Fayette Residential Historic District
The Fayette Residential Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.
The Fayette Residential Historic District in Fayette, Howard County, Missouri consists of several square blocks of primarily residential properties encompassing roughly 126 acres. In addition to dwellings and outbuildings, the Fayette Residential Historic District includes a funeral home, a fire station, a vacant schoolhouse, a church and a medical complex. The houses include several types, styles and sizes ranging from mid-19th century vernacular Hall and Parlor examples to mid-20th century Ranch style houses. Large, late 19th century high-style Colonial Revival and Victorian mansions are represented, along with modest early 20th century Bungalows. Most of the buildings retain integrity. Of 426 total resources in the Fayette Residential Historic District, 308 are contributing primary and secondary buildings. The Fayette Residential Historic District also contains three structures (an iron fence at 404 North Church Street and a brick street in the 400-500 block of North Linn Street are contributing and a gazebo is noncontributing). A National Register-listed building (Coleman Hall, 502 N. Linn, NR 6/11/86), is among the resources. Contributing buildings date from ca.1832 to 1956. Overall, resources in the Fayette Residential Historic District are representative of citywide patterns of architectural development.
The Fayette Residential Historic District contains some of the oldest and largest residential buildings in Fayette, Missouri. The Fayette Residential Historic District is located west and north of the downtown business area and abuts the western boundary of the Fayette Courthouse Square Historic District (National Register listed 2/5/98). The Fayette Residential Historic District is proposed as a separate district from the Fayette Courthouse Square Historic District because its properties are predominately residential; the Courthouse Square Historic District contains primarily commercial buildings. The Fayette Residential Historic District also abuts the western boundary of the Central Methodist College Campus Historic District (NR listed 9/15/80). The Fayette Residential Historic District is roughly bounded by Cleveland Avenue on the west, North Church Street on the east and north, and West Morrison Street on the south. These boundaries encompass intact residential areas on the west side of Fayette.
The buildings in the Fayette Residential Historic District exhibit a good cross-section of construction dates and building types, and reflect the major periods of development. The Fayette Residential Historic District contains three primary buildings from Period I: Settlement and Early Development: 1812-1872; 71 properties from Period II: The Golden Years: 1873-1900; and 160 properties from Period III: Twentieth Century Development: 1901-1958. Among the contributing buildings are Victorian houses (the largest group), I-houses, Craftsman Bungalows, Gabled Ell houses, Foursquares, Period Revival houses, Ranch houses and other styles and types in smaller numbers, plus a commercial building, a school, and a church. The Fayette Residential Historic District also includes two contributing structures: a cast iron Victorian fence and a brick street. The resources reflect citywide patterns of architectural development and meet the registration requirements set forth in the cover document.
All three of the Period I-houses are contributing. Two of these are large, high-style brick houses; the third house is of log construction. Each was constructed by a prominent Fayette businessman. The earliest contributing property is a ca.1832 brick I-House with Federal and Greek Revival ornamentation. Located at 404 North Church Street, it was constructed for Hampton Boon, a great-nephew of Daniel Boone.
Seventy-one (approximately 29%) of the primary buildings were erected during Fayette's second period of development, The Golden Years: 1873-1900). The majority of houses built during this period demonstrate the shift toward Victorian styling and are representative of the town's growth and prosperity in the late 19th century. Although most of these houses have varying and limited Victorian characteristics, a few are high-style, fully-executed examples of the Italianate, Second Empire and Queen Anne styles.
More than twice as many properties were constructed in the Fayette Residential Historic District during Fayette's third period of development than in the two previous periods combined. Of the 247 primary buildings, 148 were constructed during this period.
Noncontributing buildings in the Fayette Residential Historic District either do not retain integrity or were built after the period of significance. Overall the district retains a high level of integrity: 310 of the 425 resources are contributing. Of the 246 primary buildings, 207 are contributing and of 175 outbuildings, 101 are contributing resources. Since few buildings have been constructed in the Fayette Residential Historic District since the period of significance, it looks much as it did in the early to mid-20th century and reflects the development of Fayette.
