The Sears #118, A VERY Popular Early Sears Modern Home

In all of my searching of Sears houses one of the most popular early models I have found is the number 118.  About two years ago I started reading through all of the Sears general merchandise catalogs.  I became very familiar with the millwork and homes.  How many people do you know that have read through all of the Sears merchandise catalogs?  Most I should say, all from 1900-1945 and here and there for other years.  When my collection of 118’s reached about eight I thought to myself this was a popular model for early Sears because they all dated between 1908 and 1911!

I’m not surprised that it was so popular, it was featured in the Sears merchandise catalog in Fall of 1908!

The Sears #118 was one of 40 modern home plans offered by Sears in 1908.  Did this center feature make it popular?

The Sears #118 was one of 40 modern home plans offered by Sears in 1908. Did this center feature make it popular?  Catalog page from Fall 1908 general merchandise.
Click image to enlarge.

 

Since May of 2012 I have located FOURTEEN of the Sears #118’s! And, I haven’t really looked that hard, I used a few testimonials  but several I have just stumbled upon and recognized them.

In May of 2012 Addie Hoyt posted a blog inquiring if a testimonial house in Terrell Texas was still standing.  I took on the task and found it within an hour, easy.  Little secret I have, when looking at random start with the tracks, a water tower and or a grain elevator and work your way out :)

In May of 2012 “Addie Hoyt” posted a blog inquiring if a testimonial house in Terrell Texas was still standing. I took on the task and found it within a few minutes, easy. Little secret I have, when looking for kit homes at random start with the railroad tracks, a water tower and or a grain elevator and work your way out :)

 

See the water tower? I was serious! I found this house in a matter of minutes. 501 9th Str Terrell Tx

See the water tower? I was serious! I found this house in a matter of minutes.
501 9th Str Terrell Tx

 

I did a lot of research on Jocephus Autrey and his family that morning. I created a tree for him on ancestry.com and I still get updates for him once and awhile.   I used to create family trees for homeowners of kit homes and that became too time consuming.   The locals  now call this house the Felder House.

I soon discovered another Sears #118 in Fishkill, NY at 885 New York 82, Hopewell Junction.

I soon discovered another Sears #118 in Fishkill, NY at 885 New York 82, Hopewell Junction.

 

While perusing real estate listings I found really pretty Sears 118 in at 240 Blue Heron Lane in Matthews, Va  Image courtesy of Realtor.com  This house has several interior photos which I will share at the end.

While perusing real estate listings I found really pretty Sears 118  at 240 Blue Heron Lane in Matthews, Va

 

Image courtesy of Realtor.com This house has several interior photos which I will share at the end.

 

And courtesy of another real estate ad I was able to find this Sears #118 at 4031 War Creek Road in Thorn Hill, TN

And courtesy of another real estate ad I was able to find this Sears #118 at 4031 War Creek Road in Thorn Hill, TN

  Here is something you don't see very often in a real estate ad!  Sears #118 at 4031 War Creek Road in Thorn Hill, TN  How cool is that?

Here is something you don’t see very often in a real estate ad!   Sears #118 at 4031 War Creek Road in Thorn Hill, TN

 

How cool is that?

 

In Bayfield Colorado and on their Historical Walking Tour is the home of Dr EW Newland. The house is at 1543 Hwy #160 in  Bayfield, CO.

In Bayfield Colorado on their Historical Walking Tour is the home of Dr EW Newland. The house is at 1543 Hwy #160 in Bayfield, CO.

 

I would love to have a few good photos of this house!

 

Using this testimony I was able to find yet another Sears #118.  However, it wasn't easy!  Charles Dahms lived on a farm so I had to find the land plat and with the help of Mark Hardin we soon located this very rural home.

Using this testimony I was able to find yet another Sears #118. However, it wasn’t easy! Charles Dahms lived on a farm so I had to find the land plat and with the help of Mark Hardin we soon located this very rural home.

