It is called the Powell-Denison House, perhaps harking back to the original owners of the land, but the man most associated with it beginning a few years after it was built is Charles F. Chapman.
It was built in the 1870 on a corner lot at 304 West Front, and is called by architectural surveyors an interesting combination of the Greek Revival and Queen Anne styles.
In 1888 Charles Chapman acquired the property shortly after opening an office here for his nationwide woodenware business.
Mr. Chapman was the son of pioneer Connecticut settlers of the Western Reserve and was born in Berea in 1843. He moved with his parents to Millbury in 1862 where his father manufactured wooden bowls. At the age of 18 he enlisted in the 103rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and served in the Civil War for three years, returning to Millbury to help develop his father's business.
Eventually Chapman, A. G. Williams and H. H. Sargent combined their similar businesses and in 1892 Williams sold his interest. The firm of Chapman and Sargent Company had factories in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Canada. Their products sold all over the country and in Europe and it was managed from here.
About the house, the most striking characteristic is the ornate scrollwork on the two porches. The porch work and large asymmetrical windows, including the front attic window with quarter-circle panes, are frequently found in Queen Anne architecture. The roofline and other features are evident in Greek Revival. The porch door on the right facade was the main entrance and has a multi-paned transom. Both it and left side entrance porch are additions that closely reflect the originals according to old photos. A two-story addition was made at the rear as was a square bay on the west side.
Mr. Chapman was mayor of Millbury in 1883 and was active in Perrysburg civic affairs, serving two terms as councilman. He was director of the Citizens Banking Company for many years and active in the Methodist Church, the Masonic order and G. A. R. He died in 1914 at the age of 70.
The Powell-Denison House
304 West Front Street
Another of Perrysburg's well known doctors of years past was H. A. Hamilton who built this Greek Revival-Italianate home at 308 West Front Street.Horatio Arnold Hamilton descended from a long line of New England physicians. Born in Somers, Connecticut, in 1829, he graduated from the State University of New York medical school and practiced several years in Springfield, Massachusetts. He came to Perrysburg in 1854 to take the place of Dr. James Robertson, a partner of Dr. Erasmus D. Peck who was Hamilton's uncle. Dr. Robertson had died of cholera during his care of victims in the great epidemic here.
Some time in the early 1870s Dr. Hamilton built this house on property he had owned for some years. It has a ranked cornice with entablature and brackets supporting soffits every 10 feet. There are ornamental sawn wood finials atop the window pediments in the second story.
The Victorian porch is supported by slender columns with jigsaw scroll brackets at each impost. Matching pilasters are on either side of the double doors which feature round headed openings containing original etched glass. Tall, narrow parlor windows only 8 to 10 inches off the floor reach nearly to ceiling. The house has been extensively added to, with a two-story portion on the west end and to the rear.
Dr. Hamilton was active in civic and business affairs and was one of the organizers of Perrysburg Savings and Loan Association. He served as a vice president of the old Exchange Bank and was a partner in Peck and Hamilton Hardware. He was also a Freemason and active in Whig, then Republican, politics.
The local newspaper said this about Dr. Hamilton in connection with the difficulties of practicing medicine here at the time: "In his course of circuit riding, Dr. H. A. Hamilton goes well prepared for all emergencies. He carries with him in his buggy a saddle which he uses to great advantage in approaching farm house located in the interior of the Black Swamp."
The Hamilton House
308 West Front Street
The Van Soyse House
322 West Front Street
The builder of this Colonial Revival house is not definitely known, but it has been associated with James Van Soyse.
Built ca. 1870, it has a hipped roof with a large overhang and dormers on the front, left, and right sides. The front door is topped by a triangular pediment with dentils and flanked by fluted Doric pilasters.
A distinctive original feature of this essentially Greek Revival home at 326 West Front Street built in about 1853 was "saw tooth" bargeboards adorning the front gable overhang. The removal does not detract from the frame building's general attractiveness.
The house was built by James F. Stubbs. Local records reveal little about him other than that he was born in Cumberland County Pennsylvania in 1811 and came to Perrysburg in 1835. At one point he was listed as being employed by a lake steamer firm.
This partly explains why in later years he and James L. Douglas operated a warehouse below what is now Hood Park when Perrysburg was a busy lakes port.
Stubbs bought the lot on which he built his house from Thomas McKnight in 1851. The facade has three vertical divisions with six-over-one double hung windows with shutters. The front entrance is recessed with sidelights and is flanked by pilasters with a complete entablature above. The garage may have once been a carriage house, and significant additions have been made on the sides and rear. The house was sold to the Hollenbeck family in 1865 and was in their possession for more than 80 years.
James Stubbs was one of the organizers of the Perrysburg Savings and Loan Association, a member of the Maumee Valley Monumental Association, and of the Baptist Church. He served a term on Village Council in 1861 and died at age 80 in 1891. He is buried in Fort Meigs Union Cemetery.
The Stubbs House
326 West Front Street
This Italianate –style brick house was built in 1874 by Joseph D. Lindsay as a wedding present to his granddaughter, Mrs. James L. Douglas. Her father, Daniel Lindsay, lived next door at 348 West Front Street.
