20 Buffalo St.

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West side of street

John Axford, who with brother, William, is said to have built the first store in Clarkston, was the owner of this Greek Revival style building when it was built circa 1852.

This house is an unusual circa 1850 Greek Revival style building with twin broken pediment gable roofed sections facing the street. In 1850 it was owned by John Axford, who with brother William built, the first crude store in 1838. "Soon after, the Axford brothers built a frame house for a store-room." (Heritage pg. 20). The tax records of 1852 cited this lot and the one directly to the west bordering on Main St. as being occupied together for a store and dwelling. So this was one of Clarkston's earliest houses. The 1872 Map of the Village shows the footprint of the house, then, owner Clark Crosby. Crosby was a business owner and a board member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Frank Walter, owner of Frank Walter and Son Dry Goods, 5 S. Main, purchased the home about 1915 and lived there until his death in 1929, when son, Manley, inherited it. Long used as a two family dwelling, the house was converted to single family use in the 1980s. The garage at the rear of the property was also constructed then. Typical of the Midwestern adaptation of the Greek Revival style are the wide entablatures with broken pediments; the low-pitched gable roof; and the front door treatment with engaged pilasters supporting a lintel, and sidelights framing the door.

Official Property Description: 
  • Lot 5 Block 1 of Nelson W. Clark's Original Plat of the Village in the Southeast 1/4 of Section 20 in Independence Township.
  • Lot 46 of the Assessor's Plat.
Significant Property History: 
  • 1831 United States to Butler Holcomb.
  • 1833 Butler Holcomb & wife, Mary, To Roswell/Roosevelt Holcomb, the west 1/2 of the Southeast 1/4 of Section 20.
  • 1833 Butler Holcomb & wife, Mary, To Roswell/Roosevelt Holcomb, and wife, Elvine Holcomb, and Daniel B. Holcomb and wife, Alimira, to Jeremiah Clark, the south part of the west 1/2 of the Southeast 1/4 of Section 20.
  • 1839 Jeremiah Clark to Nelson Washington Clark, the undivided 1/2 of the west 1/2 of the Southeast 1/4 of Section 20 commencing.......
  • 1842 Jeremiah Clark & wife, Polly, to Nelson W. Clark, the south part of the west 1/2 of the Southeast 1/4 of Section 20. Also other land.
  • 1842 Jeremiah Clark & Nelson W. Clark to Village of Clarkston (Original plat of the Village).
  • 1844 William Axford, Lot 5 Block 1, assessed value $200.
  • 1848 William and John Axford, Lot 5 "Block 26" (this is apparently a mistake), assessed value $140.
  • 1850 John Axford, Lot 5, assessed value $200.
  • 1852 John Axford, Lots 5 & 6, "occupied together for store & dwelling".
  • 1860 as above.
  • 1870 Henry Hurst/Hirst, Lots 5 & 6, assessed value $750.
  • 1872 Map of the Village shows the footprint of a building, owner, Clark Crosby.
  • 1915 Frank Walter, Lots 5 & the east 65' of Lot 6.
  • 1926 Frank Walter as above, assessed value $1800.
  • 1929 Frank Walter Estate. Frank died in 1929.
  • 1932 Frank Walter Estate.
  • 1954 Manley Walter. Obit., Clarkston News, 12/9/54.
Architecture Style: