THE EASLEY-RAPER HOME narrative
BY Clara Stearns Scarbrough - 1984
The Easley-Raper home at 1310 Olive
Street, Georgetown, Texas, is located on the south half
of Block 32 of Snyder's Addition. This block was a part
of the William Addison Survey in Milam District, (1) out
of which Thomas B. Huling, Henry Millard, and George
Washington Glasscock (partners in land speculation
beginning in 1835) bought 3221 acres. (2) Disagreements
among the partners led to dissolution of the
co-partnership Jan. 20, 1839, and after extended
litigation, Glasscock received the 3221 acres as his
portion of their extensive property, on May 18, 1850.
(3) From Glasscock the land went to his heirs. A son,
Albert H. Glasscock received 500 acres valued at $1,000,
which included Block 32, in February 1870. (4)
On Jan. 11, 1884, A. H. Glasscock
sold 39.36 acres of the above tract to D. H. and J. W.
Snyder, who then formed the Snyder Addition. (5) The
Snyder Brothers, on April 17, 1889, sold the entire
Block 32 to William T. Tisdale for $600. The streets
bounding the block were Palmetto, Olive, Magnolia, and
Maple; Palmetto and Magnolia have since been changed to
13th and 14th streets. Tisdale resold the full block on
Sept. 1, 1908 for $1,000 to R. W. Tinsley, who in turn
sold the south one-half of the block 32 to S. A. Easley
on July 7, 1913 for $1100. Until this point, apparently
no residence was erected on the south half of the block.
Soon after Easley's purchase of the
lot, Belford Lumber Co. of Georgetown, began
construction on a residence for the Easley family, and
also built a barn, chicken house, fence, and added a
partition in the cellar of the residence before the
project was completed. (7)
The residence is bungaloid in style,
with modifications which seem to lend grace and comfort
to it. It is 11/2 stories, of brick exterior, wood trim
and slate roof, the earth-tones being used in the brick.
The commodious porch extends along the front (east) and
south sides of the, home, with four brick
columns across the front, and one additional column on
the south porch. Chimneys are of matching brick, and
four dormers intersect the roof line, one on each side
of the second floor, forming three bedrooms, a bath, and
screened porch on the upper level. Decorative brackets
under the eaves on both first and second floors soften
the rather simple lines of the architecture. (8)
The downstairs rooms include large
living and dining rooms, den/library, and downstairs
bedroom and bath, butler's pantry, kitchen, utility
room, and porch, originally open, but closed in with
jalousie windows sometime between 1938 and 1968. Two
fireplaces, typical of those installed by Belford Lumber
Co:, were shallow, intended for coal burning. The
designs differ, but both mantels are of carved oak, and
tile trim is used on the sides. The beamed ceiling of
the living and dining rooms and the wood paneling are of
oak. Beveled leaded glass is used in and around doors
and windows throughout the exterior, and five interior
doors (including two double French doors) and high
windows in the dining room contain stained or leaded
glass. Nearly all original interior and exterior
fixtures remain in place, including fixtures of the two
baths. The downstairs bath has an unusual large corner
lavatory and large French porcelain tub. A basement once
housed the coal furnace and coal chute, and is believed
to have contained a cistern. (9)
Changes to the exterior include the
enclosure of the back porch. Originally the dormer
window wood trim is believed to have been cedar shakes,
replaced when they rotted with asbestos siding sometime
before 1968. Present owners, with the advice of their
architect, Leon Chandler of Austin, have replaced all
the asbestos with clapboard siding which he deemed
suitable to the period. All other original materials are
intact, including the slate roof and the wooden porch.
Easley, the owner-builder, was an engineer, and devised
a special kind of unobtrusive metal drain around the
outer edge of the wooden floor of the porches. This is
credited with preventing the common problem of rotted
porch floors. Interior changes have been made only in
the kitchen, which has been rearranged and rebuilt for
more efficiency. The basement remains, but the cistern,
if it existed, has been closed off, and the coal furnace
and chute are no longer used. The Belford Co.,
considered for many decades one of the outstanding firms
in Texas for sound, careful construction practices,
could obtain materials by railroad from anywhere in the
nation, and C. S. Belford, the owner, oversaw all
construction jobs, demanding first class materials and
first class workmanship. If an architect was employed
for the Easley home, descendants and available records
do not reveal it. It is known that Belford Co. furnished
many customers with books of blueprints for them to
choose from in designing a home. Belford himself was
capable of making alterations as desired by the owner.
