My efforts at finding information on the old house located at lot 2, block 5, in Savannah, Mo., was running into unintentional road blocks.
I acknowledge that my first attempts were somewhat feeble, due mainly to the lack of positive responses, and available information. In all fairness, my first 4 months were spend working on redoing the entire house (with time out for a return trip to my new granddaughter and to climb Mt Washington, NH, via the Tuckerman's Ravine.
Later, it was while I was up to my neck in century old records located in the town's vault, I found out that the local land title companies only went back to 50 yrs in their search for the title
records, liens, etc.
The following is what I found after spending two long days buried in the record books contained within the vault.
First and, foremost..
You must remember, I had almost nothing to go on except for the name of the lady from whom I bought the house from..No one locally knew, when the house had been built or by whom.
The following information is the results of my research.
1907: Issac R Williams.
This section of town, that I bought the house, is a relatively new
addition (1907) to the town of Savannah, Mo., known locally as the
When the town of Savannah was first settled in the middle 1840’s,
the original section of town was small, roughly one mile square area.
By the time of the early 20th century, the new millennium brought an
expansion boom with it, bursting the seams of the town, taking it toward
the outside limits of the then known town limits.
In 1907, a prominent local land developer by the name of Isaac R.
Williams, formed a holding company called “Wakefield Land Company”, and
filed a subdivision plan that year 1907, with the town of Savannah,
It was to called the subdivision “Williams Place", and proceeded to
sell land. It would appear that this was a slow process, as he was still
selling land well into the 1920’s, and beyond as indicated by the
At this point, I knew nothing other than who the most recent "former
owner" had been. I started from this known point, working backward in
time, slowly traveling toward 1907.
I worked with what I had, at first, backwards from the most recent
seller to myself..
Several months has since past of my first edition.
April 26, 2010:
Much has been discovered in the interim, since my last entry here.
1.(1920) The first registered buyer/owner of the land, and the
builder of this old Arts -n- Crafts home was listed as Ms. Lelia Lauber.
She was described as a young woman of 24 yrs of age. She had a young baby girl born
of that same year.(The young daughter is still alive today.) In 1921, Ms Lauber
had this house built, and lived here until 1926. Two things happened
that year for her. First, she had a baby boy born and she sold the house
for $4,000. Her husband, along with his father and cousin owned a
company that built homes in the Town of Savannah, Mo., and surrounding
area. Note: Even tho, I discovered that Lelia was married at some point, she was, till the end, listed as the only owner..Stranger still, I discovered that a prominent person of great wealth, who was a medical doctor, and own the world wide well known cancer treatment hospital in town had died just shortly before she sold the house in 1926, he was her next door neighbor. That next door neighbor house still stands today, having been owned for many years after the doctor's death by his daughter..Ms Lauber may have worked with or for him.
2.(1926) The house was sold in 1926 to a Ms Emma Wiedmer, for $4,000
at 6% interest rate compounded annually.
(Husband died in 1907, and she was to never have remarried)
The house is recorded as having been paid off in full in 1929. She
had 4 daughters, it's unclear as to whether any of her other daughters ever lived here in this house, other
than Mildred C Wiedmer, an unmarried daughter.
3.(1939) Mildred C Wiedmer, who bought the house from her mother in
1939. Emma lived here with her daughter Mildred, until her death in 1945. Mildred
worked in the city clerks office for many years. Mildred never married,
as far as any records can be researched.
4.(1956) Ms Eloise Hornby Tuck, listed as a widow, bought the house
from Mildred C Wiedmer.
Asking price then was unknown. However, there is a strong suspicion that the price was around $7,500 in 1956. Eloise had two daughters, one daughter who died at an early age of
16 yrs while riding as a passenger in a tragic automobile accident. The other daughter, Susan, was the actually party from whom I bought the house from at closing. At some point, Eloise Hornby married a Frank J. Tuck, who was years later entered as co-owner of the property in 1989. It's unknown the year when they married.
Frank J. Tuck, was an Army veteran of WW2. Length, and location of his military service is unknown. Frank ran a TV repair business for many years from the garage behind the house, and previously at various other locations within the town's square. Frank also ran a small lumber mill for cutting trees up into lumber, and in time he also became a successful beekeeper. He was considered very well liked by all -n- to be an excellent jack of all trade, who always offered to help his neighbors. The day Frank died, he had spend the day with his chainsaw, helping neighbors cutting up broken branches, down limbs due to a severe ice storm.
5.(2009) Vernon L Townsend, bought the house June 8, 2009. Cost
at auction was $72,500, plus $55,000 invested in revocation work on much needed repairs, and critical updating to the electrical wiring system, plumbing, insulation, all new sheet rocks on all walls and ceilings, etc.
Foot Note: I have since (2010) located all of the previous owner' at the local cemetery.Everyone is buried within a radius of 200 ft.of each other. I am positive this was not planned..So, since I didn't desire to break the chain, I bought my final resting place within the same radius of all the former owners. To date, there are 3 women who were connected to this house, from it's past, that are still alive.
Doris Lauber, Eloise Tuck, and her daughter Susan Tuck. (She is now married, I have chosen to leave out her married name) That about brings this old house up to date.
I do have a photo copy of the original deed of sales from 1920 from the land company. The wording, in itself, is very telling of the prevailing mindsets of the early 20th century,
It's interesting to note that "walls do talk"..All you have to do is listen to the heartbeat within.
Of all the children that lived in this house for the past almost 90 yrs.None were boys~! All records indicate that the house was either owned, or was titled in a woman's maiden name until of later years.
I add this further note of entry Aug 20, 2010, just a short 14 months after my original closing date.
Much has been accomplished in the last year, so much so, that in hindsight, it's a bit overwhelming to recollect the vast amounts of details.
At this point, the final stages for painting the exterior of the house is almost done. The repairs, and all the efforts to retain the original storm windows, etc, has been quite a huge effort. Scrapping the old layered paint off, making necessary repairs/replacement of glass, wood frames as needed, plus the actual re-painting, consume a tonz of energy~!! It's been worth it~!:) Out of 30 storm windows, only 3 were so badly rotten that they had to be totally replaced with new replicate. The main difference is that the original wood used in the 1920s was Cypress wood, and the new wooden storm windows today were made from Amish grown and cut, high grade Ash wood. It's beginning to look comfortable.