Darden-Gifford House

Darden-Gifford HouseAddress Restricted - White
Address Restricted
Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 1/1/76

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The Gifford House is a two-and-one-half story structure built in 1887. It is one of the oldest structures in the area and is significant to the locale as a reminder of the two families who have owned it. Architecturally the Gifford House is significant in its uniqueness and detailed workmanship. It is probably the most architecturally interesting house in the area.

J. S. Darden was born in Tennessee in 1833. After working in a blacksmith shop in Missouri, he moved to White County, Arkansas, in 1865. Just a short time later he began his sawmill and flourmill business. By 1887 Darden had been successful enough in his business to construct a house on the property he owned. He hired architects DeVoss and Carr from the nearby town of Heber Springs to supervise the work. From his own sawmill Darden took the finest cuts of lumber. The virgin pine used in constructing the house was largely without knots. Darden became wealthy and invested his money in the land surrounding his house. By 1890 he owned over 2,000 acres of land.

In 1908 Darden sold the house and 160 acres surrounding it to J. S. Gifford. Gifford was a retired banker from Republican City, Nebraska. Five generations of Giffords have lived in the house. The present owner, J. S. Gifford, Jr., has lived in the house since 1946.

The architecture of the Gifford House represents the tastes of a successful sawmill owner in the 1880s. The house is historically significant because of its association with families prominent in the history of that area of White County.


Gifford, Mr.and Mrs. Joel S. Personal interview at Gifford House, August 12, 1975.

Goodspeed Publishing Company. Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas. Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1890.

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