This 1937 home movie captures the interior and exterior of a Port Arthur beach-front home and its guest and servant quarters, likely owned by the McFaddins. Two women sitting on the porch at the end of the footage appear to be Ida Caldwell McFaddin and her daughter, Mamie McFaddin.
William Perry Herring McFaddin (1856 - 1935) was a prominent cattle rancher and businessman from Beaumont. With his father—William McFaddin, himself a cattleman a veteran of the Army of the Republic of Texas—McFaddin founded the McFaddin Ranch of Beaumont in the 1870s. Under his leadership, the family ranch grew to include approximately 120,000 acres in Jefferson County and 48,000 acres in Knox and King counties. In the 1890s, McFaddin sold large portions of the Jefferson County ranch to Arthur Edward Stilwell to form the townsite of Port Arthur. It was also McFaddin land that Anthony Lucas leased to drill the Lucas Gusher, the discovery well of the Spindletop oilfield.
With his father and business partners Obadiah Kyle and Valentine Weiss, McFaddin also established companies in commercial real estate, rice farming and milling, canals and irrigation, and cattle feeding and meatpacking. He also served as vice president of the First National Bank of Beaumont, vice president of the Beatty Oil Company, and a director for both the J. M. Guffey Petroleum Company and the Beaumont Board of Trade and Oil Exchange.
McFaddin married Emma Janes of Beaumont, with whom he had three children: Diana, W. Valentine, and Skipwith. Following her death, he married Ida Regina Caldwell, with whom he bore three more children: Mamie, W. P. H. Jr., and James Lewis Caldwell.
The McFaddin-Ward House in Beaumont was built in 1905-06, in the Beaux-Arts Colonial Revival style. At 12,800 square feet, the oil-wealthy McFaddins lived in this grand house for nearly 75 years, before it was eventually opened to the public as a museum in 1986. With few substantive changes made to the home or its decor since 1950, much of the McFaddin-Ward House's furnishings remain intact for the public to view.
Further information on the McFaddin-Ward House and its history can be found at the house museum's website.