Presidio County Texas
Marfa Museum

110 West San Antonio
Marfa, Texas 79843
By Verna Bonner

Marfa MuseumIn 1996, the City of Marfa purchased the historic Humphries House from JoAnne Markle McClurg. It was on this date that the structure ceased to be a private residence. The City of Marfa agreed to a long term lease of the building by the Marla Presidio, County Museum group for use as a museum . The Museum is staffed by volunteers and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 2-5 PM and also by special appointment. Don Juan Humphries built this historic structure in 1883. Saturnino Naborette constructed the home, made of Mexican adobe bricks, brought in from Presidio. Don Juan and his wife Mary Walker Humphries were English immigrants and were said to be among the earliest residents of Marfa. Don Juan and Mary raised their family in this house. They sold it in 1915 to Mrs. Joe (Granny) Humpheys ( no relationship). Granny Humphreys soon added rooms to the structure, converting it to a boarding house. The boarding house quickly became one of the "gathering places" for social activity and to learn the news of the day. In 1937, Granny closed her business and moved to the ranch with her son Bert. At the death of Granny Humphreys in 1948, her only daughter Annie Lee Humphreys McCracken inherited the house. She and her daughter moved into the house in 1959. The house changed ownership again in 1990 when JoAnne Lee Markle McClurg inherited the house. It remained a residence until being sold in 1996. In 1987, Anne Jo McCracken Markle wrote the history of the house, providing the following information:

quote There are nine large rooms in the house with the popular wide hall down the center. Each room had a fire place and at an early date had gas lighting with pipes set into the walls leading to the fixtures. Each of the front bedrooms had floor to ceiling windows looking on to the front porch. So the south wind had floor to ceiling windows looking on to the front porch. So the south wind kept things cool. Two other windows are evident in each room so the house is light and airy. The house may have been styled in Victorian or Prairie architecture and set behind an iron fence. There are 6 pillars on the front porch and the roof is low pitched. All somehow connected to the events that shaped Marfa history. Especially memorable are the large swings on each end of the long front porch were many romances were instigated."

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