The S. W. Lowe House in Clarendon, Texas . . .
a true jewel of the Panhandle of Texas
is being offered for sale.




This historic home has only known 5 owners in its 108 years.
The main house, a Queen Anne Victorian,
(3300 square feet)
built in 1904

proudly displays the Texas Historical Marker
and is listed on
the National Register of Historic Places.


This 'environmentally safe' property is well suited for 'living naturally' . The great canopy of fruit and nut trees, hardwoods and conifers create a peaceful ambiance.

Construction of the Queen Anne Victorian occurred before toxic materials came into being. The cedar used to build this house was transported by covered wagon from Louisiana.

Meticulously restored with health in mind, great care was taken during restoration in 1982 to use natural, nontoxic and poison-free materials.


Some features of this Queen Anne Victorian include:

~ wraparound porch
~ large foyer
~ built-in seating areas
~ 3 coal-burning fireplaces
~ 3 sets of pocket doors
~ 3 bedrooms
~ 3 baths
~ 2 footed tubs
~ leaded and stained-glass cabinets in formal dining room
~ commissioned artist handpainted border on floors in kitchen and back porch
~ marble countertops in kitchen and butler's pantry
~ 6 ceiling fans
~ programmable thermostat
~ all electric


Front of house


Front wraparound porch looking east



Wallcoverings are fabric, not wallpaper.
All woodwork, beadboard and wainscoting
are original. They were restored
to their original beauty during the
complete restoration of the house in 1982.


Seating area with restored
original stained glass window


Seating area inside front door
with bay window


Bay window seating area
in dining room


Dining room with built-in cabinet,
looking into the butler's pantry


Built-in dining room cabinet
with leaded and stained glass


Mirrored coal-burning fireplace
with 'summer front'
(one of three)


Library with specially built bookcases
which flank the window
(only one shows in this photo)


Living room/parlor
with fabric wallcoverings


Recent kitchen renovation.
Artist handpainted border at ceiling
and on original wood floor


Window above kitchen sink
looking to backyard.
Tree on right is one of four
native persimmon trees on the property.
Tree behind table is apricot.


Breakfast area in kitchen
looking into back porch.
Artist handpainted border
on original wood floor.


Sunny back porch which in winter has solar gain.
Same Artist handpainted border as in the kitchen.


Butler's pantry off kitchen
with marble countertop


Front stairway to second floor


Northwest bedroom with fabric wallcovering


Northeast bedroom with fabric wallcovering


Southeast bedroom with fabric wallcovering.
This room has an attached bathroom.
There is also another bathroom on the second floor
to serve the other two bedrooms.



An insulated two car garage with basement and attached cottage (1040 square feet) were built in 2000.

Some features of the cottage include:

~ open floor plan
~ radiant floor (off the grid)
~ partially 'green'; nontoxic materials used
~ 300 gallon holding tank in attic, serviced by solar pump (off the grid)
~ plumbed for gray water
~ Vermont Castings Aspen wood-burner
~ Central heat and air (electric)

~ 16 windows - double glazed, double hung
~ many built-ins, including bamboo desk in office and a couch/sleeping area
~ marble countertops in kitchen and bathrooms
~ 1-1/2 baths: copper sink in one and handpainted sink in the other
~ upstairs floor is 1-1/2" tongue-in-groove yellow pine
~ beautiful hardware throughout this colorful little house


Main floor living area of cottage.
Vermont Castings wood burner,
Artist painted walls and
stained concrete floor


Corner sink with marble countertops.
Windows look out to
Mahon pecan trees planted in 1936.

Powder room on main floor ~
sink is hand-hammered copper


Upstairs 'tree house feel' living space
with built-in seating area
which is perfect for stargazing!


Corner of upstairs living area
shown in above photo.
Artist painted walls and
tongue-in-groove yellow pine floor.


Upstairs office with built-in bamboo desk.
All 16 windows in the cottage
have custom-built moldings.

Mexican handpainted bathroom sink ~ upstairs



Additional information:

~ NO chemical cleaning agents, pesticides or herbicides have been used inside the houses or anywhere on the property. All environmentally safe products have been used.

~ Well water serves both homes.

~ The two homes and garage are situated on one 3/4 acre parcel.

~ Furnishings are available for purchase.


About this area:

Clarendon is one of the oldest thriving towns in the Texas Panhandle.

