The Historical Hearne-Gidden Home Coming Back to Life
December 16, 2017 * Kosse, TX
From Houston to Ft. Worth, from Dallas to Austin, and all towns in between, twenty metal detectorists from the Texas Association of Metal Detecting Clubs (T.A.M.D.C.) converged on Kosse, TX on December 16th in partnership with the Kosse Heritage Society for a T.A.M.D.C. “GIVES BACK” Community Service Project. The purpose of the event was to help raise awareness and funds for Kosse Heritage Society’s, Hearne-Gidden Restoration Project, by recovering historical artifacts from the ground around the historical home.
In case you didn’t know of the T.A.M.D.C., they are a statewide association of eighteen different metal detecting clubs located all over the State of Texas, with a membership of nearly 500 detectorists. Texas is the only state in the Union that has a statewide association of metal detecting clubs. The purpose of the T.A.M.D.C. is to start, unite, promote, and encourage metal detecting clubs in Texas, through education and instruction in the recovery and preservation of historical facts, relics, and artifacts. It is the intent and charter of this association to develop and maintain a positive image for metal detectorists and their activities at local, state, and national levels through performance of selected community service projects, charity projects, annual statewide treasure show, and through adherence to the T.A.M.D.C. code of metal detecting ethics.
Now, a little history about the Hearne-Gidden Home. Prior to 1873, Mr. R. Hearne, a successful local cotton farmer, purchased approximately 23 acres of land from the Ruben Flippins survey of Kosse, Texas. He initially built a two-story, four-room house in the salt-box style on the property in 1873. In 1893, Mr. Hearne hired Anderson Johnson, a well-known builder from Waco and “Victorianized” the home in the styles of Queen Anne & Gothic Revival, completing it in 1894, more than doubling the original size of the home.
In 1905, Mr. Ike Gidden and his wife Carrie purchased the home and land from Mr. Hearne for the sum of $4,000. Like Mr. Hearne, Mr. Gidden was an extremely successful cotton farmer leasing area land from 1,000 acres and up to 5,000 acres in some years. He soon added a carriage shed in the hipped roof style of a barn that later would house his 1916 Oldsmobile touring car.
In 1917, an electrical generator was brought to Kosse, powered by the auxiliary steam engine at the local cotton gin. Streetlights were installed along Narcissus street, and east along what is now Hwy. 7 to the Hearne-Gidden House, making it the first house south of the county seat, Groesbeck, to have electric lights. Ike Gidden died in 1937, and his widow Carrie lived in the home maintaining her renowned gardens and herb gardens until her death in 1953.
To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.