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THE HENRY MALLOY HOUSE Built c. 1884 / 1885; "I" style, Queen Anne influence elaborately jig-sawed tracery at each gable and monogram on front porch: John M. Henry established the Monticello Power Co., operated a lumber mill and sales yard, and was a member of the city council for 18 years.  His Uncle was the first governor of the State of Florida.  The home was purchased from the great granddaughter of the original owner.  The home has never been sold before and has been in the family for five generations.  Originally the addition to the left side of the home was a large hall that hosted dances in the late 1800's.  The back porches have all been enclosed over the years to add space to the interior of the home.  Early in the 20th century the home was split into three apartments, with the granddaughter of the owner living in the lower left wing until 2007.

We have worked hard to make sure the home retains its original charm while adding items that are required for modern 21st century living. 

The full original family history of the Henry's and Malloy's can be found HERE!

Excepts about the home and the area from the family history are below.

Mammy and Granddaddy’s Home

"One item found in Granddaddy’s  safe was the 1881 deed to the town lot on which he built his house, a block west of his lumber mill and office.  The street west of the house bears his last name and is still unpaved, thanks to Rosa Lee and Henry who wouldn't let the city cut down the beautiful old oak tree to pave the street.  The Historical Association estimated this house was built about 1885.  Mama said she and Robert were born in town; the others were born at the lake.  Phena was born April 17, 1885, and Robert, June 17, 1888.  So the house was built between their birth dates, possibly in 1885 after Phena’s birth.  It  has been described as “ ‘I’ style, Queen Ann influence; elaborately jig-sawed tracery at each gable; monogrammed on the front porch.” (Plaque on door says “J.M. Henry”.)

Nov.6, 2001: The census report of 1880 listed Granddaddy, Mammy and his brother, Matthew; so they must have lived together at the lake then, the year after they married. (Mama once told us her Mama didn’t like Matthew.)  Listed also was a Charles, Jr., 3 months old.  This had to have been John, Jr., who was born in 1880.  A child named Charles would not have been a junior.  

I still have memories, dim and half hidden by the more than seven decades that have passed since I was a child in my grandparents’ home.  I was too young when they died to remember much about  them or the house.  Mama said she was born in the upstairs southwest bedroom, the same one both Henry and I were born in, and we now believe that Jo was born there, too.  She and I always thought she was born at the “Old Sloan Place”, as they called the house where Mama and Daddy lived for several years after they married.  (The two story frame house on the SE corner of Rhodes and E. Pearl Street, two blocks from the old mill office on Railroad Street.)  Henry, who lived with Mammy and Granddaddy, of course, went to school the morning after Jo was born and told his teacher that “Sister”(Mama) had a terrible stomachache last night!  Jo said Mama told her this.   

I had assumed that Daddy sold the Sloan house when our house was built in “East End.”  But I recently read in a “Years Ago” column from the Monticello News, that Homer Rainey bought the Sloan house in 1924 from Sheriff Allmon who had recently bought it from Louis Morris!  Mama said we moved into our new house when I was about six months old in 1926.  Jo has no memories of living in the Sloan house, but she was only two years old when they sold it.  They must have lived with our grandparents from 1924 until after I was born in 1926.   We never thought to ask! 

Jo remembers walking to Uncle Dan Malloy’s store to get bananas with Nell Stelts, who lived across the street from Mammy in a house no longer there.  Mama told us that Jo got very sick, they thought from eating many over-ripe bananas, and that Nell didn’t get sick; so Jo must not have given her many!  (Granddaddy owned everything between his house and Dan’s store; so they were safe.  Today, it might be a different story.)    

A white picket fence surrounded Mammy and Granddaddy's entire lot, and we liked to swing on the gate to the back yard.  Mama was upset when people, who later rented the house, took down the fence, and cows got in and ate up Mammy's  flowers.  She mentioned a pretty lilac bush which Jo remembers.  There was a barn on the eastern side of the lot, which has been a wooded area for many years, and in the barnyard was a large metal container I thought looked like an upside down helmet.  It must have been a syrup vat used to hold water for the animals.  (It’s strange - the things we remember!)

