504 Tucker Street, Board-Allen-Jones House

By Florene and James West

A Short History of the House and Surrounding Area
The R.M. Board residence at 504 Tucker was built in 1878 on a new street in historic McKinney. Captain Board, a veteran of the Civil War, chose to build in McKinney after establishing a business a few years earlier. The property was purchased on December 10, 1877 from J.B. Stiff as part of a four-acre tract. Stiff purchased the tract from Judge R. L. Waddill in 1855.(1)

The house, as conceived in originally, featured a full veranda, which extended to the back of the house. The veranda terminated in a rear porch with a second floor-sleeping porch facing north. This porch remains today, as do numerous cave brackets of various sizes.(2)

On the front facade the second floor central Palladian window at the center of the house is flanked by two, four window bay windows, which are repeated on the first floor. The bay window bays are capped by 12:9 steep gabled roofs with pressed tin single finish, which is original to the house. The original oak arched vision panel front door with the original etched cut glass arched transom. This cut glass pattern can also bee seen in two of the original brass gasolier interior light fixtures, which appear to have been converted to electricity at the turn of the century. The original front hall stairwell and newel post are still intact as are hardwood veneer floors.

R.M. Board, C.S.A. Captain of Company I, 9th Texas Infantry, was a well-respected leader in McKinney. He was honored by the City Council, which named the street running east of his new residence, Board Street. In this house R.M. Board and his wife Adelia F. Board, raised their family. A daughter, Hallie, born March 29, 1872, one of eight children, later married Mr. Thomas Fred Everett in 1894. Years later in 1919 she and her husband purchase the house at 508 Tucker immediately west of the R.M. Board residence.(3)

Tucker Street was thought to be named for the Tucker Stable. The Stable
appears to have been created before other development occurred in the area, which was just north of Sherman.

The Tucker Stable was built was just north of the current Sherman Street on the north side of Tucker Street.(4) Since the area was still dominated by large open tracks of agricultural land, this would be a good location for a stable to serve the needs of the growing community. It might well be the reason that the alignment of the future Tucker Street appears to have been chosen as the site of the famed Steel Dust Horse Race in 1855. Steel Dust, a famous horse from Lancaster, Texas, ran a match race with the local horse Monmouth.(5) Beginning on the east end of what would be Tucker Street, the horses raced westward to a point perhaps near present day Waddill Street. The race was begun at the drop of the hat of James W. Throckmorton who officiated at the start of the race.(6) Although a twelve year old horse at the time, Steel Dust won ‘easily’. Steel Dust was the sire of many famous horses, the famous ‘Bulldog Quarter horse’, and the whole line of great Quarter Horses as well as Sam Bass’ s Denton Mare.(7)

Following his daughter’s marriage, R.M. Board sold the house at 504 Tucker Street in 1895 to William Allen of McKinney. In 1896 Mr. W.M. Allen completed the purchase of the house and moved in,making no major changes in the house. The Allen family meat packing business grew and was known in McKinney through the 1980’s. The porcelain tile inlay in the front sidewalk, WA for William Allen in overlapping letters, remains today.

Mr. R.M. Board died many years later on April 101h, 1931.(8) His son-in-law, Mr. T.F. Everett, and his wife, Adelia, died within ten days of his death.(9)

L.R. Kirkpatrick, son of Elbert Kirkpatrick famous horticulturist and founder of Southwest Nursery in McKinney, purchased the house in 1929. Southwest Nursery, one of the largest nurseries in the United States, and originator of the Benge Walnut, and McDonald Blackberry and other unique hybrids.

Most of the plants introduced to the site at 504 Tucker were obtained from the family owned Southwest Nursery.(10) Two Arizona Cedars, a Mexican Buckeye, Mahonia Holly, Italian Jasmine, Wisteria, three Red Oaks, two live oaks, Crepe Myrtles, and numerous perennial plants and ground covers compare with similar plants introduced around McKinney which originated in the Southwest Nursery. James ‘West’s Great Grandfather, ‘William Higgins who lived on Benge Street, recalled the experience of being invited to a Christmas dinner at the Kirkpatrick ‘s on Tucker. Although it was December, he remembered being served watermelon, which had apparently been left to grow protected by beds of straw.(11)

As the new owner of the house at 504 Tucker Street, L. R. Kirkpatrick remodeled the house in 1929 to its present appearance. At that time the front, rear and portions of the side veranda were removed. The rear-sleeping porch was retained. Kirkpatrick extended the roof over the entire center of the house to its present roofline.(12)

Mr. George Jones purchased the house in 1940 and operated his business from the house in later years. Jones appears to have enclosed the porch below the upper sleeping porch as a new dining room turning the original dining room into a downstairs bedroom. The original fireplace, which was on the west side of the house, was removed for a new bathroom (foundation uncovered at the time of the restoration done by Florene and James West). At the same time the fireplaces were removed and a new den room was formed to the side of the dining room and a new laundry room and bathroom was created in an extension on the first floor to the north.(13) The east west street immediately north of Tucker Street is named for Mr. Jones. After World War II Mr. Jones developed small ‘G.I.’ houses along Jones Street for sale to returning veterans.

Florene and James West purchased the house in 1993 from the family of George Jones. Restoration included new plumbing (all lead drains were removed and upgraded), new wiring, new H.V.A.C. systems, new insulation, and refinishing inside and out maintaining all original casings, window, doors, and trim. A second floor bedroom was added above the former laundry and restroom added by the Jones were were removed and upgraded to a large breakfast room with doors to a new rear elevated deck. The original kitchen space was retained with the original beaded board ceiling above which the original standing seam metal veranda roof remains. The Wests installed working fireplace with a chimney and an antique oak mantle with over-mantle mirror from a Victorian house in Virginia, which replaced a space heater with its painted mantle installed by the Jones.

The West family added an attached single car garage incorporating the carport added by the Jones family creating a new mudroom and laundry in the space connecting to the house.(14)

References
1.-3. The Architectural Heritage of McKinney, Published by Williamson Printing, edited by the Owl Club of McKinney, 1972, Page 56.
4. Interview December 2011 with Guy Giersch regarding Tucker Stable location
5. The Legend of Steel Dust, The American Quarter Horse Journal May 1999, Page 9-18
6. Story by Jay Crum, 903 South Parker Street, McKinney Texas
7. Steel Dust, The One and Only Quarter Horse, Geneology Image of History
8. McKinney Democrat, April 11″‘, 1931, Article, Death of McKinney Businessman,
9. Grave side visit to family plot at Pecan Grove Cemetery
10. Architectural Heritage, page 84
11. Account of conversation with William Higgins by Lewis H. (Higgins) West, father of James West
12. Architectural Heritage, page 54
13. Observations by James West, architect, during 1993 restoration
14. According to plans submitted to the City of McKinney for building permit, 1993

Remodeled by Roy Kirkpatrick, c. 1930s

Original by R.M. Board, c. 1878