Friday, June 27, 2008

Judge and Annie Spencer Cox Home in Old Carrollville

-image retinted to natural color-

By John Melvin Duke

This home is located in the "Old Carrollville" area. As you may know, the once-thriving town of Carrollville was moved when the railroad came through and the name was changed to Baldwyn. Carrollville was a trade center, boasting three large general stores, a shoe cobbler, school, churches,and blacksmith shops.There was an old sawmill that could be found just north of the home.

Carrollville was known as a crossroads town; the Tuscumbia to Pontotoc Road intersected with the Jacinto to Pontotoc Road there. Also the Ripley Road was then known as the Carrollville to Fulton road and bypassed the later site of Baldwyn to the west.

The Cox home is also known as the Allen Homestead. I bought property from Ms Annie Spencer in 1972 and built a home there only 100 yards from this location. I spent some time with her over the years, and she could tell you many interesting things. She told me when this home was built, they did not put a kitchen in the main house as they did not want the added risk of fire, so the kitchen was in a small house apart from the main house, and was called the "kitchen house or cook house". This small house was gone in '72, however, it was located north and west of the main home. The last time I looked the remains of the foundation was still to be seen.

If you notice the balcony on the front, this is supported by two large hand cut beams, as large as 18"x 8". These beams extend inside the house on the upper floor and are secured by oak pegs-- when I was young I worked with my grandfather doing carpenter work on this house. I helped hang wallpaper in the upper rooms. We had to tack cheesecloth to the 1x8 boards that made up the walls and then paste the paper to the cheesecloth.

Each room upstairs had it's own fireplace (you will notice in the picture there are 2 main chimneys) and each room used these chimneys, upstairs and down.

Contrary to earlier comments, I never felt the place was haunted, unless the ghosts up there liked me. I kept check on this place for a long time after she died as people liked to go up there and break in and just look around, never did much damage, mostly broken locks. This home has it place in history and I hope it remains in good care for many years too come.

Old home photo also by John Melvin. He is still actively employed and lives in Tupelo.


  1. Great stories, Melvin. Thanks for sharing.


  2. When you mentioned your grandfather, you meant Mr. Lon Duke, I think. I remember him and your grandma that lived by the Minks.

    Anyway, do you remember the times that we would go to their house and she would fix us a cold glass of tea, and we would look up under the back porch and get a mint leaf to go in it?

    That mint plant grew there under the house for years, and had the best tasting mint ever.

  3. when was that picture taken? The old house is beautiful, but I never knew that bluish color.
    We drove by there just looking on Sunday drives many times. That was what we did for years, drive around on Sunday evenings. The car wasn't cranked up and run any other day much except in winter.

  4. Melvin, maybe some people are haunted, not the houses they go in!
    good story.

  5. Great story, Melvin. Please don't be offended, but Miss Cox's name was Anne Spencer, not Annie. she didn't like to be called Annie.
    I know this because I lived by her too.

  6. Yes, my agologies, I knew that as well, there have been too many years pass, as a child I attended church with Ms Anne and we were in a habit of calling her Annie, it just stuck too long. With all that we've said, we haven't mentioned Bill her brother, I remember he had a law office upstairs in the Raymond Hill building, can anyone add to this?

  7. As for the bluish tint of the photo-- the picture was taken in the early 80's, there were no digital cams about then and the picture turned out kinda blue, the home is still white :o)

  8. Carl the mint you spoke of is well remembered by many, and it was my job to mow her yard, it was not possible to avoid the mint -- it was all around the house, so when I mowed, we had the best smelling yard in town!!!

  9. JM, The only thing I remember about Bill Cox was talking to him one time and he told me that he passed the Bar for Law practice but never went to college or university. I think he said he did it while clerking for someone and studying on his own. He had the reputation for being eccentric and never did much with his law degree that I know of although he always had that office in town and he may have practiced a lot more than I knew. He was very quiet around town and the drugstore and all that studying must have take a lot out of him.

    Joe C.

  10. Carl how did you repaint the house so fast? It looks right now. Good job, I need you to do mine later in the fall.
    Tony Gammell

  11. In relation to the Old Carrollville area, where was the Stubbs plantation, does anyone know?
    That was where (it is written) that the union army of Sturgis spent the night before the battle of the crossroads.
    Is the plantation still there? I remember some of that family from the 1940's.
    Was there an equally grand home on that property?
    Tom Hunt
    (an old friend of Carl)
    He suggested I ask the questions in this way, on the blog for as much response as possible.

  12. Tom, the Stubb's Plantation was probably about eight to ten miles northwest of the Crossroads. Maybe someone can bring us up to date on it's present condition.

    I am sending Carl a copy of the map of the area prepared for the Union Army prior to the battle at the Crossroads. He can forward a copy to you or post it.

    Keep in mind that the map was said to have been drawn up with the help of some liberated negroes from the area and is very general.

    There was also an older Stubb's Plantation closer to the Crossroads, not to be confused with the one where the Union Army spent the night southeast of Ripley.

  13. Thank you, Mr. Copeland!

  14. Sharon ParramoreParramoreAugust 2, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    There is an auction in Marion Alabama that ends Friday 08/03/2011. I'm not affiliated with it but I saw this. It's expensive with a day left but I thought someone might want to bring it "home". There is also a portrait of a woman from a plantation in Mississippi. Lot: 63

    Title: Late 1850 Credenza

    Login/Register Print Catalog


    Antebellum Home Antiques - Black Marble top. Black Marble was the most exquisite of the day. This credenza was bought from the Carrollville Plantation in Baldwin, Mississippi and brought to Marion, Alabama 41" tall x 37" wide