Asa and Mary B. Hopkins were the parents of Irene, Laura, and Bunch Hopkins. They lived in a house at 306 North Main Street in Springfield. It was a house built by Dr. R.K. Hicks – a gravel house.
The story of this home was written by A.L. Dorsey, a local attorney. He and his wife would later live in the house, also.
Initially the lot had been owned by a man whose last name was Perkins. Supposedly, he was a Confederate “guerilla.” He lived in a small frame house there.
Dorsey used the word “pestiferous” to describe Perkins. There were Federal troops in Springfield then, and Perkins apparently aggravated them as much as possible.
The Yankees burned down his house.
Dr. Hicks built the house where the Hopkins and the Dorseys would later live. At the time, North Main was referred to as the Russellville Turnpike.
Such a house, wrote Dorsey, was built of sand, lime, and cement. The inside and outside of the walls were plastered with a coat of more cement and lime.
Dorsey said that gravel houses never seemed to decay. They were “reinforced” with rocks at the corners. If plaster fell off, a little re-plastering was all that was needed.
According to Dr. W.P. Stone, Dr. Hicks was born in 1809 and came to Springfield in 1828. His practice began in 1835.
He partnered with Dr. Archibald Thomas. They had an office where the old 638 building is located.
Dr. Thomas had served in the Creek Indian War and during the War of 1812 with General Jackson. Thomas died in 1852.
Dr. Hicks practiced for 54 years, dying in 1889.
In 1871, the doctor had sold the gravel house to Asa Hopkins. In 1886 the house was sold to Carroll Huey. Huey had grown up in the Youngville community.
In Springfield he was the owner of a wholesale whiskey firm as well as a “redistilleration” firm. In 1880 he was listed as owning a grocery store.
Carroll Huey, like the Hopkins family, had encountered tragedy in his life. His first wife died when their sons were young. These sons were Thomas J. and Joseph Walton Huey.
Huey’s second wife died within two years of their marriage. Their son died in infancy.
There was a third wife, but his fourth wife, Susan Hawkins, was the mother of daughters, Annie and Mary.
“Robertson County’s Heritage of Homes” mentions that after he moved to Springfield, Carroll Huey operated the Sadler-Huey Flour Mill.
John V. Sprouse bought the house in 1925. He sold it to Dorsey and his wife, Linnie Sprouse Dorsey.
Dorsey was City Attorney by 1924. He served as local attorney for the Dark Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association and was owner of the “Robertson County News,” beginning in 1910.
(The newspaper merged with the “Springfield Herald” in 1917, when it was purchased by S.O. Murphey.)
Fortunately, A.L. Dorsey enjoyed writing and enjoyed local history. Many long-forgotten stories have been preserved – thanks to him.
In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.