The Bradshaw-Killough home is located at 345 E. Travis Street in La Grange, was directly across the street from Travis Street Methodist Church which the family attended. The original structure was built by General James Shannon Mayfield in 184?, just a few years after Colonel John H. Moore established the town of LaGrange which the Congress of the Republic of Texas designated as the county seat of the new county of Fayette. Block 26 had been purchased by Captain Jesse Burnham who in turn sold part of it to his son-in-law, Jerome B. Alexander, who was killed in the Dawson Massacre (9-14-1842). The remaining portion was sold to General James Shannon Mayfield in 1841.
General Mayfield was born in Tennessee November 1, 1809 and came to Texas in 1837. General Mayfield was instrumental in the development of the history of Texas and the Fayette County region. General Mayfield, after a colorful and highly public life, died December 3, 1852 and his wife Mrs. Sophia Crutcher Mayfield, died soon thereafter. Both were buried underneath the huge oak which still stands in the front yard of their former residence today. Four years later, the house was sold to Rev. John Haynie who stipulated that the bodies must be removed from the property, and the La Grange City Cemetery became their final resting place.
Rev. Haynie eventually sold the Mayfield house to his daughter and son-in-law, Sarah Ellen and Amzi T. Bradshaw, a prominent merchant and one of the eleven founders of The First National Bank of La Grange. Bradshaw used the lumber of the original Mayfield residence when he built a three story white stick-style Victorian residence in 1886. It lacked the elaborate ornamental "gingerbread" found on some of the similar homes of this period, and was built of cypress wood which had been purchased and laid to cure a year earlier on the premises. It was insulated with cottonseed hulls-an unusual procedure for two reasons: first, homes usually were not insulated in the 1800's, and second, if they were insulated, cotton seed hulls were not the normal insulation materials. But Amzi T. Bradshaw, who had a mill that pressed the oil out of cottonseed, determined this was a great way to get rid of the waste products which were usually burnt. When the son-in-law, John Killough remodeled the home in 1924, he found them to be practically "as good as new," so they remain today in virtually the same state as when the materials were installed.
Most of the glass in the house is 1800 hand blown French Quinn. The house boast of a beautiful pigeon blood red stain glass above the the main door. It is said that this was done to ward off evil spirits and keep the house safe. Another story related to the red glass above the door was shared by a restoration expert. The red glass was called "pigeon blood red" which was a very expensive glass for the day and time the house was built. It was told that if the owner had plenty of money and chose not to put extensive stain glass throughout the house, he used the red to communicate to the community his ability to afford whatever he wished but chose not to spend money for more stain glass.
Four marbleized slate fireplaces adorn the rooms while the house boast of four stairways. The main stairway which is very ornate in true Victorian style is said to have been shipped from New Orleans. This stairway was purchased and shipped to La Grange after being entered into a contest at the New Orleans World's Fair and purchased by Mr. Bradshaw. The home has been a boarding house during the late 1800's and early 1900's until 1908 when John Killough bought the house and lot from his mother-in-law, Sarah Ellen Haynie Bradshaw so that she would continue to have some income. Mrs. Bradshaw lived with them until her death in 1941, a total of more than forty-five years. When John and Nellie Killough moved into the Bradshaw house, their children Charlie, Nellie Lee (named after General Robert E. Lee), and Tabitha Annette (named after her grandmother Tabitha Moore Killough), were 15, 13, 9 respectively.
Time progressed and the Killoughs, along with the house underwent many changes. In 1924, with the approach of Nellie Lee's wedding to her soon to be husband Pat Mulloy, the Killough home underwent some extensive remodeling. An architect, D.A. Lovell of Waco, Texas, was commissioned in 1924, to remodel the house with stucco in the style it shows today. The interior was to be "modernized" with plumbing and electricity. The wood frame exterior of the house was stuccoed and shallow flat and pointed arches appeared around the porch and front entrance while the walls were capped by battlemented parapets. A second floor porch extending across the front of the house was removed, and a smaller porch was added at the front door facing Travis Street. A Porte cochere was added at the main entrance, facing Madison Street, and a double garage was added at the rear of the house. Nellie Bradshaw Killough died in the 1950's, and John H. Killough died in 1964, leaving Miss Velna Dippel, caretaker of the family for many years, to look after the house, garden, and grounds. She continued to live in the house until 1979 when she moved to Fort Davis in West Texas to become caretaker for the Killough daughter, Nellie lee and her husband Pat Mulloy. It was about two years later that the Mulloys sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. Lee Mueller of La Grange.
A comprehensive restoration was undertaken with the intention of returning the residence to its former 1924 state, however the removal of the stucco to its 1886 state would have been cost prohibitive. A metal roof was built over the wood shingles which had deteriorated, the stucco was patched and repainted. A 1930 painting of the house indicated rust colored awnings. These were restored in the original locations. New wiring, plumbing and central air conditioning and heating were added. No structural changes were made.
Ornate cast iron hinges and door hardware from the original house built in 1886 were cleaned and brass plated to preserve the base metal. Original brass light fixtures were cleaned, polished, rewired and reused, including a crystal chandelier over the dining table. Beaded wood in the kitchen, upstairs ante-room and family dining room were repainted. Special care was taken in recreating the interiors of the house from its earlier times.
In addition, the hallway under the main stairwell has been set aside as a special Bradshaw/Killough archives where pictures of Colonel and Mrs. Amzi Bradshaw, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Killough and their three children, Charlie, Nellie Lee, and Tabitha Annette and Captain and Mrs. Ira G. Killough, John Henry Killough's parents, are displayed. Also displayed for viewing are the three drawings by architect D.A. Lovell, and a photograph of the Bradshaw residence as it appeared prior to 1924.
In November of 2000, the Bradshaw-Killough house began a new chapter. Purchased by Brenda and Dan Gilmore, the house began a new era of the wonderful bed & breakfast named appropriately "Brendan Manor". Brendan Manor acquired it's name from Brenda and Dan being combined to Brendan Manor. A special place for very special people. With five distinct guest rooms each with private baths, Brendan Manor is equipped to facilitate your next event or gathering. Come share the history and the pleasure of Brendan Manor and walk among the century old oak trees and relive days gone by. Brendan Manor is truly "One of the Best Little B & B's in Texas".