History Homes Sites & Attractions

Broyles House

Broyles House, Palestine, Texas- The Broyles House in Palestine is an outstanding example of the Queen Anne style homes in the area. The historic home is a majestic two-and-a-half story frame home, which displays superb craftsmanship throughout the exterior’s elaborate woodwork. Prominent local architect Luther McKlemurry designed and built this house for William McBurney Broyles and his wife Caroline Scott Broyles in 1893-94. Broyles, an Alabama native, was a prosperous East Texas lumberman. He played an important role in the economic development of Palestine during the late 19th century and early 20th century. Broyles was active in local real estate, and developed three new additions to the town, including the Broyles Addition, on which this house this situated. Much of the exemplary millwork featured on the house was manufactured in Broyles’ own Palestine mills. The house was later occupied by his son Gordon Broyles, who lived here until his death in 1987.

The historic marker reads:

“A native of Huntsville, Alabama, William Broyles came to Texas following the Civil War. Traveling by boat to Shreveport, Louisiana, he continued his journey to Texas on foot, finally settling in Palestine.

Broyles worked as a carpenter and later opened a mercantile store near the Anderson County Courthouse. Following the arrival of the railroad and the subsequent relocation of the town, he opened the first store in the new townsite. In 1878 he established a lumber business which eventually included a lumberyard, saw mill, and cabinet shop.

A real estate investor as well as merchant, Broyles played an important role in the economic development of Palestine. He had this home built for his wife, Caroline, in 1895. Designed by local architect Luther McKlemurry, the home is a fine example of 19th-century eclecticism, exhibiting influences of Italinate, Queen Anne, and Second Empire styles. Outstanding features include its tower, roof cresting, and fine milled woodwork crafted by workers at Broyles’ Lumber Company. Landscaping originally surrounding the home included elaborate flower gardens and an adjacent pecan orchard.”

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