Foster House -  Table of Contents ..........  H. H. Little - Table of Contents

  History - Dr. and Mrs. Hubbard A. Foster
3 St. John's Place, Buffalo NY

Research by Christopher N. Brown

Note hitching posts   ...   Foster House at far right
Photo courtesy of Christopher N. Brown

Foster Family

The massive brick home on the corner of St. Johns Place and Wadsworth was originally built for Dr. Hubbard A. Foster.  In addition to Foster, the family included his wife Florence A. (born March, 1848) and their daughter Florence W. (born March 1875). 

Hubbard’s biography states that he

was born at Adrian, Ohio, November 22, 1847. 

"His parents removed to Rockford, Ill., when he was quite young, where he was educated in the public schools and the High School.  While a student at the High School the call to arms was heard and Dr. Foster walked out and enlisted in the 132d Ill. Vol. Infty., serving his country well until the close of the war.  At this time he returned to the High School and was graduated with honors in 1866. 

"He then entered Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio, remaining there until April, 1868, when he removed to Buffalo and entered the office of his uncle, Dr. Hubbard Foster, for the study of medicine.  He afterward attended the University of Buffalo and was a student in the medical department of Harvard University until March, 1871, when he was graduated with the degree of M. D.  He returned to Buffalo and began the practice of his profession in the office of his uncle, where he remained until 1873, when he removed to his present location and has since been engaged in the practice of his profession alone." 

Foster purchased 253 Allen in 1883 and lived there through 1886. 
Foster purchased the St. John's Place lot in May 1884.  He paid a total of $2,857 for the lot in two transactions.  The first one was the 35 x 103.5 lot on the corner ($2500) (L442P525).  The second parcel was the adjoining 5' x 103.5 lot for which he paid $357 (L464P182).

The builder was Jared Hyde Tilden (1828-1902), a prominent builder and contractor.  In addition to building 3 St. John's Place, he also built the First Presbyterian Church, the Red Jacket (also designed by H. H. Little), and the Dun Building.

According to City of Buffalo directories, the first year the Fosters lived at 3 St. John's was 1887.

In 1900, besides Hubbard Foster and his wife Florence also lived their daughter Florence M. and her husband William Mayaon and their child, George A. Mayaon, born in December, 1899.  Also living in the home was a 21-year old Canadian servant, Anna M. Hutt. [In a telephone directory, Charles Foster was also listed as living in the home in the late 19th century.]

Subsequent owners

After the Foster family left the home, they sold it to the Boocock family.  The head of the household was William H. Boocock, a clergyman with the First Presbyterian Church.  Also in the home was his wife Maud and their sons Cornelius B., William R., and Philip.  Also living in the home was Maud’s parents, Cornelius and Helen Brett.

For nearly the first 40 years of this home’s existence it was only owned by two families, the Fosters and the Boococks.  By 1930, the house had been converted into a two-family house and was owned by Sarah Doxey.

3 St. John's

Foster’s home at 3 St. John’s Place features unusual terra cotta panels with reliefs depicting a woman’s face and a man’s head in profile surrounded with mice and geese. 

A publication of the Allentown Association [web site online Jan. 2013) adds that: “the gabled pavilion of number 3 St. John’s houses a horseshoe truss of excellent design and proportion, the finely drawn stick [style] elements and terra-cotta relief panels used to accent gables and windows turn the three-storey structure into a free-standing outdoor art gallery to delight the passerby.”

H(enry). H(arrison). Little, architect

........ An 1896 article about H. H. Little reveals that

“A distinguishing feature of the city of Buffalo is the superior class of public buildings, hotels, business blocks and private residences that adorn and beautify its streets, the fine character of which reflect great credit on the artistic skill and taste of the architects who designed them. 

"Among the most prominent members of this arduous profession, none has prosecuted his vocation with more skill or greater success that Mr. H. H. Little, who occupies finely equipped offices in the White fire proof building, numbers 293-298 Main Street.  His rooms, situated on the fifth floor, and numbered 114, are easily accessible by elevator. 

"Mr. Little has been engaged in the practice of his profession in this his native city, since 1878, and since 1884 has occupied the premises now utilized by him.  He is widely known as an expert and accomplished architect, devoted to his profession and unremitting in his attention to the best interests of those who intrust their commissions to him.  His plans and estimates are prepared with great care and accuracy, under his personal supervision, by a competent staff of practical architects and skilled draughtsmen.  He is fully prepared with every facility to design, superintend and construct the most extensive buildings.

 “Among the well-known examples of his success in his profession we may refer to the handsome residence of W. W. Sloan, on Delaware Avenue; of Dr. H. L. Foster, Wadsworth Avenue; of John Thompson, on Linwood Avenue. 

"Mr. Little was the supervising architect Public School house No. 48, also of the new Post Office in 1885, and of many other public and private buildings which owe their beauty and fine proportions to his skill.  Mr. Little was for some time a member of the Common Council of Buffalo, and is noted for his reliable business methods as well as for the active interest he evinces in anything affecting the welfare of the city.”

Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2013
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