From: Randy rresor at gmail dot com
Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 3:11 PM
Subject: Your Web page on Evanswood Place
I happened on your charming page about Evanswood Place when I was searching
for information on the history of my family. I am a descendent of Reuben
P. Resor, although I've never lived in Cincinnati and haven't spent too
much time there. My grandfather was also Reuben Perry Resor (he was born
Charles Oliver Resor, Jr. but changed his name). And therein lies a small
My grandfather was born shortly after 1870. He had two younger brothers,
Walter (about whom I know nothing but his name), and Stanley, who is very
well known. My grandfather was not an admirer of his own father, so the
family stories go (that's why he changed his name, although I don't know
when or where that occurred). During his teenage years he left home and
went to New York to work for the Standard Oil Company (there was only
one in those days, prior to the anti-trust case brought by the Theodore
Now here's the mystery. The story handed down through my family (although
my grandfather died in 1955, when I was three, his second wife, my grandmother,
lived to 1981) is that Charles Oliver Resor was a layabout and something
of a scoundrel who didn't work if he could avoid it, and the family lacked
for money. I suppose, but don't know, that Reuben left home because his
parents could not or would not provide a college education for him. I
don't know whether Walter went to college, but Stanley (as everyone knows)
went to Yale. This suggests that Charles came into an inheritance at some
point after my grandfather left home, and was able to provide better for
his two younger sons. I don't know if there were other children as well.
In any case, my grandfather Reuben did well for himself. He went to night
school to learn accounting, and rose through the company ranks to become
Treasurer of Standard Oil of New Jersey. He retired in 1939.
Reuben married for the first time early in the 20th Century (I presume
in New York), and he and his wife had three daughters. He then divorced
her some time around 1915, and astonishingly enough, was given custody
of his youngest daughter Mary, then about 10 years old. She was 16 when
my father was born in 1921 to Reuben's second wife. We knew her as "Aunt
Mary", although she was only his half-sister and of course much older.
I'd like to know more details of that first marriage and divorce.
Meantime, of course, Stanley Resor graduated from Yale, returned to Cincinnati,
and in the fullness of time became the owner and president of J. Walter
Thompson, which he built into the largest advertising agency in the world.
He became very wealthy. What happened to his brother Walter, I don't know.
My branch of the family has no contact with Stanley Burnet Resor's descendents.
Of course his son, Stanley Rogers Resor, was also well known. A successful
lawyer, he was Secretary of the Army for Lyndon Johnson and then for Richard
Nixon in the late 1960s and 1970s. Stanley Rogers had seven sons, none
of whom I know.
So my small mystery is this: what happened some time in the 1880s to cause
my grandfather to leave home as a teenager, and to divide the brothers?
Randolph R. Resor
Clifton Pioneer Home-Owning Residents 1814-1838
Map / Original Subdivision of Carkson's Clifton Farm in 1842 showing adjacent
land owners Map
Rivers, Stations, Roads and Trails 1794 Map /
Ludlow Mill Tract MAp
Composite Home by Bruce Ryan
by Arthur G. King
Property on Evanswood Place in the Cincinnati community
Clifton went for 66.5 cents an acre in 1788, when John Cleves Symmes
bought it from the United States. Its value increased when Israel Ludlow
built a grist-mill on the banks of the stream which was thereafter called
"the Mill Creek," and when the mill was sold in 1798 a neighborhood
brought five dollars. In 1818, Thomas Roberts bought a tract of sixty
which included the present northeast comer of Clifton and Ludlow
Avenues for $27 an acre.
What is now called Clifton Avenue was known from 1815
to 1845 as "Irwin's Mill Road. " William Irwin had bought the
"Mill Creek Tract" and its mills and constructed a road to them
from "the Road to Ludlow Station" (now Ludlow Avenue).' His
daughter, Jane, incidentally, married the son of President William Henry
Harrison, and was the latter's official hostess at the White House during
the one-month tenure of that presidency. Thus, it was early in its career
that Clifton attained a social cachet.
The name of the area came from Charles S. Clarkson's
"Clifton Farm" of 510 acres, which he built up over a period
of years. His income, as did that of many other ambitious early entrepreneurs,
came from pork-packing. This he managed from his offices in a building
which is still standing at the southeast comer of Court and Vine in Cincinnati.
But by 1842 he was forced to liquidate all his holdings to the Lafayette
National Bank, leaving as adjacent landowners west of Clifton Avenue only
Samuel Thorpe, Elijah Wood, and James Bryant.
