W.E. Richards Home
405 West Lee
With only four owners in its over 100 year history, this 3,850 s.f. transitional Victorian was built in 1902 by Mr. and Mrs. Walter E. Richards. Richards, born in Opelika Alabama on Sept. 28, 1873 was a graduate of Auburn University and a star quarterback on their football team launching his life-long love of sports. He came to Weatherford in the late 1890s and brought the first football and organized the first football team and baseball teams in town. He built a tennis court and was integral in the establishment of a golf course in Weatherford. He played golf well into his 70s. He was an entrepreneur and owned a sporting goods store beginning in 1899 in the southwest quadrant of the square as well as the first Cadillac dealership and garage in Weatherford. In 1913 Richards was elected as one of the first City Commissioner’s (City Councilman) and was a charter
member of the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce when the dues were two bits (25 cents). He married his wife Eva Bunch in 1898. She was born in Kentucky but moved to Weatherford soon afterwards. She graduated from Tehuacana College and
taught school here prior to her marriage. Her father was the Rev. W.M. Bunch a pioneer Cumberland Presbyterian minister. The couple had two children Mrs. Fred McFarland who lived in Fort Worth and a son, Buddy Richards who passed away in
1935. Mr. Richards died in 1957, with his wife following in 1959. They are buried in Oakland Cemetery in Weatherford.
The Robert E. Murphy family purchased the house in 1957 for the sum of $9,000. The Murphy’s had nine children who were raised in the house. The house was added onto when the children began to get married. The back porch and parent’s room were made into a reception hall, and all of the trees were wired with lights in the backyard. During the hot Texas summers, all of the children who were at home, slept in the second floor sleeping porch. According to one of the daughters, once the children went away to college, they tried as hard as they could to stay there through the summers so they could have air conditioning. They admitted to sneaking out of the room located at the northeast corner of the house on more than one occasion. The kids played under the house during the summers because it was cool.
Melissa and Thomas Moorman purchased the house in July 2003 and started a major rehabilitation. All of the electrical
systems have been updated, the heart-of-pine floors refinished and cracks in the sheetrock throughout the house have been repaired. The house has been painted from top to bottom and front to back. All of the woodwork in the hallways, the staircase, mantles and doors downstairs is original to the home. The home has four working fireplaces and large pocket doors in the front living area. Designed around a large central hallway, the home boasts separate women’s and men’s parlours, a formal dining room, large kitchen, office and another living area downstairs. Two bathrooms are located downstairs with two more upstairs. Both of the upstairs baths have original clawfooted bathtubs. All the bedrooms and a covered screened in porch are located upstairs. What was originally five bedrooms, is now four with the fifth one converted to a laundry room and master bath closet. Of interest is the bedroom in the northeast corner which has vintage “knotty” pine paneling, twin beds that slide from the wall and lots of cubby cabinets and storage. The Moormans use this room for crafts and as a playroom for their two children. The Moormans sold the home in 2017.
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