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A Wise Mansion in Paris, Texas

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Glamour in the Province

Dog in front of a three story, Queen Anne style brick mansion that looks dilapidated.
The Wise Mansion in Paris (Lamar County, Texas) stands a bit neglected and overgrown in 1985. But it has a dog, so there are good vibes. (THC)

Some beauty for you: the Wise Mansion in Paris, Texas!

In 1887 or thereabouts, W.B. Wise, a cotton merchant based in Paris, Lamar County, Texas decided to show off his wealth by building a very intricate and large Queen Anne style home, made of brick and, according to the National Register listing, "more sophisticated than most of its style and date in Texas."

The plot of land that the Wises bought to build the house was once home to a race track in 1885 (see the Bird's Eye View map). No more fun times for Parisians!

The Wises sold the house around 1916 to the Fieldings. The back of the property was given to the city for an athletic field at one point, and then improved using NYA (National Youth Administration) labor in 1942. It still hosts softball and baseball games. So I guess the fun times resumed 😉

The photographs come from the Texas Historical Commission, which documented the house for the National Register's application from 1984. The application noted that the still extant carriage house made the property special (two other outbuildings had been destroyed, an octagonal pavilion and the servant's quarters) . The application did not list the automobile garage, which was erected at the latest by 1914, though it also still stands. One photograph from the bunch is mislabeled, I believe. A wooden building, painted blue, is designated as the "Wise House Barn" but it's not located near the Wise Home. Rather, the barn sits at the corner just southeast of the Scott Mansion (now, Roden-Pryor Funeral Home).

The Wise House has been nicely restored. Its lot has not been sold and subdivided, making it a beautifully intact historical place off West Washington Street. Enjoy the photos!

Wooden one story, Queen Anne sytle structure called a Carriage House.
The carriage house from the Wise House in Paris, Texas still had its gorgeous colors in 1985. Today, it's been beautifully restored. (THC)

Bird's eye view of Paris in 1885 at Washington, Travis streets between Baker and Brame.
In 1885, the site of the Wise House was occupied by a race track. The Wise House in Paris, Texas was built in 1887. (LOC)

Blue wooden cottage style carriage house.
This photograph is part of the THC collection but I believe is mislabeled. It says this is the "Wise House Barn" but it sits several blocks east from the Wise House. It was not part of a bigger estate because when the Wises built their house in 1887, most of Paris was well established in this section, with homes and mansions. This structure sits just southeast of the Roden-Pryor Funeral Home, once known as the Scott Mansion. (THC)

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