HWLI 320 Frank St.

320 Frank St.

320 Frank Street

Ebenezer A. Morehouse

On Sept. 15, 1885, The Daily Nonpareil and the Madison, Indiana, Courier featured an article headlined “Morehouse-Lodge Wedding.” The story began:

“The marriage of Miss Rebecca Lodge to Mr. Ebenezer A. Morehouse, at the Second Presbyterian Church, Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., was an event of much social importance. The invitations were numerous and the church was crowded to witness the ceremony.

“The groom, Mr. E.A. Morehouse, is a native of this city and a son of Mr. Edward Morehouse, a former resident of Madison. He removed to Burlington, Iowa, and is now engaged in the book-binding business in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

“The bride is too well known in Madison to need further mention.”

The article went on to describe the wedding party and dresses, music, noted guests, gifts, the trip to the lakes and other places — and that they will be living in Council Bluffs.

E.A. Morehouse was born in Madison, Indiana, in 1860, the only child of Edward Morehouse (born in New York in 1832) and Margaret Jane (Johnson) Morehouse (born in Indiana in 1835).

Rebecca Louise Lodge, born in 1864 in Madison, Indiana, was the daughter of Gavin and Stella (Pyne) Lodge. Rebecca was a descendant of the prominent Lodge family of Massachusetts — one of the first families of Boston and nationally known in politics, opposing Theodore Roosevelt and members of the Kennedy families.

Little was found regarding the early life of E.A. Morehouse, other than an advertisement that appeared in a St. Louis newspaper for “Morehouse & Co., Shoes and Boots”, and a notice in the Dec. 7, 1879, edition of the Nonpareil: “Morehouse & Co., dealers in boots and shoes, St. Louis — A part of the stock will be closed out in Council Bluffs by assignee’s sale commencing Monday, at 894 N. Broadway, Metcalf’s old stand.” An ad in the same newspaper, which appeared to be a closing-out sale, announced a sale of men’s underwear and shirts by Metcalf Bros., with no address given.

The newlyweds first lived at 23 Perrin Place with E.A.’s parents, Margaret and Edward, who moved from Chicago to Council Bluffs in 1879 and where Edward and E.A. opened a printing and book-binding business, Morehouse & Co., over 9 Pearl St., according to city directories and newspaper ads.

E.A. and Rebecca built this impressive Queen Anne home at 320 Frank Street in 1893. They shared their new home with Margaret and Edward Morehouse, with whom E.A. had been living at 23 Perrin Place.

The two families, as well as Marguerite and Kathryn, the daughters of E.A. and Rebecca, lived together at this address.

Edward died in 1903 and Margaret died in 1923. Their son and his wife both died in 1947 — E.A. in April and Rebecca in August. Kathryn married Paul Vollmar in 1919 and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Marguerite continued to live in the house until she and Kathryn sold the property in 1965.

Rebecca was a member of Grace Presbyterian Church, the Women’s Christian Association of Jennie Edmundson Hospital, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Society of Mayflower Descendants.

Marguerite was well known in the community. She was an organist at Grace Presbyterian Church and performed and presented programs at other churches and venues in the city. She also taught in the public schools.

In 1895, the Council Bluffs Mutual Building & Loan Association was organized, with offices on Pearl Street. Among the list of directors were the names of other printers — F.J. Ainsworth and Frank Wallace — with H.W. Hazelton as president. E.A. Morehouse was vice-president for many years, and was president at the time of his death in 1947.

A July 18, 1919, headline read: “Ainsworth buys out Morehouse & Co., consolidating two well-known printing institutions”. The business continued at the Morehouse plant.

The basic structure of the lovely Queen Anne house, built in 1893, appears to be unchanged, except for replacement windows, although the front porch could have extended farther toward the corner window.

The sunburst pattern above the third-story windows on the front and side gables remains the same, as well as other Queen Anne features, including the hipped roof and decorative spindles on the front porch.

The house and the first families who lived there are a significant part of the history of Frank Street.

— Sources of information: Pottawattamie County Auditor’s Office, Council Bluffs Public Library Nonpareil Archives, Ancestry.com and city directories.

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