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Historic Homes page 2

Burns-Windel Home

311 E. Broadway
This house was built in 1898 by Dr. John W. Burns, general practitioner and surgeon, who built the Burns Hospital in 1911. It features a round tower room and leaded art glass on the stairwell. It is beautifully maintained by the owners, Dr. and Mrs. Forrest Windel.


Currlin – Weldon Home

408 N. Terrell
Built in 1912 for Herman Currlin, this is Cuero’s finest example of a bungalow and perhaps was the first of its kind in the City. Currlin supervised H. Runge and Co.’s grocery operations and also served as Cuero’s Fire Chief.


Davidson – O’Brien Home

306 N. Terrell
This house was the residence of A.B. Davidson who served as Lieutenant Governor of Texas from 1906-1912. He owned this property as early 1891. Davidson was a prominent local attorney and served as District Attorney and a State Senator. After his tenure as Lt. Governor, Davidson returned to Cuero and built this spacious post Victorian home with broad verandas and brick fireplaces, reflecting the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s mid-western bungalows. He died in 1921 and his widow continued to reside in the house until her death about 1930. Mr. & Mrs. Ray O’Brien purchased, redecorated and refurbished the home in 1991.


DeWitt County Historical Museum

312 E. Broadway 
The Bates-Sheppard Home, owned by DeWitt County, has been maintained as a house museum since 1973. This building along with many other historical structures within the city has a strong link with the old Texas seaport town of Indianola. The house was built at its present location in 1886 from lumber salvaged from the ruins of the original family home destroyed by the 1886 storm in Indianola. An added attraction is the two-room “dogtrot” log cabin rebuilt on the grounds of the museum. The cabin was built by an immigrant family from Alsace-Lorraine during the 1860s. During April each year, the museum is open each day with displays of wildflowers which are identified by volunteers who ride the county for the best specimens. 

For Wildflower Month Information, visit the Wildflower Information Page.


Dornbluth – Hays Home

510 N. Indianola
This home was purchased from the DeWitt County Building and Loan Association in 1898 by Mr. Paul Dornbluth. He had married Elizabeth Reiffert in 1896 and was working for H. Runge & Co. He came from Germany at the age of 16 and landed at the port of Indianola, then came to Cuero after the 1886 storm. This house, occupied by family members until 1970, was a small frame bungalow, as the family grew to five children, additional rooms and a second story were added. The contractors were Z.A. Fuess and Sons and Mauer Brothers.


Dr. Joseph Reuss – Rhotenberry Home

104 W. Reuss Blvd.
This house was built about 1910 for Dr. Joseph M. Reuss, a doctor in Indianola who moved his practice and pharmacy to Cuero after the hurricanes of 1875 and 1886 destroyed Indianola. It originally stood in the middle of Esplanade, but in 1931, it was moved to its present location. Some Cuero senior citizens remember the spectacle of the house being rolled on logs to its present location.


Edgar-Papacek Home

607 Clinton
Built in 1895, this Southern Colonial style home was moved from 301 Bailey to its present site about 1905. Joseph S. Edgar and his family were early pioneers of South Texas. Mr. Edgar was the first County Auditor for DeWitt County from 1917 to 1920. In 1995 Jacqueline Edgar Papacek became the third generation to occupy the house, which was completely renovated in 1997.


Edward Mugge-Ramirez Home

218 N. Terrell
This house has an Indianola connection. Mr. Edward Mugge (1839-97) arrived from Germany in 1854, but moved to Cuero after the hurricanes. Mr. Mugge was a partner in the firm of H. Runge & Co. and helped many people start businesses in Cuero. The house was built in 1872. It originally had only seven rooms but grew to fifteen rooms, five halls, and three porches. Mr. Mugge added to the house many times as surprises for his wife. On the grounds were a summerhouse, stables, and a still existent cistern. This house shows excellent examples of early gingerbread and hurricane doors (two sets of doors). Dr. & Mrs. Ivy Ramirez purchased and restored the home for their young family.


Emil Reiffert, Jr. – Thomas Home

804 N. Terrell
This two-story brick house was built about 1914 for Emil Reiffert, Jr. He and his family continued to own the property through the 1930’s. Originally both upstairs and downstairs porches were open. Later the south upstairs portion was closed in to make a sleeping porch. Emil, Jr. was the son of pioneer Cuero merchant Emil Reiffert, Sr. Mr. Reiffert, Jr. worked at H. Runge and Co. Mr. & Mrs. J. Carter Thomas bought the home in 1942, the beginning of World War II. In 1950 they remodeled and refinished the entire house, adding the one story wing on the north side and built the garage and storerooms to the north side. The two tall palms on the south lawn are original. Mrs. Thomas, Anne, is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Friar. Carter Thomas was originally from North Carolina. He was a rancher also. In 1946 he developed a herd of Manso Gray Brahman cattle. Carter died in 1986 but his gentle Brahmans are still being shipped throughout the world.


Emil Reiffert, Sr. – Foster Home

304 W. Prairie
This house was built by Emil Reiffert, first in Indianola in 1868. After the storms of 1875 and 1886 the house was numbered, dismantled and reassembled in Cuero in 1887. Reiffert, born in Germany in 1839, immigrated to Galveston, TX as a boy of 15. He was a rancher, merchant, Confederate veteran, partner and president of H. Runge & Co., the first chartered bank in Texas. The home weathered both of the hurricanes in Indianola. It was built of Florida timber and was screwed to seven-foot poles set in the ground. During the 1886 storm, more than 100 people sought refuge in the house and were saved. After the house was rebuilt in Cuero, a wing was added, which faces Prairie Street. Behind the heavy wooden hurricane doors, the front door has French plate glass. The oak staircase is hand carved and the parlor and sitting room still have the original imported wallpaper. The house boasted a bathroom with the first enameled tub in Cuero, installed for $100. People came to see this unusual extravagance. Edward Mugge Jr. and his wife, Hilda Reiffert, inherited the big house from her parents. The Mugges owned the first wireless radio in Cuero. The little cottage to the west of the main house was built for the radio because the family felt it would be safer to keep this new invention in a separate building. The house is now occupied by William C. Foster, attorney, historian and author of several books on early Texas history.


Finney-McLeod Home

130 E. Sarah
Mr. J.R. Wofford purchased a half block on Prairie Street in 1890. He borrowed $2,200 in 1891 and built the house. He sold the house in 1904 to Mr. Lee Joseph for $2,200. Seven days later Mr. Joseph sold the house to Mr. Festus Farnsworth for $3,500. In 1909 Dr. W.D. Finney purchased the house for $4,500. It stayed in the Finney family until 1974 when Mr. & Mrs. J.B. McAlister purchased the home. Dr. Mike McLeod bought the home for his family in 1999. The home is on the National Historic Register for its architectural significance which features ornate jigsaw woodwork. The original blueprints provided for three stories, but the third story was never finished. The McAlisters added some bathrooms and renovated the kitchen in the 1970s. The McLeods have repaired porches and done cosmetic work inside. However, the parlor has never been renovated and has the original wall coverings.

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