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East Hill Residential Historic District

Wausau City, Marathon County, WI

The East Hill Residential Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Portions of the content of this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [‡]

The East Hill Residential Historic District encompasses 158 residential properties, one school, one wood frame storefront building, and one park. The residences include both one and two-story frame houses constructed as early as 1883 and as late as 1979. These buildings are located between Seventh Street, Scott Street, Tenth Street and Adams Street.

The area contained within the district was part of the third to fifth generation of development in Wausau.

The district is distinguished from nearby residential and commercial districts by its visual coherence and character with respect to historic use and architecture. The majority of the buildings within the district are contributing resources. The contributing buildings are mostly two-story frame or masonry houses built between dates in the styles typical of the late Victorian and early modern periods. The most popular were the Period Revival styles. The district's park and school are contributing. The 14 buildings which do not contribute to the district include altered late nineteenth and early twentieth century houses, as well as in-fill buildings falling outside the period of significance.

The district contains a broad representation of architectural styles ranging from the elaborate Queen Anne style houses to the very basic log cabin known as the Philosopher Press. This district also contains the beautiful and unique Stewart Park and the Wausau East High School, a fine example of a W.P.A. project.

One of only two Second Empire style houses surviving in Wausau is found in this district. It is the 1874 Judson Smith House at 726 Franklin Street. The only other one is the 1878 Louis Marchetti house at 202 Grant Street, not in this district. Interestingly enough, both of these houses were moved from their original sites. The Smith house is the best example of the style as it is a full two stories in height with a third story defined by the Mansard roof with concave sides. Designed by architect Sidney Haynes, it features quoins on all corners including the central pavilion; round head dormers and double roundhead windows with hood moldings and lintels above the first story windows. The house faces south and has smooth set boards for facing. In 1912 the house was moved to the present location at which time a side porch was removed and brick was used to remodel the front facade porch. A large addition was added to the rear elevation. Today this is an apartment house. In spite of all of these alterations, the house is still a good example of the Second Empire style.

Judson Smith began his career in railroad construction in Vermont in 1846. Next he built tracks to Niagara Falls, Detroit, Chicago and on to Wisconsin Rapids. He completed the tracks from Knowlton, Wisconsin to Wausau in 1874, the same year the house was built. When the house was moved to Franklin Street in 1912, the 1901 Milwaukee Road Deport was visible from the front porch of the house.

There are five distinctive Queen Anne houses in this district. William La Selle, a local architect, designed two of the houses. Both of the houses he designed, one for himself at 903 Franklin Street, and the house for Lyman Thayer, were built in 1883. The Thayer house did not remain on its original site at 703 LaSalle Street as it was moved down the hill a half of a block to 812 Grant Street in 1917. Charles Wegner wanted that site for his house.

Both Queen Anne houses were faced with wood and scored to look like brick, had corner quoins, irregular rooflines, and intersecting gables. The architect's house, which faces north, has elaborate decorative motifs, such as fish scale shingles on the second story and fan-shaped brackets, plus pendants under each window. A tall chimney rises out of the intersecting roof. A wrap around porch has been removed, which has changed the appearance, but there are enough other architectural details to make it an elaborate Queen Anne.

William La Selle was a house architect in Wausau in the 1880s and had LaSalle Street named in his honor, however, the city changed the spelling using an "a" instead of an "e" and dropped the space between the La and Selle. He only lived in Wausau from 1880 to 1889.

The many gabled Lyman Thayer house has retained its original appearance except for one open roof dormer, which was removed when the house was moved in 1917. The remaining dormers have arched windows divided vertically into three lights. The house has detailed gable trim and decorative brackets with cut-out patterns. The elongated windows are double hung, one over one. There are two bays on the first floor of the front facade. The house faces south today.

Lyman Thayer, Jr. was the son of Lyman Thayer, Sr., an attorney, who settled in Wausau in 1854. The younger Thayer became a wealthy lumberman and lived in his house from 1883 to 1895. George Foster, another lumberman, purchased the house in 1917 and moved it to its present location.

Two other elaborate Queen Anne houses in the district have the typical towers and both use a wide band to divide the first and second stories. The William Albers house, which faces west, features a tower with a conical roof. The third floor of the tower has no windows, but is covered with fish scale shingles. The fenestration is double hung, one over one. The house sits atop a terraced slope with an unusual entrance. Wide concrete steps begin at the corner of the lot and end at the house; however, there is no entrance where the steps end. Originally, there was a wrap around porch which had an entrance door at either end of the porch; today, one gabled entrance is on the west elevation and another with a pent roof is on the south elevation. The Albers family owned the property from 1894 until 1946.

William Albers was a prominent pharmacist who owned three drug stores in Wausau. He was arrested during prohibition because he was accused of selling potions with too much alcohol. His trial was moved to Superior, Wisconsin, because he was such a popular and prominent citizen. He was not convicted of the crime.

One block north at 900 McClellan Street is the George Silverthorn house, another elaborate Queen Anne which sits high on the lot, facing west, increasing its stately presentation. The house has a three story square tower with a pyramidal roof. The third story is overhanging with recessed diamond-shaped windows and features modillioned cornices. There is a bay on the north with an oriel stained glass window. Like the Albers house, the wrap around porch has been removed and a box-like addition has been added at both the front and side entrances. When this house was built, facing west, there was a clear view of Rib Mountain as it was one of the first houses built in this area. Most of the fenestration is double hung, one over one.

