N. R. Sledge Store (1872)
The N.R. Sledge Store was designed by architect James B. Cook, and Johnson was the contractor, making this his first building endeavor in Como. The building was demolished in the 1970’s.
It was built in the rear of the already standing Sledge store on Main Street. The new store was 120 feet deep and 50 feet wide. There were two wide, handsomely built stairways to the second floor plus an elevator for goods.
The Panola Star featured a long article describing the attributes of this two-story, double-brick store. The article stated, “…the south room on the lower floor is used for groceries and plantation supplies, and the north one for dry goods.” It continued, “…we are particularly pleased with the…ladies’ department. This is a new feature in stores…the showcases, counters, and shelving being the most elegant we have ever seen, the floor is carpeted, with elegant mirrors suspended from the walls reaching from floor to ceiling…and leading from this room by a private door is a bathing and dressing room for ladies, with a water-closet attached.” (November 16, 1872)
Johnson researcher, Judy Holland, wrote that Mr. Sledge “…was apparently so pleased that he was instrumental in Johnson receiving the contract on Holy Innocents Episcopal Church” (see below). (“The Panola Story, Andrew Johnson’s Legacy to Panola County.” Panola County Genealogical and Historical Society, p. 17)
Holy Innocents Episcopal Church (1873)
311 North Main Street
Holy Innocents Church is “…one of the most sophisticated of the few Carpenter Gothic style churches remaining in Mississippi.” (The National Register of Historic Places: “Holy Innocents Episcopal Church,” November 5, 1987) Johnson was the contractor for this church designed by James B. Cook. This church is the only building of the four known Cook/Johnson collaborations that is still standing.
On November 16, 1872, the Panola Star reported, “…that a contract would be let out for building an Episcopal Church in the place in a short time, to cost about $4,000.”
The cornerstone was laid December 25, 1872, with the building completed the following year. Holy Innocents was consecrated on October 21, 1873.
The one-story, white clapboard church has a steeply pitched slate roof (originally cypress shingles). The centered entrance has stained glass windows on each side with a circular window above. The porch also has a steeply pitched roof with four, short, paired square posts and a pointed, arched opening.
The building’s front gable is decorated with paired brackets and a cross at the top.
There are five tall, rectangular, stained glass windows surrounded by plain trim and sills that run the length of the nave on each side of the building. There is a large stained glass window with a pointed arch behind the altar.
Inside there are straight, exposed, dark-stained beams supporting the ceiling that are connected to curved beams that continue half-way down the wall. Exposed, dark-stained beams are also used in the chancel. There is a pointed arch trimmed with exposed, dark-stained wood at the opening of the chancel, and this arch is mirrored on each side by smaller arches.
The circular window on the front of the church was given by Mrs. N.R. Sledge in the name of her grandchildren and in memory of their mother. Parish records show that Mr. Sledge, one of the founders of the church, paid off the remaining expenses for the construction of the church when donations were incomplete. (The National Register of Historic Places: “Holy Innocents Episcopal Church,” November 5, 1987)
N. R. Sledge-Maybelle Taylor House-Twin Stairs (1873)
Twin Stairs was a one-story house with storage below. It was destroyed by fire in 1970.
The house featured a steeply pitched roof and two sets of stairs leading to the main floor.
This house is not on the National Register of Historic Places.
Taylor-Falls Cottage (1885)
206 Pointer Avenue
The Taylor-Falls Cottage is an L-shaped cottage with a steeply pitched, multi-gabled roof, and three chimneys. This house is the only L-shaped cottage Johnson built in Como.
The front door has a glass transom and multi-pane side windows. The front porch extends across most of the front of the house. It has delicate posts with carved brackets and a bulls-eye decoration. There are two floor-to-ceiling windows on the porch. A bay window, which has two windows on the front and one on each side, is in the front gabled pavilion.
This house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. It was moved from 110 Sycamore Street to its present location in 1919.
Dr. A. S. Yarbrough House-Home Place Plantation (1887)
Home Place Plantation is not on the National Register of Historic Places, but it is reported to have been built by Johnson. It was located outside of Como and is now non-extant.
Taylor-Mansker House (1891)
304 North Sycamore Street
The Taylor-Mansker House is the only known brick house Johnson built in his career. It is a two-story, gable-roofed house with porches on the first and second floors.
The first floor porch is across most of the front of the house and has floor-to-ceiling windows. There are paired, fluted columns on the porch with Ionic capitals.
