Architects Joseph Yost and Frank Packard in Ohio: Auglaize, Darke, Miami, and Shelby Counties

NOTE: This blog contains quite a few pictures so give it several minutes to download. The pictures download haphazardly.

This blog showcases the known designs of Columbus architects Joseph Warren Yost & Frank Lucius Packard in the region of Auglaize, Darke, Miami, and Shelby Counties of Ohio. These two architects were in partnership during the years 1892-1899; each practiced separately before and after this period of time. The history of these structures has not been studied. The blog’s purpose is to generate local appreciation of these treasures, inspire research/promotion of them, and save/value those that remain. The Yost & Packard firm, nationally recognized, would likely be considered one of Ohio’s most significant.

Three designs are being singled out for a bit more description beyond the captions that accompany their photos:

  • Grand Opera House of St. Marys. A bit of advance work prior to driving to St. Marys paid off. Had I not done so, I would have concluded this building had been raised. Contact with Beth Kenneke at the library in St. Marys resulted in two pictures being sent…an old one clearly showing a 3-story structure and the current appearance which clearly looked 2-story covered by a modernized remuddled front. The roof lines with a small raised section in the middle looked mostly like a match. More back and forth with Beth and her patience solved the mystery. Of all things, the street had been raised thus putting the first floor basically underground. During my later visit to St. Marys to take pictures, I spoke with the owner of the jewelry store across the street. His basement has a front door…and it opens into the street fill (soil and gravel) pictured in this blog. Mystery solved. A fund-raising campaign is currently underway to restore the Grand Opera House. Jason Clark, whose house was designed by Yost & Packard and is pictured in this blog, is a member of the advisory committee for this project.
  • Darius William and Anna Weddell residence of Elizabeth Township. Yost & Packard’s hardbound promotional publication Portfolio of Architectural Realities lists a residence for “D. Weddell…Casstown.” I’ve driven through tiny Casstown in Elizabeth Township of Miami County several times looking for a house that I could guess was a Y&P design. No such luck. When I was putting this blog together I decided to search for a list of graves in the Casstown area. There was no D. Weddell, but there was a Weddell spelled Weddle. Turned out to be a person who could easily afford to build a large house designed by an architect…Darius William Weddle. Mystery solved. This isn’t the first misspelling in the publication that has thrown me off course.
  • Mrs. George Nickolas Zeigenfelder residence of Piqua. Portfolio of Architectural Realities lists a residence for “Mrs Ziegenfelder…Piqua.” There are a number of Ziegenfelders in Miami County and without a name other than “Mrs” I eventually hit a dead end. Recently to the rescue came fellow Otterbein University graduate and Piqua resident Jonna Stewart Raffel. She had previously found me on Facebook perhaps from a comment I made on the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District Facebook page. Her email: “I believe I figured it out. I believe it is 714 W. Ash St. My next door neighbors! Mrs. Ziegenfelder, a widow, had the home built between 1892-93. She remarried to W.W. Tice in 1893, and then she died in March of 1894. The home then transferred to her son, Robert Ziegenfelder. Researching was a bit of a mess because they spell their name all kinds of different ways, but I have enough newspaper clippings to back it up, and I confirmed the address with the 1900 census. The main clue that caught my eye was the one that says she would be Snyder’s neighbor to the west. (My home at 704 W. Ash St is the A.G. Snyder residence). The other is in her funeral clipping. It says she had a beautiful home built for them.” Along with the Facebook coincidental meeting, both the Ziegenfelder and Snyder houses are directly across the street from old Piqua High School built by Henry Karg of Westerville who is the subject of my very first blog (which may be accessed on my website 😊

I wish to thank the following individuals for their generous and thorough assistance in contributing to the blog: Kevin Accurso, owner of the Weddell house in Elizabeth Township; Jason and Andrea Clark, owner of the Bamberger house in St. Marys; Mary Beth George and Ben Sutherly of the Elizabeth Township History Society; Patrick Kennedy, Archivist at the Troy-Miami County Public Library; Beth Kenneke, Adult Services Coordinator at the St. Marys Community Public Library; Jonna Stewart Raffel, Piqua historian; and Sharon Watson and Yuri Denny of the Local History and Genealogy Department of the Piqua Public Library.

