Terrell County Memorial Museum

Sanderson, Texas

The W. H. Lemons home was donated to the Terrell County Historical Commission by the Lemons heirs, to serve as a museum and repository of important historic photos, documents and objects. The community is indeed fortunate to have this wonderful residence as the center of historical preservation in the county.


Lemons was the first County Clerk, a position he held from 1906 until his death in 1919.  He also worked for the railroad and had ranching interests. At his death, Lemons' wife Louella was appointed to take his place and served until 1930.  Lemons built this fine Victorian home for his family in 1907.  The view above shows the home, looking to the northwest, with the front door and porch on the west and a third porch on the east.  In the early '20s the east porch was closed in and the west porch and door eliminated, moving the main entrance to the south exposure.  In the '40s the house was expanded to the rear, the exterior stuccoed and the Vic-torian 'gingerbread' elements removed.   The view below shows the Lemons family standing on the east porch, with the Court House just visible in the background on the left.

Mr. Lemons being the County Clerk, the Lemons children had free reign of the Court House...to them it was their second home.  In 1918 the Lemons children and their Mansfield cousins, who lived in the beautiful Victorian home across the street, and other neighborhood kids often whiled away the hours playing their favorite game, 'hide-and-seek.'  The windmill north of the Court House was 'homebase' and the Court House itself made a great place to hide.  On this particular evening some of the Lemons and Mansfield kids climbed through the open, unscreened County Courtroom window to hide under the sheet-covered Commissioner's table.  Soon they began to wonder why the table was covered, and upon lifting the sheet discovered, to their horror, the bullet-riddled body of Ed Valentine, the young cowboy who had killed Sheriff "Doc" Anderson earlier that day and who in turn was killed by a deputy.  The body was placed there until the undertaker from Ft. Stockton could come and pick it up.  In total panic the children lept screaming through the open window to get away from the horrific scene.  They were not so eager to play 'hide-and-seek' after that!

W.H. Lemons family, 1907



All text and photos on this site ©Terrell County Memorial Museum, except where attribution is given.