On September 19, 1911 the Star-Telegram announced that merchandise broker Whitford Trawick Fry and his wife had moved into their new home at 1112 Elizabeth Boulevard—the first house occupied on the most prestigious street in Ryan Place.
The Fry home at 1112 Elizabeth Boulevard.
By 1912, if Fort Worth had been a Monopoly board, Ryan Place’s Elizabeth Boulevard would have been its Boardwalk. And Wiley Clarkson became the architect of the upscale subdivision.
In addition to designing this home of Ryan Place developer John C. Ryan and wife Elizabeth Willing Ryan at 1302 Elizabeth Boulevard, Clarkson designed at least ten other homes on that grand avenue, among them:
1030: built in 1915 for A. J. Long. Andrew Jackson Long was a cattleman and banker.
1216: built in 1918 for W. E. Connell, a banker and rancher.
1221: built in 1922 for oilman T. B. Hoffer. From 1935 until 1941 the house was owned by General John Hulen (yes, as in Hulen Street), commander of the Army’s 36th Division (organized in 1917 at Camp Bowie) after World War I.
1315: built in 1918 for J. G. Smith. Smith owned a grain company.
1400: built in 1923 for M. A. Fuller, a banker and cottonseed oil dealer.
1405: built in 1920 for James S. Todd, president of the livestock company Evans-Snider-Buel.
And what kind of home does an architect design for himself? Just around the corner on Ryan Place Drive is Clarkson’s former home (1928). The present owner told me that Clarkson had the house built as a Christmas gift for his wife. The foundation is commercial grade to support the weight of the roof’s custom-made, hand-colored clay tiles. There was a business side to this gift, the owner said: The house served as Clarkson’s model home for prospective Ryan Place residents shopping for an architect.