228 wsandusky

Address: 228 West Sandusky Street
Architectural Style: Italianate
Year Built: 1879
Architect/Builder: unknown
Original Owner: Joseph Beers

The Fredericktown MRA nomination lists this building as the "John Beers House."  However, recent research has determined that it was built by Joseph Beers, John's uncle.  John owned property in Clinton Township, and it is unlikely that he ever lived in this house.

 Joseph Beers was a prominent Fredericktown farmer, and one of the village's largest landowners.  His father, Jabez, was born in New Jersey on March 25, 1781.  Jabez moved to Morris Township, Knox County, Ohio in 1805 with his wife of two years.  Mary Loveridge, born on November 13, 1782, and Jabez Beers were were wed on November 3, 1803.  Together they had six children.  Joseph, their fourth child, was born in Wayne Township on December 15, 1811.  When he was 18 years old, Joseph became a mason's apprentice in nearby Mount Vernon, Ohio.  He practiced masonry for much of his life, primarily as a plasterer and brick mason.  He married Jane Douglass, also of Knox County, on December 14, 1831.  They had two sons together, Theodore Leroy and Aaron Douglass.  Joseph moved onto his farm in Fredericktown in 1864, and in 1879 built the home that currently stands on the property.  He died on October 30, 1890.  Jane died on June 3, 1881.

Joseph's son Aaron inherited the property.  He was born on May 15, 1852, and remained in Fredericktown to help his father with the family farm.  He married Rebecca Cook on June 17, 1884, who died 18 months into the marriage on December 17, 1885.  Their daughter Stella was their only child.  Aaron remarried on February 22, 1894.  His second wife was Jessie Burnette, who gave him another daughter, Helen Jane.  Aaron was a highly active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.).  He was a member of the Ellicott Lodge, No. 267 I.O.O.F., and even served for a time as its grand.  He was also a member of the I.O.O.F. Knox Encampment, No. 211, and served as its chief patriarch.

T. L. Beers, possibly Aaron's older brother, Theodore Leroy, owned the land in 1900.  It is unclear if he returned to the family homestead, or if he owned title to the land as his inheritance while Aaron stayed to work the farm.  Theodore left farming to become a dentist, and spent most of his career outside of Ohio.  He first set up his practice in Hudsonville, Illinois.  He later worked in Vincennes, Indiana and Mount Pleasant, Iowa before making his way to Los Angeles, California.

This house is one of Fredericktown's few brick Italianate buildings.  It is an impressive structure, and was likely built by Joseph Beers himself using his skills as a mason.  A large two-story Greek-Revival portico on the front of the house is the only major exterior alteration.  Behind it is an attractive and large arched double-door entrance.  Segmented arch sandstone lintels decorate each of the windows.  An bay window on the east facade is likely a later addition, but keeps with the Italianate style.  The cornice features a large overhang supported by paired brackets.  There are several outbuildings on the property, as well.  The house is surrounded by shade trees and shrubbery on the spacious lawn.