Weatherford Democrat

July 7, 2013

Downtown building unveils historic marker


Weatherford Democrat

— By BRIAN SMITH

A Weatherford building received a Texas State Historical Marker during a Friday ceremony.

The former Franco-Texan Land Company Building, located at 118 N. Houston St., was built in 1870 by J.R. Couts and was a staple in the banking community for a number of years, according to Brad Tibbitts with the Parker County Historical Commission. Couts was a businessman, banker and local philanthropist.

The building reportedly includes one of the original spittoons Couts used, according to current building owner Bob Glenn. Glenn and his wife bought the building in 2011 and took about a year to refurbish it. Tibbitts said the process for obtaining the historical marker took about 18 months.

Tibbitts said the building, which was the location of a number of banks over the years, helped “push development westward.”

The building was also the offices of two-term governor and eight-term congressman S.W.T Lanham. Lanham was governor from 1903 to 1907.

It is at least the third state historical marker unveiled in the city over the last several months. Chandor Gardens and First Baptist Church recently had markers unveiled.

Parker County Judge Mark Riley said the renewed interest in the downtown area of Weatherford is heartwarming and the building marker will do wonders to remind Weatherford and Parker County residents of their history.

“Hopefully what the Glenns have done with this building will inspire other building owners to do the same,” Riley said. “If we don’t connect with our past, we will lose it.”

Some historical touches were seen around the building, including fully regaled members of the Sons of the Confederacy. Glenn said he wanted to have an authentic vehicle from when the building was first built, but joked he couldn’t get a mule and wagon.

Tours of both floors of the building and the renovation work were given following the 20-minute ceremony. In honor of the event, Weatherford Chamber of Commerce members hosted a ribbon cutting with a number of ambassadors and residents taking part.