Bourbon Sesquicentennial

Neighborhood Historic Tour

Edited transcript of the Neighborhood Historic Tour August 16, 2003
researched by Sue Bates - edited by Karin Rettinger
Note: Photos shown below the description of each stop on the tour

In 1836 the Parks family came to this area and settled 1 and a half miles east of Bourbon near the present day US 30 and 12B rd. James and Elizabeth Parks were accompanied by their eight sons, two daughters and two sons-in-law, and grandchildren. James Parks died in 1839 of fever and his remaining family developed the community that became Bourbon. James was buried in the Parks-Ganshorn cemetery.

304 N. Washington- The Johnson-Miller House is believed to have been built around 1875. Jacob and Catherine Pritsch moved in in 1896 and Harold Johnson, grandson of the Pritsches lived there over 40 years. The Kenny Millers, present owners, have recently renovated and enhanced the home with a beautiful porch.

308 N. Main- This is the site of the former Evangelical United Brethren Church which was torn down in 1970 after it merged with the United Methodist Church.

301 N. Main-At the time of his funeral it was said that James H. Matchett was the richest man in the county in the 1930's. The two story brick home was built in 1878, it is currently being restored. Its curved porch was quite elegant. His wife, Alice, was the daughter of Dr. Bowman.

303 N. Main - Beside the Matchetts lived Dr. Daniel Bowman and his wife, Lucinda Hall, who moved here from Clunette. Lucinda's sister, Malinda, was married to John F. Parks. The house was built in 1880 and later their granddaughter Inez Shakes Marshall lived here with her husband, Dr. George Marshall. The home remained in the family for nearly 120 years.

307 N. Main-Library. The land for the library was a gift from James Matchett. Monetary gifts from William Erwin Sr. and Sumner Marvin helped with the building construction and the purchase of books. The east portion was built in 1940 and the west portion added on in 1990. The basement is currently being renovated to add an expanded children's department.

407 N. Main- The Presbyterian Church was built in 1913 to replace one built in 1878. The 1913 church was dedicated by well-known Evangelist Billy Sunday. A series of mergers brought it to the present day First United Church of Christ.

501 N. Main-Ray Fribley built a beautiful, castle-like home for his future wife, Della Honnold. It was a beautiful poplar frame house with a tower. The foundation and porch pillars were constructed of cobblestones. In 1919 the house sold to Elmer Myers.

602 N. Main- Businessman Jeremiah Brillhart built this home in 1905. Its modern conveniences included a laundry chute and call bells.

608 N. Main-James Fribley this home in the early 1900's for his family. It was later the home and office of Dr. Sands, an osteopathic doctor.

607 N. Main-The Tyrrell house was built in 1886 by Daniel Kehler for civil war veteran and local insurance agent H.H. Tyrrell. The Lyman Berger family lived here for many years.

804 N. Main-One of Bourbon's most distinctive homes is the brick one built by A. C. Matchette. It was a sanitarium to cure addictions and treat illnesses. Restoration is underway on this landmark.

901 N. Main-The Slough-Vink house was built by Maggie Slough in 1874 following her husband's death. Maggie was a busy mid-wife in town. A pony-drawn merry-go-round was located in the back yard.

905 N. Main- The Minard-Watkins house was built in 1888. The Minard family lived in the basement while the house was being built. Robert Watkins, a civil war veteran and the father of Barbara Danner, also lived there.

1003 N. Main-I. B. Arnold built his brick showplace in 1888. Mr. Arnold was a timber buyer and his home featured ornate wood trim and 11 foot ceilings on both floors. It was later used as an antique shop by his granddaughter Honora Kraft.

11495 State Road 331-The Weaver family built this two story brick home. The cornerstone is dated 1878 and the original slate roof carried the date 1883. The home has been in the Fetters family for about 50 years.

900 N. Harris- The Old Gym, built in 1928, sits on the site of the Salem College which was built in 1871. The Church of the Brethren college closed after just a few years and then burned in 1883 following a spring lightning storm. A school building was erected in 1885 for use as a public school and torn down in 1917. The building erected in 1918 burned on Christmas Eve 1928. The newly built gym survived the fire. A quick response from the community and school administration put a new building back on the site in time for classes in the fall of 1929. This building served the needs of Bourbon, then Triton until 1991 when it was demolished. The gym was saved in response to a community outcry. It is currently used by both the school and community. The bell from the school belfry, which once was hung in the Bourbon College of Music in the south end of town, was salvaged along with the stonework fountain.

