Bellville Pioneers and Homes

Michael Robert Pilley. A member of the Mier Expedition, 1842. Born in Grantham, England March 30, 1820, died January 4, 1865. – Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1936. Located at Bellville Cemetery, South Mechanic Street, Bellville.

The Harigel House. The son of a Prussian immigrant, Emil H. Harigel, Sr. (1859-1904) opened a hardware, tinware, and stove emporium in Bellville in 1881. Soon after, he constructed this residence for his wife, Nannie Louise (Lovette), and children. The home features a Mansard roof and influences of the Gothic revival and Second Empire styles of architecture. Harigel family descendants have owned the house for over a century. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1984. Located at 104 S. Bell St., Bellville.

John Lewis Bell Home. Influential Austin county resident John Bell Lewis (1845-1920) was born on a plantation near Coffeeville, Alabama. His grandmother Betty Washington Lewis was George Washington’s sister. Lewis grew up near present Winedale, Texas, and served the Confederate army in several major Civil War battles. During Reconstruction Lewis served as sheriff of Austin County and helped restore law and order to the area. While performing the sheriff’s duties as county tax collector, he saw the need for a local bank. He helped found Bellville First National Bank and Austin County State Bank. When Lewis heard that Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad planned to bypass Bellville, he persuaded landowners to donate right-of-way for the line and was instrumental in getting the railroad through Bellville. Lewis acquired this property about 1874. The next year, architect J. J. Stopple built this home which displays a transitional style between the Greek Revival and the more ornate Victorian. Lewis shared the residence with his widowed sister and her son. In 1879 Lewis married Mollie Bell Ervin and their children grew up here. Lewis is buried in Oak Knoll Cemetery, Bellville. (1979) Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1979. Marker located at 232 Masonic St, Bellville.

L. A. and Adelheid Machemehl House. A significant example of the Craftsman bungalow designed by prominent Houston architect Alfred C. Finn, this house is unusual for its one-and-one-half story form. The residence displays hallmark geometric ornamentation, broad porches, and a small second floor that rises above the first floor roofline in a form sometimes called “airplane bungalow”. Built in 1920 for prominent rancher and civic leader Louis A. Machemehl (1881-1952), his wife Adelheid (d. 1949), and their five children, the house was a center of social activity. It remained in the Machemehl family until 1953. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1992. Located at 621 E. O’Bryant St., Bellville.

Magruder-Cannon-Bryan Home. Civil War veteran Dr. Fortunatus B. Magruder, a successful Austin county physician, had this double galleried residence built at Sealy (15 miles southeast) in 1882. Rancher Oliver Green Cannon purchased the home in 1889 and it remained in his family until 1906, when it was sold to Sealy merchant W.L. Gray. It was later owned by his sister Lula Gray and niece Fay Bryan, the wife of county judge W.D. Bryan. The home was moved to this site in 1969. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1982. Located at S. Holland Street, Bellville.

Shelburne-Reinecker House. This house began as a one story residence built in 1882 by prominent lawyer, stage legislator, and merchant James Henry Shelburne (1845-1904) and his wife Mary Ann Perkins. Their heirs sold the house to William and Bertha Reinecker in 1912. The Reineckers added a second story, wraparound porch, and indoor plumbing in 1913, transforming the farm house into a prairie school design-influenced bungalow. The house remained in the Reinecker family until 1981. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1994. Located at 402 S. Masonic St., Bellville.


29° 57′ 0.81″ N, 96° 15′ 25.8696″ W