 

Thanks to the Scott County Assessor we can get a glimpse of the side of this Sears #118 located at 4910 296Th St in Dixon Ia,

Thanks to the Scott County Assessor we can get a glimpse of the side of this Sears #118 located at 4910 296Th St in Dixon Ia,

 

From the assessor records,  another beautiful  Sears #118  at 105 3rd Street NE in Mitchelville, IA

From the assessor records, another beautiful Sears #118 at 105 3rd Street NE in Mitchelville, IA

 

While looking through one of my favorite blogs about old houses I discovered and unknown Sears #118 at 200 E 1st North St in Mount Olive IL!   After several emails and even phone calls I'm not sure I had the realtor convinced, I know she was surprised. I am hoping that when Rosemary Thornton made a special trip to get photos of the gorgeous interior that she was convinced :) This house has a lot of potential. They show a 1903 date but I'm thinking 1908 or 1909. I was able to identify a lot of the millwork and hardware but not the art glass and a few other things. I wish the best for this beauty! It is one of my favorite finds.  Please take a few minutes to see the interior on Rosemary's blog! This Sears #118 is located at 200 E 1st North St in Mount Olive IL.

While looking through one of my favorite blogs about old houses I discovered and unknown Sears #118 at 200 E 1st North St in Mount Olive IL! After several emails and even phone calls I’m not sure I had the realtor convinced, I know she was surprised.

 

I am hoping that when Rosemary Thornton made a special trip to get photos of the gorgeous interior that she was convinced :) This house has a lot of potential. They show a 1903 date but I’m thinking 1908 or 1909. I was able to identify a lot of the millwork and hardware but not the art glass and a few other things. I wish the best for this beauty! It is one of my favorite finds. Please take a few minutes to see the interior on Rosemary’s blog!
This Sears #118 is located at 200 E 1st North St in Mount Olive IL.

 

This Sears 118 was a happy accident, I happened upon it in an image search for something completely different!  The thumbnail popped up and I'm like whoa, a Sears 118!  Upon investigation all I could find out was that it is Mexico.  Mexico, Mo that is.  LOL     I am hoping that someone will see this and send me a message with more information!   I tell people that I find houses in some of the strangest ways, I'm NOT kidding.

This Sears 118 was a happy accident, I happened upon it in an image search for something completely different!   That happens sometimes.  The thumbnail popped up and I’m like whoa, a Sears 118! Upon investigation all I could find out was that it is in Mexico. Mexico, Mo that is. LOL      I am hoping that someone will see this and send me a message with more information!
I tell people that I find houses in some of the strangest ways, I’m NOT kidding.

 

And very recently, last month or so, I stumbled on this lovely Sears #118 at 413 N Price St in Sweetwater, TN.  It is currently on the market.  They say 1908 and I think that is quite possible!  I have found other Sears houses built in 1908 and could verify that.

And very recently, last month or so, I stumbled on this lovely Sears #118 at 413 N Price St in Sweetwater, TN. It is currently on the market. They say 1908 and I think that is quite possible! I have found other Sears houses built in 1908 and could verify that.

 

Let’s see, I think we have four more left! I hope you are still with me. These houses are too pretty not to share.  And remember, it took me almost two years to gather them all up.

In 1910 Anton Korger built a Sears #118 in Eau Claire Wisconsin.  He even sent a letter to Sears.  Thanks to this testimony and some digging I was able to find his house.

In 1910 Anton Korger built a Sears #118 in Eau Claire Wisconsin. He even sent a letter to Sears. Thanks to this testimony and some digging I was able to find his house.

 

It's a little difficult to see through the landscaping.   Maybe someone in Eau Claire will read my blog and send me better photos! Anton's house is at 1403 Omaha St in Eau Claire, Wis. Anton and his brother Henry owned a tailor shop, Korger Bros at 100 N. Barstow. Henry lived next door to Anton. What a great discovery!

It’s a little difficult to see through the landscaping. Maybe someone in Eau Claire will read my blog and send me better photos! Anton’s house is at 1403 Omaha St in Eau Claire, Wis. Anton and his brother Henry owned a tailor shop, Korger Bros at 100 N. Barstow. Henry lived next door to Anton. What a great discovery!

 

If you need a place to stay in Lennox, SD I recommend this lovely Sears #118 that is also a bed and breakfast!  The Steever House Bed and Breakfast in Lennox is absolutely gorgeous!  Tell them I sent you.  Oddly enough, another bed and breakfast told me about this house possibly being a Sears #118.  A shout out to a gorgeous Sears Alhambra, The Triangle Ranch, for the tip.

If you need a place to stay in Lennox, SD I recommend this lovely Sears #118 that is also a bed and breakfast! The Steever House Bed and Breakfast in Lennox is absolutely gorgeous! Tell them I sent you. Oddly enough, another bed and breakfast told me about this house possibly being a Sears #118. A shout out to a gorgeous Sears Alhambra, The Triangle Ranch, for the tip.