Published 9/10/2021 by Don Foster.

Auglaize County

St. Marys: Business block for Grand Opera House, Knights of Pythias #219 and Masons #121.
105-113 West Spring Street. Built 1895. Designed by Yost & Packard.
And with the above action, the first floor of the Grand Opera House disappears beneath a raised Spring Street!!
Today the building houses some retail and, as mentioned in the blog narrative, the original first floor is below street level. The rear of the building looks original as shown below.
The Grand Opera House business block is in the middle of the strip of buildings shown on the left above. This is what Spring Street looked like after the street was raised which included a new bridge over the river. The result was that the first floors of these buildings basically became basements. The building in the left front corner above is pictured below as it appears today.
St. Marys: 3 room addition to the north wing of East School. 424 East Spring Street. Added 1896. Design by Yost & Packard. Razed.
St. Marys: Gustave Bamberger residence. 225 South Wayne Street. Built 1895. Design by Yost & Packard. Current owners Jason and Andrea Clark discovered the signature of the contractor within the interior construction and thought that person was the architect. Fun surprise!
Gustave Bamberger, at age 16, was a clerk in his brother’s clothing store located across the street from the Grand Opera House.
Wapakoneta: Blume High School. 405 South Blackhoof Street. Built 1908. Designed by Packard and local architect W.M. Runkle. Now apartments as shown below.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wapakoneta: St. Joseph School. 107 West Pearl Street. Built 1899. Designed by Yost & Packard.
Now St. Joseph Faith Center. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Darke County

Bradford: Young Men’s Christian Association accomodations for the overnight crews of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Remodel and expansion design by Packard in 1912. Unknown if he designed the original structure. Razed.
Above: “Store, Engine, Sand & Oil Houses” designed by Packard per The American Contractor” of 8/13/1918. The previous engine house shown below was lost to fire. Have not been able to locate any pictures of these Packard designs. The railroad yard is a large grassy public park today with only one structure remaining.

