Another historic Mississippi house is getting a face-lift and you may or may nor have heard of it. It's the Amos Deason home in Ellisville, and not only is the house architecturally and historically significant, but it fits greatly into the lore of one of the state's most colorful characters.
Amos Deason built the home back in 1845. Over the years it has been expanded and remodeled. Today the windows are being rebuilt. But it still retains the essence of that first little cottage.
The Tallahalla chapter of the DAR owns the house. Justine Jones says there are plenty of reasons to keep up the Deason home.
"This is a very central part of Jones County history," said Jones. "A lot of events sort of circled around the house, particularly in the late 1800s, the civil war, post civil war era."
Back during the Civil War there was a band of deserters hiding out in the swamps along the Leaf River in Jones County under the leadership of Newt Knight. Both the north and the south were trying to root him and his little army out, because Knight thwarted the efforts of army raiders, both north and south, from confiscating the private property of the people who lived there.
Jones County became known as the free state of Jones, and the Deason home comes into play in that story, because Major Amos McLemore was sent by the Confederacy to capture Knight and was staying in the house in 1863.
And then, of course, the most important and infamous event that occurred here was the assassination of Major Amos McLemore by Mr. Knight, Newt Knight, in the house in October.
It was in the bedroom. One stormy evening McLemore was warming himself by the fire when Knight burst into the room from a door that opened onto a porch in those days, and shot the Major point blank.
The story circulated that for years afterward, every time a storm approached, the bloodstain reappeared on the floor in front of the fireplace. Today, no matter what else visitors to the home come to see, they always ask about the murder room and the bloodstain.
The bloodstain may still be there. But the original floor was been overlaid with another set of boards over the top of it decades ago, to hide it.
The Deason home in Ellisville, another place where history and infamy meet, and help nourish the legend of the free state of Jones and Newt Knight.
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