James Henry House

 

Photo by Alex Forist, April 2006

  • Location: 711 West South Street, Kalamazoo
  • Survey ID: R-17
  • Designation: James Henry House
  • Date: ca 1852
  • Style: Greek Revival L-shaped

The following material is from the 1973 Initial Inventory of Historic Sites and Buildings in Kalamazoo and was made available for use here by the Historic Preservation Coordinator of the City of Kalamazoo. See Introduction to an Initial Inventory for details about how the survey was conducted.

The modest classical features of this simple L-shaped Greek Revival house were duplicated in many other mid-century homes in the village. The rambling additions to the rear of the house gave it a spacious interior and the return cornices, small entablature and temple roof pitch gave it a quiet dignity well-suited to the neighborhood. 

A number of Kalamazoo's early settlers owned or occupied the home at one time or another. Tax records show that the land belonged to John Coleman, a member of the pioneer family headed by Oliver Coleman. In 1852, one J. F. Childs built what appears to be the present home on the site. He sold it at once to J. G. Garland. Garland had just moved to Kalamazoo from Buffalo, New York. He advertised in the Gazette as a piano-maker and soon added furniture and ready-made coffins to his stock. Garland sold the property a year later to Barent Hogeboom, blacksmith, who was soon to go into the spring wagon and fancy carriage business. Hogeboom, who lived for years at the corner of what is now Academy and Westnedge, apparently held the property for speculation and seems to have built a second house on the west side of the lot. He in turn sold his interest in 1855 to Josiah Hawes. Hawes, who emigrated to Kalamazoo from New York in 1852, was then in his thirties and developing a solid reputation as a trial lawyer in southwestern Michigan. He would ultimately become a circuit judge in 1875. Hawes paid taxes on both parts of the lot during the 'fifties, but in May of 1862, the tax assessor credited David Morse with the "East Part of Lot C". In August 1866, James Henry recorded a deed for that Portion of the lot.

James Henry had moved to Gull Prairie in 1841, when he was only twenty-two. He lived there, in Schoolcraft, and in Richland Township in the next decade. Then, in 1852, local voters made him Register of Deeds-a position he held for four terms. He was living in Kalamazoo as Register of Deeds with his wife, Fanny, and four sons when the Census-taker recorded him in 1860. 

In 1862, he became Deputy United States Marshall and later Marshall for the western district of the state. It was as the U.S. Marshall that he occupied the South Street house in the 'sixties and 'seventies, One son, Willie, helped him as Deputy for a time around 1870. In 1880, the Census-taker found him incapacitated by asthma, and the Gazette recorded his death a year later. 

The city directory placed Fannie Henry, William and Albert at the South Street address as late as 1897. Albert Henry remained in 1899. He was then a cashier in the Michigan National Bank and continued to occupy the house for several years,

Maps:

1853- hse shows E1/2

1861- hses on E & on W1/2      

Kalamazoo County Tax Rolls:

1850 John Coleman NE corner, lot C, sec. 16 60 1.44

1850

T. Bendure w 1/2 lot G 50 1.20
1851 undetermined      
1852 C...& Childs N1/2 and SW1/2 lot C 200   3.94
1853 J. G. Garland (uniform jump) 800  
1854 Barent Hogeboom   400 1.81
1855 same   800 5.36
1856 Josiah Hawes (probably 2 houses on lot now) 1000  
1857 same   1000 12.95
1858 same   750 17.20
1859 same   1200 21.58
1860 same W1/2 and N5/8 of lot C 900 & 400 18.70 8.31
1861 same   900 & 400 17.45 7.75
1862 David L. Morse East Part lot C 380  
1863 same   380  
1864 same   380  
1865        
1866        
1867 James Henry E1/2 Corner lot C Homestead 600  
1868 same   600  
1869 same   600  
1870 same (uniform assessment jump) 1000  

Kalamazoo County Deeds office:

7 Jan 1853, J. G. Garland from J.F. Childs, 700 (all of lot C)

2 May 1854, B. Hogeboom from J. G. Garland, 800 (all of lot C)

21 June 1855, J. Hawes from B. Hogeboom, 1500

9 June 1864, D. Morse from J. Hawes, 150 (extra land for E1/2 C)

8 Aug 1866, J. Henry from D. Morse, $2175

U. S. Population Census Rolls:

1860 James Henry, 41, Register of Deeds, $6000 real, 600 pers., b. VT., Fanny Henry, 37, b. Conn.; Frank, 16, clerk, b. Mich.; Willis, 12; Albert, 10; Eugene, 2; Martha Earle, 20, b. Vt.; A. S. Stevens, 17, clerk, b. Canada.

1870 J. Henry, 50, U.S. Marshall, 5000, 2000, b. Vt.; Fannie, 48, b. Conn.; Frank, 25, bookkeeper; Willie, 22, Dep. U. S. Marshall; Albert 20, Bookkeeper; Eugene, 13, son

1880  J. Henry, 60, U. S. Marshall (Incap. by Asthma), b. Vt.; Fannie, wife, 58; William, son, 32, clerk; Albert, son, 29, bookkeeper

This report was converted from a typewritten document to a digital text document in September 2004. Other than punctuation and spelling corrections, and the addition of BOLD type site address and names, no changes were made. Minor formatting changes were made for use on this website, but the text was not altered. Original survey dated 1973.

Sources

Books

Kalamazoo: Nineteenth-Century Homes in a Midwestern Village

  • Schmitt, Peter J. 
  • Kalamazoo City Historical Commission, 1976, pages 40, 41, 43, 66 and 67
  • H 720.9774 S355