Sitting atop a small hill on South Main Street stands a testament to Rusk County’s earliest days. Constructed in 1855 by brothers David P. and Jas. Logan, the Howard Dickinson house has stood the test of time, but it has seen its fair share of dark days. But that begs the question … do spirits walk the halls of this 165-year-old house?
In its many years, the Howard Dickinson House has collected quite the number of spooky stories. For example, while being asked about paranormal phenomena in the house, Cyndi Walker of the Rusk County Heritage Association noticed that as soon as the words had left the reporters lips a large portrait fell off the wall. She believes this to be the spirit of Margaret Lee Houston, who took many frequent visits to the house during her husband Sam Houston’s time as president of the Republic of Texas.
Another member of the Heritage Association, Mark Thatcher, was taking pictures of the elegant dining room for his files on the house, but while examining a picture of the fruit basket that sat atop the table, he noticed the vengeful glare of a woman in white, but he was unsuccessful in capturing the phenomenon again. This is thought to have been the soul of Martha Anne Howard, one of the first residents of the house.
Perhaps the most notable story of the house is the tale of two boys who attempted to clean their guns in the basement. The firearms mysteriously went off during the cleaning, fatally wounding one boy while grazing the other. Legend has it that the boy whom the bullet had grazed ran to get help while the other gradually dragged himself up the stairs before finally collapsing and dying next to his mother’s bed. To this day, a large stain can be seen where the boy’s blood seeped into the hardwood floors of the house. The boy’s spirit has been heard crawling up the stairs, as well as sitting on the edge of the bed in which he perished beside.
For as long as this house has stood and as many stories that have occurred within its walls, maybe an entity does watch over the Howard Dickinson House.