Farming and pork-packing were not the only significant
industries in Cincinnati of the time. Metal-working and iron foundries
provided an important income to the community, and in the latter industry
the Resor brothers were pre-eminent. William Resor married Mary Burnet,
the daughter of Cincinnati's first mayor, and in 1843 moved to Clifton
on property to the east of Clifton Avenue (between the present Greendale
and Glenmary Avenues). Not to be outdone, brother Reuben Resor moved to
the west of Clifton Avenue, purchasing 40 acres. He bought the southern
half of Elijah Wood's 60 acres at $198 an acre, and another ten acres
from James Bryant at $200. He then cut through what is now called Resor
Avenue from Clifton Avenue. He built a three-room cabin on what is now
Resor Place for his mother, and then a house for himself at 320 Resor
Avenue. But in 1848 he sold the eastern part of his holdings, including
the house, to Captain Hosea. The house was still standing in 1950, but
it was torn down to make room for St. John's Unitarian church.
Resor Manor House
Reuben Resor built his "manor house" (which
is now designated as 3517 Cornell Place) on the high ground west of what
is now Middleton Avenue and Hedgerow Lane, to which he extended what is
now Resor Avenue. It was a lovely wooded hill, well watered by a brook
which coursed northwestward to the valley through which the present McAlpin
Avenue runs. It joined a small creek flowing down from the high ground
in the old Thorpe property, as well as a similar stream from Mount Storm.
These formed a marsh or a pond near where the current McAlpin Avenue meets
Lafayette Avenue, and the pond was shown on some old surveys of the area
until 1884, when it was adequately drained. The hillside to the south
contained many springs, some of which are still functioning, and the neighborhood
was called "Spring Valley." In 1869, Robert White bought property
there at just about the half-section line, and built two houses which
are still standing at 547 and 543 McAlpin.
On March 23, 1850, Clifton was incorporated as a village,
and the first ordinance was passed on April 11, 1850, titled "Prevention
of Immoral Practices." It decreed that on Sundays there would be
nothing to disturb or desecrate the Sabbath, no sporting, rioting, quarreling,
hunting, fishing, shooting, trading, bartering, selling, buying, or common
labor, works of necessity or charity excepted. Later ordinances forbade
the establishment of any tavern within the village limits or the selling
of any spirituous liquor in quantities of less than one gallon. Slaughtering
was carefully controlled, as was the release of any smoke, gas, or substance
prejudicial to health and comfort. Horse racing was forbidden, as was
driving a carriage faster than six miles an hour. There was a $20 fine
or jail for up to thirty days for cutting down or maliciously injuring
trees or bushes, or defacing any church, school, dwelling house, fence,
gate, or sign.
Reuben Resor did not long enjoy his new home, he died
suddenly and unexpectedly. In November, 1854, the Common Pleas Court
decreed in Case # 12218 that his property was established as the Reuben
P. Resor Subdivision with a survey as shown in Plat Book 1, page 237 (County
Recorder's Office). Beginning at the half-section line, the estate ran
eastward to Clifton Avenue and was divided. Streets were put through,
and the lots just west of Clifton Avenue were quickly sold to various
people. That declaration of subdivision must have been devastating to
his widow and children. Her family and friends scrambled desperately
to try to save some equity for them. The largest portion of the subdivision,
from the half-section line eastward to a little east of what is now Cornell
Place, was bought by David Gibson in 1866 for $50,000. David Gibson was
a whiskey, grain, and feed merchant, who promptly moved into the Resor
manor house with his wife, Sarah, and made a number of changes to it.
However, in 1872, a judgment of $129,000 against him forced him to sell
all his property for $67,000 to Winifred M. Evans. She was the daughter
of Warren and Harriet Brown, who owned extensive property north of what
is now Lafayette Circle. She had married Seth Evans, a pork-packer, who
in 1874 was the president of the Second National Bank of Cincinnati.
Winifred and Seth Evans moved into the "manor
house" and for eight years gradually bought up adjacent lots to expand
their holdings, including eight acres southward in order to have frontage
on what is now Ludlow Avenue. This brought the Evans estate to forty connected
acres, "all woodland except for the manor house" in which they
lived until Seth Evans died in 1890 and his widow a year later.
They had nine children, and when Winifred died the
estate was tied up in furious litigation until 1899. Part of the difficulty
was that their wills had designated gifts of 100 by 630 foot strips of
the old Reuben P. Resor Subdivision lots, but measured from the "half-section
line." These strips did not coincide with the original Resor lots.
The first two strips were claimed by Olivia Procter
Morrison, "a widow of Cincinnati," and it was not until 1899
that Common Pleas Court case #117849 ordered the 200 feet be sold to her
for not less than $3,000. This is why Evanswood Place curves around the
present Mann house to produce the "dead-end" of the street and
the area on which were eventually built the houses from #575 through #622.