  Mama and Phena both had horses and rode side saddle, she said. (I would like to have seen them.)  An old grey mule, Norman, who, when younger, had hauled logs out of the woods, was moved out to our house after our grandparents died.  Our yard man, James Ford (“Uncle Ford”) used to let Jo and me ride on the mule sometimes, or in the wagon.  He hauled garbage and leaves, etc. to the dump site in the pecan grove north of Mama and Daddy's.  Norman would head back to the barn lot the instant you let go of the reins!  When Ulmer and I built our first house in 1955, and our present house in 1965, both near that dump site, a bulldozer dug big holes, pushed the remains of the dump in and buried it. We have found cobalt blue bottles that are now antiques, glass and china fragments and other interesting things in our back yard soil.  Carolyn Bassett, who lived next door, said it was in their yard, too. (Carolyn and Wilmer bought their lot from Mama and built their house about three or four years before we built our first one.)       

Inside the Henry house, I was impressed by the beautiful spiral staircase in the entry hall and the pretty front doors with “J.M. Henry” on them..  I have always loved the beautiful turquoise tiles in the living room fireplace.  Mama said her father made a big addition to their dining room so they could have big dances at home.  I remember looking into that room once and  thinking it was huge!  Ulmer's uncle, Hampton Miller, said he went to a dance there, apparently one Henry hosted.  Rosa Lee told us there had been a raised portion, for an orchestra, at the east end of the dining room.  They converted that one room into a hall and two large bedrooms, for them and their daughter, Josephine.  The kitchen was made into another bedroom and bath, opening into the hall. The back porch, with a little extension, became a new dining room, a new kitchen and breakfast nook.  They rented out the other apartments in the house.  Rosa Lee still has two renters, but she says she never sees them.        

A few scenes from early childhood remain with me.  Jo and a cousin, Sara Kuder, were up in a big fig tree in the back yard eating figs.  I asked for some, and they told me “the white stuff in the fig skins is poison”.  I didn’t question how they were able to keep eating them.          

I recall riding a tricycle on the paved driveway west of the house under the porte-co-chere which is no longer there.  It was built, I suppose, after they bought a car.  They also had a garage on the southwest corner of the lot where Jo and I delighted in “driving their car to Chicago”.  We  would  say, “Chicken in the car (pronounced cah, no doubt) and the car won't go to Chicago!”  And we thought it was hilarious! (Though I never knew why)  The car was a grey Studebaker, I believe, and it was very fancy with a gear stick handle that looked like mother-of-pearl, or perhaps marble.  It had window shades with tassels, and the horn sounded “Oo-gah.” 

After our grandparents died, the car was parked on mill property, just across the railroad tracks on the north side of Pearl Street, where it slowly deteriorated.   Jo and I played in it there, too, when we were at Daddy’s office.  It seems (but I don’t know WHY) no one could use it until the estate was settled eight years later.  People stole parts from it, and it was never used again.  How sad that it sat there all that time and disappeared.  It would be worth a lot now - in its original condition, but the monetary value would be insignificant compared to the sentimental value.  When I drive past there, sometimes I seem to see it still sitting in the edge of the wooded area, just off the sidewalk.  Once while taking a walk along there, Ulmer and I looked into that area and could not see anything.  Since 1931, anything left from the car would be buried beneath the remnants of many autumns.          Once while visiting Mammy in her southwest corner bedroom, I whispered to Mama - probably that I wanted a cookie or something sweet.  Mammy got up from her rocker and took me through the bedroom door onto the back porch, which spread across the rear of the house to the kitchen where it turned south making an “L”shaped porch.  Near the bedroom door was a cupboard or hutch from which she got something sweet.  Mama said Mammy once was “struck by lightning” on this porch.  (Maybe she was stunned when it struck nearby.)

