The house next to Georgia Power’s office on Confederate Avenue in Dallas may look new, but the structure was built in 1893.
The home likely was built out of wood, as was typical for that time, and originally was owned by William Henry and Sarah Matthews Bone. Sarah Matthews Bone was the granddaughter of Malachi Pickett, who owned the land where Pickett’s Mill State Park now stands. Her husband ran a butcher shop on Main Street from 1897 until 1901.
In 1903, the Bones moved to Atlanta, selling the house to John Terrell Finch, a Confederate veteran who had fought in the Civil War. Finch spent most of his life as a farmer in the High Shoals community, and he bought the home in downtown Dallas at the age of 70, six years before he died.
“That was real common back then,” said Jason Edwards, Paulding County’s historian. “The prosperous farmers when they got older, if they could afford it, they would sell their farms to their sons and buy a house in town.”
After Finch’s death in 1909, his wife kept the house, renting it to Robert S. and Sally Watson Briggs until eventually selling it to the couple in 1919. Robert Briggs was a shoemaker and ran a shoe shop in town. He died in 1924, and after his death, his widow rented the house off and on until she sold it to Oscar William and Johnie Butler Durham in 1946.
According to the book The Heritage of Paulding County, Georgia 1832-1999, Durham received his first teaching contract in 1911 with the Paulding County Board of Education, and he finished his education at the Southern School of Telegraphy in Newman in 1913.
He taught in several two-room elementary schools before starting work with Southern Railway in 1916, and then joined the Army in 1917, serving overseas for six months before being discharged in 1919.
Edwards said he didn’t know who owned the house after Durham and said that house likely is currently vacant.
“I know the Durhams lived there for a long, long time,” Edwards said.
About eight years ago, vinyl siding was added to the outside of the house and new windows were installed. But one aspect has remained the same—the house still has what likely are original sidelights, the skinny windows around the door.