John James Stevens House


303 King William StREET

This house, constructed for onetime postmaster John James Stevens, provides another localized example of Italianate design. Despite the imported style from the Northeast, finely crafted limestone walls label this a product of central Texas. Its narrowness gives it an almost rowhouse appearance. The asymmetrical main façade is accented by a polygonal bay on the first floor. The deep side garden is enclosed by a tall stuccoed wall, a later addition.

‘San Antonio Architecture, Traditions and Visions’, AIA San Antonio, 2007

John James Stevens House, 303 King William Street

The Stevens/James House, an Italianate house built of native limestone, has a first floor three-bay window on the left. Balconies above the bay window and front door as well as the stone arched windows add detail to the façade.

John J. Stevens and his wife, Bettie, contracted with the Bexar Building and Loan Association to build ‘a two-story stone dwelling house’ here in 1881 for $5000. T.W. Harris, a building and contractor, was to do the actual construction. Mr. Stevens was a native of San Antonio and a man who held many positions of importance, among them that of postmaster of this city. In 1883 James F. Scott, stock dealer, is listed in the city directory as living at this address, and in 1887 the resident was Sidney Tuttle, who was with the San Antonio Gas Co., as was John Stevens.

Vinton James purchased the house in 1888. He is author of a book on the early days in San Antonio called Frontier and Pioneer Recollections of Early Days in San Antonio and West Texas. Two of Mr. James’ daughters, Agnes James, a retired school teacher, and Mrs. Carl Groos, lived out their lives here. During the early 1970s, Isaac Maxwell, noted architect and punched copper artist, and his wife, Judith, lived in the downstairs apartment while Miss James lived upstairs. In 1979, the house was sold to Stephen and Elizabeth Golden, who restored it to a single family home.

Lionel and Kathy Sosa owned the home from 1987 to 1997. David Zachry and Stephanie Hopper Chapman purchased the property in 1997, Keltong and Mellissa Morgan in 2000, Evangelina and Scott Dilworth III in 2005, and Martin Phipps in 2008.

The King William Area, A History and Guide to the Houses, Mary V. Burkholder and Jessie N.M. Simpson; published by the King William Association, 2017