Latoka was built in about 1875, likely by Julie J. Sigman (1828-1889) or Eliza Stephenson Potts. Though the house has architectural elements that would suggest it was antebellum, in truth it was built after the Civil War.
It was the home of the Luckie family between 1903 and 1917 and the Fant family from 1917 to 1949. Dr. W.C. Sandusky Sr. (1888-1973) owned the property between 1949 and 1959, and sold it to Claude Smith (1894-1961) and Lurline Smith (1895-1978) in 1959, who were the grandparents of Fox News reporter Shep Smith. In 1980 the Smith family sold the house to Walter Webb, who then sold the house in 1988 to Granville and Eugenia Messick, who renamed the home “Latoka” after the legendary Chickasaw princess who lived in the area before the founding of the town. Today the house is owned by Dave and Pam Zelman, who began an extensive restoration of the house in 2021.
Latoka is a single-story flanking-gable brick Greek Revival/Italianate house, with simple brick pilasters and a single-bay pedimented portico supported by attenuated Tuscan piers. The house has interior end chimneys. The main entrance is framed by sidelights and a transom. Segmental Italianate arches are located over the windows, which is a good indication of the house’s postbellum origins.