Details for Davidson-Penland House (Atlas Number 5507016848)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507016848


Marker Number 16848
Atlas Number 5507016848
Marker Title Davidson-Penland House
Index Entry Davidson-Penland House
Address 1207 Postoffice St.
City Galveston
County Galveston
UTM Zone
UTM Easting
UTM Northing
Subject Codes civil war, Greek Revival, weather topics
Marker Year 2011
Designations Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker Location
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text Constructed between 1866 and 1868, this house belonged to a number of significant Galveston residents. Captain John Davidson, an immigrant from Norway and early Galveston settler, built it. In 1870, two years after Davidson died in an attempt to rescue a pilot from a wrecked bark, his widow, Sophia (Dettmar), sold the home to Mary (Fisher) Mckeen, daughter of 1842 Fisher-Miller land grant coauthor Henry Fisher. In 1872, the Mckeens sold this house to Samuel Moore Penland (1845 – 1922). A grandnephew of Sam Houston and native of Alabama, Penland served in Galveston during the Civil War and settled in the city afterward. Addressed as Major Penland because of his tenure in the Texas Volunteer Guards, he was also an auctioneer, businessman and customs official. Penland also served as an original trustee of the Galveston Orphans’ Home. He donated a number of Sam Houston’s artifacts and his own collection of letters of other famous individuals to the Galveston Rosenberg Library. William N. Scott, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, next purchased the property, owning the home from 1882 to 1901. Later owners included civic leader and merchant John F. Hargrave and his wife, Ada. This hipped-roof, greek revival house features stairs leading up to a wide front porch supported by square columns. Other features include a front door framed by sidelights and a transom, an ornate railing design, and paired double-hung windows. Having survived the 1885 fire and 1900 storm, it is one of the oldest existing examples of its kind in the east end district.