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My last post was about the Todds–a family that, unfortunately, I am not related to ;). One last thing about them. My mother-in-law, an artist, painted the Todd House for a man named Paul H. Todd in 1970.

Todd House Kalamazoo, Michigan

Todd House
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Artist: Diana Dale Castle

So I did a little research. Paul H. Todd was one of the sons of Albert May Todd, the founder of the A.M. Todd Company. He, and his brother Albert J., both served as mayors and city commissioners of Kalamazoo. Paul’s son, Paul H. Todd, Jr., later filled his seat in Congress from 1965 to 1967.

Which Paul Todd did my MIL paint for?

In the 1960 city directory, Paul Jr. lived at 3713 West Main Street. His business was the Kalamazoo Spice Extraction Company (now called Kalsec). Paul Sr.’s business was Farmer’s Chemical Company. He lived at 3715 West Main Street. Next door neighbors! Paul Sr. was born around 1884, so he would have been around 76 years old in 1960.

Ten years later, Paul Sr. would have been 86. So I asked my husband. He says the Paul Todd who commissioned the painting was middle-aged, so it must have been Paul Jr. Searching a little farther, it appears that Paul Sr. died in 1969.

On the bottom right corner of this print (because I only have a print, of course), my MIL wrote that this building was Paul Todd’s house (but is that possible?), and that it was located on the corner of Kalamazoo and Rose Streets. I found the intersection of W. Kalamazoo and N. Rose on Google Maps. The building is no longer there.

It seems likely that, in 1970, the business was operated in this inner city area, but that the family didn’t live there. Nevertheless, in a family discussion, others thought that Mr. Todd lived in the same building that the company was operated from.

Back to my MIL’s paintings: she painted many locations in the Kalamazoo area.

Here is another one she painted in the very early 70s. It’s known as the Gourdneck Prairie-Webber Schoolhouse, Schoolcraft Township. It still stands today. Here is a link to check it out.

Gourdneck Prairie-Webber Schoolhouse, Schoolcraft Township

Gourdneck Prairie-Webber Schoolhouse, Schoolcraft Township
Artist: Diana Dale Castle

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