The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996 Page: 30
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(640 acres; it is equivalent to one mile square) at $10 an acre from Judge James
Morehead. The land originally was settled in 1844 by Andrew Watson Anderson and his
wife, Mary Medlin Anderson, under a grant of the Peters Colony.
The house, later known as the "Gano" cabin, was built on this property. It is
virtually certain that it was built by the Andersons in the winter of 1845-46.5 The house
that Aunt Harriet Mason lived in while with the Gano family was not the same house that
was first built in 1845 by the Anderson family. The property was transferred in 1852
from Mr. Anderson to Judge James T. Morehead, a prominent lawyer from Virginia who
became Tarrant County's second judge.
The house was described as having an overall length of 42 feet. It consisted of
two rooms, each 15 x 14 1/2 feet, separated by a 10-foot covered breezeway or "dog-
trot." A fireplace at each end served for heat and also for cooking if the weather was too
bad for cooking outdoors. Water was carried from a spring 250 feet down the hill.6 The
1845 house was described by one of the young Morehead daughters in a not-too-
flattering light, "...we drove across the prairie to a place destined to be our home and a
dreary looking place it was--there were two log cabins, about fifteen feet apart which
was covered, but not floored [dog-trot]."
Judging from a remark made by a neighbor, Judge Morehead must have made
some rather impressive improvements to the place before selling it to Dr. Gano. When
the family was going to the Grapevine house, and were within a mile and a half of the
place, they passed a house and stopped for a drink of water. They told the neighbor lady
who they were and where they were going. She remarked, "You have got a fine home;
there is a dining room in the house." An altogether different reaction than the one from
the young Morehead daughter some two years earlier.7
The original cabin was built of post oak logs with half dovetail notching. There
was a brick fireplace in each room with a dogtrot or dog run between the two rooms.
From the November 10, 1858, issue of the Dallas Herald, we find the following ad:
"FARM FOR SALE: Being desirous of removing to the southwest, I
offer my farm for sale, situated in Tarrant County, 7 miles west of Witts
Mill, 16 miles from Birdville, 22 from Dallas, in the northern end of the
prairie, containing 840 acres, 520 of prairie and 320 of timber, all in one
body. The improvements are as follows: a residence with six rooms, four
below and two above, an excellent kitchen, meat house, granary, dairy,
cribs, stable, fowl houses, peach and apple orchard; have nearly
completed the fencing, never failing stock water. It combines a number of
advantages, good land, good timber, good water and all convenient.
There are 60 acres in the best May wheat growing finely, title undisputed,
a good warrantee deed. I will sell for a bargain. Reference John A.
Sowers, in Dallas, or on the premises, R. M. Gano."8
Apparently the farm did not sell or, if an offer to buy the farm was made, a
decision was made not to go through with the sale. The Gano family continued to live in
the cabin until 1866.
DGS Journal 30 1996
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996, periodical, December 1996; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186855/m1/36/: accessed February 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.