Friday, August 12, 2016

Sears Mortgages of Yonkers, New York - Update

The Official Seal of the City of Yonkers
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Earlier this year, I shared the initial results of my research into Sears mortgages for houses in Yonkers, New York for the time period between 1926 - 1932. Since that time, I've continued to do more research on the mortgages I had not previously connected to a house and a handful of additional ones that I've found since January 2016. As I was working on those mortgages again recently, I thought it would be a good time to share a progress report with updated numbers and a few more examples of houses that I've been able to authenticate using the mortgages.

A few things have changed since my first update on the mortgages back in January.
  1. We discovered another trustee for Sears whose name appears on mortgages in New York. Searching for "F. C. Schaub", I found a handful of additional mortgages in 1932 and 1933.
  2. I found that Westchester County does have an online map for the entire county that was done in 1930 and includes platted subdivisions. This has been a huge help in tying property descriptions, where I have them, to actual addresses. This has allowed me to find houses where the owner information based on the mortgage record led me to a dead end when using resources like Ancestry.
  3. The Fulton History web site contains scanned images of the "Yonkers Statesman" newspaper for most of the years that Sears offered mortgages. Most of the mortgage transactions were reported in the newspaper and include amounts and property descriptions that would only be available otherwise by viewing the actual mortgage documents, which are unavailable online. Combined with the 1930 map from Westchester County, I've been able to track down houses that I hadn't been able to find or match to a specific mortgage. 
38 Page Ave - Yonkers, NY - Sears Kilbourne
Image courtesy of Google Maps
Now on to the numbers. For the time period of 1926 - 1933, there were a total of 74 possible houses that were financed with mortgages (I grouped junior/senior mortgages together). The breakdown by Sears Trustee is:

 - William C. Reed: 28
 - Edwards D. Ford: 42
 - F. C. Schaub: 4

The breakdown of mortgages by year is:

1926: 13
1927: 10
1928: 5
1929: 8
1930: 15
1931: 13
1932: 8
1933: 2

78 Kingston - Yonkers, NY - Sears Barrington
Image courtesy of Google Maps
Of those 74 mortgages, I've been able to locate a total of 43 houses. Here's the breakdown by model:

 Alhambra - 1
 Barrington - 2
 Berwyn - 1
 Brookwood - 1
 Cornell - 3
 Crafton - 1
 Crescent - 1 
 Fullerton - 2
 Garfield - 2
 Kilbourne - 1
 Kimberly - 2
 Lewiston - 1
 Lynnhaven - 1
 Manchester - 3
 Maplewood - 2
 Mitchell - 1
 Norwood - 1
 Rembrandt - 1
 Rodessa - 2
 Somers - 1
 Stanford - 1
 Stratford -1 
 Vallonia -1
 Van Dorn - 1
 Wayne - 1
 Wellington - 3
 Westly - 1
 Wexford - 1 
 Willard - 1 
 Winona - 2

17 Joan - Yonkers, NY - Sears Wayne
Image courtesy of the City of Yonkers, NY
Of the remaining 31 mortgages, there's a handful that are probables but I haven't been able to confirm that the mortgage matches the house. A couple of mortgages came back to locations where a Sears house, if it had been built there, is no longer present. Of the rest, I haven't been able to match the mortgage name to a location. Unfortunately, I don't have easy access to the property description and I haven't been able to find one for those mortgages. But I'll keep plugging away as resources become available. Hopefully, over time, I'll be able to track down the remaining mortgages. When I do, I'll post another update.

Update (8/15/2016): Added Van Dorn and revised numbers
Update (8/16/2016): Added another Kimberly and revised numbers

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