Ohio History Journal

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Doctor S

Doctor S. P. Hildreth and His Home



In his chapter on "Ohio's Taste in Houses" in The Buckeye

Country, Harlan H. Hatcher writes: "Marietta has the Hildreth

House with the design of its striking arched and columned doorway

reproduced in the second and third story windows above it; the

Exchange Hotel with the same feature; and the Mills House, built

in 1820, with its unique steps and iron railing."1

Actually, the old Exchange Hotel, its days of renown long since

gone, was finished off by flood and fire in 1937, before Dr. Hatcher's

book appeared in print. The Mills House was in the same year,

more fortunately, given a promising renaissance as a result of its

acquisition by Marietta College. Remodeled to serve as the pres-

ident's residence, it presents a charming scene on its elevated site

across from the campus, continuing to reflect "Ohio's [good] Taste

in Houses." As for the Hildreth House, a commercialized structure

in downtown Marietta since early in this century, it entered into the

uncertain state of involvement in a property partition suit in the

spring of 1954.2

It is referred to as the Hildreth House less frequently and by

fewer Mariettans than in former years. A dry-cleaning business

occupies one side of the ground floor. The other side has the office

and sales room of an automobile service establishment, which ex-

tends into a repair garage attached at the rear of the original build-

ing and covering most of the balance of the lot. Dental offices are

on the second floor and an apartment on the third. The central

doorway with sidelights and fanlight, the side doorway of classical

style and proportions, and the windows above the non-conforming


* Erman Dean Southwick is a resident of Marietta, where he is associate editor

of the Marietta Daily Times.

1 Harlan H. Hatcher, The Buckeye Country: A Pageant of Ohio (rev. ed., New

York, 1947), 222.

2 Washington County Court of Common Pleas, Nellie B. Swartz v. Howard G.

Buckley, et al., Case No. 23343. (Since the foregoing was written, the house has

been sold at sheriff's sale to Washington County. It is tentatively planned to use the

main portion of the building for county offices.)