Then and Now — 1927 & 2022 — 744 35th Ave No. (Allendale)
From 1927: “A Gentleman’s home In Beautiful Allendale – There is nothing finer in the city than this new home. It is built of reinforced concrete, very dignified and imposing in appearance and occupies a commanding location one block from streetcar. All floors are solid oak. Drive into the garage and walk upstairs into the house, no exposure to weather. HOUSE ELECTRICALLY EQUIPPED THROUGHOUT with the best and latest for heating, refrigeration, etc. Large rooms, with every facility and feature to make them comfortable and attractive. The finest granite fireplace you ever saw, with delightful sun parlor to be an accomplice to this fireplace. Every room is electrically heated. Delightful and commodious refrigerating plant, many built-in features. In fact, there is nothing lacking in this home. Bath and shower real tile work. The house was built by the owner for his home, so is of genuine materials and finest workmanship. It is beautifully furnished with new goods. You never saw a more complete home than this and occupies a lot 60 X 116. Sold at Auction by Noel A. Mitchell, Auctioneer.
This house was originally owned (1927 – 1935) by Dr. Clara Belle (Addleman) Hooper, a homeopathic doctor. Clara was born on June 7, 1864, in Richmond Indiana. On September 5, 1882 (at age 18) she married Clement H. Hooper in Athens, Ohio. And they had an only daughter, Juanita on July 10, 1883. The marriage ended in divorce, as listed in the 1900 census. After that Clara listed herself as a ‘widow’, likely due to the stigma at the time of being a divorced woman. Clement remarried in 1911, however he died in 1917 of pneumonia. Clara began coming to St. Pete in about 1915, likely for the many reports of the healthiness of this city that were being sent north. She wintered here and every summer would leave for Glen Arbor Michigan where she would open the Glen Eden Hotel for the season. She believed in lots of fresh air and good wholesome food.
In 1927 Clara purchased this featured house in Allendale at auction, she was 63 and retired. She lived in this house until financial situations, and the size of the home, made it necessary for her to place it on the market. For the next 8 years Clara would be a boarder at other homes in St. Pete. Clara died on July 29, 1943, while summering in Glen Arbor, she was 79.
The house was purchased from Clara in 1935 by Dr. Ernest A. ‘Dick’ Ray and his wife Irene for $7,500. Dick was a local dentist who was born on February 24, 1896, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the 7th of 8 children, his father was a factory machinist. Dick attended local schools in Atlanta and graduated from Southern Dental College in that town. On June 5, 1917, at age 21, Dick registered with the Army (WWI) and was listed as a dentist. On July 24, 1918, he married Ms. Irene Hazel Couch, just two weeks before being called up as a Lieutenant in the medical Corp and leaving for the war in France. Dick was away overseas until May 1919 when he returned home to Irene who had been waiting for him for nine months. Their only child, Betty, was born in 1922. In 1926 Dick and Irene decided to move to St. Pete where he would set up a private dental practice.
In 1942, when WWII was getting underway, Dick was called to serve again in the military medical Corp. This time he was stationed at Maxton Army Air Base in Maxton, NC., where Irene and Betty (who was newly married and whose husband was off if flight school) would join him. Dick worked his way up to Lt. Colonel and was honorably discharged in 1945 after which he and Irene returned to their home in Allendale.
Irene died on July 30, 1972, at age 74, and is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in St. Pete. Dick lived two more years in this Allendale house until his passing on December 18, 1974, at the age of 79. He is buried next to Irene.
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