15 West Groves Avenue

This house, another mid-size four-square, had a footprint of 20x26 feet with only three bedrooms upstairs. It served as a rental property for Mt Ida Realty until 1916, when it was transferred to Christine Groves, before finally being sold to an owner-occupant in 1919.

The new owner was Robert Ottway Allen and he was to stay there quite while. Robert had been born in June 1886 and when he hit 20 he married 16-year-old Mary Helen Walke. A year later she gave birth to Richard Ottway, then in January 1910 to Virginia and in November 1916 to Martha Ruth, the latest of them presumably sparking the purchase of a house. Robert, 5'10” of medium build with brown hair and eyes, worked as a clerk for the railroad at Potomac Yard during his time in the house.

15 West Groves, a classic foursquare, as it appeared in 1970, probably showing its original configuration, including the offset porch extending to the right and then wrapping around halfway back the side. The only changes appear to be the addition of bricktex siding and screens.

Richard married in 1928 and moved a short distance to Wayne Street and Virginia married Edwin Frantz in June 1935 and moved to Upper Darby, PA. By 1938 the remaining daughter had also moved out to become Ruth Branchford, leaving Richard and Helen in the house. In mid-December 1942, however, Helen went to her doctor complaining of weakness and it became apparent that she was suffering from severe rapid ascending paralysis. With no cure available, she passed away at home on 2 January 1943.

In April 1944 Robert remarried to Theresa Kimmell, 14 years his junior at 42. Theresa moved in with Robert and they remained there for another twelve years, giving Robert no fewer than 37 years in the house. Apparently the deed of Robert and Helen was not a joint deed, for when she died intestate the kids ended up sharing a half-interest in the house. In May 1956 they signed over their interest to their father and he, in turn, sold it over to Fred and Ruby Conner. They made it home for ten years until selling it themselves. It was demolished in 2015.