This area of Texas is considered 'prime' by many as it is not as exceedingly dry as farther west into the desert states, nor is it 'muggy' as farther south can be. Average of 330 days of sunshine a year. Some snow in the winter; however, because of the sun, it does not stay on the ground for long. Some days in the winter you can lunch outside, if sheltered from the breezes.


Price: $449,000

Contact: The S.W. Lowe House by email or by calling 806-874-3332


More history of this property:

On April 30, 1904, the Clarendon Chronicle carried an item in its Local and Personal Column stating that "F.D. Martin will begin the erection of a handsome residence in southwest Clarendon in the coming week."

On July 20, 1904, another news item appeared which stated that "the new residence of F.D. Martin was well under way and would make quite a showing when completed." The Martins, natives of Tennessee, owned a very fine mercantile store which advertised tailor-made suits, real Valencia lace handkerchiefs and linen and Battenberg material. The Martins were most sympathetic to the arts. Clarendon was proud to have an opera house during this era, and "it is said that many times the female singers would dress at the Martin house for the performance."

The Martin House was acquired in 1910 by San Antonio rancher John M. Calhoun and his wife Annie Moss, who used the structure as a summer residence. Four years later, R.H. Muir, a rancher, cattle buyer and inspector bought the house, continuing the tie with ranching, the key industry of the region.

S.W. Lowe and his wife Lilac bought the Martin-Lowe House in 1926 and lived there for 56 years. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lowe first lived in south Texas, although after they finished college and were married they came to the Clarendon area. Mr. Lowe was Dean of Goodnight Baptist College, which was located about 20 miles northwest of Clarendon. Mrs. Lowe served as matron in charge of the girls' dormitory. They then moved to Clarendon where he became the high school principal. He served three terms as judge of Donley County.

Little did Zell SoRelle know when she left Clarendon in the early 1930's, that half a century would pass (quite eventfully) and she would return to the town of her birth.

Starting her teaching career at the age of 17 in a one-room schoolhouse on the renown J. A. Ranch, she was written up in Ripley's 'Believe It or Not' when one year she had only one student and there were only 5 taxpayers in the district. The glamour of the Wild West was apparent then, as it is now: marriage proposals ensued but she was headed for a career and continued on with her education.

Zell stole the heart of Seth Augustus (Jack) SoRelle. They married and moved to Borger, Texas. Zell got a yen to fly and became one of the first women in the Panhandle of Texas to have a private pilot's license.

By then World War II was on and all women in the United States who had a pilot's license were called to serve by ferrying planes to various locations. Not warlike by nature and the fact that she was pregnant, she declined.

The SoRelles moved to Amarillo in the mid 1940's and her role in civic work began. However, eventually her career came to the forefront again and she completed her Masters, and a PhD from the University of Denver. She taught at what is now West Texas A & M University from 1962-1977. Well respected by her peers and adored by her students, Zell taught until mandatory retirement.

With energy to spare, Zell decided to go into real estate. After about a year, she felt the passion of restoring a home, and Clarendon was calling to her. "I want to go back to Clarendon and help make it more beautiful," she said to her husband and daughter.

That she did in 1982 when she purchased the historic S.W. Lowe house. She knew right away that she wanted to involve herself in something lasting, something she could get the Texas Historical Marker for, so she knew she needed to choose a house that had not been structurally rearranged or damaged.

The house next door to Zell's historic purchase was for lease and she thought, "How convenient!" She could oversee her crew working on the house and be present with all that was happening.

About 2 years and 4 months later, she was ready to start 'teaching' again by opening the home for tours, club meetings, candlelight Christmas walks, soirees in the summertime, elder hostel and events for school children.

She rarely missed a turn to help people learn to appreciate the value of historical preservation by showing them and involving them in this significant lesson of life.

Nearly everyone wanted to be on Zell's bandwagon. She quietly did what she knew she wanted to do and people caught the drift. Due to the renovation of her own house, it was natural for her to be very responsible for the energy behind the renovation of the Clarendon Courthouse, called by the Texas Historical Commission, 'one of its poster children'.

The S. W. Lowe house has been in the care of the SoRelle family from 1982 until present time (2012). This historic property is now ready to receive its next stewards to treasure, preserve, enjoy and share the beauty of this well-loved historic landmark.