I remember Mammy sitting in her rocker sewing or doing some kind of hand work.  Jo remembers two beds in this room for Mammy and Granddaddy, but Mammy was moved into the adjoining room on the northwest corner just before she died.  Mama took us to see her there.

  When indoor plumbing became available, a bay was added on the south side of their bedroom for a bathroom. Years later, a fire damaged the beautiful Victorian carvings and no one could restore the “gingerbread.”  A bath was also added on the upstairs back porch.  Mama said Henry would step through his bedroom window to get to the bathroom  instead of using the porch door in the hall.

 "Granddaddy and Bubba built the city’s first power plant, and Bubba was in charge of its operation.  He was listed on a census as “stationary engineer.”  He was, no doubt, involved in many other business ventures with his father. 

Bubba’s house was built a little southwest of ours in East End, as the neighborhood was called.  Rosa Lee, widow of Cousin Henry Malloy, thought it was built about 1928.  She said we were already living in our house, built in 1926, when Bubba built theirs.  I asked Myrtle, but she only remembered that she was in high school when they moved into the house.  She would have been fourteen in 1928.  I was impressed with their house - with the furnace, the vents in the pretty wood floor, and a bathroom on the back porch for the maid!  I still remember the living room mantle with something beautiful on it which caught the eye of this four year old girl.

 

Years ago, Jo and I found, in Daddy’s safe, which had been Granddaddy’s, a receipt from Jefferson Sales Company, dated 2-25-1930, made out to Mrs. J.M. Henry, Sr., for a Ford, Model “A” Sport Coupe, $550; 1 set bumpers, $15; accessories, $21; Freight and Delivery, $80; Gas, oil and grease, $5.46, total, $651.46.  Credited was a Ford Model “A” Sport Roadster valued $350, and a check for $301.46 in payment for the new car.  These must have been Henry’s cars.  The stationery advertised  “Ford - the universal car, Fordson, and tractors,” and J.W. Pate, owner of the Ford dealership.

Also found in the safe, on J.M. Henry Lumber Company stationary, was a note written in unsteady handwriting: “J.M. Henry, Jr. to have the grove between Lizzie and highway; Lizzie gets the 10 acres she is living on; Henry Malloy gets Brick Store on lot 40 x 80 ft. and old home after Mrs. Henry’s death.”  The brick store referred to was the two-story building Granddaddy built in 1924 where Uncle Dan Malloy had his grocery store, on the northwest corner of Railroad and Dogwood streets.  The paper is not dated.  I thought at first that it was written not long before Granddaddy died, but he refers to J.M. Henry, Jr., who died the year before Granddaddy did.  Granddaddy did not leave a will.    

Property records show that John and Josephine Henry gave to Elizabeth H. Morris our home property (29-2N-5) on March 10, 1931, and also gave to Myrtle J. and Myrtle S. Henry their property on the same date.  Bubba had died a  year earlier.  Both houses were built before Mama and Bubba owned the land they were built on.   “The home property” (Lot 18 Wirick Addition E) which they gave to Henry was recorded Dec. 29, 1931, two days after Granddaddy died.  Rosa Lee said Henry told her that several of Granddaddy’s friends urged him to deed the house to Henry.  Aunt Lester said Daddy made arrangements, and Granddaddy’s signature was notarized at our house not long before he died.                 

For several years after Mammy and Granddaddy died, Henry lived with us, in the large back bedroom.  I have a mental snapshot of him, face down on his bed, in his underwear, with a big fan blowing right on him on a hot summer afternoon.  Jo remembers how they hurried to school in his car, with her crying because they were late, and how her crying upset him.  He was busy coming and going, involved in many activities, very interested in sports, music and automobiles.  In his room were various pieces of sports equipment and uniforms, and a handsome photo of him holding an alto saxophone.