It has a hipped roof and a variety of multi-paned windows, most with segmental arches. The original front porch was removed and the lower front window replaced with a picture window. The front door is flanked by fluted Doric pilasters topped with a broken pediment with a centerpiece urn. The rear of the house has been enlarged, with the first floor walls of brick and the second of wood.
Little is known of the Douglas family, who later left Perrysburg.
The Douglas House
340 West Front Street
We feature this house at 341 West Front Street not only because it is interesting and unusual, but because it raises some questions about its former use that perhaps a website visitor can answer.
Even though it is located on the north side of the street with a wonderful river view and within easy walking distance of downtown (generally a popular place for a home), the house is not old by Perrysburg standards.
But who built it and when cannot be determined from the available records. The west side of the house all but physically abuts the neighbor’s garage.
The closeness certainly pre-dates today’s nearly 40-year-old code for minimum distance between properties, and it probably prompted the controversy some years ago when a so-called spite fence was built by the next door neighbor, all or part of which was quickly removed.
The house is unlike most in town. The first floor wall is of painted brick and the upper level is board and batten. There are actually four levels from the river side to the finished attic. The downstairs front windows are topped with the elliptical fanlights that match the round-arched door which apparently was an addition to the building. There also are two hooded windows on the east side, but not on the west. A single-car garage on the left side for some reason has a ceiling extending to the second floor.
All in all, the unusual architecture of the house compels a second look from passersby.
One thing that is confirmed by long-time residents is that the place was once a convalescent facility. This is also supported by evidence of five small side-by-side rooms running along the second floor facing the river. Walls between all but one of them have been removed but there are five double French doors along the wall opening to the balcony overlooking the river.
One former owner claims to have been told that this was a recovery facility for the old Rheinfrank Hospital just east of Hood Park. On the lowest floor is a large room with a very high ceiling with exposed steam pipes, such as those seen in some institutions. And in it is a small kitchen (not to mention a non-functional fireplace seemingly built to be for decorative purposes.) Was this a combination living or recreation and dining room for the staff? In any case, a question is: was the house built for this purpose or was it converted to it?
Other longtime Perrysburg residents say that the house was once owned by a man, possibly John S. Pyle who acquired the property in 1914, who built and sold pipe organs there. The high-ceilinged room described above could likely have accommodated this kind of activity.
But much of this is speculative. The questions remain, who built the house and when, and was it for either of the purposes mentioned here?
The Pyle House
341 West Front Street
This house at 345 West Front, of Queen Anne style if any, may have been on the site of an earlier house, or it may date from the late 1880s.
The river side of Front Street has always been a popular place for houses.
If there was a house here before, it would have been built between about 1835 and 1838 by a Jeremiah A. Scott, judging from county conveyance records. If not, the present one was probably built by Henry H. Dodge, a very prominent citizen in the village of Perrysburg.
The irregular roof line includes a front pediment within a pediment over an off-center entrance, whose door has narrow glazing and is flanked by sidelights. The windows have simple decorative crowns. The back of the house overhangs a steep slope down to the river, and extensive remodeling has been done in recent years, including a sizeable addition to the west side.
Henry H. Dodge (not to be confused with the late Henry M. Dodge of here) was born in New York state in 1830 and came to Perrysburg in 1852. He had graduated from St. John's College in New York City but finished his preparation for the practice of law in the offices of John C. Spink and James Murray, early Perrysburg attorneys.
When Spink died, Mr. Dodge became a partner in the firm which continued until Murray's election as Attorney General of Ohio in 1859. Mr. Dodge then became associated with James R. Tyler.
In 1877, he was elected judge of the common pleas court where he served for 10 years while living in Bowling Green. He returned to Perrysburg where he lived until his death in 1898.
He was considered the "dean" of the Wood County bar and his funeral was said to be one of the largest ever here.
The Dodge House
345 West Front Street
The original brick portion of this home has been sitting on the lot at 348 West Front Street for some 170 years. It was built in 1836 when Andrew Jackson sat in the White House and John Hollister was the second mayor of Perrysburg.
The builder was Daniel Lindsay who was born in Pennsylvania in 1811 and came here in 1834.
He married Sarah McKnight, daughter of one of the very first men to make his home at the Foot of the Rapids, a few years after the War of 1812.
Lindsay helped build the old County Jail on Indiana Avenue and Findlay Street in 1846 and later operated a sash, door and blind factory down the hill by the river at the end of Cherry Street. It was powered by the Hydraulic Canal, a sluice fed by diverted water from the river. He also had a warehouse at one time below Hood Park in partnership with James F. Stubbs.
The original part of the house was a comparatively small brick rectangular building with stone lentils. An attractive Greek Revival front entrance has wooden components surrounded by side and top lights. Frame wings were later added on the east and south sides of the building.
Daniel Lindsay (who also built the house just to the west of this one as a wedding present for his daughter) lived in this house until his death in 1869 at the age of 58. His widow continued living there, and then his son, until 1890 when it was sold out of the family.