The house at 2503 S. Cherry St., Tomball, tells a tale of German beginnings, the onset of development and one couple’s love of local history. Known as the Brill-Mueller House, the structure was granted a historical marker by the Texas Historical Commission in 1985 upon the house’s relocation and restoration.
According to documents from the THC, Johannes and Anna Brill immigrated to present-day Klein from Germany in 1873 with their daughter, Emilie. Johannes, a farmer, built the Brill home in 1880.
The house was originally located on a tract of land 8 miles from its Cherry Street site near Willow Creek and what is now Boudreaux Road.
Following Johannes’ death in 1909, Emilie later owned the house with her second husband, Friedrick Mueller. The house remained in the Brill-Mueller family until it was sold to George H. Musterman Inc., a development company, in August 1978, according to THC documents. Musterman planned to clear the surrounding lands and build a residential subdivision.
In order to save the house from destruction, Howard and Pat Klein, descendants of one of the area’s founding families, purchased the vacant home in January 1981 from Paul and Anna Mueller, Emilie’s son and daughter-in-law, and relocated the building.
“[I]t is our certain knowledge that the home would have been wrecked out or bulldozed had it not been removed from the premises,” Howard said in a letter to the THC.
Tomball City Council Member Lori Klein Quinn, Howard’s daughter, lived in the Brill-Mueller House for a short time.
Howard and Pat Klein found the Brill-Mueller House in 1981 abandoned and threatened with destruction. The couple relocated the house to Tomball.[/caption]
“He and Pat found the Brill-Mueller home, which has history in the community, and it became the Brill-Mueller-Klein home,” Klein Quinn said. “They moved it into that [7-acre] piece of property and brought it down the road and actually had to cut it in two.”
Howard and Pat refinished the attic, added a kitchen area, filled the house with period antiques and kept the handmade glass windows. The couple added heating beneath the creaky, old floors and designed the landscaping to mimic that of when the Brill-Mueller House was built, Klein Quinn said.
After Howard’s death in 1987, Pat lived in the Brill-Mueller-Klein home until 1990, Klein Quinn said. The house has changed hands several times since then and is again up for sale, according to public records.
“When [Pat and my father] had it, you drove down that long driveway and the closer you got, it was like going back to the late 1800s [or] early 1900s, but yet it was comfortable and convenient, too,” Klein Quinn said.