That was then Temple had its beginnings as a railroad town. On June 29, 1881, Temple Junction was created as the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad pushed north from Galveston. On this day, prospective buyers came by train for an auction of town lots - 157 business lots and 28 residential lots were sold...and the rest, as they say, is history. The town was named in honor of Bernard Moore Temple, the Santa Fe’s chief engineer; however, he would never live in the town that bore his name. The railroad lured a diverse population including doctors, lawyers and merchants. The Bernard Moore Temple Nov 4, 1843 - Oct 5,1901 city incorporated in 1882, and by 1884 its more than 3,000 residents were served by three churches and a school, as well as two banks, two weekly newspapers, an opera house, and a waterworks. Temple boomed, soon exceeding the size of nearby Belton, the county seat. Today, the city is one of the leading medical centers in the Southwest, thanks to Scott & White Memorial Hospital, Clinic, Children’s Center and the Olin E. Teague Veterans Center, Texas A&M Health Science Center & College of Medicine. Temple grew steadily because of its diverse economy of agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and medicine. It continues to shine as one of Texas’ brightest stars.
Icon represents a City of Temple Historic Marker location
Historic Downtown 120 West Central Avenue Temple Visitor Center
For the first 40 years of Temple’s history, the site where the Temple Visitor Center now stands, was the heart of the city, where deals were cut, farmers peddled produce, and people relaxed and played in the city park. In the middle of the park was the magnificent Beaux Arts-style domed Carnegie Library, that opened in 1904. It was the gathering place for conventions and rallies and the birthplace of local and state organizations. Brooker T. Washington came to Temple in 1912 to address citizens in the Carnegie Library auditorium at the invitation of black business leader, Robert Wells. In 1911, Wells was the keynote speaker for the 12th Annual National Negro Business League in Little Rock, with Washington as president-elect. Washington returned the favor by accepting Wells’ invitation to speak in Temple. In 1913, the Texas League of Nursing Education organized in Carnegie Library. Nurses from King’s Daughters Hospital and Temple Sanitarium (later renamed Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic) were leaders in this organization. The league, which helped bring about legislation setting statewide standards for nursing education and licensing, founded to secure an eighthour day for student nurses, establish a standard three-year course for nursing schools, raise entrance requirements, improve the curriculum, and establish standards for nursing school instructors. In 1914, the Texas Forestry Association sprouted here, far from any Texas forest. W. Goodrich Jones (1860-1950), a native New Yorker, came to Temple as a banker in 1888. No sooner had he arrived than he longed for trees in this virtually treeless prairie town. He planted the town’s first tree, a pecan tree. He led treeplanting drives in Temple and in 1889 pushed for a statewide Arbor Day. The Chief U.S. Forester asked Jones to survey Texas forest resources, and he enlisted friends to help. They met in the Carnegie Library to organize the Texas Forestry Association. The Carnegie Library was destroyed by fire in 1918. Ten years later, the Temple Municipal Building was erected a block away. Built in 1929 by renowned architect Wyatt C. Hedrick, it is a classic in Art Deco design. Today, Temple residents and visitors alike can find a wealth of information at the Temple Visitor Center, which opened in 2003. The friendly, knowledgeable staff provides a variety of informational resources, such as travel guides, maps and attraction information about Temple and many other Texas cities. The Temple Municipal Building and the Temple Visitor Center share a common plaza parking lot. This area provides unlimited free parking for downtown patrons.
Carnegie Library, destroyed by fire in 1918
8 South Main Street Cox’s
Charles S. Cox, Sr., and his wife, the former Annie Pearl Burge, opened C. S. Cox & Son Men’s Clothing in 1903 on Avenue A, next to First National Bank. They sold hats, shirts, shoes, and took orders for custom clothing. In 1907, Cox’s relocated to larger quarters at 8 South Main Street. Every day, Cox hung a 3-by-3 foot canvas sign at the front door: “Mother Expects Her Son to Be a Man.” The couple ran their “gent’s furnishings” store for 49 years. He also served on the Temple School Board for many years.
18 South Main Street First National Bank, Temple’s First Bank
Temple’s banking district had a humble beginning in a crudely constructed wooden building where brothers Pinckney Lovick Downs, Sr., and Flavius Foster Downs opened Bell County Bank, on January 10, 1882, 50 feet north of the present First National Bank. Their seed money of $10,000 was delivered from Waco by horse and buggy. Through mergers and business growth, their bank evolved into First National Bank. First National hired the respected Fort Worth architectural firm of Sanguinet & Staats to design its first building, a massive two-story stone structure with bas-relief eagles. The bank building was a true landmark, symbolic of the financial soundness of the entire city. Eventually, First National became Extraco Bank and outgrew its classic building, which was replaced by its current skyscraper.
19 South Main Street Beginning of Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic
This modest building, now vacant, is where on of the largest multi-specialty group medical practice in Texas began. Arthur Carroll Scott, M.D., and Raleigh R. White, M.D., began their medical partnership on the second floor in 1897. By 1904, they established their own hospital, which evolved into Scott & White. Today, the system owns, partners or manages 12 acute care hospital sites, one emergency hospital site, two additional facilities and over 140 clinics at more than 70 primary care and specialty clinic locations. As Temple’s leading employer, it boasts more than 1200 physicians and more than 14,000 employees system wide. The building’s downstairs was the site of Farmer’s State Bank from 1911 to 1931, across the street from First National Bank. It was founded in 1910 by A.L. Flint.
