Wednesday, June 20, 2012

1601 Granville Street - Horlocker House

1601 Granville Street, March 2010

Lots 49 and 50 in Smith's Woodland Park Addition

John W. Horlocker was born July 11, 1856 in Ohio, son of Rev. Daniel and Elizabeth Williams Horlocker. He married Lenna M. Ackerson in Kansas City, Kansas on September 14, 1892.
Lenna was born about 1870 in Wyandotte County, Kansas, daughter of George M. and Josephine Pearce Ackerson.

Rev. Daniel Horlocker was associated with the Third Avenue M.E. Church.

In 1905 the Horlockers lived at 1040 Franklin Avenue. The 1906 City Directory shows them at 1601 Granville Street.

In the 1884 and 1890 City Directories, John is listed as a carpenter living on Summit Street. The 1900 Census lists the Horlockers at 1293 Wesley Avenue.

The 1910 Census lists John and Lenna with two nieces, Regina (1891) and Josephine (1894) Williams and a servant, Ada King (age 25). John's occupation is building contractor.

In 1920, John and Lenna were living at 2591 Summit Street. In the 1930 Census, John and Lenna were living with John's older sister Lillian at 1251 Summit Street, a house he lived in in 1890.

The 1945 City Directory shows the widow Lenna living at 143 Sherman Avenue, Apartment 2.

John died October 18, 1941. Lenna died January 1, 1955. They are buried at Greenlawn Cemetery.
On July 9, 1917, the Horlockers exchanged property with Dwight and Evalena M. Howard who lived at 1424 Madison Avenue.

Dwight (Vernon) Howard was born July 10, 1883 in Westerville, son of Mitchell C. and Kate E. Thompson Howard. He married Evalena A. McCune in Franklin County on January 18, 1913. Evalena was born May 22, 1891 in Columbus, daughter of Jonas M. and Evalena Gares McCune. They had three children, Natalie (1914), Dwight Jr,. (1916) and Sylvia A. (1922).
Dwight Howard, Jr.

Evalena's father, Jonas M. McCune lived at 120 Parkwood Avenue. Her brother Jonas F. McCune married Vivian Peavey Dewey who lived at 1631 Granville Street and later at 1599 Clifton Avenue. Jonas F. McCune committed suicide in 1932 and the address given at the time of his death was 105 Woodland Avenue.

Dwight was a general practice attorney. His son, Dwight, Jr. graduated from Ohio State in 1939 with a degree in industrial engineering. He worked for Owens-Corning Glass Company.

The Howards sold their home at 1601 Granville Street and moved to 1581 Hawthorne Park in 1924.

Dwight died in Columbus on December 23, 1942 at his home at 1581 Hawthorne Park. He is buried at Greenlawn Cemetery.

On October 2, 1924 the Howards sold the house to the Froshs.

Dr. Charles Fryer Frosh
circa 1930

Dr. Charles Fryer Frosh was born July 12, 1883 in Zanesville, son of Bennett and Kate Fryer Frosh. He married Eleanor L. Buckley. Eleanor was born February 19, 1885. They had a daughter, Kathryne A. (October 14, 1915-April 12, 1949).

Frosh was a physician. He graduated from Ohio Medical College in 1909. He was on the staff of Mount Carmel Hospital.

Dr. Frosh died at home on March 1, 1947. Eleanor died in Columbus on November 10, 1968. The Froshs are buried at Greenlawn Cemetery.

Eleanor sold the house on October 17, 1951 to Elmer W. Johnson.

Elmer W. Johnson was born about 1904, son of Lindsay and Hattie Johnson.

In the 1930 Census, Elmer is living at 166 Lexington Avenue with his widowed mother. Elmer is working as a "moving picture operator" at the Empress Theater.

The Empress Theater was built by James Albert "Al" Jackson, a successful feed merchant. He and his business partner, James "Ernie" Williams, opened the Empress Theater at 768 East Long Street in 1920. According to oral history, Jackson was angered by the purchase of the nearby Vernon Theatre by a white-owned theatre chain with a “No Admission to Negroes” policy, and decided to build a grand and beautiful theatre especially for Columbus’ African-American population. Jackson said that he'd fix them, "I'll build a theater better than any one in the United States."

Jackson and Williams built, owned, and operated the Empress Theatre, the Empress Soda Grill, and the Crystal Slipper Ballroom.

Empress Theater, on Long near Garfield

A paragraph in the March 6, 1920, edition of the Cleveland Advocate briefly describes the opening of the Empress Theater in Columbus:

New Movie Theater Opened in Ohio's Capital (March 4) - The Empress theater, the new $50,000 movie theater just completed in East Long street, and owned and conducted by two Colored men, J. Ernest Williams and J. Albert Jackson, opened its doors to the public today, a tremendous rush of people clamoring for admission. It is a beautiful playhouse, with all modern accessories. A feature of the opening was the attendance of the L'Llegro Club in a body, followed by a club banquet at Brassfield's cafe.

The Robert Morton Theatre Organ was built in 1928 and installed in the Empress Theatre in Columbus, Ohio. It is a smaller version of the Ohio Theatre’s Mighty Morton Theatre Organ. David Billmire acquired the organ in 1990 and restored it over the next eight years. The original twelve ranks of pipes have been expanded to seventeen, and the entire instrument has been professionally voiced and finished.  It has over 1,200 pipes, and features six sets of tuned percussion, including a vibraphone, chimes, bells, whistles, and a complete set of drums.

Elmer must have maintained the house as a rental property. In 1963, Ruth O. Hall was a tenant.

East Side Man Shot in Head By 2 Robbers, Columbus Dispatch, June 15, 1963, "Sherman Phillips, 45, of 1618 Clifton Ave., was shot in the head by two armed robbers, a man and a woman, late Friday night at a parking lot at 747 E. Long St., police reported.

"Phillips is listed in critical condition Saturday at St. Anthony Hospital after undergoing surgery. The bullet entered his head through his left cheek, police said.

"Witnesses told police they saw the man and woman shoot Phillips and remove "objects" from his pocket. Police have not determined whether Phillips was carrying a billfold, but said $1.02 was found in his pocket at the hospital."

Jury Indicts Man, Woman On First Degree Murder, Columbus Dispatch, August 20, 1963, "The grand jury indicted Ruth O. Hall, 20 of 1601 Granville St., and Robert L. Piper, 27, of 1453 Eastwood Ave., Monday on charges of first degree murder while committing armed robbery.

"They were arrested in the $65 robbery and shooting death June 14 of Sherman Phillips, 45, of 1618 Clifton Ave., in a parking lot at 747 E. Long St.

"Police said the woman enticed Phillips to the lot where he was attacked and shot by Piper. The victim was shot in the face, police said."

Sherman W. Phillips, Jr. was born in 1918 in Virginia, son of Sherman W., Sr and LaVancha M. Phillips. He grew up in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. In 1940 he was a boarder at 1388 Clifton Avenue and he was working as a clerk in a grocery store.

Elmer Johnson died in Columbus on July 7, 1978.

The property was transferred to Sandy A. Wilson on February 23, 1983.

Sandy Wilson died on July 12, 1987 and the property went to her heir, Vanessa Simon (Joseph Earl Curry). She sold the property on November 28, 1988 to Carl and Stacy Woodford, Sr.

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