HISTORY – 1894 to Present

1894-1900 – Frank Packard completes the house
Between the years of 1894-1895, Circus man Peter Sells chose Frank Packard of Packard and Yost, renowned architect of the Governor’s Mansion and Memorial and City Halls as well as a drafter of the first master plan for the Ohio State University’s campus to design his home at the northwest corner of Goodale  Park in 1894/5. The address is 755 Dennison Avenue. At the time of the home’s construction, Peter Sells alongside his two brothers, ran the largest circus in the United States. Eclectic in design with distinctive high Victorian Gothic, Romanesque and even  Moorish detailing, the house’s turrets, accompanying richly-ornamented carriage house, steeply raked roof reminiscent of a big top leaves a fitting imprint to the success of the Sells Brothers  Circus which had traveled as far as Australia with their exotic troupes of performers and animals.  Peter commissioned the house for his wife, Mary, and young daughter Florence. The mansion’s  plan, with its generous layout for entertaining and servants’ quarters, but without a surfeit of  bedrooms reflects the small family’s needs and position as one of the wealthiest citizens of  Columbus at the time. The Sells’ tenure in the house was short, with Peter selling the house in 1900 following a well-publicized divorce.

The next family lived there for eighteen years,  followed by a quick succession of five more residents before it entered commercial use.

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1895-1924 – Four families are occupying the home
The main house at 755 Dennison Ave. was used as a private residence by a series of four families. During that time, the carriage house was used to house additional servants. The address of the carriage house is 215 Buttles.

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1908-1914 – Emery J. Smith occupies home
From 1908-1914, Emery J. Smith, President of the Security Savings Bank occupies the home.
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1914-1918 – C. Clifton Vail occupies home
From 1914-1918, C. Clifton Vail, of J.P. Vail & Sons Real Estate occupies the home.

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1918, 1920, 1923 – R.N. Moore occupies home
From 1918-1923, R.N. Moore, a soft drinks distributor, occupies the home. In 1920, the home was purchased by Mrs. Isabel Terrell. From her purchase in 1920-1923, R.N. Moore was still occupying the home.

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1923-1928 – The United Commercial Travelers
From 1923-1928, Mrs. Isabel Terrell rented the home to the United Commercial Travelers. The UTC was a nonprofit organization that supported communities and causes across the United States, specializing in finances.

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1925-1937 – The carriage house
The use of the carriage house is unknown here.

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1928-1953 – The main house becomes a meeting place for multiple organizations
From 1925-1953 the house at 755 Dennison was used as a meeting place for the United Commercial Travelers Columbus Chapter. It was also used for a variety of other community organizations at their meeting house.

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1938-1956 – Wm. E. Cooper Food Company occupies the carriage house
From 1938 to 1956 the carriage house was home to the Wm. E. Cooper Food Company. From at least  1940 to 1943, there is an indication that Wm. E. Cooper used the carriage house at 215 Buttles as his personal residence.  

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1953-1959 – Fraternal Order of Police occupies home
From 1953 to 1959 the main house at 755 Dennison served as the meeting house for the Fraternal Order of Police. After 1956, the carriage house was vacant.  

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1960-1961 – The house served as a shelter house
From 1960 to 1961 the main house at 755 Dennison served as a shelter house for the House of Hope for  Alcoholics.  

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1962 – Fire in the main house
After a fire in the main house in 1962, both it and the carriage house stood vacant.  

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1963-1996 – The main house and carriage house become occupied
From 1963 through 1996 the main house at 755 Dennison served as a nursery school, with a private residence on the second and third floors. The carriage house at 215 Buttles served as a kindergarten  with a possible apartment on the second floor.  

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1997-2016 – Both the main house and carriage house were occupied
From 1997-2019, the main house at 755 Dennison has returned to a private residence, and the carriage house at 217 Buttles has been developed as a second residence. First under the care of the Brownstein family, where it was completely restored for the next 10 years. Then under the care of the Harding family, they continued to add improvements and contributed a lot of interior designs to the house. 

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2017-2020 – The main house is vandalized
From 2019 – 2020 the house was owned by Weston Wolfe.  Under his care, the house was vandalized and left with no electricity, plumbing, heating or cooling.  All cabinetry was removed and destroyed, in addition, the original windows were painted so you could not see in or out. 6 of the 7 fireplaces were damaged and removed. Much of the original woodwork on the first floor was painted such as the grand staircase and the original doors. The damages exceeded well over $1 million. Though the Carriage House was not damaged, it was left vacant for 2 years.

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2020-Present – House purchased at Sheriff’s auction and fully restored
July 2020 the house was purchased at Sheriff’s sale by current owners, Paige and Jason Henry. The house is brought back to its former grandeur by way of a full renovation started immediately after purchase and completed March 2022. Carriage house purchased at Sheriff’s auction the following summer. Restoration of the carriage house began in January 2022 and completed June 2022. The carriage house is a meeting location for Riegel Financial as well as a short-term rental