Winifred Evans had deeded the third 100-foot strip
to her son, George, on which he had built a house in 1890 (#568). His
was a stormy connubial career, having been married and divorced twice.
His business was listed as "Bicycles and Sundries" in the 1897
Directory, but he seems always to have been in financial trouble. Many
mortgages on the house were recorded, and several sales and purchases
of adjacent land. It was not until 1917 that the integrity of his title
was established when it was bought by Mary Mulhauser and in 1925 sold
to Phyllis and Walter Heuck. It passed to Wilson Brumleve in 1945 and
to Joan and William Boniface in 1960. It is now the home of Betsy
and David Mann.
The next 100-foot strip was also deeded in 1890 but
to Winifred's daughter, Winifred, who also built a house on it (#564).
She could not get a clear title to it until 1896, by which time she had
moved to 440 Ludlow Avenue, living as a "spinster" with her
brother Joseph, until she died in 1928. She was responsible for another
round of litigation in 1900 which dragged on until 1932, when the remaining
assets were ordered divided into 64 parts, the share of some of the claimants
being as little as $59. Michael Guyer bought her house in 1903, and it
was acquired in 1939 by Helen and John K. Rose, a member of City Council
and head of the Cincinnati Park Board. Later owners and tenants were Gladys
and William Clark, Patricia and Cedric Boulter, followed by Sally and
Reid Ross, Larry and Norma Wolf, Bruce McLeod, Bernard Rubenstein, and
Adelia Moore/Tom Gerety in 1986. It is now the home of Travis Marvel and
In 1881, there was enough agreement among the heirs
to have two streets cut through to facilitate the sale of smaller lots.
The approach to the manor house had already been altered to a private
dirt road from Ludlow Avenue. This was naturally called "Evans Place,"
but when the Village of Clifton was annexed in 1896 the name was changed
to Cornell Place and the manor house became #3517. The dirt road from
the manor house to the homes of daughter Winifred (#564) and son George
(#568) was dedicated on May 2, 1891, then straightened and paved as Evanswood
Place. But it extended only to the edge of the property claimed by Olivia
P. Morrison. The lots on the south side of the street had a frontage of
100 feet, but a depth of only 150 feet. At their southern edge was a 30-foot
wide dirt road noted on some plats as being "for the exclusive use
of the land-owners." The 100-foot lots on either side of Cornell
Place were sold with no difficulty, but the rest of the property was involved
in court proceedings from 1891 till the final settlement in 1899.
545 Evanswood home of the Millers
In 1985 Michael Knaul bought lot at 545 finished by January 1, 1900.
It was the first, and for a long time the only house on the south side
of Evanswood Place. In 1923 it was occupied by the Herschede family 3
heirs of the Michael Knaul Family - Cora, Stella& Charlie. Since 1964
owned by Carolyn and G. Franklin Miller.
The manor house was sold in 1901 to E. Antoinette Ely,
who deeded it to the Bartholomew Ely School, remembered by many people
in the neighborhood for its broad sweeping steps down to what is now Hedgerow
Lane. In 1903, Cornell Place was extended northward, and lots (only 50
feet wide) were sold. By 1943, the school building had been converted
In 1901, Olivia Morrison tried to develop the property
she had acquired from the Evans Estateóthat is, the "dead-end"
of Evanswood Placeóbut succeeded in selling only three lots on which houses
#614, occupied from 1936 to 1970 by C. Leslie Martin and more recently
by Frederick D. Ziegler; #619, which was occupied successively by Roy
Hack (the organizer of the "Evanswood Place Chowder and Marching
Club"), then by lola and William Hessler, followed by Wyman W. Parker,
then by Edna and Harold Rosenberg and finally by Irene Moore & Tom
Lohre . At the end of the dead-end was #621, occupied by, among others,
Dr. Frank Dutra, Dr. Richard T. F. Schmidt, and Paul Payne. Morrison Place
was not dedicated until 1925, and the late Jane Loveland remembered that
as a child she had played in the heavy woods which went past the cemetery
down the hill to Ludlow Avenue. Construction of houses ceased for five
years, until in 1906 the large brick three-story two-family apartment
house was built at 547-549 Evanswood Place on the south side. Its occupants
from time to time are too numerous to mention, some being well known and
a few a bit shady.
In 1905, the 100-foot strips given to Frank Evans and to Joseph Evans
became available, and in 1906 two houses were constructed. One,
#554, was a modest bungalow built by Florence and H. M. Benedict. The
other was the substantial brick home (#560) of Burtis Burr Breese, the
professor of psychology at U.C. There were numerous transfers of small
parcels "to straighten out property lines" or expand them.