The Fayette Residential Historic District is significant in the area of Architecture. The buildings form a cohesive grouping of intact historic resources that reflect mainstream architectural styles and types which were in vogue during the Fayette Residential Historic District's long (124 years) period of significance. Of the 426 resources in the district, 310 are contributing and one, Coleman Hall, is already listed in the National Register. The period of significance runs from ca.1832, when the earliest house was constructed to 1956, the construction date of the latest contributing building in the district. Overall, the Fayette Residential Historic District looks and functions today much as it did during its period of significance.
The Fayette Residential Historic District is located just west and north of Fayette's historic commercial area. North Church Street, the main eastern boundary of the Fayette Residential Historic District, is known as State Highway 240 beyond the city limits. This street developed early as the major north-south thoroughfare through Fayette, and it remains a major arterial street today. Cleveland Avenue, the main western boundary, developed later as another major road through town; it becomes State Highway 5 outside the city limits. Close proximity to both the downtown area and Central Methodist College made the Fayette Residential Historic District an attractive neighborhood for many of Fayette's prominent citizens, and the architecture reflects their higher economic status. The Fayette Residential Historic District also includes numerous more modest dwellings inhabited by working class residents.
The Fayette Residential Historic District is significant as a cohesive grouping of intact historic buildings which reflect the architectural development of Fayette, and it includes representative examples of each of the dominant residential styles and types found throughout Fayette. As in many areas of town, it is not unusual to see a late-19th century Victorian house next to a mid-20th century Rancher. While many properties are located on lots laid out in the original plat of Fayette, the Fayette Residential Historic District boundaries also include additions platted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Of the 426 resources (including Coleman Hall), 207 are contributing primary buildings, 101 contributing outbuildings and two are contributing structures. Contributing buildings in the Fayette Residential Historic District span a 124-year period beginning in ca.1832. Only a small percentage of the primary buildings were constructed after 1956, the end date of the period of significance.
I. Settlement and Early Development: 1812-1872
Three of the 246 primary buildings in the Fayette Residential Historic District were constructed during Period I. All three are contributing buildings.
Fayette was officially founded in 1812, and few buildings from the town's first period of development are extant. Three such buildings are located in the Fayette Residential Historic District. No detailed maps of early Fayette are known to exist, but a few descriptions of the town from this period provide a glimpse of its early development. One such description was published in 1837 in the Gazetteer of the State of Missouri:
"This town is the seat of justice of Howard county, contains a courthouse, a great number of neat private dwellings, fourteen stores, and many merchants' shops. There is likewise, a college and excellent common schools. There are published in Fayette two public journals, ably edited and neatly printed. Fayette is a healthy, well-watered town, peopled with excellent moral and religious inhabitants of social habits."
The earliest building in the district was constructed circa 1832 for Hampton Boon. Boon, a great-nephew of pioneer Daniel Boone, was a prosperous merchant in Fayette. Boon was also "registrar of the land office at Old Franklin, and later Fayette, from 1827 to 1841 [and] clerk of the Missouri Supreme Court from 1842-1848." After Boon's death in 1851, his daughter Evalina and her husband, Benjamin Watts, inherited the house. Five years later, Watts was killed by one of the elk he kept on the parklike grounds of the property. In 1858 Evalina married her first cousin, George Carson, nephew of Kit Carson, who owned the house until his death in 1918.
The Hampton Boon/George Carson House is an excellent example of the I-house property type. It is the only brick I-house in the Fayette Residential Historic District. It has a symmetrical five-bay facade with a central entrance, 6/6 windows with stone lintels and sills, and a large brick chimney on each gable end. The Boon/Carson House, which was documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey in the 1930s (HABS MO-1438), is substantially intact despite several rear additions and its conversion to apartments.
The John Sears/John B. Clark House, located two doors north of the Boon/Carson House, was also built in the 1830s. The Sears/Clark House is also an I-house, but it is of log construction covered with weatherboards (and more recently vinyl siding) rather than masonry. Originally located much closer to Church Street, it was moved to its current location in the middle of the lot around the turn of the 20th century. At that time, the central bay front porch was added. According to the Missouri Historic Sites Catalogue, this house has a central hall, fireplaces in each room, cherry built-in cupboards, Dutch doors, and was modeled on a plan of a 1791 Ste. Genevieve house.
