Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sears Mortgages of Yonkers, New York - The Early Years

The Official Seal of the City of Yonkers
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
After completing my first round of searches for Sears mortgages in Yonkers, NY for the years starting with 1926, I turned my attention to the previous set of mortgage records which covered from 1918 - 1925. While there are not as many Sears mortgages in this time period, I've still been able to track down a number of houses from these records. As with the later mortgages, this is still a work in progress but I thought it would be helpful to share the numbers on the houses that have been found so far along with a few examples. Let's take a look at the numbers.

Unlike the mortgages from 1926 - 1933 that were recorded by three different Sears trustees, almost all of the mortgages issued during this time period were done by William C. Reed. Following a pattern we have seen in other states, Walker O. Lewis appeared on the earliest mortgages, the oldest which dates back to June 1920. Starting in 1922 and continuing through 1925 when this group of mortgage records ends, William C. Reed appeared on all of the mortgages. The specific numbers are:

- Walker O. Lewis: 4
- William C. Reed: 34

205 Westchester - Yonkers, NY - Sears Gladstone
Image courtesy of Google Maps
The breakdown of mortgages by year is:

1920: 1
1921: 3
1922: 4
1923: 7
1924: 10
1925: 14

75 Sedgewick - Yonkers, NY - Sears Vallonia
Image courtesy of the City of Yonkers
Of those 39 mortgages, I've been able to locate and identify 21 houses. Here's the breakdown by model:

Americus - 3
Betsy Ross - 1
Gladstone - 2
Homewood - 1
Langston - 1
Marina - 1
Puritan - 2
Rodessa - 1
Starlight - 2
Vallonia - 3
Wellington - 2
Whitehall - 1
Windsor - 1

9 Spencer Pl - Yonkers, NY - Sears Puritan
Image courtesy of the City of Yonkers
Of the mortgages that remain to be matched to houses, I know that several are for lots that are now vacant or where whatever house may have been there originally has been replaced. It's likely that some of the houses have already been identified and just need to be matched up with the mortgage. As I have time and access to resources, I'll continue to work on tracking down the rest. As I do, I'll post another update.

Update (8/15/2016): Added Homewood to the list and revised numbers

Know of any Sears houses or any other kit houses in Yonkers? Let us know in the comments!

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