George Silverthorn was a prominent banker in Wausau. He was a self-made man who began life in Toronto, Canada. Besides the banking career, he was involved in lumbering and real estate. He and his brother Willis founded a bank with Daniel Plumer in 1869. It was called the Silverthorn and Plumer Bank. In 1882 it was chartered as the First National Bank of Wausau. Silverthorn died in 1901 and the house was sold to Benjamin Wilson. Wilson and his family lived in the house until the late 1930s. Wilson had started in the lumber business at Star Lake. After he moved his family to Wausau in 1901 he established the Wilson Mercantile Company, a large wholesale grocery business.

An earlier Queen Anne in this district is south across the street from the Silverthorn house at 515 LaSalle Street, facing west. Built ca. 1887 the William Murray house is faced with clapboard and wood shingles and has been carefully restored. The two and one half story house has many projecting bays and has a cross gabled roof, with fish scale shingles under the eaves. The house is sited at the top of a steep hill and was originally approached by wide steep stone steps. The stairway has been replaced with decorative concrete block that continues on as a retaining wall. The steps were in disrepair for over 30 years, making the back entrance used exclusively. Some believe that the house was a William La Selle design but there is no documentation.

William Murray was one of the original stockholders when the D. J. Murray Manufacturing was incorporated. Eli Wright came to Wausau in 1874 and moved his machine shop from Marinette, Wisconsin. He established the Wausau Iron Works that same year. D.J. Murray was a plant superintendent who became a partner in 1879 and sole owner in 1883. At that time he changed the name to Murray Manufacturing Company. When the need for sawmill equipment was over, the Wausau Group bought out the controlling interest and shifted the production to machinery for pulp and paper mills.

In 1966 the name was changed to Murray Machinery, Inc. It was the oldest industrial establishment in Wausau. The Third Street plant was closed in 1986, followed by the foundry in 1989. It was razed in 1989.

William Murray died in 1890 but his wife lived in the house until 1918 when John O'Koneski, an attorney, purchased it. It remained in that family until the 1980s. Two Classical Revival houses are within the district: The Harvey Rosenberry, M.D. house at 802 Fulton Street and the S. Knox Kreutzer house at 727 Mclndoe Street. The 1902 Rosenberry house faces south and is on a corner lot. Faced in clapboard, it has a projecting portico supported by Ionic columns. An arcade joins the columns, the cornice is denticulated, the main dormer is capped with a broken pediment, and the roof is irregular. A porte cochere is on the east elevation, situated at an angle to the house.

Harvey Rosenberry was a physician who practiced in Wausau. His father Samuel had also been a physician. His brother Marvin was an attorney in Wausau who was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1916 and became the Chief Justice serving from 1929 to 1950.

Another example of the Classical Revival style is the 1906 Kreutzer house. The two and one half story house faces north and features a full facade two story veranda with colossal Corinthian columns and an overhanging hipped roof. The house appears to be much larger than it really is because of the front facade, in actuality it is not very deep. A balustrated balcony is placed over the front entrance. Above, is a large arched centered dormer on the roof. The fenestration on the front facade features a triple-window bay with a larger window in the center. The bays are on either side of the entrance on the first story; the second story has a transom window rather than a large center window.

S. Knox Kreutzer was the son of Andrew and Minnie Kreutzer. Andrew was an attorney and a senator who fathered the bill in the state legislature that proposed that every county in Wisconsin have a normal school. Wausau had the first one because Kreutzer was from the city. S. Knox, an investment banker who was president of Kreutzer and Company, Investment Securities, Stocks and Real Estate, had this house built but never lived in it. It is interesting to note that the Tudor Revival house that he and his wife built on Highland Park Boulevard in 1929 was only occupied by them for a short time. He lost his money in the stock market crash and he took a job out of town.

George W. Maher, the Chicago architect, designed two houses in this district. These two happen to be the two earliest out of the seven that he designed in Wausau. The Charles Gilbert house at 904 Franklin Street was his earliest, completed in 1894, before Mr. Maher started on his Prairie School designs. The two and one half story house, facing south, features a gambrel roof covered in shingles which extends to the top of the first story. A full facade porch with Doric columns and decorative swags, along the cornice of the porch, has an off center entrance and a cameo window next to it. Fenestration also includes "Y" leaded glass windows, a cameo window and a Palladian window on the third floor. The large corner lot also contains the original carriage house, with a gabled roof and three stalls. It is situated north-east of the house.

Charles Gilbert was a prominent lumberman and banker who was a part of the Wausau Group. He was a vice president at the National German American Bank and treasurer of the Great Northern Life Insurance Company. The house remained in the family until 1956.

Ten years after the completion of the Gilbert house, the Granville Duane Jones house (915 Grant Street) was built, but only after three large homes were moved from the lot. The Jones house is the largest house that Maher designed in Wausau. Perched grandly on the top of a gradual hill, the property covers six and one half city lots and has formal gardens and two ponds. The north and east side of the garden have stone walls with an iron gate leading to Gray Place. The 1921 three stall garage has a gabled roof and is faced with stucco, and is one and one half stories. In addition to the three stalls, there is an area for a work shop on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor that was either used for guests or rented out.