From 1908 onward, more and more houses were built on both sides of the
street. Among the earliest ones were #514, built by the Barker family
high on the hill next to the old Resor manor house, occupied since 1959
by Helen and Robert Siegfried. Diagonally opposite, on the southwest corner
with Cornell, was #511, a house occupied by (among other distinguished
Cliftonians) Dean Stanley Dorst of the Medical College, Rabbi Moses Buttonweiser
of Hebrew Union College, the engineer Frederick Schierloh, Dr. Benjamin
Miller of the Jewish Hospital May Institute for Research, and the architect
David Lee Smith.
Between 1909 and 1914 there was a flurry of housing
construction, such as #518, long the home of Albert Schwartz, the president
of the Werk Soap Co., and then Dr. Edgar Lotspeich and more recently Dr.
Lawrence Frohman. Directly across the street at #519 is a similar brick
building which at one time housed Dr. Thomas Atkins and his pediatrician
wife, Nina Anderson, followed by F. R. Cottrell, Glenn Melzer, and currently
Stephen C. Sunderland. Next door, at #523, known as the Weitkamp house,
live Marianne and Bruce Ryan. Built the same year, #537 housed the Bahmans,
then the Schemenauers, and more recently the Hoovers. Number 541 was for
years the home of the engineers Christian W. Marx and Frederick C. Marx.
On the north side of the street, occupying numbers 524 through 550, was
the Mary M. Emery Bird Reserve, which was not sold until 1956.
The south side of the street continued to build up, the lots being smaller
and more salable during the 1909-1914 years. Number 553 was occupied by
the dentist, Dr. Allan Taylor, until 1943, when Helen Smith and Helen
Coops of the U.C. Department of Physical Education lived there. They were
followed by John K. Rose and Mary Lynn Rose. Next to them, #559 seems
to have always had university faculty, most prominently Reid Stockdale
and currently Robert and Janet South. Number 565 was for 45 years occupied
by Mayble and Earl C. Case, and currently by Dr. Richard W. Youngpeters.
Number 573 is of particular interest in that for over twenty years it
was owned by Edward H. Unnewehr, one of whose daughters, Marge Schott,
is the principal owner, president, and CEO of the Cincinnati Reds baseball
team. The next occupant for 36 years was Wilfred S. Pahner, the Clifton
druggist. It is now the home of his daughter, Linda, and her husband,
At the very top of the street, actually part of the
old Morrison purchase from the Evans Estate, is #579, which is across
the intersection with Morrison Place. It has had a succession of owners
including lawyers, doctors, artists, and historians. Even before it was
built, #616 and #620 were in existence, the former occupied by Charles
E. Gilbert, followed by Dr. Edward J. Bender, and finally by Ed and Mary
Ainslie Morrison. The owners of the latter house were John T. Wetzel,
then Iris and William A. Spoor, and then Roy A. Norwood. Its present occupant
is Anne E. Martin.
The interest in building homes on Evanswood Place was revived during the
First World War. Number 575 was built in 1919 and has been known as the
"Hunnicutt House" for its longest owners. It is now occupied
by the Paul Meyer family. Two houses were built in 1922. One was #622,
which was occupied by a succession of either tenants or owners, such as
William T. Foley, George Engberg, John Caskey, and currently, Shawn T.
Riley. The other was #554, which had been vacant except for the foundations
of the Benedict bungalow which had burnt down in 1917. Clarence T. Bookman,
the founder of the Community Chest movement, built an imposing home on
the site, to which in 1928 he added a sunken living room which provided
a vista of the stream which had attracted Reuben Resor to build his manor
house. It has been home to Martha and Arthur King since July of 1948.
The next to the last house on the street, built in 1938, was #569, occupied
by Mary Alice (Mrs. Dare A.) Wells almost ever since, with more recently
her daughter Ann and son-in-law, Michael Bowers. The newest house is #536.
When the Mary M. Emery Bird Reserve was sold in 1956 to Emily and Gaylord
M. Merriman (professor of mathematics at U.C.), their modern bungalow
was planned to be the first of at least four houses to be built on the
property. But it was impossible to obtain an easement for a sewage connection
down to McAlpin Avenue, and the plan was abandoned. When the Merrimans
moved to Pennsylvania in 1972, they sold the property to Kathleen and
Norman T. Bruvold, the current occupants.
This brief history of a single street, dedicated just
one hundred years ago, typifies a close-knit and congenial segment of
a Clifton neighborhood. It should properly close with mention of a fifteen-year
old tradition: celebrating Independence Day by a cooperative picnic held
on the level high ground just west of the original Reuben Resor manor
house, a fitting place and a fitting occasion, particularly in 1991.
Evanswood House Numbers
with First Recorded Assessment Hamilton County