(10) A garage stood at the rear of
the home for many years, and could have been the "barn"
listed in the 1913 contract ledger of Belford Co. The
wooden garage was near the residence, and remained
intact until the present owner purchased the place. The
original building was made into a game room about 1974,
and was extended to the west for storage space. The
original chicken house and fence no longer exist. (11)
Samuel Allen Easley and his wife,
Roberta Crow Easley, and their children lived in the
home from 1913 until his death April 1933. He was the
son of a pioneer family in Williamson County, was born
near Pendleton, S. C., July 2, 1851, and came with his
family the next year to Williamson County, Texas. He was
a graduate of Penn State University, with a degree in
engineering, and was well known both in Taylor where he
lived prior to 1913, and in Georgetown. His widow
continued to live in the home after his death, and a
daughter, Edyth (Mrs. Lewellyn Duke) spent much time
there. After Mrs. Easley's death in 1938, Mrs. Duke was
given the home for the remainder of her life, after
which the property was to accrue to Sam Easley's heirs.
Mrs. Duke died Jan. 15, 1968, and the heirs sold the
property on Nov. 19, 1968, to Dr. Jefferson H. Campbell,
a professor of English at Southwestern University, and
his wife, Shelia Trapp, for $25,000. The Campbell family
occupied the home until 1974, when he resigned to accept
a teaching position elsewhere. (12)
The present owners and the third
family to live in the home since 1913 are James A. and
Nancy S. Raper, who purchased it from the Campbells on
May 16, 1974, for $72,000. Their children are Andy,
John, Scott and Lori. The Rapers are responsible for
restoring the exterior around the four dormer windows
and did the renovation in the kitchen. They maintain the
home in splendid condition, and respect the unusually
fine materials and the excellent workmanship in the
residence. Raper owns and operates the Central Insurance
Agency, Inc., Central Properties, Inc., and the Central
Services, Inc., in Austin, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Raper
received their B. B. A. degrees from the University of
Texas at Austin. They are involved in many civic and
church activities in their community and Mrs. Raper is
especially involved in work of the local Heritage
Because of the outstanding features
of this handsome home, the Williamson County' Historical
Commission believes it should be granted an official
Texas Historical Marker.
Footnotes, The Easley-Raper Home
1 - Patent No. 775, Vol. 9,
Certificate No. 1145/1244.
2 - Ibid.; Wm. Co. Deeds Vol. 4, 474,
Vol. 1, 400.
3 -Wm. Co. Deeds Vol. '2, 224; Vol.
11, 15; District Court Minutes, Vol. 1, 525-6, 584, 589,
Vol. 7, 28.
4 - Travis Co. Court Records, Apr.
1870 term, Vol. 12, 129; also see records the previous
Feb. 28, 1868.
5 - Wm. Co. Warranty
Deed, Vol. 32, 482; Deed of Trust, Vol. 2, 231; Vol. 67,
534. 48, 571;
6 - Wm. Co. Warranty Deed, Vol. 63,
39; Deeds, Vol./120, 500; Vol. 156, 50.
7 - Belford Lumber Company Ledger,
256, 319, 385, 386, 387.
8 - Leon Chandler; Mr. and Mrs. James
9 - Ibid.
10 - Ibid.; Personal files, Clara
11 - Mr. and Mrs. Raper.
12 - Williamson County Sun, April 28,
1933, obituary Sam A. Easley; Easley Family history;
Georgetown IOOF Cemetery Records; Deeds, Vol. 512, 461.
13 - Mr. and Mrs. Raper; Deeds, Vol.
Bibliography, The Easley-Raper
Belford Lumber Company Contract
Ledger, 1910-1916, in the hands of Wallace Evans,
Chandler, Leon, architect,
Crabb, Mrs.- Lloyd, and
Mashburn, Mrs. Clare, Easley Family History.
Georgetown IOOF Cemetery
Patent Records for the State of
Raper, James A. and Nancy S.,
Georgetown, Texas. Scarbrough, Clara, personal files.
Travis County Court Records,
Williamson County: Deed Records
and District Court Minutes.