farmers), and a commissary with an underground cistern also need during slavery times and later converted to tenant farmer use. Presently, the underground cisterns (not clearly visible), the lower portion of the stone cotton gin, a newly constructed water holding tank, and grazing land occupy the site.
The Foster - Wier Hose is located approximately two miles east of Navasota, Texas, ten miles south of Anderson, Texas and eight miles east of Washington, Texas. Both Anderson and Navasota have structures noted for local, state and national historical significance. Washington, once known as Washington-On-The-Brazos, served as the capital of Texas from 1842 to 1843. Washington-On-The-Brazos State Park now contains the Star of the Republic Museum and the Anson Jones House, 1844, a HABS, state and local historic landmark.
The Foster House was built just off the Navasota- Anderson Road which was heavily trafficked during the early years of the Republic of Texas. The entire area from Anderson, Washington and Navasota has been recognized for its history, but only a few of the structures are as old or denote architectural quality to the extent of the Foster - Wier House.
1 Birdsall P. Briscoe. Two letters to Mr. Foster dated 1936.
Historical Marker 8579
Early Texas plantation home in architectural style of the Atlantic states. Malcolm Camp, wealthy cotton planter, built this structure in 1859, with lumber hauled from East Texas sawmills. High-ceilinged rooms are very large. Formal dining room in sandstone-lined cellar was unique. Had detached kitchen. Purchased 1883 by a leading local citizen, R.B.S. Foster (1848-1889), this was birthplace of his three children-- Georgia, Robert F. and Nettie Rose. So stable is this locality that home was continuously occupied until 1966 by Fosters or their agents.
Historical Marker 8582
Text not legible.
Historical Marker 8589
Thomas Jefferson Haynie and his wife Sarah Jane migrated to this area from Georgia in 1855. With the aid of slaves, they constructed their two-story Texas style home at this site, using native pine, post oak, and rock. Haynie was influential in area politics and provided land for the establishment of the Fairview School. In 1923 the farm was purchased by Dr. Guy Cecil Sanders, a prominent Richards physician. During his ownership it was the scene of community gatherings, Fourth of July celebrations, and political rallies.
Alabama native Robert Augustus Horlock (1849-1926) came to Navasota in 1871. Here he became a prominent businessman and civic leader. He and his wife, Agnes (White), had this home built in the early 1890s. The house, which remained in the Horlock family for nearly 100 years, exhibits influences of the eastlake and stick styles of architecture. Prominent features include the corner porch, the arched windows with small gabled hoods, and the decorative woodwork.
Historical Marker 8591
Alabama native James Monroe Hurry (1857-1941) and his wife Missouri Valunia Woodcock, a native of Georgia, built this house with the assistance of several of their neighbors about 1904 to support their growing family. Typical of early 20th century vernacular architecture, the Hurry House retains a high level of integrity and features bungalow detailing and a full porch in its L-plan design. The house remained in the Hurry family until 1962. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1992
Historic Marker 8604
(Oct. 7, 1853 - July 13, 1916) Born in Amelia County, Va. The Neal Family moved to Washington County, Texas, in 1866. Neal, after attending Baylor University, was admitted to the Bar in 1876. He married Fannie C. Brooks in Oct. 1880, moved to Navasota in 1881, and purchased this residence in 1883. The couple had 3 children. Neal served as county judge, 1884-86; city attorney, 1888-96; and as a State Senator, 1896-1902. He was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1902 and 1904, serving with Gov. S. W. T. Lanham. Neal retired from politics in 1907 and returned here to practice law.
Historical Marker 8605
Built to serve as the first residence of Ewing and Mattie (Brosig) Norwood, this house was completed in 1898, while Ewing Norwood was president of the First National Bank of Navasota. Designed and built by local architect Ernest Lord, the home exhibits Queen Anne influences in the entry and porch detailing and features a depressed arch and a balustrade over the entryway. The house remained in the Norwood family for more than sixty years. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1984
Built in 1902 by Robert Andrew "Buck" Sangster (1878-1957), with part of the proceeds from a winning lottery ticket. Constructed in the Queen Anne revival style with classic revival elements on the exterior. Curly red pine woodwork decorates the 12-room interior. Ernest Lord (1860-1941) was the architect. The house was purchased in 1929 by Sangster's brother, W. W. Sangster, and it remained in the Sangster family until 1965.
