The original owner of the house, Michael Bozeman, was a native of Georgia. Born in 1808, he moved to the new state of Alabama in 1819. He married Lucy Ann Browning in 1827, and the couple moved to the Arkansas Territory in 1835. The couple eventually had nine children. The family lived on a tract of land about six miles west of Arkadelphia (Clark County).
Bozeman farmed a number of crops but focused on cotton. The family lived in a log cabin when they first arrived in Arkansas. Construction on a new house began around 1847, at a cost of “$1,500 and one slave,” according to the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. The building is one and a half stories with double pile and a central hall. The structure has two chimneys and two interior staircases. The staircases lead to separate rooms on the second floor, and access between the rooms was not possible. This allowed males and females to be separated at night.
The exterior of the house is covered in clapboard and has a portico on the front of the building that faces south. The two main entrances have double doors, and all of the doors are paneled. The lumber for the home was cut using a mule-powered saw. Several additions have been made to the house over the years, and some renovation work has been done on both the interior and exterior.
Bozeman continued to acquire land and, by 1852, owned more than 9,000 acres. He also served in the Arkansas Senate. The house served as a meeting spot in the community, and the family was involved with the founding of the nearby Mt. Bethel Baptist Church. The house was along the route of the Federal army under Major General Frederick Steele, which marched through Clark County during the Camden Expedition. What was later called the Skirmish at Arkadelphia took place near the home.
Michael Bozeman died in 1883 and is buried in a cemetery behind the house. Lucy Ann Bozeman died in 1886 and is buried next to her husband. The home was occupied for more than a century but, by 1959, was not inhabited. At the time of its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the property was owned by the Ross Foundation. It later returned to private ownership and began serving as a private home.
For additional information:
Miller, Frezil. “Bozeman House Nomination Form.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form, 1978. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/CL0748.nr.pdf (accessed May 27, 2017).
Newberry, Farrar. Through the Eyes of Farrar Newberry. Arkadelphia, AR: Clark County Historical Association, 2002.
Henderson State University
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