Nethercut house typical of Wisconsin architecture
A photo gallery of this Mystery Place is HERE
The James B. Nethercut house, located in the 500 block of Cook Street in Lake Geneva, is a four-square or Prairie style house, built around 1864. This type of architecture was found only in Wisconsin. This house, made with Milwaukee cream-colored brick, also includes some Italian motifs.
This house was built for Nethercut and his wife, Anna. In 1900, servants’ quarters were added. In 1905, the Nethercuts sold the house to their son, William R., for one dollar. He was a printer, according to “A Walking Tour of Olde Lake Geneva Towne.”
But when I checked Butterfield’s “History of Walworth County,” I found a G.S. Nethercut listed as a shoemaker in Lake Geneva. He worked for Bradford T. Paine. Butterfield’s biography of James lists his father as George S., one of the earlier settlers in the community. Butterfield’s history also indicates that James was a bookkeeper for the John Haskins Manufacturing Co. beginning in 1878. He received his post-high school education at the Spencerian Commercial College in Milwaukee.
The Haskins factory manufactured farm equipment, including corn cultivators, hay mowers and rakes and corn cultivators. They also did some woodworking and casting.
Beckwith’s history of the county indicated that John E. was the printer. He joined James E. Heg at the Lake Geneva Herald in 1888. In 1895, he became sole owner, editor and printer.
Then I checked the obituary files at the Lake Geneva Public Library and read one for George S. Nethercut, father of James. It indicated that he died on Oct. 4, 1904, at the age of 77 years, 10 months and 18 days. He died at his residence at the corner of Dodge and Cook streets, the location of the house of this column.
George S. was born in Ireland, County Tyrone on Dec. 17, 1826. At age 16 he immigrated to Canada, where he learned shoemaking. In 1845, he moved to New York City, where he continued his trade. In 1851, he married Mary Bel McConnell. They headed to Wisconsin in 1855 and eventually came to this area. They lived on his brother’s farm and then moved into the village, where George continued his shoemaking trade.
He bought two lots on Marshall Street in the fall of 1856. In 1859, he bought the building in which the Herald offices were located. In 1869, he built a brick home and lived there the rest of his life. In 1885, he built another house just west of his residence.
He was very active in Lake Geneva, organizing and becoming the first superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School. When he died, survivors included his wife and four sons, James B., John E. of Lake Geneva, William R. of Milwaukee and Edgar of Chicago. Another son, George, died in 1884 of consumption (tuberculosis).