Stephen F. Austin State University

Andrews-Taylor Plantation/Lady "Bird" Johnson's Birthplace

13510 Hwy. 43 North, Marshall

Historic American Buildings Survey

Listed on the HABS web site.

Architectural Survey

Architectural Survey

Historical Background

The "brick house," as often referred to by Captain Cephus K. Andrews, was built in 1843. It was erected on his 600 acre plantation in the mid 1840s of handmade brick made on site by slaves and the builder was George W. Taloo. Not much is known of Andrews except for the fact that he was the first county clerk in Harrison County.
Thomas Jefferson Taylor, an extensive landowner and merchant in Karnack, acquired the house in 1902, where he lived with his wife Minnie Pattillo Taylor and their three children. Apparently, the previous owners had been eccentric, and according to oral reports, the house needed a lot of work; one of the rooms was even filled with hickory nuts. The youngest child of Thomas and Minnie Taylor was Claudia Alta, also known as "Lady Bird," who later married Lyndon Baines Johnson. She was born on the second floor, in the front room to the right in 1912, her pet name "Lady Bird," was given to her by her nurse, Alice Tittle, who cared for Claudia after her mother passed away. Growing up, Claudia attended public schools in Fern community, as well as Jefferson and Marshall. She later earned a B.A. in Journalism at the University of Texas. After her marriage to Lyndon B. Johnson, Claudia remained true to her East Texas upbringing, maintaining a love for gardens and natural scenery, and became an advocate for conservation, beautification and historical preservation.
Minnie Taylor died in 1918 leaving T.J. Taylor a widower until his second marriage which ended soon afterwards in divorce. Taylor's third marriage to Ruth Scroggins in 1937 lasted until his death in 1960, which resulted in Ruth inheriting Taylor's home and property. In 1934, Taylor donated two-thirds of his land, around 385 acres, to the state, which now composes the Caddo Lake State Park.
Frank X. Tolbert wrote a newspaper article on August 10, 1966, about a ghost that supposedly haunts the mansion. This was told to him by Lady Bird Johnson's brother, Tony Taylor. According to folk lore a young girl was struck by lightening that came through the chimney one night, and ever since then she has haunted the place. Many family members proclaim that they hear lady-like sobs and other sounds throughout the night, as well as chilling movements that hint to someone moving about the house at night. Of course it should also be noted that T.J. Taylor was keen on peacocks (which are known for their wild shrieking,) and other exotic birds that freely wandered the yard.
In the early 1900s, a one story section was added on the east. A garage and bedroom were added in a wing on the north around 1950. Currently the home is owned by T.J. Taylor's nephew, Jerry and Patricia Jones and is kept in pristine condition.
Andrews-Taylor Photos