507 N. Bradley, Board-Everett House

By Susan and Jon Gastrock

507 N. Bradley St. is part of an original Texas land grant. Thomas T. Bradley was an owner of that original land grant which was signed on July 30, 1855. The 291 acre grant was historical in its own right by being part of the original Peter’s Colony. Mr. Bradley arrived in the McKinney area at the age of 26 and obtained the grant, which he, then, used for fanning. Eventually, he gave a section of the land for McKinney’s first “free” school. T. T. Bradley was known for his involvement in civic and community affair.(1)

In 1887, Robert M. Board purchased a piece of T.T. Bradley’s original 291 acre land grant. He built the home now known as the Board-Everett House at 507 N. Bradley St. in McKinney. Robert Milton Board was born April 6, 1837, in Virginia. He arrived in McKinney, Texas in 1856, where, soon after, he joined the Confederate Army during the War Between the States. Robert Milton Board was a lieutenant in the 9th Texas Calvary of the Confederate Army. His commander, Captain Joe Dickson, was killed at the battle of Shiloh, whereupon, Lt. Board was made captain of the unit under Hood and Bragg. Captain Board was one of the youngest Confederate captains in the Civil War.(2)

After the war, Captain Robert Board became the partner of I. D. Newsome. They opened and operated a successful general merchandising store in McKinney and were the first to buy cotton locally.(3) On April 25, 1866, he married Mrs. Newsome’s sister, Adelia E. Willingham, and, in time, became they became the parents of three children, Edgar, Forest, and Hallie. All three children grew up in the house on 507 N. Bradley St.(4) In keeping with Captain Robert M. Board’s interesting life, in 1923, according to the McKinney Democrat, Capt. Board was the oldest Mason in McKinney. He was made a Mason shortly after he was 21 years old and helped organize the Royal Arch Masons in McKinney. He was, also, one of the early postmasters of McKinney.(5) Captain Robert Milton Board was truly one of McKinney’s most notable citizens. By helping to establish McKinney, he also contributed to the establishment our great state of Texas.

According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, all of the Boards and Hallie’s husband, Thomas Everett, lived on N. Bradley St, thus, the name “The Board-Everett House”(6) Thomas Everett and Hallie Board Everett eventually built a house of their own on Tucker Street.

When Capt. Board and his wife were quite elderly, they moved into the home of Hallie and Thomas on Tucker street.(7) During the 1930s, while the Boards were living with the Everetts, the U.S. Federal Census shows that the house was used as a boarding house.(8) Upon Capt. Board (he was 94 years old) and Adelia’s death in 193 1, Thomas and Hallie inherited the home at 507 N. Bradley St. Thomas Everett, then, sold the home to A.C. Bullock. Mr. Bullock was a local carpenter and painter who bought old homes and restored them.(9) On December 4, 1934, the house was sold to Jesse M. Foster and remained in the Foster family until June 30,1975.(10)

The Fosters, Jesse M. and Olivia, were a prominent family in McKinney. They were very involved in the community. Jesse Foster worked many years at the McKinney Courier Gazette. His daughter, Frances, worked there, as well, as the Society Editor, until her retirement. Jesse’s son, Jimmy, ran a clothing store for men. All of the Fosters were active in church and civic affairs in McKinney.(11)

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hewitt purchased the home on September 8, 1980. They spent several years restoring the Board Everett home to its former glory. The McKinney Courier Gazette wrote,” The house stands as one of the city’s prime examples of an “L” plan dwelling. The small inset balcony above the front entrance is a distinctive element of the structure. The “L” plan is one of the most vernacular house forms in McKinney, and this house is one of the best preserved.(12) The Board-Everett house has been recognized for its excellent restoration in newspapers of the area and was featured in the Heritage Guild’s Christmas Tour of Historical Homes. The home was awarded a national register marker for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.(13) Mrs. Hewitt,, being an artist, left her mark on the home. There are examples of tole painting on a footed tub and on the moldings upstairs. There is also a sketch on the ceiling of the dining room left unfinished. They added porches to the west and southwest areas of the house, and the previous sun porch on the south side of the home was turned into a den.

