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HISTORY OF THE HOUSE

Front of the house in Sept, 2006

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The House was built for

The house was constructed in 1891 for Henry W. and Florence B. Reed for $5,500. The Reeds hired architect William Doty Van Siclen to design their one-story, nine room house. Located near the southerly end of White’s Addition, this large unrecorded tract of land consisting of 16 city blocks was added to San Jose’s Original Survey at the beginning of the Early American Period (1846-1869).

Who lived Here throughout the years

Photo of North 6th Street in 1901

View of North Sixth Street in 1901
(Arrow points to our house)

Henry Washburn Reed, born about 1866, was the son of Edward and Sarah Reed, and it was Edward who had owned this lot prior to deeding it to Henry and Florence. The title was transferred in September 1890. The reed family at that time was living on the 200 block of North San Pedro Street. To the south of their house was San Jose Independent Mill and Lumber Co., which Edward had founded or acquired in the early 1880’s with partner George Welsh. The Reeds had come to California from New York in the 1860’s, and Edward as early as 1870 had ran a real estate brokerage in San Jose as well as selling insurance and acting as a travel agent before entering into the wood product business.

During the 1890’s, Henry worked at the mill in various capacities, including secretary and superintendent. Henry married Florence B. Raymond, the daughter of Benjamin and Eliza Raymond, in 1886 in Santa Rosa. Henry and Florence Reed resided at [the house] until financial difficulties ensued in the mid 1890’s.

In January 1896, Mary Francis sued the Reeds over a $4,000. mortgage that was delinquent; and by April that year, she had foreclosed on the property, resulting in the loss of the house. It was about this time that the mill also disappears from the City directories – the recession that had started after the 1893 Wall Street panic had by then slowed the economic boon that San Jose experienced in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s. Henry was soon working for Glenwood Lumber, but by 1908 left the area for Reno, Nevada. After acquiring the property, Mrs. Francis appears to have used the house as a rental. in 1900, capitalist and furniture merchant George Staffler and his family were renting the house.

Photo of the Keffel Family

Keffel family portrait,
San Jose, CA around 1898, left to the right:

  • daughter Anna (born 1892 in San José,
    married Pinard)
  • George's wife Margarethe
    (born Scherf, 1866 in Germany)
  • son Eduard (born 1894 in San José)
  • daughter Elisa (born 1891 in San José,
    married Linquist and O'Connell)
  • daughter Margarethe (born 1887 in
    Peine/Germany, married Smith)
  • George Keffel
  • daughter Frieda (born 1890 in San José,
    married Pinard).
Photo of the Oberon Saloon

Interior of the Oberon Saloon (owned by
George Keffel) on Santa Clara Street

On January 15, 1901, Mary Francis sold the house to George and Margaret Keffel, natives of Germany, who had immigrated to the United States in 1888.

George was well known locally for his café and saloon known as The Oberon, located at 75 west Santa Clara Street, which he opened in December 1893.

He was also well known as a sportsman and was active in the San Jose Rifle Club.

George Keffel operated his saloon until December 31, 1917 when over 75 saloons were shut down in San Jose with the onset of Prohibition. Perhaps not a coincidence, it was 1918 when George and Margaret moved from this home to another house further south on the street.

 

KEFFEL UPDATE: Because of our website, one of the Keffel relatives was able to contact us and give us more information about George Keffel as well as these amazing photographs of the family.

I've pasted the correspondence below:

Dear Miranda,

George Keffel On His Horse

George Keffel on his horse

My name is Herbert Alexander Keffel. I'm from Germany. George Keffel who owned your house until 1917 is the youngest brother of my great grandfather. It's a real pleasure for me to send you some pictures of my great-grand uncle George and his family and a short story of his life.

Since my retirement in 1994 (I was an Air Force Colonel before) I deal with genealogical research concerning my family. That's the reason why I have quite some documents related to the interesting life of George Keffel as well.