800 N. Harris- Matchett Square. The senior center was built in 2003 on a block of city property left to the town by James H. and Alice Matchett over 65 years ago.

407 N. Harris- This house was built in 1905 for Dr. Harris, a brother of Burt Harris who was the editor of the News Mirror for many years. The Wayne Rittenhouse family lived here for many years. Note the R in the iron porch rail.

207 E. Park- Frederick Tescher had this home built in 1887. Dr. Luther Johnson, Civil War veteran and local physician for 40 years, purchased it the following year. For many years it was the home of politically active Roy Banta and his wife, school teacher Hope (Fribley Brillhart) Banta. The house featured a dumb waiter.

207 N. Harris- George Ettinger, secretary of the Bourbon Elevator and Milling Company, had this spacious home built in 1890 for his family. His daughter, Hope Ettinger, was a local school teacher for many years.

205 E. North- Editor Burt Harris lived in this home for a number of years. The summerhouse (gazebo) was commissioned from James Yates by James Matchett for his 301 N. Main Street Home in 1886. It was moved to a number of locations about town until Barbara Clabaugh in 1986 and brought to its present home.


302 E. Center- Ball Auction and Realty. This structure was DeVore's Blacksmith Shop for many years. Later it was renovated to a laundromat and then to the present use.

Douglas and Main Street. Bourbon College and School of Music occupied this corner. The School of Music lasted just a few short years at the beginning of the 1900's. Later the building became home to the southside elementary students and was eventually demolished.

307 S.Main- Andrew Unger had this home built in 1875. It was also the home of retired Methodist ministers George and Zoa Snider. Their daughter, Jane Swihart, is the present owner.

404 S.Main- James Cecil, a minister, had this bungalow home built by local contractor Matthew Erwin in 1884 using salvaged brick from Salem College. The original home was made in the shape of a cross with that pattern repeated in the original slate tiled roof. For over 40 years the Klingerman family has lived here.

506 S. Main- James Erwin, owner of the Inwood Elevator, had this home built in 1903 by McGriff Bros. The oak detailing featured inside this home is second to none in Bourbon.

523 S. Main- Ed Mendenhall is the first known owner of this brick farmhouse which was built by Matthew Erwin about 1884. For nearly fifty years the Hilles family owned the house (1907-1952).

535 S. Main- Matthew Erwin built this three story wood frame home about 1884. Lenny and Maxine Berkey received a preservation award in 2003 from the Wythougan Valley Preservation Council for their loving restoration of the home.

13020 St. Rd 331- Matthew Erwin built this stately and ornate two story brick home for his family in 1882. It features a double parlor, curved bay window, spacious bedrooms, and faux painted wood-work thought to have been done by local painter John Paschall. The home was purchased by Calvin and Mercy Shakes, grandparents to Jonathon Marshall, who moved into the home about 1960. The home remains in the Marshall family, today.

540 S. Main- William Erwin, brother to Matthew Erwin, had this wood frame family home built in 1878. The house remained in the family for about 100 years. It was the first in town to have indoor plumbing and electricity.

502 S. Bourbon- Dr. John F. Parks had this two story frame farm house built in 1858. It is thought to be the oldest frame house in Bourbon. It was built about the same time the railroad was completed through Bourbon. Dr. Parks came to Bourbon Twp. in 1836 with his parents and nine siblings. The family was quite influential in the development of Bourbon. The home stayed in the family until 1976. Dr. Parks' wife, Malinda Hall, was a sister to Dr. Daniel Bowman's wife, Lucinda.

3671 12 B. Rd-John Greer had this two story brick home built in 1877. John Greer was married to Penelope Parks, a sister to John F. Parks. He and his wife also came to Marshall County in 1836 with the Parks family. This house remains in the family 126 years after its construction.

Heinz Pickling Station was located along the railroad tracks on a site that is currently a vacant lot. From about 1954 to 1980 a root beer stand was located there.

Next to the Masonic Temple is the Bates Corp., which was built by Ed Ecker for Ecker Trucking.

301 N. Bourbon-This home was built for E.P. Smith and his wife. Mr. Smith was a much-loved and respected Bourbon School Principal

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