The Trotter House was a two-story Greek Revival house that was once located on the east side of Salem Avenue, in Holly Springs. The house was built in 1850 by Judge James F. Trotter (1802-1866), one of the most renowned jurists in the history of Holly Springs. Trotter was born in Brunswick County, Virginia, but moved to East Tennessee as a young man, where he studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1820. In 1823, Trotter moved to Hamilton, Mississippi, in the burgeoning North Mississippi county of Monroe. Trotter opened a law practice in Hamilton, and for the next ten years he also served in the Mississippi House of Representatives and the Mississippi Senate.

Judge Trotter, as a young man (Mississippi Dept. Archives and History)

From 1833 until 1838, James Trotter was a Circuit Judge in North Mississippi, and in 1838 Trotter served a brief six month stint in the United States Senate, appointed after the resignation of Senator John Black. After serving in Congress, Trotter was elected to the Mississippi Supreme Court, serving on that bench for three years. After resigning in 1842, Judge Trotter moved to Holly Springs, which was still in its infancy, and again opened a law practice, becoming one of the earliest members of the Holly Springs bar. After more than a decade in private practice, Trotter served as Vice Chancellor of the North District of Mississippi, was a professor at the University of Mississippi, and was again appointed as a circuit court judge before his death in 1866.

Judge James F. Trotter (Marshall County Historical Museum)

In 1850, Judge Trotter purchased 10 acres, across from Airliewood (1858), near Cedarhurst (1857) and Pointer House (c. 1858) and built his mansion, a large two-story Greek Revival frame house, with a large two-story gallery supported by six round columns. The house was located on the north side of Salem Avenue, between the present Chesterman and Bonner Streets, though the house sat far off the street, with a large front yard. After Judge Trotter’s death in 1866, his widow Elizabeth Trotter continued to live in the home. In 1869, the house was inherited by Trotter’s daughter Sallie Trotter Walker (1843-1901) and her husband, William Logan Walker (1840-1897). The Walker family continued to live in the house until about 1900, when a fire completely destroyed the Trotter home. The large property was subdivided, and several Victorian homes were built on the same lot.

Grave of Judge James Trotter (Hill Crest Cemetery)

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