Architects Joseph Yost and Frank Packard in Ohio: Westerville Legacy

This blog covers the circa 1880’s-1907 Westerville design work of prominent Columbus architects Joseph Warren Yost and Frank Lucius Packard. The firm known as Yost & Packard was formed in 1892 and ended its run in 1899 when Yost moved to New York City. Each had his own firm before and after their partnership. Described here are (1) Y&P designs that have been confirmed via paper trails from various sources, (2) two that seem likely Y&P designs, (3) several that could be their designs, and (4) a personal association Packard had with Westerville. The search for confirmation of the “likely” designs and the “could be” designs continues…frustrating because it may never pay off…fulfilling because it just may, with some help. PLEASE NOTE: This blog contains quite a few pictures so give it several minutes to download. The pictures download haphazardly.

Published 5/6/2021 by Don Foster.

1886/87, designed by Yost: Westerville M.E. (Methodist Episcopal) Church, 51 North State Street.

This church first began meeting in a log structure erected in 1818 near where the Westerville Community Center stands today on North Cleveland Avenue at County Line Road. As membership grew it was decided in 1838 to relocate on land donated by church trustee Matthew Westervelt, one of the three Westervelt brothers (Peter, William) after whom Westerville takes its name. In that year a brick structure was built at the southwest corner of what is now the intersection of North State and West Home Streets.

Continued growth led to the need for a larger place of worship. According to a supplement of the Public Opinion published Friday, December 23, 1887: “When it was decided to build a new church, the pastor, Rev. R.D. Morgan, was authorized to visit other churches elsewhere and to gather such information as would be helpful in selecting a plan for the new church. He was much pleased with the audience room of a church he saw at Granville but did not like the Sunday school department. When he was at Dayton he was especially pleased with the Sunday school room but not so well with the audience room. If these two desirable things in the two churches could be combined in one he would have a church which would be what the people needed. The building committee endorsed his views and Mr. J.W. Yost, an accomplished architect from Columbus, very completely and satisfactorily worked out the suggestions of the committee. The plan was adopted and work commenced. The building has been completed and will be dedicated on Christmas.” Between Yost and Packard, they designed over 70 churches throughout Ohio which includes over 30 in the Columbus area. One particular unique set of designs is featured in my blog Annual Trek for Annuals Yields Frank Packard Pink Sandstone Churches.

In 1958, the current Church of the Messiah United Methodist replaced the 1887 edifice. Credit church historians with saving the blueprints to which the architect’s name is affixed. Also saved was the cornerstone which has been placed in an interior courtyard.

Methodist Episcopal Church erected in 1887.
Note architect Joseph Yost’s name in the bottom right-hand corner of the blueprint below.
I have several postcards of the church and all show a brick exterior. The pictures above and below from the Westerville Public Library archives show a white structure. The article I found below in the Public Opinion of 10/11/1923 solved the mystery.
An education wing was later added to the north side of the building.
When the church was razed, the cornerstone was saved and placed in the interior courtyard of the new building.
The Methodist Episcopal Church that was razed to make way for its replacement in 1887.
A mid-2023 addition to the front of Church of the Messiah.

1889/90, designed by Yost: Holmes Building, North State Street at West Main Street.

On April 24, 1890, the Holmes Building welcomed an invitation-only gathering of 150 to a grand opening evening celebration. Designed for Thomas Holmes by Joseph Yost, this three-story structure with two large basements initially housed the following: hotel of 30 guest rooms, dining room, 2 storefronts, barber shop, tailor shop, and livery stable/blacksmith shop at the rear. The initial storefront occupants were Beatty & Linabary, “Cash Grocers” and The Knox Shoe House, “Tennis and Bicycle Shoes a Specialty.”

Various tenants have occupied the Holmes Building over the years, but one family has a record of longevity that likely will never be broken…54 years by the descendants of current Westerville resident Judge Alan E. Norris. In 1912, Edward Jackson Norris moved his family to town, purchased the shoe store, and announced E.J. Norris “The Shoe Man” is open for business. His son J. Russell joined the business upon his 1924 graduation from Otterbein and the store became E.J. Norris & Son. Its run ended in 1966. In between that span of years, Ida Bauer Schrader purchased the hotel/restaurant operation and moved into the building with her sons and daughter Dorothy…all of whom worked the business during the Schrader run which ended in 1931. Eventually Dorothy married J. Russell Norris, parents of Judge Alan E. Norris.

Joseph Yost’s eastern Ohio roots and his early career in eastern Ohio will be the subject of a future blog.

