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Homes with history

Residents reflect on history of Redwood Street houses

July 24, 2012
By Karin Elton , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - It was a grand house, spacious and full of light, say former tenants of 305 W. Redwood in Marshall.

The house is one of three old houses on West Redwood Street dating back to the 1880s which are in the process of being torn down. Wesley United Methodist Church acquired the property from the Schwan Food Co.

Jim Swartz was a young professor in the fall of 1978 when he moved to Marshall from Council Bluffs, Iowa. There weren't many places to rent in Marshall, so he was glad when someone told him about the large house on West Redwood that had been divided into apartments.

Article Photos

Left: Independent file photo; right by Jim Swartz

These 'before and after' photos show the old Jas. C. Burchard home. Burchard was Marshall mayor from 1905-06 and from 1920-24.

"I guess they thought it was OK to rent to me since I was a professor," Swartz said, adding that Don Slagel owned the house at that time.

Swartz's wife, Gloria, lived for a couple months more in Council Bluffs before moving to Marshall.

Swartz remembered the day when she pulled up in her red and white Cutlass.

"It was a blue sky, the sun was shining and there was this huge white cat in the window watching us," he said.

The house had beautiful woodwork, lots of windows and a grand staircase, he said. The Swartzes' apartment had a Murphy bed, which is a bed that pulls out from the wall.

"It was a grand structure," Swartz said of the house. "It had a lot of character." He also liked that it was near downtown.

They would have stayed there longer than one and-a-half years, but they "lucked onto a house on High Street," he said.

Janet and Dick Doom lived on the third floor in 1955, "the first year of our marriage, said Janet Doom. "It was a nice first apartment for beginners."

Doom said the house was owned by Mr. Wetherbee, who owned a hardware store on Main Street. Doom worked for the telephone company at the time.

The Dooms paid $35 in rent a month with heat.

Wetherbee owned the house when Rose and Earl Lanoue rented the apartment on the left on the first floor. Rose Lanoue doesn't remember what year it was but had her first baby while living there. The baby will be 63 in September.

Lanoue remembers the layout of the apartment well.

"There was a fireplace in the huge living room," she said. "The bedroom had a huge closet and in the hallway were storage cabinets. There was a porch - 8-by-8 or 8-by-9. We all shared the basement."

Lanoue remembers most of the other apartment dwellers - "Doc and Bev Lambert where on the other side of the first floor." Jerry and Phyllis Moberg were on the second floor as were Helen and Louis Schwartz. "Marv Schwan and Mavis were on the third floor on my side."

Swartz watched the house get dismantled Friday afternoon, and took photos and talked to the crane operator from D&G Excavating.

"He said the wood was brittle," Swartz said.

Kathy Lozinski, who is the vice president of the Lyon County Historical Society, said the museum was able to salvage historical items such as beveled glass and fireplace fronts before the house was demolished.



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