New York native Alexander Hamilton Phillips (1804-1880) moved to Texas in 1837. He served in both the Congress of the Republic of Texas and the Legislature of the State of Texas. He moved his law practice to Victoria in the 1840s, and in 1851 hired local building contractor Richard Owens to build this house.
Constructed of bricks made by slaves and fired at Owen's brickyard on the Guadalupe River, the house became a center of social activity in Victoria. During his 1857 campaign for Governor, Sam Houston attended a ball and reception here and made a speech from the front porch.
Attorney Samuel Dabney purchased the house in 1893 and hired noted local architect Jules Leffland to remodel it. Leffland's changes, which included the application of stucco over the original brick exterior, reflect the popular interest in Colonial Revival architecture during the 1890s. Walter Wynne Sale (1887-1967), a medical doctor and decorated World War I veteran, bought the property in 1932, and it has remained in his family. Among the house's prominent features are a broad two-story porch with Classical columns, and a front entry with sidelights and elliptically arched transom.