The Holmes Building which housed the Hotel Holmes, above, when it opened in 1890. Later, below, it became the Hotel Blendon. Today it houses various retail establishments and offices and is considered by many to be an Uptown icon.
Travel by horse and buggy and by interurban. The brick pavers are still there, but covered by asphalt. The Holmes Building on the right. I like the screen door.
E.J. Norris & Son, a long run of 1912-1966 in the Holmes Building. In its early years, it was open Monday-Thursday 6am-10pm and until midnight Friday & Saturday.
These two photos courtesy of Judge Alan E. Norris.
An E.J. Norris ad from the Otterbein campus newspaper, The Tan and Cardinal.
George Washington never spent a night at the hotel, but Albert Exendine spent three football seasons as a resident there. Before he arrived in 1909, Otterbein football was 45-74-10 since its beginning as a sport in 1890. His teams of 1909-10-11 went 17-7-3. Previously, as a collegiate player himself, he starred in his final year alongside the legendary Jim Thorpe at the
Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
Sidenote: The 1912 Otterbein football team was coached by William Jennings Gardner who, in 1907, played alongside Exendine and Thorpe for the Carlisle Indians. Later, he served with the “Untouchables” headed by Elliot Ness.

1890/91, designed by Packard: Remodel of the Philomathean Literary Society Hall, Towers Hall, Otterbein University.

Literary societies at religious-affiliated colleges and universities were the forerunners to what eventually became a system of fraternities and sororities. Otterbein had two societies for men and two societies for women. Each had a meeting room in Towers Hall, constructed in 1870 to replace the previous main structure destroyed by fire. These rooms were used for debates, speaking engagements, music, and other activities. The men’s Philomathean Literary Society, founded in 1851 and the oldest of the four societies, underwent a high-quality remodel in the spring of 1891 designed by Frank Packard. Additional changes were made in later years including the addition of electric lighting in 1899. The Philomathean Room is the sole survivor today, and its restoration is a combination of the remodels over its long existence. Fortunately, the significant Packard additions are still there…the woodwork, the heavy front doors with transom above, the tin ceiling, and the cathedral glass windows. Towers Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

A reporter for Westerville’s newspaper had this to say in the 9/3/1891 edition: “The PUBLIC OPINION is an eager disciple of progress, and an ardent admirer of her works; so that it was with more than ordinary interest that the representative of this paper, not long since, visited the newly furnished home of the Philomathean literary society. He had heard much of the pains and expense that had been employed by enthusiastic Philomatheans, to beautify their beloved hall, but the astonishment and wonder which attended a visit cannot be expressed in words. It is gratifying to know what Westerville possesses, (by leave of the boys) a hall than which there is none more beautiful in the state. It is indeed an honor to all who bear the name “Philomathean.”

Philomathean Literary Society Hall at Otterbein University. The windows, woodwork, and ceiling are the work of Packard in 1890/91. This photo would have been taken
after the 1899 installation of electric lighting.
A reporter’s description in the Westerville Public Opinion of the newly remodeled hall.
Packard’s middle initial is incorrect in the article.
September 1891 Otterbein Aegis description of the improvements.

The color photographs above and below are today’s restored look. Hard to see, but “Philomathean” appears in the glass transom above the double doors.
A mid-2023 addition to the front of Towers Hall.

1892/93, design by Yost & Packard: Christian Association Building (aka Y.M.C.A. Building), Otterbein University.

On June 6, 1877, Otterbein sent student Ethelbert Alpheus Starkey to the International Y.M.C.A. Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Upon his return, the first college men’s “Y” association in the state was formed. Five years later on the Otterbein campus, the first women’s “Y” association in the state and only the third in the United States was formed. As indicated previously in this blog, students raised the funds to erect a building in 1892 to house these organizations making it the first college Christian association building in the state. The first floor consisted of a reception hall, reading room, parlor, fireplace, and gym at the rear. The second floor was for devotional meetings. The tower housed the secretary’s office. Lavatories, locker rooms and a ball cage were located in the basement. When Alumni Gymnasium opened in 1929, the “Sosh” building became the home of the women’s health and physical education department and was also used by music and other organizations. It was razed in the summer of 1975 to make way for Roush Hall.

Otterbein University built the first college Y.M.C.A/Y.W.C.A. in Ohio.
Groundbreaking was 6/8/1892. Opened 12/5/1893.
A Commencement gathering.
Packard wouldn’t be happy with the above look. He was a proponent of “smooth plastered walls without paper with its poisonous coloring” as reported in an Elyria, Ohio, newspaper.
Football was initially played in the lawn behind Towers Hall pictured above on the left. The Christian Association Building, above right and below, housed the athletics program.
The above aerial view is circa 1975…Towers Hall at the top of the picture and the
Christian Association Building at the bottom.
Aerial view in 1948.

1895, designed by Yost & Packard: exterior addition to and interior redesign of Garry Waldo Meeker house, 313 North State Street.

Garry Waldo Meeker was the driving force in bringing the electric interurban (“trolley”) from Columbus to Westerville, the first Franklin County suburb connected by rail. The tracks started in downtown near the State Capitol, followed Cleveland Avenue to today’s Minerva Park suburb, turned east at that point, and then followed Westerville Road (Rt 3) through the center of Uptown Westerville. At the time operations began in September of 1895, Meeker purchased the Westerville Fairgrounds at the eastern edge of town to increase patronage for the Columbus Central Railway Company (owner of the CCRC interurban line) of which he was an officer.