When Susan and Terry Gennann purchased the house on November 1, 2000, they continued the updates to the Board-Everett home. The kitchen was renovated with a Viking oven, and granite countertops. New cabinets were added to the kitchen, as well, to help modernize the home a bit and make it more livable. Susan totally repainted the interior and had the exterior painted, also. The Germanns added a guest bathroom downstairs and a master bedroom with and en-suite upstairs. In June 2012, the lovely Victorian home was purchased by Jon and Susan Gastrock. Within the past year, the Gastrocks have added a white picket fence to the front and side yard, removed the old wooden privacy fence, and added a two-car garage that matches the home beautifully. The next project will be to landscape the yard area between the home and the garage. Jon has also repaired and repainted the original front porch screen door, and he has placed it back on the front entrance.

The historical home at 507 N. Bradley St., which has been included on the National Register, has weathered the test of time. Through the love and upkeep of her owners through the years, this grand lady has maintained her Victorian beauty and historical architecture. A list of the owners after Jesse and Olivia Foster were George L. Roessler who sold the house to Patsy D. Roessler on November 6, 1978. Patsy D. Roessler sold the home to James and Cheri E. Stokes on December 5, 1978. The Stokes sold the home to Carolyn C. Hewitt on September 8, 1980. Carolyn C. Hewitt sold the home to Gary M. Gibson on August 1, 1994. Gary M. Gibson sold the home to Terry G. Germann on November 1, 2000. Terry G. Germann sold the home to the present owners, Jon and Susan Gastrock on June 20,2012.(14)

Although, the home has been upgraded and modified through the years to accommodate a more modem lifestyle, the structure still looks much as it did 125 years ago. We will continue to preserve and care for this lovely Victorian structure. It is our job to try and preserve as much of the historic dignity of the Board-Everett home, as possible. We are truly honored to be the newest caretakers of this beautiful Victorian home.

Footnotes
1. United States of America. State of Texas. Texas General Land Office, Austin, TX. Abstracts ofAll Original Texas Land Titles Comprising Grants & Locations. Print.
2. Rickards, Herbert. “Capt. Robert Milton Board.” Capt. Robert Milton Board (1837- 1931)-Find a Grave Memorial. Herbert Rickards, 01 June 2002. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. .
3. Rickards, Herbert. “Capt. Robert Milton Board.” Capt. Robert Milton Board (1837- 1931)-Find a Grave Memorial. Herbert Rickards, 01 June 2002. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. .
4. United States of America. National Archives and Records Administration. Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Vol. T623. Washington, DC: NARA, 1900. Print. NARA Microfilm Pub.
5. Rickards, Herbert. “Capt. Robert Milton Board.” Capt. Robert Milton Board (1837- 1931)-Find a Grave Memorial. Herbert Rickards, 01 June 2002. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. .
6. United States of America. National Archives and Records Administration. Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Vol. T623. Washington, DC: NARA, 1900. Print. NARA Microfilm Pub.
7. United States of America. Bureau of the Census. Nat’l Archives & Records Administration.Fijieenth Census of the United States, 1930. Vol. T626. Washington, DC, 1930. Print. Microfilm Rolls.
8. United States of America. Bureau of the Census. Nat’l Archives & Records Administration.Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Vol. T626. Washington, DC, 1930. Print. Microfilm Rolls.
9. Collin County Deeds Records; Vol.295, page 589.
10. Helen G Hal1,Feb 3, 1993, Chairperson, Collin County Historical Society and Charles Hewitt
11. Collin County Deeds Records; Vol.1299, page 567.
12. Helen G Hal1,Feb 3, 1993, Chairperson, Collin County Historical Society and Charles Hewitt; Interviews with Keister Snodgrass.
13. National Register of Historic Places, Nov 30, 1987, acceptance letter
14. Collin County Deeds Records: Bk S, page 88.

Robert M. Board