The Crabbs home 01.03

Written by David Green.

Joyce (Williamson) VanValkenburg offered some information about the home at 120 N. Summit St. in Morenci, and she should know—she used to live there. Joyce adds some facts in addition to what her sister, Janis, recently wrote.

The home was built by W. W. Crabbs, the owner of a drygoods store. His daughter, Hazel, played the organ at the First Congregational Church for many years. When W. W. and his wife passed away, the home went to his son John, a tailor, and wife Susan. 

After the Crabbs, the home became the residence of Herbert Porter (of Porter Lumber Company).  Herbert was the father of Stanley, Roger and Evelyn (Mansfield).

“Mr. Porter had a tin bathtub built in the upstairs bathroom, which was long enough for him to stretch out in,” Joyce wrote. “Their kitchen was also built higher than usual to accommodate taller people.”

When Joyce’s parents, Bernard and Thelma Williamson, purchased the home in 1943, they moved the kitchen back one room to where the previous kitchen had been and turned the Porter kitchen into a dining room.

Mr. Williamson had a law office downtown above Slagel’s Market, but when he purchased the Porter home, two rooms in the basement were converted to a law office and he continued his law practice even after he was appointed Lenawee County Probate Judge by Governor G. Mennen Williams.

“After my father passed away in the fall of 1952, my mother and I went to Tecumseh and interviewed a young attorney by the name of Yale Kerby,” Joyce writes. “He eventually purchased the home from her in the spring of 1953 and continued the law practice.”

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