The Flower House, 1830 Albert Street

1830 Albert Street was originally built for Davidson S. “Doc” Flower and his family. Davidson S Flower, born January 3rd of 1858, was the fourth son of Charles and Clara (née Sprigg, daughter of Horatio Sprigg) Flower. Charles purchased the Inglewood Plantation from his uncle around 1847 and moved there with his wife. They had their first son, Charles, in 1850, with two more following in 1851 and 1855 (Francis and William), and Davidson in 1858.

Clara’s sister, Frances, also had a child in 1857 named Clara Compton (named after her aunt but later named T L Compton), whom Clara Sprigg Flower adopted when her sister passed away nine days after having her daughter. Just three months after Davidson was born, Charles Sr died suddenly at the St Charles hotel in New Orleans at the age of 31. Clara was left alone with her children, ages ranging from 3 months to 8 years old, and looking after her niece, just three years before the Civil War.

During the Red River Campaign, which took place between March 10 and May 22 of 1864, Clara and her family, the Spriggs, allowed a Union soldier to recuperate in their Evergreen Plantation home after a battle. In return, the Union soldier demanded that they be protected against the coming attack. The Union soldiers proceeded to burn down almost ninety percent of Alexandria on May 13, 1864, but spared the Evergreen and Inglewood Plantations. In 1878, when Davidson was twenty, Clara sold the Inglewood plantation. It changed hands a few times over the following years, before the Keller family took over and it settled into the Inglewood Farms that modern Alexandrians know and love today.

The Spriggs also owned a plantation with Sosthene Augustine Baillio, son of Pierre Baillio II (the man who built the Kent Plantation House). After Sosthene passed away in 1853, the 640 acre land was the property of Horatio Sprigg. It became the property of the Flower family and was called the Flowerton Plantation. The Flower sons were heirs to the Flowerton Plantation, and after Clara passed away in 1891, it was divided into four pieces owned by the four separate sons.

After the Civil War, Clara took her sons to Europe and she enrolled Davidson into schools in Geneva, Switzerland, and Stuttgart, Germany. He returned in 1869 and went to Christian Pass College, and after graduating there, he continued his education at Union College Schenectady in New York for civil engineering. In 1883, he began to work on a ship-railway in Mexico. Francis Flower transferred his partition of the Flowerton property to Davidson, and Charles transferred his to William, in 1890. He married his wife, Hannah Maude Merrill, in 1894, and moved to the Flowerton plantation for some time until transitioning to a temporary home in Alexandria to allow his children better access to education. In 1910, Davidson was elected as the Parish treasurer for Rapides County. He became the secretary of the Rapides Building and Loan Association in 1915. Three years later, he had his home at 1830 Albert Street built.

Davidson and Maude were very involved in their local community. Davidson was an active member of the Vestry of Saint James Episcopal Church, aptly serving as a treasurer and secretary there. He was also a member of the Rotary Club, sharing membership with J. M. Lagrone (who you may remember from the 2233 Thornton Ct blog!). Davidson was also on the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce. Maude was in the Women’s Business Club, the St James Guild, and the Up-to-Date Fiction Club.

Davidson passed away in 1932, but not before converting 1830 Albert into a duplex. The Flower family took over the upstairs apartment and began renting out the bottom one. After his passing, Davidson’s daughter Ruth and her husband Newton Thomas moved in for about a year.

Two of the people that lived in the bottom apartment were Robert Bozeman and Carlile Rawls, while Dr and Mrs Gandelman took over the upstairs apartment. Mr and Mrs Robert H McGimsey moved in for a couple of years, and Carrell Cole and his wife also moved in downstairs and stayed for about four years. J F Kling moved in for two years, as well.

When the 40s came around, the house began to rent to a few military men (some of whom had families) during World War II. This included Lieutenant Alexander Bryce, Lieutenant Colonel H J Sommer, Captain Douglas Sutherland, Captain Norman Simon, and Lieutenant J W Knight. James L Buchanan moved in downstairs with his wife in 1945, and L J Bowen moved with his wife into the upstairs apartment for a year with W B Levinson Jr in 1947.

James Buchanan, born in 1897 in Alabama, was the son of an Irish immigrant farmer. He came from a big family, with two brothers and four sisters. He stayed with his family through the 1930s, eventually working as a construction foreman. He moved to New Orleans by 1940, before moving to Alexandria in the mid-40s. He met his future wife Hazel Vallie Smith, a daughter to Texas farmers and raised in Bossier City, who had moved to Alexandria with her sister between 1938 and 1940.

They traveled back and forth to be together between Alexandria and New Orleans in the beginning, and Hazel even had their first child together there in 1944. After Frances Louise, the couple moved to Alexandria together permanently. They had their second child, James Lake “Buddy” Buchanan in 1946, while living at 1830 Albert. The children attended Alexandria Junior High and Bolton High School. The Buchanans lived in 1830 Albert until 1960.

*This house was sold May 24, 2019.

Published by historichousehunt

Heather Matlock REALTOR® THE GEORGE GROUP Cell: 318-229-7613 Office: 1-888-548-7853 Licensed in LA

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