Weekend fire in downtown Jackson destroys city’s main post office during late 1800′s

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 6:39 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A weekend fire in downtown Jackson wiped out a piece of history.

While the blaze caused minor damage to several buildings along Capitol Street, the one it destroyed was built sometime between 1869 and 1890 and also served as Jackson’s main post office during that period.

It’s known as the “520 Building” because it’s located at 520 East Capitol St., and prior to Saturday, the building was one of several on the corner of Capitol and State Street that housed the Eaves Law Firm.

Luckily, the firm’s other buildings only took on minor damage over the weekend, and the same goes for the Faulkner Building.

John Arthur Eaves Jr., the firm’s owner, credits the Jackson Fire Department for that.

“They saved the rest of this historic row. This is the original corner that Jackson started on,” Eaves said. “When there was a stagecoach that came to Jackson, it stopped at that corner right there and let people out.”

To get an idea as to how much history sits at that corner, all you need to do is take a look at the plaque outside the yellow building, known as the “101 Building,” that houses the rest of Eaves Law Firm.

In part, the plaque says the “101 Building” is the oldest Jackson structure in commercial use. It’s a pre-Civil War building that was built in 1842.

It also notes that it served as a commercial and entertainment center in the 19th century, was the site of Spengler’s hotel, and was the favorite meeting place of state legislators when they drafted laws across the street inside the Old Capitol.

John Arthur Eaves Sr. founded the law firm in 1990 and passed away last year.

In his years, Eaves Sr. had three unsuccessful candidacies for governor, and Eaves Jr. had one as well.

However, both men have had great success practicing law - representing clients across the state, nation, and internationally.

Less than 48 hours after losing one of their buildings to the weekend blaze, Eaves Jr. said the firm will hardly miss a beat.

“It’s just a matter of consolidating those offices that were in this ‘520 Capitol Building’ into the ‘105 Building,’” he said. “We’ll be practicing law again tomorrow.”

Eaves said he’d like to restore the building to how it looked prior to the weekend fire. As of Monday, he said he was looking into his options.

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