This gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian house was built in 1906 by Judge Lemuel Augustus Smith Sr. (1878-1950). Judge Smith was the grandson of General Absolom M. West (1818-1894), who owned the nearby Clapp-West House (now known as Athenia). General West’s daughter, Caroline West Smith (1858-1921), married Lemuel Augustus Smith (1854-1878), who tragically died in the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878 at the age of 24, leaving behind his widow and infant son.
As a young man, Judge Smith Sr. married Emma Robertson Smith (1879-1965) and built this house right next door to his grandfather’s family home. Judge Smith would go on to become an accomplished attorney, eventually rising to the level of Associate Judge on the Mississippi Supreme Court. Judge Smith Sr. died in 1950. The Judge’s judicial accomplishments were outdone by his son, Judge Lemuel Augustus Smith Jr. (1904-2001), who would follow his father into the practice of law and onto the bench of the Mississippi Supreme Court, serving there from 1965 until 1982, and as Chief Justice from 1977 until 1982. Judge Smith Jr. married Chesley Thorne Smith (1910-2012), who was instrumental in recording much of the history of early 20th century Holly Springs through her writings and her photography. Both Judge Smith Jr. and his wife Chesley lived long, productive lives.
The Smith family owned this house for nearly 60 years, before selling it to Frank Hopkins Jr. (1927-2012) and his wife Helen B. Hopkins in 1965. The Hopkins owned the house until 1982, when they sold it to John R. Ward and his wife Edrie C. Ward, who have lived here since.
The Smith House is a two-and-a-half-story Queen Anne Victorian, with a multi-gable hip-roof with elaborate stickwork on the facade and a two-bay porch with a conical-roof gazebo and semi-circular stickwork. The Smith House was designed by noted Victorian architect George Barber, and remains the best example of Queen Anne Victorian architecture in Holly Springs.