John Sears and his wife, Mary, are credited with constructing the house at 408 North Church Street, but little is known about them. Much more is known about later owners John Bullock Clark Sr. and John Bullock Clark Jr., who owned the house from the mid-19th century until 1903. Like many of Fayette's prominent citizens, both father and son were lawyers and politicians. Both were also Confederate officers during the Civil War. The elder Clark, a brigadier general in the Missouri Confederates, served one term in the Missouri House of Representatives, three terms in the U.S. Congress and two terms in the Confederate Congress. Born in Fayette, John Jr. was educated at the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School. He was a brigadier general in the Confederate Army, and served five consecutive terms in Congress. When John B. Clark Sr. died in 1885, his son inherited the house.
Huntington Hall, the only Gothic Revival house in the Fayette Residential Historic District was also erected during Fayette's first period of development. Located at 105 Lucky Street just west of the Central Methodist College campus, Huntington Hall was constructed for Reverend William T. Lucky, the founder of Howard High School and Howard Female College. Lucky owned the house for a decade before reportedly losing it to foreclosure during the Civil War. Dry goods merchant Isaac Pearson was a long-time owner, acquiring the property in 1862 and owning it until 1914. The two and one-half story brick house has a massed plan featuring a central hall flanked by two rooms on each side. Gothic Revival detailing includes a steeply pitched front gable, tall narrow windows, and pedimented door and window lintels with "ear" detailing. Huntington Hall was undoubtedly one of the first Victorian houses in Fayette.
II. The Golden Years: 1873-1900
Seventy-one of the 246 primary buildings in the Fayette Residential Historic District were constructed during Period II. Fifty-six of these are contributing resources. One additional building was previously listed in the National Register.
Although the war years took their toll, the end of the Civil War and the completion of the Tebo and Neosho Railroad brought renewed prosperity to Fayette. The town's population tripled in the last three decades of the 19th century. This growth, coupled with a thriving economy, resulted in a building boom. In 1887, the Fayette Town Company platted several additions to the original town of Fayette, creating hundreds of residential building lots which — along with company loans to home builders — relieved the town's housing shortage. Dozens of modest size houses were constructed, many of which demonstrated the transition to Victorian styling. The largest and most elaborate examples of Victorian architecture, many of which are located in the Fayette Residential Historic District, were also constructed during the town's second period of development.
Approximately 66% (47 of 71) of the houses built in the Fayette Residential Historic District during this period demonstrate some degree of Victorian ornamentation. Of these, one has Gothic Revival characteristics, ten are classified as Italianate, three have Second Empire features, eight are Queen Anne houses, and the rest have one or more Victorian characteristics such as gingerbread ornamentation, a wraparound porch or a complex roof plan, but not enough to be distinctly classified as exemplifying one of the Victorian sub-styles. Simple one and two-story Gabled Ell houses are the second largest group of residential properties built during Fayette's second period of development.
Coleman Hall at 502 North Linn Street, also known as the Nathan and Sarah Coleman House, is the earliest example of Italianate styling in the district (NR 6/11/86). It was built in 1874 for wealthy St. Louis patrons of Central College, Nathan and Sarah Coleman. According to the National Register nomination, "It had evidently been the Coleman family's intention from the beginning to donate the home to Central College [now Central Methodist University], in Fayette, Missouri, specifically to be the home of the college president and was designed to be a showplace to be utilized for college functions as well as a private residence." Although the house's double-pile form is more typical of antebellum houses, its tall arched-top windows and bracketed cornice demonstrate the transition to Victorian styling in Fayette in the 1870s.
The Oliver H.P. Corprew House is a later example of Italianate styling in the Fayette Residential Historic District. It is also one of the many houses in the district constructed for professors at Central College. A professor of Greek and Latin, Corprew also led the College as its president for two years. Built in the 1880s at 701 North Church Street, the Corprew House's boxy two-story plan, low-pitched hip roof, arched window openings and wide bracketed cornice are all features of the Italianate sub-style of the Victorian architectural movement. The Corprew house also has a wraparound porch with ornate roof cresting and gingerbread detailing — which may have been a later addition, as it is more typical of the Queen Anne sub-style.
