Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Tale of a Tailor

I spent this past Saturday, walking around the Findlay Market area of Over-the-Rhine, checking out buildings. There are almost too many to document and research! But this one in particular caught my eye:
Source - Digging Cincinnati History
I just love the detail over the windows and the iron fence in front! This home is at 24 Findlay Street, facing the New Findlay Playground, which was once the home of the 13th District School and after, Webster Public School, built in 1898.
So who built this single family beauty? As my title suggests, it was a tailor by the name of Jacob Dorse. He was born April 16, 1843 in Alsace, Germany. He arrived in Cincinnati before 1854, and began to live at what was then 22 Findlay Street in 1862 with his wife, Anna Maria Buehler Dorse, who was also born in Germany in 1833. To this marriage was born:
Jacob Dorse – b. 15 Mar 1854, Cinti, OH; d. 20 Mar 1918, Cinti, OH
Kate Dorse – b. 20 Sep 1856, Cinti, OH; d. 11 Jul 1857, Cinti, OH, diarrhea
Edward Dorse – b. 1 Dec 1858, Cinti, OH; d. 20 Dec 1858, Cinti, OH, inability
Louisa Dorse – b. 1861, Cinti, OH; d. 10 Mar 1931, Bellevue, KY
Katherine Dorse – b. 4 Feb 1863, Cinti, OH; d. 4 Jan 1939, Bellevue, KY
William Dorse – b. 9 Aug 1865, Cinti, OH; d. 16 Sep 1867, Cinti, OH, diphtheria
William Dorse – b. 31 Jul 1868, Cinti, OH; d. 25 Oct 1878, Cinti, OH, scarlet fever
Edward Dorse – b. Jan 1871, Cinti, OH; d. 9 Jul 1871, Cinti, OH, cholera infantum
Mary Dorse – b. 30 Jul 1873, Cinti, OH; d. 17 Jun 1946, Bellevue, KY
Albert E. Dorse – b. 6 Aug 1875, Cinti, OH; d. 3 Nov 1935 Bellevue, KY

As you can see, 4 of their 10 children died before the age of 3 and another died at 10 of scarlet fever. Childhood death was a part of life during this period of history, when modern medical treatments were unknown.
1891 Sanborn Map - Source
Jacob Dorse, Sr, was enlisted in the Company B, Ohio 8th Infantry Regiment on 03 Sep 1862 for the Civil War, but he was mustered out on 03 Oct 1862, just one month later! He was listed as a tailor in the city directories from 1862 until his death in 1895. His wife also died in the same year and the home was transferred to their unmarried daughters, Louisa, Katherine and Mary. They continued to live here until they moved into their brother Jacob Jr's home around 1905. In the same year, Albert moved to 24 Findlay Street until approximately 1912. So this home stayed in the Dorse family for 50 years!
1904-1930 Sanborn Map - Source
From 1912 to  1935, it became the home of Gustav Richter, who was a driver for a merchant. In 1935, the Cafazo family was living here, once again showing the transition from German immigrants to those from other regions of Europe. 
1940 Census - Source
You can see in the 1940 Census above that 24 Findlay Street had become a multi-family building with 7 people living there, all listed as renters. They were born in Russia, Kentucky, Ohio and England. A great American melting pot in one home!

As of 2003, this home is owned by the City of Cincinnati. It is about a half of a block from the streetcar route and Findlay Market. If anyone knows the city's plan for this home, please let us know.


  1. Could you help me research my home; 216 W 14th Street? Just the same, could you tell me where to go to find out who owned it and what was changed over the years?


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