The Smith House is a typological duplicate of the Bryan-Weems House next door, although the sparer design of its veranda and loss of the louvered blinds that formerly shuttered its windows give the house a more austere appearance. Travis Logan Smith was a merchant who invested the profits still to be made in trade along the lower Brazos in agricultural and ranching real estate and in transportation improvements. He was part owner of the company that, until 1895, ran the last line of steamboats on the Brazos.
Next door to the Smith House, at 553 Main Street, is a remodeling of 1968 of the Aldridge-Hanson-Dance House, built in stages beginning c. 1840. The third family to own the house was that of J. H. Dance, who with his brothers bought the one-story house in 1858, adding a second story and a two-story veranda. Replacement of the verandas with a columned portico and of ground-floor sash windows with French doors in 1968 represented an attempt by a grandson of T. L. Smith to give the house a more explicitly “Southern” identity. This is a process that began as early as 1920 at the Patton-Hogg House (see AS21) and reached its peak of popularity along the Texas Gulf Coast in the 1930s and 1940s as nineteenth-century houses were Southern colonialized.