According to the drawing in Bird's Eye View of the City of San Antonio (1873) by Augustus Koch, the original house was a small one-story structure with either a low-pitched or flat roof and built for San Antonio attorney Newton Mitchell and his wife, Caroline. The oldest house in the district, it had a raised basement, which indicates the potential of flooding from the river that flows across the back of the lot. The residence was similar in style to the Greek Revival Gustave Blersch house (c. 1860) at 213 Washington Street, also with a raised basement. In 1870 Catherine Sampson purchased the Mitchell house for $3,500 and added a second story around 1875. Sampson sold the house in 1881 for $7,000 to Louis Oge, a former Texas Ranger and Indian fighter, who became a U.S. mail contractor, rancher, and a prominent San Antonio businessman. Oge employed Giles c. 1882 to remodel the exterior of the house. Giles designed the full-height verandas, the new roof and pediment, and the doorways, including the Palladian entrance on the main level. At the time, the Greek Revival character of Giles's work was a style already thirty years out of date in Texas.
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