The current owners of this house are Tia and Chad Curtis.
The area was platted in 1847 by John Clark and Thomas Jay, the house sits on Lot # 64 (52’ by 152’). There have been many owners of Lot #64 over the years. Uriah Favorite owned the property from 1874 until 1923. The house was probably built by Uriah sometime between 1874 and 1885; 1885 is when it first showed up on the property tax evaluation. The tax evaluation indicated that the lot was valued at $780, the house at $1,750, and the barn at $50, for a total value of $2,580.
This solidly made home, built prior to 1898, was originally a square structure with a stone foundation and small shed in back.
What can be verified is that in 1899, Henry W. Retter (1843-1924) purchased the property from a local furniture making firm, the Tipp Building and Manufacturing Company, for $850. In 1906, Henry sold the home to his daughter Anne (1874-1951) and her husband Edward “Benjamin” Snell (1873-1932) for $1,500. Ben and Anne later sold it to George J. Smith in 1911, for $1,300.
Five years later, on July 17, 1916, Mr. and Mrs. Smith were visiting his brother Peter in Vandalia. Also visiting that day was brother Alex Smith of Bryan, Texas. Sadly, the family visit ended tragically. George and his wife were killed directly in front of Peter's farmhouse when the Dayton & Troy (D&T) Interurban hit their Saxon automobile in which they were riding, rolling the car over and over for nearly 100 feet and throwing the elderly couple to the side of the tracks.
Apparently the couple failed to hear the approaching Interurban. It is said that Peter called to George that the Interurban was coming, but was not heard.
The accident occurred near Stop 16, a half mile north of Vandalia. Alex, Peter and his wife Lucy, along with the assistance of Interurban passengers and crew carried the bodies to the barn near the house but, after a couple of hours, they succumbed to their injuries. After the accident, the home passed down to Peter and remained in the Smith family for three generations, until 1983.
Over the next three decades, the house changed hands several times from Dottie Vance (1983) Lynnette Mohler (1987), Steven Staub (1993), Fred and Sarah Gillenwater (2002), and Dennis Henson and Rita Cottrell (2004). Dennis and Rita updated the landscape with splendid perennials and exotic trees.
In 2012, Heather Bailey and Frank Scenna bought the home and replaced the dilapidated shed with a new carriage house. Walter Burton built the carriage house, which he designed to match the home’s architectural lines. Heather and Frank also updated the kitchen including a new and larger bay window, which gives a splendid view of the lovely back yard.