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This house was built for Mr. and Mrs. James R. Fisher in 1916. The Fisher’s son, Orr Fisher, painted the famous “Corn Parade” mural in the garage of this home. Orr also painted murals and scenes on the interior walls and floors of the house. After Orr’s parents passed away, the house was sold to Marjorie (Fisher) McFarland, Orr’s niece or cousin, in about the year 1946.
Of course, West Madison Street was Highway (3) 2 at that time and I’ve picked up some information about houses on the old highway.
The houses at 700, 702, 704, and 706 W. Madison were built in 1951 by Whitey Rice. I don’t have documentation on this but both Mike Warin and Peggy Wagenknecht remember this being true. A Mr. Higday from Kellerton was one of the carpenters on this project. The houses are similar in size and shape except for 706 which has been greatly modified.
Mike Warin and I drove around Mount Ayr talking about occupants of houses in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. And I learned something interesting about a house I used to live in.
406 W. Madison, the current home of Dick and Theanna Simpson, was once occupied by Clyde and Jesse Lesan. I lived there from 1972 to 1975. My newspaper notes support Mike’s story that Clyde bought the lot at 404 W. Madison (1946) and built the house that is there now, although I don’t know the year it was built. Jesse Lesan lived in this house in the early 70s.
Walter Hudson’s old house, at 604 W. Madison, was previously occupied by LeRoy Saltzman and J. H. Seevers. Mr. Seevers owned a lumber yard 120 years ago so I suspect it was he who built the house. Seevers, with Jacob Rabb, built the building at 110 W. Madison, now occupied by Shay Investments, in 1890.
In April 1923, M. E. Freeland hired Leonard Rusk to build a two-story house at 501 W. Madison. I read the house that previously sat on this lot was moved one lot south (it has since been torn down). G. Dale Herrington lived in the former Freeland home when I was a teenager.
The United Methodist Church office at 303 W. Madison was dedicated November 4, 1951 as a parsonage. Rev. Swinton and family lived there from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s.
Leland Dalbey built the house at 401 W. Madison in the late 1940s, currently the home of Lynn and Kathy Rinehart. This lot had previously been occupied by West End Service Station which moved out to Highway 2 in 1945.
Mr. and Mrs. Orville Sheldon lived at 601 W. Madison and Orville had a radiator repair shop behind his house. The house is gone now.
Maybe we’ll do East Jefferson in the near future.