The 1904 house is rectilinear and has the horizontal look that the Prairie School style represents. The hipped roof has a round dormer on each elevation, except for the east elevation. That one was removed when the roof was replaced in the 1940s. The house faces west and has a center projecting pavilion that originally served as the main entrance. Above the main (west) entrance are three elongated windows on the second story. Originally there was no projecting bay on the west elevation, the porch on the north and the south were both open. Today the north porch has been glassed and the south porch was enclosed and is used as a sun room. All of the windows are large, double hung, one over one windows, except for the casement windows in the projecting bay, added in the ca. 1940s. The sunporch also has casement windows. The Jones family always spoke of the beautiful sunsets they watched every night out of their west windows. In fact when one of their four daughters was married on the grounds, the colors for the wedding mimicked the colors of the sunsets. This house was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

The house was first pointed henna red. Because there were no mature trees in 1904 the house on the hill was visible for blocks and it must have made quite an impact on the citizens as it was the first building of its kind in Wausau.

G. D. Jones was an attorney who got into the land and lumber business. He became the fourth partner in the prestigious law firm of Silverthorn, Hurley and Ryan. He played a central role in the Wausau Group. One of his contributions was working with Neal Brown in the water power project, which eventually produced the Marathon Paper Mill. His real passion was education. He helped to shape the Wausau school curriculum and he individually helped many students by tutoring them or anonymously funding their college education. Jones was the only person who lived in Wausau to have a school named in his honor. G.D. Jones School opened in 1931.

He also served on the board of regents at the University of Wisconsin. Three Alexander Eschweiler designed houses are in the East Hill Residential Historic District. All three were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Two of the houses were designed in the Period Colonial Revival style. The E.K. Schuetz house at 930 Franklin Street was built in 1922; the Charles Wegner house at 906 Grant Street in 1922-1924. The third house was designed for Letitia Single Dunbar (widow of Charles F. Dunbar) in the Tudor/Elizabethan Revival style in 1926.

Charles Wegner bought the property on the corner of Grant and LaSalle streets from George Foster. Thayer had sold the house to Foster in 1917. Foster agreed to move his large Queen Anne house down the street to 812 Grant Street. (When the house was on the original lot it faced west at 703 LaSalle.) The Wegners decided to build their house so that it faced south at 906 Grant Street. The rectilinear house is side gabled and has a center gabled entrance supported by colonial columns. A pent roof extends across the front elevation to separate the first and second story. Fieldstone covers the first story, with stucco on the second story. The interior chimney has three decorative chimney pots. The fenestration is double hung and multi-paned. A Palladian window is located on the stair landing. A sympathetic addition was constructed in the 1990s. The original granite posts that marked the Thayer property are still extant.

Charles Wegner married the daughter of Frederick Kickbusch. The Kickbusch brothers, August and Frederick, started with a shanty store on Clarke's Island in 1859. They continued in the wholesale grocery business all of their lives and Wegner ran the General Store on First and Scott streets and then the wholesale business after he married Emma.

The E.K. Schuetz house is not as elaborate as the Wegner house. The house is sited on a level piece of land but the yard rises on the property borders on both the south and east. The Schuetz house and the Dunbar house have a common back yard. The Schuetz house, which faces south, is long and narrow and faced in clapboard. The two story structure has a side gabled roof and center gabled entrance. Two tall brick chimney stacks are found at both gable ends between quarter-round windows in the attic. Two story wings are found on both the west and east elevations. Both wings are stepped back from the main facade. The east-wing has a garage on the first story, with bedrooms on the second; the west wing is smaller and was originally an open porch on the first story, but in the 1970s it was enclosed and a second story was added as a room adjacent to the master bedroom. The Palladian motif on the front porch is achieved by double columns on either side. The semi-circular center arch is repeated in the semi-circular transom and sidelights around the front door itself. The windows are double hung and multi-paned.

E.K. Schuetz owned the general mercantile company called A. Schuetz and Son located at 316 Jackson Street. He married Margaret Dunbar, a member of a prominent Wausau family.

The Letitia Single Dunbar house, built in 1926, faces north and adjoins the Schuetz property. The Dunbar house is a fine example of Tudor Revival. Like the other two houses designed by Eschweiler, this one is an elongated rectangle with an irregular roof. It has long sweeping front gables. The house was constructed in brick, the exterior features smooth stucco with decorative stonework and half-timbered overhangs on the side entrance and also on the east end of the garage. Stone voussoirs trim the arched front entrance and the leaded casement windows. A prominent exterior chimney on the front elevation is a major part of the decoration. Covered in stucco, it is west of the large projecting gable framing the entry.

Charles F. Dunbar came to Wausau in 1874 and started a jewelry store in the lower level of the Kolter Music Hall on the corner of Washington and Third streets. Eventually he also opened a bicycle shop. Dunbar owned several thousand acres of land in Marathon County. He went into partnership with Neal Brown and purchased 400 lots covering 200 platted acres in Wausau. This property, as well as the Schuetz property, was a part of that land. Dunbar married Elizabeth Single who was from a pioneer family who had settled here in the 1840s. Before the 1926 home was built, the Dunbars lived in a beautiful turreted Queen Anne style house (now razed) near the center of town. When Charles died his widow built the house on Mclndoe Street perhaps to be closer to her daughter, Margaret Dunbar Schuetz.

