Historical marker unveiled for Lovett House in Liberty

Elliott C. and Ann Clark, and their two children, stand beside the historical marker outside their home at 1723 Webster St., Liberty. On Saturday, the home was given a designation as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark from the Texas Historical Commission.

The Lovett House in Liberty has always been an important visual landmark in the city of Liberty, Texas, but it is now a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark with the Texas Historical Commission.

The Queen Anne style home, located at 1723 Webster St., is the former home of the late John Augustus Lovett, M.D., who was a prominent doctor and businessman in Liberty County in the late 1890s to early 1900s. Today, the home is owned by Elliott and Ann Clark, the son-in-law and daughter of Liberty City Manager Tom Warner and wife, Charlotte.

On Saturday, a collection of local historians, including members of the Liberty County Historical Commission and the Clark family gathered as the historical marker was unveiled.

Elliott and Ann Clark pull the veil from the historical marker outside their home at 1723 Webster St., Liberty, on Saturday. They are pictured with their two children.

LCHC Chair Linda Jamison, in describing the house, said, “Identifying features of the Queen Anne house included steeply pitched roofs of irregular shapes, usually with a dominant front-facing gable; patterned shingles, cutaway bay windows, and other devices used to avoid a smooth-walled appearance; asymmetrical façade with partial or full-width porch which is usually one-story high and extended along one or both side walls.  The circa 1905 Lovett House features a wraparound porch and gabled front bay with fish-scale shingles.  The cypress used in construction has been carefully restored.  It is an uncommon and pristine example of turn of the century architecture in this part of Texas.”

The marker reads:

“John Augustus Lovett, M.D. (1852-1924) was a prominent practitioner of medicine and surgery, whose practice in Liberty County began in 1898. Lovett was born in Florida and grew up in Louisiana. He taught in public schools before attending and graduating from the Medical College of Alabama in Mobile with a medical degree in 1876. Later that year, he married Berrilla Word (1856-1938) and started a medical practice in Louisiana. In 1888, they moved to Hill County, Texas, and lived in Abbott for 10 years.

“In 1898, the family moved to Liberty County, where Lovett continued to practice medicine. He also opened a drugstore managed by pharmacist Henry O. Ager, who lived with the Lovett family for a time. Along with his medical practice, Dr. Lovett served as county health officer and as a surgeon for the Southern Pacific Railway Company. He was a Mason, served on the Liberty City Council and was heavily involved in the development of the oil industry in the county. Lovett was instrumental in discovering the Batson oil field in Hardin County and the Dayton Field, and was an early promoter of several banks. Dr. Lovett and his wife are buried in Liberty City Cemetery.

“Built between 1905 and 1907, the Lovett House is an intact example of a raised Victorian cottage with Queen Anne elements. The Lovett House features a wraparound porch and gabled front bay with fish-scale shingles. The Lovetts’ daughter, Berrilla B. Lovett Sapp (1894-1961), lived in the house after her parents died and was an educator and the Liberty County superintendent of schools. The house stands as a reminder of the prosperity of Liberty in the early 1900s and in tribute to the life of a beloved doctor and surgeon.”

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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