Stephen F. Austin State University

Wigfall House

510 W. Burleson, Marshall

Current Owners 2013: Scott & Patricia Younker

Sanborn Maps:

TX Historical Marker

The Wigfall House became a TX Historical Landmark in 1979.

Architectural Survey

Architectural Survey

• Description: The Wigfall home is one-story Gothic Revival cottage. The front porch is supported by slender classical columns with flat brackets at the top. The home contains an original free standing, hand-made brick double fireplace inside the main living quarters.

• Significance: The Wigfall home portrays the transformation from the early Texas dog trot style architecture to Victorian styling and was the home to Louis T. Wigfall.

Historical Background

Built by Mr. and Mrs. J.N. Jordan in 1854, the Wigfall home was sold to Dr. Jefferson M. Saunders, a prominent Harrison County physician in 1856. According to Max Lale, a suit was filed for debt against Saunders which resulted in the District Court of Harrison County giving the home and property to Louis Trezevant Wigfall in 1860. Despite thorough research no abstract for the title is available. Wigfall and his family lived in the home throughout the Civil War, and it was because of this time period that the house achieved its status for becoming a Texas historical marker. Wigfall came to Texas to escape debt and murder charges. He arrived in Marshall in 1846 to practice law with his cousin James Hamilton and in 1850 he was one of twenty-two people who signed articles of association to organize Trinity Episcopal Church in Marshall. Originally from South Carolina, Marshall provided a new life for Wigfall and he was able to develop a constituency that helped him get elected to both houses of the Texas legislature, the United States Senate, and the Confederate Senate, as well as become a politically opponent for Sam Houston's. Unfortunately, debt and drinking terminated Wigfall's success, and in 1866, he fled to England for a few years, before eventually making back to Texas where he spent the remainder of his life in Galveston.

During his time as State Senator and United States Senator, Wigfall's oldest daughter Louise lived in the home and although Dr. Saunders recovered the title to the Wigfall House at a sheriff's sale in January 1861, contemporary records show that Wigfall remained in possession of the property until after the Civil War. Due to a protracted probate and guardianship struggle, the house was rented for several years, although there are no records remaining as to whom resided in the home or who received the rent money. The title to the property can be vaguely tracked but is incomplete and vague and goes through many owners before the house was purchased in 1871 by John Crimmin. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 5, Pg. 551, filed October 28, 1876.) Eighteen years later, Crimmin's widow, Lou A. sold the house to A.J. McMillan. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 39, Pg. 47, filed May 24, 1897.) After McMillan's death his widow, Emma J. McMillan, remained in possession of the home until her death in 1922, at which time her sister and brother, Louisa Paye Lane and Wade J. Lane, inherited the home. After Louisa's death, the house changed hands three more times, before it was purchased in 1965 by Mr. and Mrs. James Ammerman. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 1074) They sold the house in 1976 to Sam Baxter. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 780, Pg. 141, filed February 11, 1976.)In 1999, Baxter sold the home to Scott and Patricia Younker, the current owners as of 2013. (Harrison County Deed Record, Vol. 1960, Pg. 100, filed July 7, 1999.)

Through numerous alterations by different owners over the years, the Wigfall House has been transformed from a symmetrical, single-level, dog trot home, to a one and a half story Victorian cottage. The Ammermans were responsible for modernizing the interior, removing several partitions, and installing a new kitchen, along with fixtures and appliances. The removal of one partition left the large, double fireplace, free-standing, which is now the focal point of the main floor. The house remains in pristine condition and is an excellent example of the simple, but elegant Victorian style that is seen throughout Harrison County.

Wigfall House Photos