The Hotchkiss House, built c.1895, is one of the most architecturally unusual structures in the state. Built by an architect as an example of his variety of abilities, the house combines styles from classic to Victorian in its eclectic style.
The two-and-one-half story house is of frame construction with a multi-gabled roof. Resting on a brick foundation the house is T-shaped. Weatherboards cover the first floor, with shingling on the second story and on the gable ends. The exterior combines various styles of bay windows, porticos and dormers which provide a total eclectic effect.
The interior of the Hotchkiss House features highly crafted woodwork in doors, mantels, wainscotting, baseboards, and ceiling moldings. The stairway in the foyer features paneled and incised line step ends and an unusual fan-shaped piece with spindles at the turn of the stairs.
The architecturally significant structure was constructed by local architect S. C. Hotchkiss. He was born in Homer, Michigan, January 28, 1841. At the age of six he moved with his family to New York and in 1852 the family moved to Chicago.
In Chicago Hotchkiss attended private schools. In 1857 he graduated from Sloan Commercial College in Chicago.
As a young boy, Hotchkiss had a natural talent for architecture and in his leisure time and during school vacations he studied under W. H. Boyington, a prominent architect of the time, Hotchkiss apprenticed himself to Jonathan Clark, a leading builder in Chicago for three years without pay to learn carpentering and contracting.
Hotchkiss lived in Chicago for 29 years. As his health began to fail, he, by advice of a physician, journeyed southward. In 1868 he stopped in Springfield, Missouri, staying until 1888 when he moved to Monticello, Arkansas.
Although when Hotchkiss moved to southeast Arkansas the demand for an architect was small, he saw possibilities of establishing an architectural firm. He built up a strong architectural business and was responsible for designing many of Monticello's finer structures. Hotchkiss died in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, on January 14, 1909.
The Hotchkiss House has had one other owner between Hotchkiss' death and the time the present owners purchased the house. It now belongs to the Davis family, who have authentically restored the house to its present excellent condition. As one of the state's most architecturally unusual structures, the house is a local landmark. Its interesting features combine to provide an eclectic feeling and make the Hotchkiss House a significant historical structure.
The Advance. January 14, 1909.
Arkansas Gazette. January 14, 1909.
Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry T. Personal interview at Hotchkiss House, July 8, 1976.
Industrial and Souvenir Edition of the Advance, December 17, 1907.