In October 1862, Lucy VanDuzen Culberson Dotson (known as ‘L.V.’) and her husband, James B. Dotson, purchased the land at 312 North Walnut Street and built their home. Hopes and dreams for their lives and that of their 18 month old daughter Lula would be short-lived, however. The spring of 1863 found Dotson fighting with Company K of the 7th Texas Infantry. He died in the battle of Raymond, Mississippi on May 12, 1863.
The original home consisted of three rooms and an outside kitchen with a couple of outbuildings on the property. Deed records show the construction of the original home in early 1863. The 1873 map of Jefferson shows the home and 2 out-buildings. “L.V.” never remarried and lived in the Walnut Street home until May 1905 when she sold the property to Minnie and James King The Kings significantly enlarged the house to nine rooms to accommodate their five children. After the children married and left home, the Kings remodeled the home to accommodate boarders, as there was a huge “oil boom” in Marion and surrounding counties during the 1930’s-1940’s.
In 1965, Mrs. King sold the home to Mary Hitt and she continued to rent rooms for several more years. In 1996, the home was sold to the current owner. In the process of renovation, several interesting items were found. In the linen closet stuck to the wallpaper was a “King” candy sticker. Also, someone apparently caught young Louis carving his initials on the pantry wall, and those unfinished initials remain today. The Dotson-King home has been lovingly restored with information provided by the daughters prior to their deaths. Miss Daisy was able to see the project to completion before she died in August 2005 at the age of 99.
The home is owned by Sharon and James Goolsby.
The Heron House, a cottage located in the northwestern section of the Alley Addition, was built in the early 1880s in the late Greek Revival style. It has been renovated extensively throughout the years. The beaded board walls are from the earliest days while the white oak flooring and fireplace mantle with tiling in the parlor are indicative of the 1920s.
Throughout the house one can literally pass through time by passing through the doorways as several styles of doors indicate the various periods of renovations. In 1970 the kitchen was expanded and the original porch, in the middle of the house, was fully integrated indoors. A new enclosed porch was built onto the length of the back of the house.
In 2018 the current owners, India and Matt Stanberry completely renovated the home to its current beautiful condition, maintaining as much of the original materials as possible, including the stained-glass front door. The kitchen and bathrooms were modernized but in a manner that compliments the existing architecture.
Previous owners of the home include the following notable Jefferson citizens: Mrs. Lucy Alley, wife of Dan N. Alley, James Chapin, Rudolph and Mary Ballauf (owner of Ballauf’s Hardware) and Eugene Meyer of the Meyer House next door, who was son-in-law to Rudolph Ballauf and owner of Meyer and Son’s Hardware.
This church site was given to local slaves in 1842 by the first settlers in Jefferson including Captain William Perry. In 1847, the original slave congregation built a church structure on the site, known as the African Church. It is possible that this congregation was the first Black congregation in Texas and that the original church was the first built by slaves in Texas.
The current church structure at the site was built in 1883 after the original African Church was burned by the Knights of the Rising Sun on October 4, 1868, during the turbulent Reconstruction period. The 1883 church structure has recently been completely restored under the guidance and direction of the Jefferson-based Collins Academy and the Dallas-based Today Foundation. Both organizations were founded by Richard H. Collins, a noted philanthropist and preservationist.
While the church was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 2011, it spent decades in a state of increasing deterioration. Faced with threatened demolition by the City of Jefferson, a petition circulated by the Marion County Historical Commission delayed the demolition of the Union Baptist Church until Collins' involvement in the project implemented the historic preservation of this important piece of Jefferson’s historical fabric. The completed historic preservation of the church has beautifully restored the structure to its 1883 appearance in which 90 percent of the original wood floors, ceilings, and walls in the main sanctuary were preserved.
The home, located at 403 N. Walnut Street, was built in the early 1860s by Col. David Browning Culberson, Jr. Originally from Georgia and Alabama, the Culberson family had moved to East Texas via wagon train and had settled in Jefferson with his wife Eugenia Kimball in 1861, where he continued his practice of law. Culberson served as the defense attorney in the Stockade Case of 1869 and defended accused murderer Abe Rothschild in the Diamond Bessie murder trial. Each spring during the Pilgrimage Celebration in May, the town puts on a Diamond Bessie murder trial play.
During the Civil War, Culberson entered the Confederate Army as a private. But, in 1862, he helped raise the 18th Texas Infantry Regiment. He served as Lt. Col and then as Colonel of the regiment. Culberson was also one of the intimate advisors to Sam Houston.
Following the war, Culberson continued his career as a public servant. He was elected to the Texas Senate in 1873. Culberson was then elected to the U.S. Congress for ten consecutive terms, serving from 1875-1897. To climax a most successful political career, Culberson was appointed by President McKinley to serve on the committee to codify the laws of the United States. Culberson served in this capacity until his death on May 7, 1900. He and his wife are both buried here in Jefferson at Oakwood Cemetery. Culberson County in West Texas is named in his honor.
Culberson and his wife Eugenia had two sons: Charles and Robert Culberson. Charles Culberson grew up in this home. After Charles married, his parents (David and Eugenia) built the home next to the Culberson House for Charles and his wife, Anna, as a wedding gift. The home that was built for them is now known as the "Governor's House." Charles Culberson was elected as the 21st Governor of Texas, serving from 1895-1899 and as a United States Senator from Texas from 1899 to 1923. After serving for over two decades in D.C., his health and opposition to the Ku Klux Klan led to the loss of his seat in the Democratic primary in 1922. He is buried in East Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth upon his death in 1925. Culberson was a distant cousin of John Culberson, who represented Texas' 7th congressional district in Houston.
The Culberson House is an exquisite example of Greek Revival architecture. This classic architectural style, with its symmetrical shape, low roof lines, columns and pediments, was inspired by Greek temples - a tribute to the very concept of democracy. When first constructed, it was a one-story cottage with a hexastyle portico and a hipped roof. In the 1980s, the Culberson House was extensively renovated and expanded into the grand Greek Revival home that you see today. The home and guest house feature six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, fifteen-foot-high ceilings, seven fireplaces and a hidden secret passageway from the office to one of the downstairs bedrooms. The floors in the home are the original six-inch wide heart-of-pine boards cut and planed in Jefferson. All of the interior doors are original to the home and are wood-pegged type construction. The home is furnished with a variety of Continental American, English, French and German antiques from the 17th through the 19th centuries. The Culberson Home is owned by Rob and Pam Baker.