87-year-old woman who lives in a shack gets a new home

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Last month we covered a story of an 87-year-old woman living in a one-room shack in rural Scott County south of Lena.

Thanks to that story over $35,000 has been raised to build her a new house. Framing on that house started Friday morning and a lot of progress was made. The story went nationwide on NBC and on the Internet about the deplorable conditions Ester Davis was living in, just outside of Lena, Mississippi.

She had lived here since 1970 in a shack built more than 100 years ago. It was literally falling down around her, and there was only one room that didn’t leak, where she slept on part of an old couch. She did her washing in a bucket.

When James Crain, a man who lived about five miles away, discovered her plight he called the local TV station, WLBT. Thanks to that call she will have a brand new home that won’t cost her a penny. Money came in from as far away as Hawaii. Five carpenters, who are all members of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church on the Clifton-Hillsboro Road in Scott County donated their time to frame her new home.

One of them is 51-year-old Victor Harrell of Hillsboro. Ester Davis, who turns 88 in November, was thrilled by the work the carpenters were doing. The man who befriended her and has been in charge of building the new house, James Crain, says they need more money to furnish the new house and buy appliances, but she doesn’t want air conditioning and won’t have it.

Ester Davis’ new house will be just under a 1,000 square feet and will have two bedrooms, a kitchen den and bath.

She hopes to move into it by the end of October.