The Harris-Finger House was built in 1884 by James C. Harris (1860-1956), a local attorney, and his wife, Mary M. Thurmond (1864-1940). Mary was the daughter of R. J. Thurmond (1829-1907), who famously killed Colonel William Falkner (the great-grandfather of William Faulkner) on the Ripley Square in 1889, though he was eventually acquitted of the murder.
Local legend says that R. J. Thurmond built the house as a wedding gift for his daughter and his son-in-law, as a way to “one-up” his enemy, Colonel Falkner, who had recently built a grand home for his own daughter. While Thurmond did own the lot where this house was built, he sold it to James Harris in 1885 (for a large profit), rather than simply gifting it.
The Harris family only lived here for a few years, before selling the house to Lee Hines (1860-1926) in 1890. The Hines family owned the house until 1904. According to historian Jack D. Elliot, Jr., the young William Faulkner lived in this house from 1900 to 1901, making it the earliest extant house associated with the famed author.
In 1904 the house was purchased by merchant S. S. Finger (1856-1942), who was a prominent merchant in a Ripley for many decades. The Finger family continued to live in the house for almost 100 years, until the house was sold to Joey Bullock and Kelly Craig in 2002.
The Harris-Finger House is one of the few Second Empire houses built in north Mississippi. It is a gable-front L-shaped house, with an off-center tower with fish scale siding and a Mansard roof. The cornice of the roof contains heavy bracketing.