The Strother Century House – By Joe Clark

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This is a house that has gone through four generations Strothers owning it. From Amos and Ellen who were the founders, to John and Jenny (later it was John and Ella). Then it was owned by Paul and Maynard for a couple of years before being passed on to my grandparents, Richard and Donna. Just a few years ago, a former neighbor stopped by. He wanted to move the house, restore it and live in it with his family. This report will take you through the 100 years this old house has stood. Then it will take you through the move, to what the house looks like today.

First Generation

Back in 1875, a married couple moved into what is now the Strother farm. Their names were Amos and Ellen Strother. They lived in a cabin for a couple of years and then they built a house in 1880. In 1897, the first telephone was put into the house. It took up the greater part of an entire wall, and there were sixteen households on the “party line.”

Family photo of Amos Strother and Ellen Strother in their 80s. Amos has a broad mustache and neatly combed goatee, and Ellen wears glasses
This is a picture of Amos and Ellen Strother. They “founded” the house.

Second Generation

One of Amos and Ellen’s sons, John Strother, and his wife Jennie, bought it from them in 1910. After a few years of living here they decided to build an addition over the kitchen and dining room. The neighbors came and wrote their names on the wood of the addition while it was being built. One person wrote, “built in time for summer, June 17, 1918.” Jennie died on October 8, 1921, after being ill a couple of years from diabetes.

Black and whi
These pictures show the house after the addition. Notice the new part, to the right of the porches. Also, the porch on the right is wider now.

Black and white photo of a farmhouse from the front.

Family photo. Atrocious hair.
This is a picture of John and his first wife, Jenny, who died in 1921.

John and the kids lived alone on the farm until John married Ella, twelve years later, on May 27, 1933. All went well after their marriage, until a tornado struck on April 17, 1941. No one was injured, and the house wasn’t damaged, but the tornado uprooted all of the trees and smashed their silo “like a broom sweeping dominoes,” a newspaper said. In 1945, electricity was wired through the house, and in 1946 indoor plumbing was added. In 1948 John and Ella moved to Marion. They rented the house to Maurice (Ella’s son) and Illene Minor until 1954, when Richard and Donna Strother moved in, Richard was John’s grandson.

Man with horrible hair and evil stepmother
This is a picture of John and Ella (John’s second wife).

Photo of tornado damage; doens of trees were uprooted and lay strewn about the yard.

Black and white photo of a farmhouse painted white with young saplings around it.

Third Generation

In 1958 John and Ella sold the house to two of John’s sons by his first wife, Jenny: Paul and Maynard Strother. Richard and Donna continued to live in the house and rent from them.

Photos of two brother, one in his sixties, the other in his naval uniform.
The picture on the left is of Paul, John and Jenny’s son. The picture on the right is of Paul’s younger brother Maynard. They co-owned the house from 1958-1966.

The Fourth Generation

In 1966 Richard and Donna finally bought the house after living in it for twelve years. This was the fourth generation of Strothers to own the house. They are my grandparents on my mother’s side. In the early 1980’s, Richard and Donna decided to build a new house. The new house was built right behind the old house. In 1982 they moved into the new house and the centennial house stood there empty.

Photo of elderly couple

Black and white photo of American farmhouse slightly obscured by trees.

Moved to New Location

In 1994 David Stoneking (not a Strother) came and asked Richard and Donna if he could move the old house and restore it. As his crew worked to strip the house of the roof, porches, the addition, and disconnect the house from the basement. It was not until December 20, 1995, that the house came off its foundation and onto the a trailer. On December 21, 1995 it moved to the new location about three miles west of its former site, just off Elbow Creek Road, on a dead end road called Campbell. David added on an addition similar to the one that was ripped off, but it was a little bigger. In the spring of 1997 he and his family moved in, and they are living in it right now.

Photo of the centennial Strother house in a new location.

House on a trailer being prepped to move.

House being moved by a trailer.

Picture of a new concrete foundation.

Photo of the Strother house now.

Strother house in 1997

Farmhouse in 1997.

American farmhouse painted a bright color with a porch from the early 20th century.

Map of rural Mount Vernon

This is the route that the house took to its new location. It came on to Elbow Creek Road from the driveway. Then it turned left onto Linn Grove road. Then it took another left onto Martelle Road. After passing an intersection it took a left on Springville Road. After a right turn at the next corner it was on Elbow Creek Road again. Just off Elbow Creek Road there is a dead end road that went to the site where the house was to be put. The reason that the movers did not just travel down Elbow Creek Road, is because the bridge that is over the creek was too weak to support the building.