History Of The Home
Dublin, Texas: I love old houses. I love every single one of them; they whisper to me about everyone they’ve ever known and every thing they’ve ever seen. On top of that, I love antiques with an essence of the feel of the Victorian so it is not surprising that I found myself in the proverbial 7th Heaven from the moment I entered Bil and Babe Murphey’s 1893 Warren Home.
The couple graciously shared what they know of the home’s history with me for our Texansunited.com visitors. Be sure that you do not leave this article until you have read the comment in the comment box below. I think you will enjoy it!
It seems that John and Winnie Warren acquired the home in about 1935. From researching deed records, Bil and Babe know that Mrs. Warren’s father owned 10 acres around the home and they believe it possible that he gave the home to Winnie and John.
Other than the fact that the home was built in 1893 and had three owners before the Warren’s, the Murphey’s know very little about their home’s history before 1935; however what they do know is very colorful, to say the least!
Apparently when the Barnum and Bailey Circus switched from horse-drawn wagons to trains in order to move from place to place, they made the transition in Dublin, Texas, leaving their wagons in Dublin.
With lumber from the wagons available, the builder made use of it to build the home, leaving some of the lettering from the wagons on the inside walls of the house.
According to local legend, Mr. Warren was the town drunk, and the story goes that Dublin merchants could not keep vanilla flavoring on their shelves because of this. Sure enough, when Babe and her husband started the renovation of their home, they found vanilla flavoring bottles in all types of places!
The house was built with a full basement of which it still boasts today. This basement is reputed to have hidden fugitive John Wesley Hardin; however, having spent many, many hours researching the gunman, I do have to insert that there may be more legend in this story than fact. However, who knows?
Mrs. Warren, who took in ironing to support herself, was able to live in her home until she was ninety-nine years young. According to her daughter, it was at that time that she walked out of the house under her own power, leaving fourteen irons from different eras for the Murphey’s to find. The elderly woman moved into a local nursing home in 1989 where she lived on for four more years.
The old home sat empty until 1995 when Babe and her husband purchased it and according to Babe, “It was a mess!” After looking at photos, I can tell you that mess doesn’t even being to describe the old home that was literally sitting on the ground in various places. Most would have razed it, believing restoration an impossible task. Thank goodness most were not the new owners!
Of course, today one would be hard put to believe the old home had ever been a mess. From rounded door facings to fireplaces to unbelievably sculptured ceilings, the 1893 Warren two-story home provides a beautiful link to the past.
Today it contains four bedrooms, three baths, three sitting rooms, kitchen, dining room, library, and the “bleacher” room that holds Babe’s grandfather’s rocking chair, and an easel that Babe has dreams of being able to use for painting if she ever “finds the time.”
The furnishings in the home are, of course, exquisite. Babe has visited every state in the country with the exception of Maine and New Hampshire, and she brought back something from each of them.
The grounds surrounding the 19th century home are lovely as well. Bil has worked tirelessly to make them so. It is here that he and Babe often come to have their coffee and talk over their day. All in all it is a setting that lends itself to that…truly the best of all worlds.