I’m finishing up the Montgomery County mortgage record research project that I’ve been working on since last November. I’m down to a few pesky parcels that have complicated legal descriptions, which take a lot more time and resources to track down. When I get those finished, I will do a blog post here about the total number of Sears Houses in Dayton and vicinity. It won’t be a complete list of addresses, because there are too many houses for that, but I will surely have a lot of general information to share.
In the meantime, I want to show you a couple of homes that were purchased from Montgomery Ward instead of Sears, Roebuck. While Sears remains the big player here in Ohio for kit houses, there are a few other companies represented as well.
Montgomery Ward offered financing plans, like Sears, for their kit houses, which were marketed as “Wardway Homes”. If a buyer took advantage of that option, there will be a mortgage record on file in the County Offices, usually under the name Thomas P. Riordan.
In Montgomery County, I have found a couple hundred recorded mortgages from Sears, Roebuck, but for Montgomery Ward…….three.
Two of the mortgage records I found when I was going through the Abstract Books that are available on line for Montgomery County. One is for a house I haven’t been able to ID as a Wardway Home that was shown in catalogs, and the second is a Newport model.
The house I haven’t been able to identify…..well…..it may be gone actually. The mortgage record was written for two lots. One lot has the house I can’t ID, and the other lot is a block business building, so it’s hard to know for sure.
The second Montgomery Ward mortgage, the Newport model, was pretty easy to identify, since that style home was very popular, and almost all the kit house companies had a house like it.
Here it is, in Kettering.
The third and final Wardway Home was one I came across while doing newspaper research. I tracked down the address using info from the news article, (with lots of help from my research partner, Marie ), then checked the on-line Abstract Books, and discovered it had a mortgage through Montgomery Ward.
Here’s the newspaper write up.
Notice that the write up says the house was built under the Montgomery Ward money saving plan, but also references the quality achieved by their “ready-cut construction”.
Hmmmm…….yeah……..this house was never offered in the Wardway Homes catalogs.
I shared this house with a few other Sears House researchers after I located it, and Lara of Sears Homes of Chicagoland noticed it had a strong similarity to a house offered by Sears, Roebuck… The Carroll. Another…….hmmm……..
There is still much to learn about how the kit house companies did business.
I’m continuing my research of kit houses in Montgomery County. Check back occasionally and……
Thanks for following along.