309 14th Street

I grew up just around the corner of 309 14th Street at 1405 College Avenue. I may have been able to see the back of 309 14th Street when I was climbing trees but for me, during the time was living on College Avenue, this house on the short end of the block was all but invisible to me. Betty and Ralph Paur and their large family dominated the short side of the block with their large parties and social get togethers which took place in their back yard at 1401 College Avenue. The Paurs’ 4th of July parties were legendary because all the food they made, all the soda they had in buckets of ice, and because of the amazing view of the parade when it got to 14th Street. Next to the Paurs, 309 14th Street was basically invisible.

However, with some recent exploration of the “short side of the block,” I realized that 309 14th Street might be interesting, especially when I found out that it was constructed in 1890, ten years before 1405 College Avenue.

309 14th Street, built in 1890, in a Google Streetview Image from August, 2015.

When I started searching for 309 14th Street in Newspaper Archive, I noticed an odd pattern — lost items posted in the local newspaper over and over, year after year, along with rooms for rent for “working girls or women.”


  • Racine Daily Journal, September 2, 1905. Mrs. H. J. Doolin and children, 309 Fourteenth Street, returned home last evening from several weeks’ visit to Churdon, Farland and Perry, Ia., where she has been the guest of friends and relatives.
  • 1906 Racine City Directory. 309 14th Street: Henry J. Doolin
  • Racine Daily Journal, May 9, 1908: Henry Doolin, former superintendent of Mound cemetery, is dangerously ill at his home, 309 Fourteenth street, with hemorrhage of the stomach. Physicians have little hope for his recovery.
  • Racine Daily Journal, May 14, 1908. The funeral of the late Henry J. Doolin will take place at 1:30 o’clock tomorrow afternoon from the family residence 309 Fourteenth street. It will be under the direction of the Masonic fraternity. All city officials will meet at the city hall at 1:15 o’clock and attend the funeral in a body.
  • Racine Journal News, April 27, 1915. Mrs. H. J. Doolin, 309 Fourteenth street, has gone to Toledo, O., to visit her son John M. Doolin.
  • 1916 Racine City Directory. 309 14th Street: Mrs. Eva M. Doolin, widow of Henry J. Charles T. Doolin, clerk.
  • Racine Journal News, June 24, 1916. Members of Battery C. Charles Doolin, 309 Fourteenth street.
  • Racine Journal News, August 7, 1916. Charles H. Doolin, 309 Fourteenth street, who has been with the Mitchell-Lewis Motor company for the past seven years, has resigned his place and accepted a position with the R. D. Nutall and the Westinghouse Electric company of Pittsburgh, P. He left for that city Saturday to assume his new position.
  • Racine County in the World War, 1917 to 1919. Three Doolins: Charles H Doolin, Edward H. Doolin, George A. Doolin.
  • Racine Journal News, June 16, 1919. Edward Doolin, 309 Fourteenth street, graduated from Annapolis Naval academy on June 6. He is 22 years old and served three years in the navy and then three years at Annapolis, graduating as an ensign. He will continue in service. At home he attended Winslow school and also the Racine high school Mr. and Mrs. Doolin have another son, Charles, who served in the war with Battery C and came home with the battery as a lieutenant.
  • Racine Journal News, October 2, 1920: Tuttle Gianonni wedding. Jennie K. Tuttle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jensen, 1417 Twelfth Street and Frank L. Gianonni, 309 Fourteenth Street, were married at 2:30 o’clock today by the Rev. G. W. Genszler at the parsonage of the holy Communion church. Alma Jensen and Anthony Gianonni attended the couple. Mr. and Mrs. Gianonni will make their home at 1411 Howe Street.
  • Racine Journal News, September 1, 1921. Apply for Licenses. Frank C. Beere and Elizabeth Giannoni, 309 Fourteenth street.
  • Racine Journal News, October 22, 1921: lost gold watch
  • 1925 Racine City Directory. Anthony T. Gianoni, foreman. Inez Gianoni, clerk at Racine Rubber Company. John A. Gianoni (wife Clara) machinist.
  • Racine Journal News, December 3, 1930: lost purse
  • Racine Journal Times, February 13, 1934: A. F. Grannoni, 309 14th St., returned the purse and would not accept any reward
  • Racine Journal Times, January 8, 1935. Sophie Buelow and husband James N. Buelow in foreclosure court for 1110 12th Street. Previous property before 309 14th Street?
  • Racine Journal Times Sunday Bulletin, June 28, 1936. Deaths. Mrs. John A. Gianonni, 75, 309 Fourteenth Street, June 20.
  • Racine Journal Times Sunday Bulletin, July 25, 1937. Deaths. John A. Gianonni, 77, 309 14th Street, July 15.
  • 1939 Racine City Directory. Mrs. Anna Matthews. Shirley A. Matthews, student.