 Our grandparents’ home was occupied by renters for a few years.  Then Henry divided it into apartments and took one for himself.  In 1941, he married Rosa Lee Malloy, a beautiful girl with blond hair, blue eyes and a lovely personality.  They moved into the large downstairs east apartment after their daughter, Josephine (Jo), was born.  They were active in our church where both served as deacons.   

  Granddaddy built the first power plant with John, Jr.  In his safe, we found a bill of sale, dated May12, 1914, signed by John, Jr. and written on Monticello Power Company stationary which advertised “Light and Water”.  I didn’t know what was meant by the “water” on the stationery until I read about his being in charge of the water works system.  The price was to be between $19,000 and $20,000; the purchaser was Solomon Norcross Company.  

October, 2001: The above mentioned sale was not final.  We found in county records that on Jan. 31, 1919, for the price of $2000, John and Josephine Henry sold to the town of Monticello, Lot 3, Block 15, ...“being the lot of land upon which is situated the electric light plant operated by J.M. Henry, Jr.”  (“Elizabeth Henry” was a witness.  She was using her maiden name again, and she would marry Daddy later that year.)  So Bubba still had the electric plant four years after the above bill of sale to Solomon Norcross was written. 

Then on Feb. 11, 1927, John and Josephine sold “to the Jefferson County Power Co., a corporation created and existing under the laws of the state of Maryland, for $10 and other good and valuable considerations,”  the adjoining lot in Block 15.  The deed also states that the buyer had acquired Lot 3, which Granddaddy had sold to the town in 1919.  (On this same Block 15, Bubba had sold Lot 2 to the town on Jan. 13, 1899.)  This large block had several places of business on it, including Granddaddy’s office and warehouses on the northeast quarter.  Granddaddy built Dan Malloy’s grocery store on the southeast corner in 1924.             

On the sidewalk on the south side of the old power plant building on Dogwood Street, the name, HENRY, is written in the cement with the date, 1926.  I saw it many times walking from school to Daddy's office, and just a few years ago I took a picture of it.  Rosa Lee said she and Myrtle wrote in the wet cement when the sidewalks were paved; so they must have written the name.   

Bubba’s two story Victorian house was moved so the power plant could be built on that site.  The house was relocated on the corner lot east of Mammy and Granddaddy’s house, facing north on High Street.  Later, of course, Bubba built their new house near ours in East End.  The power plant building and Bubba’s old High Street house are still standing but in need of repair.  .

Feb. 2001:  I learned at a meeting of the Historical Association that two deep wells had been dug, one inside the ice plant and one outside it, from which water was pumped to the city water tank up the hill in the intersection of Cherry and Pearl streets.  (I have often heard that city water comes from an artesian well.)  Don Anderson, city manager, had read this in old minutes of the City Commission meetings.  He said John Henry was a city commissioner actively involved in many things.  (The ice plant was in the same building as the power company, and now it is occupied by Stokley’s Pecan Company.  For many years the power plant was used by Florida Power Corporation.)  

Ulmer and I found in an old newspaper, in the state library in Tallahassee, an account of the fire at a mill Granddaddy owned near Lloyd.  The boiler had burst and killed two men.  He and John, Jr. took Dr. Williams with them and rushed out there to care for those hurt.  They “would spare no expense and do all they could to see that the families were taken care of.” 

Nothing of J.M. Henry Lumber Company remains today except the dry kiln, hiding under its new exterior, revealing nothing about the mill which once dominated that area of town.  The mill whistle announced the beginning and ending of the work day, and the noon hour.  Building materials were supplied to the community and shipped to far distant places.  The mill offered jobs and homes to a large number of people for many years.  Passing the site today, however, one would never guess that a big lumber mill and building supply company were ever there.  When I glance over that way in passing, I seem to see it still tucked away under the big oaks

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Address Information

525 East High Street
Monticello, Florida 32344

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Please feel free to call Pat Inmon, the Innkeeper of both the John Denham House and the JM Herny House

8:00AM to 7:00PM
Monday through Saturday

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p_inmon@yahoo.com
Tel. 850-997-4568

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