Saturday, February 4, 2023

Oxford House Tour — The Roberts Neilson Home Built in 1870

The Roberts-Neilson house in Oxford.

The Roberts-Neilson House, 911 S. Lamar Blvd., built sometime around 1870, is attributed to architect G. M. Torgerson.
Most folks from my generation think of this as the Brown’s house before they moved to the lake.
But Jack Case Wilson of Oxford has the best chronology for the house. He explains, “The Roberts home, or whatever else you want to call it, was built by Oxford merchant Charles Roberts (a name he assumed when he ran away from an apprenticeship) after the War. The Longest House next door (where the Lyerlys once lived) were each built on 1/2 of the block-long lot where Confederate General Talliafero once had his antebellum home. It was burned along with Jacob Thompson’s and some others when General A.J. “Whiskey” Smith burned central Oxford and selected homes in 1864.
Jack adds, “The Roberts House is a 2nd Empire style (French) with a typical Mansard roof line. I noticed not long ago that the beautiful back lawn has been subdivided and another house built. It seems a shame as are enormous additions to the Longest House.”
William Michael McNew commented on this story,  “It’s amazing the number of people on here who know all about the area. Your whole childhood is expertly commented on and as soon as someone knows something someone else adds to the knowledge. Its like having a team of experts testify on judgement day. Blown away!”
Courtesy of John Cofield. Cofield is a writer and one of Oxford’s leading folk historians. He is the son of renowned university photographer Jack Cofield. His grandfather, Col. J.R Cofield, was William Faulkner’s personal photographer and for decades was Ole Miss yearbook photographer. Cofield attended Ole Miss as well.Contact John at