Williamson County
Historical Commission

 

 

Smart-McCormick Home   
Historical Marker
Florence-Andice, Texas


1251 CR 208

 

 
 
Marker Text
Smart-McCormick Home, 1855. Built by Bryce M. Smart (1816-1880), who had a grist mill, tannery, freight line. His children rescued newborn calves abandoned on nearby Chisholm Trail. McCormicks, 5th generation descendants, now own home. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1965



 
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GPS Coordinates
Latitude: 30.805478, Longitude: -97.919512



 
  Smart-McCormick Home

The McCormick home is located in the northwest part of Williamson County, Texas on the north San Gabriel River, between the towns of Bertram and Florence, 2 miles west of US Highway 183.

The structure was built by Bryce Miller Smart in the years of 1855-1858. Mr. Smart was born in Indiana on February 8, 1816. He was married to Amy Cox in Springfield, Missouri on February 14, 1836. Mr. Smart brought his family to Texas in 1852. Settling on the banks of the North San Gabriel River in Williamson County.


Accompanying the Smart family to Texas were relatives of Mr. Smart who settled in and around the area of Florence, Texas. Relatives of Amy Cox Smart were settled in the area of Lampasas, Texas on Lucy Creek.

Mr. Smart, a typical hardy pioneer, was a versatile man of varied occupations. He ran a freight line to and from Brenham, Texas, the nearest railroad, for supplies of all kinds. During the war between the States Mr. Smart operated a tannery and furnished leather to the Confederate Arm. He and his sons later owned and operated a flour and grist mill in Burnet, Texas. On January 1, 1880, as Mr. Smart was preparing for the days grinding a tragedy occurred the steam boiler burst, killing Mr. Smart instantly and destroying the mill.

Home
Mr. Smart realizing the need for a family home began work on the structure in 1855. The house was built of native limestone which was quarried and hauled from site to his home plot. The foundation of the house is 3 feet thick with outer and partition walks 2 feet thick. Over each window and door openings are keystones for the outer and inner walks. The lime used in the mortar was made in a kiln on the banks of the small stream near the home. Three large rooms, three fireplaces and additional walks were completed.

Other Builders
Upon the death of Mr. Smart, the widow Mrs. Amy smart and a daughter, Mrs. Margaret (Maggie) Smart McCormick, continued to live in the home.

Mrs. McCormick, born in Missouri in 1850, grew to womanhood in the rugged ways of the pioneers. As a young girl, She and a younger sister would often ride horseback three miles east to a bedding ground of the Chisholm Trail. There in the early morning they would often find newly born calves unable to follow the herd. The sisters would tie the calves to the saddles with their shoe laces and bring them home to raise. Mrs. McCormick began her own personal herd in this manner.

It was Mrs. McCormick, a widow, the daughter of the original builder and her son Mr. Charles Philip McCormick, who finally completed the building of the homestead. A roof was added to the additional walls and a large front porch. Mrs. McCormick owned and occupied the home along with her son and his family until her death in 1936.

Continuous family ownership
The home has been continuously occupied by direct descendants of the original builder for five generations. Mr. Charles Philip McCormick died in 1951 leaving the home to his widow, Mrs. Maude Allen McCormick, and their five children: Roberta McCormick Smith, Charles Allen McCormick, Madge McCormick Smith, Bryce Philip McCormick and Margaret McCormick Russell.




 
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