Sarah Smith Russell house

Sarah Smith Russell house

The circa 1880 one-story frame house at 28 St. Catherine bears “echoes of the Italianate style” or Vernacular Italianate and was constructed by at least 1886″ at the beginning of Queen Anne period in Natchez” (Mary Warren Miller, 1995, NRHP nomination form for Holy Family Catholic Church Historic District).  The house

…rests on brick foundation piers and is surmounted by a v-crimp metal, hipped roof.  The house is sheathed in clapboard.  Inset beneath the roof is a full-width gallery that is supported by bracketed chamfered posts linked by a sawn balustrade and frieze.  Windows are filled with six-over-six, double-hung sash.  The center-bay doorway consists of a replacement six-panel single-leaf door set within a transom and sidelights over molded panels. (Warren, 1995)

Sarah Smith Russell was one of Eliza Smith’s daughters.  Eliza Smith was a free woman of color who purchased property on St. Catherine street sometime in the 1850s, according to Natchez Trails.  Ms. Smith’s property was located on the south side of St. Catherine street (Natchez Bulletin, 19 July 1869, p. 3).  Her daughter Sarah was emancipated in 1853, along with two other women of color who were “for a long time in my service” at the death of Daniel Webster (Natchez Daily Courier, 19 January 1853, p. 3).

20-30 St Catherine Street

E. Sidney Russell was the collector of Internal Revenue tax at Natchez in 1867, and appeared throughout the newspaper notices in his capacity as Chancery clerk in the 1850s.  By 1855, he purchased the Mansion House hotel, and offered it for sale in 1856, leaving the business in 1858 to pursue the Rosalie Club in 1859.


Sarah Smith’s son Louis Kastor was a successful businessman, and very influential.  He was re-elected for a number of terms as a trustee of the Union school.  His shop was on the corner of Franklin and Union.  Kastor’s house was no. 41 St. Catherine, on the north side of the street in 1898, which is now identified as 7A St. Catherine street, across from the Russell house.  The Louis Kastor house is now the Webb Funeral Home, remodeled around 1955 to its present state from a Queen Anne style.

Louis Kastor home

Charles Russell, Sarah Smith Russell’s youngest son, ran a confectionary and ice business on Franklin Street.

This entry was posted in Historic Black Business Districts, Historic Downtowns, Italianate architecture, Mississippi and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sarah Smith Russell house

  1. Sheryl says:

    I really like the “gingerbread” woodwork on the porch of the house on Catherine Street. It’s probably been replaced across the years. I wonder if this was part of the original style of the house.


    • Suzassippi says:

      I am not certain about that, although it was not noted in the nomination form if it was a later addition. Several historic houses in this town were altered as styles changed, but still are considered contributing due to the original construction dates and a high degree of integrity. That style of trim is fairly common in Natchez though.


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