The Smith House
By Bill Young
[Pictures: 1) “A view of the author’s home from earlier years.” 2) “Young’s house as it looks today”. ]
Known more recently as the Bessie Hobson House and prior to that as the Annie Eades Collins House, the residence now owned by Lyon County Attorney Bill Young, located on Fifth Street in Old Kuttawa, was originally built by John L. Smith in 1900.
A brief biography of Mr. Smith and a picture of the house as it originally appeared is featured on page 27 in the “Tale of Two Cities” which was published originally in 1901 and most recently reprinted by the Lyon County Historical Society.
According to the biography, “Mr. Smith is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, holding his membership at Mt. Pisgah, near Star Limeworks, where he has liberally contributed to the gospel cause and the building of the magnificent new house that now adorns the old site in the beautiful grove of native sugar maples… the other members of family reside with Mr. Smith in his neat home in Kuttawa, which is the proceeds of many years of diligent labor and economic expenditures.”
Mr. Smith was a leader in the Democratic party and also served as Lyon County Sheriff.
Annie Eades, later Annie Eades Collins, acquired the property in 1928, from her father, William Eades, who had purchased the residence in 1908. Bessie Hobson acquired the property from Annie Eades Collins by a deed dated Sept 28, 1945, but didn’t occupy the residence until the early 1950s.
Bill Young acquired the property in 1977.
According to Ann Matthews, daughter of Annie Eades Collins, her grandfather, William Eades, was known for hosting many “house parties” and the residence, with all its porches on both levels lit up at night, gave the appearance of a steamship when viewed from a distance by oncoming steamers on the Cumberland River.
According to Mrs. Matthews, who now resides in Amarillo, Texas, her mother, Annie Collins, modified the house shortly after she acquired it in 1928, removing the upper porch in the front of the house as well as the lower porch on the side of the house. She also added central heat, replacing all the fireplaces and grates as the primary source of heat.
The residence was completely remodeled after Young acquired it.
Adele Ethridge, daughter of Bessie Hobson, now esides in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
[This takes us to the final page of the newspaper supplement, which contains five pictures: 1) “The La Clede Hotel in Eddyville is where the famed musician of the late 1800s, Jinny Lind, also known as the ‘Swedish Singing Nightingale’ performed.” 2) “One of the old tobacco companies burned by the Night Riders in 1907.”, 3) “A view of the old railroad depot in old Eddyville.”, 4) “The old Lyon County Junior High in Eddyville.”, 5) “The streets of old Eddyville looking toward the prison.”]
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this information as much as I did when it was first published. Now I’m looking for my next project…..