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Saturday, June 29, 2013

320 altamont avenue

The Richland County Historical Society reviews proposed demolitions prior to their being submitted to the Ohio Preservation Office for Section 106 Review, which determines whether the property is historically significant and may require remediation.  If our review warrants comments, they are included with the city's submission to Columbus.  The property at 320 Altamont was recently singled out for demolition, and the following article is our commentary on its significance.  Hopefully this will help forestall the loss of this house, and others built by Jacob Scholl in the mid 19th Century.

320 Altamont is a 1 1/2 story, gabled brick house located in an addition to the city that was platted in 1863.  The street name was originally Cemetery St. and the house number was 9.  At the time the house was built and still today it is on the short street that approaches the entrance to the Mansfield Cemetery.   It is one of a number of similar houses built on the South side of the city by Jacob Scholl (Shull), a German immigrant stonemason.   

Jacob Scholl was born in Bavaria in 1808 and immigrated in 1840 after the death of his parents.  He married in Mansfield in 1844 and practiced the trade of stonemason.  He is mentioned in Graham’s 1880 History of Richland County, OH as the successful bidder in 1846 to construct fire cisterns in the city.  In 1850 he went to the gold fields in California, apparently with little luck, and returned.  He and his wife had nine children, 7 of whom survived.  Brothers John and Peter Scholl partnered in the oil and gas business.  Brothers Joe and Jacob Jr. partnered in the drug business.  

Jacob Scholl acquired a large amount of property in the city.  His obituary mentions “business blocks” and dwellings.  An existing building at 215 N. Main Street on lot 310 is the “Scholl Block”.  He made his home at 111 S. Diamond St. which today is a house within the complex of buildings of the Diamond View assisted living facility.  On parallel streets, S. Franklin and S. Adams, there are 9 other examples of the 1 1/2 story brick houses built by Scholl.  All are modest sized consisting of a 26 x 16 front gabled body with a 16 x 16 side gabled wing.  Additional examples may be uncovered with additional research.
His obituary mentions that he contracted for street improvements and was a building contractor.   Some of the houses he built on Franklin and Adams St. would appear to have been kept as rental properties.  Perhaps most were rentals, but further research into the titles of each one would be necessary.  At least on the 1882 map, Jacob Scholl’s name is on multiple of these houses.
Jacob Scholl died in 1902.  The Mansfield News mentioned on May 28, 1902 that the meeting of the Pioneer Society on June 7 at the Madison Grange Hall would include a “general obituary of all the pioneers who have died in the county during the year”, naming Jacob Scholl as one of the subjects.  His newspaper obituary appeared in the Mansfield Shield on April 3rd of that year. 
The modest brick houses built by Jacob Scholl on the city’s south side are significant in being the craftsmanship of German immigrant tradesmen of the mid-19th Century, representing one of the many nationalities of people who made up the population of Mansfield.  The houses are very similar to the houses built by German immigrants in German Village Historic District in Columbus, Ohio.
Judging by the 1882 map these little houses have had a very high survival rate, and their historic integrity seldom marred by modern work.   They are all of a size that is within the ability of the individual homeowner to maintain or restore. 
Gallery of Houses Built by Jacob Scholl on S. Adams and S. Franklin




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