Welcome to The Henderson County Historical Museum
217 N. Prairieville Street
Athens, Texas 75751
(903) 677-3611
10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Sponsored and Maintained by the Henderson County Historical Society

The Henderson County Historical Museum is housed in the Faulk-Gauntt Building located at 217 N. Prairieville St., Athens, Texas. An earlier building at the location housed the law offices of Senator J. J. Faulk and Judge W. L. Faulk. In the early 1890s the site was purchased by J. R. Gauntt, a local businessman. The son of pioneer area settlers, he operated a mercantile store, the Chany Tree, with his brother, R. L. Gauntt, and later ran a monument business. In 1896 he commissioned the Hawn Lumber Company to build this two story brick commercial structure near the rail lines, a primary business location in the early days of Athens. The upstairs area was first occupied by attorneys W. L. and J. J. Faulk. A native of Alabama, William Levin Faulk served as Henderson County Judge, district clerk and director of the Guaranty State Bank of Athens. His cousin James J. Faulk, born in Louisiana, served as county attorney, state representative, district attorney, state senator, special justice of the Texas Court of Civil Appeals, and the first mayor of the City of Athens.

The downstairs area first housed the grocery store of Tom Barber. Other tenants in the Faulk-Gauntt Building have included dentists, Dr. Dudly Payne and Dr. Thomas Matthews. The structure was later owned by descendants of W. L. Faulk.

First Floor Second Floor
1. INDIAN ARTIFACTS:  A collection  of Caddo Indian pottery collected from several of the many Caddo sites found in Henderson County

2. BOY SCOUT AND GIRL SCOUT COLLECTION:  Numerous items from the early days of scouting.

3. FAMILY BIBLES COLLECTION:  An assortment of Bibles from several of the pioneer families of the area.

4. ATHENS HIGH SCHOOL MEMORABILIA:  Many old pictures, annuals, a letter jacket, etc.

5. PHARMACY CASE;  Contains many items from the old Robinson Drug Store located on the west side of the square where First National Bank is now located. Pharmacy scales, medicine bottles, record books, files and Board of Pharmacy Certificates for early pharmacists are included in this exhibit.

6. WORLD WAR I:  Uniforms, medals, and personal items of soldiers who served in WWI.

7. WORLD WAR II:  Ration books and ration stamps, Army uniforms, medals, magazines from the time period, and sheet music from WWII.

8.CIVIL WAR:  Officers Remington .44 caliber cap and ball pistol with government issue holster, powder horns, bullet molds, and a doctor's kit used by Dr. Homer Lee Parsons during the Battle of Vicksburg.

9. CIVIL WAR FLAG:  Made by ladies of Henderson County and presented to Capt. "Howdy" Martin's company, the flag was at such battles as Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Shiloh and Vicksburg.

10. SECRETARY/MURPHY BED:  Used for many years by the W. L. Faulk family in their East Tyler Street home. A closet, mirror, desk, drawers and a folding bed are all contained in this one piece of furniture.

11. COUNTY CLERK AREA:  Various pieces of office furniture from the county clerk's office in the old county courthouse.

12. GENERAL STORE AREA:  A replica of a general store, using authentic items, showing how a general store in the late 1800s and early 1900s would have looked.

13. BARN AREA:  An assortment of antique farm implements and tools, including plows, bear traps, hand tools, a well bucket, hunting horns, a wash pot and numerous other items.


14. KITCHEN:  The kitchen is furnished with items typically found in a country home in the early 1900s. The cook stove is wood burning. The pie safe contains jars of canned foods and dishes. A spinning wheel dates from the mid 1800s. A candle mold, butter mold and paddle, iron cooking pots, sausage mill, buttermilk pitcher, ice cream freezer, oil lamp and ice box are some of the other items displayed in this area.

15. IRONING NOOK:  Ironing board, irons, linens, canning lid sealers, rug beaters and other items form the late 1800s and early 1900s are found here.

16. SCHOOLROOM:  This exhibit shows a typical one room country school of the 1920-1930 time period. The wood burning heater, toys, books and student desks are characteristic of that era. A large clock included in this exhibit is from the old Athens High School building that burned in 1954.

7. VICTORIAN BEDROOM:  Furnishings include a bedstead from the W. L. Faulk home, a feather mattress, crocheted bedspreads, and an armoire containing items of vintage clothing. A quilt displayed on the armoire was made by Mrs. Dulcena Avriett who is credited with naming the town of Athens in 1850. The oldest piece of furniture in the museum is a part of the exhibit. It is a dresser/chest of drawers which was given to Mrs. Avriett in the 1860s by a family traveling west through Athens when one of their children became seriously ill. When Mrs. Avriett learned of the family's plight, she took them into her home and nursed the sick child. Following the death of their child, the family resumed their journey west. They gave Mrs. Avriett the dresser/chest in appreciation for what she had done.

18. DRESSING/BATHROOM:  Displayed here are such items as a tub for bathing, a chamber pot and a child's potty. A sampler is from a counterpane made from cotton grown on the Wm. Richardson plantation, spun into thread on the spinning wheel located in the kitchen area of the museum and then woven into cloth. In 1929 enough of the worn counterpane was salvaged by Mrs. J. T. LaRue to embroider a sampler for each of her children.

19. LAW OFFICE:  Furnished as a typical lawyer's office of the day, this exhibit contains numerous items of furniture and office equipment from the offices of Judge Sam Holland. Swivel chairs from a jury box in the old Henderson County Courthouse which was replaced by the current courthouse in 1912 are also found in this exhibit.


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