Jefferson City, MO

Historic 'Claud D. Grove and Berenice Sinclair Grove House' in Cole County, Missouri is 110 years old

CJ Coombs
Claud D. Grove and Berenice Sinclair Grove House, Jefferson City, Missouri.Anneecox, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The historic Claud D. Grove and Berenice Sinclair Grove House has also been referred to as the Hagener House or Edward G. Sinclair House. It's located in Jefferson City, Missouri, and was built around 1912.

The Grove House's basic form is that of the American foursquare, while its ornamentation is derived from the Colonial Revival style. The foursquare was a very popular house type from circa 1890-1930 and is common throughout the Midwest. (Source.)

The house consists of two stories and the architectural design is Colonial Revival style. This style was a way of getting people to remember the architectural elements of the past. The home is made of bricks and has a large front porch with columns. In 2002, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Brief history

Several sources indicate the construction date for the house was 1912. As one story goes in the Hagener family, the house was built by Edward G. Sinclair for his only child, Berenice. He spared no expense.

In 1899, Berenice married Claud D. Grove, a mining engineer. They moved to Florence, Colorado and Claud worked at Colorado Gold Reduction Works as a general superintendent. While they were away, Berenice's father was buying a lot of property. Edward and his wife, Margaret, sold lots to Monroe P. Belch, Cole County prosecuting attorney and Assistant State Librarian.

In 1911, Claud and Berenice returned to Jefferson City and were living with Edward. He and Belch sold some property to Berenice. Their house was constructed around 1912. In 1921, Edward died leaving his estate to his daughter and her two sons. For that time, the estate was a considerable amount. Russell Sinclair Grove and Edward Wasson Grove each had $30,000 placed in a trust. That figure would be worth about $497,443 today.

After Berenice had already become a widow, she sold her house to Elizabeth Hagener in 1922. For several generations, the Hagener family resided in the home. In 1977, after living in the house for over 30 years, Ethel Hagener sold the house to the Jefferson City Housing Authority. The Housing Authority used the house until about 1982 as storage for library books.

The house suffered water damage and natural occurrences from being vacant and unheated. In 1991, there was the consideration of having the building demolished. The Jefferson City Historic Preservation Commission and community preservationists intervened. The house was finally sold in May 2000 and there was supposed to be some rehabilitation taking place to restore the house into office space.

There is speculation as to why some lots near the house had not been developed. Other than Sinclair and Belch having an undivided interest in the lots, including poor health going on, or lack of funding, it could have been that the area was too close to a prison.

In 1907, three convicted murderers escaped from the Missouri State Penitentiary. They injured the warden and killed a prison guard. When they were caught, they were hung. It was the last public hanging in Cole County.

The building is currently used by the Missouri Forest Products Association.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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