Wilhelm Neese House in Warrenton|
Massey, July 2011
in a Pecan Shell
Neese was a German
who came to Galveston in 1847. He moved into the area and bought the property
in 1854. He ran stores, built a cotton gin and became the first postmaster.
The town was nearly called Neeseville. Warren Ligon was Neese's neighbor
and when the time came to officially name the town, each wanted it named after
the other. Thankfully they decided in Ligon's favor and then defied convention
by using his first name, otherwise we'd be writing about Ligonburg.
The Neese Home, (131 years after it was built) remains Warrenton's finest. As
beautiful as it is, it has a tragic story. Neese built it for his family who watched
the construction from their rather primitive cabin. Just a few years after its
completion, William Neese was killed by a burgler in his store. Neese is buried
in the Drawe Cemetery near Warrenton.
Just ten years before Neese's
arrival, the land's original owner John Robison had been killed by Indians
about one mile from where the house sits today. John Robison's son Joel,
captured General/ President Santa Anna at San Jacinto and later
became good friends with Neese.
power vested in him…. ( Although it has little to do with Warrenton, we include
the story of Santa Anna's Vest here since it became a well-used artifact
throughout the region. ) Some time after the battle and several miles away from
San Jacinto, Santa Anna was caught. He first denied being an officer,
but when he was brought into camp, the other Mexican soldiers saluted him as Senor
Presidente, which sort of blew his cover. It may not have happened - but it's
a great story.
Joel allowed Santa Anna (who was captured on foot),
to ride behind him for the several miles it took to bring him to Sam Houston
(where everyone posed for that famous painting). In return for this kindness,
Santa Anna gave Joel his red and gold Generalisimo's Vest.
years, up until it disappeared, the vest was worn by many local bridegrooms and
dignitaries for weddings and special occasions. It must've made for an interesting
"show and tell" at the Warrenton school.
has become a Mecca for antique hunters in the Spring and Fall (last weekends
in March and September, and first weekends in April and October). While other
"Antique Capital" towns around Texas have become something of eyesores, Warrenton
has managed to stay neat and has even improved, despite the amount of traffic
in front of the Wilhelm Neese House|
Massey, July 2011
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact