Freise Addition to the City of Walla Walla, Lot 1, Block 2
Title and Occupant History
Washington Territory was created in 1853. In 1884, the new territorial legislature created Walla Walla County, which stretched from the crest of the Cascade Mountains to the crest of the Rocky Mountains in the present states of Washington, Idaho and Montana. In 1855, Isaac Stevens, governor of Washington Territory, held a council on the banks of Mill Creek at the present site of Walla Walla with representatives of regional Indian tribes to purchase land from them. The Yakamas, Cayuses and Walla Wallas were dissatisfied with the treaties and the intrusion by whites into their lands before the treaties’ ratification, and war followed. Missionaries, former French-Canadian employees of the Hudson Bay Company trading post at Wallula, and soldiers at the military Fort Walla Walla were the primary European occupants of the area prior to 1859, when the treaties were finally ratified and the land was opened for settlement. The transfer of ownership occurred by virtue of a treaty signed on June 9, 1855 in Walla Walla and ratified on March 8, 1859 by President James Buchanan, in which all of the land in the Walla Walla area was acquired from the Cayuse and Walla Walla Indian tribes.
The town of Walla Walla was originally laid out by County Surveyor H. H. Case in 1859, prior to its formal incorporation as a city in 1862, as a one-quarter mile square with its eastern side centered on the point where Main Street crossed Mill Creek (at roughly the point where it does now). Case’s plat was filed and recorded July 5, 1867 in Book A of Plats, Page 1. The City of Walla Walla received a Trustee Town site from the U. S. Government that consisted of 80 acres, issued on July 20, 1869 by the Vancouver, W. T. District Land Office.
The land where the house at 21 West Maple Street later was built was platted and filed on 8/7/1871 as Chase’s Addition to the City of Walla Walla by H. M Chase, County Auditor. In 1905, John Freis (also spelled Freise and Frieas) purchased eight (8) lots of what was then referred to as Block K of Chase’s Addition. This parcel was surveyed in October 1905, platted and filed on 11/11/1905 as Freise Addition to the City of Walla Walla. Its boundaries fall between South 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Walnut Street to Garrison Creek.
10/10/1872, Warranty Deed, John and Jane Singleton, grantors; Susan Abbott (wife of John F. Abbott). Multiple parcels were included in this transaction, $1,700.
1/27/1880, Right of Way Deed, Susan F. and John F. Abbott, grantors; First Lt. William H. Miller, Quartermaster, 1st Calvary, Acting Assistant Quartermaster, U. S. Army, to construct a ditch to lay pipe to convey water to Fort Walla Walla, $1.
4/27/1905, Affidavit, John H. Abbott to The Public, to establish he is the son of John F. Abbott, deceased, and that the Warranty Deed of 10/10/1872 was exclusively to Susan Abbott.
11/20/1905, Warranty Deed, Susan Abbott, a widow, grantor; John Freis, grantee, Lots 2-9, Block K of Chase’s Addition, $4,400. John Freis was co-owner of Gradwohl & Freis, excavating contractors, located at 106 West Maple Street. His firm was awarded the contract to grade and add sidewalks to North 9th, as reported in the Municipal Journal & Public Works, Vol. 25, July 1908; and they macadamized South Park Street, as reported in the Evening Statesman on March 17, 1910.
3/18/1907, Warranty Deed, John and Katherine Freis, grantors; George Schreiner, grantee, Lot 1 of Block 2, Freis Addition, $480. George Schreiner was a carpenter.
7/21/1914, Indenture, Minnie E. and O. E. Phillips, grantors; H. F. White, grantee, $1 and good and valuable consideration, subject to a mortgage in favor of M. E. Cutting for $2,000. Mr. Phillips was a rancher, and Hiram White was a realtor. A relationship between George Schreiner and the Phillipses could not be established. George Schreiner’s last listing at 21 West Maple was in the 1913 City Directory. He may have died that year, and Mr. and Mrs. Phillips dealt with the property.
9/15/1914, Indenture, H. F. and N. J. White, grantors; Balthaser Tempel, grantee, $10 and other valuable consideration, subject to a mortgage in favor of M. E. Cutting for $2,000. As of 1915, Balthaser and Elizabeth Tempel were residing at 21 West Maple.
7/7/1920, Warranty Deed, Balthaser and Lizzie Tempel, grantors; Emma J. Lacy, grantee, $10 and other goods and valuable consideration.
6/30/1920, Affidavit, E. F. Drake to The Public, in which he swears and deposes that he is personally acquainted with John and Katherine Freis and knows them to have platted Freise Addition to the City of Walla Walla.
6/21/1924, Warranty Deed, Emma J. Lacy, a spinster, grantor; Oliver A. and Ida M. McNichols, grantees, $10. There is no record of the McNichols having ever resided at 21 West Maple.
1/26/1926, Warranty Deed, Oliver A. and Ida M. McNichols, grantors; Bert Mabery, grantee, $10. The Maberys resided at 21 West Maple for several years. In 1933, Mrs. Sally Stanford, a widow, was listed as living with them. By 1935, Bert Mabery was listed as manager of the Elm Street Apartments at 611 West Elm, where he lived from that point on. 21 West Maple was vacant in 1935, and between 1937 and 1941 was occupied by a series of renters while the Maberys continued as owners of the house.
9/12/1928, Affidavit, John Frieas to The Public, to establish the correct spelling of his surname as misspelled on the Plat Map. It should be noted that poor Mr. Freis did not succeed in having the spelling of his plat changed, nor the city directories correct the spelling.
