Henry House Residence
Henry House Residence, 7319 Orchard Court (Click for Map)
Henry House was a pioneer resident of Westminster. He moved to Harris in 1892 and made it his home until 1939.
House was born in Haddan Neck, Connecticut, in 1861 and died October 9, 1948, in Los Angeles. During his 47 years in Westminster, he served as mayor from 1915 to 1917, was instrumental in having the first water system installed and worked as a caretaker at Westminster University and as a carpenter and building contractor. He opened and dedicated Orchard Court to the Town of Westminster and built many houses on Orchard Court and elsewhere throughout the town. The houses in the Orchard Court area were part of a replat called House’s Resubdivision of the earlier Harris Park plat.
On February 24, 1911, forty Harris residents, including Henry House, petitioned the County Court to set an election date on the issue of whether the village should be incorporated under the name of Westminster. The court appointed five commissioners to conduct the election, including Henry House, Walter S. Rudolph, Fred Strawson, L. D. Mulford and Dr. Richard Russell. The town was incorporated on a vote of 29 in favor, 6 opposed.
Henry House served on the board of trustees and was assigned to oversee the town’s water supply, which was the main reason the town was organized. One of the first actions of the board of trustees was to authorize a $28,000 bond issue to finance the town’s first water system. The ordinance was referred to the people and was approved in an election, 43-3. The first well was drilled in 1912 “on the hill overlooking the town,” and a second well was drilled in 1915 on Wyoming Avenue (now 72nd Avenue), a large tank was constructed and water mains were installed. Water rates were set at $1.00 per month for domestic use.
Henry House lived at 7319 Orchard Court from the time that he built the residence in 1920, until he sold it in 1939 to Elmer K. Hoover and Vada Frances Hoover. The Hoovers and their descendents lived in the house until 2003, when Mrs. Joan Parriott, daughter of the Hoovers, sold the residence to the Westminster Housing Authority. The acquisition included the residence and vacant land south of the home to West 73rd Avenue. According to Mrs. Parriott, the vacant land had been used as a fruit tree orchard, but only one apple tree remained on the property when it was purchased by the WHA. The City has subdivided a 7,000 square foot lot to be associated with the Henry House Residence. The adjacent vacant land is now part of a neighborhood park which surrounds the historic Rodeo Market community arts center and Westminster Grange Hall.