Meeker’s large brick Westerville residence was located on North State Street on land today that is occupied by Saint Paul Catholic Church. He was not the original owner as he previously resided in Columbus where his father George had served one term as mayor. Around 1895, architects Yost & Packard did an extensive redesign both inside and out including construction of a three-story brick turret as shown in the picture further below. Meeker was familiar with this firm as it had previously designed structures for the CCRC interurban line in 1894/95 and the Holmes Building for neighbor Thomas Holmes who lived across the street.

During this flurry of activity, a son born to the Meekers in March of 1894 died the following November. His obituary states that four neighborhood boys were pallbearers one of whom was Jamie Holmes, son of Thomas and Nancy Holmes.

The Garry Waldo Meeker residence above on North State Street after a large addition that included the 3-story turret. Note the ornateness of the porches on either side of the turret and their later modernizing (ugh) in the color photo below.
The Meeker house was located in the area where St. Paul Catholic Church stands today.
Thomas and Nancy Holmes lived across the street.
The Columbus Dispatch 9/12/1895.
The 10/3/1895 issue of The Columbus Dispatch ran an extensive feature on Westerville promoting it as a great place to live. Included in several sketches was this one of the newly renovated fairgrounds on East College Avenue which was renamed Llewellyn Park in 1896.
By 1903, the fairgrounds had closed and the land was sold for housing.
The interurban cars used on the Westerville run were painted green…and thus the nickname “The Green Line.” The car below is at the entryway to the Minerva Amusement Park well before Roundup reached the market. 🙂 The lake, surrounded by homes, is all that remains of the original park. This historical marker is near its banks.
It’s likely that Yost & Packard designed the pedestrian entryway to the Minerva Amusement Park. Above photo is from the archives of the
Columbus Metropolitan Library.

1895/96, designed by Yost & Packard: Vine Street School, 44 North Vine Street.

By the 1890’s, Westerville had grown to the point where a much larger building was needed to house its students. This would be the fourth bigger and better move, and Thomas Holmes was behind the urgent push for construction. He likely influenced the decision to choose Yost & Packard as architects.

There was a grand celebration on “Westerville Day” March 19, 1896, when Vine Street School was dedicated. The ceremony began with a mass meeting at the Otterbein University chapel, several blocks from the new school. From there a procession formed, and a march proceeded through a nasty snowstorm to 44 North Vine Street. Governor Asa S. Bushnell arrived via the new interurban line and announced “I am glad, though, to be privileged to stand for a few moments in your presence, especially since the sunshine in your faces is at so great contrast with the lack of it out-of-doors.” Among his remarks was “At fourteen years of age, I left the public schools of Cincinnati to battle with the world. I had the advantages of the lower grades only. It is but natural that I have great love for the common schools.”

In 1975, Vine Street School was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is amazing that Westerville City Schools has cared for this building for over 125 years and has continuously operated it as a school, now called Emerson.

A sketch of the Yost & Packard-designed all-grades Vine Street School constructed in 1896.
Three previous buildings had been outgrown successively.
The first public school in Westerville was somewhere in the vicinity of where the Speedway gas station stands today on South State Street or perhaps just a bit north.
The school on South State Street was outgrown and replaced by a one-story structure built where this Otterbein University residence hall stands today at 25 West Home Street.
The above picture shows Vine Street School after a 2-story 4-classroom addition was constructed at the rear in 1908.
Vine Street School today is still in use and renamed Emerson Elementary.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Emerson (Vine Street) School today. This particular classroom has a student-built replica of the building. Pictured here is a meeting held with neighboring building owners and their tenants to discuss adding the area to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Uptown Westerville Historic District was placed on the Register in June of 2019.

1897, designed by Yost & Packard: Dr. William Johnston and Jessie Zent Zuck house, 98 West Home Street.

William Johnston Zuck, Otterbein University Class of 1878, taught English at his alma mater from 1884 to 1903 and included serving an additional role as secretary-treasurer of the institution. Prior to the construction of his house in 1897, he would have had a business affiliation with Yost & Packard through their work on the Philomathean Hall remodel, the construction of the Christian Association Building, and the construction of Vine Street School (Zuck was secretary of the Board of Education). While it is not known who resided in the house for a handful of years after Zuck left Otterbein, the Frederick Nichols Thomas family arrived in Westerville in 1908 and purchased the house. During their ownership, the house became connected to a tragic accident that left a mark on young daughter Mary. The history of this house, the tragedy, and an insight into the life of Mary Burnham Thomas will be the subject of future blog Otterbein University’s “Graceful Green Hollow” a Source of Sorrow in 1919. When Mary passed away in 1999, she left her estate of $6.3 million to Otterbein (from which she graduated in 1928). Lambda Gamma Epsilon Fraternity was the last occupant of the William Johnston Zuck house which was purchased by Otterbein in 1935. It was razed in 1964 to provide parking on the east side of the newly-constructed Otterbein Campus Center.

