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South Irving Boulevard
400 block



404


  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 178
  • Built in 1919; BPs for house and garage issued 7-28-1919
  • Original commissioner: attorney William P. Rogers of Cincinnati as a winter home
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • Rogers placed 404 on the market in late 1922, lock stock, and barrell
  • Chicagoan Georgia Sackett Ruggles, a retired physician, moved into 404 next; she died in the house on 5-23-1924. A battle among various claimants and the Christian Science church ensued over a "deathbed" will
  • The family of Texas cattleman Edward F. Mann was first listed at 404 South Irving in the city directory of 1927. It is unclear as to whether Mr. Mann himself occupied the house for any length of time, or at all; he appears to have remained mostly in Texas, at some point being confined to a sanitarium there suffering from Parkinson's disease (he died on 3-21-1941)
  • Mrs. Mann and several of her adult children would occupy 404 during the 1920s and 1930s and beyond. Her daughter Jane was married in the house to Robert Alston Brant on 11-8-1928; their daughter Missy went on to marry Otis Chandler
  • The Mann family retained ownership of 404 South Irving until after Mrs. Mann died in Los Angeles on 10-30-1970


As seen in the Los Angeles Times on 12-3-1922





405


  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 145
  • Built in 1919; BPs for house and garage issued 5-23-1919
  • Original commissioner: Sanson M. Cooper for his own firm on spec
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • Real estate operator Thomas Gaynor and his wife, Mary, were the first to occupy 405 South Irving, by late 1919; their daughter Helen and her husband, attorney Charles C. Cirese, moved in as well
  • By 1927, Helen and Charles were divorced and she moved with her parents to 637 South Hudson Avenue; 405 South Irving was being advertised for sale in the Times in February 1927 at a "tremendous sacrifice." According to the sales pitch, the house "must be sold at once—owner has moved away"; perhaps it was Mr. Cirese who had financed 405 back in 1920
  • Edward L. Moorhead was the next to move into 405; he was an oil operator associated with Oscar R. Howard of 56 Fremont Place. The Moorhead family would be staying at 405 South Irving for over 40 years. Mrs. Moorhead, née Laura Mosier, was the daughter of another oilman, Martin H. Mosier, who had built 55 Fremont Place in 1915
  • Mr. Moorhead died in Los Angeles on 9-26-1943; still living at 405, Mrs. Moorhead died in Los Angeles on 7-16-1973





414

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 177
  • Built in 1919; BPs for house and garage issued 7-2-1919
  • Original commissioner: Sanson M. Cooper for his own firm on spec
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • Shirt manufacturer Philip A. Newmark bought 414 in 1920; his son Allan survived a suicide-by-strichnine attempt at 414 in January 1921
  • In 1922, Newmark hired S. M. Cooper and R. D. Jones to build a new house at 316 Lorraine Boulevard, to which he would move upon completion
  • Wholesale produce executive Howard L. Rivers was next in residence at 414 and stayed until it was put on the market in the summer of 1931
  • William H. Neblett, a partner of William Gibbs McAdoo of 5 Berkeley Square, bought 414 by 1939. Neblett was a man with as complicated a personal life as his law partner, in and out of court constantly regarding his own and McAdoo's divorces (and those of John Barrymore and one of J. Paul Getty's wives, among others) as well as to defend himself from threatened disbarment and various contempt charges. He had divorced his first wife, a violinist, in 1928 for wishing to pursue her musical career; in 1930, at 50, he married 19-year-old Ruby Briner. McAdoo died in 1941—by which time William and Ruby were at each others' throats, precipitating their departure from 414 (there was reconciliation, then finally divorce several years later and remarriages after that)
  • After fumigation to rid the house of bad grisgris, O'Melveny & Myers partner Maynard J. Toll moved into 414 by 1944. He would remain there until he died in Los Angeles on 10-14-1988





