Aladdin Pomona in Ponca City, Oklahoma

One of my favorite things to do is read through the kit home catalogs I have been collecting. It is a chilly day here so I decided to sip hot chocolate and Bailey’s, a winter favorite of mine! Some folks curl up with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa, and me…..well, I just vary it a little haha. To me a good book is a book about old homes and the construction of them. I can spend hours and hours reading building trade journals and catalogs.

I spent the morning researching the Aladdin Pomona because there just happens to be an Aladdin Pomona in Ponca City, Oklahoma. I was able to find this wonderful bungalow with the help of a sales record that another researcher friend sent to me.

The Pomona was first offered by Aladdin in late, probably fall, of 1914. I have a first edition of the 1914 catalog and the Pomona is nowhere to be found yet it is in the third edition of their 1914 catalog. The Pomona  was offered until 1924.  It disappears in the 1925-1927 catalogs.  Then, in 1928 it returns as the Sherbrooke with a few changes mainly to  the interior.  Once again it disappears in 1929 and 1930 and voila it returns in 1931-1935.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is true then this blog is the equivalence of a book!  I hope you enjoy all of the photos and catalog images. I hope you find the little history lesson about the family who originally owned this home interesting as well.

The Pomona first appears in the 1914 Third Edition of Aladdin. Brrrr, it looks cold! I hope the man shoveling snow had a cup of hot cocoa waiting for him inside 😉

Fast forward to 1919. Leroy Drake, a young 70-year-old semi retired farmer, from Ponca City, Oklahoma sees the Pomona in the 1919 catalog (below) and places an order for one.

The Aladdin Pomona from my 1919 Catalog. Read the description, I LOVE reading the descriptions in the Aladdin catalogs!

And here is the Aladdin Pomona in Ponca City as it looks today! I didn’t drive to Ponca City to get photos. As luck would have it one of my college classmates lives in Ponca City. He did an awesome job, he got the perfect catalog angle! Thanks Kendale.

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An Aladdin Pomona at 801 E Grand in Ponca City, Oklahoma. This house was built in the spring of 1920.

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An Aladdin Pomona at 801 E Grand in Ponca City, Oklahoma. This house was built-in the spring of 1920.

The Aladdin Pomona from the Fall 1919 catalog

Maybe it was this page that caught Leroy Drake’s attention? He saw the attractive bungalow behind Aladdin’s drapes on page 2 of the 1919 catalog. He then placed an order in June of 1919.

The 1919 catalog shows the living room of the Pomona. I wonder if the furnishings are Homecraft by Aladdin? Homecraft was Aladdin’s furniture line. I spy diamond muntin windows! Did you notice those too? Those are details to look for when identifying a Pomona. There should be a pair flanking the fireplace but they are often replaced.

The 1919 catalog shows the dining room of the Pomona. I wonder if the furnishings are Homecraft by Aladdin? Homecraft was Aladdin’s furniture line.

Here is a great picture of the right side of the Pomona. All of those windows were originally diamond muntin. At least the kitchen and that bedroom still have the diamond muntin windows…..for now.
Oh and except that addition to the back. That is not original to the house. I’m going to venture to say that addition was added in 1930 since that is the year they show this house being built 😉 The sales record proves the construction date as does the census and city directories.

Here is a great shot of the left side of the Ponca City Pomona. The bedroom upstairs still has the original muntin windows but that is all that is left on this side. Did you notice all of the eaves brackets were covered in siding too?

Let’s take a look at that snowy Pomona (below) from the 1914 catalog. It shows the left side.

BRrrrr, I hope he warmed up by his fireplace and sipped on some hot cocoa and whiskey after shoveling all of that snow! Another great likeness in the photo Kendale took for me, perfect angle once again!

One of my interests is finding out who built these kit homes.  What did they do? That made my project even bigger! Thanks to city directories, census reports, Sanborn Fire Maps, archived newspapers etc I can figure all of that, and then some, out.

The Pomona in Ponca City was ordered by Leroy Drake June 19, 1919 as you can see on the original sales order below. The house was not shipped until March 4, 1920. Why that long I do not know. The order was acknowledged a month after he sent it to Aladdin.  Leroy was born in 1850 and the census reports show that he was a farmer. He was 70 years old when he ordered his Pomona. His wife, Nancy Jane was 60. The Drakes enjoyed their Pomona at least until 1936 according to the city directory. The Drakes had eight children between 1884 and 1902. The baby of the family, Irene, lived in the house until the early 1940’s.  She was a church organist who, from what I tell, never married. My guess is she took care of her aging parents.  Afterall, her dad was 52 and her mom was 42 when she was born! Leroy’s son Howard and wife Marguerite lived there as well in the early 1940’s.  Howard died in 1946.  By 1948 the Drake family Pomona was owned by George and Edna Vanwey. George was a Ponca City fireman. In 1952 the Drake family Pomona was owned by Ora and Fern Hodges.  Ora was a saw filer. I was hoping to establish family ownership for more years than that because of the number of children.  Leroy and Nancy Jane (Jennie) both died in 1937 and are buried in Odd Fellows  cemetery in Ponca City.  It appears that most of the Drake family is buried there as well.  I wonder if perhaps there are descendants still living in Ponca City?  I wonder if they know about the beautiful bungalow on E Grand that their ancestors were raised in?  Hopefully someone who knows more about the family will read this and contact me and hopefully they will be pleased with this family history.

