This colonial revival home, located at 2233 Thornton Ct, Alexandria, LA 71301, has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths on the first floor, 2 bedrooms, a bath, and a living area on the second floor, and a large garage apartment and available storage this house can accommodate a large family easily. Original features abound such as built in cabinets, a butler’s pantry and picture rails. The side porch is the perfect area to sit and enjoy friends and family. This home was recently featured in the Garden District Holiday Tour of Homes.
2233 Thornton Court was built after 1921 and before 1928. Not much is known about the original owners, outside of an ad searching for a lost Boston bulldog, and that they sold the house when they moved out of the city. It was listed for sale in 1929.
In September of 1929, Jimerson Marvin LaGrone moved from Colfax, Louisiana to 2233 Thornton Court. Jimerson was born in Arkansas and moved to Louisiana by the age of 30. At 31, he married Margie Delle Bright, and five years later, they had a daughter named Jeane. They moved to Alexandria roughly fifteen years later and settled very quickly. Jim worked as a lumberman at the lumber mill while Delle became a prominent member in Alexandria very quickly, hosting many clubs such as the Twentieth Century Club and the Alexandria Garden Club. In September 1931, Jim passed away. A year later, Jeane graduated from Bolton High and left for Louisiana State University. Six years after her husband’s passing, Delle LaGrone began renting the home to other people. Delle met John Cockerham, and remarried in January of 1937. She and John visited her Thornton home and stayed for a few nights in Alexandria before moving to his home of Natchitoches, placing the house up for rent again.
Later in 1938, Robert Stuart Abbott and his wife, Grace, began renting the home. Robert was well traveled before he moved to his home at Thornton – he lived in New Orleans as a child, moved to Chicago with his mother around the age of 25 (where he met Grace, who was born there), lived in Georgia in 1920, and then lived out the rest of his life around Alexandria. Robert also worked a few different jobs over the years; he was a car salesman in Chicago, a manager of an “automobile laundry” in Georgia, and was a Secretary-Treasurer and General Manager at Andress-Abbott Inc in Alexandria. Meanwhile Grace was always very involved in the communities, holding the Presbyterian Auxiliary Circle and the Friday Club in the Thornton home. While in Georgia, the Abbotts had a son, who was about 26 when he moved to Louisiana. He was a graduate of the Staunton Military School in Virginia and then went to the University of Illinois at Urbana. He became a lieutenant in the Army Reserves, and considered Alexandria his permanent home. He married Alexandria native Rosalie Elizabeth Cannon. Robert Jr was part of a bomb disposal unit and died in France in 1945, fighting in World War II. Shortly after his death, the Abbotts moved out of their home in Thornton into 2906 Georges Lane.
In 1947, Gustave Kaplan took over the Thornton home with his wife, Zelda. Gustave was the son of Polish immigrants that came to America in 1910, ten years prior to Gustave’s birth. Gustave was an Alexandria native, who lived in the city for his entire life (except when he was in Baton Rouge at LSU). He was a manager at Wellan’s, a well-known department store in Alexandria, until he formed Gus Kaplan, Inc. He opened Gus Kaplan’s, a department store of his own. He was also very involved in the community, joining many civic boards. Gustave and Zelda had three children, son Sidney and daughters Rosalyn and Linda. The Kaplans moved out of Thornton in 1957. Gustave passed away in 2011.
Over the last sixty years, the home has changed owners a few more times. It is a charming garden cottage and has provided a home to people of many different walks of life. It is now available again, waiting for the next Alexandrian family to move in!