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Hugh Lewis House

Hugh Lewis, born in Rankin County, Mississippi, April 10, 1832, was the son of Joel and Ruth Norton Lewis of South Carolina. Hugh came to Gonzales in 1852. On December 24, 1856, he married Susan Jane Parramore. Susan, the daughter of William Warren and Susan Rebecca Norwood Parramore, was born in Blakely, Georgia, August 24, 1838. The Parramore family moved from Georgia to Mississippi where they lived until 1849. Late that year they boarded a ship bound for Port Lavaca, Texas. They docked in Port Lavaca on New Year's Day in 1850 and arrived in Gonzales shortly thereafter. Following his marriage in 1856, Hugh went into the mercantile business. His business career was interrupted by the Civil War where he served in the Confederate Army in Company "E", 8th Texas Infantry. In 1866, following the end of the Civil War, Hugh joined with G.N. Dilworth in the businesses of groceries, iron and plantation goods and banking. Later he became heavily involved in the livestock and land business with his brother-in-law, Colonel James Harrison Parramore. By the turn of the century, Lewis and Parramore owned huge amounts of land including a large ranch in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and the San Simon Land and Cattle Company near Tucson, Arizona, where the Apache Chieftain, Geronimo, was captured in 1886. Lewis' business ventures were usually successful and he amassed a considerable fortune, becoming one of the wealthiest men in this part of Texas. In the early 1880's, Hugh hired architect, Frederick E. Ruffini, to design his home and the house was completed in 1883. The woodwork and some of the beautifully restored floors are longleaf pine. Other floors and wainscoting around the staircase are intricate oak and walnut parquet. There are five fireplaces with original mantels and a beautiful walnut staircase leading to the spacious second floor bedrooms. Large porches surround the south and west sides which give the house a light and airy atmosphere. The house was originally a Victorian design but was modified during remodeling in 1920. Hugh and Susan had seven children but all preceded them in death except one son. In 1987 the house was donated to the City of Gonzales but was in very poor condition. It was struck by lighting in 1991 damaging the roof and part of the upstairs flooring. It was purchased from the city in 1997, restored to its 1920 design.
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