 

Here is an updated photo of the Steever House Bed and Breakfast which is also a Sears #118

Here is an updated photo of the Steever House Bed and Breakfast which is also a Sears #118

 

This Sears #118 was built in 1909 and is located at 1006 N Main Str Poplar, Mo.  Any chance a reader out there can send me a few photos?

This Sears #118 was built in 1909 and is located at 1006 N Main Str Poplar, Mo. Any chance a reader out there can send me a few photos?

 

The Sears #118 from my 1908 4th edition Sears Modern Homes.

The Sears #118 from my 1908 4th edition Sears Modern Homes.  Click image to enlarge.

 

This Sears #118 is a very rural farmhouse and the best I can do is a view from my Bing airplane!  Hey, I find them that way too, I found a Sears Magnolia in my Bing airplane :)   This large farm is located at 48779 290th Ave in Rolfe, IA.   Who can run out to Shimkort Farms and get photos for me?  :-D BTW, this one took a little work.

This Sears #118 is a very rural farmhouse and the best I can do is a view from my Bing airplane! Hey, I find them that way too, I found a Sears Magnolia in my Bing airplane :)
This large farm is located at 48779 290th Ave in Rolfe, IA. Who can run out to Shimkort Farms and get photos for me? :-D
BTW, this one took a little work.

 

Lo and behold, I was looking in the Pocahantas County WV assessor files and NOT the Pocahontas County in IOWA assessor files!  Here is a photo, not the best, from the county assessor files.

Lo and behold, I was looking in the Pocahantas County WV assessor files and NOT the Pocahontas County in IOWA assessor files! Here is a photo, not the best, from the county assessor files.

 

FOURTEEN Sears #118’s, that’s quite a few! See why I believe it was a popular early model? I’m looking for number fifteen. I would love for it to be here in Oklahoma! I have a few more on my radar but they aren’t in my backyard like the awesome Hollywood is!  It is quite possible that there is one here in Oklahoma given that these fourteen are pretty spread out.

But, I’m not the only one who has found a Sears #118! Oh, yeah, there are more! Rosemary Thornton has found a couple too!   There is one in Alton, Ill.  And in Westfield, Ill.  And this Sears #118 is in Fort Wayne, Indiana.   Flickr is another good source to find kit homes.

I have interior photos of some these homes that I have matched up with images from my building and materials catalogs. I think you will enjoy seeing all of the similarities from house to house. I’m going to take a “blog break” for some lunch and let’s hope I don’t stumble on another Sears #118!  I’ll be back after while with more to share.

Tulsa Oklahoma Houses by Mail, Sears Homes, Wardway, Aladdin and more

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Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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20 Responses to The Sears #118, A VERY Popular Early Sears Modern Home

  1. Liz McMahan says:

    I have been trying to contact you to see if you could be speaker at the Wagoner County Historical Society meeting on March 17, 6:30 p.m., Pizza Hut. Please call me at 918 485 3094. Thanks!

  2. Dale Wolicki says:

    Rebecca,

    I will have to take you with me on my next trip through Iowa. I obviously missed a lot of Sears Houses!

  3. Lara says:

    I’m still laughing about the water tower. You are the QUEEN of Google Driving, Rachel. Good work!

    According to the national inventory, there is also a #118 at 2789 Socialville-Foster Rd in Mainville, Ohio. http://goo.gl/maps/5byu3

  4. Richard Holderbaugh says:

    Do you really need #15? I bought the house located at 10463 State Highway D, Oak Ridge, Missouri. http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/10463-State-Highway-D-Oak-Ridge-MO-63769/2114149599_zpid/ . Also 16: The co-owners daughter from McHaul Funeral Home in Hopewell Jct, NY gave me 62 E. Main St., Wappingers Falls, NY. She states that Funeral Home although renovated is exact replica interior of hers in Hopewell. Possible 17 & 18 at 420 N Church St, Watertown, WI. In my research I have found The Radford Architectural Company of Chicago may have sold their Design No. 82 and the Poplar Bluff, Missouri has the Box over the out cove of their Design No. 53 and may have sold their designs to Sears. They went out of business. I can scan those designs.

    • 14 is just what I can account for that I myself found/located. I know of 5 more which 3 I linked to above in the blog. Lara reported another in her comment and here is another one http://goo.gl/maps/Kirlf

      That’s 5 more making the count 19 right now.

      I’ll take a look at what you posted.

      Thanks!

