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Morris house gets Heritage Home designation

Brittany Lair and Jacob Lawson are awarded a Heritage Home plaque for their home 
at 310 E. Jefferson St. in Morris.
Brittany Lair and Jacob Lawson are awarded a Heritage Home plaque for their home at 310 E. Jefferson St. in Morris.

MORRIS – The latest Heritage Home to be recognized by Morris Downtown Development Partnership is a classic bungalow with an interesting ownership story.

In 1900 Henry Kutz, chief of what was then the Morris Fire Department, built his home at 310 E. Jefferson St. That house burned in 1919 when attorney C. F. Hansen was the owner, according to a press release. He thought he had insurance, but it had lapsed one week prior to the fire. Hansen was upstairs at the time of the fire, one fireman was badly injured during his rescue, but Hansen died anyway a week later. His widow rebuilt the current house on the original foundation.

At some point in time this house was converted into two apartments, with two separate entrances and another kitchen and bath upstairs. George and Brenda Dergo were among the tenants living there.

In 2005 a new owner, Anthony Conant, restored the house back to a single-family dwelling. Brittany Lair and Jacob Lawson bought the house from him last fall. Now they share an alley backyard with their old friends, the Dergos.

Another bungalow style home, 321 W. North St., owned by Tim and Karen Ortiz, also has been given a plaque. Built in 1894, it also has pocket doors.

The Robert Peacock house on 313 E. Main St. has also been awarded a plaque this year. This one is Greek Revival, built ca. 1856, with brick walls that are 10 inches thick. Narrow wood clapboard siding was applied later. It’s a classic architectural example from that era, according to the release. The two-story gable remains, also the single light paneled door, double hung windows, boxed cornice, bed molding, and plain wide frieze board.

The Heritage Home plaque project was started 10 years ago by Morris Downtown Development Partnership as a way to identify, recognize and preserve historic homes within the Morris city limits.

To qualify for a plaque, the house must be 75 years or older, in good condition, and have historical and architectural significance. The plaque is paid for in part by MDDP. The homeowner’s cost is $40. Forty plaques have been awarded to date.

Applications and color brochures describing each home are available at the MDDP Office, 105 E. Main St., Suite 201, and at the Morris Area Public Library.

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