The Zuck house was constructed at the northeast corner of West Home and North Grove Streets. North Grove beyond West Home was just a gravel road that dead-ended into a field.
This picture, circa 1900, and the one below are from the Westerville Public Library archives.
Mary Burnham Thomas and her Westerville-manufactured Gocycle are pictured circa 1915. The Zuck house was purchased by her parents in 1908. When Mary passed away in 1999, she left her estate of $6.3 million to Otterbein from which she graduated in 1928.
The pictures above and below are from the May 1963 issue of Otterbein Towers. The Zuck house is at the middle top with the Greek letters attached. It was the first location of
Lambda Gamma Epsilon (Kings) Fraternity that was founded in 1948. The Campus Center consumed the dead-end gravel portion of North Grove Street and the Campus Center east parking lot consumed the Zuck house.

1903/04, designed by Packard: Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4686 East Walnut Street.

When the pandemic of 2020 forced hunkering down, I headed to the desktop computer in my storage closet of an office. There I began weeks of searching “Yost” and “Packard” in the digitized issues of The Columbus Dispatch spanning the years 1882 (Yost’s first year in Columbus) through 1923 (the final year of Packard’s life). Of the many finds, the most unexpected was Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church. The congregation was formed in 1852 and initially met in homes. (Services were conducted in German until 1885 at which time a second service in English was started. That eventually led to dropping the German service in 1916.) By 1855 a church of log and stone was built on East Walnut Street to serve Westerville. On Sunday, October 2, 1904, a replacement edifice designed by Frank Packard was dedicated. As this was quite a jaunt from town (4 miles), the congregation opened Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1910 at 43 East Home Street in the Uptown. The same pastor served both locations until each parish became independent in 1933. Today Saint Paul looks different as it has been sided and expanded…and Hoover Reservoir put a big chunk of East Walnut Street under water. Grace Lutheran has since moved to the corner of Otterbein Avenue and Schrock Road. The vacated church on East Home Street, a frame structure, was encased in brick in a major 1936 remodel. It has been occupied by various enterprises and today houses The Harrison Company Real Estate Group.

The Columbus Dispatch of 12/13/1903 announcing plans for a new
St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church.
This 1974 picture is from the Westerville Local History & Museum collection.
An early 1900’s picture could not be located.
This is East Walnut Street today which was cut in half by the construction of Hoover Reservoir. The church is located beyond the far side.
St. Paul today above and below.
The trek to St. Paul was a daunting 4 miles from Uptown Westerville. Consequently,
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church opened Uptown in 1910 with the two churches sharing the same pastor. A brick facade was added later and the frame tower was replaced.

1907, designed by Packard: memorial tablet honoring composer Benjamin R. Hanby, Otterbein University.

Searching the digitized Columbus Dispatch for Yost & Packard designs was a heckuva lot easier task than the same goal searching 40 years worth of murky microfilm of the Westerville Public Opinion. While there were no major discoveries, an announcement that Frank Packard had designed a bronze wall tablet in honor of Benjamin Hanby was a fun surprise. I wonder if a busy architect got a kick out of such a major change of pace. I wonder if he told the alumni association of Otterbein University “no charge.” The verse on the tablet is from “Darling Nellie Gray” of which most people today likely have never heard. Years ago, though, it was nationally known and has been referred to as the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of song. The tablet was unveiled at Commencement 1907, the 50th, and Benjamin Hanby’s widow came from California as guest of honor for the ceremony. There were only two graduates in that first Class of 1857, both women, and Mary Katherine “Kate” Winter Hanby was one of them…and the only survivor by 1907. When the Carnegie Library opened a year later, the tablet was mounted on a lobby wall where it has remained since.

The article above appeared in the Westerville Public Opinion 6/6/1907. The one below appeared in The Columbus Dispatch 6/9/1907. C.B. Galbreath helped restore and move the Hanby House to West Main Street.

A page, below, from The Widow.

1907/08, designed by Packard: Carnegie Library, Otterbein University.

Industrialist Andrew Carnegie provided grants to help fund almost 1,700 libraries in the United States between 1893 and 1919. While the vast majority were purposed to serve the entire community, 109 were considered “academic” and built for use by students on college and university campuses. Of the 111 Carnegies built in Ohio, Otterbein’s was 1 of 7 “academic” Carnegies built in the state…all of which still stand. Selected as the library contractor was Westerville’s Henry J. Karg. First his crew had to raze the former Otterbein president Dr. Lewis Davis house that stood on the site and had been part of the Underground Railroad. Frank Packard designed 9 of the 111 Ohio Carnegie libraries including a second “academic” library on the campus of Miami University. Coincidentally, Karg was the general contractor for that one as well. His significant builds across Ohio are described in my blog Henry J. Karg: A Prolific Builder Who Called Westerville Home.

