Welcoming those in attendance was Henry Mayo, Chair of the Brazos County Historical Commission, who also served as master of ceremonies. Speaking about the Wipprecht family and the history of the house were J. Russell Bradley, Jr., DDS, R. Bruce Buechler, MD, and Philip C. Banks, JD. Following the informative and entertaining presentations the Texas Historical Marker was unveiled by Phil and Amy Banks.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, those in attendance were invited inside the law offices for refreshments and for tours offered by Phil, Martha, and Amy Banks.
For the ceremony’s printed program, Phil had prepared a brief written account of the Wipprecht family and their house. The text of that brief history follows:
The person responsible for the construction of the house at 500 East 29th Street in Bryan, Texas, was Walter Wipprecht. Walter was born at Sisterdale, Texas, in 1864 to a German immigrant family. Walter graduated from Texas A&M in 1884 and became the first graduate student in the school’s history in 1885.
Walter grew up to be a successful businessman who gave back years of service to his community and years of devotion to his family. Walter Wipprecht had the house at 500 East 29th Street constructed for his mother and sister on their return to Texas from Germany.
Walter hired the great builder Charlie Jenkins and his draftsman brother George to construct this house. The care and attention to detail, the precision and workmanship of the construction are readily apparent 114 years later.
When the home was inspected in 2001, the inspector said it was in better condition than the majority of new construction home he examined. The combination of the Jenkins brothers building the house for Walter Wipprecht resulted in a significant building that has stood the test of time.
Walter was a trained scientist and scholar who was also the President of the Bryan Telephone Company and the Bryan Press Company. He was elected to serve five times as the Brazos County Tax Assessor and was President of the Aggie Alumni Organization. Walter served as an instructor in chemistry and physics at Texas A&M as well as the first chemist for the Texas Experiment Station. He served as Comptroller of Texas A&M for many years.
Walter took over the house from his mother and sister and later left it to his daughter, Ida W. Kernodle. Her estate conveyed the property to Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Buechler, who sold it to the present owners, Philip and Martha Banks. Thus only three families have owned this magnificent house over 114 years.
The citizens of Brazos County owe Dr. and Mrs. Buechler and the Banks family a debt of gratitude for their efforts to preserve this beautiful piece of history.
Found below is a presentation containing photographs from this event.