George S. Chabot House


403 Madison

This simple masonry house with elaborate frame verandahs was built for English cotton merchant George Chabot. It is the most elegant structure on Madison Street. The three-bay main block has fine stonework with narrow mortar joints, while masonry is less carefully worked on the recessed southern wing. Millwork detailing is similarly handled with paired columns on the main block and single columns on the wing. The change in baluster designs on the two lesser verandahs suggests that the jigsaw-cut flat balusters may represent a later addition. A two-story limestone ancillary building is at the rear of the property. This house is one of fourteen purchased and renovated by Walter Mathis, who is co-credited, along with Julia Cauthorn, with reviving the neighborhood in the 1970s.

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

The George S. Chabot House is an example of a Texas German Vernacular native limestone house. The elaborate ornamentation of the porches, including the decorative spindle work dentils, corbeling, and pendants, contribute to the High Style quality of the house.

Through the years the Chabot house has been remodeled and added to. It was once the home of George Stooks Chabot, a prominent citizen of San Antonio, who came from his native England and became a commission merchant dealing in cotton, wool, and hides, with his business on Main Plaza. He was in partnership first with P. J. Moss (Chabot, Moss and Company) and later with Charles C. Cresson (Chabot and Cresson). Previously he and his wife, Mary Van Derlip Chabot, had lived in Mexico, where he worked for the British foreign service.

Mr. Chabot built this home around 1876 shortly before his mother-in-law, Juliana Van Derlip, purchased the house across the street from his. Mr. Chabot paid Thomas J. Devine $850 for the lot in 1875. For a time the street between the houses was called Chabot Street (now Sheridan Street).

Mrs. Chabot was instrumental in establishing the Protestant Orphans’ Home of this city; she and her sister, Mrs. Charles C. Cresson (Adelia), helped to maintain it. She was well known in art circles of her day in San Antonio. The Chabot sons George A. and Charles J. The son of the latter was Frederick Charles Chabot, who wrote With the Makers of San Antonio.

George Stooks Chabot died in 1902 at the age of 81, and his widow continued to live in the home at 403 Madison until her death in 1929. By 1926 she had partitioned at least three apartments. Members of the Chabot family lived in the house until 1940 and during that time partitioned a large number of apartments. A. W. Bouquet bought the property in 1956 and continued to rent the nine apartments. In 1975, Walter N. Mathis bought the house and the 1917 apartment house next to it at 415 Madison. The second house he removed in order to replace the orchard that was there originally and to expose the stone carriage house behind it, which had been built with the Chabot home. Mr. Mathis completely renovated the residence and converted it into three luxury apartments. The carriage house has an apartment as well. Sister Schodts Reed purchased the house in 1985 and completed the transition to a single family residence before she sold it to Curtis Reid Johnson in 2006.

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