Another fine example of the Period Colonial Revival is the Joseph Smith, M.D. house built in 1918 at 707 Gray Place. Gray Place is a unique winding street that is only two blocks long—it terminates on Franklin Street on the north and Scott Street on the south. It is unique not only because it is so picturesque, but also it has the only street with historic brick pavers. Architects Chromaster, Speer and Swarthout designed the house. The Smith house sits on a small rise on this winding street with the antique street lights. The house is symmetrical in detail having a two-story wing on the north and a one-story wing on the south elevation. The rectangular-shaped house is side gabled with three gabled dormers along the attic story. The house is faced with stucco on the first story with clapboard above. The second story, which overhangs the first story, has decorative pendants on the overhanging section. A centered entrance has a classical pediment supported by columns with an entablature.

Joseph Smith, M.D. was a prominent Wausau physician whose father was also a local doctor. One of Joseph Smith's hobbies was photography and a collection of both his photos and his stereopticon photos is archived at the Marathon County Historical Society. Mrs. Judd (Anne) Alexander also lived in this house for many years. She was married to the son of Walter Alexander, one of the wealthiest men in Wausau. The Walter Alexander Foundation and the Judd Alexander Foundation are still active in Wausau and fund many projects.

One Georgian Colonial Revival house in the district is a fine example of the style. The William Gamble house at 825 Franklin Street was built in 1910 and designed by Chicago architect H.H. Waterman. The house is not totally pure in its historic citation. The rectilinear shaped house is faced in clapboard and has a hipped roof with semi-circular dormer windows and is very symmetrical. Colossal pilasters separate the bays. Semicircular dormer windows are representative of the Georgian style; however, the central entrance with a barrel-vaulted portico supported by six Doric columns is not true to the style. The fenestration is varied with both casement window and double hung, one over one windows on the first story. The casement windows are all multi-light. All of the windows on the first story are in groups of four. The second story windows are double hung, eight over one.

William Wallace Gamble was a wealthy lumberman who helped to organize the Wausau Lumber Company in 1916. He was president of the Yawkey-Bissell Lumber Company at White Lake, Wisconsin from 1932 - 1945. The White Lake firm was one of the largest single producers of northern hardwoods. In 1920 he established a hardwood flooring mill in White Lake. He married Walter Bissell's daughter, Mae. The Perry Wilson house is located at 801 North Tenth Street. It is a Mediterranean Revival style house designed by Milwaukee architects Peacock and Frank in 1927. The house, facing west, is sited on a corner lot that slopes gently to the street. A winding stone sidewalk leads to the house from the street. The elongated rectangular-shaped house is faced in stucco, has a side-gabled roof and a central gabled pavilion that serves as the entrance. The doorway is framed with decorative stone and a stone patio runs in front of the living room area. The patio is fenced with a wrought iron railing. The fenestration is multi-paned casements. A prominent chimney with chimney pots is found on the south elevation. The rear (east) elevation has a tower with stained glass windows with wrought iron grills over the windows.

Mr. Wilson was secretary-treasurer for Marathon Paper Mills. Wilson was also the son of Benjamin Wilson who owned the Wilson Mercantile business. He married Ruth Kreutzer the daughter of Minnie and Andrew Kreutzer, the attorney and senator. Ruth and her brother S. Knox hired the same architectural firm to design their homes. The Kreutzer's Tudor Revival house is up on Highland Park Boulevard and was built in 1929.

The Neal Brown house at 830 Franklin Street was constructed in 1893 as a typical Queen Anne styled house complete with clapboard, shingles and a tower on the west elevation. The house was completely remodeled in 1920 when the new owner, Matthew McCullough, purchased the house. It faces south and has large one over one double hung windows.

In the remodeling, the tower was removed and a two story addition replaced the tower on the west elevation, a large Colonial style porch was added to the front facade, with a balustrated railing. The same balustrades are mimicked as decorative trim on windows in the attic. Stucco was added to the entire house and half-timbering was also added. Because of the stucco and half-timbering it may be classified as a Tudor Revival. However, it could be termed eclectic because of the Colonial Revival porch.

Today, the residence sits on a much smaller lot than originally, and it is completely fenced in by a high decorative wrought iron fence with iron gates. Also on the estate is a one and one half story stuccoed garage, with gabled roof, eight over eight double hung windows, and half timbering to mimic the house. In addition, there is a small playhouse with a gabled roof, stucco and half timbering, and six over six windows.

Neal Brown was known as the "Renaissance Man" to the Wausau Group. He was the only man who was not involved in any way with the lumber trade. He was an attorney in Wausau, and became one of the most important men in the Wausau Group. It was Brown who was the creative thinker of the group. The "sage of Wausau" was one of the other names given to Brown. He had the ability to organize the ideas that he initiated. One of his ideas was to form a mutual insurance company to coincide with the workmen's compensation legislation that was to be enacted in Wisconsin on September 1, 1911. The papers of incorporation for Employers Mutual Insurance Company were signed in this house on the same date. This insurance company has played a major role in the economy of Wausau for many years. The company name was changed to Wausau Insurance in 1977 and then in the 1990s it was purchased by Nationwide and today Liberty Mutual owns the company.

The Philosopher Press is an important component of the Historic District, however, it is in direct contrast to the elaborate homes that are only a block away. The 1902 building at 802 McClellan Street is a simple log cabin that was used as the building for the publishing business known as the Philosopher Press. Designed by J.H. Jeffers, the small rectangular log building is side gabled and has a brick chimney on the south elevation. The one-story building faces south; the projecting porch is original; however, an addition on the east is not original. In 1912 the printing office went out of business and the building was sold to the Christian Science Church. It has been in private hands for over forty years and today it is a rental property. The building is in poor condition, but its history is important to Wausau.

