The Other Horr House

Image of Barker Street, taken in the 1950s. The Rollin A. Horr house is visible on the right side of the street, in the space now occupied by Geyer's Foods Supermarket. Photo 970273 of "Wellington Family Album" Collection, Herrick Memorial Library. Permission to display generously granted by the library.

Image of Barker Street, taken in the 1950s. The Rollin A. Horr house is visible on the right side of the street, in the space now occupied by Geyer’s Foods Supermarket. Photo 970273 of “Wellington Family Album” Collection, Herrick Memorial Library. Permission to display generously granted by the library.

In my recent post on lost buildings of Wellington, I featured two images of the William Rininger house, formerly located at 187 East Herrick Avenue. I related a story, told several times by Robert Walden, about a dispute Rininger had with a neighbor. After I published the post, I went back and reviewed those stories again, and was surprised to see that the neighbor to whom Rininger took such a dislike was Rollin A. Horr, whom I mentioned in my last post on the Oberlin-Wellington Slave Rescue.

Rollin Horr was a Republican, and readers will recall that he defeated Democrat David Wadsworth for the office of state senator in 1879. Rininger was also a die-hard Democrat and his dispute with Horr had its roots in a political disagreement. Horr was the real estate assessor for the First National Bank in Wellington. He assessed the building on the northern corner of Main Street and Mechanics Street–the so-called Rininger Block–at a higher tax valuation than Rininger thought was just. The businessman believed that the assessor was treating him unfairly because of their political differences. As Walden tells the story, Rininger vehemently protested that the building was not worth as much as Horr claimed; whereupon, Horr offered to buy the building at the higher value and Rininger felt honor-bound to take the deal, even though he didn’t want to sell. From that point on, Rollin Horr had made an implacable enemy.

Rininger was possibly the wealthiest man in the county during his later years, and the story finishes that he loathed Rollin Horr so much from that point forward, that he built the Second-Empire-style house across the street so that he would not have to live on the same side of East Herrick as Horr. Walden never addresses the fact that Rininger’s second home was directly opposite, and facing, Rollin Horr’s Italianate. His view of the detested neighbor actually improved by relocating (Robert Walden Notebook, #A17 and #A210).

1962 image of the corner of Barker Street and East Herrick Avenue. Rollin A. Horr house is visible on the left. Photo 970868 of "Wellington Family Album" Collection, Herrick Memorial Library. Permission to display generously granted by the library.

1962 image of the corner of Barker Street and East Herrick Avenue. Rollin A. Horr house is visible on the left. Photo 970868 of “Wellington Family Album” Collection, Herrick Memorial Library. Permission to display generously granted by the library.

Rininger was supposedly so angered by what he perceived as discriminatory treatment that he proposed to create a “Democratic” bank for Wellington. He built himself another dry goods store, still standing today at 113 West Herrick Avenue, and erected a two-story brick building with a large safe next door to serve as the bank offices. He convinced Democrat David Wadsworth, no fan of Rollin Horr himself, to back the enterprise. The formation of the bank never came to fruition, however, and the structure was later leased to become a post office.

Rollin Horr’s grand brick Italianate survived until the 1960s, when it was demolished to make way for construction of a commercial plaza. That lot is now the site of Geyer’s Foods Supermarket and its large parking area.

1960s image of the groundbreaking for the commercial plaza that now holds Geyer's Foods Supermarket. The Rollin A. Horr house had not yet been demolished and is clearly visible in the background. Photo 970029 of "Wellington Family Album" Collection, Herrick Memorial Library. Permission to display generously granted by the library.

1960s image of the groundbreaking for the commercial plaza that now holds Geyer’s Foods Supermarket. The Rollin A. Horr house had not yet been demolished and is clearly visible in the background. Photo 970029 of “Wellington Family Album” Collection, Herrick Memorial Library. Permission to display generously granted by the library.

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2 thoughts on “The Other Horr House

  1. Doug Robinson

    Born, Rollin Albert Horr, 26 Nov 1830 (one of twin brothers) at Waitesfield, VT to 26 Nov 1830 to Roswell Horr and Caroline Turner of Avon, Lorain, OH. twin brother of Roswell Gilbert Horr (1830-96) US Congressman MI; brother of Jame Cortlandt Horr (1832-99) Mayor of Olympia, WA; brother of Capt. Charles William Horr (1837-94) cheese magnate; Rollin died 31 Dec 1894 of Brights disease at Wellington, OH. Marriage was on 13 Jun 1853 to Sarah Amanda Ames at Huntington, OH. She was b. 2 Oct 1832 at Becket, MA. and d. 1 Jan 1895 at Wellington, OH. Rollin received an elementary education in the public schools, and became a clerk in a store in Huntington, Lorain County. He subsequently entered the cheese business and farming and stock dealing there, and made that his home for fifteen years. He assisted in the organization of the First National Bank of Wellington in 1864, and in the spring of that year moved to Wellington, where he lived the rest of his life. He was cashier of the First National Bank for twenty-seven years, becoming vice-president by 1894. Rollin was for a time a member of the extensive lumber firm of W. R. Santly & Co., and besides being a vice-president of the First National Bank he was (as of 1894) secretary of the Clarksfield Stone Company. He was nominated by the regular Republican caucus, and elected to the State Senate from the 27th and 29th Senatorial Districts in 1879, serving during the sessions of 1880-81 and 1882-83. As a State Senator he at some time served as president pro-tem of the Senate. He was, subsequently, the Republican nominee from the 14th Congressional District. On 8 Oct 1891 he was appointed special employee of the United States Treasury Department by Secretary Foster, and served in that capacity until 1 Jun 1893, when he was removed by the Democratic administration. In the 1890s Rollin was a man of medium height and large proportions.

    Reply
  2. Donna M. Adam CFP

    Capt. Charles William Horr (1837-94) cheese magnate is my great (or great-great) grandfather! I am still missing some information re: great or great-great. I have been trying to figure out the ancestry I just now read on your June 29, 2017 post. Thank you!! Are you related to Rollin?

    Reply

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