10 West End Avenue
By Karen Cuccinello
The present owner, Katy Keen, of 10 West End contacted me wondering what I knew about the history of her house, and after looking into it this is what I found. First off, West End Avenue was originally called Division Street so that adds a little extra confusion.
Conflicting information was in the newspapers on who first owned the house. One scenario is that John Wesley Maynard owned it and Hezekiah Avery bought it from him, Wesley may have been the builder. The other is that Hezekiah built it and the other house mentioned was a different one. At any rate Hezekiah and family were in Stamford when Mrs. H. Avery opened a dress making establishment, with a NYC dressmaker, at her home on Division Street in 1874. Hezekiah’s 1897 death record states he was in Stamford for 23 years, also making the year of arrival 1874. In the April 15, 1879 Stamford Mirror Hezekiah Avery has moved from the Squire’s building to the house recently purchased by him and is enlarging and improving the house recently purchased of J. W. Maynard. The Averys were in the Jefferson census reports until 1875, when they were living with Cyrus A. Gibbs and family in Stamford.
Hezekiah (1832-1897) married Louise M. Snyder (1834-1922) about 1858 and they had one daughter Carrie L. (1859 – 1921). The census reports first listed Hezekiah’s occupation as clerk in a dry goods store, a merchant and the Stamford death vitals list him as a salesman. Carrie had a marriage announcement in the December 9, 1881 NYC World newspaper; she married George H. Bancroft (1853-1939) in Stamford. George owned and ran the Bancroft House (boarding house) at the corner of Lake and West Main St. from 1885 to 1900, when it burned down. The Averys were also said to have a house below the Bancroft on West Main. The Bancrofts had at least three children: Louise, Avery and Harold.
The house was then sold to Thomas H. (1836-1925) and Cornelia (Wyckoff 1843-1937) Becker when Hezekiah died in 1897. The Beckers, who came from Roxbury, were married in 1861 and had four daughters: Carrie (1866-1902), Marion B. (1872-1962 Mrs. William C. Platner), Laura E. (1877-1969, married Edward R. Burr in 1933) and Nelle/Nellie W. (1882-1964). The two youngest Becker girls were milliners and members of the Abigail Harper Chapter DAR. Laura and Nellie became owners of the house in 1927. The three sisters often went to St. Petersburg, FL in the winter. I believe Nellie was the last Becker to live in the house.
Laura (Becker) Burr sold the house to Norman Robert (1927-2012) and Jacqueline “Jackie” (Jackson 1930-2020) Swenson, of East Northport, L.I. in 1967. Norman set up a chiropractor’s office in the house where they also raised their four children. Thomas & Frances C. Graig lived and had their first child here in 1976; I suspect they rented an apartment.
Katy bought the house from Swenson about 2010.
Photo from the Stamford Village Library history room. Folks cannot go in the history room currently but if you have any historical questions just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.