In 1896 William Ellis and Philip and Helen Van Vechten published a monthly magazine called the The Philosopher. Shortly thereafter they began publishing books. Everything was done by hand in order to achieve quality craftsmanship. Phillip left the business but Ellis and Mrs. Van Vechten continued the business. Helen did everything from laying the ink to binding the books. She revolutionized the printing industry by discovering a method of hand feeding the press to get an even registry on the deckle-edged pages. Van Vechten was heralded around the printing world for her great discovery. Today these books are collectors' items, costing as much as $300 to $400.

The East Hill Residential Historic District is fortunate to have a beautiful park within its boundaries. Bounded by North Tenth Street on the east, Scott Street on the south and Gray Place on the west, the north boundary abuts private property. The Stewart Park was given to the City of Wausau in honor of Alexander Stewart by his widow Margaret and their three daughters in 1928. They hired the Chicago landscape architects Root and Hollister to design the park to resemble an outdoor amphitheater. The mature white pines are symbolic—representing the early beginnings of this area. The white pine trees were also the means by which Alexander Stewart gained his fortune.

The park is naturalistic in design with only stone used to construct the steps and curved benches built into the hillside. A huge semi-circular backdrop for the performance stage is at the bottom of the hill, on the west. There is also a stone bandstand on the north side of the park. The posts along Tenth Street are of the same stone and are remnants from the Stewart estate. Their lovely Queen Anne house, which was across the street from the park, was razed in 1940. The only extant building is the carriage house.

Alexander Stewart was the wealthiest man ever to live in Wausau. He and his brother John were from New Brunswick. They began working in the lumber business for $16.00 a month. Eventually they decided to take their pay in lumber and were able to stockpile enough to buy the Walter Mclndoe Mill. Stewart was an astute businessman and became very wealthy. After his fortune was made he ventured into politics by running for the U. S. House of Representatives, and was elected for three terms. He was one of the first leaders of the Wausau Group who took the initiative to organize one of their first ventures, the Wausau Paper Mill. After Stewart and his family moved to Washington, D.C. they never returned to live in Wausau. They built a magnificent house in Washington, D.C. (now the Luxemburg Embassy) and loved the excitement of living in the city.

Wausau East High School is another structure that is not residential but is an integral part of the East Hill Residential Historic District. The school complex covers an entire block. Its boundaries are: Fulton Street on the south; Seventh Street on the west; Hamilton Street on the north; Eight Street on the east. The original high school was on Fulton Street, built in 1899 and facing south. When the 1936 W.P.A. building was constructed it was built to face the west and was connected to the 1899 school by a tramway on two floors. This fine Victorian building was razed in 1979.

The three story brick 1936 building is a fine example of stripped classicism. Designed by Obel and Oppenhamer, the school features bays that are divided by shallow fluted piers, metal panels with abstracted designs decorate the spandrels. A wide stone beltcourse, surmounted by concrete squares, and a parapet over the main entrance, with geometric details, terminate the elevations. The interior features two large murals at the main entrance, painted by LeRoy Jonas, Sr., under the Federal Art Project. Artistic handcrafted tiles are found on the walls throughout the building.

In 1951 a wing was added on the east elevation; it contains the auditorium and 25 classrooms. Irving A. Obel designed this sympathetic addition. In 1961, another building addition, designed by the Warren Holmes Company with George Foster as associate architect, was constructed. This addition contains a gymnasium and cafeteria. The last addition to the school was in 1986 and it contains a library, administrative offices and some classrooms.

The local architect Philip Dean designed the house for his family at 815 Fulton Street in 1904. The Queen Anne styled house has a cross gambrel roof and is two and one half stories in height, facing north. A large open porch runs the full front facade with four columns supported by brick piers. Steps lead to the porch from the east and west ends to approach the asymmetrical main entrance.

The Central Wisconsin, a weekly newspaper, noted on October 24, 1903: "Philip Dean will build his own house on East Fulton next spring and become a permanent resident." Dean was a Wausau resident for only about ten years, but in that time he designed many of the local buildings in the first decade of the 20th century.

The Russell Lyons house, built in 1909 at 815 Tenth Street, has no entrance on the west elevation which faces Tenth Street, but rather there is a small secluded entrance on the south east corner of the house. The house is classified under the Spanish Colonial/Mediterranean Revival style of architecture. It is sited on the top of a slight hill which makes it appear even taller than it really is. The basement level is a full story, making the house three stories. Brick is used on the basement level with stucco on the top two stories. Bricks decorate the arched multi-paned windows at both ends of the west elevation, as well as on the north and south elevations. A projecting wall dormer with a pent roof and three double hung windows is centered on the first story. The second story fenestration is double hung, one over one. A porte cochere is on the east elevation (rear). The Chicago architect H.H. Waterman designed the Lyons house. He designed one other in the District, the W.W. Gamble house at 825 Franklin Street, a 1910 Georgian Revival.

Russell Lyons was a dentist who practiced in Wausau, but interrupted his profession from 1916 to 1926 to start a toothpick factory. He returned to his practice in 1926. He also helped to start the Wausau Civic Music Association.