917/1941, Warranty Deed, Bert and Elmah Mabery, grantors; Emma Van Hollebeke, a widow, grantee, $2,100.
3/9/1944, Warranty Deed, Emma Van Hollebeke, a widow, grantor; Alfred H. and Mattie I. Johnson, grantees, $10 and other valuable considerations. Alfred Johnson was a farmer, and the Johnsons remained at 21 West Maple until 1960, which was the last year they were listed in the City Directory.
4/21/1975, Statutory Warranty Deed, Stata Emma Morris, a widow, grantor; Margaret Arrasmith, grantee, $10 and other valuable consideration. Stata Morris began living at 21 West Maple in 1960 and continued to reside there until 1977. Margaret Arrasmith did not occupy 21 West Maple, residing on Chase Avenue.
5/26/1976, Corrected Statutory Warranty Deed, Stata Emma Morris, a widow, grantor; Margaret Arrasmith, grantee, $10 and other valuable consideration.
8/12/1981, Statutory Warranty Deed, Margaret Arrasmith, grantor; Leo R. Martin, grantee, $10 and other valuable consideration.
3/21/1998, Quit Claim Deed, Pat Franco, grantor; Linda Franco, grantee.
3/23/1998, Quit Claim Deed, Tom Franco, grantor; Linda Franco, grantee.
3/24/1998, Quit Claim Deed, Mario Franco, grantor; Linda Franco, grantee.
3/25/1998, Quit Claim Deed, Lupe Franco, grantor; Linda Franco, grantee.
3/25/1998, Quit Claim Deed, Martin Franco, grantor, Linda Franco, grantee.
3/26/1998, Quit Claim Deed, Tony Franco, grantor; Linda Franco, grantee.
3/26/1998, Quit Claim Deed, Bonnie Torres, grantor; Linda Franco, grantee.
3/26/1984, Statutory Warranty Deed, Leo R. and Virginia Rose Martin, grantors; Domingo Franco, Jr. and Linda Franco, grantees, $10 and other valuable consideration. Mr. Franco was a corrections officer at the Washington State Penitentiary. No listing for Leo and Virginia Martin could be found in city directories.
3/28/1984, Deed of Trust, Domingo Franco, Jr. and Linda Franco, grantors; First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Walla Walla, grantee, $31,350.
3/27/1998, Statutory Warranty Deed, Linda Franco, grantor; Benito Preciado and Jennifer Harvey, husband and wife, grantees.
3/31/1998, Deed of Trust, Benito Preciado and Jennifer Harvey, grantors; Land Title of Walla Walla, grantee, $82,450.
5/27/1998, Quit Claim Deed, Eva Hubbell, grantor; Linda Franco, grantee.
12/17/2003, Notice of Trustee’s Sale, Professional Foreclosure Corporation of Washington, trustee; foreclosure sale of Preciado and Harvey property to secure an obligation in favor of Washington Mutual Bank.
3/25/2004, Trustee’s Deed, Professional Foreclosure Corporation of Washington, grantor; Washington Mutual Bank, grantee, $82,450.
4/20/2004, Quit Claim Deed, Jennifer Harvey, grantor; Benito Preciado, grantee.
8/3/2004, Bargain and Sale Deed, Washington Mutual Bank, FA, grantor; David and Cynthia Houk, grantees, $10 and other valuable consideration.
8/20/2004, Warranty Deed, Washington Mutual Bank, FA, grantor; David and Cynthia Houk, grantees, $91,000.
10/14/2016, Statutory Warranty Deed, David and Cynthia Houk, grantors; John Branch, grantee.
Construction of Building
The County Assessor’s Office estimates the construction date as 1895. However, the Sanborn Fire Map of 1905 in its original configuration shows no structures on the south side of West Maple Street. Indeed, St John Street that runs parallel to and between South 2nd and South 3rd was not cut through in 1905. The initial corrections/updates to the 1905 Sanborn map were made in July 1909 and show St. John Street as well as 21 West Maple and several other houses on the south side of West Maple. The first occupant of the house was George Schreiner whose listing in the 1908 City Directory was rather confusing: “St. Johns 2 w E Maple” (despite its current address, the actual front of the house faces St. John Street). Nonetheless, it is reasonable to assume that this was in reference to the house currently listed as 21 West Maple. Therefore, it was most likely constructed during 1907. Although Whitman Archives has building permits going back to 1907, only September through December exist for that year, and no permit was issued for the construction of the house during those four months. Mr. Schreiner’s last listing at 21 West Maple was in the 1913 directory.
The house is a one and one-half story structure with a hip roof and cross gables. Although built after the turn of the twentieth century, it shows characteristics of both Queen Anne and shingle style architecture, not only in the elaborate roof, but also in the ornamental shingles of the two gables and the wrap-around porch, which was common to Queen Anne houses. The ornamental brickwork of the two chimneys is also reflective of Queen Anne architecture. Vinyl siding and windows of the first floor aside, the exterior appears quite intact, although the entrance door on the West Maple façade is probably an addition dating to the period when the house was used as rental property. In fact, five bedrooms and three bathrooms would have been unusual for a house this size in 1907; they, too, probably date to the rental years. The simple round columns of the porch are ubiquitous in Walla Walla houses of this period.
- Whitman Archives
- Sanborn Fire Maps
- Walla Walla City Directories
- Municipal Journal of Public Works, Vol. 25, July 1908
- Walla Walla Evening Statesman, March 17, 1910
- Walla Walla County Assessor’s Office