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Headquarters House Museum (Jonas M. Tebbetts House)

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1853, George Baker; later additions. 118 E. Dickson St.
  • (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, A Division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, Mason Toms, photographer)

This one-story wooden cottage built by Baker, a carpenter, for Jonas M. and Matilda Winlock Tebbetts is a modest Greek Revival design. Its pedimented portico, supported by two fluted wooden Doric columns, is adorned with dentils, as are the eaves. The red brick chimneys, one at each end of the house, are decorated with corbels. The transomed and sidelit entrance opens to a central hall, with two rooms on each side, which include a study, with a brick fireplace and its original wooden mantel, and a parlor, with a marble fireplace and wooden mantel. The central hall terminates at a dining room that later was lengthened. All interior doorways and windows are topped with Greek key moldings. Upstairs a room that is not visible when looking at the facade was part of the original structure. Two later wings now flank the building.

Tebbetts, born in New Hampshire, was a lawyer and judge who always proclaimed himself a Union man. He was arrested early in the Civil War as a spy and incarcerated in Fort Smith; he later fled north. Both Confederate and Union forces occupied his house during the war. In 1967, the Washington County Historical Society acquired the house and now maintains it as a house museum and the society’s office.

At the northwest corner of the property is the one-room law office (c. 1840) of Governor Archibald Yell, which was moved here in 1992 from a site on S. College Avenue one mile south of the Tebbetts house. It serves as a memorial museum to Yell, Arkansas’s first representative in the U.S. Congress and the state’s second governor. Yell was killed in 1847 in the Mexican-American War. The office is an unassuming white-painted frame building with a stone chimney at the north end and a double pitched cedar-shingled roof that extends on one side to cover a verandah supported on four wooden columns. The other building on the property, a one-room red brick smoke-house, is on its original site.

Writing Credits

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors


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Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Headquarters House Museum (Jonas M. Tebbetts House)", [Fayetteville, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 50-51.

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