Munn House

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The Munn House, located on 800 Euclid Avenue in Marion, Indiana, has been a part of the community’s history since 1936. The land was first purchased in 1883 by Abraham Murray and his wife Sarah. The land was then sold to Jacob W. Spencer who, in his will, left it to his son Robert J. Spencer. The Spencer family developed the land, making it ready for its first owner. While it has been the home to only a few families, its architectural style and development makes the house unique.


The home located on 800 Euclid Avenue was designed by William H. Keller and built by Otis Dewey Smith in 1936. It was built to be a Colonial Revival Cottage (Grant Co. Interim Report). Colonial Revival became one of the most popular house styles in the United States during the years of 1876 to 1955. When this style of house appeared in the United States Centennial Exposition in 1876 it immediately became a popular American house style. The Colonial Revival Cottage reflects American patriotism and a “desire for simplicity” (Craven). The Colonial Revival Cottage has a symmetrical design and is normally rectangular in shape. They are generally two to three stories and use a gable roof, one formed in the shape of a triangle. Today, the home is still equipped with the original roof. Many Colonial Revival Cottages also utilize an overhanging upper story, pillars and columns, and a type of vertically set window on a sloped roof called a dormer. Many of the homes, made out of brick or wood, also have entertaining rooms on the first floor and bedrooms on the second (Craven). Keller designed this home in the same style as many of the other surrounding homes found on Euclid Avenue (Grant Co. Interim Report).

Construction by Dr. Orville Allen

After inheriting the land from his father, Robert J. Spencer developed it through Tam Mar Corporation, of which he was the President. Tam Mar Corporation divided the one hundred and fourteen acres of land of Spencer’s Seventh Edition into sixty-two separate lots. Dr. Orville Allen then purchased lot number twenty-eight and the west half of lot number twenty-nine on September 24, 1936 (Abstract of Title).

Orville Allen was born in Fairmount, Indiana to Isaac Allen, a bookkeeper, and his wife (Reel 29 Book 1). There is some confusion regarding his birth date. In his obituary it is sited as being September 27, 1902 (Marion Chronicle Tribune), however, in the birth records it is sited as July 30, 1901(Reel 29 Book 1). Dr. Allen graduated from Indiana University Dental College and ran a practice in Marion (Marion Chronicle Tribune). His practice was located in the Marion National Bank Building located on South Washington Street (City Directory: 1938). Allen married Helen J. Meyer and they had one son (News-Sun). Their one son, James Roger Allen, died in a car accident on his way to a basketball game in Fort Wayne, Indiana when he was only seventeen years old (Munn). Helen J. Allen was an elementary school teacher for twenty years and a member of the Southport First Presbyterian Church, the Marion General Hospital Auxiliary, and the Alpha Association of Kappa Kappa Kappa sorority in Greenwood. She was also a secretary for the Women Association of the First Presbyterian Church, a member of the Fidelis group, the Young Women’s Christian Association board of directors, and the Hostess House (Marion Chronicle Tribune). Dr. Orville Allen was a member of the Marion Lions Club, Greenwood Kiwanis Club, and active in the Marion Young Men’s Christian Association (Marion Chronicle Tribune).

Dr. Allen retired somewhere between the years 1968 and 1969 (City Directory: 1969). A few years later, in 1974, Dr. Orville Allen and his wife sold their home to William G. Sutton and his wife Violet (Abstract of Title), Dr. Allen’s dental assistant (Munn). Dr. Allen and his wife moved to Greenwood, Indiana where Helen died on February 10, 1992 (Marion Chronicle Tribune). Dr. Orville Allen died six years later on May 1, 1998 (Marion Chronicle Tribune). They are both buried in Park Cemetery, along with their son, in Fairmount, Indiana (Watson).

The Suttons

William G. Sutton and his wife, Violet F. Sutton, Dr. Allen’s Dental Assistant, bought the house on 800 Euclid Avenue on August 26, 1974 (Abstract of Title). William Sutton was an accountant at Marion General Tire (City Directory: 1975). The Suttons only lived in the house for five years when Violet contracted Multiple Sclerosis (Munn). Multiple Sclerosis affects the communication between the brain and other parts of the body (Webber), leaving Violet unable to navigate the stairs. The Suttons, who are still living, sold the house as a result of Violet’s illness (Munn).

The Fuchs

Jerry L. Fuchs, a service manager at Indiana & Michigan Electric Company (City Directory: 1980), and his wife, Doris R. Fuchs purchased the home on June 13, 1979 (Abstract of Title). The Fuchs did a lot of remodeling on the home, such as extending the roof, putting in skylights, covering the back porch, and putting in an alarm system (Munn). The Fuchs, both still living, lived in the house for about ten years (Abstract of Title).

The Munns

William F. Munn, a history teacher at Marion High School, and his wife, Suzanne B. Munn, who works at Kendall Elementary, bought the house in 1989 (City Directory: 1990). Munn added a third bedroom for their son, Evan. They also remodeled the kitchen, refinished the hardwood floors, and installed cabinets. They converted the fireplaces to gas, and remodeled the family room. The house was also originally air conditioned by means of a water cooled fan fed from a cistern (Munn). The home now also has both a breakfast room and a dining room. These rooms have entertained such guests as Mickey Shine, a drummer for Elvis Costello and Huey Lewis, for Christmas dinner (Munn). William, Suzanne, and their two children still live in the house.


The families living at 800 Euclid Avenue in Marion, Indiana have been just as influential to the community as the home has. The home’s style rejuvenated patriotism in the community and each family that maintained the house provided a service to the society. The house is sixty-nine years old and holds sixty-nine years worth of stories told and untold. The home also holds sixty-nine year’s worth of memories, each of which contribute to the unique history of our town. Each historic home in Marion adds to what the community has been, is, and will be.

Works Cited

  • Craven, Jackie. Colonial Revival Style. 15 May 2005>.
  • Craven, Jackie. What is a dormer? 15 May 2005 <>.
  • Craven, Jackie. What is a fanlight? 15 May 2005 <>.
  • Craven, Jackie. What is a gable? 15 May 2005 <>.
  • “Dr. Orville Allen.” News-Sun 6 May 1998.
  • “Dr. Orville E. Allen.” Marion Chronicle Tribune 3 May 1998.
  • Fairmount Birth Records: Reel 29 Book 1.
  • Grant Co. Interim Report. 1993. 55.
  • “Helen J. Allen.” Marion Chronicle Tribune 12 Feb. 1992.
  • Marion Indiana. Grant County Abstract Co., Inc. Abstract of Title.
  • Munn, William F. “Re: This Old House.” E-mail to the author. 14 May 2005.
  • Polk’s Marion (Indiana) City Directory. 1938th ed. Indianapolis: R. L Polk & Co., 1938. 33.
  • Polk’s Marion (Indiana) City Directory. 1975th ed. Indianapolis: R. L Polk & Co., 1975. 99.
  • Polk’s Marion (Indiana) City Directory. Indianapolis: R.L Polk & Co., 1980. 128. Polk’s Marion (Indiana) City Directory. Indianapolis: R.L Polk & Co., 1990. 250.
  • Ward, Julie, and Shelia Watson. Park Cemetery of Fairmount Township. Grant Co. IN. 2004. 140.
  • Webber, Charlotte. Multiple Sclerosis. 7 Apr. 2002. Georgia Perimeter College. 15 May 2005 <>.


Lane Clegg submitted this paper on May 20, 2005 for Mr. Munn's AP U.S. History class at Marion High School.