“Most Saginawians either come somewhere else and retain strong ties with the community they’ve left or are natives who have no pride in the city, most have an escapist attitude and they try to get away from Saginaw as often and for as long as possible” Dr Hugh T. Caumartin August 4th 1960
I read that in a Saginaw News article about the Webber Mansion and it really hit me as to what a profound statement that was 50 years ago. It also got me wondering about the Webber Mansion since I have never seen it, because it was turned into a parking lot before I was born.
The Home at 544 Millard was originally started in 1880 by Chester B. (Posey) Jones who wanted replicate the stately homes in England which he loved so much. After starting the project he soon ran out of money to finish it and it became known as Jones’ Folly. Local attorney William L Webber purchased the partially constructed house and completed it. The house was an exquisitely built second empire mansion with ornate woodwork and high ceilings. The interior doors were 10 feet tall and the top of the tower was 60 feet tall. The home was a source of pride for Mr. Webber, who lived there until he died on October 15th 1902. His daughter lived in the home until 1938. The Saginaw school board purchased the mansion and used it for offices until 1958 and then decided the property would be better suited for a parking lot.
A group of citizens formed “the Committee to Save the Webber Mansion” and fought a legal battle over the mansion to try and save it. Four years of legal negotiations and court cases went by but ultimately the decision was made to raze the house and it was demolished in 1962. One of the members of the committee to save the house was Attorney Roy DeGesero who’s home on Washington Avenue is currently owned by the City of Saginaw and faces to possibility of demolition.
There was also a rumor that $100,000 in jewelry was hidden somewhere in the home by the Webber Family but nothing was ever found during demolition.
I want to thank Tom Trombley at the Castle Museum and the staff at Hoyt Library for their help
Get Email updates