About the Houses

The Clearwater House    1922

Home of Dennis and susan kilcrease

320 East Ave J

Silsbee

Built in 1922 by Thomas J. Clearwater (born 1881) an Engineer for a Sante Fe Steam Locomotive, and his wife Jennie, it is located within walking distance of Downtown Silsbee.  It housed 3 generations of the Clearwater family until the 1970's. While the Clearwaters never had children,  they adopted a child who lived in the home until his death. Because Mr. Clearwater was an engineer on a coal burning steam locomotive at the Sante Fe Yard, his work caused him to come home covered in soot.  Mrs. Clearwater would sit on the front porch and wait for him to come walking home because she would not allow him in the house dirty!  He would either have to bathe in the yard before coming in her home, or he would be required to sleep in the little rooming house in the back of the house! 

The little rooming house had three small rooms, just large enough for a single bed, a table and a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling. At the time the house was built in 1922, there was a severe housing shortage for railroad workers.  This little house was built to let rooms out to railroad workers to sleep in. The little railroad house is still in the back of the house today in its original 1920's condition. Plans are underway to restore it.

By 2017, the home had been padlocked and abandoned for 12 years until it was purchased by Dennis and Susan Kilcrease. Over the next 2 years, the home was restored to its original condition by its owners (it is still under restoration). At 98 years old, it is one of the oldest houses in Silsbee. 

Photos were taken in the Master Bedroom, the kitchen and in the dining room of the house.

The Cliinefelter House was built in 1915 by Clarence D. Clinefelter and his wife Arletta. Clarence was a conductor for the Santa Fe Railroad.
The Clinefelters built the home and operated it as a rooming house. The family lived downstairs and the 5 bedrooms upstairs were rented out to single men, mostly men who worked for the railroad. There is one bathroom upstairs that the men shared. Each bedroom had a sink so the men could wash up after working their shift.

Wife Arletta died in 1930 and subsequently Clarence Clinefelter and his second wife Ammie Hicks Clinefelter raised twin boys, Harold & Howard. The boys were Ammie’s from her first marriage. Clarence adopted the boys. They joined the navy together in 1941 and served during WWI.  Howard was killed during the Battle of Guadalcanal in Nov. 1942.

The house shows up on county utility records for the first time in early 1920s.
Earl & Jan purchased the house in 1993 and have slowly worked to add modern conveniences while maintaining the historical charm of the house.
House size approx 3700 sq. ft. Downstairs there is one full bathroom, front parlor, dining room, kitchen with small dining area. Front study and small den with fireplace (added by former owners). There is a wrap around porch that goes around 3 sides of the house. The front and part of south exterior is open; the rest of south exterior and about 2/3 of back (western exterior) is also covered and serves as storage and a sunroom in back.

The Cleinfelter House

Home of Earl & Jan Stover
660 S. 7th St.
Silsbee, Texas 77656

Clarence D. Cleinfelter