Wednesday, August 13

Finding Yourself Displaced In The Newburn-Rawlinson House

I have been on the phone quite literally ALL DAY! The new housing that E is moving into for the Fall semester of her sophomore year at college will not be ready when we move her in on Saturday. Oh joy. She, along with 23 other young ladies, will be living temporarily (hopefully no more than a month) in a house that was built in 1902. The gentleman, Rev. J.M. Newburn, that built this fine house was born in 1868. A long long time ago! The house served as a hospital during 1928 - which creeps Elizabeth out, she's seen one too many horror movies. And she just now asked me if it had closets and indoor plumbing. Yes indeed it does have indoor plumbing Elizabeth. And even though the house was totally renovated a few years back there are no closets. Consequently we will only be taking the bare necessities this weekend and waiting until the new house is ready to move in all of her additional gear. Here's a bit of history on the stately Newburn-Rawlinson House, a now protected Texas Historical Landmark.

The Newburn-Rawlinson House was built by the Rev. John Madison Newburn (1868-1926), a native of Mississippi, who came to Jacksonville from Neches, Texas in the winter of 1896 to assume the pastorate of the First Baptist Church. He and his wife, Lula, purchased property on this site in 1901 from F. A. Fuller and R. B. Longmire. Built in 1902, this house is a late example of a Victorian residence with transitional classical revival elements, including a two-story balustrade porch and four ornamental gables. 

The Newburn family formed close ties with Jacksonville College and other family and friends in the community.When housing facilities were limited at the college, the Newburn home served as a dormitory. In 1928, after a fire destroyed the small Newburn Hospital owned and operated by J. M. Newburn's brother, C. L. Newburn, M.D., Lula Newburn offered her home to serve as a temporary hospital until a new facility was erected five months later. The home was owned and occupied by Newburn heirs until it was purchased by Dallas and Thelma Rawlinson in 1945. In later years, the home served as a day care facility for area children. The house was returned to the friends of its first owners in 1994 when it was sold to Jacksonville College. It was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1998 and underwent a total renovation in the mid 2000s. The remodeling of the Newburn-Rawlinson House was important to the college because it is the second oldest house in Jacksonville behind the W. A. Brown Home.

The Newburn-Rawlinson House, an impressive home, sits on a hill that overlooks the campus from the North. It is the oldest building on campus, and often is used for special events. The facility now houses the Jacksonville College Alumni offices, the Resource Development Director and this Fall an additional 24 young ladies. I can see my E sitting on the front porch swing of this turn-of-the-century home; iPhone in one hand, laptop in the other and hopefully doing homework! It will be a brief adventure, even though inconvenient, I know she will always cherish the memories of living in this grand old home. 

Here are a few photos from inside the house. It was decorated for Christmas at the time of this photo shoot. There are some lovely furnishings......I hope everything is nailed down. 

A nice traditional dining room where the girls can eat, study and share late night visits.

A cozy kitchen....

Part of the living area.

Bedrooms with old charm.

Ester Turner and Ruth Bearden did a wonderful job decorating the house for Christmas. 

The white wicker furniture on the second floor balcony is so very quaint. 

I suppose, if one must be displaced, this is the ideal location in which to find your bearings!
Happy memory making girls!!

Photos courtesy Jacksonville Progress

Texas, historical, landmark, Jacksonville, college, housing, fun, vintage, old-world charm, wrap-around porches, memories, young ladies, semester, sophomore, Newburn-Rawlinson House


  1. I was thinking your last sentiments throughout the whole post! Not a bad place to be displaced at all! :)

    1. She's hoping for the room upstairs that connects to the balcony. She wants to sit out there in that lovely old wicker furniture and write!

  2. Beautiful home....reminiscent of a bygone era.

    1. Gina, Not everyone gets the chance to experience this unique home. I'm excited for her!

  3. Oh my goodness! How beautiful! I bet she'll enjoy it.

    1. Jaelan, it will truly be a wonderful experience for her and the other girls. Ready to get her moved in tomorrow!

  4. Can't wait to come visit. My great-grandfather studied at JC preparing for his call to be a Missionary Baptist pastor. He and his young bride served as house parents for dorm students and my grandmother was born in the house in December 1904. Excited to hear that students lived there once again! Judy Rogers

  5. I'm sure it will give her a warmth of home away from home. family heritage

  6. Thank you for such a well written article. It’s full of insightful information and entertaining descriptions.
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