Old houses nearly a thing of the past

By Terry Harpole

MABEN — In today’s time, when many older houses are being torn down and newer ones built, we lose much history about the people who once lived in them, where they came from and what they did.

However, some people are trying to preserve these old houses. Many of those who are trying to preserve these old houses and keep them looking as much like they did in the years gone by are retired, or maybe working and doing this in their spare time. This is a really expensive thing to do, but when, and if ever finished, it is a job they are happy they did.

Such is the case in two old houses where members of the Harpole families lived. One is the home of Pressley Berry Harpole — one of 10 children of William Carroll and Anna Arnold Harpole, who moved to Oktibbeha County from Bibb County, Ala., in 1851, — who was born in 1856 and married Rachel Sudduth.

Pressley and Rachel Harpole built their house in 1880 and raised three children. This house is now being rebuilt in a way that it will look much the same as when it was built, thanks to the work of the great-granddaughter of the Harpoles, Gwen Perkins, and husband, Benny.

Another house, within walking distance of the Harpole house, was built many years later, by one of the sons of Pressley Harpole, Dan and his wife, Glovinia Wooten Harpole, and is owned by Pat Harpole and her daughter, Sheryl Perkins. Pat is the widow of one of the grandsons of Pressley Berry and Rachel Harpole.

These two houses are interesting to see. In October, one of the visitors who came by to see the houses and who had not seen them since he was a young boy is a great-grandson of Pressley Berry and Rachel Harpole. He and his family from around the Tunica area drove down to look the houses over.

These are two old houses in Oktibbeha County that have been around awhile and both have much history to tell.

“Oh, if only walls could talk.”