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A History in Oil- "The Giddings-Wilkin House Museum"

Updated: May 2, 2021

Giddings Wilkin House Museum located in Brenham, Texas was built in 1843 and is the original home to J.D. Giddings who traveled to Texas in 1838 after arriving to claim the land he was to receive from his bother Giles after dying from his wounds in the Battle of San Jacinto as a soldier in the Texian Army, he was only in Texas for 3 months working as a surveyor before he met his fate days after winning the independence of Texas.

Oil Painting of historical Texas home in Brenham that stands as its oldest residential home
Giddings Wilken House Museum

J.D. Giddings arriving in Texas from Pennsylvania about 5 years later and being the oldest surviving of 8 siblings, followed in his brothers' footsteps down to Texas to settle after getting his college degree in Pennsylvania. He was a lawyer, teacher, and a leader in the area as I talked about in my blog post about The Giddings Stone Mansion

He had this home built originally as a two-room dog-trot for his bride-to-be Ann Tarver Giddings and they were married and moved into this home where they lived for over 20 years adding on as the family grew with the addition of 5 children and also raising the children of his younger brother J.J. Giddings until they built a new home due to yellow fever killing so many in this lower-lying part of Brenham that was overwhelmed with disease-carrying mosquitos. The Giddings family moved from this home in 1870 and sold it to a John Bush Wilkin whom I can find nothing online about, I tried John.

The house is truly a historic structure, significant both architecturally in design also ahead of its time with a cistern to collect rainwater. It Is one of a few remaining examples of the water reservoir house, which early Texas settlers built for both safety and convenience. It Is also one of the oldest known houses still standing today in Brenham. Betty Plummer

The home stands as a museum today in 2019 allowing you to tour by appointment and I am disappointed in myself that I have never been in the home to experience it nor did I know of its existence until recently. The inside has been decorated with time-period pieces, rugs, and draperies that deck it out with a collection of Giddings and Wilkin family antique treasures donated to allow the story to be told of how life was for the more affluent families in Brenham from the very start of Texas.

I included this painting in my collection of oils because it is attached to the Giddings Family legacy and part of our Brenham Heritage. I wanted to learn about this home as I was researching the Giddings Stone Mansion and this was J.D. Giddings's first home he built it seemed like the obvious thing to do. Adding it to the collection of oils I have going at the moment in this series this little house speaks volumes. There were a lot of people born and raised in this home.

I like the painting so far as it is a work in progress. Oil paints have a way of telling you when it is time to stop during a painting session and although I am never really pleased at my point of stopping, I am always grateful for doing so because the next layer I apply after the last seems to always be better and improved. I am trying my hardest to pay closer attention to where I lay my brush down before I actually lay my brush down.

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