13 South Main Street At this landlocked site, the Texas Navy was single-handedly preserved in a dentist office. Dentist, researcher, and author Alexander Dienst, Jr., is credited with saving the history of the Republic of Texas’ fleet. His work, the Navy of the Republic of Texas 1835-1846, is considered the first and best history of the Texas Navy and the Republic. Nearly a century after its first publication in 1909, his work remains one of the 50 best books on Texas history. Today’s marine archaeologists marry his 19th-century research with their 21st-century technology to locate sunken 1830s schooners. A Missouri native, Dr. Dienst moved to Temple in 1889 to establish his dental practice. However, his dental career was overshadowed by his love of Texas history, particularly the Revolution. The building now houses In The Mood Ballroom.
Streets, sidewalks, and trolleys A common refrain on the streets of Temple was: “You stick to Bell County in dry weather and Bell County will stick to you in wet weather.” The city’s early nickname of “Mudville” vanished with the installation of sidewalks beginning in 1910. By 1925, concrete replaced the brick-paved streets. From 1904 to 1926, the Belton and Temple Traction Company connected Temple and Belton by trolley. A favorite prank of high school boys was to derail the trolley by placing dynamite caps on the tracks. They then would rush to help the motorman lift the car back on the tracks. The grateful motorman would give each boy a dime for his trouble, enough to buy a malt at the nearest drug store.
11 North Main Street The building at 11 North Main Street has been everything from a dry goods store to a dance hall. In 1908, A.J. Jarrell opened the New Mississippi Store. At Christmas time, clamoring crowds stood on the sidewalk to catch live turkeys tossed from the department store’s second-floor windows. The store was also the public library’s temporary headquarters in 1924 after the Carnegie Library burned. When a 1925 fire destroyed the Mississippi Store, the library moved again, but the store never recovered. In 1929, Montgomery Ward moved into the rebuilt structure, occupying it until 1972. Another retail chain, Goldstein-Migel Company of Waco, operated there until 1976. The building remained vacant until 1980, when a nightclub opened up. Two years later a fire damaged parts of the building. Renovations were the first project partially financed through the Main Street Low-Interest Loan Program.
Confederate veterans were not forgotten in Temple, the site of the 42nd reunion of Hood’s Brigade Association in 1914. The Association formed in 1872 in memory of General John Bell Hood, for whom Fort Hood is named. Hood’s brigade sustained a 61 percent casualty rate and, at its surrender, numbered close to 600 soldiers. The Association met in various cities throughout the state, but Temple’s reunion was renowned for its activity and interest. Accounts said the reunions were marked by large quantities of food and drink, notably barbeque. The convention ended with a rousing rendition of the song, “Dixie.”
111 North Main Street Kyle Hotel
When the Kyle Hotel opened in 1929, the towering 13-story structure was considered a crowning achievement of Temple’s enterprise. The hotel’s key investors were Arthur Carroll Scott, M.D., and oilman Wesley Kyle. In 1932, Lawrence Welk and his five-piece band played in the top-story ballroom. Among the hotel’s guests were Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Scott & White patients needing special care. During World War II, the roof-top garden accommodated soldiers who slept in cots. The hotel closed in 1974. In the late 1980’s, it was renovated to become low-cost housing for the elderly, with city offices on the ground floor.
The Kyle Hotel
19 North Main Street Temple College Foundation
This building was built between 1906 and 1907. Davidson & Clay Furniture Store was the first of many to occupy the building. Throughout the years, many other well established businesses housed in this location, including Modern Hardware & Appliance, Stavinoha Hardware and Terry Farris Department Store. Temple College Foundation purchased the building in December 2001. The grand opening for the Temple College Business Training Center was held in December 2005.
101 North Main Street Temple College Downtown Center
This Italian Renaissance Revival three-story edifice with its gently curved windows and red tile roof has undergone many changes in use. Completed in 1912, it was originally the U.S. Post Office. In 1963, the building was donated to the City and after renovations were made, it became home to the public library. In 1997, the library moved a block west into larger quarters, and Temple College occupied the building for its Small Business Center, staff offices, and classrooms.
119 West French Avenue Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center
Built in 1931 during the Great Depression, this building was the dream of Dr. Hubert B. Mason. Dr. Mason moved to Temple in 1907 as a young physician. He eventually was elected Mayor of Temple. Both inside and outside, mosaic tiles give the building added beauty. The building is the current home to the Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center, which takes us on a journey into the culture of the Slavic people from Bohemia, Moravia and part of Silesia who settled in Central Texas. The museum also maintains an extensive 23,000-volume library begun in 1963, and houses census records and immigrant ship rosters available to genealogy researchers.
20 East Avenue A Riders on the interurban trolley line found this corner convenient for getting shoes and harnesses repaired. It was where Lou S. Williamson opened his thriving saddle and harness business in the 1890’s, and next door was a shoe repair shop. In the 1950’s, Fred Wismar operated a leather shop. In the 1980’s, Molly’s Deli, a eatery for downtown workers, moved to the corner. In 2013, Hondeaux Southern Kitchen & Bar opened it’s doors and now occupies the building.
