All posts for the month August, 2015


Whitney 1889 96 copy

Edwin W. Whitney residence 417 Seymour Street

Edwin H. Whitney was born on August 5, 1827 in Allens Hill, Ottawa County, New York to Dennis and Elizabeth B. (née Henderson) Whitney. The family moved to Niagara County, New York in 1839 where Edwin attended the Royalton Center Academy. After graduation Edwin moved to Pontiac, Michigan where he worked in the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office. In 1851 he moved to Lansing to work in the State Treasurer’s Office and later the State Land Office. Edwin later received an appointment in Detroit to the United States Custom House and also served as a United States Marshal

Whitney Port 96 copy

Edwin W. Whitney 1827-1903

With the start of the Civil War, Edwin retuned to Lansing where he opened a hardware store that he ran until 1877. In 1865 Edwin was elected alderman from Lansing’s Fourth Ward, a position he was elected to in 1866 and 1872-1873. Since 1877 Edwin was the Grand Scribe of the Grand Encampment of the (I.O.O.F.) and also is the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of the I.O.O.F., under Edwin’s leadership the organization doubled in size. Edwin’s life revolved around Masonic affairs. On May 14, 1859 Edwin married Miss Jennie Dodge; the couple had three children, Edwin D., Lewis D., and Jennie E., the wife of William K. Prudden. On December 16, 1903 Edwin H. Whitney died at his home of facial erysipelas. SR 12/16/1906, LJ 12/16/1903 and Portrait 370.

417 Seymour 96 copy

Edwin W. Whitney residence 417 Seymour Street

This is a difficult home to place when you consider the style; it has elements of a Gothic house with some architectural rudiments from a later period. In the etching it can be observed that the home originally had a flat roof like many Victorian homes with the ornate chimneys that are standard with this style home. When you look at the roofline it is almost a variation of a mansard roof which may indicate a Second Empire home. When you combine all of these elements you have the perfect organic home, a mixture of styles.

Thanks for your patience with this long series of posts. Coming next the Red Arrow Truck saga!

© Lost Lansing 2015

Weller 1889 96 copy

Frank D. Weller residence, 136 E. Main Street

Frank D. Weller was born in Lansing on September 19, 1855 to Augustus F. and Ann (née Thomas) Weller. In the spring of 1847 Augustus F. Weller came to Lansing with the commission responsible for relocating the Capitol to Lansing. Augustus decided to stay and opened a general store at Mackerel Point just south of the present city.[1] The store remained on Mackerel Point until 1871 when Augustus moved the business to Washington Avenue. Little is know about Frank’s early life in Lansing. He attended school in Lansing them after graduation lived in Detroit to study the decorating business and the art of frescoing. Frank remained in Detroit for six years and retuned to Lansing in 1877 and established himself at a decorator and dealer of wallpaper eventually opening a store at 330 S. Washington. When not working Frank had an interest in horses and horse racing. On August 11, 1878 Frank married Miss Sarah Bates; the couple had one child Ava F. born in Lansing in 1889. In 1897 Frank and his family left Lansing for Toledo, Ohio where Frank worked as a painter, just why he left is unknown, Frank had an established business in Lansing, and it may have been the death of his father that precipitated the move to Toledo. Frank’s life in Toledo is a bit of a mystery, he sold his race horses in 1904 and 1905 and the family moved around quite a bit. On August 24, 1916, Sarah died at the city hospital of diabetes mellitus. After Sarah’s death Frank seemed to wander the city, at one point he is living in a hotel. Oddly his daughter Eva in 1920 is living in a ladies retirement home at the age of 31. On October 28, 1920 Frank married Mrs. Clara Osborn at the age of 65. Sometime between 1920 and 1940 the couple divorced and by 1940 Frank is listed at living in the St. Clair Hotel in Toledo. Frank’s daughter Ava married Raymond L. Doane on April 2, 1921, tragically Ava Francis Doane passed away on January 12, 1931. Frank D. Weller passed away in Toledo on February 19, 1944 having outlived his entire family.

The Weller home in many respects contain several elements that were present in both Nathanial and J. Edward Roe’s homes. Notice the vertical decoration under the gable ends and the interesting curved brackets at the end of the eaves. The roofline cresting along the peak of the roof end is a curved finial that matches the brackets at the end of the eaves. With many of the homes from this era the feature of the home was the porch and entryway. The Weller residence does not disappoint, for such a basic home the porch is very ornate. The spandrels on the upper part of the porch and the double entryways make this a pleasing home. Unfortunately the site is currently an empty lot.

[1] Mackerel Point was located on the south west bank of the juncture of the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers, where River Point Park is today.

Ok if you held on this long you will be happy to know there is only one more instalment in this series! The history of the Red Arrow Truck will be coming soon.

© Lost Lansing 2015