415


  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 146
  • Built in 1919; BPs for house and garage issued 2-14-1919
  • Original commissioner: real estate investor Frederick A. Goodrich
  • Architect: Sanson M. Cooper listed on BPs; likely by a staff architect of the S. M. Cooper Company
  • Contractor: Sanson M. Cooper
  • Goodrich would also be building 455 South Irving at roughly the same time (see below)
  • On 7-27-1919, the Los Angeles Times reported that Goodrich had sold 415 to Harry M. Snyder, who in turn sold it almost immediately to Leon M. Halff
  • Leon M. Halff was in business with his brothers Sol and Abraham as S. Halff & Company, wholesale dealers in hosiery and allied goods; Halff remained at 415 until 1929
  • In residence by 1930 was land developer and oil operator James Sweetser Lawshe, manager of the Huntington Beach Company
  • Hiring the firm of Arthur R. Kelly and Joe M. Estep to design it, Lawshe added a four-room playhouse to the property in 1930 (BP issued 5-23-1930)
  • James Lawshe died at 415 South Irving on 6-2-1947
  • Mrs. Lawshe put 415 on the market in 1948; it was listed as "Just Sold" in the Times on 9-25-1949; the purchaser was attorney Samuel S. Gill
  • Gill remained until 1961; it was sold early that year to Dr. Russell Smith






424

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 176
  • Built in 1923; BP for house issued 12-6-1922; for garage 3-26-1923
  • Original commissioner: Clara Roush Wood, wife of film director Sam Wood (Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Kings Row, Our Town, Kitty Foyle, Pride of the Yankees, Saratoga Trunk, The Stratton Story, among others) as their own home
  • Architect and contractor: Meyer & Holler (Milwaukee Building Company)
  • On the afternoon of the Fourth of July, 1949, a "gun-packing bandit" arrived at 424 posing as a flower deliveryman. Wood was on location in Gallup, New Mexico, filming scenes for his last movie, Ambush, with Robert Taylor in the lead; neither was Mrs. Wood at home. The bandit and an accomplice entered the house and tied up a maid and chauffeur with Sam's shirts. Mrs. Wood's 92-year-old mother, Mary Breckenridge, locked herself in her room while the perps ransacked the house. The bandits were soon caught with $3,000 worth of loot; in an odd postscript two weeks later, the chauffeur, sent to cash a $100 check in a Wood family car, never returned with the cash or the vehicle. Wood suspected foul play; his driver had been scheduled as an identification witness at the robbery trial
  • Sam Wood died in Los Angeles on 9-22-1949. Among those at his funeral were the top brass of M.G.M., including Louis B. Mayer, Dore Schary, Eddie Mannix, as well as Adolph Menjou, Clark Gable, Leo McCarey, John Wayne, Robert Taylor, Cedric Gibbons, and Mike Romanoff
  • The house was on the market in the summer of 1951





425

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 147
  • Built in 1919; BPs for house and garage issued 1-21-1919
  • Original commissioner: Arthur C. Davis, son-in-law and business partner of Sanson M. Cooper, for resale
  • Architect: Sanson M. Cooper listed on BPs; likely by a staff architect of S. M. Cooper firm
  • Contractor: Sanson M. Cooper
  • Sold before or soon after completion to Dr. Frank S. Dillingham
  • Despondent over ill health, Dr. Dillingham's wife, May, shot herself to death in an upstairs room of 425 on 4-14-1924; he remained at 425 until 1929
  • Moving in by early 1930 was the family of hotelier Francis Orlando Jean. A daughter, Katharine, was married in the house on 6-27-1930. The Jeans left 425 by 1936
  • Edward A. Schiller, retired vice-president of the theater operator Loew's Inc., was in residence by early 1940; he died at 425 on 11-12-1945


