The Case-Shiras-Dearmore House, located at 351 East 4th Street in Mountain Home (Baxter County), is a two-story wood-frame house in the Plain Traditional style, with a cut-stone outbuilding located to the rear (west side) of the house. The house is perhaps best known for its association with the noted Baxter County newspaper publisher Tom Shiras of the Baxter Bulletin. However, it was also the home of Dr. J. H. Case, the first dentist in Mountain Home. The Case-Shiras-Dearmore House was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 3, 1992.
The ell-shaped, intersecting gable roof plan of the main house features a historic gable roof addition at its northern end. The front (east) façade consists of a gable end section to the south and the side of the intersecting gable roof section to the north. The gable end features a hipped roof and a projecting rectangular central bay on the first story, which is lit with a single wood sash window on each of the three sides. Two symmetrical wood sash windows light the second story, and a broad fascia board trims the cornice.
A single-story shed-roof porch runs along the center sections of the front of the house, supported by sloping Craftsman columns and stone piers connected by a stone balustrade. The back façade consists of the projecting rear wall of the northern addition and a projecting shed-roof entrance bay attached to the northern end of the enclosed rear porch.
The house and grounds have changed significantly over the years. In 1889, Jeannie McFarland Case contracted for the construction of the addition at the northern end of the house in order to convert it into a hotel. The stone outbuilding was likely built at this time as well. This building’s cellar was used for storing canned goods for hotel guests. The structure originally had three interior brick chimneys, but these were removed circa 1918 with the arrival of Mountain Home’s first electric power generator. The original weatherboard walls and trim were put behind aluminum siding. The stone outbuilding had a second story added to it and its basement filled, although it remains on its original site. None of the former wooden outbuildings—servants’ quarters, barns, or carriage shelters—have survived.
Dr. J. H. Case and Jennie McFarland Case moved to Mountain Home in 1873 and established the town’s first dentistry practice. Bushwhackers had repeatedly destroyed much of the town over the course of the Civil War, and it was still unincorporated and relatively small by the time Case arrived. Perhaps because the local citizens’ priorities tended toward rebuilding rather than obtaining dental care, Case briefly moved to New Mexico to seek better fortune. The family returned three years later and began constructing the Case-Shiras-Dearmore house two years after that.
Around 1900, Tom Shiras, who eventually married into the Case family, moved to Mountain Home from Kansas City, Missouri, after working in the area as part of a Missouri Pacific Railroad surveying crew. He purchased a local newspaper, the Baxter Bulletin, by 1904 and persuaded his brother Enness, an experienced typesetter, to join him. The Baxter Bulletin eventually became the principal news source for the region. The brothers continued to reside in the house until the late 1970s, when they sold the paper. Tom Case’s granddaughter, Ethel Dearmore, and her husband, Ben Dearmore, also lived in the house.
For additional information:
Blevins, Bill D. Baxter County Chronicles. Mountain Home, AR: Tumbling Shoals Publishing Co., 2005.
“Case-Shiras-Dearmore House.” National Register for Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Office, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at https://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/BA0061.nr.pdf (accessed January 28, 2020).
“The Case-Shiras-Dearmore House.” Baxter County History 17 (June 1991): 48.
Messick, Mary Ann. History of Baxter County, 1873–1973. Mountain Home, AR: Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce, 1973.
Henderson State University
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