A Queen of Quality Hill Then, a Queen of the Cul-de-Sac Now

On a bluff overlooking the Trinity River just west of downtown two Queen Annes sit side by side like sister monarchs, reigning as reminders of Fort Worth’s silk stocking row. The two houses—elegant anachronisms—are tucked at the end of a dead-end street, as if cornered by the “progress” that over the years has claimed most of their kindred mansions on Quality Hill.

grand pollockAt 1120 Penn Street is the Pollock-Capps house. The house, of red brick and limestone with a slate roof and an octagonal tower, was built in 1899 for homeopathic physician Joseph Robert Pollock.

pollock 84 99 cdNewspaper ad is from 1884. City directory listing is from 1899. North Street became Lancaster Avenue in 1931.

pollock mrs moves 10-1-99 regOn October 1, 1899 the Fort Worth Register society column announced that Mrs. Pollock had moved into her new home on “Summit Hill,” one of the synonyms for Quality Hill, of which Summit Avenue was the main street.

pollock social 11-11-00 regOn November 11, 1900 the society column of the Register called Mrs. Pollock’s reception at her new home “the first important event of the social season.”

pollock 1900If the board game of Monopoly had a “Fort Worth 1900” version, the board would have a Penn Street, and putting a house on Penn Street would cost you a wad of play money. The 1900 census lists Dr. Joseph Pollock and his next-door neighbors, “capitalists” Sarah and Frank Ball (and servants), in the Ball-Eddleman-McFarland house.

pollock to capps 2-24-10 stBut in 1910 the Pollocks sold the house to attorney William Capps for $25,500 ($628,000 today). Capps in 1884 had pleaded with the mob who demanded that Jim Courtright be freed and in 1895 had represented the heirs of Minnie Williams in the Dr. Henry Howard Holmes case. The law firm that Capps and Sam Cantey co-founded in 1882 is still in business. Clip is from the February 24 Star-Telegram.

pollock obit 1-3-12 stDr. Pollock died on January 3, 1912. Clip is from the January 3 Star-Telegram.

capps-obit-s-tWilliam Capps died in 1925.

Some views of the Pollock-Capps house:

pollock both housesSovereigns, sisters, survivors: the Queen Anne Pollock-Capps house and the Queen Anne Ball-Eddleman-McFarland house next door at 1110 Penn Street. Mrs. Sarah Ball and her son Frank built their house as the Pollocks built theirs. Mrs. Ball was a patient of Dr. Pollock. In 1904, when Dr. Pollock could do no more for his patient in this life, he was one of her pallbearers. British-born architect Howard Messer (brother of Arthur Albert Messer, who designed the Spring Palace) designed Ball-Eddleman-McFarland and may have designed Pollock-Capps.

pollock view from ballPollock-Capps as seen from the porch of Ball-Eddleman-McFarland.

pollock shinglesSquare, diamond, and sawtooth shingles.

pollock dentilJPGDentil molding.

pollock bayMore dentil molding and arched, keystoned windows.

window pollock-capps

The stained glass oculus window on the north side is set in the chimney. See below.

porch pollock-cappscolumn ionic pollock 3Ionic columns.

pollock graveJoseph Robert Pollock is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

Mrs. Frank M. Anderson (William and Sallie Capps’s daughter Mattie) and her grandchildren in the sitting room in 1958. Mrs. Anderson lived in the house until her death in 1963. (Photo from University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.)

These interior photos are from the Library of Congress:


mantel detailEgg-and-dart detail of mantel.

foyer  Foyer.

parlor doorParlor door.

stairway 2 stairway 3 stairwayThree views of the stairway.

windowStained glass window.

This entry was posted in Architects, Architecture, Casas Grande, Century Club, Downtown, Downtown, All Around, Life in the Past Lane. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Queen of Quality Hill Then, a Queen of the Cul-de-Sac Now

  1. Beverly Nabors says:

    Mike, I love your stories of the old majestic homes of Ft.Worth!
    One of our daughters got married in the Ball-Eddelman-McFarland home, & the representative showed us a painting of some of the wonderful homes that had been torn down in the name of progress. Have you seen any information on them? Jacque Steinberger may have been the artist on that painting. As I have told you before, you are doing a super job! Bev.

    • hometown says:

      Thank you, Beverly. Sadly, for every one grand old house that survives, fifty like it are gone.

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