340 N. Bever St., Wooster, Ohio

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The house at 340 N. Bever St. was built in 1859 by property owner Charles Gasche. Photograph by S. Zimmerman

The house located at 340 N. Bever St. holds the distinction of being the first house built along the Historic Founders' Row section of N. Bever St. by Charles Gasche. Property tax records show the property value increased to $1,250 in 1860 indicating the house was likely built sometime in 1859. Furthermore, the local newspaper, Wooster Republican reports it was constructed in 1859:

A short distance south-west of MR. PIERSON, on another street, and fronting to the east, is the substantial and handsome two story brick dwelling of Mr. CHARLES GASCHE, put up within a few months past. It is built in the gothic style, and presents a very fine appearance from the east. It is large, and when finished, will be a very commodious, plain and substantial dwelling. We are not posted as to the plan and work inside. MR. GASCHE did the wood work, the draught being made by MR. WHIT–.

—Author Unknown, 

A brick addition was added to the original house sometime between 1864 to 1865 as the reported property value in the tax records increased to $1,650 in 1865 and a local newspaper article from 1868 reported that Gasche added an addition to his house at a cost of $1,300 within the last three years. The house is registered on the National Register of Historic Places: reference number 88003192.

The Gasche House has a unique architectural history. It is a fine example of the Downing ideal identifiable by the center gabled roof and Greek cross layout. The foundation is comprised of smooth ashlar with cut stone. The double hung windows have segmental lintels and plain lug sills. Brackets not common to other homes of this time period, appear in the caves of the center gable. The center front gable, projecting bay, and steeply pitched roof are very Gothic while the arch windows, arch doorway, window crowns and brackets under the gable are Italianate. The barn in the rear was reportedly used as a printing shop for Wooster's first newspaper.

The Commemorative Biographical Record of Wayne County, Ohio, published in 1889 stated that Mr. Gasche was self-made. He was enterprising, and started with a determination to succeed. Soon after coming to Wooster he was afflicted with rheumatism, and while compelled to go on crutches, often hobbling before daylight to his bench, he would work all day, sometimes on a scanty dinner. But he struggled on, and, encouraged and aided by his devoted wife, he made a marked success, and was one of the best known and highly respected citizens of Wayne County, in whose advancement he has been a potent factor.

In 1905 the home was sold to John W. Ames and the front porch was added. The Ames' daughter, Marjorie Ames, lived in the home until a month before her death in 1985. Then, James and Josephine Howey purchased the house. In the house's 158 years of existence there have only been 5 owners: Charles Gasche, Ames family members, James and Josephine Howey, John and Lauresa Durham, and Marsha Blum. The Howeys opened the home as a Bed and Breakfast in 1986 and it is still operating as such to this day.--Information provided by: Historic Founders' Row Association

Charles Gasche was born in Wetzlar, Kingdom of Prussia, June 10, 1810. His father was a surgeon in his native land, and was also named Charles, sometimes refered to as Carl Gasche, and was married to Catherine Eisengarth. Dr. Charles Gasche came with his family to the United States in June, 1833. They are listed on the passenger arrivals at the Port of Baltimore for the quarter ending June 30, 1833. After arrival the family first located in York, Pennsylvania, then moved to Holmes County, Ohio arriving in October of 1835 and located on an 80-acre farm which his sons helped to clear. Dr. Charles Gasche and his wife Catherine had at least seven children:

  • William H. GASCHE
  • Gotlieb GASCHE b: 1816 in Prussia
  • George GASCHE b: 1 May 1819 in Wetzlar, Prussia
  • Conrad GASCHE
  • Mary GASCHE
  • Philip Jacob GASCHE b: 1807 in Wetzlar, Prussia
  • Charles GASCHE b: 10 Jun 1810 in Wetzlar, Prussia

Charles Gasche, the builder of the house at 340 N. Bever St., was a master carpenter, well known for creating beautiful staircases, was living in Wooster, Ohio with his wife Barbara (Minich) and children:

  • Catherine Gasche who later married Ernest Thomen
  • Anna Gasche who later married Frederick Aumann
  • Charles C. Gasche Civil War soldier fresco artist
  • Frederick W. Gasche Millersburg, Ohio
  • Julius Gasche farmer in Holmes Co. Ohio
  • Natalie (Nettie) M. Gasche who later married Prof. Collins, of Oxford, Ohio

Wayne County Recorder Property Transfers

  • 1814: John Bever To John Sloane Vol. 1 p.131 R13, T15, S4 PSE (later numbered Lots 11 & 13) $800
  • 1856: R.B. Stibbs (Executor for John Sloane Estate) To Christian Eyster Vol. 46 p.537 Old Lot No. 13 $334 at Public Auction
  • 1857: Christian Eyster To John A. Anderson Vol. 46 p.539 Old Lot No. 13 $400
  • 1858: John A. Anderson To Charles Gasche* Vol. 48 p.397 Part of Old Lot No. 13 $500

* Note: The Recorders Index misidentifies Charles as "Christ Gasche" but it is "Charles Gasche" on actual Deed of Record. The deed also explains that Old Lot No. 13 (Sloane's Lot) was subdivided into seven parcels by John Anderson and Charles Gasche bought parcel number 7.

Old Lot No. 13 Subdivided
1 2 3 A
4 5 6 B

Furthermore, in 1871 Charles Gasche made an official agreement with the City of Wooster to grant the City with the privilege of keeping and maintaining the reservoir erected by the City on Gasche's premises on the east side of N. Buckeye street and in return Gasche had the privilege to tap water pipes or supply of water, by any means, at any quantity he desires on the premises occupied by Gasche on the west side of N. Bever street for as long as the City continues to conduct such supply of water along N. Bever street. Perpetual water for Gasche, heirs, and assigns.--Reference: Record of Leases Vol. 1 p.382-383

  • 1905: Charles Gasche Executor etal To John W. Ames Vol. 152 p.33 (1870 Renumbered) Lot 1616 $4,000
  • 1986: Marjorie Ames To James Howey, Josephine Howey Lot 1616
  • 1994: James Howey, Josephine Howey To John R. Durham & Lauresa A. Durham Lot 1616 $142,000
  • 2006: John R. Durham & Lauresa A. Durham To Marcia K. Blum Lot 1616 $199,900
  • 2017: Marcia K. Blum To William C. Everett & Genivieve D. Everett Lot 1616 $225,000

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