Grover Keyton Home

Grover Keyton

This cottage in Old Cloverdale was built circa 1917 and is hailed as the first house built on that street. This part of Park Avenue runs right behind the huge First Methodist enclave, and since this pattern book cottage preceded the church at this location by a decade, it can claim prior rights to the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood. The house was built for Grover Keyton who was known for complaining about the traffic and parking congestion generated by church activities. My picture was taken on a funeral day and you can see one of the red traffic cones placed all along Park Ave to prohibit parking on that side. I think we should call them Keyton Kones.

Grover Keyton worked at Union Bank on Commerce Street downtown. The street car line ran down Cloverdale Road back then, and I read where Grover came home for lunch most days, traveling back and forth via streetcar, and walking the 1 ½ blocks from his home to the line. He lived here until his death in 1954, by which time he had risen to become president of the bank.

Keyton’s daughter Kitty grew up in this house and she was home from school sick on the occasion of the terrible boiler explosion at the Methodist Church right across the street. The force blew out all the windows of the Keyton house. The church was under construction at the time, and I understand the explosion did so much damage it set back completion for years. Kitty went on to marry the quintessential Southern gentleman, Churchill Marks of the  Early-settlers Marks family. Marks was longtime chairman of the City Board of Adjustment. Over a 25-year span he and I had many celebrated confrontations as I presented building projects to his Board for approval. Our memorable episodes ranged from the Eastbrook Branch Library to the RSA’s Pavilion Park. I think our dust-up over the park led to his retirement.

-Charles Humphries

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