Feb. 24, 2011 - In doing research for the next Homes of History series, the current owner of the spotlighted property produced a Fannin County abstract showing the history of the home and property - dating back to the days when the property was bought by the City of Leonard's namesake Solomon Langdon Leonard.
Solomon Langdon Leonard bought 3,520 acres of land from E. J. Hart on Jan. 22, 1859, and paid $10,560 for it. There were 11 plots of land with 320 acres in each plot. One of these plots of land was eventually designated as a town on the Missouri Kansas and Texas Railroad and was given the name Leonard in honor of the man who purchased the land and had a vision for a town. The town of Leonard is located in the center of this block of land. This would not be the end of Leonard's purchases as records show that by 1861 he had accumulated over 10,000 acres in southwest Fannin County and some in Hunt County.
On June 1, 1880, power of attorney to grant, sell, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of any and all of the land owned by Solomon Leonard in the State of Texas in Fannin and Hunt counties was given to William C. Connett, a son-in-law of S. L. Leonard.
On Feb. 19, 1883, 93 acres were deeded to heirs of Mary E. Connett, under the guardianship of Louisa M. Parmele, who would divide these acres to the heirs when they became of age. Also on the same date, an additional 46 acres was deeded to Parmele for $300.
On Aug 22, 1894, the heirs of Mary Connett were of age and received their inheritance per a Fannin County Abstract document.
R. L. Rigney became an owner of part of the land and sold 3 lots to J. Z. and Mall Stuart, (also spelled Stewart in some of the documents of the abstract), now located on the southwest corner of Parmele and Hackberry.
On June 26, 1913, paperwork was signed where the Stuarts commissioned O. S. Ferguson to build a one-story frame house consisting of five rooms and a bathroom and two porches in accordance with the plans and specifications of the house that were furnished for $800. The house would be located on three lots of land in the Wilson and Pendergrass addition of the town of Leonard and the house was to be finished by the 15th day of July, 1913. The house was probably under construction before the legal paperwork was documented since 19 days was not enough time to build a structure this size. The house has a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, a bathroom and two porches. The larger bedroom has a staircase leading to an upstairs storage area.
The house remained in the possession of Mall Stuart until Nov. 25, 1944, at which time she is listed as a widow and sold the property to Wilma Wilson, wife of A. O. Wilson for $700. Though listed as a widow, she was granted a divorce from J. Z. after he had abandoned her for three years and the judge agreed she was entitled to her requests and denied his requests on the counter-suit.
Wilma and A. O. Wilson sold the house to W. D. and Myrtle George in August of 1945, who in turn sold it to Leonard ISD. It remained as a property of Leonard ISD until 1952 when they sold it to the Leonard National Bank as a one frame building in good condition. C. K. McClendon owned the house for several years and Larry and Mary Tucker bought it from him. Their daughter, Jamie Tucker Franklin lived in the house with her daughters until it was sold to Don and Margy Hall in April 2007.
There has been little change to the house except for painting, caulking, and other necessary upkeep.
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