(From The Comanche Chief, April 10, 1959 written by Mrs. F. L. Little, daughter of Dora Greene)
One of Comanche’s old landmarks demolition was completed last week when the stately old two-story home, known for a great number of years as the Dora Greene residence, at the intersection of W. Walcott and N. Houston, was town down to make room for two new residences. Mrs. Little wrote the following history of the 82-year-old home:
On December 28, 1888, J. G. Hamilton sold the lot (where the Greene house stood) to J. W. Greene for $1400 and seventy years later the Greene heirs sold the house to Nabers Gleaton and George Willis.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Greene continued to rent the property. Some of the tenants were L.M. Drake, M.W. White, Tom Langston, Mistrot and Eugene Greer.
In the 90s while the Drakes were living in the house, Dora Drake scratched her name on a window pane with a diamond which was still legible when the house was razed last week.
In the summer of 1906, Mrs. Greene employed J.P. Cook, contractor, who tore away three rooms and added additions to the north and south and built a two-story house.
It had 6 large bedrooms with closets, bath, a parlor-sitting room, kitchen-dining room-pantry, two large halls up and downstairs and the house surrounded by porches.
There was a cistern, a well, a stormhouse, a cow lot and milk cow, a stable, a fringed canopy top surrey and “Bill” to pull it.
There were fruit trees, berry vines, flowers, a garden, chickens and a huge supply of wood for the two fireplaces and numerous heaters.
The Greenes had a large yellow cat – “Old Tom” – who lived to be twenty-one.
He was buried in the garden under the gooseberry bushes. Jeffie and Doris held the funeral service and sang “Sunshine In My Soul Today.” They covered the grave with Mama Greene’s prize roses when they’d been told to place only zinnias and petunias and were properly spanked.
Levertt Little courted and married Nannie in the parlor.
Cyril walked across the street to make love to Cleo and was married in the Kilpatrick’s parlor.
Ossie brought a bride, Irene Schley, from Gatesville after World War I.
Funeral services were held for Meddie in the parlor a few months after the death of her husband, J. B. Rodgers.
The family was saddened to learn of the passing of Berta’s husband, H. N. Goodson.
The old house saw much life, birth, marriage, death, sickness and sorrow, health within its walls.
It was a happy house. It resounded with music and song. Family and friends gathered about the piano and sang church music, popular songs or some of the girls would play “The Witche’s Flight” or “Old Black Joe” with variations or some instrumental number learned from Miss Mary Roberts, music teacher. The piano was rarely idle.
All of the children married and moved into homes, but Mama Greene and Uncle Bailey continued to live in the old home.
A small granddaughter, returning for a visit, exclaimed “There’s that welcoming house.”
The late Mrs. E. E. Anthony in a sketch given for the Comanche Study Club, said of Mrs. Greene, “Her’s is the happiest family I have ever known.”
Even after she was 92 did Mama Greene continue to work in her flowers and put out fresh water daily for the dove. She lived to be past 94 and was confined to her room the last two years, but each day would ask, “Have you watered my dove today?”
When the house was rebuilt in 1906, for several years, it was “haunted.” Footsteps climbed the stairs, strode across the hall and stopped in front of Uncle Bailey’s door.
The waking family always investigated and found doors and windows locked and nothing amiss.
Whatever the motive or cause, it was a harmless “ghost”, except for scaring the family, feminine part, nearly to death.
Our old home is gone. Nothing remains but the oak tree, lilac bush and memories.