Courtesy Hand County Historical Society
THE McWHORTER HOUSE on North Broadway has served many purposes over its 106-year history. The Hand County Historical Society is raising funds in hopes of restoring the historical house to its original color scheme.
McWhorter House exterior to be restored
Hand County Historical Society is raising funds to return the exterior of the McWhorter House to its original color scheme, according to Connie Schroeder, president of the organization. “We have an early picture, and it is pretty clear it was not white with gray trim,” said Schroeder. “We also scraped paint back to the early layers and think it confirms what we are guessing from the picture.”
Schroeder, who believes the body of the house was once an ivory color with a dark brown trim, while the windows were trimmed in black, is reflective of how people lived and the color choices they made back in the early 1900s. “In 1989, the inside of the house was restored to what was thought to be as close to a typical turn of the century Victorian house,” said Schroeder, “and now we want to do that to the exterior.”
Painting is scheduled to begin in August; the museum board is still looking for someone to do the carpentry work. In the meantime, the board hopes to raise the necessary funds to finance the project.
“We are applying for grant money to fund the painting project, which is also to include some repair work of the porches,” said Schroeder. “We were approached by Casey and Lu Schultz about them assisting us with a pork sandwich dinner to benefit the museum. We thought that was a great idea and plans were set in motion.” The pork sandwich dinner will be on Wednesday, July 4, starting at 6 P.M. at Crystal Park. Musical entertainment will be provided by The Blachford Boys and the Texas Kid from 7-8 P.M.
Port McWhorter, M.D, was the son of Arno L. McWhorter, who settled in Miller in 1882 and platted an addition to the town and farmed in Midland Township. Dr. McWhorter began practice in Miller shortly after the turn of the century and was instrumental in the establishment of the first hospital here. He practiced in Miller until 1926 and then moved to Los Angeles. The McWhorter home was built in 1906 in the prairie Victorian style. The Miller Press stated on August 23, 1906, that “workers are pushing fast on Dr. McWhorter’s house just south of the school house.” The McWhorter’s moved into the house on the corner of North Broadway and 5th Street on January 24, 1907. In 1938 Dr. McWhorter and his wife, Helen A. McWhorter gave the house to the Miller School District to be used as a dormitory or for other educational purposes. A plaque at the front door marks the house as Helen A. McWhorter Hall.
The Hand County Historical Society was established to enhance life in Miller by preserving its history and displaying items of historical interest. It is also responsible for maintaining the McWhorter House, which it leases from the Miller School District. Memberships are available at several donation levels by contacting any board member. Current officers are Connie Schroeder, president; Jan Deuter, vice- president; Deb Bushfield, secretary; and Tammy Caffee, treasurer. Kevin Hofer, and students Kirstyn Fiala and Trey Waldrop also serve as board members.
Museum tours available on summer weekends from 1 to 5 p.m., or any day the flag is out for a donation. Special tours can also be arranged by calling the people whose names are listed on the front (or back) door. The museum is available for meetings or small social events.