Donald Murray, Jr., chose a bungalow design for his house in 1911 at 1015 Ninth Street. The rustic-appearing bungalow fits nicely on the corner of a wooded lot, facing west. The story and one half house is faced with clapboard and shingles and has a front gable with a shed roof dormer on the south elevation. A smaller front gable serves as the roof for the entrance porch. The house has all of the typical elements of the type, including exposed rafters, broad eaves and Craftsman influenced tiny paned windows. The open porch is supported by brick piers and has open rafters. A prominent exterior chimney at the north end of the porch intersects the roof.

Donald Murray, Jr., was the son of the owner of the D. J. Murray Manufacturing Company.

The Louis Pradt house, a Tudor/Elizabethan Revival styled house at 603 Gray Place, was built in 1924. The architect chosen was Armin Frank, the Milwaukee architect. This house is situated atop a small hill and is adjacent to Stewart Park. The two story house is clad in stucco and features two Tudor roof peaks; the shorter of the two has the arched stone entrance and the taller one, behind the entrance, has half timbering. The gabled roof has extended eaves with cutouts for the second story double hung windows, six over six. The fenestration on the first story is leaded glass casement.

The Pradt family remained in this house well into the 1970s. Pradt was a local attorney whose father, also an attorney, became well know when he served three terms as the United States assistant attorney general under President McKinley. H.A. Schmidt built the Arts and Crafts house at 704 LaSalle Street in 1924. The two and one half story house faces east and has a gabled roof with brackets and half timbering under the peak. A chalet-styled balcony with two sets of French doors is centered under the gable on the second story. Ribbon windows, double hung, one over one, are on the first story. Brick is used on the first story with stucco on the upper stories. The asymmetrical entrance is gabled with an arched door. The house is set at the bottom of a slight incline on a corner lot. A small, one story sunporch was added in the 1980s. Mr. Schmidt was an assistant cashier at the First American Bank in Wausau.

The contemporary house designed by local architect George Foster, Jr., is at 916 Grant Street and was built in 1942. The land was originally a part of the Lyman Thayer property. George Foster, Sr., purchased the Thayer house and moved it in 1917. He sold a part of the land to Charles Wegner for his house and kept the lot that his son built upon. The contemporary house is built in two cubes. The two story section has a hipped roof, and the one story has a shed roof. The shed roof is repeated again on the west elevation sun porch. It is clad in clapboard and has an asymmetrical International Style entrance with a flat roof overhead which extends the length of the front facade.

George Foster, Sr., was a lumberman who purchased the G.D. Jones house at 915 Grant Street in 1920. Foster owned the George E. Foster Lumber Company in Merrill. George, Jr., did not follow in his father's footsteps, he studied architecture at Yale and returned to Wausau to start his practice. Foster was known for his contemporary designs in the Wausau area. He never strayed from the contemporary style.

The Samuel Armstrong house is a two story Italianate house built in 1883 at 821 Franklin Street. It features Italianate massing, has an irregular plan—the west half of the house is stepped back slightly for the entrance. The clapboard house is two stories and has a hipped roof. The elongated windows are capped with pedimented lintels with keystones. The shutters and porch details were added at some point and are not original. In the 1990s the present owners put on a two story addition to the west elevation. While this is not a pure example, it still is a good representation of the style.

Samuel Armstrong came to Wausau with his brother in 1850. They became well-known and skilled river pilots on the Wisconsin River. They rafted the pine down the Wisconsin to the Mississippi River and later purchased the Thomas Grundy sawmill on the Pine River. Samuel remained in Wausau until his death in 1911.

Carl Lotz, owner of the Sand and Gravel business, built the Lotz/Colby house in 1895. James Colby bought the house at 915 Scott Street in 1920. The two story red brick house has a cross gabled roof with a roof dormer on the west elevation. The vernacular house has a cross cruciform plan. The front gable has wide trim under the eaves. A large window with a leaded transom is placed under the front gable on the first story. The double hung, one over one, windows have roundheads in the Italianate style. The west elevation porch has classical posts and spindles that are repeated on the two other porches. The house is truly a Victorian hybrid, reminiscent of the eclectic transition.

The house is important as the home of James Colby. Colby organized the Northern Photo Company of Wisconsin in 1909. He and his employees traveled the country taking photos, then produced picture postcards at his office on First Street. After 1927 he opened a studio on Scott Street and did commercial photography and discontinued his postcard production. Mr. Colby's postcards are of great value today, not only because of their artistic quality, but for the historical record they provide. The Marathon County Historical Society's photo archive has his postcard collection for the state of Wisconsin plus over 6,000 of his glass negatives.

The 1899 Henry McEachron house at 802 Franklin Street was once a grand estate although its large carriage house is no longer extant and the house is now surrounded by gravel parking areas. The Queen Anne style house exhibits typical irregularity in the roofline and a variety in textures. The three story house has denticulation either beneath the window or in a decorative course such as in the front gable. Each gable has a Palladian motif on the third floor. A square tower remains on the west elevation, but the shorter open tower that once was on the east elevation has been removed along with all of the porches and balconies and the porte cochere.

Henry E. McEachron bought into the milling firm of Thayer-Corey in 1883 and by 1886 he owned it outright. In 1913 the McEachron Mill became the Cereal Mills Company and the flours produced there included wheat and rye flours, corn meal, corn-flour, graham and buckwheat flour. The McEachron Mill had a prominent location right on Scott Street, next to the Wisconsin River.

