History in Oil - Giddings Stone Mansion
Updated: Aug 21, 2019
Most people that live in Brenham, Tx drive by this mansion on the hill everyday as it is still very visible from one of the city's main intersections, Stone and Market streets, that lead you into downtown and around. I personally have lived here for 40 years and did not know the history and connection one home has to rooting our place in Texas, so I started looking into it as I was painting . . I am typing from my home in downtown Brenham that was built in the early 1900s in the Bungalow style and is as sturdy today as it was when they laid the red pine beams. Hundred year old trees fill my yard spaced perfectly throughout for the best shade the original owners never enjoyed the way we get to today, but certainly the vision was in their forethought as they placed them in the ground. Thank you, I still pick the pecans and my dog loves to lie under the trees cracking and eating them all day when they fruit. Our squirrels are the happiest....squirrels?
Okay back to the mansion, I am grateful about where I am, who I am, and what ties me to this town. I hope to shine a positive light on the accomplishments that got us to where we are today in small town Brenham starting with the very beginning.
Although I have worked in the mansion for catering events through the years, and did have an understanding that it was celebrated I was always too busy to stop and smell the roses, although I have enjoyed feeling its time period when I was in the home because the furniture, wallpaper and tapestries still reflect so and that part leaves me in awe.
I have even had the luxury of hosting a wedding at the mansion once and found that as I was decorating the downstairs rooms for dinner service there was really no need to do much other than the simplest tables centerpieces with fresh flowers strewn about and food and drink to celebrate the affair, because the house speaks for itself and it did for that beautiful wedding.
The interior and exterior are still exquisite and If you did not rent this historical mansion to get married in a historical place and try to cover the ultimate beauty of it with too much decoration you have made a mistake and should reconsider your location as this place is meant to embrace. Please keep reading as I've tried to condense a great story about Brenham based on several sites linked below.
If you haven’t been to the mansion and experienced the grandiose home, you should take the tour and walk the outer porches that lead around the outback kitchen that dates itself and onto the verandas and into the yard. It feels like "country in the city".
Let's talk history. The Giddings brother did it all, these two college educated and seemingly well connected brothers, D.C. "Clint" Giddings and J.D. Giddings pioneered their way through this area beginning with J.D. Giddings arriving second in the year 1838 when he was a 24 year old man to claim the land his slain older brother Giles received for fighting in Sam Houston's army.
Once in Texas he began as a teacher in Independence ultimately moving around the county setting in place the areas we are still familiar with today. Tales of him fighting Native Americans and surviving the Battle of San Jacinto and The Civil War that had changed so much about the place they sat by 1870. I am sure he had to reflect upon it with wife Ann Tarver Giddings and their 5 children filling the dinner table with chatter of the history we know today.
J.D. opened the very first bank in Brenham and law office as well. Seeing the need for many things and implementing them was his nature and he did it well overseeing multiple projects throughout the years and leading the charge it seems with honesty and integrity. I read about how during The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1867 as was written by author and Brenham resident R.E. Pennington (May Amanda Williams) where she says "No nobler example of heroism may be found among the annals of man than that given by this good citizen., when he faced danger and death, and gently, and unselfishly ministered to the sufferers. By day and night for three months he nursed the ill and dying, allowing himself scant rest, and so sad the conditions and so great the death rate, that Col. Giddings often superintended the internments in the graves at the Old Masonic Cemetery, which he had helped the colore