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

Franklin-Wandless House

Franklin-Wandless House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, September 9, 2012
1. Franklin-Wandless House Marker
Inscription.  Built in 1886 to replace a house destroyed in the great Strand fire, this was the home of Robert Morris and Sarah Franklin. Robert Franklin (1839-1923) was the son of Benjamin C. Franklin, the Battle of San Jacinto veteran for whom Franklin County was named. An attorney and judge, he had taken part in the Civil War Battle of Galveston as a "horse Marine," a Confederate cavalryman aboard a makeshift "cottonclad" battleship. As the officer in charge of a captured Federal ship, Franklin single-handedly captured notorious Confederate deserter and Union spy "Nicaragua" Smith the day after the battle.

The house probably was designed by noted Galveston architect Nathaniel Tobey, whose works included the Galveston Opera House. According to family history, it survived the 1900 storm with three feet of water inside the downstairs rooms. Franklin was actively involved in the planning of the seawall.

John F. Wandless (1879-1961) was born in New Brunswick, Canada. He was a veteran of the Boer War and World War I, and worked as a mounted policeman and journalist before coming to Galveston in 1921. John and his wife Vernonica "Vera" Wandless
Franklin-Wandless House image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, September 9, 2012
2. Franklin-Wandless House
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(1896-1977), bought the house from the Franklin heirs in 1931. During World War II, John Wandless served as a key Gulf Coast security and intelligence officer for Great Britain, while Vera operated the popular local British Allied & Merchant Navy Club. They achieved U. S. citizenship in the 1950s.

The Franklin-Wandless house is an imposing example of the Italianate style. Hallmark features of the style include pedimented doors and windows, corbelled eaves and the double gallery porch with chamfered (beveled) posts and bandsawn brackets.
Erected 1999 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 11889.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureCommunicationsLaw EnforcementWar, Texas IndependenceWar, US CivilWar, World IWar, World IIWars, Non-US. A significant historical year for this entry is 1886.
Location. 29° 17.912′ N, 94° 47.226′ W. Marker is in Galveston, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is at the intersection of Avenue M and 20th Street, on the right when traveling west on Avenue M. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1920 Ave M, Galveston TX 77550, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Galveston Orphans Home (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); George Dealey
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(about 600 feet away); John M. Jones House (about 700 feet away); Galveston Children's Home (about 700 feet away); William J. Killeen House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Henry C. Henck, Jr. House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Galveston.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 21, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 384 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 12, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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May. 14, 2021