Monday, April 16, 2012

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Well, there used to be a doctor in the house of one of my next subjects. I found these two homes on an Elm Street walk, just north of Music Hall and Washington Park.
1414 Elm (center) and 1416 Elm (left)
I thought it was curious that this white house was seemingly "stuck" between two Italianate buildings. Let's start with some maps:
1887 Sanborn Map - Source
1416 Elm began its life as 478 Elm. If you notice in the map above, 476 Elm does not yet exist in 1887. The map below shows it had not been built by 1891.
1891 Sanborn Map - Source
This is a good way to date a building and verify if the year built dates the County Auditor has are accurate - to check the maps and see if the basic structure we see today existed at the time of the older maps. The Auditor had no year built for 1416 Elm but we can clearly see it was built before 1887. For 1414 Elm, the year built was 1900, which seems pretty accurate in this case.
1904-1930 Sanborn Map - Source
In the above map, you can now see how 1414 Elm was "wedged" into the space between 1412 and 1416. So who owned this home? Well it's a bit of a complicated story. Try to follow along...

It appears that 1416 Elm was built around 1862 for Charles Jacob, Jr., a partner in a business of meat packing, produce and merchants. He was the Mayor of Cincinnati from 1879 to 1881. I found this wonderful biography of Mr. Jacob, who is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery:

A native of Glan-Munchweiler, Germany, he emigrated to the United States to apprentice as a butcher in his uncle's shop. He eventually took over the business, expanded, and then helped to found the German Banking Company. He later became a modest railroad promoter and a member of the Police Advisory Board. He quelled a riot in a German neighborhood and soon became very popular among the large German population in Cincinnati. A Republican, he was elected Mayor of Cincinnati and served from 1879 to 1881. As Mayor, he proclaimed that October 9th was to be Museum Day and treated as a holiday when the Cincinnati Art Museum opened in 1880. He died at his residence in Cincinnati when he was 78 years old. - Source
After Mr. Jacob's death, George F. Sudhoff, a doctor, owned the home.  Dr. Sudhoff decided around 1900 to build his own home on the vacant lot next door. He even had his initial put above the front door of 1414 Elm Street.
Source - Author
Dr. Sudhoff sold his prior home at 1416 Elm Street to his brother-in-law, Henry F. Schlueter, who was married to Dr. Sudhoff's wife's sister (I told you this got confusing!). Mr. Schlueter was listed in 1900 as the vice-president of The Norwood Bicycle Company, whose offices were on Plum Street but then owned his own dry goods store by 1910. He also had a tenant in his home, a barber by the name of George Scheid and his family.

Dr. Sudhoff unfortunately did not get to enjoy his new home for long since he passed away in 1906 from consumption, today known as tuberculosis:
The sad death is announced of Dr. George T. Sudhoff, after a long illness, of consumption. Dr. Sudhoff was a graduate of Miami Medical College, class of 1889, and served a year as interne to the Cincinnati Hospital, on leaving which institution he began the practice of his profession in Cincinnati. He has served his alma mater in various capacities, but will be remembered by the large number of students he so successfully taught for his faithful and painstaking work as Demonstrator of Histology. Finally, however, on account of failing health, he was compelled to sever his college connections and then to give up the large and lucrative practice, that had naturally gravitated to so excellent a clinician, and seek a respite in another and more equable climate. All in vain, and he at last returned home, preferring to meet his end among his family and friends. Dr. Sudhoff was an excellent teacher, a conscientious physician, and, above all, a good man, and as such will be sincerely mourned by all who knew him. - Source
By 1910, 1414 Elm had been turned into a tenement with at least 11 people living there including three actors/actresses, an artist and a musician, Jean Hausknect, who played with the Cincinnati Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.
1930 US Census - Source
The Schlueter family remained at 1416 Elm through the 1910's, while renting space to other families. By 1920, the home had become a rental property with an undertaking business run in the rear portion. In 1930, Theo Westerhoff, a lawyer, and his wife, Sarah, who is listed as providing furnished rooms owned 1414 Elm. 1416 Elm was also a rooming house in the same year.

1940 US Census - Source
By 1940, the Westerhoff's had moved on to another home and Gustav Prohaska, from Germany, owned 1414 Elm and was providing furnished rooms to people who were born in Ohio, Kentucky, Lithuania, and Hungary.

Rear of 1414 Elm (center) and a small portion of 1416 Elm (right) where you can see the gaping hole in the brick on the third floor. The front of 1416 Elm has also lost its cornice at the top since the auditor's 2008 photo. Source - Author
3CDC currently owns both of these buildings. Their future is not currently known, but work has begun across the street at 1405 Elm as part of the City Home development, and at 1401 Elm, where four residential units and 1,549 of commercial space will be available.
1405 Elm prospective sketch - Source - 3CDC

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