14 East Avenue A Cheeves Brothers Steak House
The Cheeves Brothers Building, built in 1898, represents an extraordinary legacy of family enterprise and longevity. It was the longest-running business in Temple. Brothers Pat E. and T.A. Cheeves opened their mercantile business in 1891. In 1893, fire destroyed the building and killed Sam Cheeves. Pat rebuilt and expanded the store, joined by his brother-in-law, E.C. Johnson, Sr. by 1900. Johnson’s sons, Hubert G. and Enoch C. Johnson, Jr., continued to operate Cheeves until the 1990s. After they closed the store, the building was faithfully renovated and transformed into an upscale restaurant. Restaurateur Jonathan Van Dusen retained the Cheeves name.
East 4th Street and Central Avenue Doering Hotel
The first skyscraper in Temple was the Doering Hotel, later sold to R.H. Hawn and renamed the Hawn Hotel, built in 1928. Owned by Frank Doering, it was the city’s first luxury hotel with an indoor pool, barber shop, tailor, and coffee shop.
110 East Central Avenue Arcadia Theatre
The Arcadia Theatre was where Central Texans personally said “Howdy” to Gene Autry, saluted Audie Murphy, waved to Roy Rogers, and grooved with Elvis. Built in 1928 by architect and engineer W.B. Palmer as a movie house and live performance theater, the Arcadia, with its elegant Art Deco motifs, boasted 1,000 seats and a state-of-the-art water-cooled air conditioning system. The facility is currently vacant.
10 South 3rd Street Temple Daily Telegram
It began in 1907 by E.K. Williams and J.F. Crouch, the Temple Daily Telegram rolled off the presses daily, boasting two wire services and “three well-paid local reporters.” Williams and his brother, George, were also co-founders of the Texas Aero Corporation in the 1920s, one of the first airplane manufacturers in Texas. In 1927, the Telegram moved into the former Temple Opera House at the corner of West Avenue A and South 3rd. It occupied that location until moving into its present location. In 1929, Ward Mayborn and his sons bought the Telegram to publish “a good, clean, enterprising family newspaper.”
403 West Avenue B The Moody Depot
In 1881, the Moody Depot was built in Moody, Texas. They proudly painted “Moody” onto their depot. The first train that came through Moody found everyone from far and near, dressed in his best “bin and tucker” gathered at the depot to see the train come through. The depot was enlarged in 1910 to accommodate more passengers and more freight moving in and out of the city. In 1975, the depot was loaded onto a moving truck and moved to Temple. The word “Moody” still remains painted on the building to this day.
315 West Avenue B Santa Fe Depot
The striking Prairie-Beaux Arts Santa Fe Depot is the centerpiece of Temple’s downtown renewal program. The depot houses an Amtrak station, gift shop, and Railroad and Heritage Museum. The lobby serves as an elegant meeting and banquet facility. The depot symbolizes the city’s deep railroading roots. The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad (GC&SF) founded Temple on June 29, 1881. A Harvey House restaurant was built to the east of the depot in 1898. The crisply starched uniformed “Harvey Girls” served travelers and townspeople alike. Award-winning Chicago architect, Jarvis Hunt, designed the existing depot, completed in 1911. For the next 78 years, the depot was the queen of the Santa Fe line, but as rail passenger service declined, so did the depot. In 1989, the building was abandoned. In 1995, the City of Temple bought 8.76 acres of land surrounding the depot and the Santa Fe Railroad donated the building. The next year, Texas Department of Transportation awarded the city a $2.4 million grant for restoration, and the city invested another $1.6 million. Renovations were completed in 2000.
Santa Fe Depot and Harvey House
620 East Central Avenue Missouri-Kansas-Texas (aka “Katy”) Depot
Built in 1913, this is the last Mission style Katy Depot in the state of Texas. Union Pacific Railroad bought the MKT Railroad in 1986.
116 South 1st Street Historic Cotton Exchange
Charles Blum opened the original “Cotton Exchange Saloon” in 1884. In 1894, the current brick building replaced the original single story frame building after it burned to the ground in late 1893. The building has seen its share of local history. According to records, the building has been used for entertainment purposes for many of its years, but never as an actual cotton exchange. The Cotton Exchange building saw its share of colorful events, such as this one printed in the March 21, 1890 edition of the Temple Times: “Felix Morales, a Mexican, raised a row in the Cotton Exchange Saloon Friday night, and when pointed out to Capt. Light, he made demonstrations of resistance and was shot to death. He died with a pistol in one hand and a beer glass in the other. A fine figure he will cut when Saint Peter meets him.”
120 South 1st Street Veteran’s Cafe
Built in 1881, this building was owned by the Buranelli family and operated as Buranelli’s Confectionery. The Buranelli children became famous on several levels. Vincent, one of the family’s sons, was a designer and builder of airplanes and was a pioneer in the development of multi-engine transports. Prosper, another son, became a famous script writer for Lowell Thomas. More recently in the building’s history, it was the Veteran’s Cafe.
2 North Main Street City Hall
The art deco Municipal Building was erected in 1929. City offices, a large auditorium, library, civic center headquarters, the office of city veterinarian Dr. W.F. Hackney and the Temple Police Department occupied the building. City offices continue to occupy the building today.
City Hall 1950s
Downtown Temple 1950s
Downtown Temple Today
Other Historic Sites 2600 South 1st Street Old Nine Temple College Golf Course
The golf course was created in 1944 during World War II for patients at the McCloskey General Hospital (now Olin E. Teague Veterans Center), a facility which served orthopedic, amputation and neuro-surgery patients. The golf course was constructed as a physical therapy and recreational facility for the war veterans, many of which were amputees and confined to wheelchairs. John Bredemus was the commissioned architect for the project while the construction of the ninehole course was supervised by Major Burns, an engineering officer at McClosky’s. German soldiers at a POW camp located across the street served as laborers. In 1945, the first tournament was held which included a division for leg amputees and arm amputees. Since that year, Sam Sneed, Vic Ghezzi, Byron Nelson, and Jack Burke Jr., are just a few distinguished golfers that played the Old Nine. After the war, the property was handed over to the Veterans Administration then given to Temple College in 1967. Once the college obtained the golf course, it operated as a public course.