Los Angeles Herald, 4-16-1919





434


  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 175
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 5-5-1920
  • Original commissioner: Geoffrey J. Fanning, a contractor, who acted as such on this project, apparently for resale
  • Architect: Harold Cross
  • Department-store operator Eugene D. Hirsch was occupying 434 by 1924; that year, he was indicted but apparently not convicted on Federal charges of attempting to obtain large quantities of government supplies at less than fair value for his Army & Navy Department Store on Main Street. He died at 434 South Irving on 7-18-1927
  • Mrs. Hirsch, née Florence Weil, succeeded her husband as an officer of the Hirsch Mercantile Company, becoming vice president. The Army & Navy store evolved into the Famous Department Store in the 1920s. Mrs. Hirsch remained at 434 until 1938, when she moved to the Talmadge, apparently renting her house for several years
  • At 434 for a brief stay during 1940 was DeWitt Knox, an oil executive with the Macmillan Petroleum Corporation; he had moved from 400 South Arden Boulevard
  • Retired mining engineer James H. Leishman, once associated with the Guggenheim interests, put in an appearance at 434 during 1943 and '44
  • Purchasing 434 by 1945 was oil producer George N. Snyder; he died in Los Angeles on 5-7-1945. Vasso Snyder, his widow, and her son, Nicholas, appeared in the Los Angeles city directory at 434 South Irving as late as the issue of July 1962





435


  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 148
  • Built in 1918; BPs for house and garage issued 7-8-1918
  • Original commissioner: Leroy W. Newbert, railroad equipment manufacturer, as his own home
  • Architect: Sanson M. Cooper listed on BPs; likely by a staff architect of Cooper's firm
  • Contractor: Sanson M. Cooper
  • Newbert's daughter, Marion, six years old at the time the her family moved into 435, was later married to Earle M. Jorgenson, the steel magnate who would become part of Ronald Reagan's "kitchen cabinet"
  • On 2-26-1922, the Los Angeles Times reported the recent sale of 435 by Newbert to real estate investor Charles B. Hopper, to be occupied as his own home; in the same article, it was reported that Newbert's father, William F. Newbert, had just sold his very similar house next door at 445 South Irving (see below)
  • By 1925, the house was occupied by Henry G. Mosler of the Paulais Company, caterers and confectioners
  • By 1928, 435 was the home of Earl W. Huntley. Huntley was a principal in the bond underwriting firm of Banks, Huntley & Company, which was absorbed by Merrill Lynch in 1941. He left 435 for San Marino in 1949
  • In 1987, the original garage was converted into an accessory building and, well-integrated into the original design, a porte cochère was added to the north side of the house (BP issued 6-26-1987); the next year, the attic was converted into living space with the addition of large dormers, including one at the front (BP issued 7-20-1988)





444


  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 174
  • Built in 1920; BP for garage issued 12-6-1919; for house 12-16-1919
  • Original commissioner: Wilson E. Baker, a partner in the S. M. Cooper real estate and building enterprises; occupied by him briefly
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • Who may have occupied 444 during the mid 1920s is unclear; by the end of the decade, real estate operator George Veidler owned the house. He and his daughter, Virginia—they were both divorced—were there for several years before selling to violinist Calman Luboviski by 1936
  • Luboviski, associated with the film industry during this period, remained until the mid 1940s; he was succeeded by August W. Mysing
  • Mysing, who had recently moved from New Orleans, was at 444 by 1948; by 1950, he had organized a pottery works near Glendale. On 3-19-1950, Mysing accidentally fell into one of his 750-gallon clay-mixing vats and was killed by the apparatus. One headline read "Owner Beaten to Death in Mixing Machine"
  • Mysing's widow, Blanche, had 444 on the market during 1951; she moved back to New Orleans once it was sold by early 1952 to Harry M. Fiske
  • Fiske, a petroleum specialist with Ingersoll-Rand, remained at 444 until 1960





