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Allen County, Indiana Genealogy
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Omer Yaste House
The Omer Yaste home is for sale. This beautiful house on an acre of property is perfect for anyone wanting space to spread out while also enjoying the culture of the ’07 and southside. This home plays a part in a larger story, perhaps one unknown to many of you. The story revolves around patents, electric works, millions of dollars, the Statue of Liberty, and the formation of Woodhurst itself. Read on to learn more, and check out the link below if you are interested in moving to this beautiful home.
Today’s story begins where another one ends. The Yaste family farm was originally what is today much of Woodhurst. Jacob and Emma built a home for their son, right next to their own home, at 5310 Fairfield Avenue in the late 1920s/early 1930s. Unfortunately, the Great Depression set in, and Jacob passed away in 1936. At that time, the Yaste family farm was sold off along with the home at 5310 Fairfield Avenue.
The eventual owner of this farmland was Nellie B. Wood. Born in Ohio in 1896, she married one of the wealthiest individuals in Fort Wayne, James J. Wood. When they married, she was only 19, and James was 30 years older and on his third marriage. Nellie had recently come to Fort Wayne to work for a magazine. Although even her parents were unaware of the wedding, James had a storied and lucrative career as an inventor.
James, born in Ireland, came to the United States in the 1860s. Wasting no time, he patented his first invention at 24 and went on to have 240 patents. Putting that into context, the great Thomas Edison had 1,000 patents. James was so prolific that at the age of 29, he was responsible for installing the first floodlight system for the Statue of Liberty! In the late 1880s, he, along with his company, moved to Fort Wayne, ultimately becoming a part of the Fort Wayne Electric Light company. Wood became the factory manager and continued producing inventions for many years.
By 1928, he was 72, married to Nellie, and had lung issues. His wealth allowed him to seek what was then world-class healthcare in Asheville, NC. Based on the “climatic theory” that Asheville had the altitude, atmosphere, and climate to heal tuberculosis, the area became one of the nation’s best-known centers for treating TB and an internationally recognized center of treatment and research for TB lasting more than 50 years. Unfortunately, James passed away in Asheville, leaving his vast properties and wealth to Nellie and his children.
Perhaps the following might give you an idea of his wealth. In his will, he left the equivalent of a $250,000 trust fund for his brother, a $500,000 trust fund for his sister, and 1/3rd of everything else to Nellie. His wealth allowed his first wife to stay in New York City hotels, not moving to Fort Wayne, such as the expensive Astor Hotel. Part of this expansive estate included the Yaste farm, bringing us back to the home at 5310 Fairfield. While Nellie lived downtown in a beautiful and vast mansion (at the corner of Clay and Main), she owned the farmland that ultimately became Woodhurst. Copied from an October 1, 2022 post byHistoric 07 District - Fort Wayne on Facebook.
A few photos posted August 6, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
Young's Greenhouse and Flower Shop
Website: www.youngsgreenhouseandflowers.com, Facebook page, in January 2015 moved to 5867 Lake Avenue, after 142 years at 4131 N. Clinton. Florist moves after 142 years photo and mention in January 24, 2015
The Journal Gazette newspaper. Family owned since 1873 for 5 generations, 140th anniversary was on January 1, 2013.
I believe we’re the oldest greenhouse in the city of Fort Wayne, and probably Allen County, Blake Young said from Greenhouse greets a reluctant spring originally published April 12, 2013 in the fwsdailynews.com. Blake's father and former owner Kenneth Blake "KB" Young II February 16, 1951 - February 23, 2015 obituary at Hockemeyer & Miller Funeral Home,
Photo of the YWCA building on West Wayne just east of Webster Street constructed in 1913 and leveled in 1977 posted May 31, 2018 on Fort Wayne Food Tours on Facebook. The main
Allen County Public Librarynow occupies this space. Young Women's Christian Association -
Industrial Girls, a Boomtown, and the YWCA by Peggy Seigel published March 5, 2012 in the
History Center Notes & Queries blog
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