The largest and most elaborate house in the Fayette Residential Historic District is the A. F. Davis House at 301 West Spring Street. The Davis House, a three-story brick mansion, is one of only a few high-style Second Empire houses in Fayette. It was constructed 1880-1884 at a cost of $12,000 by one of Fayette's most notable builders, Joseph Megraw, for local banker A.F. Davis. Typical of the Second Empire sub-style, the Davis House has a square massed plan, elaborate brickwork, ornate gingerbread trim and a mansard roof with slate tiles and metal cresting. Other Second Empire houses are located in the district, but none is close to being as large and highly ornamented as the Davis House.
Photographs of four of the Queen Anne houses in the Fayette Residential Historic District appeared in the 1906 book Picturesque Fayette and Its People. Captions under three of them credited W.J. Megraw as the designer or builder. Although the exact number of properties built or designed by W.J. Megraw (the son of builder Joseph Megraw) is undetermined, the younger Megraw was clearly responsible for the construction of dozens of Victorian houses in Fayette in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house Megraw built for Central College Natural Science professor T. Berry Smith has a two-story circular wraparound front porch, a hip roof with front and side cross gables, weatherboard siding, clipped corners with scrollwork trim, and stained glass in many windows.
The L.B. White House (also featured in Picturesque Fayette and Its People) was not built by Megraw but is one of the more intact Queen Anne houses in the Fayette Residential Historic District. The house, which is located at 104 College Avenue, has decorative shingles in the multiple gable ends, projecting bays with clipped corners and scrollwork trim, and a recessed porch with oversize turned wood posts and balusters.
Twenty-five of the 71 houses constructed in the Fayette Residential Historic District during Fayette's second period of development have Victorian features but do not fit into any of the sub-styles. Unlike high style Victorian houses, these houses are often simple forms such as the Gabled Ell or I-House that have been "dressed up" with Victorian features such as a wraparound porch or gingerbread trim or they have a mix of characteristics from different Victorian sub-styles. The H. Lawrence Hughes House at 201 South William Street is the most intact of four almost identical Victorian houses in the district. These four were probably constructed by the same builder, and their design may have come from one of the many plan books then available. Their most prominent common feature is a large arch recessed into the front gable end. All four houses also have a mix of weatherboard and decorative shingle siding. Each house has a unique front porch. Of the four, the Hughes porch is the most ornate and intact.
III. Twentieth Century Development: 1901-1958
One hundred and sixty of the 246 primary buildings in the Fayette Residential Historic District were constructed during Fayette's third period of development. Of these 160 primary buildings, 102 are contributing resources.
Although the robust economy and population growth that Fayette experienced in the late 19th century dwindled after 1900, new buildings continued to be constructed more or less steadily in the Fayette Residential Historic District during the early decades of the 20th century. Between 1901 and 1958, 160 primary buildings were erected. Of these, several represent a continuation of late 19th century forms and styles such as Victorian and Gabled Ell houses. Several others exemplify the Period Revival movement which was a reaction against the more exuberant ornamentation of Victorian styling. Many of these Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival and Dutch Colonial houses were probably built from pattern book plans. But the bulk of houses erected during Fayette's third period of development were new American house types such as Bungalows, Foursquares, Cape Cods and Ranch houses, also likely built from plans. One school, one church and one commercial building were also constructed during this period.
During the first decade of the twentieth century, Victorian styling remained the preferred choice of home builders in Fayette. After 1910, the construction of Victorian houses dropped off sharply. Only three houses with Victorian features were built in the Fayette Residential Historic District after 1910. One of these, the R. Lee Maupin House demonstrates the lasting appeal of Victorian architecture. Constructed around 1905, the Maupin House has typical Victorian characteristics including a complex plan, a hipped roof with projecting gables and dormers and a wraparound front porch. However, the porch shows the emergence of Period Revival architecture in Fayette. Instead of Victorian turned wood posts and balusters and gingerbread trim, the front porch of the Maupin House has square, rock-faced concrete block piers, round wood columns and a simple wood railing, features much more common on Colonial Revival houses. Although the Maupin porch appears to have been part of the original design, making it a truly transitional example, numerous other houses were updated in the early 20th century by replacing ornate Victorian porch features with Colonial Revival-inspired elements.
