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Ozark gives highest bid for historic Holman mansion - Dothan Eagle: News

Ozark gives highest bid for historic Holman mansion

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Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 4:48 pm

OZARK — Jack Mizell walked from room to room on Wednesday inside the historic J.D. Holman House on East Broad Street that he and his family have called home for more than 30 years.

On one floor, papers and statues are scattered through what was once occupied by multiple businesses that rented space inside the mansion. On another floor are a few pictures of Mizell’s children and some memorabilia, like his daughter’s piano, that are prepared for movers to pack later this week.

Several sections of the home, including Mizell’s own office, contain articles of years past that tell the story of both the home’s history and Mizell’s battle to keep the property after filing multiple documents to retrieve the original promissory note and beat a foreclosure.

He didn’t succeed. The City of Ozark gave the highest bid at $296,000 Tuesday for the purchase of the Holman mansion after it was listed in foreclosure with Wells Fargo Bank.

According to the National Register of Historical Places, The Holman mansion was placed on the national registry in 1982. That was the same year Mizell said he purchased the property from the original owner’s grandson for around $120,000.

Mizell, who said he has an architectural background, said his family has since invested around $4 million into the property and was approached at least twice before to sell.

Mizell said he was told he could not sell the property to a California man who offered more than $600,000 because Mizell did not have original documents to the property.

A document Mizell said was received from Wells Fargo Bank read that the bank “does not disburse original documents but does hold a valid loan and lien” to the property.

Mizell said he elected about a year later to not make the $285,000 in remaining payments.

“I didn’t see paying for something I’d never have, or being put in a situation where if I tried to sell again, I wouldn’t have the original to do so,” he said.

“I’m not upset about it. If I had sold it, I would hope it would go to someone that would respect and have love for it. I’m glad it’s going to the city.”

While Ozark Mayor Billy Blackwell said he was not sure what the city would use the mansion for in the future, he said the mansion is a staple within the community the city wished to maintain. Blackwell said the mansion will be purchased with monies from the city’s general fund.

“The Holman mansion is one of the greatest assets Ozark has,” Blackwell said.

“The benefit in purchasing the mansion is we don’t lose something that Ozark is known for and we maintain our history and improve upon this great asset. We have some ideas on how to use it and we’re going to make some plans.”

Mizell said he and his family plan to move from the home by March 1.

He didn’t say where, but mentioned he and his wife have daughters in California, Las Vegas and Montgomery.

“I’ll leave it in the Lord’s hands,” Mizell said.

“My job in life is to make the Lord happy. He is responsible for the consequences.”

An attorney listed for Wells Fargo Bank was not immediately reached Wednesday.