This rare combination of Creole-plantation and New England architectural styles was built in 1838 for Samuel May Williams, secretary to Stephen F. Austin and founder of the Texas Navy.
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Williams played an important role in early Texas history. The son of a ship captain, he was born on October 4, 1795, in Providence, Rhode Island. He learned the trades of bookkeeping and international commerce while employed by his uncle in Baltimore. After working in Buenos Aires and New Orleans, Williams arrived in Mexican Texas in 1822, settling in San Felipe de Austin. In 1838, Williams, along with Michel B. Menard and other early Texas businessmen, helped found the Galveston City Company. A year later the city of Galveston was incorporated. Other business ventures included a partnership with Thomas F. McKinney, resulting in a successful commission house and Texas’ first bank.