125 13th Ave N 33701

Then and Now — 1929 & 2021 —  125 13th Ave No.

From 1929: “Architectural Beauty; Real Interior Decorating; Superior Modern Plumbing; The interior is most unusual. So are the spacious living rooms and porches. Bedroom and bath downstairs, besides a fine shower off the library. Three master bedrooms and two large, fully-tiled bathrooms and loads of closets upstairs. House faces south – ideal for winter sun. Heated with furnace in basement. All downstairs floors tiled.”

This house was built in the early 1920’s for Rollin T. Reefy who lived there with his wife until they purchased the house at 500 Brightwaters Blvd in 1925. Rollin rented the 13th Ave. house seasonally until it was finally sold in 1932 to Dr. Thomas B. Echard, a physician and surgeon from Pennsylvania, who said he was “particularly attracted to this house by the fine interior decorating, tropical landscaping and the exceptional floor plan.” The sale price of the house at the time (1932 – during the depression) was understood to be $15,000.

Dr. Thomas Buttermore Echard was born Dec. 3, 1877, in Connellsville, Pa. the youngest of 3 children. Tom was schooled in Connellsville and in 1900 was attending medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. While attending medical school Tom met Olive Ivory, a nursing student and the two fell in love. As soon as Tom graduated medical school he and Olive were married (December 18, 1902). They had three children Thomas Jr, Richard and William.

Tom and Olive ran a private hospital in Connellsville, he also served as surgeon for the Frick Coal Co., Pennsylvania Railroad Co., Western Maryland Railroad, and the West Penn Power Co.

In 1922 Tom and his family started visiting St. Pete and having fallen in love with the city decided to relocate here in 1925. They were soon settled, and Tom opened a private practice working his way up to Chief of Staff at Mound Park hospital in 1931 and St. Anthony’s in 1932. Tom was also a surgeon the American Legion Crippled Children’s hospital during its early days.

Thomas B. Echard died on September 24, 1938, at the age of 60. He had not been in good health for the previous two years due to the death of his middle son, Richard, who was attending medical school at University of Virginia. Richard died from an acute blood stream infection at age 25.

Olive stayed in the house until at least 1945 when she moved to Madeira Beach. Olive died on February 25, 1956, at the age of 80. She is buried next to Tom at the Memorial Park Cemetery in St. Pete.

Did you like this article? Please use the convenient links below to share on your favorite social channels! It helps us grow and keep writing.

Follow this thread via email
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.