Then and Now — 1931 & 2022 — 955 39th Ave. No. (Allendale)
From 1931: “Home of Mr. & Mrs. J.W. Shelly. Read what Mr. Shelly says about Allendale. “I think Allendale Terrace is going to be the choicest residential section in St. Petersburg in the course of a very few years. The class of houses you are building, Mr. Allen, speak for themselves. I watched several of your homes under construction right from the foundation up and I want to tell that I have seen many homes built, but I don’t think I ever saw a house built where every detail was so carefully looked after as they are in the building of your homes. I Know we have a house that has been well built and I also know that the materials and fittings throughout are of the very best. We are perfectly satisfied with our home, and I would like to further state that we have chosen St. Petersburg as our permanent home.”
“3 bedrooms, 2 full tile baths, living room, dining room, kitchen, sunroom, breakfast nook, powder room, den, steam heat, 2-car garage.”
This home was bought new by Mr. and Mrs. James Webster Shelly. Webb, as he was called, was born on September 18, 1874, in Buffalo NY, the eldest of 4 siblings. By 1891 Webb’s family had moved to Ontario, Canada where his father was working as a butcher, and Webb (who had apparently ended his schooling) was working as a baker. By 1901 Webb, age 26 was listed as single and ‘head of household’ on the Canadian census. Living in the house with him were his parents and two siblings. On September 4, 1901, Webb married Ms. Ida Maude Brown (a Canadian), the couple never had children.
In 1903 Webb’s father died and Webb, along with his mother and wife, head west to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In Calgary Webb opened several bakeries and became a successful businessman. In 1931 Webb’s mother died and Webb decided to retire and move as far away from Calgary, and the harsh winters, as he could. Webb and Ida purchased this house in Allendale where they lived until Webb’s death on June 11, 1945, he was 71. While living in St. Pete Webb and Ida were members of the Allendale Methodist church, the local lawn bowling club, and a member of the Masonic Lodge. After Webb died, Ida put the house on the market and sold it to Frank and Mary Crisp who had just moved to St. Pete.
Frank Crisp was a realtor and a major developer of Northeast, including the Northeast Shopping Center. At one time he had donated enough lots to the Northeast Little League to build two baseball fields. In 1965 the Northeast Little League, Inc. was named the “Little Frank Crisp Field” in memory of Frank’s only child who died at 18 months old. Frank was a graduate of Clemson University and a member of the Northeast Park Baptist Church, the St. Pete Yacht Club, Quarterback Club, and a past president of the Board of Realtors. Frank died on January 28, 1966, at age 77. Mary lived in this house at 955 39th Ave No. until her death on July 30, 1970, at age 85. In all, Mary lived in this house for almost 25 years.
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