The old brick house at 118 East Main Street, probably known by most of us New Londoner's as the Humphrey Apartments, was one of the better built old houses in New London, Ohio. The home really had quite a history behind it.
I always thought the house was constructed in 1883 but a brick found by the last owner of the home, Darwin Anderson, has the date 1884 written on it in large letters so this may be the year the house was built. The first owner of the house was Mr. C.E. Healy who was a mechanical engineer for the Arnold-Creager Co. for many years and also quite a well known inventor.
Mr Healy built a gas lighting system in the home and it was for several years the best lighted house in town and one of the first homes to have such a system. He also installed a bathroom with hot and cold running water and it has been said that this was the first home in New London to have this type of bathroom. Mr Healy was killed in a boating accident on Lake St. Clair near Detroit, Michigan in 1892 and the funeral was held in his old home here at 118 East Main Street. He had been the inventor of a steam powered street car and moved to the Detroit area as he had sold several of these inventions to the city of Detroit. He is buried in the Grove Street Cemetery in New London.
In the late 1920s, Dr. Jacoby had his medical practice in this building. I believe a local dentist, Dr. Ernest, also had his office here for a few years. In 1946 Dr. Marvin Humphrey purchased the home and opened his chiropractic office here. The Humphreys converted the second story of the old house into apartments, and, in the 1950s, they added a wooden third story to the house for more apartment space. Later they also built two small buildings in back of the house for added apartment space. Mrs. Humphrey continued to operate the apartments after her husband died. After she died in 1982 the house was sold to Mr. & Mrs. Darwin Anderson who continued to keep the apartments going as she had done.
On October 28th, 1997 a fire was discovered between the walls of the old brick home and this turned out to be one of the hardest fires the local department had ever had to put out. They eventually called on the Norwalk Fire Department for help in getting the fire totally out. I believe the fire started around noon that day and it was late in the evening before it was eventually put out.
Mr. Anderson decided that the fire damage was too great to try and rebuild so he decided to have the old home demolished. Two local men, Delmas Morrow and Roy Sonewald were contracted to demolish the old brick home. By the end of September 1998 the house was gone and another of New London's fine old homes was now history. Mr. Anderson continues to operate the apartments built in the back by Dr. Humphrey.
V.K. Neel, from New London Record articles