This Then and Now submission concerns 210 East Main Street, Saint Paris, Ohio.
In 1874 an Atlas of Champaign County, Ohio was published and sold showing plat maps of each township and most of the small towns within it’s borders. These were taken from surveys and recorded plans by J. W. Starr, C.E. & J.N. Headington, C.E. assisted by William DeVoe, S.W. Winkle, S.P. Kaler & William K. Patrick, Civil Engineers, and C.W.L.Taylor, County Surveyor. Illustrations were by artist, William DeVoe, and assisted by Thomas Mathew. Since photography was still in its early stages, artist sketches were made of certain homes scattered about the county. It is not known how the homes were selected for publication or how accurate they were to details drawn in the scenes. There appears to be a picket fence in the front of the property and a small walking bridge from the sidewalk to the street immediately in front of the home. This “Then” sketch was the residence of Dr. John Baker, a physician born in Germany in 1812. He was educated primarily in Germany in pharmacy and received further medical training in Wooster, Ohio in 1839. He was practicing in Saint Paris by 1841 and continued there for over 40 years. He was married in 1842 to Champaign Countian, Elizabeth Pence and had two children, B. Frank and Mary.
History of St. Paris by Kathleen Kite Brown relates that Dr. Baker had his office in the basement and made house calls on a fiery steed, being very fond of good horses. After he returned from the Civil War, his son Dr. B. F. Baker joined his medical practice for a five years before setting out on his own. According to a 1981 article written by then St. Paris Librarian Mary Ann Stockton, “This home was built sometime before 1857, when the property was added to the village. Since then it has been the home of many important citizens, and stands apart on its own for its unique Gothic architecture.” The name Ridenour seems to be connected with this home during some time frame. Perhaps the present owners would like to add their own personal bio to the records of Champaign County Historical Society files for the coming generations to read for the address 210 East Main, Saint Paris records. Anyone wanting to submit personal bios for future historical records is welcome to submit them for the museum files. Call 937-653-2721 or stop by at 809 East Lawn Avenue, Urbana, Ohio.
Now the same residence at 210 East Main Street, Saint Paris, Ohio has a small added on flat roofed addition on the left along with an a more traditional hipped roof addition behind the smaller one. It no longer has shutters, and an attractive but peaked small roof has replaced the original flatter style front door portico. One of the chimneys is no longer needed on the right side (not visible from the “Now” selected view.) Nevertheless this home is quite recognizable with its arched details above the rectangular windows and front door. Now the flag pole adds a nice touch to this 1874 Champaign County Atlas sketched home that is still serving the town of Saint Paris, Ohio – founded in 1831 by pioneer David Huffman.
Submitted by the Champaign County Historical Society.
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