Yates Hurst House

Methvin Street, site of Heritage Plaza

Date of construction: 1880's
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Razed: 1929

A Mid-Victorian style home with 6 wood-burning fireplaces and inside shutter blinds, the Yates home was built with the finest materials available from the Yates-Noble Lumber Company.

Jack Williams Yates was born in Henderson in 1857 and moved to Longview as a young man. A charter founder of the First National Bank in 1889, his family remained officially connected with the organization and served on the board until the late 1960’s. Other business interests included his serving as President of the Kelly Plow Company, 1892. Jack organized the Jack Yates Bible Class of the Kelly Memorial Methodist Church, which became the Men’s Bible Class of First Methodist Church.

The first Mrs. Yates was a Northcutt who died in childbirth. The second wife, the former Mary Alice Kelly, was born in Kellyville near Jefferson in 1867 and moved to Longview in 1882 with her family when the Kelly Plow Works relocated in Longview. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, she played the first music in the downtown Methodist Church.

The house was in a prominent location with the streetcar passing in front as it took passengers from "The Junction" into downtown.

Following the death of Mr. Yates in 1907, Mrs. Yates continued to live in the home with her children and step-children. When her daughter Genevieve married Dr. V.R. Hurst, the young couple moved into the home and began raising their young family there.

With the discovery of oil, homes were rapidly demolished to make way for commerce. The Yates home was razed in 1929 to allow for the construction of the Gregg Hotel, completed in 1930, and the first oil leases in Longview were signed there.

The location of the Yates home is now Heritage Plaza.

Rockwall Farm

1400 West Marshall Avenue

Date of construction: 1854
Architectural Style: Greek Revival
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Tom Harriss built a large home in 1854 two miles west of the city. Using slave labor, brick and siding were hand-made on site. Inside the home, folding doors allowed for one large room with a fireplace on either end, providing a venue for fiddling contests and square dancing.

Tom Harriss died young and suddenly, and did not inform anyone where his money was hidden. People would come up to the house and want to dig for Harriss' gold.

A lawyer, Joseph Mark Sparkman (1828-1911) arrived in Longview in 1861. He purchased the home and built a school on his land, importing a teacher from for Virginia for his only child and the neighbors. He became a justice of the peace and a commissioner.

The home was a busy overnight stop for a stagecoach line owned by William Thomas Brooks, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Jack Castleberry (Amelia Belding), who owned the home until it burned. The stage line ran through Monroe, Shreveport, Jefferson, Marshall, and Longview, and was dotted with a chain of hotels called "Brooks Houses."

The last owners of Rockwall Farm include Mr. and Mrs. Roy Sparkman, and later their daughters Mildred Thompson and Mrs. Jack (Amelia Northcutt) Castleberry, who helped preserve the home until it burned in 1952. Amelia was the mother of Mrs. Lou (Jane) Galosy.

Today a historical marker and the remains of one rock column mark the site of the Rockwall Farm.

Falvey Home

Cotton at Green Street

Date of construction: ?
Architectural Style: Italianate
Razed: ?

John Markham Finch employed the contractor Lawrence Wooten to build this large home. According to Eva Jean Finch Blount, her father built the house for his widowed mother, Eugenia Pool Finch, whose 2 daughters were married in the house.

Costing between $8,000 and $10,000 to erect, the elegant home included 12 rooms, porches all around, 3 full bathrooms, 2 half-baths, cypress wood Corinthian columns, carved banister railings, and three staircases.

The home was soon after sold to Dr. J. W. Falvey, a highly educated physician who studied at prestigious hospitals in London, Scotland, and the U.S. He arrived in Longview in a rainstorm in the winter of 1910, having driven his team of matched Hambletonians from his little town of Wells, southwest of Nacogdoches. At first a bachelor, he first boarded at the Magnolia Hotel, rented an office in First National Bank, and began ministering to ailing Gregg County folks from first his buggy and later his new Ford. Roads were so boggy, rough, and crooked, he never knew how long it would take to make a trip.

Dr. Falvey married Miss Lena Adell Walker of Gladewater in 1913, and their two children, Frances Elizabeth, PhD, and James William, a Longview lawyer, grew up in the house.

Flewellen Home

206 South Center

Date of construction: 1879
Architectural Style: Victorian city home
Recorded Texas Historical Landmark: 1967
Razed: 2008

Nicknamed "Canary Gables" for its bright canary paint as well as the cage of artificial canaries on the 70-foot front porch, the Flewellen Home was built in the gingerbread style of a Victorian city house. With a wide central hall and rooms at either side, the home had 11 foot ceilings to keep the home cool in the hot summer months.

Early Longview mayor T. A. Flewellen and his wife, the daughter of a pioneer minister, built this home on land they purchased from the Texas and Pacific Railroad Company in 1876. A native of Georgia, Flewellen was a Civil War captain and merchant. When yellow fever raged in area towns, this mayor signed a historic order prohibiting any person from disembarking from a west-bound train.

The Flewellen daughters maintained a kindergarten attended by many prominent children in the front rooms. Later the mayor created two separate residences from the home so his single daughter would not have to live alone in the house, making this the city’s earliest 2-family dwelling.

Electricity and modern conveniences were added before 1906. The Eason family bought the home in 1920 and later gave the home to their daughter, Mrs. Lesley Brown, who left the house to the First Baptist Church.

The home was razed in 2008 by the owner, the First Baptist Church.

Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell Home

Corner of Methvin and Green

Date of construction: 1879
Architectural Style: Eastlake
Razed: 1949

Thomas Mitchell Campbell, a native of Rusk, Texas, moved to Longview about 1874 to work in the Gregg County Clerk’s office and study law at night. Earlier he studied law at Trinity University, but a lack of finances led him to withdraw after only a year. He was admitted to the state bar and began practicing law in Longview in 1878. In the same year, he married Fannie Irene Bruner of Shreveport.

Their first home, the "Honeymoon Home," was a small frame cottage, now located on Second Street, and it is a recorded Texas landmark (1965).

The family later built the elegant Victorian Eastlake home on Methvin Street, and their five children were born there.

Upon the urging of his old friend, Governor James Hogg, publisher of Longview’s first newspaper, he ran for governor and was elected to two terms, 1907-1911. The second native Texan to become governor of Texas, he was noted for regulation of utilities, restrictions on lobbying, a pure food law, an insurance law, strength-ening antitrust laws and helping reform prison system.

Later appointed to a receivership position with the International and Great Northern Railroad, he moved to Palestine where he became the railroad’s general manager and kept a private law practice until his death in 1923.

The home was demolished in 1949 and is the current site of the Bramlette Building.