The Sims-West House was built in 1854 by Leroy Sims (1809-1856), an early settler to Holly Springs who also ran a stagecoach line, L. Sims and Brothers, on this lot before the house was built. During antebellum years, L. Sims and Brothers ran the stagecoach from this lot and the lot to the east (where Hill Crest Cemetery now stands). The stagecoach was located at the southern edge of the town, on the main road north to Memphis and south to Oxford (today’s Center and Memphis Streets). In 1850, the stageline ran a tri-weekly post coach to Jackson (by way of Oxford) and Columbus (by way of Aberdeen).
After this Greek Revival one-story cottage was built in 1854, the Sims family owned the home until 1874. From 1874 until 1902 the house was owned by a series of families. In 1902 the home was purchased by a young L. A. Smith (1878-1950), who would eventually before a lawyer, judge and Mississippi Supreme Court Justice. Smith’s son, L. A. Smith Jr. (1904-2001) (whose legal career would surpass his father’s by becoming Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court) was born in this house.
In 1906 the house was purchased by Frederick Edgar West. According to some sources, F. E. West was an I.R.S. agent during the late 19th century an early 20th. The West family would live here for another twenty years. Between 1925 and 1940 the house was owned by the Francisco family. In 1940, the 90-year-old house was demolished, making way for the current two modern houses built on the same part of the lot.
My grandparents lived 2 houses down from the Sims-West House in the cottage now owned by Maia Miller. Chester and Icey McAlexander bought the house around 1910 from Pokie Daniels French’s father. I think her mother died in childbirth. My father Hubert McAlexander, SR. was born there in 1913. My grandparents lived there until my grandmother died in the mid-1970’s (I think) and my grandfather moved to a nursing home where he died about 1987 or 88, right before his 99th birthday . I am not good at dates like my big brother is!
I grew up spending a lot of time on this block, and had many good memories.