LOOKING BACK: Queen Anne today, gone tomorrow

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, July 5, 2023

By Nancy Bell, Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation

These Queen Anne residences were built on the northwest corner of Clay and Farmer streets.

The house on the right was built by Margaret and Richard Walne in 1902. Most likely designed by architect Michael Donovan, it was built by the construction company of King and Patrick.

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On March 27, 1902, heavy rains which resulted in a considerable amount of damage across the city, caused the 12-foot tall brick wall on the Clay Street side of the house under construction to collapse “carrying with it many tons of earth and several pillars from beneath the house. The damage will amount to quite a considerable sum,” according to an article in the Vicksburg Herald.

The Walnes lived in the one-story house in the middle of the block, which is still extant, before building this house. Walne and his son, Hunt, owned a grocery store on Cherry Street near Harris Street which opened in 1904 and later a Cigar and Tobacco store. The elder Walne was a captain in the Confederate Army and later an adjutant in the Warren County chapter of the United Confederate Veterans and helped to raise funds for the purchase of Beauvoir, the post-war home of Jefferson Davis in Biloxi.

In April 1906, the Vicksburg Herald reported that Margaret Walne would build a new two-story cottage on Clay Street which “will be a neat modern frame cottage with seven rooms and bath, provided with modern sanitary plumbing and lighting.” Donovan designed this house and it was constructed by E.W. Pendergraft and Company. It was completed in September and was for rent.

By 1918, both houses were rental property. Margaret and Richard had moved to Port Gibson where at least one of their children lived. Richard died in 1925 and Margaret in 1930 and both were buried in Port Gibson, followed by all four children: Hunt, George, Flora and Richard. The houses remained rental houses and were eventually demolished. A commercial building was built on the corner and the 1906 house site is a vacant lot.