Here is that original sales order.  You can see the order and shipping dates, the prices, payments, special changes and so forth. You can also see that there is no way the house was built in 1930!

Aladdin Sales Order # 15313 was located in the Hattiesburg 1919 Sales Records now archived at the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University. I suspect the majority of Aladdin homes shipped to Oklahoma came from the Hattiesburg mill. A special thanks to Cindy Catanzaro for sending me some 60+ Oklahoma sales orders!

I have a few more images to share with you before I close.

This Aladdin Readi Cut Homes advertising featuring the Pomona appeared in the April 1920 National Geographic magazine.

This 1924 Aladdin catalog image shows a Pomona under construction.

Judging from the number of years the Pomona was offered I would say it was a popular model for Aladdin. Do you know where another Pomona is? I have a sales order for one in Enid, Oklahoma but all I know right now is that it was a farm. And what part of Enid it is in has escaped my memory at this time.
Do you know of a kit home from any of the kit home companies between 1906 and 1940 in Ponca City? Please contact me if you do.

Beware of Pomona imposters out there like this house in Sapulpa! It resembles the Pomona in many ways, even the floor plan, BUT it is NOT an Aladdin Pomona. It could very well be from a planbook though. http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2012/05/01/1916-craftsman-sapulpaoklahoma/

I would like to thank my friend, college classmate and trumpet player extraordinaire, Kendale Benton for the awesome photos. They are the property of him so please do not use them without his consent.

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About Rachel Shoemaker

I've been hooked on finding and or identifying mail order homes since 2008. I'm not picky, kit homes from Sears Modern Homes, Aladdin Ready Cut, Gordon Van Tine, Wardway Homes, all of the major companies as well as the popular pattern and plan book homes built from about 1900 and on. Could you be living in one of these homes? Send me an email: searshomes@yahoo.com
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14 Responses to Aladdin Pomona in Ponca City, Oklahoma

  1. Jan says:

    I would also like to send my “Thanks” out to Kendale for the fantastic photos of the home! Great post about the Pomona, I really enjoyed the information and I love the comments you put about the gentleman out in the snow needing some hot cocoa!

    Like

  2. connie davis says:

    This home belongs to Rick and Connie Davis this is our home now . we have lived here almost 10 years now and we love it. I was so glad for u to show and we now know for sure which home it actually is.And who built it originally . would love to be able to read the verysmall writings on it to learn even more. As we have done a few things to update it some. the bathroom was soooo small could barely turn around in it so we moved it to the small bedroom next to it. we still have the claw foot tub. also another thing is the muntin windows u mentioned are still on all the windows by fireplace kitchen and upstairs bedrooms . Theres a large sunporch type room upstairs with windows totally surrounding the room. You will have to come and see it sometime. would love to show it to you.I have a list on the paper work who all has lived in the house since built.and now us.once again thanks for putting our home on your website .

    Like

    • Hi Connie! How did you find my blog? I am glad you did! I would love to see 2 things, a photo of the catalog image view of the living room just as seen in the catalog as well as the dining room. If you want to share that kit home enthusiasts across the country would sure enjoy them. Also, I can send you any catalog scans you would like. They are clear and clean and make nice photographs to frame and hang in homes and make for a nice conversation piece with visitors.

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  3. connie davis says:

    my husband found it looking up sears catalog homes and told me about it so I searched until I found the website. as soon as I can move a few pieces of furniture from in front of fireplace I will take the pictures for you in next few days so be looking for them they look exactly like the catalog pictures. would love to have bigger catalog pages to read and hang up. you know my address.

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  4. connie davis says:

    I have taken the pics u have ask for but I really don’t know the best way to send I can in face book to your fb if that would work I have taken several extra for u to see. so I will try fb. thanks.

    Like

  5. connie davis says:

    new email address conniedavis776@yahoo.com maybe we can get emails now

    Like

  6. connie davis says:

    i have sent some pics but I dont know if they get thru Let me know and i will send some more

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  7. Bob Hauta says:

    We have a Pomona in Saskatchewan, Canada.

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  8. I own a Pomona in Alpha, Ohio built in 1915.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ours has all the original Windows on the first floor as well as the “not included” wood paneling in the dining room.

    Liked by 1 person

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