Friday, June 28, 2013

At Home in Waupaca

Mr. Waters  found residential commissions throughout the state of Wisconsin and Waupaca provided a few. The architects first job in that city was the county courthouse, built in 1881.  Waupaca was growing fast, many people prospered from that growth and many fine dwelling were being erected.  A brief notice in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern  of July 28, 1881 states that the architect had residential commissions in Appleton, Neenah and Waupaca.  
The C. R. Hoffman residence was one the first houses Waters designed in Waupaca.  Charles R. Hoffman was the proprietor of a jewelry store; born in Chicago, he learned his trade at Giles Brothers of that city.  In 1881 he moved to Waupaca and found employment with W. Chady; after a year he bought out Mr. Chady and continued a thriving business.  He hired William Waters to design a suitable dwelling for his family.  The house was a cottage style the architect had used with great success on many other homes.  The main portion the the building had a long slopping roof with a diminutive dormer and to the right was a large gable.  On the side elevation there was a bay window which straddled the first and second floor and accommodated the stair case.        
Next came the home of S. T. Oborn; Oborn was born in Ulysses, Schuyler County, New York in 1849 and moved with his parents to Neenah.  He attended Baldwin University in Berea, Ohio for three years before entering a career in the milling business, first in Neenah, then Chicago and came to Waupaca in 1876, taking  charge of City Mills.  In 1884 Mr. Oborn partnered with R. N. Roberts and built the Crescent Mills one the the largest and best in the region.  At about the same time he commissioned William Waters to prepare plans for a new house.  The structure was of the Queen Anne Style and not unlike the home of A. W. Patten in Appleton.  A transverse plan was employed with a large gable at one end with a porch. Another porch ran along the front of the house from center to the opposite end and near that end on the second floor was a bay which rose to the attic level. At the center of the roof was a large eyebrow window.  The upper floors were covered with shingles and the first floor sided with clapboards.    
A. G. Nelson was born in Warmland, Sweden in June of 1849, came to Waupaca in August of 1871 and began work at the Eagle Planning Mill.  By 1873 in partnership with his brother J.P. and Ole Olson they purchased the C. H. Ritz Planning Mill which was destroyed by fire in 1877 and rebuilt.  Mr. Nelson was an ambitious man, entering the arena of politics he was elected alderman and later to the state assembly.  By the turn of the twentieth century he'd accomplished a great deal and wanted a home that reflected that.  William Waters drew up plans for a large classical style dwelling with an imposing tower at one corner.  A grand front porch dominated the front elevation and above on the second floor was a large bay window.  The house was capped with a bell cast hipped roof with dormers along the front and sides.

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