T. C. Schroeder House
10382 Main Street
—Written by Gail Drabant
This house has the distinction of being the house that stopped the disastrous Richmond fire of 1902 on Christmas Eve. The house is located at 10382 Main Street. Ralph Kilbourne sat at the very top of this house dumping icy buckets of water on carpets that were laid out on the roof to form a wet blanket: At times, his own clothing was on fire. T. C. Schroeder’s house was one of the few downtown Richmond buildings saved. In all, 20 buildings burned, resulting in the rebuilding of Richmond’s commercial buildings into primarily brick structures. This fire was a great setback for the growth of Richmond, since ‘many merchants were uninsured and were not able to rebuild their businesses.
Theodore C. Schroeder came to Richmond in 1885 at the age of 28. His wife, Maggie, was also 28 years old. Their first house was located on the same site, but set back farther from the road. It burned in 1889. The current house was built in 1892. T. C. and Maggie had four children: Frank, Dora, Wendella and Edith. This house originally had an open spindle porch which has since been enclosed. The porch framed the tower by including a decorative railing on the top of the porch roof, a spindle frieze with corner brackets framing turned posts and a geometric patterned balustrade.
T. C. Schroeder was the owner of a general merchandise store where Ed’s Antiques was located in 1994. As a primary merchant, he also was one of Richmond’s wealthy residents (ranked third in 1909). After T.C. Schroeder’s death in 1935, his daughter, Wendella, managed the several farm properties that he had acquired through the years. Some of the tese properties were received as payment for merchandise. In 1965, Ray and Nancy Anderson bought the house from the Schroeder daughters. The Andersons lived there several years until its purchase by the current owners, the Crutchers.