21 February 2012

Plymouth main street Part 4

The Metsker House was constructed in 1917 in a blend of Queen Anne and Shingle styles. Clay Metsker was a prominent newspaper owner and politician in Marshall County and Indiana. Metsker was born near Delphi, Indiana in 1869. He graduated from DePauw University in 1891 and moved to Beloit, Wisconsin. He managed the Beloit newspaper for four years during which time he also became the head of the county’s Democratic Central Committee. He relocated to Plymouth, Indiana in 1897 and purchased the Daily and Weekly Independent, a local newspaper. In 1902 he purchased the Plymouth Democrat, a newspaper begun by the McDonald family and then owned by Daniel McDonald. He merged the two newspapers into the Plymouth Democrat. Metsker was elected State Representative from Marshall County in 1900. In 1904 he gave the keynote address at the state Democratic convention. He toured the state of Indiana with presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan in 1908, and gave the introductory speech for presidential candidate James Cox to a crowd of 10,000 people in South Bend in 1920.

In 1930-31 Metsker self-published a book of his own poems entitled The Glow Book and a book he authored about prohibition entitled Booze On It’s Hunkers, Or A Nation’s Awakening. Metsker constructed a number of downtown business blocks including a building for Democratic headquarters and the Rialto Theater. In 1917 Clay Metsker purchased the home site and constructed this home for his wife, Nellie, who was ailing with tuberculosis. Nellie died in 1919, having lived in the house less than two years. The Metsker family owned the home into the 1950s. Clay died in 1949 but his second wife, Mabel, continued to reside at the home.


The Dr. Reynolds House was constructed in about 1905. It could be termed a stripped down version of the Colonial Revival style. The builder's choice of massive molded concrete block for the walls adds to the scale of the house. Dr. Carl Reynolds, a veterinarian, operated his practice from this location from about 1905 through the 1930s. Louis Overmyer, a shoe merchant, and his wife Estella, lived at the home in 1910; George Rafferty, a clothing salesman, and his wife Alma, lived at the home in 1920, and George Strohlein, a cashier for the railroad, and his wife Ruth, lived at the home in 1930. Carl Reynolds’ father, George, was a local physician and appears to have had his office and residence in this block earlier in the 19th century. Carl’s mother, Martha, lived with her son at this address in 1910. Martha is shown as the owner of the property in the 1908 plat of the city.

The Price-Murphy House was designed in the Queen Anne style. Jacob Price, a brick mason, constructed this home for himself in about 1905. He lived here with his wife, Jessie, and sons Carl and Clyde, and his daughter, Helen. They were still living here in 1920. Price is shown as the owner of this lot in the 1908 plat of the city. Gray and Edith Murphy purchased the home during the 1920s. Gray was a salesman at a grocery store. John Murphy, Gray’s son, lived here with his family into the 1950s.

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