Today, the former Carnegie Library houses the Office of Admission and the building is renamed Clippinger Hall after Otterbein’s longest serving president, Dr. Walter Gillan Clippinger, who served from 1909 to 1939. Clippinger Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2021.

The above headline was the source of the title for my blog “Iron Master Makes Gift”: Carnegie Library at Otterbein University. A companion blog to this one is in the works: “I’ll meet you in hell!” Henry Clay Frick vs Andrew Carnegie…and their Otterbein University coincidence. Packard designed a total of 9 Carnegies in Ohio, and they are pictured in my blog The Ohio Carnegie Libraries of Architect Frank Packard.
Carnegie Library at Otterbein University. Dedicated 6/9/1908.
Packard’s blueprints housed in the University Archives.
In 1922, Otterbein began the Diamond Jubilee Campaign to recognize 75 years since its founding in 1847. As published above in the campus newspaper of 10/30/1922, an addition to the Carnegie Library was planned. Packard’s Public Opinion obituary of 11/1/1923 indicated he was “developing the Otterbein College building program.” The blueprint below shows an addition at each end of the library although there is no date on it. The Columbus Dispatch of 12/10/1922 reported that the Columbus Otterbein Committee of the campaign was being chaired by Edgar Weinland (Class of 1891) and included Dr. Andrew Timberman (Class of 1887). The statement in the obituary, the blueprint, and the fact Weinland and Timberman were living in Yost & Packard-designed houses (428 S. Sixth and 91 Hamilton Park respectively) is a pretty good indication that “developing the Otterbein College building program” was in reference to the campaign that was underway .
Built on the site of a station on the Underground Railroad. The contractor was Henry J. Karg of Westerville who also built Otterbein’s Cochran Hall, Lambert Hall, the first heating plant, and the brick walkway leading to Towers Hall at the corner of Main and Grove Streets. His son Rollin, of Karg and Smith cement contractors, laid the foundation of King Hall on the campus.
Today the old library is renamed Clippinger Hall. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2021 joining Towers Hall and 7 other Westerville buildings/districts on the List.

1908, designed by Packard: Vine Street School 2-story 4-classroom addition, 44 North Vine Street.

A headline in the 4/2/1908 edition of the Public Opinion proclaimed “Architect Packard Plans to Push the Work With All Possible Speed.” There was an urgency for a Vine Street School addition to begin and finish over summer vacation. A week later the headline read “Henry Karg Wins” in reference to bidding on the construction contract. Karg had just finished up the Packard-designed Otterbein Carnegie Library. The addition included moving toilet facilities indoors and the first drinking fountains in town. Superintendent L.W. Warson announced in the Public Opinion of September 3, “The commodious new $16,000 addition erected by Contractor Karg is all in readiness for the opening and the entire building has been renovated.” Karg’s son Rollin built a home for his family next door to the school (south side) that still stands today.

Public Opinion of 4/2/1908 announces a 2-story addition to Vine Street School.
2-story 4-classroom 1908 addition above. As shown below on the left, it was a very close match to the original 1896 structure shown on the right.

All of the structures shown below are SPECULATIVE. They may or may not have been designed by Yost & Packard. No documentation could be located to confirm who designed them. But there is reason to suspect they might be Y&P designs, and the reason is stated for each. Listing them in this blog may lead to answers from readers.

SPECULATED to have been designed by Yost in 1884: Thomas Holmes house, 372 North State Street.

Thomas Holmes hired Joseph Yost to design his hotel, but did he also hire him to design his house approximately three years prior to Yost’s 1887 design of the Methodist Episcopal Church?

A young Thomas Holmes came from England to the United States to live with his aunt Mary Holmes shortly after she became widowed in 1869. In the summer of 1884, Thomas built a brick house on North State Road (now Street). God’s House, Our Home, the history of First Presbyterian Church of Westerville, includes brief histories of members who were considered Westerville’s early civic leaders. Thomas Holmes was one of those leaders. There is reference in God’s House, Our Home to his North State Road residence as being a “palatial home” which suggests the work of an architect. If it was, how would an immigrant from England know who to select? The genealogy of Thomas’ wife Nancy reaches back to Belmont County, Ohio…the same as does Yost who settled in Bellaire of Belmont County and opened an architecture practice there. Over time his name may have become well known in this area due to numerous designs of significance throughout the county (courthouse, churches, schools, opera house, jail, hotels, and more). Nancy’s mother married William L. McConaughey who was originally from Guernsey County, contiguous to Belmont County, where Yost designed the courthouse, county children’s home, a school, and a hotel. So Nancy’s father William may have been aware of Yost. A third possible familiarity with Yost may have come from Aunt Mary. She was a member of the First Congregational Church of Columbus…a structure Yost redesigned circa 1884. There were just nine architects listed in the Columbus City Directory in 1884. At that time, Yost had a very impressive resume.

