Saturday, December 31, 2011

Neenah Residences. Part One

The city of Neenah was fertile ground for the talents of William Waters. He designed all manor of buildings in that city; commercial, school and residential. His residential work was extensive and can be divided into homes on Doty Islands' Forest Avenue and those on East Wisconsin Avenue and the west side of town.
One of Mr. Waters earliest efforts was on East Wisconsin Ave with the twin dwellings of C. B. Clark and Frank Shattuck. These homes have been described in another post on the Italianate style. They were probably built about 1873 but by the 1890's were unfashionably out of date. Both house were replaced by mansions designed by the Milwaukee firm, Ferry & Clas. Mrs Clark didn't demolish the old house but had it moved down the street where it still stands, however remolded beyond recognition. The fate of the Shattuck place was most likely the wrecking ball.
Next to Frank Shattuck's, to the west was the residence of another partner in the Kimberly Clark Company, Mr. H. V. Babcock. Mr, Babcock came a little later to East Wisconsin Ave, erecting his Waters designed home in 1881. Although the residence is Queen Anne in style it was the subject of an earlier post on the Tudor style as alteration gave it a Tudor look. The house is rendered here with the original front porch and porte-cochere.
Babcock's neighbor to the west was Henry Sherry a successful lumber man and entrepreneur. Mr. Sherry built his house in 1882 in an eclectic Queen Anne style. The house is replete with a large front porch, porte cochere and an almost steeple like central tower. Sherry must have liked architect Waters' work as he was retained to design office and commercial structures.

Just past the Sherry residence was the 1885 mansion of John Stevens. Mr Stevens was a flour miller and inventor and his invention of a roller-crusher profoundly changed the milling process. He patented the device and became a wealthy man, then built an appropriate dwelling. The immense house was a Queen Anne masterpiece with porches, balconies, porte cochere, bowling ally and one the the larges picture widows of its day. Alas the Stevens house no longer stands.
The work kept coming for William Waters with a commission in 1887 from J. R. Davis for a new residence. The Davis brothers ran the Winnebago Paper Company. J. R. Davis passed away and its difficult to say if he ever lived in the Waters designed residence his widow lived there for many years. The home is pictured here as it was designed by Mr. Waters with a diminutive front porch. Some time around 1900 a sizable porch was added to the front and east side of the structure.
The next house on the block was yet another Waters' job. Built in 1892 for paper company owner C. W. Howard the house was large and imposing with interesting gables, a balcony and full front porch. The house is reminiscent of the Ben Hooper and A.B. Ideson residences in Oshkosh. But for a few minor alterations the building looks much as it did when constructed
There are several more houses of Mr. Waters design along East Wisconsin Avenue as well as those on Forest Avenue but those are for another post.


  1. Clark and Shattuck bought their lots from Henry Sherry on February 8, 1876 for $950 each. The houses were build together and were completed in 1877, probably in August.

  2. Don: Thanks for the info. The construction date was guess work on mu part. I've always wondered about the two house.

  3. Howard house: Neenah Daily Times October 6, 1890:

    Architect Waters, of Oshkosh, has perfected the plans for C. W. Howard's new residence at Park Place.

    1. Thanks Don, I wish there was an index to the Neenah Daily Times for any articles about Wm. Waters.

  4. Regarding the Frank C. Shattuck House, I believe it still stands, and that I am currently one of its tenants. It is located at 332 Fourth Street, just off Forest Street in Neenah. Perhaps I am wrong in this regard, but the structure of my current building is very similar to that of what is shown above.

  5. I Goggled your address and the house looks much like the Shattuck place but for one thing, your house is brick and Shattuck's was not.