Battle Creek Furnace in new home!
The house we are going to talk about is now the Schipper Funeral Home, 308 S. Blackstone. It was actually built by Dr. Erwin Godfrey. Both he and his father were medical doctors. Dr. Erwin served the Colon community for nearly 60 years.
From a newspaper article published in the fall of 1885: “Dr. Erwin Godfrey has just taken possession of the elegant house which he has been building this summer. The house is a two story, with Mansard roof, making it a three story house. The upright is 28 X 32, wing for office 18 X 20 with two bay windows, wing for kitchen and sitting room 16 X 20, Mansard roof on both wings. The house contains 16 rooms besides clothes presses and bathrooms. The walls and ceilings are all papered and decorated, the work being done by Messrs. Beers of Matteson and Mickle of Reading. Each room is furnished in natural wood. The parlor and sitting room in Cherry, two office rooms in Butternut, halls and kitchen in Black Oak and the bedrooms in Sycamore. The house is heated by a Battle Creek furnace, every room being warmed. The architect and builder, J. Lovert has planned and built a house that reflects credit on himself and it’s owner. We hope the enterprising Dr. and his family will live many years in the enjoyment of their elegant home.”
Unfortunately it didn’t exactly turn out that way. The wife, Belle, died on October 28, 1888, leaving Dr. Erwin with five children. He did remarry in December of 1889. His new wife, Julia L. Partridge, raised the children and died in January of 1920. Those five children passed away as well. They were Clare Erwin Godfrey, 1875 – 1954, Ina Arabella Godfrey, 1876 – 1970, Joseph Luman Godfrey, 1879 – 1952, Glenn Eugene Godfrey, 1882 – 1964, and Eva Ella Godfrey, 1884 – 1954. The father remarried again in August of 1920 and this third wife outlived him. Dr. Erwin’s funeral was held at the home in 1931. The obituary relates that, “He was one of the first to make use of the bicycle, and for years had a stable of good driving horses which were kept busy night and day speedily taking the Doctor on his rounds of many miles to visit patients. When road conditions were bad before graveled roads were thought of, he made his rounds in a two-wheeled cart. He was one of the first to purchase an automobile in this community, which could not be used to advantage as there were only dirt roads for years after purchasing his first car.”
The son Glenn Godfrey became a dentist in Colon. His office was on the second floor over Citizens Bank, downtown, which unfortunately burned in 2006. Dr. Glenn retired in 1962 and died in November of 1964.