By Bill Byers
The Thomas Patton (T.P.) Huffman home was built in the late 1800’s on the south side of Bedford-Euless Road in Euless. The house was at the present corner of Windward Way and Airport Freeway, south of the Euless municipal complex. It was a two-story box house built on a log foundation, with beams, sills, and floor joists. Downstairs, the home had a parlor, kitchen, and two bedrooms. There were two rooms on the second floor.
T. P. Huffman, his wife, and eight children Seth, Steve, Harriet (Hattie), John, Emma, Ruth, Blount, and Willie lived in the home. My mother, Willie, was born there in 1902. Grandfather Huffman raised truck crops and grew hay for silage on his farm. He also had a small herd of cows, a small dairy farm. The outbuildings consisted of a large hay barn, a milk barn, a silo, and a shop. Records do not reflect whether my grandfather built the house or had it built. The family lived in this home until T. P. built his second hone in 1909-1910.
Sometime between 1905 and 1907, Grandfather Huffman bought a used piano. My mother learned to play the piano by ear when she was a small child. She could play almost any song she heard. In 1910, when grandfather moved the family into their new home, my eight-year old mother sat on her stool and played as the wagon transported the piano to the new home.
After T.P. Huffman’s second home was built, Sam Mills and his family lived in the old house until the mid-1960’s. At that time, the house was moved a little over a mile south to 706 Vine Street. It served as rental property until Winn Porter purchased the home in the late 1960’s. Mr. Porter’s wife, Helen, continues to live in the house, which still looks as it did when it was built more than a hundred years ago.
The second T. P. Huffman home was ¼ mile west on the north side of Bedford-Euless Road, halfway between the first home and Hwy. 157, (Grapevine Road). T. P.’s 110-acre farm was west of Sheppard Drive and extended north of present Midway Drive. It included the current site of the First Baptist Church, Trinity High School, and the Ector Square Apartments. The new home was large by 1910 Euless standards. It had a three- room basement, a living room with fireplace, a dining room, kitchen, two large bedrooms and bath on the first floor. There was also a large second floor. The home was about four feet off the ground, with a large front and side porch. It was the only home in Northeast Tarrant County with a basement. All members of the family were raised in the home, until they left, one by one.
My father, Lee Byers, and my mother, Willie Huffman, lived in the basement of the home. I was born there in 1927. My family lived there on and off, with my grandmother, Cynthia Fuller Huffman, who died in 1945.
The second T. P. Huffman home was lighted by a carbide system. The system required that the house be plumbed with ¼ inch pipes. A large four-foot diameter apparatus was placed underground in the side yard. It extended two feet above ground. The underground tank was filled with lime and carbide powder. The system required periodic cranking to function. It provided a very bright light.
Fireplaces provided heat for the home. Water for the kitchen and bath was not added until the 1940’s, even though there was a bathroom with a tub and commode. At that time, a septic system was dug and electrical wiring installed.
Other buildings on the property included a two-story garage, hen houses, a shop, and a smokehouse. A gasoline pump, in a brick well house, pumped water into a large overhead water tank. There was also a large barn with corncribs, hayloft, tool room and an attached cowshed on the northwest end. The milking shed was on the east end of the barn. Later, a real milking barn was built between the well house and the hay barn. The hog pens were located about 100 yards north.
The hogs provided food for home and for sale at local markets. Hogs were killed after the first frost. Grandmother Cynthia and my mother made sacks for the sausage. Hams were rubbed down for sugar curing and placed on the roof to cool. They were then smoked with the sausages in the smokehouse. Cracklings were made from the skin and soap for washing clothes was made from the fat.
The home was landscaped with hackberry and elm trees, which my grandfather, T.P. Huffman, and father, Lee Byers, dug up in the Trinity River bottoms. The trees were planted twenty-five feet apart around the entire home place. There was a circular drive and a large yard enclosed, in front, by an ornamental iron fence. The home was the showplace of Euless and all of Northeast Tarrant County.
My wife and I lived in the T. P. Huffman home until 1953 when we built our own home about 100 yards west, across from the present La Quinta Motel. My parents and Boyce, my wife and I, continued to live in our two homes until 1963 when the State Highway Department widened Highway 183/Airport Freeway. The state purchased 300 feet of right-of-way along Bedford-Euless Road. The T. P. Huffman home was ultimately demolished in 1965. Lumber from the home was used to build two houses. The home my wife and I had built was moved to a location south of Mansfield.
My mother and father, and my wife and I, built new homes in the new north Euless Trailwood Addition. My father died in 1986 and mother died in 1996. Boyce and I still live in our Trailwood home.
February 10, 2005
Euless, Texas was first settled in about 1867 as a small farming community in North Central Texas. The City is located midway between Dallas and Fort Worth Texas, just west of DFW International Airport. It was incorporated in 1953 and at the time of the 2000 U.S. Census had a population of 46,005. The City of Euless encompasses approximately 16.3 square miles. (42.1 KM2)