Monday, March 30, 2015

Joshua Dalton's Residence

I had often wondered about the early residential works of William Waters.  Published lists from biographies and newspaper articles tended to mention only the homes of the well-to-do, folks such as S. M. Hay and W. H. Doe and being prominent persons images of their dwelling were easy to find. But certainly Mr. Waters did more than homes for lumbermen and bankers.   A few weeks ago a Facebook friend and fellow Waters devotee posted several pictures of a house at 723 Frederick Street in Oshkosh.  In one image there can be seen a notice of condemnation attach to the front door.  The friend expressed fear that the house would soon be bulldozed.  He also said that he thought it may have been the work of architect Waters. I had noticed the house years ago but had never considered that Mr. Waters had designed it.
I went the pages of "Willie's Book" to look for clues and I was astonished by what I found; there were detail sketches of window frames, gable arches and a front elevation, the house was clearly the work of William Waters.  In the 1870's two of the most popular picturesque styles were Italianate and Carpenter Gothic, this house was of the latter.  Characteristically Gothic style houses would have board and batten siding and Gothic arch windows.  Mr. Waters had made his own interpretation of the style, with no Gothic aches and board and batten siding in the gables only.  The gables had segmented arches with trefoil and quatrefoil openings with elaborate fascia boards and finials on the roof peaks, the windows were surrounded by ornate frames.

The house was built for Joshua Dalton a house painter who worked with his father for many years but later opened a grocery store in Methodist Church block on the corner of Main and Merritt Streets. An article published in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern of  December 14, 1877 give a list of the new house construction in the past season and there among them is Joshua Dalton's residence on Leaf Street.


  1. "Joshua Dalton has finished a fine residence on Leaf street, 32x60, two stories high and basement. Cost $2,500." Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, Dec 14, 1877, as part of a long article about construction during the preceding building season.

  2. Thanks Mara I've up-dated the post to reflect your find. I didn't know of that article and have gained other important facts. Thanks again.