Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rawson House - Clifton Avenue

While browsing through pictures of Cincinnati homes, this home at 3767 Clifton Avenue caught my eye.
3767 Clifton Avenue - Source - Kevin LeMaster/Building Cincinnati
This home is on the National Register of Historic Places as the Rawson House. I went off to discover just who the Rawson's were and how they came to own such a beautiful home.

My search turned up that the Rawson family was not the first owner. In a newspaper article from 1982, it states that the home was built in the early 1850's but it did not state who that owner was. Jacob Lloyd Wayne, Jr first listed his address as this home in Clifton in 1868. J.L. Wayne, Jr, owned a very successful hardware business with his father, J.L. Wayne, Sr.
1869 Titus Map - Source
Just nine years later, the home was sold to Joseph Rawson, Jr. (1850-1927). He was also employed in a family business, the Cincinnati tradition of pork packing, along with his father, Joseph Rawson, Sr. (1808-1891), who was born in Massachusetts. The Rawson family traced their family line back to Edward Rawson, who first arrived in the United States in 1637.

The following biography was written about Joseph Rawson, Jr. in 1912:
Joseph Rawson, vice president of the First National Bank of Cincinnati, was born in this city December 18. 1850, a son of Joseph and Mary W. (Richards) Rawson. He was educated in the public schools, passing through primary and intermediate grades until he qualified for the Woodward high school, from which he was graduated in 1868. His collegiate course was pursued at Harvard, where he was graduated in 1872 with the degree of A. B. He then returned to Cincinnati, becoming connected with his father in the pork-packing business. The firm of Rawson & Sons consisted of Joseph Rawson, Sr., Warren, Edward, and Joseph Rawson, Jr. After the death of the father the business was conducted by the three sons, of whom Warren died in 1898. A few years before the death of his father Joseph Rawson. Jr.. became his successor as a director of the First National Bank, which office the father had filled from a short time after the organization of the bank until his retirement. In 1893 the subject of this review was elected to the vice presidency of the institution and has since devoted his entire time to his banking interests, his efforts being a potent element in extending the scope of the bank and placing its affairs upon a most broad and safe foundation.
In the year 1876 Mr. Rawson was united in marriage to Miss Lucie Russell, a daughter of John and Mary S. (Ryland) Russell, both of Cincinnati, and they have seven children. The record of Mr. Rawson needs little comment for it is familiar to his fellow townsmen among whom he has spent his entire life. - Cincinnati, the Queen City, 1788-1912
1922 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
Around 1900, Middleton Avenue made its way through the Rawson land that once was more than 50 acres. In 1923, Joseph Rawson along with other members of the family donated part of the estate to create the Rawson Woods Bird Preserve. After his death (1927) and the death of his wife Lucie in 1938, the home remained in the family with their daughters Bessie, Martha, Marjorie and Gwendolyn living at the residence until their deaths in 1944, 1956, 1956, and 1973, respectively. The entire Rawson family is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery.

1950 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
In the map above, you can see that another part of the Rawson estate was developed into the Rawson Woods subdivision, known for its modern architecture such as the Boulter House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1956.

After the death of Gwendolyn in 1973, the heirs of the Rawson family, J. Rawson Collins, Allison Bishopric and Warren Woodward, had the home added to the National Register of Historic Places. Then, in 1982, with the help of the Miami Purchase Association (now the Cincinnati Preservation Association), the home was sold. (Update - In 2013, the home was sold to the present owners).

Below are the United States Census records for 1880, 1900-1940. If you ever wonder why I do not post the 1890 census, it is because it was burned in a fire in 1921. I find census records immensely useful and interesting.  I hope you found this story of 3767 Clifton Avenue interesting as well.
1880 US Federal Census
1900 US Federal Census
1910 US Federal Census
1920 US Federal Census
1930 US Federal Census
1940 US Federal Census

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