Photo by Sue Watson
Earl Fleming and Wesley Morton (right) put the base of the monument on a slab.
Photo by Sue Watson
Bobby Mitchell and Earl Fleming, with Brookhaven Monument Co., look at the newly erected Boling monument, paid for by Hubert McAlexander.

Spires Boling gets monument

The burial plot of Spires Boling, the man responsible for much of the architectural grandeur of Holly Springs, recently received a monument.

The monument in Hill Crest Cemetery was paid for by Hubert McAlexander, professor and historian with the University of Georgia.

“Spires Boling will be remembered as the architect of the Oxford courthouse,” McAlexander said. “The courthouse was photographed worldwide and made iconic by the writings of William Faulkner.”

Boling’s design was used for the courthouses of Holly Springs, Oxford, and Bolivar, Tenn., which had all been destroyed during the Civil War, McAlexander said.

He was also the architect for the three-story Masonic Hall on the east side of the square, burned in a fire in 1952.

“But his greatest contribution, for us who have lived in Holly Springs, are the Greek Revival brick mansions that give the town its identity,” McAlexander said. “There is documentary evidence that he was architect for the Walter Place and for the Clapp-West-Fant-Martin place on Salem Avenue – the two grandest structures in the city.

“No doubt he was also responsible for what Eudora Welty called ‘those vertical Holly Springs houses,’ the local version of Greek Revival grandeur,” McAlexander said.

For that reason Boling deserves a monument, McAlexander said.

Boling bought a large lot, but put up only coping and a footpiece marked “Boling” before his death in 1880.

The monument was commissioned by McAlexander, whose removed uncle, Dr. Lea Stephenson, married a Boling daughter.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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