Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of submitted stories, regarding several of the unique houses that are in the Campbell Park Historic District in Huron.
HURON — The house at 807 Wisconsin, in Huron was built in 1895. It is a two and one-half story with a Colonial Revival style detailing. It is rectangular with a gable front.
The front, or east facade, is dominated by a Palladian window in a pedimented gable. Tapered wood Doric columns support a front porch with a hipped roof. Originally an open porch. it was enclosed around 1946.
The windows are one over one, except for the Palladian front window. The house has clapboard siding with corner pilasters and has an asphalt shingle roof.
The house has seen multiple uses.
As early as 1916 it housed nine Huron College students. This continued in some manner up to the 1960s. During that time frame, Mrs. Loftus H. Ward operated Mrs Ward’s Nursery School for more than 20 years and at the house from around 1951 until early 1968.
That was my first experience with 807 Wisconsin. In 1951, at the age of 4, my parents enrolled me in Mrs Ward’s School. I don’t remember how I got there as we only had one car. I have found old ads offering pick up and drop off and I believe that is how I got to school. I went mornings so I missed out on the advertised hot meal.
To me, everything about the house was large. I remember a large front room with dark wood accents. In this room there was a large group of kids. At Mrs. Ward’s Nursery School, we learned to write our names, make paper items for Mom and holidays. We also napped on the floor.
We played games like Skip Tag. I was the fastest kid there, unless Bobby Meyers came that day. We also took walks, in a line, around the neighborhood. Mrs Ward had a box of toy airplanes where each child grabbed one and we pretended to fly.
Jim Tredway also attended the school. He recalls that the food was so/so and that he only went there to socialize and didn’t want to learn anything. Jane Schallenkamp McLaury remembers being frustrated as her boyfriend at the time was in a perpetual time out on a stool in the kitchen.
I believe it’s highly likely that this house has enjoyed more children within its walls than any other residence in Huron.
A review of classified ads from newspaper archives shows numerous ads for and including Babies, Children, Single Mothers and Students. You could have children there hourly, daily, weekly, dropped off during Fair or anytime needed.
Hours were 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., six days a week. The business boasted of 3 supervisors at all times. In 1962 two children from the same family could attend for $10 a week. In February 1968 an ad showed that all Nursery School Contents were for sale. Mrs. Ward had operated the school for 24 years and claimed attendance in excess of 1,500 children.
Today the house is owned by Jody and Lydia J. McCloud.