    • I don’t think the one in Oak Ridge Mo is a Sears. http://goo.gl/maps/6kTPE
      However it might the Radford #130 which you can see in my facebook group. The Radford was similar but didn’t have that boxed bump out in the front second floor like the #118 did.

      • Richard Holderbaugh says:

        I understand what you are saying about the Oak Ridge House but the original deed that my neighbor has showed us stated Dr. Ellis split his land and ordered a custom catalog house for his practice and for his daughter to live in as a wedding present in 1911. We also know that the area was hit by a tornado that year in which the back section and side of the house fell off and the back section fell off again in 1953 this is when they removed the second floor area over the kitchen. Which may explain the variances you see today. The layout is very close to 118 except their is a long hallway from front door to the kitchen. The dining room is it’s own room with a front porch door, I have not seen that in the Radford houses. Plus there are no small angled rooms except the small out cove on the sitting room which was from Plan 127. The Parlor has the Crystal style window and most of the moldings and doors has pencil markings on the ends or on the back that match the sears catalog order numbers. This house has stood up to 3 known tornados and many lightning strikes, three witnessed from myself and according to my neighbors land deed and others knowledge in the small town. It has been rebuilt twice in it’s early years from damage and next year will be rebuilt again due to foundation and termite damage.

      • I looked from above to get a complete view of all sides and the roof. I’m sorry it’s not a Sears #118. It just isn’t, for many reasons. It does have some similarities but it just isn’t. As for pencil marks or marks those aren’t from Sears. Sears didn’t pre-cut houses until 1915-1916 and you won’t find any marks or stenciling until 1918 “maybe” but not until the early 1920’s usually.
        I might add that when I looked from above I could also see that it is not a Radford #130.

        I need to get the various interior photos posted with their catalog millwork pages. I think when you see how the houses all look the same on the inside you will understand more. I have them in an album in another closed Sears group on facebook but you will have to actually join that group to see that album. Only group members can see anything in that group.

      • Lara says:

        The story about the Oak Ridge house is strange, based on my knowledge of the Sears Modern Home department at that time. Sears was actively **discouraging customized plans** in the 1911 timeframe. I’m trying to think of a customized Sears house from that time period and I’m not sure I can come up with one.

        Additionally, a land deed typically wouldn’t have the information that a house was purchased from a catalog (or that it was a wedding present!). They might have Sears Roebuck as the mortgage holder, but of course we know that Sears didn’t offer financing in 1911.

        So based on the fact that the house looks only a little like the #118 in its current state, I suppose a scan of the land deed would be the only evidence to support that the house was purchased from Sears.Everything else (including the story around the house) points to it not being from Sears.

      • Lara, Those are all true and valid points.

        Also…It might be possible that they purchased the plans from a book that Sears sold in their merchandise catalog. Sears as well as Montgomery Ward sold carpentry books such as Radford, Hodgsons, Palliser, so forth and in those books were plan images. But, that does not make it a Sears house. I don’t recall this house in Oak Ridge but if I do come across it when reading and researching I will post back.

    • Okay, the one at 62 E. Main in Wappingers Falls, NY looks good!

      http://goo.gl/maps/VvuxF

      So that’s #20 right?

      420 N Church St, Watertown, WI takes me here http://goo.gl/maps/aZk2X and I’m sorry but I don’t see anything at all there :(

      Thanks for the scan offers but I have all of Radfords books too.
      I am finding several Radford designs. You can see many of them in my facebook group!

      Thanks for reading my blog.

  5. I was introduced to the 118 style through the Thorn Hill, Tn. real estate listing when it was still available. Great piece of property along with it! Now I love finding pictures of other 118s. This is a great compilation. And I love your tip for finding kit homes.

    • That has been a few years ago then! I think I saved those images many houses ago never thinking I would find so many of that model. So, did you do an image search for Sears 118 or Sears Clyde and find my blog? I’m glad you found me. And the water tower tip, at least here in Oklahoma, the water towers are usually ancient and found in the areas of towns where the older houses are LOL. Since they are tall and most of the land here is pretty flat those old tall water towers are easy to find. :)

  6. Georgina Lewis says:

    My husband and I are in the process of purchasing the one in Thorn Hill TN. Wish us luck!

    • Denise Rogner says:

      Hi, I just received notice that the Thorn Hill house is for sale again. It must be in really bad shape. Have you viewed the interior? Is it really as bad as the real estate pics? Visiting the area soon, might try to find it and see in person.

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