Wiley G. Clarkson (Part 2): Mister Elizabeth Boulevard

Architect Wiley G. Clarkson was not only Mister 5th Street (Part 1) but also Mister Elizabeth Boulevard. Clarkson began his practice in Fort Worth soon after John C. Ryan began developing Ryan Place.

EB 9-19-11 stOn 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.

EB 1112 1911

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.

elizabeth 1302 ryan 1915 1 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 Major 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.

Wiley G. Clarkson (Part 3): Four Churches and a Temple

Century Club: A Millennium (And Then Some) on Elizabeth Boulevard

Fort Worth’s Street Gang

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11 Responses to Wiley G. Clarkson (Part 2): Mister Elizabeth Boulevard

  1. Ginger Morosky says:

    Dear Hometown,

    This is Ginger Morosky and I would like to meet with you as the research you have done is astronomical especially on Wiley G. Clarkson
    Ginger and Walt in Ryan Place

  2. Carol Montague says:

    I took bassoon lessons from John Shipley. He and his parents owned 1030 Elizabeth and they were trying to fix it up–and it needed it. But that’s where my lessons were. It’s looking good in that picture.

  3. John M says:

    I grew up in 1112 beginning in 1986 when my mother inherited the home from her grandfather, Herbert P. Ralls. Herbert was my great-grandfather. He purchasd the home in teh 50’s and paid approx $6,000. My mother and step-father still live there while I live aroudn the corner in Fairmount, three blocks north. The home is now 103 years old.

    • hometown says:

      Not many houses in Fort Worth have lived to be one hundred. The houses on Elizabeth Boulevard are beating the odds.

  4. Janie Hart says:

    Just found verification that ours is a Wiley Clarkson house. I live at 2416 Ryan Place Drive and would love to see our house included in your list. The first owners were James and Jane Davis. He was a partner in Stonestreet-Davis, a luxurious haberdashery in Fort Worth. Jane’s grandfather sat on Texas’ first supreme court.

    • hometown says:

      That is a lovely house on a lovely street, and finding out that it’s a Clarkson must be icing on the cake.

  5. Genevieve Shockley says:

    I find it interesting, the number of television antenna that are still attached to homes, in this era of cable.

    GenE

    • hometown says:

      And some of those cheap old antennas get to live on some pretty swanky roofs.

    • Steve A says:

      Of course, it is likely that some of those antennae remain up on the roofs simply because it requires effort to get rid of them. We have one that resides in our attic that is functional in theory, but has never been used since we moved in.

    • hometown says:

      And some of them are still in daily use. Like mine. Looks like it has been up there since Uncle Miltie went on the air.

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