While a paper trail confirming the work of an architect has yet to be discovered, the house does not seem to be out-of-the box. The front porch may be an indication of an architect’s design work. Note the difference between the original look and the look of today. Supporting speculation that it was an architect’s design (and that of Yost) are these two additional pieces of information. (1) Carole Bean, great granddaughter of Thomas and Nancy Holmes, made this statement regarding a conversation she had with her mother, Eleanor Louise Holmes Bean: “I believe that the house on State Street was designed by the same architect (Yost) who designed the Holmes Hotel. I remember my mother and I talking about it and she had found some information about the architect at the time.” (2) The real estate news section of the 2/29/1884 Columbus Dispatch reported on a building being designed in Toledo by Yost. The article ended with: “Mr. Yost also has numerous other smaller contracts on hand, some of them out of the city.” As previously mentioned, the Holmes’ house was built in the summer of 1884.

Thomas and Nancy Holmes

SPECULATED to have been designed by Yost & Packard in 1895: Columbus Central Railway interurban car barn, 268 North State Street.

The Columbus Central Railway’s interurban line to Westerville ended at a car barn constructed at the corner of North State and County Line Roads. At the Columbus starting point of the line, Yost & Packard designed the Railway’s electric power plant…the exterior of which was red terra cotta brick…and likely an adjacent office building in similar architecture. The Westerville car barn was made of the same red terra cotta brick (now covered by a different finish) and had similar window and door trim. Due to the Y&P design work at the Columbus starting point, their redesign of Garry Meeker’s house across the street from the Westerville car barn (Meeker was an officer with the CCRR), and Y&P employee (and Otterbein University graduate) Laurence Barnard’s design work on Meeker’s Westerville Fairgrounds (all in 1894/95), it seems a reasonable to speculate that the Westerville car barn was a Y&P design as well.

The Columbus Dispatch 9/22/1894
The Columbus Central Railway’s electric power plant above and below as designed by Yost & Packard in 1894.
1909 insurance inspection report of the Columbus to Westerville interurban line facilities.
Westerville Public Opinion 9/5/1895.
The Columbus Dispatch 9/23/1895. A crew slept overnight in the car barn so that an interurban was ready to transport Westerville residents to Columbus in the morning.
The interurban line made its last run to Westerville in 1929.
Pictured above are the tracks down State Street being removed.
(Photo from David Bunge collection.)
SPECULATION AS TO THE ARCHITECT: 87-89 E. College Ave. Built 1906 for William Bassett Johnston, founder of Westerville Creamery Company. Johnston came to Westerville from Columbus where he was a director of Capital City Products Company and a member of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Packard was also a Chamber member including serving a term as president. They would have known each other. Yost & Packard designed multi-housing such as
this Johnston two-unit dwelling.
SPECULATION AS TO THE ARCHITECT: 94 E. Lincoln Ave. Built in 1911 for Thomas A. Barnett, a retired farmer. This house resembles others designed by Yost & Packard. Many of their house designs had a unique window feature such as the two story bay window on this one.
SPECULATION AS TO THE ARCHITECT: 32 W. Home St. Built in 1898 for Russell Bigelow Bennett, a contractor and former teacher and superintendent of nearby Sunbury schools. This is just a few doors from the Zuck house designed by Yost & Packard and built a year earlier. It resembles other Y&P houses. Bennett was vice-president of the American Roque League. Roque, a form of croquet played on a hard smooth surface, was popular in the early 20th century and was a sport in the 1904 Summer Olympics. Bennett built indoor and outdoor courts in his backyard. He died of a heart attack on one of the courts. The attic window is unique. I wonder if there is a purpose for the bare second story wall above the front porch. Carlos Shedd of Columbus was a promoter of roque in that city. He and his brother Frederick were vice-president and president respectively of E.E. Shedd Mercantile Company. Russell Bennett and Carlos Shedd would have known each other. Packard designed Frederick’s house…which is a second reason to suspect Packard designed the Bennett house.
SPECULATION AS TO THE ARCHITECT: 40 W. Plum St. Built in 1897 for Dr. George Scott, president of Otterbein University. Mary Isabel Sevier Scott, wife of Dr. Scott, was principal of the Art Department at Otterbein. Per a 4/21/1903 article in the society section of The Columbus Dispatch, the May meeting of the Art History Club was to be held at the Scott residence. The fall meeting to follow was to be held at the home of Mrs. Frank Packard. Due to the Club association of the two ladies, it’s possible this house was a Yost & Packard design.
SPECULATION AS TO THE ARCHITECT: 109 S. Grove St. Built in 1913 for Rev. Thomas M. Hare of the Anti-Saloon League. Packard believed in using locally-sourced materials native to the landscape. The cobblestone for the porch could have come from the Alum Creek riverbed area just west of this property. He was also a fan of tile roofs such as the one on this roof. This house and the two below are located in the Temperance Row Historic District which was added to the
National Register of Historic Places in 2008.
SPECULATION AS TO THE ARCHITECT: On the left (above and below) is 181 W. Walnut St. built in 1914 for John G. Schaibly of the Anti-Saloon League. On the right (above and below) is
115 University St. built in 1914 for William Chester Johnson of the Anti-Saloon League. Both have cobblestone foundations and both are Craftsman style architectural features which was a favorite design of Packard. The Alum Creek riverbed behind and below these two properties could have been the source of this material.

