firm active: 1907-1921

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Carl K. Bennett residence #1, project
Purcell and Elmslie
Owatonna, Minnesota   1918

Parabiographies entry, Volume for 1910
Text by William Gray Purcell
for 1914

Job Date (in Parabiography): [1914]

Carl K. Bennett House

This is the house that we designed to take the place of the one that Sullivan designed for Bennett, which was out of tune with his needs, feelings, and finances. Our house was full of light and sunshine, broad and low, intimately connected with the garden and outdoors, and a beautiful and satisfying scheme in every way. Bennett liked it, was ready to build it, but perhaps had a premonition of the gathering economic storm, for he delayed making a start from year to years. The war was on us. 1916 was a bad year for business. After the war, business collapsed again in 1919-20, then things went along until Bennett's great Owatonna Bank blew up very early in the depression. (What was the year, GGE?)

Thus was wrecked a really idealistic banker who sacrificed all that he had in an effort to save the farmer customers with whom his family had grown up since his father was a young man, and whose fortunes were, in fact, those of the entire community. The hard-boiled competitors across the street to whom farmers' paper was just so many receipts in the files, saved themselves and now occupy the premises of the old Farmers' National Bank. At this writing, Carl Bennett is in a sanitarium, wrecked, physically and mentally.


   Collection: William Gray Purcell Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota [AR:B4d1.8]
research courtesy mark hammons