Period Revival houses represent a small but significant group in the Fayette Residential Historic District. Colonial Revival styling was the most widely represented Period Revival style. Neoclassical Revival and Dutch Colonial houses are also represented in the district. Period Revival houses in the Fayette Residential Historic District date from 1910 to 1950. One of the best examples of Colonial Revival styling is the Mrs. John H. Farrington House, built circa 1915 on North Church Street. This two-story frame house has a side-gable roof and a symmetrical three-bay facade with a central-bay front porch. Both the front porch and the porch on the south elevation have round wood columns, a common feature on Colonial Revival houses.
After 1910 or so, Fayette builders followed the national trend toward simpler, modest-sized houses. Houses with simple cubic plans and less ornamentation began filling vacant lots throughout the district. Foursquare houses were the first of the new American house types to appear, and they were built in Fayette from the turn of the 20th century into the late 1920s. Although located throughout the neighborhood, clusters of Foursquare houses can be found on several streets, particularly those that were first developed in the early 20th century. The largest grouping of Foursquare houses is on Corprew Street which was developed around 1900 as part of the College Addition to Fayette. Five of the 15 houses on Corprew Street are Foursquares. Typical of this house type, all five are two and one-half stories tall and have hip roofs. Four of the five have full-width front porches and centrally-placed dormer windows. Only two Pyramid Square houses (the one-story version of the Foursquare) are located in the district. These almost identical houses sit adjacent to one another at 103 and 105 South Cleveland Avenue.
Bungalows represent the largest group of houses built in the Fayette Residential Historic District during Fayette's third period of development. This wholly new American house type began appearing locally around 1915 and remained a popular choice for home builders until the late 1930s. Although there are numerous Bungalows in the district, the Marlowe House is somewhat unique. Not only is it a highly intact example of Craftsman styling in Fayette, it is also the only bungalow constructed of concrete blocks. The foundation, walls, porch piers and chimney are all built of reddish-brown concrete blocks. The one and one-half story Marlowe House has a side-facing gable roof over its full-width front porch, and a low-slung shed dormer on its front elevation. Other typical Craftsman features include tapered, square wood porch supports on square masonry piers, double-hung windows with three vertical panes in the upper sash, and wide eaves with triangular brackets.
In addition to the dozens of intact 19th and 20th century houses and outbuildings, the Fayette Residential Historic District includes three non-residential contributing buildings, all of which were constructed during Fayette's third period of development: the Lawrence J. Daly School, the T. A. Grigsby Building, and St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Constructed in 1924 and named after Fayette's first schoolteacher, Daly School was taken out of service in 1980. Originally built to serve grades one through six, the brick, three-story Classical Revival style building has been used in recent years as a residence. The Grigsby Building is a one story false front commercial building. Constructed circa 1930, it functioned for many years as an automotive garage and today is used by the Howard County Fire District. St. Joseph's Catholic Church, completed in 1956, is the latest contributing building in the Fayette Residential Historic District.
The Fayette Residential Historic District looks and functions today much as it did during the period of significance.
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, John Bullock Clark, Sr., http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=C000441
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, John Bullock Clark, Jr., http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=C000442
Caldwell, Dorothy J. (ed.). Missouri Historic Sites Catalogue. Columbia, MO: The State Historical Society of Missouri, 1963.
Dyson, Verne. Picturesque Fayette and Its People. Fayette: Press of the Fayette Advertiser, 1905.
McVicker, Maryellen H. "Coleman Hall National Register of Historic Places Nomination," May, 1985.
Sanborn Map Company. Maps of Fayette, Missouri 1885, 1889, 1894, 1902, 1910, 1925.
"Walking Tour of Historic Fayette, MO." Fayette Rotary Club, 1981.
Wetmore, Alphonso. Gazetteer of the State of Missouri. St. Louis: C. Keemle, 1837.
Wright, C. Dean. "History of the House at 406 Church Street, Fayette, MO." Unpublished term paper from the Merrill E. Gaddis Papers, Collection No. 3961, Folder 53, Western Historical Manuscripts Collection. Columbia, MO.
† Becky L. Snider, Ph.D., consultant, and Roger Maserang, Missouri SHPO, Historian, Fayette Residential Historic District, Howard County, Missouri, nomination document, 2009, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.