Sam Robertson House

Photo courtesy of San Benito Historical Society

The Sam Robertson home, built in 1911, has been a Valley showplace nearly 70 years. Designed with a central court-yard similar to homes in Mexico, it is situated on a ledge supported by a retaining wall that gives the house commanding height. Much of the building materials, including bricks and tiles, came from Mexico. Creosoted railroad ties were used in the foundation. Gray cement covers the exterior brick walls which are 18 inches thick. Tiles for the roof were made especially for the house. Each is numbered. Once settled in their home with its three fireplaces and four bedrooms, the Robertsons entertained each March 17 to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

Many guests were seated at the extension table that almost filled the long dining room. Their niece, Merry Robertson (Mrs. Fred W. Thomas) recalls that as a child she was permitted to see but not touch the beautifully appointed table, with several glasses at each plate. A dance in a hall downtown always followed the dinner and always Mrs. Robertson wore a dark gown, high-lighted by a slightly low neckline and an exquisite pearl pendant.

The house is located at the corner of Adele & Sam Houston streets and is presently the law office of Jeffrey Jackson. It was awarded a Texas Historical Marker in 1979. The plaque reads:

San Benito was begun in 1904 by Sam A. Robertson (1867-1938). A wealthy civil engineer and builder, he saw farming potential in the Valley. He became Sheriff and first Postmaster. He built irrigation canals and a railroad network that connected farms with produce markets. He started a Padre Island development and Del Mar, a recreational area at Boca Chica. In 1911 Robertson and his wife, Adele, built this house. With thick walls and high windows, it served as a fortress against marauding bandits from across the border. In 1945 the house was sold to John T. Lomax.