24-Owen-Brown-1

This two-story clapboard house was built by an ex-slave, William Branch, who came to Hudson after the Civil War and, in the ensuing years, became a well-known and much beloved fixture on the local scene. He was a drayman and general handyman at Western Reserve College and is fondly remembered by early students. He built several houses in Hudson, including one, later demolished, on the lot directly east of this house.

Branch experienced financial difficulties in the early 1900s and was rescued by James W. Ellsworth, who paid for his admission to a home for aged African Americans in Cleveland. Contemporary newspapers report much remodeling under the Ellsworth ownership. There is evidence that an interior stairway was relocated; the siding in the front gable is not matched with the lower, indicating that the roofline may have been changed to a more classical slope, reminiscent of Greek Revival. The windows on the front facade show signs of alteration.

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