100-year-old home in Magnolia receives Montgomery County historical marker

Descendants of the Dean family unveil the marker with resident historian Celeste Graves, second from right, and Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, right. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Descendants of the Dean family unveil the marker with resident historian Celeste Graves, second from right, and Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, right. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

Descendants of the Dean family unveil the marker with resident historian Celeste Graves, second from right, and Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, right. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Descendants of the Dean family unveil the marker with resident historian Celeste Graves, second from right, and Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, right. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Grandson Henry Dean, left, shared memories of the home and of Magnolia past with community members during the marker dedication. Larry Foerster, right, chairman of the Montgomery County Historical Commission, led the dedication ceremony Oct. 26. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Local historian Celeste Graves, author of "Magnolia Memories," spoke during the marker dedication Oct. 26. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The dedication ceremony took place Oct. 26. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
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"I call it the 'house that love built' because of the story involved," said Sharon Russell, historic marker chairperson of the Montogmery County Historical Commission. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Members of the Montgomery County Historical Commission and public officials celebrated the unveiling of the county's second historical marker in the Magnolia area Oct. 26. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Larry Foerster, chairman of the Montgomery County Historical Commission, led the dedication ceremony Oct. 26. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
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W.A. Dean documented the building of his home off Commerce Street in the early 1900s. (Courtesy Celeste Graves)
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The home, located at 503 Commerce St., Magnolia, was built in 1919-20 and serves today as offices for a certified public accountant. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Montgomery County Historical Commission granted the 100-year-old W.A. and Gertrude Dean Home a historical marker Oct. 26; it is the second county historical marker to be placed in the Magnolia area, according to Sharon Russell, historic marker chairperson for the commission.

The home, currently serving as offices for Gina B. Clark, CPA, at 503 Commerce St., Magnolia, was constructed by W.A. "Willie" Dean. He lived in the house with his wife, Gertrude Crook, from 1920 until Dean's death in 1963, according to historical commission information.

"I call it the 'house that love built' because of the story involved," Russell said during the marker dedication ceremony.

One of the town's two general stores at the time was started by the Dean brothers, T.R. and Willie, Russell said. She said Magnolia's population was 25 residents in 1900, and the town was known as "Mink Prairie" until 1903, when it became Magnolia.

"This house is built out of hardwoods and pines that were milled right here at the sawmill in Magnolia. It's got a lot of history," she said. "Every week, [W.A.] would send [Gertrude] a Polaroid picture of the progress he was making [on the house]. In 1920, ... the house was finished, and she agreed to marry him."


Community Impact Newspaper previously reported the home is believed by local historians to be Magnolia's oldest residence in its original location.

Sanders Cemetery, located on a dead-end road off of FM 1774 north of Magnolia, was the first location in Magnolia to receive a county historical marker.
By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball/Magnolia & Conroe/Montgomery

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor for the Tomball/Magnolia edition. She began covering the communities of Conroe and Montgomery as well in 2020. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.



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