210 Live Oak
ORIGINAL USE: Home PRESENT USE: School CURRENT OWNER: Boerne Independent School District
OWNERS: Bliss, Saunders, Titsworth LOCATION: Sansom Addition Lot: #22 DATE: c1920 Style/Period: Colonial HISTORICAL DESIGNATION: NO
BUILDER: Gombert & Phillips for Ms. Bliss CONSTRUCTED OF: Native Rock; red tin roof; 6 x 6 windows CONDITION: Good DESCRIPTION: Overlooking Johns Rd.; two story rock.

HISTORY: The original frame house on this site burned to the ground. In the early 1920's the Bliss family [Alice Massey's mother] built the present house. This sturdy house was built by Gombert and Phillips, very dependable contractors of that time. Later it was owned by Mrs. Padget, mother of Mrs. Saunders. The Saunders came from Waco and Houston, to use the house as their summer home. The natural setting on the elevated knoll gave it a lovely peaceful look of charm and an excellent view of downtown Boerne. The address is listed as 210 Live Oak for postal delivery, but the front of the house looks out on the Johns Road and now over several school buildings. Tommy and Sylvia Titsworth bought this house from the Saunders estate. They added three rooms and a bath to the original living room and kitchen of the first floor, and three bedrooms upstairs. It is now beautifully furnished with antiques, some of which are of the 1840's. A bright red painted roof showing among the large trees sets off the good looks of this hand hewn rock house. - from article written by Nellmarie Huff, 1979

New information has become available to us about this building. The building date (1920) cited in the article above is incorrect. Martha Nancy Work Bliss was born in 1840 and she died in 1919 as recorded on her tombstone in Arlington National Cemetery. Since she died in 1919, she couldn't have built the house in the early 1920s. Her husband, General Zenas Randall Bliss, died in 1900 and she and daughter, Alice, were living in Washington D.C. at the time. Alice came to Boerne with her husband in 1904. It is known that after the general's death, Mrs. Bliss built a summer house in Boerne at 210 Live Oak Street to be closer to her daughter. The 1910 Census of Kendall County lists Martha N. Bliss, age 69, Head of Household. Listed in the household is a nurse, Fanny Holmgreen, and an African American servant man named Henry Kempton. Thus, the house was built sometime between 1904 and 1910.

The Boerne Independent School District purchased the house in the 1990's to be used for classes.

Source: Boerne Public Library files; Latest update January 2009 with information furnished by Donna Andrews Russell, who is researching the prototypes of the characters potrayed by Annie Fellows Johnston in her book, Mary Ware in Texas.

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