GALVESTON, AMERICA : An exterior view of the Ashton Villa. The Ashton Villa was built in 1859 by James Moreau Brown, a wholesale hardware merchant, railroad corporation president and banker. Brown was one of the richest men in Texas, and Ashton Villa was one of the grandest homes in the state at the time it was completed. Filled with antiques, family heirlooms and original art, Ashton Villa today provides an intimate glimpse into the life of a prominent Victorian family. The Ashton Villa is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Recorded Texas, Galveston, Texas. America.