Two Almost Identical Different Catalog Houses and Their Happy Owners UPDATE!

Since my blog dated December 2, 2012 “Two Almost Identical Different Catalog Houses and Their Happy Owners” I have found some more information about the testimonial house built by Fred Hills in Evansville Indiana. If you recall Fred Hills built a Sears Flossmoor, C180, in Evansville Indiana in 1919. His testimony appeared in the 1920 Sears Catalog.

Sears 1920 Flossmore Testimonial

Sears 1920 Flossmore Testimonial

Since the assessors records show the construction date as 1919 I assumed that Hills’ Flossmoor was built in 1919 and appeared in the 1920 catalog. I recently discovered his testimonial in the 1912 catalog.

Fred Hills' testimony appeared the 1912 Sears Catalog

Fred Hills’ testimony appeared the 1912 Sears Catalog

And, it appeared again in 1913!

Fred Hills' testimony appeared in the 1913 Sears Catalog as well!

Fred Hills’ testimony appeared in the 1913 Sears Catalog as well!

Usually I research the testimonial owner back to the date the testimony appeared in the Sears Catalog. I was not aware at the time that the FM Hills testimony appeared as early as 1912! So, that means the assessors records are wrong since they show 1919.
Then….I found a testimonial from 1911 from the contractor who built Fred Hills house! How exciting! This is especially exciting because Houses By Mail shows the Flossmoor/C180 first offered in 1912.

A. F. Bornefeld was the contractor and builder of Fred M Hills Sears Flossmoor/C180.  this is his testimonial that appeared in the Sears 1912 Catalog

A. F. Bornefeld was the contractor and builder of Fred M Hills Sears Flossmoor/C180. This is his testimonial that appeared in the Sears 1912 Catalog

Of course my next question was exactly what year was Fred Hills’ Sears Flossmoor built? I started with the Evansville Indiana city directories with 1911 and started working my way backward. He lived at the same address, 33 Madison Ave as far back as 1906.  By the way, that address is now  26 Madison Ave.  In 1905 he was residing at 1026 Riverside Ave.   Since we know that Sears did not offer homes until 1908 something is amiss here!  What was at 33 Madison Ave in 1906? What year was the No 180 first offered? I have a 1908 catalog and it was not offered that year. Was it offered in 1909 or 1910? I sent a message to Rosemary Thornton who has a 1909 catalog.

While I was researching Fred M Hills I found out that he was the Secretary for the Hercules Buggy Company.

This 1912 directory shows that Fred Hills was the Secretary and Treasurer for Hercules Buggy Company

This 1912 directory shows that Fred Hills was the Secretary and Treasurer for Hercules Buggy Company. According to the directories before and after 1912 this was his position with the company.

What I know about Fred M Hills, Sec/Treasurer of the Hercules Buggy Co. is this: 1905-1906 he moves from 1026 Riverside Ave to 33 Madison Ave. What was at that address between 1906 and 1909/1910? We know his house was built by 1911 according to his contractors testimonial. He resides there well into the 1920’s sometime. In the meantime, in 1915 he buys a house at  3136 Goldsmith Str in San Diego California.  My research shows that house was built in  1912.  It is still there, it is a huge bungalow and I don’t recognize it as anything from a catalog company. His occupation is listed as Resident Manager for Hercules Buggy Company.  Evidently Mr Hills traveled between Evansville Indiana and San Diego California for Hercules Buggy Company. That’s quite a distance to travel for the early 1900’s!

Now I am reading about Hercules Buggy Company and there is actually quite a bit out there on the internet. Here’s one website http://www.herculesengines.com/hercules/herculesbuggies.html I did see that the building is still in use as a warehouse. That’s cool! Maybe they will catch wind of this blog!   According to this website Hercules Buugy Co. became the major supplier of buggies to Sears Robuck and eventually gas engines as well. Double cool!  http://herculesmuseum.wordpress.com/13-hercules-corporation-evansville-indiana-usa/ If you know anything about the Hercules Buggy Company of Evansville Indiana send me a message here.

Here is Fred Hills Sears No 180 aka the Flossmoor as it looks today. I would love to have a recent photo if anyone is nearby. I will certainly post it here.

 Sears Flossmore at 26 Madison Ave Evansville, IN

Sears Flossmore at 26 Madison Ave Evansville, IN Built by contractor AF Bornefeld for the Secretary/Treasurer of The Hercules Buggy Company, Fred M Hills.

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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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5 Responses to Two Almost Identical Different Catalog Houses and Their Happy Owners UPDATE!

  1. John H says:

    That’s awesome! I have what I believe to be a Sears Flossmoor in Upstate NY so this was of special interest.

    Like

  2. Eileen says:

    Great to see these pics. I live in a flossmoor in Maryland.

    Like

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