German native Dr. William A Hermes moved to La Grange in 1855 to practice medicine. He opened Hermes Drug Store the following year with his partner, Dr. Eck. His two sons, August and William, Jr., earned pharmacy degrees and joined the family business. In October 1892, Dr. Hermes gave this house as a wedding gift to William, Jr. and his bride, Augusta Pauline (Willenberg), also a native of La Grange. Here, William, Jr. and Augusta reared two children, Myrta and Gilbert, who also became a pharmacist at the family store. Since the arrival of Dr. Hermes in 1855, the family has played an active and philanthropic role in church and community organizations, and contributed to La Grange businesses, schools and health services.Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2004
The two-story residence was built with second-hand lumber and cypress clapboard siding. The asymmetrical folk Victorian home features a double gallery, ornate fretwork, a decorative vergeboard at the peak of the front gable, bay windows, two-over-two lights, jigsawn porch detailing vertical massing.
The family began constructing additions to the home soon after occupying it in 1892. In effect a city farmstead, the site includes several other vernacular structures, such as a gazebo, an outhouse, buggy house, garage, servant quarters, smokehouse, barns and chickenhouse. Evidence uncovered by family members during restoration work indicates that water from a 1913 flood rose to four feet inside the house.
Today, the complex of buildings at this site represents a transition from rural farm life at the turn of the 20th century to city life more than 100 years later.