626 15th Ave NE 33704

Then and Now — 1935 & 2022626 15th Ave NE

From 1935: “One of the finest homes in North Shore. Brick construction with 99-year roof. 4 bedrooms, large living and dining room, screened porch. GE heating system, also GE stove and refrigerator. Completely furnished. Beautifully landscaped lot. Extra low price for limited time.”

This home, built in 1925, was originally purchased in 1926 by Wylie and Daisy McDowell. Wylie Isaiah McDowell was born on February 25, 1857, in Wolf Creek PA, the 4th of 5 children. His father was a farmer. Wylie was schooled in Wolf Creek but upon graduating High School moved to Edenburg PA where took a job as a bookkeeper. Wylie had a pension for business and an entrepreneurial desire, so in 1880 he left Edenburg and headed to Knox PA where he set up a Hardware Store. It wasn’t long before he became a member of First Presbyterian Church in Knox, where he would ultimately spend 56 years and serving as an elder, superintendent of the Sunday School and head of the men’s bible class.

On February 10, 1892, Wylie married Ms. Mary Elisabeth ‘Daisy’ Byers, she was 22 and he 35. This was a first marriage for both. They had one son, Donald, born in 1895.

In about 1917 Wylie retired from the Hardware business and took a position as President of the Knox Glass Bottle Co., a position he held until health issues made it necessary for him to resign in 1934.

Wylie and Daisy began wintering in St. Pete during the boom years and in 1926 purchased this featured house, which was at that time, brand new. Wylie would keep busy during the winter months by speculating in vacant lots in St. Pete, he purchased many pieces of land that he would sell before he left to return to Knox. Such was the rapid turn over of property in St. Pete during the boom years. Walter Fuller was to say that a person could purchase a lot one day and sell it the next with a tidy profit.

In 1934, Wylie began to have health issues, and not only did he have to resign his position as President of the Bottle Co., but he also had to sell this house as a return trip to St. Pete in 1935 would be out of the question. Wylie died on October 22, 1936, in Knox PA., he was 79 years old. He was buried at Knox Union Cemetery. Daisy lived another 27 years, outliving her son Donald who died in 1962 at age 67. Daisy passed away at age 93 on April 5, 1963 and is buried next to Wylie.

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