The McFaddin-Ward House was built in 1905-06 in the striking and distinctive Beaux-Arts Colonial style. The structure and its furnishings reflect the lifestyle of the prominent family who lived in the house for seventy-five years.
When W. P. H. and Ida Caldwell McFaddin moved their young family, two sons and one daughter, into their house in 1907, Beaumont was still enjoying the economic effects of the discovery of oil at nearby Spindletop in 1901. Having already accumulated considerable wealth from the cattle business, rice farming and milling, commercial real estate, and trapping, the family prospered even further after Spindletop, since Mr. McFaddin owned part interest in the land where oil was discovered.
The McFaddin's home was one of a number of grand residences built in town by local architect, Henry Conrad Mauer, during the early twentieth century. Mauer, trained at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, incorporated local materials with the most advanced electrical, water, heating, and indoor plumbing systems of the time. The home was initially built for Colonel W. C. Averill and his wife Di, the sister of W. P. H. McFaddin. After living in the house for several months, the Averills decided to trade houses with the McFaddins, who lived near by. In early January 1907, the McFaddins moved in.
The house served as a lavish backdrop for the frequent entertainments and elegant parties the McFaddins hosted. In 1919, the McFaddins' daughter Mamie married Carroll Ward, and the couple moved into this house with her parents. They lived their entire lives there, making few changes to the house or its décor after 1950.
Today, visitors to the house receive guided tours of three lavishly furnished floors in the home. Trained guides combine family stories and local history with information about the house and its furnishings to tell the story of the McFaddin family and the era 1906-1950.
This was our first visit of the day. We were NOT allowed to take photos, but it is well worth the visit.
Fire Museum of Texas
Texas Oil Museum
For years, Pattillo Higgins speculated that oil lay beneath the Spindletop mound, At Higgins’s invitation, Anthony E. Lucas came to Beaumont. After two dry holes on the north side of the Spindletop salt dome, Lucas finally drilled on the McFaddin, Wiess and Kyle land ton the south side. The result was the first oil gusher in the United States and the beginning of the Texas petroleum industry. This happened in 1901. (Re: the McFaddin house we visited)
Texaco = Texas Oil Company