by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
The house we are looking at this week is in the Yennie Addition to Grain Valley. While I do not know the exact date when this addition was platted I would estimate that it was probably not until the late 1890s or early 1900s. Yennie Addition includes all of the lots from Yennie south to Walnut and from Gregg Street west to Thieme. There is a total of thirty-four lots in this addition.
Born in 1877, Joseph Peter Yennie was only a couple of years old when his father died. His mother (Anastasia) moved to Kansas City and in 1881 she married Oscar Tesch. The Tesch family lived in Kansas City for many years, however, the 1920 U. S. Census listed their address as Sni-A-Bar, Missouri. Perhaps they followed her son Peter to Grain Valley, or maybe Anastasia’s first-born Anna Yennie Thieme, or their son Grover Cleveland Tesch as they were all three living in Grain Valley by 1900.
When Joseph acquired the land that became Yennie Addition is unknown to me, however, my grandparents built their home on Lots 5 & 6 in 1910. A copy of the 1920 Property Tax for Grain Valley shows that Lloyd Williams sold Lot 7 to Dr. J. A. Wood during that year. A photograph at the Grain Valley Historical Society shows Dr. and Mrs. Wood and a group of “dressed to the nines’ ladies on the front steps of the home. They were identified as the Epworth League from the nearby Methodist Church having a “tea” at Dr. Wood’s home.
By 1927, the taxes were paid by Amy wood, widow. The tax books are missing from 1927 until 1933, but in 1933, the taxes were paid by Rhoda Ashcroft Peerson. Ironically, her sister Lily was married to Grover Cleveland Tesch. Rhodie, as I knew her, was a Grain Valley “character!” She made and sold lye soap, beautiful rag rugs which she constructed on a huge loom that took up most of her dining room, and salve. She sold the salve in little tin cans and you can believe me, it would heal about anything from minor cuts to boils. Rhodie live there until her death in 1970.
Ironically, I’m told the house is owned today by a great grandson of Lily Ashcraft Tesch. Another Grain Valley home packed with over 100 years of history and at least as many wonderful stories.
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society