Historical Marker 8614
Built by Henry Schumacher (1832-1901), a native of Germany who came to Texas in 1849. In 1866, after serving with the Texas Infantry in the Civil War, he settled in Navasota, was a charter member of the First Presbyterian Church, and about 1868, married Emma Louise Horlock. They had eight children. In 1873, Schumacher built this home and a cottonseed oil mill, for which he was well-known. He was president of the First National Bank at his death.
In the late 1800s, two brothers named Steele had large cotton operations near Navasota, at Allen Farm, and residences diagonally across this corner from each other. A. G. Steele (1853-1900) and wife Etta had this late Victorian home built in 1896 by contractor J. E. Watkins. Eastlake architectural features embellish the porches and entrances. Descendants lived here until 1970. the house now (1974) is owned and preserved by Syd and Margaret Van Wagner. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1974
Listed in the National Register
The Steele House is a two-story Victorian frame residence set in a half-acre corner lot amidst native trees, facing south onto Brewer St. in Navasota, Texas. It is distinguished by its Victorian detail in barge boards, main entry door and gingerbread trim. Having remained in the hands of the family that built it for nearly 80 years, remarkably few alterations have been made and natural deterioration over time has been kept to a minimum.
Reportedly, the cypress siding on the house was allowed to weather the first 50 years of its existence, then painted. Most of the windows still have operable shutters. The two central chimneys were removed in 1962 when the new composition shingle roof was applied. A cupola over the corner of the wrap-around gallery was removed sometime after World War II due to deterioration. The original buggy shed and tack room are at the north end of the property, but the barn was removed some time ago. Materials for construction of the house came from the J. Youens Lumber Co. in Navasota.
The south (Brewer St.) elevation consists of a projecting gabled end pavilion on the west, with a bay window on the ground floor containing a 2-over-2 sash windows centered in each face. Below each of these windows are panels faced with diagonal strips of wood. All of the first floor windows are topped with molded architraves. The squared second-story portion of the pavilion is supported at the corners by stick brackets with spindle trim. It has a pair of 2-over-2 sash windows arranged symmetrically on its face with imbricated shingle siding on the gable end. Centered in the gable end is a louvered opening, with a punched and spindled barge board spanning the gable's peak. The imbricated shingle siding is repeated above the architrave on the first floor of the bay.
The ground-floor, wrap-around porch features more Victorian influence in its gingerbread, bracketed turned columns, and turned balustrade. The entry steps are crowned with a pediment faced with imbricated shingle siding. The main entry door is framed by stained glass sidelights and a frosted glass transom. The door itself contains an ornate etched-glass panel. A diagonally-set four-seasons stained- glass window is centered in the wall by the main entry. A small porch mirroring details of the wrap-around porch below is centered over the entry pediment, with a stained-glass window centered above the four-seasons window. Another gabled pavilion with first floor bay window is visible, extending to the east at the end of the wraparound gallery, identical to the south pavilion in its details and fenestration. There is an elliptical ornament or projection (similar in shape to an eyebrow window) with a carved wood fan motif on the roof above the second-story on the southern facade.
The east elevation's pavilion is in the center with the wrap-around gallery to the south of it and a small one-story side porch to the north of it. There is a stained glass window centered above the wrap-around gallery. The side porch to the north still retains its original gingerbread and turned columns, but its balustrade has been removed. A paneled door with a transom and a 2-over-2 sash window are evenly spaced in the porch, with a pair of 2-over-2 sash windows directly above on the second floor, topped by a gable end faced with imbricated shingle siding, a barge board and a louvered opening to match the other gable ends on the house.
The north (rear) elevation shows five unevenly spaced 2- over-2 sash windows above, and four 2-over-2 sash windows and a paneled door directly below with a small one-story porch and simple squared columns and railing. The east and west bays are visible on each side.
The west elevation's projecting gabled end pavilion is identical to those on the south and east elevations of the house, and in plan is directly opposite that of the east elevation.
Inside the house, both floors consist of five main rooms off of a large central hallway. The main staircase has a hand-turned black walnut balustrade and newel post. Walnut for the stair was brought in from out-of state. The front hall contains two ornamental ball-and-dowel openings into its main rooms as well as the ornate staircase.
