Sunday, February 13, 2011

A. A. Demmer House

Sometimes I set out to do a quick 'then and now' for this blog and manage to get into a pickle. Remember the Ebeneezer Gregg/Myron Foote house debacle?

Well here's another one. It comes from the pages of the 1895 Lorain Evening Herald Industrial Edition, which highlighted Lorain's manufacturing strengths and featured prominent businessmen of that era. It included this short biography of A. A. Demmer, as well as his portrait and photo of his home.

Mr. A. A. Demmer, the contractor and builder of Lorain, was born in York township, Medina county, Ohio, in 1857 and received his early education in the district schools at his home. His father was a carpenter and contractor, and for forty years carried on an extensive business in his line.

Mr. A. A. Demmer was for some time in business in Cleveland, and during that time enjoyed an exceptionally good business.

Since his location in Lorain he has been employed by all the representative business men and has been successful, indeed, and is prepared to do all kinds of building and contracting, also wood work of every kind.

He is a man of honesty and can be depended upon, and his business is always satisfactory, and in all he is a citizen of true worth.

His office and shop is at No. 50 Everett Street. A cut of Mr. Demmer and his beautiful residence is given herewith.

Although the above article indicated that A. A. Demmer's office and shop was at 50 Everett Street, his residence in the 1903 directory (the earliest book available) was listed as 321 Everett Street. Charles Demmer lived right next door at 325 Everett Street.

When the newly renamed and renumbered addresses appeared in the 1912 Lorain City Directory, Mr. Demmer was now listed at 121 W. 22nd Street. Assuming that he stayed put, and that the house in the above photo was the 321 Everett address, then that would make it the house shown below.

But maybe he didn't stay put. Check out the house right next door (below).

It looks more like the 1895 photo than the other one! Did A. A. Demmer move into Charles Demmer's slightly nicer house just in time for the 1912 City Directory with the new addresses? Charles Demmer was nowhere to be found in the 1912 book, and A. A. Demmer soon disappeared as well.

Some days it just doesn't pay to be an amateur historian. I guess I will let you know if I figure this whole thing out!

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