ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - It’s housed everything from a grocery store to Athens City Hall. Today, it houses Henderson County history. It’s the Faulk and Gauntt Building and this week’s subject of a Mark in Texas History with Mark Scirto.
J.R. Gauntt was a local businessman to Athens and had this building constructed in 1896, near the rail lines. It was a primary business location in the early days of Athens.
The upstairs area was first occupied by two attorneys. One of which was William Levin Faulk, who served in elected positions and also as a banker. The other attorney was his cousin James Faulk who rose to the ranks of a state senator and later the first mayor of Athens.
Downstairs housed a grocery store. But the invention of the automobile afforded little parking space at this location. A small manufacturing business later moved in but in 1944 the building served as Athens City Hall.
The Henderson County Historical Society bought the building in 1979, and it now stands as a historical museum. It is packed on both floors with history, ranging from Indian artifacts to war memorabilia. The second floor replicates rooms from the early 1900s.