80 JOHN STREET
The Pratt-Smith home at 80 John Street was built in 1868, although earlier homes appear on the lot as far back as 1855.
The home at one time was the residence of Marshall Hommedieu, a Mayor of Akron from 1879-1880.
Mr. Hommedieu was involved in several business endeavors during his lifetime, the first being the owner of a general store at 37-39 Main Street in 1877. He sold groceries, “provisions”, paint, notions, drugs and medicines. “New goods, small profits”, was his slogan.
In addition to this he tried his hand at real estate-clearing what would become Marshall Ave. (named after himself) and selling it for building lots. He offered an annual payment plan, with a small deposit down and pitched them to apartment dwellers. There were seven lots 155 feet long and 72.5 feet wide and four lots 300 feet long and 50 feet wide.
According to Akron Breeze articles of the time he was the first to have kerosene street lamps on his property and offered to procure them at 25% off for Cedar Street, Main and John if the village fathers approved.
Mr. Hommedieu was also President of the newly formed Excelsior Cornet Band and hosted a phone concert of the band by taking his phone off the hook as the band performed on his front lawn. There were a limited number of people having a phone then and everyone was on the same party line. The Breeze said it was so good “even old Mozart would feast upon it.”
The next notable tenant was Frank Stage, who had an insurance agency at 43-45 Main Street in 1904 where the Fred Thomas Agency is located now. He was a stockholder in the Akron Gypsum Company and both Secretary and Town Supervisor of Newstead from 1912-1915. He was also Treasurer of the Akron Hook and Ladder Co. in 1891. He owned the first automobile in Akron.
In the 1940’s Dr. Trick made his home and office here, briefly interrupted by service as a Major in the Army Medical Corps in WWII.
Interestingly enough this building once served as St. Barnabas Episcopal Church .It was dedicated in 1953 and housed the congregation until their new church was completed on Crittenden Rd. in 1964.
The home has since resumed private ownership.