Feb. 3, 2011 - In 1925, Delta and Lena Ewing built a home on Connett Street. The home was one-story with three bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom, a screened-in porch on the southeast (front) corner of the house and a carport made just wide enough for a Model T or A. The house was brick and the posts around the carport and front porch bore the same material halfway up where wooden posts showed to the roof line.
Ewing was a pharmacist who worked in the Crabb-Meador drug store and his wife co-owned a dress shop on the north side of the square. Mr. Ewing died in the home in 1940 and Mrs. Ewing had the house until her death in 1969. They had two children, Betty and Ben.
Other people who have lived in the home include Tom and Pruvia Taylor, Rob and Mary Gaddis, Ernest and Dorothy Barnett, Trena and David Stanley and - current owners - Tom and Donna Gray, who bought the house in 1986. The exact dates of occupancy of most of these are unconfirmed.
From the carport on the south side of the house, there were two ways to enter the home - into the front bedroom through a single paned door or into the screened-in porch. From the screened-in porch a set of French doors led into the living room, complete with a bookcase and mantle across the entire north wall with a coal-burning fireplace occupying the middle. A single door from the front porch also led into the living room from the east and another door in the southwest wall of the room led into the front bedroom, which originally had two closets.
A large opening lends sight into the dining room, but French doors occupied this doorframe originally. Behind the dining room was a small square kitchen with a wood-burning stove. To the left of the dining room was a hall with entrances to two bedrooms and one bathroom.
The Grays have made several changes, leaving things as original as they could. The screened-in porch was enclosed and made into a computer room/office and the outside bricks of the house were left intact and lacquered to afford easier cleaning. The original wainscot ceiling is still in the computer room. The coal-burning fireplace has had the ventilation removed and a gas log heater sits in front of the original area.
Gray also had a small bath installed in the middle bedroom early in their ownership of the home, but has since converted the whole bedroom into a large bathroom, making the house two bedrooms and two baths now.
At some time the wood burning stove in the kitchen was replaced but evidence of the old stovepipe can still be seen in the attic. The walls are 1 by 12 to 14 inch planks standing side by side, covered with sheetrock, making the house very sturdy against high winds. All of the ceilings had one foot ceiling tiles and these were replaced. The hardwood floors in the front bedroom are original, but two other rooms had to have a new covering over the original floors. One of the closets in the front bedroom now houses the A/C unit and the Grays have added replica antique molding to both former French door exits of the living room.
Wainscot ceilings were installed in the enlarged kitchen and an island with a bar on one side and oven with a cook top now occupies the middle of the larger kitchen. Carpet has been added to the two bedrooms. On the south side of the home the original brick posts were removed from the support of the carport, to make it wide enough for modern day cars since the original carport was only wide enough for a Model A or T.
This was one of the sturdier homes in Leonard. It never fell into a bad state of disrepair, and still stands as solid as the day it was completed. Leonard native Eddie Sudderth remembers delivering groceries to the home in the 1950s.
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