Hough's Historic House on Tri-Kappa Home Tour

The house's original owner was
J.F.D. Lanier in the 1800s

By Chrissy Stewart
Contributing Writer

MADISON, Ind. (October 2004) – There’s a little piece of the South right here in Madison, Ind. It’s located on the northeast corner of Elm and Second streets, opposite the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site.

Toby Hough

Photo by Chrissy Stewart

Dr. Toby Hough and husband, James,
pose outside their Elm Street home,
which has a fascinating history.

Dr. Toby and James Hough are currently restoring their home at 302 Elm St. to emulate what it may have once looked like when it was originally built nearly 200 years ago. The home will be included in this fall’s Tri Kappa Tour of Homes, which takes place Oct. 15-17.
When the Houghs moved to Madison from Savannah, Ga., in 2001, Toby immediately spotted this fascinating home. It seemed as though everything fell right into place for their purchase of the historic house. Soon after the Houghs moved from their hilltop home to a condominium in downtown Madison so that Toby could be closer to the hospital, the house on Elm went up for sale.
The couple toured the home and fell in love with it. “It reminded us so much of a house you’d see in Savannah,” said Toby.
Still owning their hilltop home as well as the condominium was the only thing holding them back from the purchase. However, to their good fortune, the owners of the downtown home were willing to trade the Houghs for their hilltop home. They moved into their new home in August 2003.
The Hough home entered its first tour just three short months after the purchase was final. It was featured in the Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes in late 2003. Not much had changed at that time, though.

Hough's Historic House

Photo by Don Ward

The Hough's house on Elm Street
has a fascinating history.

The Greek Revival style home, with its large columns in the front, five fireplaces, pocket windows leading from the living room to the porch, and original woodwork throughout, has taken on an entirely different facade for this year’s tour.
Knowing that this home should never have been painted white and black, the Houghs decided to give it a little color. The white has transformed into a vibrant terra cotta with dark green shutters and cream trim now adorning the four-story home.
“We modeled it after a home we liked in Savannah,” said Toby. She also noted that the more affluent people with the larger homes in the South would paint their homes in the brightest boldest hues as a symbol of their wealth.
Other changes the Houghs have made in the past year include refurbishing the wrought iron in the front of the home and cleaning up the small overgrown yard to try to gain more space for their three young daughters to play. A side brick patio was rebuilt using old handmade bricks that the Houghs pulled out from beneath the sod in the backyard.
With the exterior nearly complete, the new owners have now begun to concentrate more on the home’s interior. The earthen tones from the outside carry on indoors in a warm arrangement pleasing to the eye. “We’re working on making it our home,” Toby chuckled.

Home Tour Sites

• The Cafe Express, 703 West Main St. Owner: Gary McConnell

• The Sullivan Home, 312 Mill St. Owners: Ted and Linda Sullivan

• The Tonkin Home, 201 West First St. Owners: Charles and Koleeta Tonkin

• The Pittman Home, 420 Elm St. Owners: Michael and Linda Pittman

• The Eckert Home, 417 Poplar St. Owner: Betty Eckert

• The Hough Home (The Colby-Jeffery House), 302 Elm St. Owners: James and Dr. Tobi Hough

• Lytle Funeral Chapel, 432 West Main St. Owners: Trevor and Kim Lytle

• Richwood Plantation, 1233 Hwy 36, Milton, Ky. Contact: Marilyn Lewellen

New light fixtures inside and out, a wine cellar and recreation room in the basement, and conversion of the top floor into a bedroom suite for their oldest daughter are examples of the projects the Houghs plan to undertake next.
Few homes in our area carry the history this one does. Daniel Colby built the home in 1837. “The Hough home is definitely set off from the others in our tour by its history,” said Chris Bilz, chair of the 2004 tour.
Renowned financier James F.D. Lanier was the home’s original owner, finding the 4,100-square-foot abode a suitable residence while his much larger home across the street was being built. His daughter, Elizabeth, was later married at the Elm Street home, and Lanier in 1853 eventually sold it to Elizabeth and her husband, William McKee Dunn, for $1.
Dunn, a prominent attorney and congressman of the 19th century, later served as Judge Advocate General for the state of Missouri before being promoted to a brigadier general under President Abraham Lincoln.
Several other well-known visitors have reportedly stayed at the home. It is believed that Lanier played host to William Henry Harrison when the newly elected U.S. president was on his way to his inaugural address in Washington, D.C. Benjamin Harrison and Zachary Taylor were also Lanier’s guests at the home.
Along with the Hough home, several other private homes will be opened up to guests of Tri Kappa’s biennial event. Proceeds from the event support scholarships and philanthropic ventures in the community.

• For more information, visit: www.trikappatourofhomes.com or call 1-800-559-2956.

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