The Texas legislature established Wise County in 1856 and directed that a county seat named Taylorsville (in honor of Gen. Zachary Taylor) be founded within five miles of its center. In January 1858 Taylorsville was renamed Decatur in honor of the naval hero Stephen Decatur.
A post office was opened in 1857 in the store of Daniel Howell, the town's first merchant and postmaster. The first school was established in the fall of 1857, and a courthouse was erected in the early 1860s.
The late 1860s saw the establishment of four stores and a hotel in Decatur, which served as a supplier and market for local ranchers.
In the 1880s and 1890s Decatur prospered as a shipping point and market for local farmers, a prosperity that was reflected in the establishment of Decatur Baptist College in 1892, the building of a new courthouse in 1896. Decatur Baptist College was moved to Dallas in 1965.
The inviting first floor entrance hall revealed a winding stairway sweeping up to the second floor. Hand-carved Texas star motif decorated the walnut and oak stairway and woodwork throughout the house. Massive doors with solid brass hardware stood sixteen feet tall, minifying the tall ceilings. Three of the huge doors, enhanced with stained glass, projected rays of colored light in the interior.
Adding an air of elegance to the front parlor, hung a beautiful ornatechandelier. Wrought iron and handmade isinglass fixtures from Denver Complemented the Victorian library, large dining room, and two halls. Also on the first floor were five bedrooms, three marble baths, a keeping room, butler’s pantry, and a huge kitchen with copper sink and accessories. The second floor contained a large game room, three bedrooms, and two marble baths.” The house is enclosed by a wrought iron fence with an archway bearing the name “El Castile”.
The Waggoner Mansion is not open to the public.