Margarethe on Horse

Margarethe Keffel on her
father's horse

He was born on March 6th 1860 in Auerbach, Kingdom of Saxony. In 1877 his farsighted and open-minded father (my great great-grandfather) sent George to the US for educational reasons. But he returned to Saxony to observe his compulsory military service and emigrated definitely to the US in 1887, with his wife Margarethe (born Scherf) and her first daughter Margarethe. He was a great and famous hunter and horseman and an excellent marksman, —he did successfully participate in Californian rifleman competitions. Furthermore he was very committed and involved in social and public matters. For example he was an active member of the committee who planned and organized the visit of President Theodore Roosevelt to San José on 12th May 1903.

I very much regret that I didn't know you in 2005. In September and October of that year I visited with some members of my family Los Angeles to see the grave of my great great-grandfather on Evergreen Cemetery at LA. We also touched San José on our way to San Francisco where we visited relatives. After a sightseeing-tour in Arizona, Utah and Nevada we travelled on to Connecticut, where my great-grandparents lived for many years.

Greetings from the Rhine Valley in Germany!

Sincerely
Herbert Alexander Keffel

Kathy and Maggie by the loquat tree

Grandma, Margurite (Maggie)
Vincenz & Kathleen (Kathy)
Bascom by the loquat tree
near the driveway.
Around 1944

Vincenze Family on Front Stairs

Vincenz family
Karla (on trike), 1st step Margaret?,
2nd step: Philleo?, Marguerite, Harry (with Dog),
3rd step: Harriet or Virginia? man unknown.
Karla Vincenz (11 mo. old) Thanksgiving day 193x

By 1930, the Snooks had sold the property to C. Harry and Marguerite Vincenz, who lived in the house with their four children (Harriet, Philleo, Virginia, and Margaret). Harry (1883-1961) was born in Illinois, and Marguerite Ladd Vincenz (1884-1950), was born in California. They were living in Salinas in 1910 where their first son Harry was born, moving to San Benito County by 1913, where they remained at least until 1924.

Harry was a sheet metal worker and tinner, a job he continued in San Jose with the C.L. Snyder Co. By 1934, the house had been re-established as a single-family dwelling, which it continued to be until the late 1940’s. In the 1950’s, Harry continued to live in the house with Dolly D. Vincenz and tenants until his death in 1961.

Mickey and Wuggsie

Karla Daw's father, Mickey
Edsinger and their dog
Wuggsie Edsinger.

Mickey and Wuggsie

Kathy Golden (Vincenz)
comes home for a visit.

 Karla Vincenz On Her Trike

Karla on her trike

von Stockhausen Coat of Arms

von Stockhausen
coat of arms

Photo of Di and Miranda

Miranda von Stockhausen
(seated) & Diana Hardick

It then became a rental property under the ownership of the Berry family (Jack and Jean transferring the property to Michael in 1988). In fall of 2002, Michael Berry sold the house to ardent restorationists, Miranda von Stockhausen and Diana Hardick.

The current owners are presently restoring the property to its original grandure and have created this website which follows the journey of it's restoration.

We hope you enjoy it.

 

 

About the Architect W.D. Van Siclen (1865-1951)

Image of Itel Building

Van Siclen's first
historical landmark,
the Itel Building in
Seattle, WA.

William Doty Van Siclen was born in Clearwater, Michigan, on April 29, 1865. He practiced architecture in San Jose, California from 1890 to 1896.

His work was primarily residential and in San Jose, he mastered the Queen Anne-style as a young architect in his late twenties. The Reed House is one of his first commissions, and within a year of coming to San Jose, he had designed such residential structures as Dr. Brownlee House at 754 South Third St. and the Pratt Home. In 1892, his prolific resume included the Hostetter house at 460 North Third St. and the Tognazzi Building at 261-264 North First St. Van Siclen was a contributor, in 1893 and 1895, of architectural drawings and competition designs to California Architect and Building News.

By August 1898, he and his wife and daughter were living in Sunrise, Alaska, but were still calling San Jose their home base.

In 1901, the Van Siclen’s moved to Seattle, where the prosperity associated with the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897 created a demand for architectural services. W. D. Van Siclen worked in the Seattle area until about 1925 when he relocated to Brownsville, Texas, where his work during the 1920’s consisted mainly of small commercial stores, clubhouses, apartments and residential work. He died in Brownsville on July 14, 1951.

Click here to see a gallery of photos of Van Siclen designed homes in San Jose.

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