A native of Greensboro, Kansas, Everette Lee DeGolyer (1886 -1956) participated in major oil exploration successes in Mexico while still a student at the University of Oklahoma. Returning to complete his degree, he married Nell Virginia Goodrich (1886 - 1972) of Norman, Oklahoma. DeGolyer became a world renowned petroleum geologist and rare book collector.
In 1936 Everette and Nell DeGolyer and their four children moved to Dallas. They hired California architects Denman Scott and Burton Schutt to design their new home overlooking White Rock Lake. Exhibiting outstanding features of the Spanish Colonial Revival style, the house was begun in 1938 and completed in 1940. Noted landscape architect Arthur Berger planned the grounds of the estate to complement its natural surroundings. An important addition to Texas' architectural history, the rambling one-story house is evocative of a Mexican hacienda and noted for its picturesque massing and fine craftsmanship.
Following the DeGolyers' deaths, the DeGolyer Foundation donated the house, grounds, and library to Southern Methodist University. The library was retained by the University, and the house and grounds were purchased by the City of Dallas in 1975.