William H. Osborn built his Prairie School style house in 1915. Only a few blocks from the huge Prairie School style G.D. Jones house, the Osborn house is at 801 Scott Street. The Osborns hired the local architects Chromaster and Speer to design their home. The house is a two story house faced in brick with hipped roof and wide eaves, facing north. The large triple grouped fenestration is on both stories. A one story flat-roofed sun porch is on the west elevation. The entrance is centered with an arched roof overhead and three-light wndows on either side of the door.

William Osborn was a commercial traveler (salesman) according to the 1916 Wausau City Directory.

The 1905 Walter Flieth house is a Colonial Revival house with shingle style elements at 917 McClellan Street. The two story shingle and clapboard house has a cross gambrel roof with two chimneys. The house faces north and has an asymmetrical entrance on the west end of the front facade. There is a flat roof over the entrance as well as over the glassed in section of the front porch (perhaps the porch was a full facade open porch originally). The fenestration is paired, double hung, one over one. Walter Flieth was a bookkeeper at the National German American Bank.

The 1927 Charles Smith, Sr., house, designed by Hans Liebert, faces north at 923 Fulton Street. The rectangular-shaped Spanish Colonial/Mediterranean Revival style house is two stories, has smooth stucco and a side-gabled, half barrel red tile roof. Arches are found in the fenestration over the projecting limestone-arched entrance which has a pent roof of the red tile and wrought iron brackets. Wrought iron is found again on the second floor balconies. French doors open out to the balconies.

Charles F. Smith, Sr., an attorney, was an active member of the community who became well known statewide as the head of the Natural Resources Board. He served the commission for 23 years, beginning in 1945 when it was called the Conservation Department. He received the first governor's award for Conservationist of the Year.

Garages and carriage houses are not included in the count. While some of the houses have had alterations of windows or the application of replacement siding, the district's building retain a high degree of architectural integrity to their period of construction.

The East Hill district is a large residential area containing 165 resources. The district, where Wausau's wealthy persons and families built elaborate homes on a grand scale, is located on a hill overlooking the city. The many properties that contribute to the area's significance date from 1883 to 1945. Given the large size of the East Hill District, building variety is great and features virtually all styles built in Wausau during the period of significance. The stylistic range includes impressive examples of the Second Empire, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Neo-Classical Revival, Georgian Revival, and Tudor/Elizabethan Revival styles. Excellent examples of more modest Italianate, late Queen Anne, American Foursquare, Bungalow, Prairie School, Period Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial/Mediterranean Revival, Tudor/Elizabethan Revival, and modern style homes increase the scope of importance of the district. Vernacular residential types are also located within the district boundaries. The East Hill District is not only architecturally significant because of its important representation of many styles, but it also features homes built by a variety of architects. Architects involved in the building of the East Hill area include Wausau's William La Selle and J.H. Jeffers, George W. Maher of Chicago, Alexander Eschweiler and his sons who practiced in Milwaukee, and W.H. Waterman of Chicago. Development in Wausau was in economic boom times until early in the twentieth century. Trees were the reason, trees become logs and fed first into the city's sawmills and later into wood product mills and factories. Nineteenth century bird's-eye maps show how powerful wood-based business was in Wausau. On the 1879 bird's-eye, stacked lumber dominates the central city along the Wisconsin River. The piles are bigger and more dispersed on the 1891 bird's eye. Barker-Stewart Island virtually disappears beneath the product of the Barker and Stewart mill, which opened in 1880 as the Clark-Johnson Mill. The large frame buildings of Curtis and Yale Company, established in 1881, maker of sash, doors, moldings and trim, show expansion into new ways of using wood.

The 1879 bird's-eye map of Wausau shows an East Hill with seemingly new woods and almost no houses. Franklin Street was the only street, heading off into rural Marathon County to the east. There were no buildings along Franklin once it passed the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad tracks. At the very lower edge of East Hill near Jefferson Street was a vernacular-style railroad hotel across from the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul depot, which was also a building in the vernacular style. A double-entry railroad repair barn was located nearby.

By 1891 when a new Wausau bird's-eye map was "drawn, the East Hill had a scattering of houses. The area was platted and streets were named: running north-south from the bottom to the to top of the hill, LaSalle after the architect William La Selle, Muenchow, Krembs, Hoeflinger, and, at the top, Summit; running east-west, Franklin, and then going south, Liberty, Park, Greenwich and Central. Northeast of Franklin were Minnesota and Wisconsin streets. Two of the streets, Liberty and Greenwich, were not through streets. Most of the houses were along LaSalle Street, which more or less paralleled the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad tracks. Unlike the scene on the 1879 bird's-eye map, the landscape here is hardly wooded, and the trees look newly planted. On East Hill by 1891 were William La Selle's Queen Anne and Eastlake-style family home (1883) on the southeast corner of the LaSalle-Franklin street intersection. Nearby were the Queen Anne-style Lyman and Catherine Thayer House (moved to 812 Grant Street, 1883), the Italianate-style Joice House (moved to 715 Gray Place, 1884) and the Queen Anne style William and Agnes Murray House (601 LaSalle Street, c.1887), the latter another William La Selle design. Farther up the hill were the Bishop estate (demolished) and the Queen Anne-style Alexander and Margaret Stewart mansion and estate (Tenth and McClellan streets, 1885, razed), another LaSalle design. Closer to the railroad tracks was the Italianate-style Samuel and Laura Armstrong House (821 Franklin Street, c. 1883). The other houses shown on the map are smaller homes, vernacular in design, for people of less pretension and means.