The Old Nine at Temple College
2220 West Avenue D Sammons Community Center
In December 1922, club president L.S. Williamson officially opened the Lake Polk Golf and Country Club, one of only a few nine-hole courses in the state. Fire completely destroyed the original clubhouse in 1937. Rebuilt in 1938, the clubhouse still stands. The club added another nine holes in the 1950s and renamed the new 18 holes and facility the “Temple Country Club.” Eventually, a golf architect, named John Sammons, was hired to redesign the entire course.
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Nami Japanese Steakhouse Cheeves Brothers Steakhouse 18 19 S. 2nd St. 14 E. Ave A 254-778-0404 254-742-2300 Mon.-Fri. 11am-2:30pm, Mon.-Fri. 11am-10pm 5pm-10pm Sat. 5pm-10pm Sat. 4pm-10pm Dairy Queen O'Briens Irish Pub 15 N. 7th St. 19 11 E. Central Ave. 254-773-6021 254-295-0518 Mon.-Sat. 10am-10pm Mon.-Fri. 3pm-2am Dibz Italian Resaurant Sat.-Sun. 4pm-2am 17 E. Ave B Pignetti's 254-771-0169 14 S. 2nd St. 1 0 1 Mon.-Thur. 11am-9pm 254-778-12969 Fri.-Sat. 11am-10pm Mon-Fri. 11am-2pm, 5pm-9pm Wes's Burger Shack and More Fri.-Sat.5pm-10pm 4 S. Main St. Taqueria Tres Magueyes 254-778-9377 111 518 N. 3rd St. Mon.-Thurs. 8:30am-3pm 254-899-8155 Fri. 8:30am-10pm Mon.-Thur.6am-10pm J. Kowboy Wine Bar Fri.-Sat. 6am-10pm 13 E. Ave. B 254-773-2228 Taste of Thai Mon.-Tue. 5pm-10pm 112 107 W. Central Ave. Wed.-Fri. 5pm-12am 254-771-2355 Sat. 5pm-1am Mon-Thur. 11am-2:30pm, Jack in the Box 4:30pm-8pm 204 W. Adams Ave. Fri. 11am-2:30pm, 254-778-4571 4:30pm-8:30pm Open 24 hours Hondeaux Southern Kitchen & Bar 20 E. Ave. A 254-771-4212 Mon.-Sun. 11am-12am
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Mon.-Sat. 8am-9 Sun. 10am-8pm Fish Bowl Pet E 17 N. 2nd St. 254-773-9771 Mon.-Fri. 9am-6 Sat. 9am-5pm Sun. 1pm-5pm Heart of Texas G 11 N. 4th St. 254-778-4881 Mon.-Sat. 9am-8 Sun. 12pm-6pm
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Driving Tour of The Historic Homes of Temple
H I S T O R I C
Directions to the Temple Visitors Center from I-35:
From I-35 take Exit 301 to Central Avenue. Continue down Central over the bridge. Just past N. 3rd Street, turn Left into a large parking lot where the Temple Visitor Center is located
To Start the Tour: Turn Left out of the Visitor Center parking lot onto Central Avenue. Turn Left on N Main Street, Left on Adams, then Right onto N 3rd Street.
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3. Turn left on N. 9th Street to view 4 1314 N. 9th Street on the right. Turn right on W. Munroe and stop at the intersection of N 11th. See 5
1302 N. 11th, the Chinese Mansion straight ahead. 4.Turn left on N. 11th and view 6 804 N. 11th on the right. 5. Turn right on W. Houston and drive one block to N. 13th. See 7 804
N. 13th on the right corner. 6. Turn left on 13th to W. Garfield. Go left to 9th, turn right to see 8 618 and 9 516 N. 9th, both on the right. 7. Go left on W. Elm, left on N. 7th, and view 10 518 N 7th on the right. 8. Turn right on W. French, the left on 5th to view 11 704 N. 5th on the left.
9. Turn right on W. Houston to view 12 214 W. Houston, which is on the corner of N. 5th and W. Houston. 10. Continue straight to N. 3rd and turn right. Cross Adams, turn left on Central, then turn left into the Visitor Center parking lot to complete the Historic Homes tour of Temple.
Historic House Tour Route
Second Hand Rose
17 17 E. Central Ave. & 254-770-0610 18 &
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1. See 1 1116 and 2 1206 on the left side of N. 3rd. 2. Continue on N. 3rd and turn left on W. Nugent Ave. See 3 504 W.
