The house called Oaklawn was moved to the east edge of Refugio in the early twentieth century, after the railroad got to town, from the ranch south of Refugio that brothers W. J. J. Heard and J. F. B. Heard inherited from their father, Allen J. Heard. In the mid-1930s, W. J. J. Heard's wife, Fannie Wells Heard, had the two-story house transformed into a Texas “Tara” with a south-facing portico of fluted Doric columns, classical architraves added to existing window openings, and a Palladian window above the classically recased front door, considerably scaling up what historic photographs imply was an un-exceptional wooden I-house.
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