Williamson County
Historical Commission

 

 

Pickle Mason House
Historical Marker
Leander, Texas


 

Marker Text

Pickle-Mason House - Master carpenter Andrew Porter Pickle (1833-1908) built this house for his family in 1871. It remained in the Pickle family until 1913, when it was sold to Augusta K. and Sarah Zora Mason Davis. Following their deaths, it remained in the family. The home consists of two structures under one roof. The rear part features shiplap siding and the front exhibits milled siding and a five-bay facade. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1988


 

 
 

Pickle Mason House
Historical Narrative by Karen Thompson 

Andrew (Andy) Porter Pickle was born April 1, 1833 and died January 7, 1908 and is buried at the Bagdad Cemetery near Leander, Texas. [1]

 

 Andy grew up in Wythe County, Virginia but moved to Knoxville Tennessee where he worked in the carpenter trade. He migrated to Texas about 1854. Here he helped build the Old State Capitol building - that burned down in 1881. He was a Confederate soldier, serving as a Lieutenant in Company D, Flournoy's Regiment, 16th Texas Cavalry. He returned home after the Civil War to become one of the most substantial and public spirited citizens of the area. [2]

 

 The 1860 United States Census for Williamson County Texas listed the following family, in the same household:

 

Name                       Age/Sex        Occupation             From

Faubion, John           68 M             Farmer                  Tn.
Eliza                         47 F                                          Th.
Jeremiah                  22 M                                          Tn.
John M.                    18M                                           Tn.
Luther                      16 M                                          Tn.
Mary                        17 F                                           Tn.
Isabel                       16 F                                           Tn.
Pickle, A. J.              26 M             Carpenter              Va.
James                      24 M                                         Va.

[3]

The Faubion and Pickle families had friends in Tennessee and Andy lived with the Faubions and pursued his carpenter trade. 

On January 18, 1862 Andy Pickle married Isabella Faubion. [4] Isabella, daughter of John and Mary Ann Mckay Faubion was a twin born on May 8, 1845 in Cocke County Tennessee. She died in Austin Texas on June 3, 1891 at the age of 46 and is buried beside her husband at Bagdad Cemetery. Andy and Isabella Pickle were the parents of 15 children. Their children were: 

1. Oscar Pickle, born Bagdad on April 5, 1863; died April 19, 1939./*+-*
2. Mary Elizabeth "Bettie" Pickle, born Bagdad on December 4, 1864, died June 19, 1943.
3. James R. Pickle, born March 23, 1866, died January 9, 1958.
4. William Lee Pickle, born 1869, died September 1, 1945.
5. Infant son born and died November 12, 1870, buried Bagdad.
6. Margaret Isabella Pickle, born 1871 (FIRST TO BE BORN IN THIS HOUSE), died April 21, 1963.
7. Ann J. Pickle "Annie", born February 10, 1874, died November 24, 1953.
8 Rose Pickle, twin to Emma, born May 7, 1876, died 1938.
9. Emma Pickle, twin to Rose, born May 7, 1876, died 1910.
10. Leila Sarah "Lee" Pickle, born July 15, 1880, died July 16, 1974.
11. Etta Mae Pickle, born 1882, died October 14, 1956.
12. Andrew Porter Pickle, Jr. born October 4, 1883, died May 26, 1959.
13. Lenora "Nora" Eugenia Pickle, born March 5, 1885, died January 8, 1959.
14. Harvey S. Pickle, born July 2, 1887, died September 4, 1952.
15. Baby died at birth. Some of the family believe Isabella had twins and she and both babies died because of this birth and all three are buried together. [5]

 

 On March 18, 1870 Andy Pickle bought 621/2 acres near Bagdad from John Faubion for $310.00. This tract is part of the Charles Cochran League on the headwaters of Brushy Creek. See xerox copy of acreage taken from the original Abstract of Title. It was on this 621/2 acre place that Andy built his home in 1871.

 It was in 1871 that the Pickle family moved into their new home near Bagdad. Andy and Isabella's second born daughter Margaret Isabella, who was born that year, was the first child born in the new hare. The house is wooden, with brick fire places on the east and west sides, a six roan house with 14 foot ceilings. (See drawing) Margaret's daughter, Louise, remembers how her mother had fond memories of sitting in the living roam in front of the fireplace and listening to stores being told by her father Andy. He had built her a stool (he was well known as a master carpenter) so she could reach the counter to make biscuits and cook them in the wood stove. Margaret always told of how nice the house was and how her father kept it in excellent condition.  [7] 

 

