220 Griffith Avenue

Built before 1914 for Blount Malone Childress and his wife Pearl, this home is a splendid example of how an old house can be transformed into a beautiful home with present-day amenities while maintaining its small-town ambiance with its picturesque wraparound front porch.

In 1876, Mr. and Mrs. Brice M. Childress came to the newly formed town of Terrell from Sulphur Springs when Blount was six.  Blount’s father was a very successful banker and merchant. Both his mother’s and mother-in-law Anna Webb’s genealogies are intertwined with some of the founding families of Terrell. 

Blount, a hardware merchant, married Pearl Turner Webb in 1896.  By 1930 he was associated with the electric railroad called the Interurban that ran between Dallas and Terrell.  According to property tax records at that time, this home was valued at $7,000, quite a considerable amount.  Mr. Childress died at the age of 73 of a heart attack in 1943.  His widow, who lived on another 17 years, moved to University Park to live with her only child Anna Louise Childress a librarian.

The house was acquired by Fred Massengill, Jr., whose father was the postmaster and owner of the Terrell Tribune.  Fred served in WWII as an Army lieutenant and the prize possession he brought home from the war was his beautiful bride Dorothy Wallace, a Dallas native and New York Powers Agency model.  Fred, Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps in the Terrell newspaper business. 

One of the most interesting guests the Massengills entertained in the early 1950s was the renowned singer and band leader Vaughn Monroe.  Older folks will remember his hits “Racing with the Moon” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”  Enjoying the small-town atmosphere, Vaughn even bicycled down Griffith Avenue. 

The house went through several owners over the years and was sold by Fred Baker in 2013 to Randy Fivecoat, whose Fivecoat Construction renovated this stunning home.   Present occupants Matthew Hancock and Kimberly Cheney are enjoying the fruits of that labor.

Presented by the Social Science Club of Terrell, all proceeds benefit local community organizations and college scholarships for Terrell youth. Tickets are $20 in advance and are available online on the home tour page www.sscofterrell.com/home-tour.

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