July 9, 2012

Sears Westly

722 N. Ridge, Arlington Heights

This Sears Westly was likely built in 1926. The Westly was a very popular house for Sears and was offered in their catalogs for many years. It was offered in two floor plans.

The house on Ridge was remodeled inside and out multiple times since the 1970's. There are several clues that the house is a Westly even though the front porch was enclosed and the sleeping porch was removed.

One of the most obvious identifying features of the Westly was the roof line. The front roof is much lower than the back roof.

Westly roof line
A perfect match!

Other unique features of the Westly were the first floor den and a fireplace in the dining room. According to a 1961 real estate listing, the house on Ridge has those features.

Floor plan for the Sears Westly.

In March 1927, William Magoon and his family lived in the house, and they may have been the original owners.

Albert and Edward Magoon, the two sons of the family, were known around town as the local hoodlums.

In 1927, when Albert was 18, he and friends broke into a local business and emptied the cash register. The judge sentenced him to mandatory church attendance and six months probation even though the owner of the business declined to press charges. In 1929, Albert broke into a neighbor's house and stole a .45 caliber gun. Ironically, the person who called the police about the break-in was Albert's father, William. Albert pleaded guilty once again to this charge, but the judge said he would not be lenient this time and would give Albert a sentence that would serve as a lesson to other kids in town.

In 1935, Edward Magoon made Chicago headlines when he was indicted for operating a "car stripping ring". He and his cronies stole 16 cars. Edward pleaded guilty and got a year probation, although some of his co-defendants served time.

In summer 1929 the Magoons sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. Homer Whitmore Evans, who had four children. The Evans family must have gone through some hard times in the Depression. They were trying to rent rooms or the garage space in 1930. The house was listed for rent with all the furnishings in 1931. The Evans finally sold the house in April 1933. Homer Evans was an assistant editor for Paddock Publications.

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