Mosley Home Oldest Landmark Left in Community
Editor's Note: The following information about the Mosley home in the Barton community was researched and written by Glenda Sloan, a lifetime resident of Barton. Miss Sloan is a senior at Ole Miss majoring in journalism and the daughter of J.E. Sloan, a dairyman in Barton.
Barton is the community being featured in September as part of the Chamber of Commerce's community recognition project.
Two of the most prominent families to settle in Barton were the Mosleys and their distant cousins, the Flemings. The Mosleys established a homestead in Barton around 1854, still part of DeSoto County at that time. It was not until 1873 that Barton became a part of Marshall County.
The Flemings, who built a similar house within the same year, claimed a piece of land near the Tennessee state line. Since the state boundary was then closer to Collierville, they settled on the tip of the Marshall County border. Later, the state lined was moved further back into Mississippi after many disputes. Thus, the old Fleming house is located in Shelby County, Tennessee.
Standing among a grove of oak trees, the Mosley home, built with pegs and square nails, is the oldest landmark still standing in Barton. Today it is in the process of being reconstructed by its present owners, the Walkers. The house possesses not only a lonely, quiet, beauty, but also a legend of tales and stories.
The large colonial home was built by Fleming Mosley, a native of Laurens District, South Carolina and a colonel in the militia. Upon moving his family to Barton, he became engaged in farming. When first constructed, the house contained three large bedrooms, a parlor, a dining room, and a kitchen connected onto the back of the house. Separated by a wall, twin staircases led to the upstairs bedrooms. The right upstairs room could only be reached through the stairs located in the master bedroom. This one bedroom belonged to a blind daughter who found security in the private stairway.
Legends say the house was used as a hospital during the Civil War. No such records exist proving this to be true. However, the upstairs left bedroom carries a mark of stained blood on the floor. Although unidentifiable as blood for certain, some of the boards are darker in color and appear to have a greasy look to them. The oak trees in the grove still bear the scars of mini-balls from the war. Military history books record that skirmishes occurred in the Barton area. When Confederate troops retreated back to Byhalia after an attack on Collierville.
The house may have been used to lodge wounded soldiers because there was no other place in the vicinity.
According to letters written by Mosley ancestors, northern troops camped in the grove and in barns surrounding the house. The Mosley family lived in the house throughout the Civil War before selling it during the carpetbagger period and moving to Texas. When recalling the war years later to their children, Fleming Mosley's daughters told of Federal troops taking over the kitchen, ordering cooked meals and damaging the property.
According to other tales, Fleming Mosley was a conscientious objector during the Civil War. When Confederate soldiers arrived at his house to conscript him into the army, he secretly fled through a cubby-hold in the upstairs bedroom leading to a loft above the kitchen. The Confederacy was never able to locate and draft Mosley. Many say this is why he silently left Barton in the first years following the War.
Inside the house, one of the bedroom doors has been scarred by a continuous beating. Theory has it that the mark was made by a horse hidden in the house by a Union officer seeking to avoid thieving Confederates. A former owner of the house claims the scar was caused by a caretaker's bird dogs, kept in the house to escape death by unfriendly neighbors.
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