Miami County

Elizabeth Township (outside Troy): Elizabeth Township Centralized School. 5760 Walnut Grove Road. Built 1915. Designed by Packard.
Today the former school houses the Elizabeth Township Community Center.
Elizabeth Township: Darius William and Anna Weddle residence. 535 Weddle Road. Built 1892/93.
Designed by Yost.
Today the Weddle house is owned by Kevin Accurso who is originally from nearby Vandalia.
The property is in immaculate condition and contains three original farm buildings.
J. W. Yost’s contribution to Piqua’s architectural history is astounding. Pictured above is the cover of a brochure describing his accomplishments. It is the only Yost tribute of its kind that I have come across…a real credit to Piqua historians for publishing this!
Available for free at the library located in the building below designed by Yost himself.
Piqua: Plaza Hotel. 116 West High Street. Built 1891. Design by Yost. The above illustration is from the Y&P Portfolio of Architectural Realities.
Today this fabulous structure houses the Piqua Public Library.
Christmastime at the library. Included in the second floor tree decorating competition (below) was a tree decorated with historic pictures of Piqua. I thought this was a clever and educational idea…and perhaps might give blog readers food for future decorating thought of publicly displayed trees.
Piqua: Westminster Presbyterian Church. 325 West Ash Street. Built 1890. Designed by Yost.
The above illustration is from the Y&P Portfolio of Architectural Realities.
Piqua: Young Men’s Christian Association. Built 1894. Designed by Yost. Razed and a replacement “Y” was built on the same site.
Piqua: North Street School. Built 1890. Designed by Yost. The spire may have been lost in a storm or may have been too labor-intensive to maintain. Razed.
Piqua: Schmidlapp Free School Library. 509 North Main Street. Donated to the Board of Education in 1889 for conversion to a public library. The facade was redesigned by Yost, and the library opened in 1890. The library has since moved.
Today the building houses the Piqua Historical Museum as shown below.
Piqua: Scott-Slauson Block. Built 1890. Designed by Yost. Destroyed by fire in 1962.
Piqua: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis (Pennsylvania Railroad) Railway Station. Built 1913. The proposed and final design by Packard differs a bit. Razed.
Piqua: South Street School. 339 South Street. Built 1890. Designed by Yost. The illustration is from the Y&P Portfolio of Architectural Realities.
Missing the spire in this later picture.
Piqua: Colony Saxony flats. 221 West Greene Street. Built in 1902 for John Lee Boyer, owner of Union Underwear Company. Designed by Packard. Currently vacant. Located in the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District which is on the National Register of Historic places.
Piqua: Myron E. and Carrie Young Barber residence. 324 West Greene Street. Built 1891. Designed by Yost. Located in the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District. Myron Barber was president of The Piqua Handle Company.
Piqua: Mrs. George Nickolas Ziegenfelder residence. 714 West Ash Street. Built 1892/93. Designed by Yost & Packard…but likely Yost. A picture of the original structure has not been found. The difference between then and now is probably significant as ornamentation typical of that period is gone. Perhaps this picture will inspire someone to track down a long ago photo of the exterior from a descendant of a long ago owner. The Joseph W. Yost brochure pictured in this blog says the Myron E. and Carrie Young Barber house is the only residence in Piqua designed by Yost.
That now needs updated! 🙂
The Snyder house has been repainted since this blog was published!! Photo credit: Jonna Raffel.
Tipp City: Tippecanoe High School. South Fifth at West Dow Streets. Built 1916. Designed by Packard. Now houses the Tipp City Enrichment Program as shown below.
Construction of the courthouse ran from 1885 to 1888. Designed by Yost. The above illustration is from the Y&P Portfolio of Architectural Realities.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
An aerial view from long ago.
The courthouse as it appears today.
Troy: Van Cleve High School. 617 East Main Street. Built 1914. Designed by Packard.
Now a dedicated 6th grade school as shown below.
Troy: Edwards School. Built 1893. Designed by Yost. Razed.
Troy: William M. Hayner residence and barn. 401 West Main Street. Construction year not identified. Listed in Portfolio of Architectural Realities as designed by Yost & Packard, but likely a Yost design. Razed by Mrs. Hayner upon the death of William and replaced in 1914 by the residence shown below. The address was renumbered to 301.
Today the former home of Mary Jane Hayner is the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center. It includes a small but really interesting history of The Hayner Distilling Company. Having been raised in Springfield, Ohio, I thought I knew that city’s history really well. It was a total surprise to learn that Hayner had a Springfield presence as well. For those Springfield readers of this blog, drive over to Troy. “Springfield” is imprinted on many of the containers.
When in downtown Troy…K’s, in business for many years…the burgers are GREAT!!!

Shelby County

Sidney: Sidney High School. Built 1913. Designed by Packard. Razed.
Sidney: Charles Craycraft Marshall residence. Although mentioned in the real estate news of The Columbus Dispatch 0f 2/1/1903, the design never led to construction based on the data gathered. But that research effort led to an interesting surprise as described below.
Charles Marshall was elected to two terms as Prosecuting Attorney of Shelby County. In 1912, he moved to Columbus and was employed by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission. At the time of his death, he was living at 1707 Franklin Park South. Frank Packard lived at 1739 Franklin Park South. The picture on the left below partially shows Packard’s house on the left, and Marshall’s house is the last piece of structure shown on the right. That’s how close they were as neighbors. Marshall’s house is pictured below on the right. Did Packard design it? That’s a mystery that may never be solved. Franklin Park South runs along the rear of the Franklin Park Conservatory off East Broad Street in Columbus.
Rivaling K’s of Troy, The Spot in downtown Sidney is the spot for
a great burger from a mom & pop!!

1 Comment

  1. Janet Flagler says:

    Another successful post! Time well spent gathering info and photos! I hope your blogs will inspire the preservation of these beautiful buildings!

    Sent from my iPad



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