Way back at The beginning……. when I did my very first mortgage research, I discovered that my County (Clark) had 36 mortgages for houses purchased as kits from Sears, Roebuck. Most of the mortgaged parcels were strung out all over the County, but nine of them were located in one small platted neighborhood. Garden Acres.
I’ve been meaning to do a blog post here about the nine Sears Houses in Garden Acres for quite some time, but for some reason or other, I always get distracted by some other Sears House I come across in my research.
I guess part of the reason, too, is that the Garden Acres houses are old news. At least to me, since they were the very first houses I was able to identify using the mortgage research method way back in 2008. Or maybe it was 2007. I don’t really remember.
Since then, I have done mortgage record research in…….let me think……
Champaign County, Greene County, Hamilton County, Butler County, Warren County, Franklin County (well those were only deeds, which were the houses that Sears foreclosed on), Miami County, Cuyahoga County (again, only deeds), Stark County, Montgomery County, Delaware County…….I probably forgot one…..or two……I’ll have to hunt up my notebook……
About the Sears Walton in Dayton…….
Yes, there is a connection, people……..
Back to those nine Sears Houses with mortgages in Garden Acres in Clark County. In my research I discovered that most of the people that took out the mortgages for the Sears House kits had some kind of connection to the developer that platted the neighborhood, The James-Bauer Realty Company.
James- Bauer was a pretty important developer here in my area, having already platted several other neighborhoods, including Glen Terrace in 1917 and the Broadmoor Addition in 1923.
Then, in 1925, along came Garden Acres, which, since it was located about a mile outside the Springfield city limits, you would have needed an automobile to get to. And not everybody had an automobile in 1925!
Well……things got off to a slow start and not much building was going on, so in 1927, the James-Bauer Realty Company started building some Sears, Roebuck kit houses on spec, to get things “growing” in Garden Acres. One of them was a Sears Cornell, which was advertised in the local newspaper…… no mention it was from Sears, Roebuck!
So……how does this all connect to a Sears Walton in Dayton?
The James-Bauer Realty Co., here in Springfield, was a partnership type of business between two local men……J Warren James and Walter B Bauer.
J Warren James, the principal, started out in the real estate business with a sole proprietor type of business , The James Real Estate Co. He was very successful on his own here in Clark County prior to turning his business into a partnership, but apparently also had some real estate dealings in nearby Montgomery County as well.
I discovered that just the other day when I was going through the property Abstract Index Books that are available on line through the Montgomery County Recorder’s website. I am going through those books, page by tedious page, looking for parcels that were mortgaged through Sears, Roebuck. And I’m finding them! Yay!
But in one of those books, as I was scanning through, a different kind of line item caught my eye.
A parcel had been deeded to the James Real Estate Co.
Hey! That’s my guy! What was he doing with a deed record in Montgomery County?
I had to look up the house and see what my guy, J Warren James, was building in Dayton. And guess what I found?????
A Sears Walton. How cool is that?
Now I cannot tell a lie. I didn’t actually locate this Sears Walton. It was already listed on the Master List of Sears Houses in the United States, having been spotted by Andrew Mutch on a Google drive he did around Dayton a while back, but I am now considering it a documented Sears House, due to its connection to a known builder of Sears Homes in another community.
I don’t know the exact year of build for the Sears Walton in Dayton, because the Abstract Index Books don’t have dates attached, but the Montgomery County Auditor says 1928, so that is just about the same time there was a Sears Walton being built here in Springfield in Garden Acres. Yep. It’s one of the nine.
I’ll save the other Garden Acres models for a future blog post. Unless I get distracted by some other Sears House I come across……….
Thanks for following along.