Monday, July 16, 2012

Hyde Park Sisters - Burch Avenue

While I love researching buildings in the basin of Cincinnati, this city is full of old buildings with stories to tell. So I requested suggestions on my Facebook page and the fans responded. I now have a lengthy list and more fuel for my addiction to Cincinnati history. Matt - This one is for you since you were the first to respond.

Matt suggested I take a look at the twin buildings on Burch Avenue near Madison Road in Hyde Park. They are actually reverse twins, mirror images of the same home.
3570 Burch Avenue
3574 Burch Avenue
Sorry for the old picture (1999-2003). Trees blocked the view from the other photos.
These home were both built circa 1893 and as you might have guessed, they were built for members of the same family. The first home above, 3570 Burch Avenue, was built for Regina Sandman, widow of John Henry Sandman, who was a general commission merchant and dealer in flour and grain with the firm of Sandman, Spreen & Co in 1870. John Henry died in 1872 at the age of 55 from pneumonia, leaving his wife to raise their three daughters, Mary, Dora and Caroline.
Mary and Dora never married but lived with their mother in this home on Burch Avenue. Their sister, Caroline, made a lucky match in 1882 to William L. Voight. William's father, Lewis Voight, was a wall paper tycoon, if ever there was such a thing. 
Lewis Voight was born in Cincinnati January 7, 1836. His parents, Henry and Margaret (Helmnth) Voight, were natives of Hanover, and in 1833 came to this city, where the former established a transfer and drayage business, which he conducted until his death in 1838. In 1840 his widow married Christopher Stager; both are now deceased. 
Lewis Voight attended the public schools until thirteen years of age, when he entered the employ of Irwin & Foster, steamboat agents, attending night school during this period. He was next employed by P. W. Strader, in the Little Miami railroad ticket office, under Major Tillotson, and was then transferred to the charge, as conductor, of the large omnibus known as the "Ben Franklin." In 1852 he began to learn the trade of paper-haugiug, and in 1855 became a journeyman. In 1860 he established the Senate Exchange, on Main street, near Court, and was doing a good business when the Civil war broke out. He sold out, aud in June, 1861, enlisted as captain of Company H, Twenty-third Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out in December, 1862, having been compelled to resign on account of rheumatism contracted from exposure during the battle of Perryville. After the battle of Murfreesboro Capt. Voight's resignation was accepted. During this campaign he was provost marshal at Scottsville and Glasgow, Ky. Returning to Cincinnati in January, 1863, he bought out the paper store of George W. Reed, located on Central avenue, between Longworth and Sixth streets. In 1865 he moved into the Hart building, on the northwest corner of Longworth and Central avenue, and there remained until 1891, when he removed to his present location, Fosdick building, No. 57 West Fourth street. In 1881 he established a wholesale department and warehouse on Seventh street, west of Central avenue. In 1887 he removed his wholesale department to Nos. 258 and 260 West Fourth street, and again removed that branch of his business to the new building erected by the company, Nos. 90, 92, 94 and 96 John street, below Fourth. In 1879 Mr. Voight took his eldest son, William, into the business, and in 1887 the second son, Elmer C., became identified therewith. The former is now manager of the wholesale, and the latter of the retail, department. In 1890 the Lewis Voight & Sons Company was incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio, a third son, Lewis, Jr., being one of the company. The concern does the largest jobbing business in the West, is the second largest jobbing house of its kind in the United States, and was the first jobbing house of its kind in Ohio. - Source
Trade card for Lewis Voight & Son circa 1880-1890 - Source
William and Caroline had one child, Edith, and moved to their home at 3574 Burch Avenue circa 1893. William apparently had some issues come up with his business around 1907 and was absent from the office for over four months. As president and treasurer of the firm, this began to cause problems as he as the only one authorized to pay bills and was no where to be found. The secretary of the company, C.L. Rau, had to apply for receivership of the company.
Cincinnati Enquirer; Jul 7, 1907; pg. 16 
... The blinds are all drawn at the Voight residence, a red brick mansion at Burch avenue and Madison road, Hyde Park, and have been for over a week, since which time Mrs. Voight … has been in Detroit with der daughter Edith, who is in school there. Mrs. Sammand (sic, Sandman), a sister of Mrs. Voight, who lives next door to the Voight home, stated yesterday that she knew nothing of her brother-in-law’s business or family affairs.
