|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - May 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Rapid response by LVFD saves landmark Holshousen home
Polk County Enterprise - May 2009
LIVINGSTON — Neighbors heard freon escaping from the central air-conditioning unit at the historic Holshousen home at 625 Oakhurst at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday. They alerted fi refi ghter Ben Ogletree III and the quick response from Livingston Volunteer Fire Department prevented the fl ames from spreading beyond the workshop area and fence between the Holshousen home and the residence behind it. The homeowners were not at home at the time of the fi re. After the fi re was out in the workshop area, police and fi refi ghters examined the house for damage and found only slight amounts of smoke which was cleared. Twenty-one fi refi ghters responded with the ladder truck, rescue truck and the newest equipment in the fl eet, Engine 21.
Those who have researched the house found that it was built around 1872-76 by Joe Holshousen, a son of one of the earliest settlers of Polk County, Claiborne Holshousen, a veteran of the Texas Revolution who came to this area about 1844. Joe was one of four Holshousen children. He was born in Polk County on Aug. 11, 1849 and became a Livingston lawyer. In 1878 he was elected county judge, and later served two other terms, nonconsecutively. In 1906 he was elected to the State Legislature. He died in 1915. His funeral services were held in this house, although at that time, it was not at this location. It was originally built at 721 N. Beatty, or thereabouts. Two thirds of the house was moved to its present site with the use of pine timbers to roll it on, with fi replaces and chimneys intact. At one time it had four fi replaces, but only one of them remains today in what was one of two bedrooms, and which is now being used by the current residents as her music room. The mantel has been preserved in its original state. The exterior of the house is basically unchanged except for the third of the original that was not moved here. But the look of this old Victorian home is everything one expects of the period, from its fishscale-covered gables with central rosette and boxed bay window to the ornate “gingerbread” that takes the passerby to a world long gone but which continues to fascinate us all. At one time it had four fireplaces, but only one of them remains today in what was one of two bedrooms, and which is now being used as a den or family room. The mantel has been preserved in its original state.