Frank Packard’s Personal Association with Westerville

The 11/1/1923 issue of the Westerville Public Opinion of 11/1/1923 reported the following (Packard died unexpectedly of a stroke at age 57):

Noted Architect Did Work in Westerville. “The death of Frank L. Packard, noted architect of Columbus, recalls to many Westerville people the fact that he was the architect for the Vine Street school building. Mr. Packard was also developing the Otterbein College building program. He was well known by many Westerville people.”

Delaware (OH) native Frank Packard was born in June of 1866, graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1887, and then settled into the family home on the eastern edge of downtown Columbus where his parents had relocated. He married Eva Lena Elliott of Sunbury. It’s likely that visits by the couple to Eva’s parents’ house were by train which ran from Columbus through Westerville to Sunbury…thus establishing or continuing a familiarity with Westerville. This beautiful country Elliott family home just south of Sunbury is coincidentally owned by a 1968 graduate of Westerville High School. It’s pictured in my blog Frank Packard’s Architecture Left Mark on Delaware.

Sunbury OH childhood home of Mrs. Frank L. Packard.

In the Spring of 1891, Otterbein University’s student Philomathean Literary Society did a remodel of their meeting space designed by Frank Packard. Edgar L. Weinland, a student graduating in June of that year, was president of the organization. While it is not known how Packard may have been recruited as architect, his father Alvaro was well established in a downtown Columbus real estate practice. Weinland’s family moved from Westerville to downtown Columbus where his father Jacob had a successful fire insurance business. It’s likely Alvaro and Jacob knew each other…and perhaps that is how Frank became hired for the design. Regardless, Frank Packard and Edgar Weinland had an association that continued long afterwards.

Less than a year after the Otterbein project, Frank Packard and Joseph Yost formed a partnership (Columbus Dispatch 1/23/1892). On June 8 of 1892, Otterbein University broke ground on the Christian Association Building designed by Yost & Packard making this one of the earliest efforts of their new firm. Students had been wanting a meeting space for the YMCA including a gymnasium, but the University was struggling financially and unable to provide funding. Students initiated and completed an aggressive successful fund-raising campaign with subscriptions announced in issues of the Otterbein Aegis. There was a two-way tie for the top gift of $250 (equates to $7,000 today). It’s not surprising that one source was an alumnus (David L. Rike of Rike’s Department Store in Dayton), but the other source certainly is: Yost & Packard…a gift that certainly speaks of some kind of affinity.

As reported in the January 1893 issue of the Otterbein Aegis, architects Yost & Packard donated $250 ($7,000 today) towards a building campaign initiated and entirely run by students.

Among sporting news items in the 9/22/1894 issue of The Columbus Dispatch was this statement: “Lawrence Barnard, Otterbein’s famous full-back, is in Columbus studying architecture with Yost & Packard.” It’s likely he met Packard during the Philomathean Room remodel of 1891. As previously mentioned, Garry Meeker purchased the Westerville Fairgrounds located on East College Avenue hoping to draw customers from Columbus via the interurban line. He hired Laurence (his name was misspelled as Lawrence by the newspaper) to design additions and improvements to his new entertainment venue in 1985. The interurban car barn on North State Road was constructed in this same year and is speculated to have been a Yost & Packard design. It’s possible Laurence Llewellyn Barnard had a hand in that work as well.

While this 1/13/1925 article from Otterbein’s Tan and Cardinal newspaper has nothing to do with Yost & Packard, I thought this was a fun find while doing my volunteer scanning work for the Otterbein Archives. What’s amazing is that Ernest Sargent Barnard, Otterbein Class of 1895 and brother of Laurence, and James Aloysius Robert (Bob) Quinn became presidents of American League baseball teams. There were only 8 teams in those days. Ernest was with Cleveland as stated above and Bob became president and owner of the Boston Red Sox.
Both have Wikipedia pages.

