Glenblythe Plantation, seven miles northwest of Brenham in Washington County, was opened by Thomas Affleck about 1859. The plantation was on land originally part of the Samuel May Williams league. The name Glenblythe was Scottish for "gay" or "joyous valley." The 2½-story plantation house, located in a live oak grove, was a six-bedroom home with two halls, a kitchen, a laundry room, a store room, a dining room, a parlor, and three enclosed galleries, as well as two long galleries the length of the house. Adjacent to the big house were a lumber room, a carriage house, a grainery, stables, a poultry yard, a pigeonry, and servants' houses. Some five or six houses for farmhands were located near the plantation house. The plantation quarters, including the overseer's house, church, hospital, storehouse, and twenty frame houses, were located two miles distant near a sugar mill, flour mill, ginhouse, press, sawmill, blacksmith shop, and a home for the mill foreman. The hospital had a Black nurse who cared for 120 slaves with the help of a doctor who made examinations monthly. On the plantation Affleck developed one of the earliest and largest southern nurseries, which came to be called "Central Nurseries." He introduced new crops and also experimented with agricultural conservation through soil terracing. Manmade ponds on some of his prairie pastures provided irrigation. Affleck also had a winery. Gen. Thomas N. Waul was a guest at Glenblythe in 1862 while he organized Waul's Texas Legion. In 1865 Affleck advertised the plantation for rent in the New York Herald. He reported that 1,000 acres of the 3,500 acres included in the plantation were in timber and 100 in meadow. Crops from the 1,200 acres of farmland were cotton, corn, barley, millet, hay, and sorghum. Stock on the plantation included sheep, cows, mules, oxen, and horses. He asked $6,000 for the annual rent, $4,000 to be cash paid in advance. Affleck was developing a packing plant for beef, fruits, and vegetables at the time of his death in December 1868. Sometime during the latter part of the nineteenth century the Affleck family moved to Brenham and then Galveston. Thomas Affleck and his wife were buried at Glenblythe, and the land around their gravesite was owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Herman in the 1950s. Much of the acreage of the plantation was sold off and made into smaller farms and subdivisions during the twentieth century. In 1967 a Texas historical marker was erected at Gay Hill, Texas, in honor of Glenblythe.
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Abigail Curlee, A Study of Texas Slave Plantations, 1822–1865 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1932). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.
Houses, Mansions, and Plantations
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed July 05, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
September 11, 2020