445

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 90' of Lot 149
  • Built in 1918; BPs for house and garage issued 7-8-1918
  • Original commissioner: William F. Newbert, railroad equipment manufacturer
  • Architect: Sanson M. Cooper listed on BPs; likely by a staff architect of S. M. Cooper firm
  • Contractor: Sanson M. Cooper
  • On 2-26-1922, the Los Angeles Times reported the recent sale of 445 by Newbert to Anna Craven Johnson; in the same article, it was reported that Newbert's son, Leroy W. Newbert, had just sold his very similar house next door at 435 South Irving (see above)
  • Anna Craven Johnson was the widow of real estate investor Orson T. Johnson; with the $3,256,000 estate her husband left her in 1916 (nearly $72,000,000 in today's currency), she would continue the couple's philanthropy until she died at 445 on 3-20-1930
  • Edgar B. McKnight, president of a dairy machinery and supply company, moved into 445 by 1932. He died in Los Angeles on 4-8-1944
  • Still living at 445, Mrs. McKnight put the house on the market in the late '50s, its price reduced to $52,500 "for immediate sale," according to the Times of 6-7-1959. By the next year, it was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Barret S. Jardine; Mr. Jardine's parents lived nearby at 401 South Windsor Boulevard. The younger couple separated in the late '60s before divorcing, but the family was still in possession of 445 until at least 1973





454


  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 173
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 6-24-1920
  • Original commissioner: real estate investor Justus A. Kirby
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • Justus A. Kirby would build and move to 342 South Irving two years later and then build and move around the corner to 322 Lorraine by 1925
  • Kirby sold 454 to plumbing contractor James F. Fay, whose family was in residence by 1923. In 1928, Fay bought and converted a small apartment building at the northwest corner of South St. Andrews Place and Sixth Street into a hotel, The Towers; he would move there by early 1930
  • Presumably ordered by Fay before the house's sale, an auction of its furnishings was held on 11-19-1930
  • Dr. Clifford Andrews Wright, an endocrinologist, was the next owner of 454; almost as soon as his family moved in, the Times reported on 4-8-1931 that Mrs. Wright's brother, Oklahoma newspaper publisher Hutton Bellah, had left his wife, Lillian, and their children with the Wrights in Los Angeles in 1929 and, threatening suicide in a note to Lillian, disappeared. As it turned out, Bellah assumed a new name and bigamously married a Wisconsin woman before making good on his threat to Lillian
  • Dr. Wright was still living in the house when he died in Los Angeles on 4-29-1961; Mrs. Wright was still living at 454 when she died in Los Angeles on 10-22-1969





455


  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 150 and southerly 10' of Lot 149
  • Built in 1919; BPs for house and garage issued 4-9-1919
  • Original commissioner: real estate investor Frederick A. Goodrich
  • Architect: Sanson M. Cooper listed on BPs; likely by a staff architect of S. M. Cooper
  • Contractor: Sanson M. Cooper
  • Goodrich was also at the time building 415 South Irving (see above)
  • Goodrich sold 455 to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Rufus Peck, who were in residence by 1921. Peck was the president of the Anaheim Sugar Company; his son, Aldrich, was treasurer of the firm and moved into 455 with his parents. Arthur Peck had been a banker, cash-register developer, real estate investor, and sugar producer in Syracuse before moving west in 1912; in Los Angeles, he continued these last two endeavors
  • Arthur R. Peck died at 455 on 9-19-1927
  • A married butler and maid serving Mrs. Peck robbed their employer of $10,000 in cash and jewelry in December 1934; the butler was sent to prison
  • Carrie Peck died at 455 on 12-19-1939
  • On 9-13-1942, the Los Angeles Times reported that Aldrich Peck had recently sold 455 to Virginia and Eugene O'Neil for $17,500. O'Neil was a film producer, as was his father-in-law, Watterson Rothacker
  • 455 was being advertised for sale in March 1946 for $55,000
  • It is not known if Jack L. and Margaret Sterman paid more than three times as much as the house sold for in 1942, but they were living at 455 by 1948 and would remain there into the mid 1970s


Los Angeles Herald, 12-26-1919






Illustrations: Private Collection; LAT