Record#

 

Building Name

The Garner Building (Benson Homestead)

Address

3009 Main Street (FM 517 E), Dickinson, Texas

 

Building Construction & History

*Chronological from established to current

Date

1904

Property Owner

J. M. Parke and E. W. Dockrill

Event

The Parke and Dockrill Subdivision was platted in 1904 by J. M. Parke and E. W. Dockrill.  They had purchased five (5) acres of the Herman Benson homestead right next to the GH&H railroad and across what is now Main Street from the Nicholstone subdivision.  Mr. Parke was the railroad agent for the GH&H Railroad.

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Date

January 16, 1904

Property Owner

Dr. C. S. Garner

Event

This parcel was sold to Dr. C. S. Garner eleven days before the plat was actually filed.  Garner paid $600 for the lot which was known as the Benson Homestead and included “one house and wooden cistern situated thereon”.  These were no doubt, remnants of the Herman Benson family home.  About a year later, Dr. Garner acquired lot 3 next door which included “all improvements except barn on north end.”

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Date

1905 – 1911

Property Owner

Dr. Garner

Event

Dr. Garner came to Texas from Mississippi around 1896-97, perhaps attracted by the promotion of Nicholstone.  From 1905 to 1910 he also owned block 372 in Nicholstone which fronted the railroad track and backed up to the Dickinson Bayou.  Dr. Garner probably did not open his doctor’s office at this site until about 1911.

 

The first improvements to the original buildings were made about 1911 and additional improvements were made in 1919, perhaps the addition of the second story.  The drugstore cum karate studio was a local landmark through most of its life, although much different in appearance.  The outlines of the original second story windows still survive, although they have been fitted with metal-framed, tinted glass.  The stained wood store-front, doesn’t give a clue as to its former look.  The rear has a particularly off beat look, with the wings of the mansard stopping short of the south elevation and a large deck framed off the second floor, providing outdoor living space for the living quarters upstairs and covered parking below.  It is, however, the only survivor, costumed though it is, of earlier days on that side of the block.

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Date

1919 – 1954

Property Owner

Dr. C. S. Garner

Event

The improvements made in 1919 were probably done to accommodate the drugstore (and living quarters?) that his son, Charles B. Garner, started.  During the next 35 years, Garner’s Drug Store was a fixture on Main Street.  At the time of its beginning, it was in the center of Dickinson’s commercial district; by the time of its demise, the commercial district was in the process of its second move to the west.  During World War II, Garner’s Drug was a going concern and the upstairs living quarters had been converted to apartments.  Mrs. Teresa Deats lived there when her husband was away in the service.  That aspect of the building has not changed – the second floor is used today as residential space.

 

In the mid sixties, Garner moved to Houston with his son and the store was closed.  The building housed several other commercial enterprises, including J&H Notions operated by James E. Voekel of San Leon and Dickinson Tile Supply managed by H. L. Voekel.

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Date

1968 – 1972

Property Owner

Dr. C. S. Garner

Event

Dr. Garner died in 1968 and the heirs disposed of the property in 1972.  During the next 17 years, the property changed hands six times and in 1989 Coastal Banc Savings took it back in a foreclosure.

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Date

1991

Property Owner

Mr. W. S. Marker

Event

Coastal Banc Savings sold the property in 1991 to W. S. Marker

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