Smith-Davidson-Scheffer House, 908 Mound Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota

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|house_intro=Smith-Davidson-Scheffer House/Commodore Davidson House/Mounds Park Rest Home/Mounds Park Residence; Built in 1856 (1850 according to the Dayton's Bluff Neighborhood Association; 1875 according to Ramsey County property tax records.) The structure is a two story, 8412 square foot, nursing home/private hospital. The house was built for Truman Smith. The 1930 city directory indicates that Frank G. Hill, a cabinetmaker, his wife, Ida M. Hill, Irven C. Hill, a selector employed by Merrill Greer Chapman Company, his wife, Marie Hill, and Edward J. McMonigal resided at this address. Truman M. Smith began his career as a banker, also was a realtor and a marble dealer, and was once among the richer men in the city. In 1850, Smith built this house with a commanding view of the Mississippi River. He had a love of gardening and his home site was adorned with a variety of flowers. In 1856, Smith was one of 11 realtors in business in St. Paul, including Lyman Dayton, according to a trade directory. In 1860, Smith grew an acre of grapes. Truman M. Smith started a nursery on Dayton's Bluff, St. Paul, in 1866, selling hardy roses, fruit plants and evergreens. Along with many others, Smith was wiped out in the 1857 financial panic, his house went on the auction block, and his career as a banker was over. To survive, Smith turned his green thumb into a livelihood and was soon a major garden farmer, put out a catalog that listed a wide selection of small fruits and other plants for sale, had a vineyard of 5,000 well trained vines, and raised ten varieties of pears, 30 different types of apples, and nearly 40 types of grapes. In 1877, Truman Smith became embroiled in a raging controversy over the morality of horse racing, and accompanying gambling, at the Minnesota State Fair, joining William W. Folwell, president of the University of Minnesota, in opposing the efforts of William S. King, president of the Minnesota Agriculture Society and publisher of the State Atlas and of the Minneapolis Daily Tribune, to conduct races at the fair. According to Smith's great great granddaughter, Joan Cotter of Evanston, Illinois, Truman M. Smith eventually was elected president of the Minnesota Grange and of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, moved to San Diego, California, in 1888, but died in 1909 in St. Paul. Smith was the president of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society for seven years. Truman Smith also once resided at 97 Hoffmann. The house was subsequently owned by W. Davidson, who had a glassed-in pilot house built on top of the house, but since removed. After the house had fallen into disrepair, was won in a $5 raffle by a Dr. Murphy, was owned by banker Albert Scheffer from 1886 to 1899, and became a military academy, Mrs. Mildred Evans restored the house in the 1940's and operated the Mounds Park Rest Home at this address. Vera M. Millidge and Catherine Haverty resided at this address in 2006. Commodore "Fuse" Davidson (1825-1887) and the late Wash Honsehll started steamboating together as deckhands on a small boat called the "Resist," plying between Portsmouth and Catlettsburg, Kentucky. Both died millionaires, with Davidson worth four million dollars at his death. Honshell became head of the Big Sandy Packet Company and controlled the Davidson line of packets on the upper Mississippi. Captain W. Fuse Davidson piloted the "Tom Scott" and the "Major O'Drain," which were built by Captain Daniel Vaughan of Louisa, Lawrence County, Kentucky. In 1909, Mrs. Davidson, widow of the famous millionaire steamboat captain and owner, "Fuse" Davidson, died in St. Paul, leaving an estate that still runs into the millions. J. J. Davidson was a brother of Commodore Davidson. At one point, the Davidsons lived at South Point, Lawrence County, Ohio, and some of them still live there. Wash Honshell lived in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, just across the river. The estate of W. F. Davidson, a real estate speculator who owned numerous parcels of land in downtown St. Paul, owned the parcels on which the Lowry Medical Arts Building now stands. Commodore W. F. Davidson organized the La Crosse and Minnesota Packet Company in the 1860's. Commodore W. F. Davidson (1825-1878), the son of Rev. William Davidson ( -1884), was born in South Point, Ohio, initially worked on the Ohio River as a roustabout, moved to St. Paul in 1855, commenced steamboating on the Upper Mississippi in 1856, operating the steamboat "Jacob Traber," was a member of the Presbyterian church, and married Miss Johnson, the daughter of Benjamin Johnson, in 1856, and the couple had at least two children. Mrs. W. F. Davidson's sisters mazrried Captain P. S. Davidson, the brother of W. F. Davidson, Captain Barton, and Captain William Bay. Jerry Davidson of South Point, Ohio, was a half brother of W. F. Davidson. In 1857, Davidson added the steamboat "Frank Steele", and included the Minnesota river in his field of operations. In 1859, Davidson added the steamboat ";;;Olian," the steamboat "Favorite," and the steamboat "Winona." In 1860, Davidson organized the La Crosse & Minnesota Packet Company, with his five previously purchased steamers in the line. In 1862, the steamboat "Keokuk" and the steamboat "Northern Belle" were added to the line. Between 1860 and 1880, W. F. Davidson, of South Point, Ohio, was the largest single owner of boats on the Upper Mississippi River, with 40 steamboats. In 1864, the La Crosse and Minnesota Packet Company merged with the Northern Line Packet Company to form the Norwestern Union Packet Company. The "Frank Steele" was a side wheel packet steamboat that was built just for the Minnesota River and probably was named for Franklin Steele, a suttler at Fort Snelling and the father of the wife of Henry Hastings Sibley. In 1858, the steamboat "Frank Steele" operated from Cincinnati to St. Louis. The steamboat "Northern Belle" was a sidewheel wooden hull packet, had a hull 226 feet long by 29 feet wide by five feet deep, had a 329 ton displacement, was launched in 1856 at Cincinnati, Ohio, was destroyed sometime after 1870, served the Galena-Dubuque-Dunleith-St. Paul area in 1858, and the Upper Mississippi River area in 1962, was owned by the Galena, Dubuque, Dunleith and Minnesota Packet Company in 1856 and by Commodore W. F. Davidson in 1862, was captained by Jesse Y. Hurd in 1858-1859 and by 1861 in W. H. Laughton, raced the steamboat "Key City" in 1856 and lost, became a tow-boat and was also the longest lived steamboat on the Upper Mississippi River. William F. Davidson was a Saint Paul and Saint Louis businessman who virtually controlled steamboat traffic on the upper Mississippi after the Civil War through his popular White Collar Line. The North Western Union Packet Company was formed in 1864 by consolidation of Northern Line Packet Company and the La Crosse & Minnesota Packet Company, with Commodore William Fuson "Fuse" Davidson as its primary officer, served the Upper Mississippi River area, operated the following steamboats in the 1860's, "Belle," 1864, "John Kyle," 1870, "Belle of La Crosse," "Moses McLellan,";; "Ocean Wave," "Itasca," "Diamond Jo," "Key City," "Milwaukee City," "War Eagle," "Phil Sheridan," "S.S. Mitchell," the "City of St. Paul," "Tom Jasper," and the "City of Quincy," and it absorbed the Minnesota Packet Company. The North Western Union Packet Company was the union of the "Davidson Line" and the Minnesota Packet Company, starting with one boat and growing to 14 list class packets, 19 stern wheel steamers together, 131 barges, and over 2,300 employees in 1869. Lester B. Shippee, in a 1919 speech and a 1920 article, "Steamboating on the Upper Mississippi After the Civil War: A Mississippi Magnate," in the The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 6, No. 4, argues that Commodore Davidson had the single greatest impact in ruining Upper Mississippi River steam boating during the 1880's. Frank G. Hill ( -1856) was born outside of Minnesota, had a mother with a maiden name of Allison, and died in Ramsey County. Truman Matt Smith ( -1909) died in Ramsey County. The current owners of record of the rental property are Laura L. Reynolds and R. David Reynolds, who reside in Stillwater, Minnesota. The 1930 city directory indicates that Frank J. Niederkorn resided at the former nearby 908 1/2 Mound Street. Frank Niederkorn ( -1932) died in Ramsey County.  
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|house_intro=Smith-Davidson-Scheffer House/Commodore Davidson House/Mounds Park Rest Home/Mounds Park Residence; Built in 1856 (1850 according to the Dayton's Bluff Neighborhood Association; 1875 according to Ramsey County property tax records.) The structure is a two story, 8412 square foot, nursing home/private hospital. The house was built for John Burns, but before it was completed he went belly up. Truman Smith then purchased it and completed the home.  
 +
Truman M. Smith began his career as a banker, also was a realtor and a marble dealer, and was once among the richer men in the city. In 1850, Smith built this house with a commanding view of the Mississippi River. He had a love of gardening and his home site was adorned with a variety of flowers. In 1856, Smith was one of 11 realtors in business in St. Paul, including Lyman Dayton, according to a trade directory. In 1860, Smith grew an acre of grapes. Truman M. Smith started a nursery on Dayton's Bluff, St. Paul, in 1866, selling hardy roses, fruit plants and evergreens. Along with many others, Smith was wiped out in the 1857 financial panic, his house went on the auction block, and his career as a banker was over. To survive, Smith turned his green thumb into a livelihood and was soon a major garden farmer, put out a catalog that listed a wide selection of small fruits and other plants for sale, had a vineyard of 5,000 well trained vines, and raised ten varieties of pears, 30 different types of apples, and nearly 40 types of grapes. Smith moved to San Diego, California, in 1888, but died in 1909 in St. Paul. 
 +
 +
The house was subsequently owned by W. Davidson, who had a glassed-in pilot house built on top of the house, but since removed. After the house had fallen into disrepair, was won in a $5 raffle by a Dr. Murphy, was owned by banker Albert Scheffer from 1886 to 1899, and became a military academy, Mrs. Mildred Evans restored the house in the 1940's and operated the Mounds Park Rest Home at this address.
 +
 +
Commodore "Fuse" Davidson (1825-1887) and the late Wash Honsehll started steamboating together as deckhands on a small boat called the "Resist," plying between Portsmouth and Catlettsburg, Kentucky. Both died millionaires, with Davidson worth four million dollars at his death.
 +
 +
Albert Scheffer who was president of the German American Bank later purchased the modest stone house and added the EastLake style decoration on the home turning it into an elaborate show peice. 
 +
 +
By the 1940s it had been subdivided into apartments and the address was changed. The huge lot that the home once sat on had been subdivided by this time.
 +
 +
The current owners of record of the rental property are Laura L. Reynolds and R. David Reynolds, who reside in Stillwater, Minnesota.
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Revision as of 17:18, February 1, 2009