“I have no idea where William is,” said she. “I have not seen him for several months. In fact, I am wholly at sea about whatever trouble it is that brings about these conditions.”
When asked for the address of her sister in Detroit, Mrs. Sammand (sic) said she did not care to have her bothered with inquiries, and therefore declined to give it out. In the neighborhood it was learned that there had been trouble in the William L. Voight family. Several months ago Voight had trouble with a woman on Vine street, in which his father, Lewis Voight, took a hand, but it was hushed up.  Yesterday Lewis Voight, who is the head of the United States Wall Paper Company, said that the John street business was the property of his son exclusively, and that he took no part in its conduct, he having sold out to his son four years ago. He did not know where William Voight is, he said, and had not seen him in the last four months. He appeared to be entirely unable to account for his absence from his place of business, and claimed his son drank very little, and that he had had no business or family troubles, but has large property interests outside of his business.
Voight was the Hyde Park member of the City Council in 1897 and 1898. He is 50 years of age, of a quiet turn, but well liked by those who know him best. One of his lawyers stated yesterday that he caught a glimpse of Voight on the street last Thursday, but that he was not close enough to attract his attention, and he got away before he could intercept him in the crowds.
It was stated last night that William L. Voight had been seen at the Latonia race track, and that he was accompanied by a woman.
Apparently, 1907 was a rough year for the Voight family  as evidenced by the following article:
Cincinnati Enquirer; Aug 9, 1907, Pg. 12
Dragged Out of Elevator Cab, By Woman He Was Trying To Dodge in the First National Bank Building
There was great excitement in the First National Bank Building yesterday afternoon, when William Voight, formerly at the head of the Lewis Voight & Sons wall paper concern at 316 and 322 John Street, appeared at the elevator shafts in company with a tall, good-looking woman. Both were loaded down with luggage, comprising hand bags, valises and suit cases. Voight told his companion to look after their baggage while he took an elevator and went above to consult his lawyers. The woman stated that she was his wife, and that they were staring on a vacation to Yellowstone Park. She waited about one and one half hours, and then spied Voight in an elevator cab, evidently trying to reach the underground subway. She darted toward the cab, when Voight got the tender to send it up in the building again.
Sticking to her post the woman continued to wait. About 20 minutes later she again saw him, this time, crouched in the corner of the most southern cab, on his way to the underground outlet. He had, to all appearances, told the cab tender to carry him to that avenue of escape, for just as the woman made a dash for the cab, the elevator boy tried to close the gates. She beat him, however, and threw herself into the cab, bodily, landing on Voight’s neck.
The two wrestled around for a time, but the woman, who is described as one of Amazon form, gained physical supremacy, and pulled Voight out of the cab. By this time bank employees, brokers, office men from the colossal building and the public generally had surrounded the two struggling forms and suit cases. Nobody interfered. All were perceptibly edified at the unequal combat.
“Now, will you be good?” queried the woman, landing another bag on top of Voight’s head. “Are you ready to catch the train with me now?” she insisted.
Finally a faint sound of surrender came from the conquered wall paper man, and, loading all the baggage into his keeping, the two left the building, followed by a curious crowd.
Attorney Cobb, of Cobb, Howard & Bailey, Voight’s attorney, said that Voight had never shown up at this place of business since Receiver C.L. Rau was appointed July 6. He did not know where the well-known business man had kept himself since that time, but added that his family had received no revenues from the business since it was taken in charge by the Court.
In 1908, Edith Voight sued her own father for over $1,500 and foreclosure of mortgage, but it does not identify which property she was suing for. Through all this turmoil, William's wife apparently stayed with him, as they are listed together on the 1920 and 1930 Census records.
1917 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The sister homes on Burch Avenue were sold circa 1921. Wilfred Rush, listed as a salesman, purchased the Voight home and it remained in his family until 1946. The current owners bought it in 1970 and have owned it longer than any other previous owner.

Lillian Curnayn purchased the Sandman home at 3570 Burch Avenue around 1922 and turned it into a multi-family building. She owned it until 1946 and today, it is still used as a three family building.

Such a colorful history to these sister homes on a quiet corner in Hyde Park.

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