Envision Livingston names Walker property as 2019 Fall Beautification award winner

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Envision Livingston members JJ Hollars and Julia Bishop stand with homeowners Trevor and Sydney Walker, and their dog Lucy, winners of the Fall 2019 Beautification Award.

One of the goals set by the Envision Livingston committee is to recognize and award the efforts homeowners have made regarding significant improvements and beautification to properties within the city limits of the Town of Livingston.

Recipients of the award for this quarter are Trevor Walker and wife Sydney Walker, whose home is located at 602 Preston Street in Livingston.

A look back at the history of the house and information about some of the prior owners follows:

According to research done by Catherine Gunter, the section of the Town of Livingston where this house is located was once referred to as the Dale Addition, and was part of land formerly owned by Captain Alfred Lafayette Dale, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War.

Following Captain Dale’s death in December of 1931, his obituary had this to say about him: “Among his hundreds of friends, he was known as ‘Uncle High’ and he had lived a colorful life during and after the Civil War.

“He fought under Generals Felix Zollicoffer, Albert Sidney Johnson, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and John H. Morgan. He was in the important battles of Shiloh and Chickamauga, and took part in the last battle of the war, that of ‘Indian Graves’ on the Celina-Livingston road. He surrendered at Carthage in 1865, said to be the last authorized surrender of the war.

“Captain Dale was in the lumber business following the war and before he began operating hotels. Besides Cookeville, he ran hotels at Celina, Gainesboro, and Gordonsville, and at the time of his death was owner of the Dale Hotel at Livingston.

“He had been coal oil inspector under Governors Rye, Roberts, Peay, and Horton, and boasted that he had shaken the hand of every governor since John C. Brown. Funeral services were conducted at the Dale home in Livingston. He was 91 years old.”

In 1929 and 1932, several lots in the area were purchased by George Coffee. Tax records indicate the house now owned by Trevor and Sydney Walker was constructed around 1935, and more than likely, Mr. Coffee built the house that stands at the corner of Zachary and Preston Streets.

Little is known about Mr. Coffee. Records indicate that he was born in Overton County around 1893 and is listed in the 1900 census as the grandson of Joel T. Coffee and Julia Heard.

In World War I, George is listed as disabled, but the Registrar in charge of enlistees stated that “he looks to me to be stout as a horse”.

In 1930, he is believed to have been an inmate of the U.S. Veteran’s Hospital in Mississippi.

By 1940, Mr. Coffee was living in Livingston with his wife, Lillie Masters Coffee, and adopted daughter, Bettie Jean.

In September, of 1967, a deed conveying the property from Bettie Coffee Moses, adopted child and only heir of George H. Coffee, deceased, and husband, William C. Moses, was made to Elvie C. Brown and wife, Roben Brown.

Elvie C. Brown was born in Fentress County in 1902. He was retired from the U.S. Army, was a life member of the VFW Post #5062, a member of American Legion Bohannon Post #4, Retired Officers Association, and the 1st Armored Division Association, Old Ironsides.

Ownership of the house remained with the Browns until 1996, at which time it was sold to Debbie Gore Strong.

Additional owners since that time include Jacqueline Diane Smith, Holly Huddleston, U.S. Bank, Thomas Stephens, and Stacy Staggs.

In August 2018, ownership was conveyed to the present owners, Trevor and Sydney Walker, who spent a lot of time and effort into remodeling the home.

After the removal of stone that had been added by previous owners to the fireplace in the living room, the original bricks found beneath the stones were cleaned and shiplap added to the wall behind the fireplace. Flooring was removed throughout the house and new floors in the living room, dining room, and bedrooms were replaced with hardwood that looks almost identical to the type used in the 1930’s.

The dining room has a built in cupboard that is original to the house. A window was added in the guest bedroom on the front of the house while one was removed from the side of that room. Wooden beams have been added to the ceiling in the Walker’s bedroom.

The original home had only one bathroom, and a second one was added that includes a large walk-in shower and a spacious closet. The door for the original bathroom was changed and replaced with a barn door.

The layout of the kitchen was improved and additional cabinets were added. A back porch leads out to a spacious back yard where the Walker’s dog, Lucy, a Golden Doodle, loves to spend time. A two-car garage has also had a facelift and is a very attractive addition to the property.

The public is invited to make nominations for the next quarterly Beautification Award, Holiday Edition, in December. Forms may be picked up in the foyer of the Livingston/Overton County Chamber of Commerce office. Nominations are limited to homes situated within the city limits of the Town of Livingston.