Both fireplaces on the ground floor have golden oak mantels with Victorian detailing, mirrors above, and Majolica tile facings.
The hallways, stairs and dining room are wainscoted with curly red pine, which is no longer available. The floors throughout the house are pine.
Due to the addition of a downstairs bath sometime after World War II, the rear staircase was turned and a landing was added. This stair was identical to the front stair, except that its balustrade and newel post are pine instead of black walnut.
Some unusual features of the house include the three- piece interior sliding shutters in the parlor, and the handcarved curly red pine corner cupboard in the dining room.
With very few alterations, the Steele house is currently in good condition, with only minor repairs and paint necessary. The current residents of the house, Mr. and Mrs. Van Wagner, are in the process of restoring it.
The A. G. Steele House is a well-preserved example of Eastlake-inspired late Victorian architecture built by a prominent Grimes County cotton farmer, A. G. Steele, in Navasota in 1896, and occupied continuously by his family until 1972. The house was designed and built by J. E. Watkins just across the street from the equally grand home of the brother A. G. Steele farmed with, Steele Steele.
Grimes County was primarily a cotton farming area in the 1890's. Navasota, the largest town in the county, was the location of the H. Schumacher Oil Works. This was thought to be a factor in Mr. Steele's decision to build his home there.
A. G. Steele (born 1853-died August 30, 1900) and his brother were cotton farmers at Allen Farm, located on the Navasota River bottom land north of town. They used prison labor to work the fields. During the violent flood of 1900, A. G. Steele went to the farm to rescue his prison workers. Shortly thereafter he caught pneumonia and died.
After her husband's death, Mrs. Steele was left with five children to support: Eleanor, age 16; Kate, age 14; Isabel, age 12; Sam, age 8; and Ruth, age 5. She took in roomers and boarders to support her family, and was said to "set a beautiful table". Three of her daughters were married in the house.
Mrs. Steele lived in the house until her death in 1944. Her daughter, Kate, Kate's husband, Kenneth Bowen, Sam Steele and his wife, Lillian Watkins, all lived in the house together and helped care for Mrs. Steele. Mr. and Mrs. San Steele occupied two of the rooms upstairs until his death in 1938. Kate and Kenneth Bowen remained in the house after Mrs. Steele's death. Kenneth Bowen died in 1955. After his death, Kate Steele Bowen and her housekeeper, Mrs. Mary Lee Wilson, occupied the house until Mrs. Bowen's death in 1970 at the age of 81. The house and property was willed to Kenneth Bowen, Jr. He sold it in November, 1972, to Syd and Margaret van Wagner. Mr. and Mrs. van Wagner and their sons are living in the house while restoring it.
BIBLIOGRAPHY ON FILE IN THE NATIONAL REGISTER.
Built before 1860. Log walls are unspliced. Slaves hand-hewed the timbers, stones, made doors, window shutters. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965
Historical Marker 8620
Built in the mid-1890s for newlyweds Ward B. and Annie Foster Templeman, this home is reminiscent of Navasota's early cotton boom era. Originally a Queen Anne design, the house was bricked and modified in the early twentieth century to reflect elements of the Prairie School style of architecture. Prominent features include its wraparound porch, multi-light windows and doors, and copper-clad dome over a projecting corner turret. Incise on base: Spnsored by Capt. and Mrs. W. T. Urquhart Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1987
In 1897 Elizabeth Owen had this two-story residence constructed for her daughter Emmeline B. Terrell (b. 1849), the widow of local pharmacist Joel W. Terrell, II, who had died the previous year. In 1899 the home was purchased by John H. Mickleborough, a leading Navasota banker and businessman, and his wife Georgia. An example of Queen Anne styling, the Terrell House features intricate eastlake ornamentation on the gallery and gable ends. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1981
Jesse Youens home built 1871 in style of Youens' home, "Tower Cottage", Dartford, Kent, England, occupied by his family continuously. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967
Jesse Youens Home Picture taken by Bill Lehmann and provided to archive by Lynda Lehmann-French.
Jesse Youens Home Historical Marker Picture taken by Bill Lehmann and provided to archive by Lynda Lehmann-French.