Edit with form

Smith-Davidson-Scheffer House

c 1888
Address: 908 Mound Street
Neighborhood/s: Dayton's Bluff, Saint Paul, Minnesota
City/locality-
State/province
Saint Paul, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Ramsey County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1850
Primary Style: Other
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Current Function: Sanitarium
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Stone
Material of Roof: Wood
Material of Foundation: Limestone
First Owner: Truman Smith

Dayton's Bluff Saint Paul Ramsey

Smith-Davidson-Scheffer House, 908 Mound Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
(44.948535° N, 93.060948° WLatitude: 44°56′54.726″N
Longitude: 93°3′39.413″W
)


Smith-Davidson-Scheffer House/Commodore Davidson House/Mounds Park Rest Home/Mounds Park Residence; Built in 1856 (1850 according to the Dayton's Bluff Neighborhood Association; 1875 according to Ramsey County property tax records.) The structure is a two story, 8412 square foot, nursing home/private hospital. The house was built for John Burns, but before it was completed he went belly up. Truman Smith then purchased it and completed the home.

Truman M. Smith began his career as a banker, also was a realtor and a marble dealer, and was once among the richer men in the city. In 1850, Smith built this house with a commanding view of the Mississippi River. He had a love of gardening and his home site was adorned with a variety of flowers. In 1856, Smith was one of 11 realtors in business in St. Paul, including Lyman Dayton, according to a trade directory. In 1860, Smith grew an acre of grapes. Truman M. Smith started a nursery on Dayton's Bluff, St. Paul, in 1866, selling hardy roses, fruit plants and evergreens. Along with many others, Smith was wiped out in the 1857 financial panic, his house went on the auction block, and his career as a banker was over. To survive, Smith turned his green thumb into a livelihood and was soon a major garden farmer, put out a catalog that listed a wide selection of small fruits and other plants for sale, had a vineyard of 5,000 well trained vines, and raised ten varieties of pears, 30 different types of apples, and nearly 40 types of grapes. Smith moved to San Diego, California, in 1888, but died in 1909 in St. Paul.

The house was subsequently owned by W. Davidson, who had a glassed-in pilot house built on top of the house, but since removed. After the house had fallen into disrepair, was won in a $5 raffle by a Dr. Murphy, was owned by banker Albert Scheffer from 1886 to 1899, and became a military academy, Mrs. Mildred Evans restored the house in the 1940's and operated the Mounds Park Rest Home at this address.

Commodore "Fuse" Davidson (1825-1887) and the late Wash Honsehll started steamboating together as deckhands on a small boat called the "Resist," plying between Portsmouth and Catlettsburg, Kentucky. Both died millionaires, with Davidson worth four million dollars at his death.

Albert Scheffer who was president of the German American Bank later purchased the modest stone house and added the EastLake style decoration on the home turning it into an elaborate show peice.

By the 1940s it had been subdivided into apartments and the address was changed. The huge lot that the home once sat on had been subdivided by this time.

The current owners of record of the rental property are Laura L. Reynolds and R. David Reynolds, who reside in Stillwater, Minnesota.

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