) Dining ^ " _ Points of Interest & Shopping ×Historic Home
Tour of 12 homes begins and ends on N. 3rd Street
Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm Sat. 10am-4pm Steven's Furniture and Appliance 108 N. Main St. 254-778-8711 Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm Sat. 9am-5pm Temple Farmer's Market 212 S. Main St. 254-778-2104 Tue., Thur., Sat., 7am-1pm
Points of Interest
Temple Police Station
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254-298-5500 Temple Post Office 401 N. Main St. 254-773-0792 Mon.-Fri. 8am-4:30pm Temple Skate Park 7th S. and Ave. B Across from Santa Fe Depot Open during daylight hours Social Security Office 511 N. Main St. 1-866-593-1341 Mon.-Fri. 9am-4pm Temple Public Library 100 W. Adams Ave. Mon-Thur. 10am-9pm Fri. 10am-6pm Sat. 10am-5pm Sun. 1pm-9pm Temple Visitors Center 120 W. Central Ave. 254-298-5900 Mon.-Fri. 10am-5pm Whistle Stop Playground 22 S. 11th St. 254-298-5690 Open Daily 7am-Sunset Railroad and Heritage Museum 315 W. Ave. B 254-298-5172 Tue.-Sat. 10am-4, Sun. Noon-4pm Czech Heritage Museum and Geneology Center 119 W. French Ave. 254-899-2935 Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm
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Temple Chamber of Commerce 10 2 N. 5th St. 254-773-2105 Mon.-Fri. 8:30am-5pm Temple City Hall 2 N. Main St. 11 254-298-5700 Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm Bell County Court Annex (Vehicle Registration) 12 205 E. Central Ave. 254-770-6824 Mon.-Fri. 8am-4:45pm Temple Economic Development Center 13 1 S. 1st St. 254-773-8332 Mon.-Fri. 8:30am-5:30pm City of Temple Water Business Office
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1516 West Avenue H Gober Party House
Built in 1946, the structure was made of tile with white stucco on the outside and plaster walls on the inside. Built as a community youth center complete with a game room, the center was commonly called “Santa Fe Park” because of its close proximity to Santa Fe Hospital. The building was later officially named after Dr. O.F. Gober, a chief surgeon at Santa Fe Hospital. Today, the building is available for event rentals.
Santa Fe Hospital
600 South 25th Street Santa Fe Hospital
The Scott and White Santa Fe Clinic, originally known as the Santa Fe Hospital, opened in June 1891. Before 1891, railway workers were treated at St. Mary’s Hospital in Galveston. Rail officials established a hospital in Temple because of its central location in the railway system. The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word worked as nurses, druggists, housekeepers and administrators of the Temple hospital for 58 years, until February 1949. The hospital’s first frame building housed 20 beds and the sisters’ quarters. A $90,000 four-story brick hospital, completed in December 1908, was designed by Sanguinet and Staats, Fort Worth architects, who also designed the 1915 north wing. The south wing, designed by Wyatt C. Hedrick of Fort Worth, opened in 1925. Chief surgeon Arthur Carroll Scott of Gainesville, was hired on October 1, 1892. Scott hired several doctors as house physicians who lived at the hospital, including Raleigh R. White, Jr., in 1895. The building underwent extensive renovation between 1969 and 1972. On July 5, 1983, Santa Fe Memorial Hospital and Scott and White Memorial Hospital merged, and the facility was renamed Scott and White Santa Fe Clinic.
Cemeteries Hodge Cemetery Between West Avenue R and Ira Young Drive Tucked behind apartments on Ira Young Drive, Hodge Cemetery is a classic example of a pioneer graveyard and a rich source of history. The little cemetery, less than an acre, was part of a land parcel bought by J.W. Hodge in 1870, when the area was farmland and prairie. It had been the scene of earlier burials. Tombstones indicate area landowners J.S. and Sallie Clary were buried in 1868. Hodge continued to let neighbors use the land as a community cemetery. The site has two Texas Historical Commission Markers, one for the cemetery and one for Joseph Dennis (1810-1894). He was instrumental in selecting what is now Belton and Bell County seat. A respected land and business owner, Dennis was elected the first Bell County Treasurer.
Hillcrest Cemetery 1600 North Main Street A one-room log schoolhouse stood in the center of what is now Hillcrest Cemetery. Land for the Williamson Branch School and the cemetery was donated by J.H. Williams and his wife. One of the earliest marked burial is for their daughter, Mary, who died in 1877. Texas historian Alexander Dienst, Jr., described the cemetery in 1903 in The Temple Times: “Here is one place, where in reading the tombstones, we discover that the classes can live in harmony-the rich, the poor, the cultured, the uncultured, the Jew, the Gentile, the pagan-all nationalities dwell side by side.” The 73-acre cemetery is a rich source of local history and color. As if to remind future generations of their hardships in the Republic of Texas, the Goolsby and Elizabeth Childers clan erected a massive solid granite “covered wagon” complete with carved tent ropes and open flaps, symbolic of their first home. Then there are the Chinese pagoda-style tombstones for James Madison Woodson, who began his Temple medical practice in 1891, and his wife, Anna Burbank, descended from an aristocratic New Orleans family. “His last words: I am innocent.” This is the inscription on the headstone of George Hornsby, a World War I veteran and convicted murderer. His hanging in 1922 was the last in Bell County, and the horror of his death caused the state legislature to outlaw hanging as a method of execution.
Hillcrest Cemetery has five Texas Historical Commission Markers honoring:
George Valter Brindley, Sr., M.D., a Scott & White cancer surgeon who became the first Texan to head the American Cancer Society. Claudia Potter, M.D., a Scott & White physician who was a pioneering woman in Texas medicine and the state’s first fulltime anesthesiologist. Arthur Carroll Scott, Sr., M.D., the co-founder of Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic and leading practitioner in the use of surgical thermo-cautery or “hot knife.” Raleigh R. White, Jr., M.D., the co-founder of Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic and charter member of the Texas Surgical Society. The Rev. Raleigh R. White, Sr., a Confederate colonel, physician and Baptist minister. He helped to convert General Nathan Bedford Forrest to Christianity.
