West of Honey Grove, Texas on Highway 56 are the remains of the long time abandoned Wheeler House (Locals refer to house the Wheeler Place). The house was built in 1854 by Wiley Husey. Mr. Hulsey, his wife, and ten children lived the house up until is death in 1880 (not sure when the family moved out). In 1884 the property was sold to Peyton Wheeler and his wife Martha Jane Hamil Wheeler.
Mr. Wheeler’s plantation had 700 acres and 500 of those acres were cultivated. He helped Honey Grove in the early development of the town. He also was a stockholder at the Honey Grove Mill and Planter’s Nation Bank.
According to the Historical Landmark Marker the house was dedicated by the Wheeler descendants in 1965. At the time of the dedication, the Wheeler House and surrounding property was owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Ivy. I have not been able to find out when the property was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Ivy and when they sold it.
Interesting Facts about the Wheeler House
The Historical Landmark Marker (now missing) says the Wheeler House was the first classic revival house in the area and was built with slave labor. The house started construction in 1852 and was completed in 1854. The house had two chimneys that had chimney stones stones and lumber that was hand-hewed and “unusual stairway” (would love to know more about the stairway). The joists were pegged instead of using nails. This process in my opinion is a sign of true craftsmanship and why the house is still standing when it should been a sad pile of wood.
The Wheeler House was also the fifth house on the Bonham-Paris stage coach road.
To supply water to the house there was an old windmill that would pump water from the spring to keep the cistern full. The house house even had rain catchment system! Rain water from the house was caught in ash hopper that they used furnish lye for making soap.
To alert the plantation for dinner and any other alerts there was a mounted bell that could be sounded when needed.
Current Status of the Wheeler House
The house is a total loss and won’t be around much longer. I am surprised it hasn’t totally collapsed or has been demolished by the owners.
As you can see from the images, the roof has collapsed and has taken out most of the second floor with it. Over the years the owners and scrappers have taken everything of value. The only things left worth saving is the old stone chimney and the wood siding.
This once happy place is now a sad site. When I was out there, it was so quiet it was creepy. But it could been that black vulture sitting on the chimney that kept staring at me.
Please note: This article was originally posted on my personal site on May 5th 2015 and the images were shot in August 2014. This article will be updated as new information is gathered. If you have any old photos of the house or stories you want to share, please contact or comment below.
Wheeler House Gallery
About the Images
The images were shot by hand with my Sony NEX-3N and a Sony SEL16F28 16mm f/2.8 as the storms were about to pass through town. I then edited them in Adobe Lightroom. I then post processed with Topaz Clarity to add texture, brighten the images, and bring out the details in the image. Then removed the dust spots and rain spots. I then used Topaz DeNoiseto remove the noise from the image.