“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hamilton in Hamilton County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Chesley Building

Circa 1912

Chesley Building Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 16, 2021
1. Chesley Building Marker

In 1875, C.K. Bell, future Attorney General of the State of Texas, built a wooden frame structure on the south side of the Hamilton square for his law office. Hervey Edgar ("H.E.") Chesley bought that building, moved it to this site in 1894, and began his practice of law. In 1911, that building (the last wooden structure on the square) was demolished and H.E. Chesley began the construction of this two-story limestone building with a brick façade. Mr. Chesley occupied the front half of the second floor as his law office until his untimely death on August 21, 1935. Mr. Chesley served as county attorney, member of the Texas House of Representatives, local judge, and board member for many businesses and financial institutions. Mr. Chesley's law partners included Judge J.W. Parker, John Main, and Dewey Langford. His obituary noted, "In his home, Judge Chesley dropped the manner of reserve and dignity that characterized his personality in public and entered with deepest enjoyment into fireside associations and intimacies of congenial home life."

In addition to Mr. Chesley's office, the second floor housed the James Studio where important
The view of the Chesley Building and Marker from the street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 16, 2021
2. The view of the Chesley Building and Marker from the street
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studio photographs were taken of many Hamilton area residents. The first floor of the building was always intended to be rented for retail purposes. Over the years, this space included many different businesses including the post office, a bank, a Western Auto Store and, most recently, Thames Jewelry. While the downstairs was consistently occupied, the upstairs was not and remained virtually unchanged since Mr. Chesley's death.

From an early age, Nancy Anglin Yates, a fifth generation Hamiltonian, dreamed of having her law office upstairs in this building. In 2006, Thames sold the building to Randy and Nancy Yates who completely remodeled the downstairs and modernized, while preserving, the upstairs. H.E. Chesley's law library remains intact as do many other reminders of the original law office and photography studio.
Erected by Hamilton County Historical Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical date for this entry is August 21, 1935.
Location. 31° 42.235′ N, 98° 7.365′ W. Marker is in Hamilton, Texas, in Hamilton County. Marker is on North Bell Street, 0.1 miles north of East Main Street (State Highway 36), on the right when traveling north. The marker is located on the building about a 1/2 block north of the intersection. Touch for map
Chesley Building - photo from plaque image. Click for full size.
The photo is from the plaque, circa 1912
3. Chesley Building - photo from plaque
Judge Chesley (in the coat) is shown on the upper floor. J.T. Pointer (in the wagon), was engaged in erecting the Chesley Building and his grandson, H.P. Pointer (with his hand on the pony), assisted him. Pointer's team, Ribbon and Watch, hauled stone from nearby quarries for many of the buildings in Hamilton.
. Marker is at or near this postal address: 112 North Bell Street, Hamilton TX 76531, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eidson-Rice Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Perry National Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Elise Waerenskjold (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ann Whitney (about 300 feet away); Hamilton County Courthouse (about 300 feet away); Lest We Forget (about 300 feet away); Rice Building (about 400 feet away); Hamilton National Bank (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hamilton.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 22, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 22, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Mar. 20, 2023