The migration of the Brown family started with Samuel P. Brown. They came to the Wylie, Texas area from Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas around the year of 1852. Traveling with them were his brothers and families. Jesse, William and John along with his sister Martha and her husband, Michael Millirons.Their eldest son, William Thomas, would later be well known in the Wylie area.
They first settled on Rowlett Creek, about fifteen miles south of McKinney. The family then came to the Wylie area in the late 1850s or early 1860s. He bought land from James V. Russell west of Ballard and north of the Cottonbelt Railroad. Early day services for the Christian Church were often held in this home.
Their known children were William Thomas, James, Ezekiel, Zachariah, Carr, Davis and Amanda Brown.
William Thomas Brown (1848-1907), a native of Illinois, married Martha (Mattie) J. Housewright in 1871. They moved to Wylie shortly after its establishment on a newly constructed railroad line from Paris to Dallas built by the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railroad company in 1886. Thomas and his business partner John H. Burns purchased over 31 acres, which included this site, from Nancy and James Vaughn Russel in 1887.
The Browns secured this home site in 1888 and replaced their original residence with this ornate Queen Anne style structure in 1905. The house, with six rooms downstairs and one large room upstairs, exhibits an unusual variety of material, elaborate roofscape and asymmetrical plan typical of the Victorian era. The gables of the four dormers are covered with original fishscale shingles. Prominent features include a wraparound porch with slender paired doric columns, dentil frieze, palladian windows and polygonal bays with cutaway corners on their side elevations.
Although Thomas Brown died just two years after the house was built, Mrs. Mattie Brown continued to live here until her death in 1922. The house was then inherited by the Browns’ adopted daughter, Tennie Lee (Rattaree) Creel and remained in her family until 1931.
It was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1992.
Courtesy Wylie Area Heritage by Beb Fulkerson and Texas State Historical Commission.