The second-story porch is on the front but is smaller than the one below it. It also has grouped columns with Ionic capitals. The entry way has an art-glass transom. There is a green tile roof with gabled windows protruding from it.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of this house is the elaborately decorated gable end (see photograph below). It has a square-cut bay window with brick pilasters on the first floor, changing to wood on the second. An arched opening frames the second floor window with intricate woodwork and latticework.
This house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
Tait-Taylor House (1892)
201 Oak Avenue
The Tait-Taylor House is a Queen Anne style, one-and-a-half story, gable-roofed house. The entry door has a glass transom and bulls-eye decoration.
There is a shallow, roofed porch that wraps around from the front to the side of the house. On the porch there are slender, turned posts with pierced brackets above. There are floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto the porch. There is a small back porch.
The front gable features a wheel window. There is a square-cut bay window on the front with two square windows above it. A gable on the side of the house also has two square windows.
An interesting historical note about this house is that a fabled antebellum house, Heaven Trees, had been on this property. It was torn down by the 1892 owners. They were convinced by Johnson, however, to salvage some of the fine, old growth lumber to be used in this newer house. (Thomas S. Hines, William Faulkner and the Tangible Past, 1997.)
402 Sycamore Street
Oakhurst is not included on the National Register of Historic Places because the second owner made significant architectural changes. The owner did not want a Queen Anne house so the octagonal tower was removed as well as many other Victorian features (see second photograph below).
Wardlaw-Swango House (1898)
204 North Sycamore Street
The Wardlaw-Swango House is a one-and-a-half story, 4,135 square foot, Queen Anne house that features an octagonal tower with a steeply pitched, tent-style roof that is shingled and has a round-arched window at the top. There is a broad front gable with four windows. A second gable has a rectangular decorative glass window.
The main entrance has two glass paneled doors with a transom above. There is a small front porch with two square, wooden columns on brick piers.
The National Register of Historic Places write-up for this house says, “Johnson skillfully employed classical and ‘modern’ motifs to produce an exuberant Queen Anne structure.” (The National Register of Historic Places: “The Architecture of Andrew Johnson in North Mississippi,” 1984.)
Craig-Seay House (1899)
108 Craig Street
The Craig-Seay House is a 3,700 square foot, Queen Anne, two-and-a-half story house. It features a wrap-around front porch with Ionic columns. The entry door has a glass transom with a decorative diamond-shaped window next to the door. There is also a second story, two-bay porch decorated with large, square posts.
This house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. It is the same design as the Taylor-Wall-Yancy house in Sardis.
The National Register of Historic Places quotes Ana Gordon as saying of the Taylor-Wall-Yancy house, this house “…shows Johnson’s capable transition from L-shaped cottages to the more elaborate residences preferred at the turn-of-the-century.” Gordon goes on to say, this house shows a “…successful and graceful blend of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival elements.” (National Register of Historic Places: “The Architecture of Andrew Johnson in North Mississippi,” 1984.)
Popular Price Store (1899)
215 Main (Railroad) Street
The Popular Price Store on Main Street in Como is one of only a few two-story buildings on the street.
The facade of the building features four windows in arched openings on the second floor. There are also four, arched ventilation windows higher on the facade that are recessed. The main floor has a covered porch and a recessed door.
The significance of the Popular Price Store is that it was the only commercial structure built by Andrew Johnson that was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
This building also is said to resemble the N.R. Sledge Store in Como built in 1872 (see top of this page) that was demolished in the 1970’s. The N.R. Sledge store was the first commercial structure Johnson built in Como.
This building has been used as a store, a doctor’s office, and the telephone company office. It is currently the home of the Como Inn on Main.
Other Buildings in Como
Other Buildings in Como
The following buildings in Como are listed as having been built by Andrew Johnson in: “The Panola Story, Andrew Johnson’s Legacy to Panola County,” Panola County Genealogical and Historical Society (April-June 1982). This article is compiled from a research paper by Judith Holland. They may also be mentioned in the Panola Star and/or The Southern Reporter newspapers. Most of the dates are from the newspapers.
None of these buildings has been included on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is not known for certain Johnson built them. Some of them may be non-extant.
J.B. Wardlaw House
R.M. Short House
Methodist Parsonage (1881)
Episcopal Rectory (1881)
Porter House (1883)
J.B. Smith House (1883)
Ms. Susie Rambaut’s House (1896)
Monroe Pointer’s Brick Store (1899)
M.W. Wesson’s Brick Store (1899)
Stark Young House (remodel 1870)