About Us
County Mail List
Historical Markers

Family Websites

Genealogy Dept at County Library

Local Societies

Montgomery County Records  & Resources
Neighboring Counties


Research Links
The Handbook of Texas Online
TX Family Group Sheets
TXGenWeb Counties
TXGenWeb Project

Some Files require
  Adobe Reader

Judge Williams House a Link to Conroe’s Past
by Brad Meyer

Judge Williams house at 709 San Jacinto Street in Conroe was constructed in 1904. At the time, building a stately residence in a wooded area three blocks from the center of downtown Conroe was considered odd because it was so far from all the community had to offer.

At the turn of the century, building a stately residence in a wooded area three blocks from the center of downtown Conroe was considered odd because it was so far from all the community had to offer – which at the time wasn’t much.

But over the years, progress greatly expanded the population and activity in Conroe, surrounding the uniquely elegant home built by Judge William N. [His middle initial is "M", jhs] Williams at 709 San Jacinto Street in 1904. The white frame structure has evolved and been upgraded over the years, but it remains standing as a testament to early life in Montgomery County.

Born in 1863, Williams was a highly successful lawyer in Montgomery County. He attended the University of Texas law school and practiced in Montgomery for many years before moving to Conroe. While there is no record of his being elected or appointed as a judge, he was known to the local community as “Judge Williams.”

Larry Foerster, chairman of the Montgomery County Historical Society, said it’s possible Williams was a municipal judge or Justice of the Peace at some point, but just as likely it was a term of respect afforded him by local residents. He was also chairman of the Democratic Party in Montgomery County.

Williams’ granddaughter Suzie Brignac, 78, whose father was Post Master in Conroe for many years, grew up in the house across the street and remembers playing in the house and its spacious yard.

“Conroe was great back then,” she said. “Everybody knew everyone and looked out for each other. It was a different time.”

Brignac recalled she and her friends would walk six or seven blocks to the local bakery early in the morning as a young child and no one thought twice about their security. She also remembered her grandfather’s maid doing laundry in a big pot over an open flame in the back yard.

“We’d pitch blankets over clotheslines to make tents in the backyard and have slumber parties,” said Brignac. “My father came to check on us with a flashlight and scared us to death.”

Brignac also recalled her grandfather didn’t drive – he had a chauffeur that would drive him on errands and to appointments after he retired.

Following Williams’ death in 1951, the home was sold to Dick Coyle who purchased the home for Soules Insurance to clear up a boundary dispute. The home was subsequently purchased by Wallace Lampton and then Dean Pike, who transformed the structure into the restaurant Buddy Puddles in the 80s.

“There were some major upgrades to the building when it was converted to a restaurant,” said current owner James Knez. “They put in commercial grade electrical wiring and plumbing and structural steel beams for reinforcement.”

The restaurant, however, didn’t last long and soon the building served as law offices for Rodney Tow. He operated in the building for several years until he moved his practice to The Woodlands.

In 2000, Knez purchased the property for his law offices. He removed the carpeting and restored the original wood floors to their original condition throughout the building.

“The building has a lot of character and class,” said Knez. “It’s a pleasant place to work.”

Knez said he has worked in modern office buildings, but greatly prefers the look and style of the Williams residence.

“It’s nice to be able to preserve this house,” he said. “It has the original appearance on the outside, but it’s very functional inside.”

The Judge Williams House at 709 San Jacinto Street in Conroe circa 1920. Born in 1863, Williams was a highly successful lawyer in Montgomery County. The home has been a restaurant and several law offices. Today the Jim Knez Law Office is housed there.

Brignac agreed, saying she appreciates the fact the building continues to stand and serve the community.

“We’ve lost a lot of old Conroe,” she said, “but my grandfather’s house is still standing – and that’s a good thing.”

For information on Conroe and Montgomery County history, visit www.heritagemuseum.us or call 936-539-6873.


The Courier
August 11, 2013




| Home | Top of Page |


               Vote Montgomery County TXGenWeb County of the Month 

Montgomery County Texas Banner graphics were designed by and remain the property of Jean Huot Smoorenburg. If you are being charged to view/use any of this information or have questions or comments, please contact Jane Keppler.


Copyright © 1997 - 2016 by Jane Keppler. This information may be used by individuals for their own personal use, libraries and genealogical societies. Commercial use of this information is strictly prohibited without prior written permission from Jane Keppler. If material is copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information and please email me and let me know. Neither the Site Coordinators nor the volunteers assume any responsibility for the information or material given by the contributors or for errors of fact or judgment in material that is published at this website.

Page Modified: 18 October 2016