Dowlearn-Bivins House

This handsome home, circa 1884, was built by Capt. Cyrus M. Bivins, originally of Lawrence County, Indiana, for his wife, Margaret Jane Browning Bivins and his four surviving children. In 1875, Capt. Bivins, along with John H. Corley and F. A. Waters opened a private bank, which was the forerunner of the American National Bank of Texas, the oldest and largest financial institution in Kaufman County.

Tom and Lucille O’Neil purchased the home in 1957, raised their three children and lived there until Mr. and Mrs. Dowlearn purchased this home in 2007. Mr. and Mrs. O’Neil were both educators and Mr. O’Neil was principal of Terrell High School for a time. The Dowlearns soon embarked on an extensive restoration and renovation, converting a bedroom into an exquisite master bath, installing custom kitchen cabinetry by local master carpenter Van Meridith, and adding a back porch. The couple replaced plumbing and electrical, and added central heat and air while maintaining the home’s integrity. Mrs. Dowlearn continues augmenting her collection of fine antiques.