Thursday, August 18, 2011

The House on Maupin Row - Those Places Thursday

I wrote recently about being contacted by families living in homes where my great-grandparents lived over a century ago. One of the homes is in Johnson City, TN where my grandmother Iva Williams Sawyer grew up. The homeowners were wondering if Iva's father had built the house and I thought it entirely possible. R.J. Williams was a skilled carpenter and cabinet maker. We knew the family was living in the house by the 1910 census. City records showed the house was built in 1907, though the homeowners were told that date was not the date of construction, but of when the home was remodeled and electricity added. I wondered if R.J. had done an extensive addition in 1907 to the house, adding a second story and two story addition.

R.J. and Flora Williams family, c. 1904


One of our family treasures is a photograph of the family in front of their home taken about 1904 when Iva, clutching a doll on the steps, was in her moppet phase. Her brothers Argil and Earl are standing on the porch. Brother Guy is to the right of the stairs. Her father is seated on the porch. Her mother is standing near the window in front of the house. This home is far smaller than the Maple Street house and after looking at the picture of that house, I don't think the buildings are they same. It is still possible that R.J. was involved in the construction, interior finishes or remodeling of the Maple Street house, but it is not the house the family was living in when the photograph was taken. 

The 1900 census lists the family living on Maupin Row in the First Ward. R.J. owned the home, free of mortgage. I believe this is the house in the photograph. Maupin Row is not found on modern maps, nor could I find it in the 1910 census. However I located many other streets in the same district on Google Maps. Maupin Row was listed near the pins in the top left area of the map. Whatever remains of the house is buried beneath parking lots or highways.



Sources

1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Johnson City, Washington, TN, enumeration district (ED) 149, p. 9A, dwelling 148, family 166, Reese J. Williams; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Aug 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1604.

1910 U.S. census, population schedule, Johnson City, Washington, TN, enumeration district (ED) 0202, p. 7B, dwelling 110, family 111, Reese J. Williams; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 16 Aug 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 1524.

Williams Family, RJ and Flora. Photograph. c. 1904. Digital image. Privately held by Susan Clark, St. Louis, MO. 1980.

5 comments:

  1. Very nice presentation Susan! I just used Google Earth to check out a new address for my grandparents I'd found out about yesterday, only to find it was in the middle of an Intersection. Apparently the main road was crossed by a new highway right where the house had been. Darn! My grandparents moved a lot though and I have found some of the other places they lived still intact. Nice photo of the house, a lovely family heirloom! My cousin Joe Wallen lives in Johnson City.

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  2. So many of my old family homes are parking lots or vacant lots. It's wonderful to have old photographs of the house when it was there and lived in. I like the map too.

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  3. I think when we met that you told me about this house. I, too, have tried to track down homes of my ancestors only to find out that an expressway now goes over the location. Like Kristin and Lisa, I love how you used google maps with this post. I'm getting some ideas.

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  4. I guess a lot of us have to deal with the obliteration of many of the old family homes. There's at least one I would love to have seen that is under water. Love the picture and the map!

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  5. I so love the pictures you use, and the fact you used Google Earth in your post!

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