|Authenticated Sears Randolph • 1932 • 651 W. Frisco, Webster Groves, Missouri|
|Here is The Randolph as shown in my January 1931 catalog. Notice how the side windows match.|
|The Willard -- the frame version of The Randolph. The floor plans and footprint are exactly the same, it's just the outer material that differs.|
|Showing the right side of the house -- a double window in the second floor bedroom, as expected per the floor plan,|
and a nice set of triple windows are hiding behind the bushes on the first floor.
|Second floor-- Double windows in each of the bedrooms|
|First floor ... there are the triple windows of the living room.|
Notice the corner fireplace in the living room.
|I took this photo to get the house number, but I really like this beautiful front door.|
Well, that depends on the year... obviously. Usually, when we find a mortgage for a Sears house, the folks who are listed on that mortgage can be traced as living there for a good long while after the construction of the house. If you went to all of the trouble to buy a kit home from Sears, with every bit of lumber and framing and all of the nuts and screws and bolts and light fixtures and doors and shutters and shingles shipped to you in one big shipment, wouldn't you probably be intending to hang around and live there for many years to come? That's what I usually find. If someone buys a Sears house in 1929 or 1930 or 1932, I see them in that same house in the 1940 census. Usually.
But, in this case, this home was built in 1932 by Albert E. Lazier, who first lived in nearby Kirkwood, Missouri, from the time he came to the U.S. from Canada in 1889. In 1890, he married native Missourian Frances Doerr, and together they had five children. By 1930, the Lazier family was living at 733 Berry Road, in Oakland, Missouri (a tiny municipality just between Kirkwood and Webster Groves) -- a residence which is no longer standing. Albert worked as a carpenter.
|Here are Frances (seated) and Albert, with someone named Nina, sometime late in their lives.|
(Source: Finch/Chappee family tree on Ancestry.com)
But, what does exist, is a 1940 census listing that shows that a young couple -- Adolphus and Idella Harris-- lived in the Randolph in Webster Groves, with their little baby girl, Gloria Jean. Adolphus worked as a painter and decorator, and he and Idella can't have lived in the house for very long at that point -- they were only 21 and 22 at the time of the 1940 census. Interestingly, Adolphus had grown up right down the street from the Laziers, on S. Berry Road in Oakland, he at 633, and they at 733. I wonder if Albert -- who was already close to 70 when the Randolph was built-- chose not to stay there for long after Frances passed away, and sold it to Adolphus around the time that he married Idella. They may well have been families who knew each other, working in similar trades, and living only houses away from each other. In any case, Albert Lazier ended his days living with his son, and passed away in 1942, at age 78.
|The 1940 census showing the young Harris family living at 651 W. Frisco.|
I have been working with a group of dedicated, hard-working researchers to help find, authenticate, and add homes to The National Database of Sears Homes -- a project begun by Lara Solonickne of the blog Sears Homes of Chicagoland, which I mention here often (in fact, here is a post that Lara did in June of 2015, showing another Randolph, and a Willard). The database is a thorough, well-researched list of Sears homes in the U. S., listing homes by model name (or number) and address, while also noting whether or not the home has been authenticated, how it has been authenticated, and often including a link to images or further information about many of the homes. Thanks to our list, I was able to look for a few more examples of probable and authenticated Randolphs and Willards, and even found a real estate listing for one. I love to see interiors of these homes, so I'll include a number of them as I wrap up this post.
None of the Willards shown here are authenticated, but they are all highly probable as Sears homes. Click on any of the images to enlarge. The Cincinnati Willards below were originally identified by Beatrice Lask, who did a Masters Thesis on Sears Houses in Cincinnati. Thanks to Cindy Catanzaro and Andrew Mutch for that information. To read a summary of Bea's thesis, click here. To view the entire document, find the link to the right of this post.
|Randolph at 2215 Glenside Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio|
(To read about clarification of the mis-identifying of this home, click here,
and scroll down to Cindy Catanzaro's comment.)
|1929 Willard at 6033 Graceland, Cincinnati, Ohio|
( From Bea Lask's Masters Thesis)
|Sears Willard, at 22919 Oxford St., Dearborn, MI • 1929|
(from the Sears Archives list, address found by Nigel T.)
|1929 Willard at 3828 Indianview, Cincinnati, Ohio|
(From Bea Lask's Masters Thesis)
|943 Forest Avenue, Milford, Ohio|
This home was identified by the late Laraine Shape, an avid Sears researcher.
This photo is property of Cindy Catanzaro [Sears Houses In Ohio]
and may not be used without permission.
|This shot (from a Trulia listing for the Milford, Ohio house) shows |
what looks surely to be a Sears door.
|1929 Willard at 4 Alpine Drive, Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky|
As Lara points out in her blog post, some Willards and Randolphs have a straight edge to their "cat slide" entry gable,
while others have a more gently-curved look.
|Living Room, with its triple windows, |
and entry to stairway leading to the upstairs bedrooms.
|Looking from the LR into the DR and a bit of the kitchen.|
|You can see the entry alcove with the curved front door, |
as well as the corner fireplace.
|Not a typical Sears-pattern brick fireplace, I believe.|
|Seeing a bit into the kitchen, on the left, and directly into the LR.|
|The kitchen with its two nice windows.|
|Obviously these wouldn't be the original fittings for the kitchen, |
but it does look to be the original size and layout.
|Here you can see the back door from the kitchen, |
that leads to the sunporch,
next to the door that heads to the stairway for the basement
-- both just as they should be from the catalog image.
|Looks like a lovely, added sunporch in the back--|
not a standard feature of the Willard model.
|Expected double windows in one of the two upstairs bedrooms.|
|Nice solid doors with what look like |
typical Sears hinges and door hardware.
|Lovely wide floor moldings, and window frames, |
so typical of the quality of Sears homes.
|The Willard in Milford, Ohio, was recently for sale, as well.|
This shot (on Trulia listing) shows more of the quality window
and floor trim that you find in Sears homes.
|This shot from the kitchen of the Willard in Milford, Ohio, |
shows what is probably an original built-in, in the kitchen.
|May 2016 photo of the Alpine Drive home, by Cindy Catanzaro, Sears Houses in Ohio.|
|Probable Willard in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.|
(Photo courtesy of Cindy Catanzaro, Sears Houses in Ohio)
Other House Models With the A-shaped "catslide" Entry Gable
The "swoopy" (as I like to call it) entry gable that we see for the Randolph/Willard model, is seen on many Sears models from the late 1920s and through the 1930s. It was a common design feature in homes from many companies, including other kit-home companies (like Gordon-Van Tine and Lewis and Sterling), but also with most all plan-book patterns of that era. To see more about what other features to look for, and see images of a few different models with this feature, see my recent blog post, here, about the Sears Clifton located behind the Randolph at 651 W. Frisco.