New Hope Cemetery East Shell and North 10th Street Named Evergreen Cemetary sponsored by the Temple Negro League, New Hope Cemetery is one of Temple’s Historic black cemetery founded in 1913. Association members were prominent black citizens: Mrs. H.C. Anderson, Mrs. Leon G. LeQuey, J.W. Lewis, Albert Powers, Mrs. Ed Ratcliff, G. Roselle, Dr. F.F. Stone, Monroe Wells and Robert Wells. The cemetery is the final resting place for many Temple citizens, including educators, school administrators, physicians, business people and veterans.
Among Black leaders buried here: Mr. and Mrs. Leon J. LeQuey, pioneer black educators. He served as principal, athletic coach and teacher, she acted as dean, music, and elementary teacher. After her retirement in the 1950s, she and Helen Scott Saulsbury established Temple’s first day-care center in the LeQuey living room. Cora Anderson, respected Temple businesswoman and benefactor of many charitable organizations serving black, notably Paul Quinn College in Waco and the Cora Anderson Hospital, opened by Scott & White in 1953.
Churches Christ Episcopal Church 300 North Main Street The church started with 15 people meeting in borrowed space for services by itinerant missionary priests. In 1887, the worshipers bought a lot at 5th Street and Avenue A, but it was three years before they could afford to erect a wood frame building. In 1901, the church bought property at North Main and Calhoun. The fledgling fellowship achieved parish status in 1902 and began raising money to build the existing Gothic Revival structure designed by architect A.O. Watson of Austin. The first service was held in the new building, a recorded Texas Historic Landmark, on September 24, 1905.
First Baptist Church 102 West Barton Avenue
This church started as Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in 1874, in Birdsdale, about one mile west of present-day Temple. The Rev. Anderson Clark (18291925) was the first pastor. A cyclone destroyed the church in 1881. Members voted to move and take the name First Baptist Church of Temple. In 1882, a wood frame worship hall was built from the shattered church lumber at the corner of North Main Street & Barton Avenue. By 1895, the building was replaced with a brick and stone structure with financial help from Hone D. Rockefeller. The church installed the cityâ€™s first pipe organ in 1903. After a fire in 1938, the congregation relocated north one block to 102 West Barton Ave. The first service in the new building was held on August 20, 1939. The chapel was destroyed by fire in 2009.
First United Methodist Church 102 North 2nd Street
Before the city established, a Methodist congregation met in Double File, a rural schoolhouse on what is now Hickory Road. In 1882, 32 members of this church began FUMC, sharing a meeting hall with First Presbyterian. The next year, the church obtained a lot at Avenue B and 4th Street. Worshippers met in the partially finished building by 1884. In 1891, the congregation moved to its present site at Adams Ave., and North 2nd St. After a 1911 fire, the church contracted with the stateâ€™s best known architectural firm, Sanguinet & Staats of Fort Worth, to design the Romanesque Revival-style building, a recorded Texas Historic Landmark. The round sanctuary features Art Deco motifs throughout. Herringbone brick design and inset stone cross medallions are featured on the exterior. For many years, civic meeting and school functions have been conducted in the sanctuary.
Wayman Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church 407 East Avenue D Wayman Manor A.M.E. Church has long been a source of leadership and service to Temple. The first congregation met for worship in 1883 at the site of the present church, although the first building was not constructed until two years later. The wood Gothic Revival style building has a steeple and hand-split wood shingles. The cornerstone was laid in 1921 by the St. James Masonic AF&AM Lodge 71. The congregation grew, and the existing brick church was constructed in 1927.
Inglesia Bautista Alfa Y Omega 601 South Main Street This wood-frame church is Temple’s oldest church building in continuous use. When railroad officials established Temple in 1881, the Santa Fe Railway officials offered free downtown lots to every denomination that agreed to erect a building. Built in 1882-1883 as Friedens (Peace) Church of the Evangelical Association, the sanctuary served for 80 years as an Evangelical Free church, then as Grace United Methodist Church. Still in use as a house of worship in the 21st century, the Gothic-style building stands as an important part of the area’s diverse cultural heritage. In the 1990s, it became Inglesia Bautista Alfa y Omega, a Baptist church.
First Presbyterian Church 12 West French Avenue First Presbyterian is the oldest congregation in Temple, organized in 1881. The first 24 charter members came from the Belton Presbyterian Church. The original church was on the southwest corner of North 1st Street and Barton Avenue. The congregation soon outgrew the space and erected a new church. Continued growth of the congregation led to another move, and construction of a third sanctuary and educational wing at 12 West French Avenue began in 1929 during the pastorate of the Rev. Michael Mar Yosip.
First Christian Church 300 North 5th Street This church began in a tent in 1888. Within a year, church members secured a site between Central Avenue and Avenue A and called their first pastor. The congregation grew so fast that by 1903 they moved into a new building on the corner of North 3rd Street and Adams Avenue. The church added an educational annex in 1914. During World War II, the congregation maintained an “honor roll” of more than 100 men and women who served in the armed forces. By the end of the war, seven gold stars represented the casualties. The existing building was erected in 1948 and remodeled in 1980.
