Then and Now — 1936 & 2023 — 730 19th Ave NE (North Shore)
From 1936: “Situated close to the waterfront, this ideal bungalow will appeal to those seeking the utmost of comfort, convenience and pleasing surroundings. Seven rooms, two baths, two-car garage with toilet and lavatory. You will like the size and arrangement of the rooms, with unobstructed view of the Bay, the color tiled baths, ventilating system, etc. All modern conveniences and newly conditioned from foundation to roof.”
This house was owned from 1937 – 1946 by Mr. and Mrs. Theodore F. Furness. Theodore Fassitt Furness was born on January 14, 1873, in Philadelphia Pa., the 2nd of 4 children. His father was a renowned Philadelphia architect who, among his many works designed the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania Library and the Gate House at the Philadelphia Zoo.
Theodore received his schooling in Philadelphia at the William Penn Charter School which he attended from 1888-1891. Upon graduating from High School Theodore entered Princeton where he graduated in 1895 with a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering. Upon graduation from Princeton Theodore took a job with the Stevens & Co. of Philadelphia which manufactured Terra Cotta. A year later, in 1897, Theodore left the Stevens Co., and took a job with the New York Belt & Packing Co., where he remained until 1904.
Theodore was putting all his energy into his career and remained single until his 40th birthday when he married Eudora Adele Sproat, 12 years his junior. Adele was the sister of the West Chester Pa. District Attorney and the step-daughter of Judge William Butler. Theodore and Adele were married on October 7, 1913 in Westtown Pa.
Theodore and Adele had relocated to Philadelphia after the wedding where Theodore took a new position with the Philadelphia Rubber Works Co. They had their first child, Fannie (named after Theodore’s mother) in 1915 and their second, Theodore Jr. in 1917.
The Philadelphia Rubber Co. later merged with the Goodrich Tire & Rubber Co. and Theodore stayed with them until he retired in 1925. Theodore is credited with the development of synthetic rubber, which helped the US later in WWII when the Japanese cut off the supply of natural rubber.
After retirement Theodore and Adele began traveling and their travels brought them to St. Pete. Having returned to St. Pete numerous winters, Theodore and Adele decided that they would start looking for a permanent house to buy instead of renting seasonally. In 1937, Theodore and Adele purchased this featured home. Their daughter Fannie had married just prior to the purchase of this house and was living in Pennsylvania, but their 20 year old son, Ted, moved into this new house with them. In 1939 Ted Jr. entered a program at SPJC as the second class of Junior College students taking ground school and flight training under the civilian pilot training program. Ted Jr. graduated from SPJC in 1941 just prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. By the end of December 1941, Ted had enlisted with the US Army as a flier with the rank of 2nd Lt., he was 25 years old. Ted was sent to England in 1942 and was killed when his plane crashed during a training mission, he was acting as co-pilot when the plane crashed into a small hill in southwest England.
Theodore Sr. died ten months after his son’s death, he was 70 years old. His body was shipped to Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. Adele stayed in the house three more years when she finally sold it in 1946, to move closer to her daughter in Pennsylvania. Adele died on August 10, 1951 and was buried next to Theodore Sr.
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