massey

MASSEY/ROSELLE HOUSE
121 Rock
Library File #17.2
ID# (need) ORIGINAL USE: Home PRESENT USE: Church Classrooms CURRENT OWNER: Episcopal Church
OWNERS:Alice Massey, Erma Roselle LOCATION: Sansom Addition Lot: #13, 14 DATE: 1915 Style/Period: Traditional rock HISTORICAL DESIGNATION: NO
BUILDER: Alice Massey CONSTRUCTED OF: Rock; tin seam roof; 6x6 windows CONDITION: Good DESCRIPTION: Traditional rock house with slanting tin roof; fireplace chimney in front; small stoop at front door; screened porch at east end of front approaching the detached garage.

HISTORY: The Rev. James Albert Massey was assigned to St. Helena Episcopal Church in 1904. He and his wife, Alice were tireless workers for the young parish. Mrs. Bliss, mother of Alice Massey, joined them in Boerne. She built her home a city block west of the church [see Bliss House on Live Oak St.] The Rev. Massey had a long and fruitful tenure at the Boerne church, but in December, 1914, he asked to be relieved of the rectorship. He left Boerne and was never seen again. His wife, Alice Massey, built this house for herself the next year just west of the church property and across the street from her mother's home.
Source: Hudson, Elizabeth G., "In One Place", Econ-o-Print, 1981

The house has had several owners and many renters in its long history. The last owner was Mrs. Erma Rozelle, a most beloved elementary school teacher, here in Boerne. [The house is owned by St. Helena Episcopal Church at the present time - 2009]

The Masseys.
"James Albert Massey and his wife, Alice Ingoldsby Bliss Massey, arrived in Boerne in 1904 when Rev. Massey was assigned to the St. Helena Episcopal Church across N. Main Street from St. Mary's Sanitarium and the Academy of Holy Angels. They were a young couple, both around age 24, and recently married."
NOTE: [they are both listed in the 1910 Census of Kendall County as being age 30]

"According to the Hobart College General Catalog of Officers, Graduates and Students 1825-1897, Rev. Massey was a native of Rochester, New York; was a 1901 graduate of Hobart College in Geneva, New York (now Hobart and William Smith Colleges); and was named for his father, who was also a minister."

"Alice was the daughter of West Point graduate, Congressional Medal of Honor winner and career Army officer General Zenas Randall Bliss. Her mother was Martha Nancy Work (1840-1919). Gen. Bliss and Martha Work were married on October 21, 1863 and they had two children: a son, Zenas Work Bliss, who was living in Cranston, Rhode Island; and a daughter, Alice Ingoldsby Bliss, who was living in Washington, D.C. with her mother, when the general died on January 2, 1900."

"According to a 1949 issue of the "Evening News" in the Boerne Area Historical Preservation Society's collection, Alice Massey developed a close friendship with Annie Fellows Johnston during the author's years in Boerne (1905-1911) and both she and her husband became characters in Johnston's 1910 novel, Mary Ware in Texas. James Albert Massey was the Rev. Paul Rochester in the story and Alice Massey was his wife, Mrs. Rochester."

Sources: Hudson, Elizabeth G., In One Place, Econ-o-Print, 1981; Boerne Public Library files; - May, 1999; Latest update January 2009 with information furnished by Donna Andrews Russell, who is researching the prototypes of the characters potrayed by Annie Fellows Johnston in her book, Mary Ware in Texas.

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