717 North - The Autrey-Williams House

 
 

Built of long-leaf pine by L M Autrey the year the Titanic was lost, the Autrey-Williams house is the only Texas historic landmark residence in Newton County. The home was the first in the county to have indoor plumbing and electricity, and newspapers of the time heralded it as "one of the finest country homes in Southeast Texas".

The home features elements of classical and victorian architecture, and features 14 tapered ionic columns, and a large front porch evocative of the old south.

A century of history in newton county, tx

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Latta M Autrey came to Newton county in the early 1900s as the head of a turpentine company, Southeast Texas held a vast forest of virgin pine, considered at the time "inexhaustible". This home is built of the same pine that built and still plays a major part of the region's economy.

Mr. Autrey sold the home in 1918 to N A Dawson, a contractor of note who built the Sabine County Courthouse. Mr. Autrey went on to become the mayor of Orlando, Florida. The home was sold by Mr. Dawson in 1923 to Thomas Williams, a self-made timber magnate, well respected in the community, and an advocate for education. Even today in Southeast Texas the Sartain-Williams timberlands are still well known, and hold a vast area of timber production. In 1973 the home passed to Mr. Williams' daughter and son-in law Ernestine and Woodrow McMillian. The home was purchased in 1979 by the Hilliard Family and renovated to serve as residence and law offices, as well as the office of Forse Abstract and Title. The home then passed to the Roush and Dussetschleger families, and MarSue properties held the home as a rental property. In July of 2011 the home was purchased by David Holmes, for rehabilitation, this website will chronicle the long process of restoring this landmark to its former glory as "One of Southeast Texas' finest country homes".