THE FIRST TO ARRIVE
Early Settlers of Jasper County
November 3, 1971
Written by Mrs. Charles Martin
MORE EARLY JASPER COUNTY HOMES
Hardy Pace, who came to Bevil's Settlement in 1825 with his stepfather, Thomas Watts, built two houses, both of which have survived the perils of wind, fire, and progress. The first of these houses was built sometime between 1827, when he married Mahala Isaacks, and 1836.
Located Northwest of Jasper in the PeachTree community, it is on an unpaved country road about a quarter of a mile west of the Morris Ferry Road. The house has been lived in continuously, but today, is only a part of the original structure.
The second Pace house is up the road about one hundred yards and is between the first house and the Morris Ferry Rd. Because of his rapidly growing family (there were nine children by 1840), Pace had to build a larger house.
It will be noted that neither of the Pace houses has an open hall, though the shape and form of the first is uncertain, for the builder used a part of it in the construction of the second. The second house, however, has an upper half-story, an unusual feature at this early time. The stick-and-mud chimney seen in the photograph dates from the 1890 and was the second or third for the house. It has not been used for many years.
The interior of the house is especially interesting. Dimensions of the fireplace room, now the family living-room, are 20'8" by 17'4", and access to the upper floor, no longer used, was by a disappearing ladder.
The old dining table, used in the kitchen, is made of cypress 39" by 60" and the two benches, ash puncheon, are as sturdy as ever. Both houses, one might say, stay in the family, for the present owner, A. E. Dubose of Jasper, is a stepson. Pace's granddaughter Minnie Hancock Dubose. Mr. And Mrs. Lee Karr, brother-in-law and sister of the owner, live there. In 1964 an historic building medallion was awarded.
The third Hardy Pace house is in Cobb County, Georgia, at Vinings across the Chattahoochie River from Atlanta and was put together from slave cabins after the return of the Pace family who had fled before the Union Army during the Atlanta Campaign. The historical marker states the Hardy Pace residence was headquarters for General O. O. Howard July 10-11, 1864, while he was preparing the move on Atlanta.
The seventeen-room house was used as a Federal hospital as long as needed, then destroyed.
When the refugee family returned, they moved several slave cabins together to make shelter for themselves, and the final result of the effort is seen in the picture.
The present owner, a descendant, uses the house for guests. Since Hardy Pace is not a common name and since the early Jasper County settler was a native of Georgia, local Atlanta historians are of the opinion that the two men were related.
The Weiss (sic - WIESS) house was built in 1840 for Simon Weiss (sic - WIESS), a Polish Jew, man of means, and world traveler, who fell in love with a young Scottish girl, Margaret Sturrock, whom he met in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and the travels ended.
After overcoming objections of the Sturrocks, they were married in 1836 and went to Nacogdoches, Texas, to live. Not finding there opportunities for investment and trade, in 1838 Weiss (sic) took his family and a commercial load of cotton down the Neches River in a keelboat to Sabine Pass.
After selling the cotton in New Orleans, he went to Grigsby's Bluff but left in 1840 to settle permanently at Grant's (now Weiss's) Bluff (sic Wiess' Bluff) at the head of a dry weather navigation on the Neches River. The house, of log construction was occupied by the family well into the twentieth century but is presently owned by J. C. Chance of Beaumont.
At some time the entire building was covered by shiplap and painted, but the log structure is revealed in the deeply recessed windows. C. B. "Buck" Herndon of Kirbyville is a great-great grandson of Simon Weiss (sic).
The West house, known also as the Sud West or Jess Lazenby place, was built in the mid 1850's by William West, oldest son of Jefferson and Nancy Sudduth West, after his marriage to Cassandra Walters.
The only part of the original log structure that remains is the front, and these two rooms were covered by boxing many years ago. The house has been owned and occupied since it was built by William West and his descendants.
Present owners are Mr. And Mrs. J. B. Lazenby, the latter being a granddaughter of the builder.
William McMahon, according to descendants, built his house in 1835, and it has been occupied continuously by some member of the family. The style of architecture is somewhat different from other old houses discussed in this series, for the chimney is in the center, not at the end of a gable.
For more about William McMahon see the Banner issue for September 1, 1971.