“Dr. Shelton’s House Burnt.
Last Saturday night about midnight Dr. Shelton’s new residence on the south side of Skinner’s Butte, was discovered to be on fire. The fire bell was sounded, and the fire companies and many citizens were soon on the ground, but the entire building was in flames and nothing could be done to save it. The building had not yet been turned over by the contractors, L. N. Roney and W.H. Abrams, to the owner. The contractors had $ 6,000 insurance in the London company on the building, but $ 2,000 of that amount had expired at noon on Saturday, 12 hours before the building was destroyed, leaving as insurance of $ 4,000, to cover a loss of about $ 5,400. The house must have been set on fire, as it was not occupied and there had been no fire left in it. We think the county or city authorities should offer a large reward for the discovery and the arrest of the incendiary. No crime can be much greater than this. Destroying property is next to destroying life, and these incendiaries, anarchist and growlers, who are always talking about the rights of labor but won’t work themselves, and gratify their spite and envy by destroying or appropriating to their own use the earnings of their people, are worse in some respects than murderers.
Mr. Smith, agent for the London Assurance Co., came up from Portland to adjust the insurance, and brought with him Mr. White, an architect, to determine the loss. The contractors chose Mr. G.H. Park, and Mr. Park and Mr. White found that the contract price for the building when completed was $ 6,200. The work already, done amounted to $ 5,400. Dr. Shelton had paid the contractors $ 2,300, leaving a balance of $ 3,100 belonging to the contractors, which sum was paid to Roney and Abrams. Dr. Shelton loses the amount he paid, under this adjustment, unless the contractors come to his relief by dividing the loss.” Oregon State Journal (Eugene, OR) Dec 3, 1887, pg 5, col. 3.
The Queen Anne style home was built by Dr. T.W. Shelton in 1888, enlarged by Dr. Robert McMurphy and remodeled by Drs. Curtis and Eva Johnson in 1950. The home suffered two major fires, one during its construction in 1887 and during the Johnson remodel. Eva Johnson deeded the home to the city of Eugene in 1976. The house is now open to the public. On June 14, 1984 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.