Henry Sayles (1852-1916), born and reared near Brenham, Texas, studied law under his father, noted legal scholar John Sayles (1825-1897). Henry practiced law in Galveston where he met and married Hattie McAlpine. The couple moved to Abilene in 1886. Sayles practiced law here in partnership with his father and oversaw real estate belonging to Galveston clients. John and Henry Sayles wrote and published several books on Texas law.
Hattie and Henry Sayles, Sr., built this house about 1889, at a time when few homes existed on present-day Sayles Avenue. Portions of the house, including a rear addition built sometime between 1895 and 1903, were remodeled after fire damage in 1941. Extensive renovations of the house began in 1974.
The house is an excellent example of a late Victorian-era dwelling. It features finely-executed Queen Anne details, including porches with turned wood posts and balusters, jigsawn brackets and frieze, shingled and decorative wood gable ends, and a decorative brick chimney.
As the president of Abilene Land and Improvement Company, Henry Sayles, Sr., was responsible for the development of Abilene's Sayles Avenue neighborhood. The house remained in Sayles' family until 1974.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1995