Williamson County
Historical Commission

 

 

Easley Home

Historical Marker -
Georgetown, Texas

circa 1913

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Easley Home

1310 Olive St
 

  GPS Coordinates
Latitude: 30.631876 - Longitude: -97.667074
Latitude: +30° 37' 54.75" Longitude: -97° 40' 1.47"
UTM 14 R - Easting: 627760 - Northing: 3389360

 

Mr. Easley, an engineer, doubtless consulted with builder Belford on construction details which "customized" this 11/2-story dwelling. Features rare in Georgetown include the choice of brick as the major building material and the inclusion of a sub-basement, which formerly housed a coal chute and furnace. The upstairs screened porch and spacious front gallery with leaded, beveled glass entry provide inviting retreats from the heat of the Texas sun. The roof shingle design is unusual, as is the graceful curve of the numerous eave brackets.

 

Marker Text
A native of South Carolina, Samuel Allen Easley (1851-1933) came to Texas with his parents at the age of one. They settled on a large amount of acreage along the San Gabriel River in Williamson County. After managing the family farm for much of his life, Easley and his wife, Roberta (Crow), moved to Georgetown in 1913 and built this bungalow. The house, which features a broad hip roof, bracketed eaves, and wraparound porch, remained in the Easley family until 1968. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1984.

 

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - RTHL Medallion

 



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. (6)

 

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 Society. (13)

 

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 Raper.

9 - Ibid.

10 - Ibid.; Personal files, Clara Scarbrough.

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. 588, 196.

 

 

Bibliography, The Easley-Raper Home

                         

Belford Lumber Company Contract Ledger, 1910-1916, in the hands of Wallace Evans, Georgetown, Texas.

 

Chandler, Leon, architect, Austin, Texas

 

Crabb, Mrs.- Lloyd, and Mashburn, Mrs. Clare, Easley Family History.

 

Georgetown IOOF Cemetery Records.

 

Patent Records for the State of Texas.

 

Raper, James A. and Nancy S., Georgetown, Texas. Scarbrough, Clara, personal files.

 

Travis County Court Records, 1868, 1870.

 

Williamson County: Deed Records and District Court Minutes.

 

Williamson County Sun, April 28, 1933, obituary of Sam A. Easley.

 


 

 
     
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