The Hoye House
By Dot Turnage & Harold Graham
One of the oldest and best-preserved structures in Newton County, Mississippi, is the Hoye House, built in 1861 for Marine Watkins by carpenter Duncan Laing, and located on Church Street in Newton.
This house was built with a sense of simple elegance and dignity and fitting of many of the professional families who have lived there. Lumber was selected from choice pine. The flooring was constructed four inches thick and the sills were hand hewn. The mantles and doors were hand-carvedmost features preserved in pristine condition to the current time.
Among the most unique features were the wide glass windows, extending virtually from floor to ceiling. Green blinds were installed with the windows to protect the interior from glare, but these were long ago removed.
Marine Watkins likely built this house for his bride Margaret, whose maiden name is unknown. He is shown as age 21 in the 1860 Federal Census of Newton County, single, and living with his father, Dr. Josiah Watkins, physician, and a native of Virginia. In 1870, Marine is living with his wife Margaret and three children--a son, Marcellius M., age 6, and two daughters, Margaret C., age 4, and Mildred E., age 2. His occupation is shown as that of a retail merchant.
Marine Watkins sold the house to Dr. J. C. McElroy, who in turn sold the property to the Hoye family in 1871. The Hoye family made major renovations in 1919 and 1924 which included the addition of three rooms, replacement of the original wooden roof with a composition roof, the installation of plumbing and wiring, a complete painting of both the interior and exterior, and other repairs. The house was sold to the First Baptist Church of Newton in 1972.
In early 2002 the Newton Historical Cultural Commission acquired the property from the First Baptist Church of Newton with their major objective being the preservation of the house. Tasks of the Commission for the immediate future include the relocation of the house to a new site (across Church Street) and the renovation of the house. Once these objectives are accomplished, the house will be used for educational purposes, receptions, and cultural events.
If you would like additional information or if you would like to support the efforts of the Newton Historical Cultural Commission in preserving the Hoye House, please contact Mrs. Dorothy (Dot) Turnage at 601-683-3270. Your support will be greatly appreciated.
Make a Donation to Newton Historical Cultural Commission Inc at
Newton Historical Cultural Commission, Inc.
P.O. Box 523
Newton, Mississippi 39345