Longview's Historic Treasure
408 South Fredonia
Date of construction: estimated 1915
Architectural Style: Bungalow
Mayor Gabriel Augustus Bodenheim and his wife Willie Bass built this bungalow style home and lived there with their children, Roland and Edwin. Mel Hall, grand-father of Cathy Painter Cace, was the builder.
One of the best-liked and most well-known businessmen and cotton brokers in the area, “Colonel Bodie,” as he was affectionately called, also owned one of the largest insur-ance companies in this part of the country. Mr. Bodenheim served as mayor of Longview from 1901 to 1920. Under his progressive leadership, the city developed a fire and health department, a waterworks and filtration system, a modern sewer system, paved streets, concrete sidewalks, and street lights. In 1918 he guided the city through a race riot during which martial law was declared.
Following the death of Mrs. Willie Bodenheim in 1970, the family retained ownership of the family home and rented it for a time. Since 1983, the daughter of Mrs. Edwin Bodenheim (Betty Bodenheim), Betty Clowers and husband Mike have owned and operated the Clowers Company, a promotional products distributor, from the family home. They have set an example for our community of the adaptive reuse of historical buildings and of a family’s pride in their heritage.