Holly Springs: Cuffawa (1838)

Cuffawa is one of the oldest houses still standing in Holly Springs.  It was built in 1838 by Charles Niles, one of the first merchants to arrive at the original settlement of Holly Springs in 1835.  Miles later became the young town’s first postmaster.  When it was constructed in 1838, Cuffawa would have been the usual dog-trot log cabin.  The original log cabin can still be seen within the walls of the current house.  Charles and his wife Abigail lived in the house from 1838 until 1849, when they sold it to Fred Sulzner, whose family lived here for one year before he sold it to T. B. Walker in 1850.  The Walkers lived here from 1850 until 1858.

In 1858 the house was bought by Joseph B. Mattison (1836-1910).  Mattison was born in New York City but grew up in Alabama and moved to Holly Springs in 1857.  During the Civil War, Mattison gained the rank of Captain in the Confederate army and served under General Leonidas Polk.  After the War, in 1871, Mattison and his family left Holly Springs for Indiana, but returned to Holly Springs several years later and lived here until his death in 1910.

Joseph E. Dean (1830-1907) purchased the house in 1871.  Joseph’s father, Joseph Dean Sr. (1778-1871), moved to Holly Springs in 1837 and settled at Cuffawa Plantation outside of Holly Springs.  After moving to this house, the Deans renamed it “Cuffawa” after the family’s original Marshall County home.   Joseph Dean’s daughter Minerva “Minnie” Dean Marbury (1869-1942) married Leonard Marbury (1868-1895), and the Marbury family owned the house and surrounding land beginning in 1919.  In the 1950s, much of the original land was turned into the Marbury subdivision.  Leonard and Minnie’s son Len Marburg Sr. (1895-1961) owned and maintained the house for twenty years, until his death in 1961.  After over 60 years, the Marbury family sold Cuffawa to Curtis and Dianne Greer in 1984, and the Greers have owned the house ever since.

Cuffawa is a one-and-one-half-story flanking-gable house, with the original dog-trot log cabin still within the heart of the current house.  Cuffawa was later clapboarded and given Greek Revival details, including gables, a three-bay gallery and a double door (where the original dog-trot would have been) surrounded by transom and sidelights.

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