Several years ago, Malvaney posted some pictures of the beautiful house at 831 Gillespie Street in Jackson. According to the Belhaven Historic District National Register nomination the house was built c.1916 for Overstreet as his personal residence. The National Register nomination also mentions several other houses that Overstreet designed in the neighborhood that were built the late teens and the nineteen-twenties.
Recently, I was looking through some 1920 census records and was surprised to see the name of N. W. Overstreet and family listed as domiciled at 1264 North President Street, just a short distance from Gillespie Street. My initial thought was that perhaps the 831 Gillespie house was built a bit later than initially anticipated, but the house appears on the November 1918 Sanborn map, so I became even more puzzled. Checking the 1930 and 1940 census records show that Overstreet was still living 1264 North President Street. The 1943-1947 Jackson City Directories give Overstreet’s home address as 1529 Peachtree. By 1954-1959 the family address is given as 940 Bellevue Place. A Northside Sun article dated September 27, 1973, gives his home address as 747 Belhaven Street.
As for 831 Gillespie itself, a 1963 Clarion-Ledger article lists the house as the Owens family residence. In 1966 the house was listed for sale in the Clarion-Ledger. Conceivably, Overstreet bought his house back, yet moved to 747 Belhaven Street before 1973, the year of his passing? Not implausible but somewhat doubtful.
So perhaps Overstreet’s personal association with the residence comes prior to 1920. Overstreet’s June 5, 1917 draft registration does state that 831 Gillespie is his home, as did the 1916 Jackson City Directory. Looking into the Clarion-Ledger, I found this gem of an advertisement, that places the date of construction to earlier than originally believed. In November of 1914, Overstreet offered the house for sale or rent.
For all anyone knows Overstreet was not able to find a buyer or renter for the house and lived there until he could? Unfortunately, the statement that Overstreet lived in this house for nearly 60 years just doesn’t seem to be the case. What is sad to see also is that so many of his documented residences have gone the way of the wrecking ball. The houses at 1264 North President, 940 Bellevue Place, and 747 Belhaven Street are just the ones we know about.