Bell wanted to live in town. Her husband wanted to live in the country. They
both got their wish, plus a tremendous historic treasure, when they found the
Earl Cogdell house.
Tucked in at the end of Kinson Street in northwest Granbury, the Earl Cogdell
house has had only two other owners in its over 80-year history. It sits on
eight acres of farmland and is surrounded by grand oak trees including one
200-year-old live oak.
The Bells' home was built for Earl Cogdell, son of First National Bank founder
Daniel (Dan) Cogdell, sometime before 1912.
It is believed that Dan Cogdell built the homes for his children as gifts, or
to help them get started in their own lives.
Dan Cogdell moved to Granbury in the 1870s and built a home on nearby Thorp
Spring Road. During the years, Cogdell would tear down his homes and rebuild
much larger and grander houses at the same location.
Sometime after 1905, Dan Cogdell's house burned and once again, he rebuilt.
That house, located at 616 Thorp Spring Road, is now the Iron Horse Bed &
Breakfast. Cogdell family members referred to the home as the "small
A meticulous man with an eye for detail, Dan Cogdell travelled to East Texas to
hand-pick the lumber used for his home. He wanted it to last a long time. The
same care went into the houses built for the rest of the Cogdell clan.
There is at least one other Cogdell house in Granbury--the Dabney House Bed
& Breakfast, located at 100 S. Jones St. and so named for Dr. Dabney who
lived in the house for many years. The Dabney house was originally built for
Dan Cogdell's daughter Zuma and her new husband, W.F. Juliff, as a wedding
The similarities between the Earl Cogdell and the Dabney houses, both
Craftsman-style bungalows, are numerous.
Both have built-in china cabinets in the dining room and extensive woodwork
throughout the houses. A butler's pantry separates the dining room from the
kitchen in both homes, as well.
The Dabney house, like the Earl Cogdell house, has massive woodwork in the form
of ceiling beams. The Dabney house dining room ceiling has pine beams in a
circular or "wagon wheel" pattern. The dining room ceiling beams in
the Earl Cogdell house are also made of pine, but are situated in a criss-cross
or checkerboard pattern.
Both homes, as well as the Dan Cogdell house, have the original pocket doors.
They're both in excellent working condition, which is very rare. Many people
who have purchased old homes find that multitude of the house's original
attributes have been removed or covered up, in an effort to
"modernize" the house.
Cynthia Bell feels very lucky that so much of the original interior framework
of the Earl Cogdell house has remained, or has been easy to get to. The
wonderful hardwood floors are still intact and in good condition despite having
been covered throughout most of the house with plywood.
It seems the houses Dan Cogdell had built for his children matched their
personality and gender. "I look at this house as a basic man's
house," says Bell, of the Earl Cogdell house. "No frills, just your
basic comfortable home. I think Earl was like that--just your basic, simple
Dan Cogdell and wife Lucy had several children and all led very colorful lives.
Some of their children moved from the area, but most of them remained in
Granbury and Hood County and became ranchers or went into other family
With so many children--over six, Bell wonders if there aren't more
"Cogdell" houses in Hood County. "Surely there were other houses
built for the kids," Bell speculates. "The thing is, are they still