All posts for the month May, 2015


Prudden 1889 96 copy

William K. Prudden residence, 602 W. Ottawa Street

William K. Prudden was born in Macon, Georgia on January 29, 1859 the son of Nathan S. and Amelia (née Keith) Prudden. Nathan S. Prudden was a transplanted New Englander who opened a dry goods store in Macon in the early 1850s and remained there throughout the war and lost his home and business. Nathan and his family returned to West Haven, Connecticut where Nathan passed away soon after his return. William and his mother moved to Utica, New York, then Indianapolis, Indiana where William graduated from High School. In 1875 he enrolled in the Michigan Agricultural College where is excelled both academically and in athletics. William graduated in 1878 with a Bachelor of Science and was selected by his fellow student to deliver the class oration. After graduation William worked for James M. Turner until 1882 when he started his own company that specialized in the buying and selling of timberlands. In 1888 he capitalized on an opportunity to purchase 50% of Lansing Wheel Company and served as the companies Secretary and Treasurer. William sold his interests in the company by 1890 and began investing in local real estate and pinelands in the Upper Peninsula.

WK amy 96 copy

William K. Prudden with his daughter Amy

William had a great understanding of wheel and tire design, his interests in harness racing led to the design of a pneumatic sulky wheel, but also rubber wheels for carriages. When the automotive boom occurred William was well place to capitalize on the industry’s demand for wheels and the Prudden Company was born. William also was a major investor in the American Savings Bank and commercial real estate; the old and new Prudden Buildings are an example of his business savvy. “Lansing will probably longest remember William K. Prudden because of his gift to the city of Prudden Auditorium and Chamber of Commerce headquarters.” (Turner 615). Unfortunately both structures were torn down by the city in the early 1950s. On January 2, 1883 William married Miss Jennie E. Whitney, the daughter of Edwin H. Whitney. The couple had two daughters, Amy and Edwina. When William’s health began to fail, he and Jennie moved to Coronado Beach, California in 1920. On December 29, 1926 William K. Prudden passed away at his home in Coronado Beach with his wife and daughter Edwina at his side. William’s body arrived in Lansing on January 4, 1927; the following day a memorial service was held at Prudden Auditorium to accommodate the large number of mourners.[1]

Pruden Later 96 copy

William K. Prudden residence, 602 W. Ottawa Street

William K. Prudden was one of the wealthiest men in Lansing an equal of R.E. Olds but not is the same financial class as Edward Sparrow. Why is this mention, well the home at 602 W. Ottawa was Prudden’s residence in Lansing until he moved to Coronado Beach. Although he never felt the need to build a mansion, Prudden in all probability considered the auditorium was his legacy to the city of Lansing, not his home. As you can observe in the above image the second floor sleeping porch has been removed. The home was built of cut stone; the quoins at the corners are an expensive detail that lends certain strength to the home. One last thing notice in the etching is the number of corbels under the eaves and the fish scale siding on the dormers. The site is now occupied by Lansing Towers Apartments. Tell me which structure do you like better?

[1] LSJ 12/30/1926, LSJ 1/4/1927, Portrait and Biographical Album of Ingham and Livingston Counties, Michigan; 385, and Turner; 613.

© Lost Lansing 2015

DM Nottingham 1889 96

Doctor David M. Nottingham residence 431-435 S Washington Avenue

David M. Nottingham built his residence that was also a set of town homes in 1889. It is unfortunate that no photograph survives of the structure. There were three units and must have had all the modern convinces, this is the only etching that I have ever seem that displays the vent stacks for bathrooms, odd but I just thought I would mention it. Notice how the windows are stacked. The south side of the structure was the residence of Nottingham, the north side was a first floor flat with a second floor flat above.

Nottingham DW 96

Dr. David M. Nottingham 1855-1913

David M. Nottingham was born in Jonesboro, Grant County, Indiana on January 5, 1855 to James and Sarah J. (née Heal) Nottingham. At the age of twelve David was sent to Fairmount Academy to prepare for college. At sixteen he enrolled in the Indiana State Normal School at Terre Haute, today Indiana State University. On May 28, 1876 David married Elizabeth C. Baldwin, in Wheaton, Illinois. Elizabeth was a graduate of Wesleyan College and the daughter of Jonathan Baldwin, the founder of Fairmount, Indiana. After the marriage David began the study of medicine in under Doctor John C. Nottingham and later he attended Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago. David obtained his medical certificate in 1881 he moved to Bronson, Michigan and set up a medical practice. In 1884 David and Sarah, along with their two children, Bret and Emma moved to Lansing where David established a practice. David served as an alderman and as President of the State Medical Society. In 1902 he was elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives, and reelected in 1904. The pressures of his practice and his work in politics took a toll on his health. In 1906 his physical condition broke down and he relocated to Colorado and later Utah to restore his health. While he was away his son, Dr. Bret Nottingham, oversaw his practice. Upon his return from the west in 1910, he devoted his time to Masonic affairs and raising Airedale terriers. David M. Nottingham passed away at his home in East Lansing on November 11, 1913.[1]

[1] LEP 11/12/1913, LSJ 11/11/1913, LSJ 11/12/1913 and Portrait and Biographical Album of Ingham and Livingston Counties, Michigan; 348-349.

© Lost Lansing 2015

Campbell 1889 96

Doctor John F. Campbell residence 527 W. Ottawa Street

 John F. Campbell was born in Ontario, Canada on February 14, 1855 to Farquhard and Mary (née Buchanan) Campbell. John was one of eight sons all of who became doctors or surgeons except for one. John attended college in Toronto and later studied medicine at the University of Michigan and graduated as a Doctor of Medicine in 1876-1877. John then the moved to Williamston, Michigan where he practiced medicine for ten years, in 1887 he went abroad to study in Europe. Upon his return in 1889 John married Miss Gertrude Warren, in Howell, Michigan on April 11, 1889. Later in 1889 John moved to Lansing and opened his practice in the Alsdorf Building, 102 N. Washington. Later he moved his office to the second floor of the Prudden Building. John and Gertrude had two children, Warren and Miriam. John had an active in Masonic and Social affairs; he served for 15 years of the Lansing Board of Education and was a member of the Ingham County Medical Society. In 1914 John began to suffer from heart trouble and passed away at his home on November 3, 1914. (LSJ 11/4/1914)

527 W Ottawa 96

Doctor John F. Campbell residence 527 W. Ottawa Street

In the above image from the 1940s you can that the porch has been modified with a second floor addition added. You can barely make out the sunburst motif that is above the second floor window, which can be observed in the original etching of the residence. The first floor window still retains the fish scale siding on the shed dormer above the window of the detail below the same window. Originally the home had elements of a Victorian home with its wide eaves, and ornamental brackets. The original porch was the main focus of the residence with the inviting entryway. The home was torn down with the expansion of the Capitol Complex.

© Lost Lansing 2015