Justus Warren SHELDON in Eaton Rapids, Michigan & the power of Colorized Photos
I have written posts about my great grandfather Justus Warren SHELDON before but this one is going to focus on his time in Eaton Rapids, Eaton County, Michigan. It seems that Matthew LaRue “Rue” PERRINE owned a large 472 acre farm on the banks of the Grand River but he died of Typhoid fever in September of 1894 at the age of 82; upon which time the farm was purchased by Justus Warren Sheldon. I am unable to locate the exact location of the farm but from this plat map from 1873 and the designation of 472 acres I can come close.
The large parcel that was listed as DW Perrine is “Rue’s” son and given that the property later became the VFW Children’s Home we can place that parcel here. This is listed as 148 acres so the farm would have been much larger than I have shown below. Note the S (saw) Mill on the above map. This is where the oaks were felled, milled and transformed into Justus Warren’s House in the town of Eaton Rapids.
So based on the sale of this property we can place Justus SHELDON’s arrival in 1894-5. By the year 1900 he is listed living in Ward 1 of Eaton Rapids City, Eaton County Michigan census. So at this time he would have been living in the city but also owning the large property bisected by the Grand River. I have written about the property above as the Grand River Stock Farm.
According to a recent property listing his house at 221 State street is a “Superb Victorian Era home built in 1901 by Warren Sheldon. Original and beautiful white oak woodwork throughout. Enter this home and enter an era of Grace and style 5 bedrooms , 2 baths, gorgeous!” A newspaper article from 1904 mentions Justus serving his second term as mayor of Eaton Rapids. He was first mayor in 1899 and then again in 1904.
Part of the reason for this blog post is to share photos that I have of the exterior and interior of the house. These have been graciously colorized. Let’s start with the exterior. Click to expand each photo. We can date the photos as about 1903 based on the sheet music in the Music Room.
Note the size of the trees and in the first photo the block identified J. W. Sheldon.
If you would like to compare the recent photos of 221 State St to those in my collection click on bolded link.
All of the photos are original black and white photos that have been colorized by individual artists or the new (currently free) Palette.fm website. While we can only guess at what the colors and house originally looked like—these renditions do help bring the house to life. Obviously this was a house of which the owner was quite proud. It’s not often we have interior photos of a private home in this time frame.
Kelly Wheaton © 2022 – All Rights Reserved
MANY THANKS FOR THE WONDERFUL MICHIGAN PHOTOS! LOVE THEM! GLADYS
Amazing to see the interior photos!