The Chilton-Dean House was built between 1851 and 1853 and was owned by U.S. Representative Thomas Chilton. (Courtesy of Rebecca Hus)
Local organizations are working to secure a historical marker for the Chilton-Dean House on College Street in Montgomery.
The historic site received historic marker funding approval at the April 18 meeting of the Montgomery Economic Development Corp., and the marker application was approved by the Montgomery County Historic Commission at its meeting. of May 2. Larry Foerster, chairman of the Montgomery County Historical Commission, said in an email that the Texas Historical Commission would approve or deny the state marker in August. The house’s owner, Kalee Londeen, said the historic marker will preserve the history of the house – built between 1851 and 1853 – in a tangible way that the public and its future owners can learn from.
Londeen said the house has a rich history, as the original owner of the house, the Reverend Thomas Chilton, was Davy Crockett’s roommate and a US Representative. Chilton would go on to help write Crockett’s autobiography and serve as pastor at First Baptist Church in Montgomery.
There is also a legend that horse thieves hid in the house in 1868 but were eventually killed by a group of men, MEDC president Rebecca Huss said. The thieves were deemed unworthy of burial in the cemetery, so a new cemetery, New Montgomery Cemetery, was established.
“We want to preserve part of [the house’s] the story, and we want people to know [the history] without having to ask us,” Londeen said in an interview. “It would be nice to have a historical marker that has some of the key points just to preserve that history.”
Huss said in an interview that in addition to preserving history, the historic designation will attract tourism.
“[The historical markers] provide two or three different things. First, there is a whole tourism industry around historical landmarks. People travel specifically around them,” Huss said. “It also provides … the historical accuracy needed to get a marker.”
During the April 18 meeting, Huss discussed a map listing 33-35 locations in Montgomery that might be eligible for historical markers, but a $5,000 budget was allocated and the labor-intensive process -work and deadlines give only one to two historical markers per year. . With that, the MEDC approved funding for the application fee and $2,000 for the Chilton-Dean House physical marker.
“I think it’s important for all historic houses here to get markers, and so we’re trying to kind of help encourage everyone to do that…but it takes a lot of research and a lot of paperwork,” Londeen said.