The 1890s brought more High Victorian architectural styles to the East Hill: the Queen Anne-style Neal and Louise Brown House (830 Franklin Street, 1893), the Queen Anne-style William and Ella Albers House (501 LaSalle Street, 1894), the Colonial Revival-style Charles and Victoria Gilbert House (904 Franklin Street, 1894), the brick vernacular Lotz-James and Marie Colby House (915 Scott Street, 1895), and the Queen Anne-style George and Caroline Silverthorn House (601 LaSalle Street, 1895). The Gilbert House was the first house in Wausau designed by George W. Maher.

The early 1900s brought one the few nonresidential properties in the East Hill district. This was the Rustic-style Philosopher Press (802 McClellan Street, 1902), a log cabin built to house a publishing and printing business. New houses of the period were the Classical Revival-style Harvey and Amy Rosenberry House (802 Fulton Street, 1902), the Dutch Revival-style Philip and Margaret Dean House (815 Fulton Street, 1903), George Maher's Prairie-style G.D. and Evelyn Jones House (915 Grant Street, 1904), the Colonial Revival-style Arthur and Elsie Wheeler-Walter and Elsie Heinemann House (901 Fulton Street, 1904), and the Mediterranean Revival-style Russell and Fannie Lyons House (815 Tenth Street, 1909). In the 1910s, new houses in the district were the Georgian Revival-style William and Mae Gamble House (825 Franklin Street, 1910-11), the Arts and Crafts-style Donald Jr. and Marion Murray House (1015 Ninth Street, 1911), the Prairie-style William and Diane Osborn House (801 Scott Street, 1915), and the Period Colonial Revival-style Joseph and Mary Smith House (707 Gray Place, 1917). By 1915, Muenchow, Krembs, Hoeflinger, Summit, Liberty, Park, Greenwich and Central streets were gone, renamed as proper extensions of existing city streets.

In the 1920s, before the onset of the Great Depression, Wausau was flush with money. Vacant lots in the district were filled. Wausau's first residential designs by Alexander Eschweiler and his sons appeared. New in this decade were: the Arts and Crafts-style Adelbert and Daisy Schmidt House (911 Adams Street, c. 1920), Eschweiler's Colonial Revival-style E.K. and Margaret Schuetz House (930 Franklin Street, 1922), Eschweiler's Period Colonial Revival-style Charles and Emma Wegner House (906 Grant Street, 1922-24), the Georgian-style Lee and Eva Willard House (924 Grant Street, c. 1923-24), the Prairie-style H. Albert and Anna Schmidt House (702 LaSalle Street, 1926), the Tudor/Elizabethan Revival-style Perry and Ruth Wilson House (801 Tenth Street, 1927), and Eschweiler's Elizabethan Revival-style Letitia Single Dunbar House (929 Mclndoe Street, 1929).

Although the district is overwhelmingly residential, an important contributing inclusion is Stewart Park designed by Chicago landscape architects Ralph Root and Harry Hollister. A memorial to one of Wausau's lumber barons, the 1928 park features a stone amphitheater and park furniture, along with a stand of mature white pines of the same variety originally flanking the Wisconsin River. These pines were basic to the lumbering of the region. The stone walls and gateway adjacent to Stewart Park came from the original Stewart Mansion (razed). These contribute an appropriate sense of grandeur to the area.

Another important contributing building is Wausau High School, now called Wausau East High School. The present school was built in 1936, and expanded in 1951, 1961 and 1986. The school retains the original Fulton Street address of an earlier high school on the site; that building was designed by Henry J. Van Ryn and Gerrit de Gelleke in 1898 and demolished in the late 1970s.

Only three houses were built in the district in the 1930s, although construction increased again in the 1940s with six houses constructed between 1941 and 1945. In the Great Depression of the 1930s came Milwaukee architect Thomas Van Alyea's Colonial Revival-style John and Genevieve Stevens House (918 Fulton Street, 1935). In the early 1940s, Wausau-born and Yale-educated architect George E. Foster, Jr., designed a house for himself and his family. The George and Betty Foster House is at 916 Grant Street, across the street from Maher's Jones House, which was owned by Foster's parents and later by George and Betty Foster's daughter and her husband, Rose and George Gillette.

Anomalies exist in the district. The Federal-style Alexander and Margaret Stewart-Mark and Sadie Ewing House (1872) and the Greek Revival-style Daniel and Mary McInnis-S.M.B. and Elizabeth Smith House (1874) were moved to adjacent lots fronting on Tenth Street in 1920. The two houses had been on Fourth Street and were moved to make way for Yawkey Park. The Second Empire-style Judson and Thirza Smith House (726 Franklin Street, 1874) was moved from a few blocks away at the northwest corner of Sixth and Grant streets. Another moved building is the Sexsmith House at 828 Fulton Street and originally at 410 Mclndoe Street.

  1. Mary Jane Hettinga and Don Aucutt, Marathon County Historical Society, East Residential Historic District, Marathon County, Wisconsin, nomination document, 2003, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
10th Street • 7th Street • 8th Street • 9th Street • Adams Street • Bellis Street North • Franklin Street • Fulton Street • Grant Street • Gray Place • LaSalle Street • McClellan Street • McIndoe Street • Scott Street