The Katie Elliott House (207 East Alexandria Ave)
The Partnership House
The structure had two-story exterior walls of cement block made by James Sullivan, with smooth exterior surfaces except for a single course of blocks slightly above the mid-point that featured a faux stone finish. The house had a square footprint, 30 feet on each side, and was divided into a living room, dining room and kitchen on the first floor, and four bedrooms and a bathroom on the second. There was a concrete-block front porch 8 feet deep projecting from the left side of the house, and a 4-foot deep wood frame rear porch 16 feet wide centered on the back wall. Since then a two-story wood-frame addition has replaced the rear porch, this being nicely distinguishable from the original portion.
With the failure of the partnership and default on the mortgage the house was put up for auction sale in early 1912. Having been reacquired by JC and Frank Smoot it was bundled with four other, empty, properties on East Alexandria and sold to Julien N Major in January 1913.
An Unfortunate Start
Major continued to live in Warren County, presumably renting the house out, until April 1918, when they sold it to sisters Katie and Bessie Elliott, financed with a $2,800 mortgage due a year later.
Bessie, always in frail health, fell victim to the influenza pandemic and died at home in the afternoon of 20 December 1918 at age 40. Katie soon stumbled in her mortgage payments and the lender foreclosed. It was put up for auction in June 1919 and, surprisingly, Katie won it back with a bid of $3,100, of which $600 was paid in cash and the balance from a new mortgage from Burke & Herbert.
Nevertheless, she does not seem to have wanted to live in the house any more. Instead, she moved into the house at 1215 Russell Road left vacant by the death of her mother in 1917.There she was joined by her nephew Charles, a close relationship that would last the rest of her life.
As a Rental
Thereafter the house was used as a rental property. During 1929-33, for example, it was occupied by the Dolphs, Harold, foreman at a pipe organ factory, and Leah, a public school teacher, along with sons Willie, Neville, LaVerne and Preston, and daughter Marjory. They paid $50 per month to Katie Elliott.
The Dolphs were replaced in 1933 by Cora Calder, a 40-year-old widow with her son Humphrey, an auto mechanic and daughter Alma, a waitress. They lived there about three years before moving to Hume Ave, with Cora remarrying a few years later and moving to Newport News.
The departure of Cora Calder paved the way for the longest-serving tenant, Emmie Wood. Emmie had separated from her husband William, who continued to live in Old Town, and moved to 207 East Alexandria in 1937 with their children Clinton, Elizabeth, Sarah, Dorothy, Lucille and Llewellyn. The kids eventually moved out, except Lucille, who neither married nor worked. Emmie continued at the house until her death at the hospital in 1969 at age 84. With that, Lucille moved to East Bellefonte, finally ending over thirty years of the Woods as renters at the Elliott house.
In the meantime, Katie Elliott had moved into Presidential Gardens Apartments, with nephew Charles and his wife in the next door apartment. Katie passed away in Jun 1952 at age 89, leaving all her property, including the house at 207 East Alexandria, to her nephew Charles. He and his wife Evelyn kept the house as a rental unit, finally selling it in February 1974, a total of 56 years for the Elliotts as owners, although only one year as residents.