  • Racine Journal Times, February 4, 1941: Property unclaimed for at least 10 years. Unclaimed savings account containing $113.24 belonging to Josephine Liner since 1930. ($113.24 in 1930 would be $1,825 in 2022 dollars.)
  • Racine Journal Times, July 1, 1941: Lost blue coin purse “with a sum of money in Cranford store or on 14th Street. Reward offered.”
  • Racine Journal Times, April 18, 1944. Mr. and Mrs. Alois Pfeilstifter, 309 Fourteenth St., a daughter April 18, St. Mary’s Hospital.
  • 1945 Racine City Directory. Alois O. Pfeilstifter, machinist. Wife: Geraldine B.
  • Racine Journal Times, September 13, 1948: Wanted — girl or elderly woman for housework. Stay or go home nights.
  • Racine Journal Times, October 11, 1950: Dress and suit altering services offered.
  • Racine Journal Times, April 12, 1951: Modern dark mahogany upright piano. Call 2-5595.
  • Racine Journal Times, June 22, 1951: Sleeping room for 1 or 2 girls. On 2 bus lines.
  • 1952 Racine City Directory: Mrs. Sophie Buelow, janitress, Court House. Gretchen L. Ford, secretary, S. C. Johnson Co. Mina Hansche, domestic.
  • Racine Journal Times, November 20, 1952. Marriage License Applications. Meredith C. Kovack, 2000 Franklin St., and Gretchen Lee Ford, 309 Fourteenth St.
  • Racine Journal Times, April 9, 1954: Lost — Blue plastic purse at Kroeger Store or around there. 309 14th Street. Reward.
  • 1958 Racine telephone directory. Sophie Buelow, 309 14th, ME 2-0496. It appears that Sophie Buelow, janitress, was the only person with a phone number at the house. Perhaps she owned the house.
  • Racine Journal Times, May 24, 1958. Marriage Licenses. George Donald Jerstad, Jr. and Patricia Ann Donovan, 309 14th Street.
  • Racine Journal Times, August 23, 1958. Room for working girl or woman, on 2 bus lines.
  • Racine Journal Times, October 27, 1959. A room for working girl or woman.
  • Racine Journal Times, April 7, 1960. Obituary and Funeral Notices. Madsen, Mrs. Birgette (Gertie). Formerly of 309 14th St. Age 80. Passed away April 6, 1960, in the Racine County Hospital. Mrs. Madsen was born in Skein, Norway, on Sept. 10, 1879, and came to Racine from Norway 60 years ago. She was a Lutheran by faith and a member of the Golden Age Club, Y.W.C.A. group and Dania Ladies Society. Surviving are her daughter, Mrs. Leonard (Virginia) Drigert; two grandsons, Richard Malko with the U.S. Air Force in Japan and Thomas Drigert of Racine. Funeral services will be held Friday, 2 p.m., in the Draeger Funeral Home, Rev. Reinhart J. Pope officiating. Interment will be in Graceland Cemetery. Friends may call at the Draeger Funeral Home, 1910 Taylor Ave., this (Thursday) afternoon after 4 oclock and until time of services.
  • Racine Journal Times Bulletin, September 4, 1960. Large room — for working girl or woman.
  • Racine Journal Times, February 28, 1961. Room — for working girl or woman. Inquire 309 14th Street.
  • Racine Journal Times, May 19, 1964. St. Michael Auxiliary Plans June 15 Party. Plans for a public card party to be held June 15 were completed at the meeting of St. Michael’s Auxiliary Monday in Holy Name Church. Cards were played after the meeting with prizes in schafskopf going to the Mmes. Frank Miller, George Quirk, Sophie Buelow, Gustave Vollendorf, Louise Bassinger, Mary McManus and Nicholas Freres; in 500 to Mrs. Norbert Gedemer and Mrs. Fred Oertel; and in bunco to Mrs. Cecilia Draeger. Special prizes went to Mrs. Margaret Roszkowski and Mrs. Edward Felbab. Hostesses wer the Mmes. Joseph Schaff, Sophie Buelow, Elizabeth Scholzen and Gertrude Brutenbach.
  • 1965 Racine telephone directory. Sophie Buelow, 309 14th Street, 632-0496. Anna C. Hommelsen, 632-0496.
Racine County in the World War, 1917 to 1919. Three Doolins: Charles H Doolin, Edward H. Doolin, George A. Doolin.

Sophie Buelow
RACINE — Sophie (nee: Steffanus) Buelow, 102, passed away at Woodstock Health and Rehabilitation Center in Kenosha on Saturday, October 4, 1997. She was born in Mosinee on December 3, 1894 to Nicholas and Jennie (nee: Miller) Steffanus. She spent most of her life in Racine. On October 16, 1917, she was united in marriage to James N. Buelow and was divorced in later years.
She worked for the Racine County Court house for two and one half years. She was a member of Holy Name Catholic Church. She volunteered much of her time to the church and her hobby was being a seamstress.
She is survived by two sons, Ralph (Mary) Buelow of Racine and Richard (Millie) Buelow of Anaheim, Calif.; three daughters, Mrs. Elaine (Byron) Grobe of Kenosha, Mrs. Ina Mae (Lee) Gerber of East Troy and Mrs. Georgelene Thielen of Wauwatosa; one sister, Mrs. Margaret Schinowski of Mosinee; 18 grandchildren and several great and great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at Holy Name Catholic Church on Tuesday, October 7, 1997, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Edward A. Vogel, officiating. Entombment will be in Holy Cross Mausoleum. Visitation will be at the church on Tuesday morning from 10 a.m. until the time of the mass.