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Mills Place Historic District

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c. 1855–1930s. 1200 W. 2nd Ave. and Mills Place

This district consists of two components: a small residential enclave of important domestic architecture and the surviving fragment of a historic homestead from which the neighborhood was platted in 1924. The land was originally purchased in 1854 by Roger Mills, a Kentucky-born lawyer who became one of Corsicana’s most influential pioneer citizens. Mills was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1872 and later to the U.S. Senate. He built a Greek Revival house (c. 1855; 1200 W. 2nd Avenue), added a second floor to it several years later, and expanded it again in the 1880s with square box columns and a second-floor gallery.

The 1923 oil boom created a critical housing shortage in Corsicana. Roger Mills’s son participated in the resulting real estate speculation when he and business associates developed a new subdivision in 1924—the Mills Place Addition—on property bordering the original Mills homestead to the north. The development stipulated a minimum construction cost of $10,000, assuring that prospective residents would be among the most affluent in the city and that their houses would be designed by professional architects.

Three houses in Mills Place were designed by David R. Williams of Dallas. In the early 1920s Williams had begun to develop an indigenous vernacular style, and his work in Mills Place represents an important progressive step in his career as he refined and honed his architectural forms. The two-story house (1927) for oil operator W. C. Stroube at 1115 Mills Place is oriented to its wooded lot to take advantage of prevailing breezes and views. Williams utilized adobe, native stone, and a clay-tiled roof in a rustic combination that was several steps removed from Spanish Colonial Revival. In the house (1929; 613 Mills) designed for newspaper manager F. B. McKie, Williams continued to develop his regionalist vocabulary of informal massing responsive to the site and breezes and an absence of historicist detailing. In the house (1930) at number 1218 for businessman Lowry Martin, Williams’s Mediterranean-influenced design acknowledges his difficulty in departing completely from his eclectic roots. Like the Stroube House, this one employs rustic materials to achieve a quiet presence in the neighborhood.

Also of note in this neighborhood is the residence (1928; 1200 Mills) of W. C. Stroube’s brother, Henry Stroube. Fieldstone and half-timbered walls, a complex slate-tiled roof, prominent chimneys, and an arcaded entrance portico surmounted by a massive bay window make this the best example of Tudor Revival in the area.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Mills Place Historic District", [Corsicana, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 82-83.

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