Historic Texas Home Kept the Candle Burning

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Dyches- McFadin House | Williamson County Texas | c. 1850

In 1828, 12-year-old David Hutcheson McFadin moved from Montgomery, Tennessee to Liberty County, Texas. From a very young age, he worked in the cattle stock business until 1836 when he enlisted to fight in the Texas Revolution. In 1838, he married Jerusha Dyches and they began to grow their family here on this property.

David and his family were some of the earliest white settlers in this area and he served as sheriff of his county. He was also elected to the first group of county commissioners in 1848, a position he held the position for 12 years.

As his family began to expand, so did their need for more space, so in 1850, construction started on this impressive home. Built of native stone quarried on-site, this home has 27” thick walls and backs up to a cool, perpetual creek. In 1859, David built a mill near this home that became the first in the town.

The McFadin’s would have at least 6 children, the second oldest being William who had been born in 1841. Although David opposed secession and took no part in the Civil War, his children had different feelings about it and at the outbreak of war, a 20-year-old William left to join the Confederate Army. In a bizarre twist of events, he never showed up in any Texas military records and no reports or signs of him were ever found.

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His mother, Jerusha, desperate for her son to return home, reportedly kept a candle burning in the upstairs window in hopes that it would help guide him home one day. According to family legend, she continued to burn that candle every night until her death, 18 years later in 1880.

Upon her death, David was left with 3 children and undoubtedly needed a woman at home to help raise his family so in 1881, he remarried to Mrs. Cordelia Armstrong, a widow. David McFadin passed away here on August 7, 1896.

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  1. I love ALL your wonderful stories! Do you have any about Live Oak County in South Texas? Would love to read them! Thank you

  2. That was so sad that they never found out what happened to their son. I guess I either missed something or miss understood something, the story started out being about David Hutchinson but ended up being about the McFadin family.

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