Captain Goodgame House

The Captain Goodgame House is a historic home located in the Holly Springs (Dallas County) area; it is near Arkansas Highway 128 just north of the intersection with Arkansas Highway 9. Constructed in 1918, the home is a late example of architectural details typically seen on nineteenth-century homes. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1983.

John Goodgame was a native of Bibb County, Alabama. Born in 1828, he moved to Holly Springs in 1851. He married Permila Watkins the following year, and the couple eventually had eight children. Goodgame farmed in Holly Springs until he enlisted in the Confederate army, where he served as an officer in the Thirty-Third Arkansas Infantry Regiment. Goodgame’s younger brother James also enlisted in the regiment and died on November 19, 1862. John Goodgame concluded the war as a captain, leading to his postwar title. Returning to Holly Springs, he began farming again and opened a store in 1879. He also served as postmaster.

The wooden house faces northeast and is fronted by a full-length front porch. Resting on tall brick piers, the home is topped with a shingle roof. The porch is topped with a modified hip roof and is supported by six evenly spaced posts. Access to the porch is gained by climbing a set of centrally located wooden steps. Entry to the home is through a centrally located front door, flanked by a set of double windows. The extended cornice creates prominent pediments.

The house includes a front die gable with an ell attached to the rear of the home. The northwest side includes a set of double-pane windows located side by side at the front of the home and two sets of side-by-side windows in the rear ell. The ell contains two rooms, including the modern kitchen. A separate kitchen was originally located behind the home but was replaced when the original dining room, located in the rear of the ell, was converted.

The interior includes five-panel walnut doors topped with single-pane transoms. The front door and the double sets of windows throughout the house included detailed moldings. The house is laid out based on a central hall accessed by the front door and with rooms on each side. The rooms include tall ceilings

John Goodgame died on February 3, 1927, and is buried in Holly Springs Cemetery. Permila Goodgame, who died in 1899, never lived in the home. The home continues to be occupied and in private hands in the twenty-first century.

The house is a good example of architectural styles that were popular in the nineteenth century even though it was constructed in the early twentieth century.

For additional information:
Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas. Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1978.

“Captain Goodgame House.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Office, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at (accessed July 15, 2020).

David Sesser
Henderson State University


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