Frankie, daughter of Lenora, was born in 1905 and as a child lived in the house Her mother talked about being born in the house and how much she loved it. Frankie remembers the beautiful floral carpet in the living roan, a fun playhouse and a pet squirrel that bit her on the neck. [8] 

 

In 1891 Isabella died and left Andy with 12 children at hare Lenora was only 5 years old and the youngest, Harvey, was only 3. Lenora told her daughter Isabella (born 1914) that her father Andy slept with his arms out­stretched and Lenora and Harvey slept one on each arm. In the winter he tended the fireplace all night to keep roaring fires for the comfort of his family. Andy was an excellent carpenter, as the house indicates, even today. He also built a wooden windmill that stood for many years, and Isabella hated to see it go, it reminded her of her grandfathers reputation for patience and creativity. [9] 

 

It is also said that this house was the very first in the Leander area to have window screens installed. [10] 

 

Andy Pickle died in January of 1908. His estate was divided into 13 shares, equal portions to each living child. In December of 1908, twelve heirs sold their portion to the oldest son, Oscar Pickle for a total of $6,461.52 in cash. [11] 

In 1913, Oscar sold the 621/2 care tract, along with the Pickle home to Augusta K. and Sarah Zora Mason Davis. The Warranty Deed gave the selling price at $9,000.00. Oscar was a bachelor at the time and certainly did not need that large of a home. Most of the Pickle children had moved away by that time. [12] The Pickle family owned the house 42 years. 

 

The Davis's lived in the home, they did not have any children, and enjoyed visits from niece's. Davis did not make any structure changes.  

 

A. K. Davis died September 10, 1939 leaving an estate of 1,190 acres valued at $9,500.00 and the home Zora died December 24, 1950. The Davis's niece, Frances Elizabeth Mason, born in Leander in 1924 had spent much of her growing up years with Aunt "Zo" and Uncle Gus at the house Her father, A. L. Mason inherited the house after his sisters' (Zora) death. A. L. Mason died in 1963 and Frances Elizabeth Mason Thompson inherited the house which she still owns. 

 

When my husband, David Thompson, was about a year old in 1944 a photo­graph was taken of him with his great-aunt Zora coming out the front door of the house. In that photograph the house looks exactly as it did in the 1907 historic photo .(See attached) The house looks the same today. In the 1950s A. L. Mason added a tin roof over the original cedar shingle roof. At that time he also added new plumbing and electrical wiring. The only major repair has been replacement of the floor of the front porch. [14]

 

                

 


The house is 116 years old, and it was in the Pickle family the first 42 years. It has essentially been in the Mason/Thompson family since 1913, or the last 74 years. Gus and Zora Mason Davis purchased the home in 1913.

Zora Mason was the granddaughter of Colonel Charles C. Mason who came to Texas. in 1851. He was one of the original pioneer settlers of Bagdad in Williamson County where he acquired thousands of acres of land during the 1850s and 1860s. With the help of slaves, which he brought from North Carolina, he operated a large cattle business. He was left financially ruined at the close of the Civil War. The cattle brand CM that he registered on May 31, 1856 belongs to us now, making it in the family for 131 years. [15]

One of Col. Mason sons was Charles C. Mason (1847-1910) married Sarah Jane Wells (1852-1891) in 1867. Charles C. Mason served in the Texas State Troops during the Civil War. Sarah's grandfather, Martin Wells, came to Stephen F. Austin's Little Colony, Bastrop, by 1829. The Wells family was prominent during the Republic of Texas era and a chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas is named in honor of Martin Wells. [16]
Sarah Zora was the daughter of Charles C Mason, and A. L. Mason who inherited the house from his sister Zora, was the next to youngest son of Charles C. Mason. A. L. Mason left the house to his only child, Frances Elizabeth Mason - Thompson who has owned it for 24 years She in turn is leaving the house to her only child, David L. Thompson, my husband.

One of Col. Mason sons was Charles C. Mason (1847-1910) married Sarah Jane Wells (1852-1891) in 1867. Charles C. Mason served in the Texas State Troops during the Civil War. Sarah's grandfather, Martin Wells, came to Stephen F. Austin's Little Colony, Bastrop, by 1829. The Wells family was prominent during the Republic of Texas era and a chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas is named in honor of Martin Wells. [16]


Sarah Zora was the daughter of Charles C Mason, and A. L. Mason who inherited the house from his sister Zora, was the next to youngest son of Charles C. Mason. A. L. Mason left the house to his only child, Frances Elizabeth Mason - Thompson who has owned it for 24 years She in turn is leaving the house to her only child, David L. Thompson, my husband.

 

 Pickle Mason House Endnotes PDF

 
 


 

 

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