Early in my research of Yost & Packard I came across an article in the Westerville Public Opinion of 1/8/1903 indicating that J.R. Williams was buying back the Avenue Bakery owned by Samuel H. Rownd. I set that aside while wondering if Samuel was related by marriage to Cora Linnie Packard Rownd, Frank’s sister (Cora married Harry Lester Rownd whose father Robert was Columbus postmaster). A genealogy search revealed that Samuel and Robert were brothers. I also came across an article in the Public Opinion of 8/4/1904 announcing that Margaret B. Rownd of Westerville had married Henry Clinton Verbeck. Verbeck rang a bell as I recalled the late Lt. Col. Morris Briggs, my former boss at Otterbein, had once mentioned a relative by the name of Robert K. Verbeck who was a retired Ohio State University professor and a nationally recognized authority on American Indian lore and silent movies. A genealogy search revealed Robert was the son of Margaret and Henry. I contacted Lt. Col. Briggs’ son Alan who sent me a picture of Margaret taken by an Urbana, Ohio, photography studio…which I thought was odd. I set that aside as well. During the first few slow months of the pandemic, I did a search of the digitized issues of The Columbus Dispatch for anything Yost and anything Packard. Of the many hits, one was a 1/4/1890 society page mention of Cora visiting friends in Urbana for the holidays. I set that aside. When libraries began offering limited hours in late spring of the pandemic, I checked to see if the Urbana library was open as I planned to stop there on my way to a visit to Miami County. I noticed on the library website that the Urbana newspapers were digitized. That was a surprise followed by an even bigger surprise when I searched “Rownd” in the Urbana newspapers due to the picture Alan Briggs had provided. Turns out Samuel Rownd, his wife and daughter Margaret lived in Urbana circa 1884 to 1896. (That search also led to discovering that the town of Uhrichsville, Ohio, was named after the grandfather of Samuel’s wife.) The final piece of this puzzle is a light-hearted 8/16/1911 article in The Columbus Dispatch describing Rownd family matriarch “Grandma Rownd” (mother of Robert and Samuel) being taken on a 90th birthday drive around Columbus by “Frank Packard, architect.” Thus the Packard’s had a family connection with Westerville.

Harry L. Rownd who married Frank Packard’s sister, Cora Linnie.
No picture of Cora has been located to date. Harry and Margaret were first cousins.

As mentioned, the paths of Westerville native Edgar Weinland and Frank Packard likely crossed many times after Weinland’s 1891 graduation from Otterbein. Packard designed Weinland’s South Sixth Street residence near the Ohio State University campus. Among Westerville designs by Yost & Packard that followed 1891 was Packard’s design of Otterbein’s Carnegie Library constructed in 1907. Weinland was chair of the library building committee. In 1922, Otterbein embarked on a multi-year Diamond Jubilee Campaign to raise money for endowment and campus buildings. Weinland was chair of the Columbus committee of this campaign. Packard’s obituary mentioned he was “developing the Otterbein College building program”, but his unexpected death in 1923 ended his Otterbein affiliation. Both of these men were among the early leaders of Columbus and their contributions (Weinland as City Attorney and Packard as a visionary and driver for a purposeful downtown waterfront) have not been forgotten. As recently as 2016 the Ohio State University Retirees Association newsletter stated of Packard: “In Columbus he saw the beauty developing the Scioto riverfront into a grand civic center for the capitol city. That plan evolved over time into our Civic Center and Scioto Mile.” Weinland’s passing included these words of gratitude as published in The Columbus Dispatch of 8/18/1959: “Columbus will miss the ripe wisdom which for more than 50 years has contributed to its upbringing…he was one of the nation’s leading authorities on municipal government.” Weinland Park, a neighborhood east of the Short North and named after Edgar, is today the focus of a major rebirth…and future blog Weinland Park of Columbus: Namesake Edgar Is Missing.


  1. Daniel Sauers says:

    Oh my my my. My cousin’s son, Steven Flower, sent me this blog. It is extraordinary! Joseph Yost’s great-grand daughter, herself an architect, alerted my family towards the end of her life to the Yost legacy 20 odd years ago. We started with Orton Hall at OSU, Columbus which knocked us sideways. This kick started a dozen memorable trips around Ohio where we were spellbound at the many fine Yost/Packard buildings still remaining. The good people of OH have done an extraordinary job preserving these wonders! It cannot have been easy. I thought we had rediscovered them all. Not so. You have turned up a wealth of information on lesser buildings I’ve never even heard of, few of which are included in Yost’s portfolio. This is to your credit. Steven, as you know, has taken the baton and dug ever deeper producing those incredible brochures on Yost’s life and work. He found Yost’s buildings in NYC which eluded me, and all the historical societies I vainly contacted, for years.

    This is marvelous work and we cannot thank you enough. Please get in touch for any reason… and keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the great compliment, Daniel!!! The research on Yost & Packard is fun and very satisfying. There are more Yost & Packard blogs to follow although none will nearly the narrative that the Westerville one has…which is where I live. I thought Westerville residents should know the treasure they have in their backyard. I have completed 8 blogs so far. Please check out the “Frank Packard’s Delaware…” one. It contains quite a few Yost & Packard designs including houses. I’ve been corresponding with Steven. What a surprise to now be connected with Yost descendants. Don

      Liked by 1 person

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