Augustus Garland House
Constructed in 1873, the Augustus Garland House was home to multiple politicians and other notables from Arkansas. Located in the Quapaw Quarter in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the home includes both Gothic and Italianate Victorian details. Added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 10, 1975, the home is also part of the MacArthur Park Historic District.
Born in Tennessee in 1832, Augustus Garland grew up in Washington (Hempstead County) and studied law. Serving in both the Confederate House of Representatives and the Confederate Senate, Garland returned to his law practice after the end of the Civil War. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1867, Garland was not seated.
Living in Little Rock, he contracted with Ward and Lavender to construct a home for approximately $8,000. Sitting on a lot at the corner of Scott Street and East Daisy Gatson Bates Drive (known at that time as 14th Street), the home faces east. Descriptions of the home refer to the structure as reminiscent of a steamboat due to the two-story porches on the east and north sides.
The house is surrounded by a low wrought-iron fence, and a brick sidewalk is located on the east and north sides of the property. The brick sidewalk leads from the street to the front of the home, which rests on a brick foundation. Notable on the first floor are double-hung sash windows large enough to allow visitors to walk directly through the opening when the window is completely opened. Regular entrance is gained via a double door located on the south side of the front porch. Other details include a bracketed cornice and a single-story wing at the rear of the house that originally served as a kitchen.
Augustus Garland and his family lived in the home for a short period. The year after construction, Garland was elected governor and served until his selection to the U.S. Senate in 1876. Taking office the following year, he served until 1885, when he resigned to serve as attorney general in the administration of President Grover Cleveland. Garland’s wife, Sarah, died in 1877, and the family moved to Washington DC in 1883.
Pulaski County sheriff John G. Fletcher moved his family into the house, renting it from the Garlands. Poet John Gould Fletcher was born in the home. After Garland refused to sell the house to the Fletchers, they purchased the nearby Pike-Fletcher-Terry House. Garland deeded the home to his three surviving children in 1896, and they sold it in 1900 to Emily Roots, the widow of Logan H. Roots. Roots gave the home to her daughter Frances in 1905 as a wedding gift. Frances married William Starr Mitchell, publisher of the Arkansas Democrat, and the home became known as the Garland-Mitchell House.
In 1917, Mitchell received an appointment as the treasurer of the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis and rented the home to newly elected Governor Charles Hillman Brough. (The state did not provide housing for the governor until the construction of the Governor’s Mansion in 1950.) The Mitchells owned the home in 1975 when it was added to the National Register. At the time of the nomination, the house had been renovated to accommodate three apartments. These renovations took place sometime in the 1940s.
The house remained with the Mitchell family until 1999, when it was sold. It was sold again in 2018 and continued to serve as a multi-family home.
For additional information:
“Augustus Garland House.” National Register for Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Office, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at https://www.arkansasheritage.com/docs/default-source/national-registry/pu2938-pdf.pdf?sfvrsn=2cd37f5c_0 (accessed September 27, 2023).
“MacArthur Park Historic District.” National Register for Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Office, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at https://www.arkansasheritage.com/docs/default-source/national-registry/pu9768_comb_nr-pdf.pdf?sfvrsn=28b21bc6_0 (accessed September 27, 2023).
Southeastern Louisiana University
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