Former Center Sanitarium has long history as home
The former Center Sanitarium sits on Sardis Road off the Loop in Center, is now a beautiful yellow, green, and white-painted Victorian home. The home was purchased from Hazel Smith in 2015 by David Chadwick. Calvin and Hazel Smith moved the structure from Shelbyville Street in 1982 and began its painstaking renovation.
The home had its beginnings in 1873 when G.B.D. Green Rushing gave the original house to his daughter, Fredonia Alice Rushing, and son-in-law, lawyer and judge, James S. Stephenson upon their marriage. The Stephensons then purchased 10 acres of land from Mr. Rushing for $26. In May of 1893, five acres of land and the house was sold by the Stephensons to M.T. Johnson and his wife, Eugenia for $817.36. In June of the same year, the Johnsons sold the property to John T. Garrison for a$1,200.
The next owners were Tom C. Davis and his wife, Mary Addie Hayden from the Garrisons in 1894 for $1,200. Tom Davis was a lawyer, Representative to the Texas State Legislature, County Judge, and Judge of the Second Judicial District of Texas. It is believed that the Davises added on to the front of the home.
Mary Addie Hayden Davis sold the property in 1919 to Lucille (Mrs. Tolbert T.), daughter of Robert L. Parker for $5,400. Judge Parker served as both County and District Clerk. He is known for stealing the County records from the then-County Seat of Shelbyville and moving them to Center, the voted County Seat of Shelby County.
Tolbert T. Smith sold the property in 1926 to J.R Watson for $8,500. Mr. Smith’s wife, Lucille Parker Smith had died in 1925 at the age of 35.
J.R. Watson transferred the title to his wife, Bessie Watson in 1927. Bessie Watson then turned the home into a hospital. Mrs. Watson sold the property with its table, instruments, and sterilizer to Thomas Levi Hurst in 1928 for the reduced price of $7,500. Dr. T.L. Hurst died in 1964 of Hodgkin’s disease. The house was then boarded up.
A.L. Pinkston bought the property from Mrs. T.L. Hurst in 1971. A.L. Pinkston then sold the house in 1981 to Hazel Smith. Calvin and Hazel Smith moved the house to Sardis Road in three sections and began the wonderful restoration that has resulted in the beautiful structure that can be seen today.