Ragland House - 1215 19TH ST

 Print Listing Historical Name - McKee House; Mooney House
Style - Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals/Colonial Revival
Built Year - 1940
State ID - 5WL3710

Description - Built in 1940, this stately residence is located on the north side of 19th Street, in Greeley's Cranford neighborhood. The two-story dwelling is supported by a low concrete foundation, faced with brown brick, and it has a full basement, with three light hopper basement windows. The house's exterior walls are made of wire-cut brown brick, laid in running bond. A beltcourse of bricks laid as soldiers visually separates the foundation from the main wall surface. Another beltcourse, made of bricks laid as rowlocks, creates a continuous sill beneath the home's second story windows. The house is covered by a moderately-pitched hipped roof with red asphalt shingles and boxed eaves. Two blond brick chimneys are located on the exterior of the east elevation. A large five-sided bay, which encloses a breakfast nook on the home's west elevation is a prominent architectural feature. Windows on the house are predominantly single 8-over-8 double-hung sash, with painted beige wood frames and surrounds, blond brick sills, and decorative wood shutters. The house features a symmetrically arranged façade on the south elevation. The front entryway is centered on the façade, where a painted brown wood-paneled door, with a fanlight, and with glass block side lights, opens onto a 3-step brick porch. The porch features paired engaged columns which support a gabled pediment over the entryway. Another wood-paneled door, with a brown metal storm door, opens into the home from a concrete patio, at the north end of the west elevation. The area where this door leads is a one-story, flat-roofed, rear extension which was originally the laundry room. The roof of the extension also serves as a balcony, as a second story door opens onto this roof from the second story on the main house's north elevation. Yet another entry door is located on the north elevation, where a 15-light glass-in-wood frame door opens onto a concrete patio. An original single-stall garage is attached to the house's northwest corner. The garage features brown brick walls, and a hipped roof, complementing the house's overall architectural character. A painted brown overhead garage door, on the garage's west elevation, opens onto a concrete driveway which accesses the alley to the west.

Historical Background - This distinctive home was built in 1940 for the family of Greeley residents Joseph M. and Irene E. Mooney. Prior to moving into this new residence in 1940, the Mooneys had resided at 2030 8th Avenue. Mr. Mooney was employed as a master mechanic for the Great Western Sugar Company, and according to Greeley city directories, the couple had one child, Joseph M. Mooney, Jr. The Mooneys lived in their new home for just two years, as by 1942 this property had become the residence of Dr. Paul S. McKee. Dr. McKee, who ranks among the University of Northern Colorado's most distinguished professors, lived here with his wife, Grace, and daughter Beverly Ann, between 1942 and 1951. Dr. McKee had been born in Sharon, Pennsylvania on October 4, 1898. He attended public schools in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kansas, before enrolling at Monmouth College, at Monmouth, Illinois, where he earned a bachelor's degree. He then attended Iowa State University at Ames, where he earned his master's degree, followed by a doctorate in Elementary Education. On December 27, 1921, Dr. McKee married Grace McCullough at College Springs, Iowa. Following his graduation from Iowa State, Dr. McKee was employed as the Superintendent of Schools at Hanowver, Illinois, in 1921-1923; and from 1924 to 1926, he was the supervisor of elementary education at Hibbing, Minnesota. In 1926, Dr. McKee moved his family west, to Greeley, where he joined the Elementary Education faculty at Colorado State Teachers' college. In the ensuing years, he became one of the most eminent scholars in his field. According to Robert Larson's Shaping Educational Change: The First Century of the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley, "in 1934, McKee authored two important textbooks in his field, Language in the Elementary School: Spelling, Composition, and Writing and Literature in the Elementary School, both edited by Ellwood P. Cubberly, dean emeritus of the education school at Stanford." (p. 162) These books were part of the series, Riverside Textbooks in Education, published by Houghton Mifflin Company of Boston. (p.173) Then, while residing in this house in the early 1940s, Dr. McKee collaborated with three colleagues at the college to produce a series of readers and composition books for elementary-aged children. These books, which were also published by the Houghton Mifflin Company of Boston, were highly acclaimed on a national scale. The series included such primers as Sky Line, Come Along, and Jack and Janet, and were huge successes, both educationally and financially. According to Larson's book, when the state of Texas adopted the reading series, "it took thirty-nine freight cars to deliver all the books to the Lone Star State." (p. 163) Dr. McKee retired from the Colorado State College at Greeley in 9162, and six years later, on March 27, 1968, he was honored when the McKee Hall of Education was dedicated on the University's west campus. Following Dr. McKee's family, this residence at 1215 19th Street was next occupied by Dr. W. W. McCaw (1952-55), and by the Thomas F. Faye family (1956-circa 1966). Mr. Faye had been born on January 19, 1894 in Denver. After age 12, he grew up in Delta on the western slope, and in 1922, he married Pearle Rupe in Greeley. In 1927, the Fayes moved to Greeley where Thomas established an implement business which he owned and operated until 1964. Mr. Faye passed away on April 11, 1988, at the age of 94. He was survived by his wife, Pearle, and three daughters - Kathryn (Toliver), June (Kane), and Marie Faye. Owners or residents of this property from the 1970s have included Scott Wagner, A.R. Middaugh, William E. and Ellen Shade and Patricia Tierney.