The Taliaferro-Butler-Greene House (also known as “Suavatooky”) was a Greek Revival home built in about 1860 by William Taliaferro (1802-1887), who owned the house throughout the Civil War.  During the Civil War, the house was supposedly used as a hospital.  In 1866, the house was sold to Jasper F. Butler (1834-1879), a pharmacist originally from Arkansas who came to Holly Springs just before the Civil War and married into a local family.  After the end of the Civil War, Butler purchased this house and also established the Butler Pharmacy on the southeast side of the Square, where Tyson’s Drugstore is today.

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 Taliaferro-Butler-Greene House (1915)

From the end of the Civil War until the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878, the Butler Pharmacy was known as one of the major “clubs” in town, where men of all ages would congregate and enjoy the medicinal cocktails offered at the pharmacy, most of which contained large amounts of alcohol.  The pharmacy was so popular with locals that the area around the pharmacy was known as “Butler’s Corner”.  The Butler Pharmacy also sparked the careers of many future pharmacists and doctors, including Alex McCrosky, William Compton, L. A. Rather and Lemuel A. Smith (who died during the Yellow Fever Epidemic).  Jasper Butler was a well known and well-liked man.  After his untimely death at the age of 45, his funeral was held here in his home, and many townspeople came to mourn with the family.  As a sign of his popularity, his funeral service was officiated by  the preachers from the Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist churches.

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Grave of Jasper Butler (Hill Crest Cemetery)

After Butler’s death, his widow Malvina Burton Butler continued to live in the house, as well as run the Butler Pharmacy on the Square.  In 1913 the Butler family sold the house, after owning it for nearly fifty years.  In 1929 the house was purchased by Edwin E. Greene Sr. (1895-1957), a local businessman who ran a dairy in Holly Springs.  The Greene family owned the house until it was eventually destroyed.

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Edwin Greene and his dairy cart, c. 1920 (McAlexander Collection)

At some point in the 20th century, the house was named “Suavatooky”, which is supposedly the Chickasaw word meaning “watering place”.  In the late 20th century, the house was abandoned and sat vacant as early as the late 1970s.  By the late 1980s it had fallen into disrepair.  Sadly, the house was destroyed in October 1987.  Today, a hair saloon and a liquor store are located on the former site of the house.

The Taylor-Butler-Greene House was a single-story raised-basement Greek Revival brick house with stuccoed finish and had a pedimented frame portico supported by square pillars, flanking gable roof and interior end chimneys.  The house had a prominent sloping roofline which connected the original brick house to what was likely a later frame addition.

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The Last Days of Suavatooky (South Reporter- October 28, 1987)

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