HIstoric Homes 1
1116 North 3rd Street
Know as “The Windmill House,” this rambling house was built in 1924 by Dewitt and Linnie Morgan Bowmer. The windmill, originally constructed of canvas sails that creaked in the breeze, was a yard whimsy to delight children, neighbors, and passers-by. A Bell County native, Bowmer (1890-1940) was elected Killeen mayor at age 21. He disarmed competitors with his wit. When an irate man told him the town didn’t need a mayor, Bowmer replied, “Well, sir, if you elect me you’ll be getting as close to nothing as you’re going to find.” At the end of his term, he and Linnie (1893-1959) moved to Temple where he established a law practice. Gov. Miriam Ferguson appointed him special justice to the Texas Supreme Court. Linnie Bowmer was named Texas Mother of the Year in 1959.
1206 North 3rd Street
Home to two Temple mayors, this house is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. Will Campbell, who constructed many early Temple houses, built the house in 1912 for Charles Lee Walker (1881-1940) and his wife, the former Daisy Pauline Webb (1884-1969). Walker became managing director of Multi-State Corporation, Southland Cotton Oil Co., a cotton oil mill. In his first mayoral term from 1922-1924, the Temple Municipal Building was erected and the city manager form of government adopted. In 1945 the Walkers’ son, C.L. “Chick” Walker, Jr., and his wife, the former lladene Madeley, assumed ownership of the house. Chick Walker served as mayor from 1950-1952 when Temple began its remarkable growth spurt. Later at age 65, he began 14 years of service as a Temple City Council member and another six years as planning commissioner. Mrs. Walker was considered “the first lady of Temple.” When the house burned in the 1960s, the Walkers faithfully reconstructed it to its original design.
504 West Nugent Avenue
San Antonio architect Ernest Scrivener combined several popular styles in this house built for Bell County native and Temple business leader James Andrew Fletcher (1858-1944) and his wife, Susan Jane, in 1925. The house is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. Fletcher, who was born in what is now Academy, was the son of a Republic of Texas Colonist. In 1907, he and his son Omar acquired a business founded in 1881 by his brotherin-law, Early Greathouse. The business was the nucleus of Fletcher Enterprises, a prominent banking and industrial firm.
1314 North 9th Street
This Mediterranean-influenced house, a Recorded Texas historic Landmark, was the scene of many parties and social gatherings. Industrialist and civic leader Omar Lester Fletcher (1887- 1975) and his wife, the former Sarah Bell McDonald (1889-1971), hired San Antonio architect Ernest Scrivener to design their home, built in 1924. The tiled roof, white brick and mortar, arched entrance, and fan windows give the house an open, sunny appearance. Omar and his father, James Fletcher, were successors to a family business started in 1881, which became Fletcher Enterprises, a prominent a banking and industrial firm. A statewide agri-business leader, Omar bought the Temple Fuel Company in 1907, operating 23 wagons and selling coal and wood for $3 per wagon load. He and his father added grain and custom feed milling. Omar also had extensive real estate and farm holdings. Omar and Sarahâ€™s son, Ernest S. McDonald Fletcher, moved into the home in 1974. He expanded the family business into a poultry production empire, the largest in the United States. He was organizer and president of Fletcher Enterprises, Temco Feed Mills, Fletcher Hatcheries, Homes Foods, and Tex-Best Processors. He was also organizer and treasurer of the Temple Industrial Development Board.
5 1302 North 11th Street Dubbed “The Chinese Mansion,” the stunning four-story, 18,000 square-foot house is the centerpiece of Temple’s historic north side. Architect Olof Cervin of Rock Island, Illinois, built the 40 room residence from 1914 to 1916 for James Madison and Anna Burbank Woodson. A pagoda-style roof tops the rambling prairie-style house, which reflects Cervin’s association with Frank Lloyd Wright early in his career. The house cost $35,000 to build, about $1.38 million in today’s dollars. Dr. Woodson was an ear, eye, nose, and throat physician and among the first surgeons associated with both King’s Daughters Hospital in 1896 and Scott & White in 1904. His wife was heiress to a New Orleans sugar magnate. A well-educated world traveler, she oversaw design and construction, mixing and matching English, Danish, French, German, Spanish and Egyptian Revival styles. The original four-acre site included an outdoor amphitheater at the corner of West Lamar and 11th Street where many parties and theatrical productions were presented. The house abounds with points of interest. It’s built around a central atrium with a fountain and fishpond. The grounds were as exotic as the home’s interior. Mrs. Woodson directed the design of the cactus garden, English tea garden, and Oriental garden complete with a Buddah statue. After a sucession of owners, the home was bought by husband and wife physicians who restored it to its former glory.
804 North 11th Street
Completed around 1910 for Dr. John S. McCelvey (18701964) and his then fiancée, Mary Horne (1881-1960), this house was erected of concrete blocks cast on the Horne family estate near Waco. The McCelveys added the north wing, garage and servants’ quarters in 1927. The asymmetrical Gothic-style house is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.
Dr. McCelvey was a prominent physician affiliated with King’s Daughters Hospital. He served on the State Board of Health and as president and secretary of the State Board of Medical Examiners. He also helped establish Temple Junior College in 1926. Dr. McCelvey remained vigorous and active well into his 90s. For a Temple Daily Telegram feature story published on his 94th birthday in 1964, the reporter asked how younger men could stay healthy. He answered, “Don’t eat too much and no smoking.” The reporter noted that Dr. McCelvey chainsmoked Bull Durham cigarettes until he was 90, “ruining many a tie and shirt with hot ashes in the process.”
