My own house history

Isn’t there a quote or saying about not doing your own jobs if you are in the business?  Like an auto mechanic letting her own car get run down, or a piano tuner with a horrible sounding piano?  I’m guilty of something like that.  I’ve never written my own house history.  Gulp.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done the research – in fact, that is what propelled me into starting this business.  Figuring out where to go for what records, maps, plats, deeds, pictures was part of the discovery process.  I have oodles of research on my own house, but have never gotten around to writing it up in the same format that my clients get.  Plus, I started this 15 years ago (no blogs or social media then!) and so many resources have been digitized and put online, which changes the game too.  So I’m cutting this week’s post short to actually go do my own house history report.  It would be a good thing to have, don’t you think?

17 Apr 1898
“My House”, 01 May 1898 St Louis Post Dispatch pg 37.

Who lived on the 4100 block of DeTonty?

The 4100 block of the Shaw neighborhood in St. Louis has been slated for redevelopment since I have lived in the neighborhood (10 years).  I am hopeful to see this post from the Shaw housing corporation about a new plan for development this year:

According to the developer, Courtney Mcray, the historic tax credit application has been submitted, financing is in place and work should begin shortly.

The first phase will rehabilitate the building located at 4100 DeTonty. The completed building will be listed at around $150,000 as an affordable housing unit which will have an income requirement. The home will be completely renovated and include 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The home will be about 2200 sq. ft. The home will have hardwood floors, an open kitchen, second floor laundry, walk out porch, etc. The home will also have a two car garage.

In addition, two NEW construction townhouses will be built on lots 5/6 (approximately) on DeTonty. The homes will be around 2200 sq. ft. Pricing to be determined. The homes will have a large open floor plan with a kitchen, breakfast area and family room all combined. The home will have 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The home will have a large master suite with 2 walk-in closets and a large master bath.

Once the rehabilitated home is complete and sold and the two townhouses are complete and sold, multiple single family units are planned to fill in the gap. Long term, additional townhouses and single family homes are planned for the remaining lots to the west.

Thanks to Alderman Conway and CDA for working on the project.

Being in the business that I am, and being a curious person, I decided to find some of the people who lived, worked and played on these now vacant lots:

  • Herman Leslie Marten and his wife Pearl Blanche lived at 4100 DeTonty.  Herman was a salesman for the Thompson Biscuit Company and died of leukemia in 1945 at the age of 59.
  • Greek immigrant and restaurant owner Vasilios Millonas lived at 4112 DeTonty.
  • Mrs. Augusta Mallery slipped on a rug and broke her left femur at 4118 DeTonty – she died from her injuries.
  • 4160 DeTonty was home to Russian-born Albert Zasslow, who died of a skull fracture from a truck accident at the corner of Olive and 18th on June 19, 1952.
  • Twice-widowed Bertha Drabelle lived at 4174 DeTonty – she was a stenographer for the City of St. Louis Building Division
  • WWI veteran and Wright Chemical Company salesman Cornelius O’Hare lived at 4176 DeTonty.

This gives you a taste of the working-class neighborhood that was the 4100 block of Detonty – hope you enjoy this snippet of history as much as I have enjoyed unearthing it!