804 North 13th Street
Among the oldest existing houses in Temple, this modified Victorian clapboard house is typical of the period. The house was built about 10 years before its 1896 purchase by Larkin Chrisman “Chris” Strange (1854-1929) and his first wife, the former Molly A. Elliott. A Kentucky native, Chris Strange co-owned the Strange and Vaden real estate and insurance. He also experimented with horticulture and delighted neighbors with a climbing rose bush bearing both yellow and red roses. When Mollie died in 1908, he married Olive Barnett, teacher, poet and artist. She became Bell County’s first Poet Laureate. She painted Central Texas landscapes exhibited at the Texas State Fair and Waco Cotton Palace Exposition.
618 North 9th Street
Reminiscent of gracious living, a ballroom occupies the third floor of this stately 10,000 square foot home built in 1916 by George E. McCelvey and his wife, the former Eula Staton. McCelvey was the son of a Confederate Veteran who opened a Temple dry good store, McCelvey- Hartman Dry Goods, in 1884. On the grounds are a separate workshop and two story servant quarters and garage. Sand for the walls was ordered from White Sands, New Mexico. Several prominent families owned the house. In 1936, Arthur C. Scott, Jr., M.D. and his wife Greneta Courtney Scott, bought the house. Dr. Scott, son of the co-founder of Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic, was a nationally recognized expert in neck surgery. He helped reorganize Scott & White from a private institution into a not-for-profit medical center. In 1957, attorney Jim D. Bowmer and his wife, Daurice, bought the house and in the mid-1970s, County Judge John and Rebecca Garth lived there. The house was extensively remodeled in the 1990s, including the addition of twin swimming pools.
516 North 9th Street
Nicknamed “The Castle House” for its striking two-story turret, this Victorian home was built by William Ealy “Uncle Billy” Hall (1851-1948) and his wife, the former Bethena Arianna Embree (1857-1942) on the “outskirts” of Temple. Hall moved from his native Louisiana to Belton after the Civil War and worked in railroad construction. Later he became a Bell County sheriff and tax collector. In 1940s Dion and Ruth Van Bibber briefly rented the house where Ruth ran a tea room. The couple then bought the ramshackle Shady Villa Inn, an 1860 stage stop in Salado, and renamed it Stagecoach Inn. It later became a popular area landmark. In the 1940s, Ernest and Aylett Mims bought the house. He was a land developer who secretly acquired land for the 340acre Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic. Secrecy was important, as hospital leaders feared land values would skyrocket if word leaked about their expansion plans.
518 North 7th Street
This house, a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, was home to James E. Ferguson (1871-1944) and his wife, Miriam Ferguson (1875-1961), two colorful and progressive Texas governors. When they built the house in 1907, it was considered a mansion. They occupied it until Jim became governor in 1915, and returned after he was impeached in 1917, remaining until Miriam was inaugurated as governor in 1925. In this brief term as governor, Jim Ferguson brought progress, including creation of the Texas Highway Department and improvements in public school funding, but scandal ended his career. Trying for a comeback in 1924, he failed to get his name on the ballot, so Miriam Ferguson ran. Her campaign on an anti-Ku Klux Klan platform provoked retaliation from Klan members who rode their horses at full gallop along North 7th Street and threw bricks through the home’s front picture window. She was elected, becoming the first woman governor of any state. Despite their wealth and advanced education, “Ma” and “Pa” Ferguson cultivated “down home” images. When Miriam was elected, she was pictured in a sunbonnet, peeling peaches and feeding her chickens. Longtime north side neighbors chuckled that the woman governor had never peeled a peach in her life.The Fergusons left the house in 1932.
704 North 5th Street
Built in the late 1880s by Irwin A. and Ella Lovitt, this modest pier-and-beam house is among the oldest on Temple’s north side. Lovitt, a lumber dealer, owned the entire 700 block of North 5th until the 1940s. He constructed the home of the finest quality cypress, which has helped preserve its charm and livability. Originally a carriage house sat behind the main house. The Lovitts’ daughter, Vivian, lived in the house until the 1960s. During World War II when wood was scarce, Vivian sold the carriage house for wood so that J.W. and Marie Spence could build a house next door.
214 West Houston Street
Built in the 1890s by Herbert and Annie Taylor, this house is a late Victorian gem. Distinctive features include the dormered and gabled roof capped with a small widow’s walk. Iron ginger-bread was replaced on the façade after owners in the 1970s found it stored in the basement. The house was later owned by Fred K. Stroop who oversaw finances of Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic during its amazing growth period from 1904 through the Great Depression. Mrs. Fred K. Stroop was one of the first women elected to the Temple School Board.
4 South 9th Street
The Purifoy building (formerly known as The Fisher House) is the oldest house in Temple. The Purifoy building was built in 1881 and was used as a boarding house, mostly consisting of the railroad men who needed a place to live. John W. Hill built the house as a home for his wife and 2 daughters, Marie and Edith. Mrs. Hill eventually rented the home to J. N. Fisher, along with his wife and three sons. Mrs. Hill continued to live there with the family for a number of years. The name Curtis Fisher, engraved on the front window, was one of the daughters of J.N. Fisher. Curtis was given a diamond ring on her 10th birthday from one of her brothers. She was told if it was a real diamond it would write on glass - it did.
Published on Jan 13, 2014
Published on Jan 13, 2014
Historic Temple Brochure, includes a driving tour of Historic Temple. Highlights historic buildings/structures and contains information abou...