About That Sears House in Greeley, Colorado

Updated! To see the newest blog with contemporary photos of this house, click here!!

More than a year ago, I posted a blog about a Sears Avondale/Hawthorne in Greeley, Colorado.

Since then, several folks have left comments, and thanks to their efforts, the house has been found.Ā  šŸ™‚

And that’s remarkable for two reasons.

One, Sears Homes aren’t that common in the “Far West” (as that area was known in the early 1900s), and two, Sears offered 370 models but the Avondale/Hawthorne was one of the fancier homes.

To read the original blog, click here.

Text continues below the pictures.


Thanks to Rachel Shoemaker for supplying this photo. It originally appeared in the 1912 Sears Modern Homes catalog. I erroneously identified a house in McHenry Illinois as the house in Greeley.

Thanks to Rachel Shoemaker for supplying this photo. It originally appeared in the 1912 Sears Modern Homes catalog. In an earlier blog, I erroneously identified the house in McHenry Illinois as the house in Greeley. This is the correct photo (as you can see in the caption). Best of all, it shows Mr. Senier's wife, horse and two dogs. Digging through old census records, Rachel also discovered that the husband's name is Winfred and the wife's name is May. Rachel was not able to discern the name of the horse and dogs. Let's call them "Teddy" and "Freddy" (dogs) and "Pumpkin" (horsie). Actually, I'm not sure if that's Winfred sitting on the rail. Whomever it is seems to be wearing a bowler hat.


Is the house in Greeley an Avondale or a Hawthorne? Rachel Shoemaker pointed out that its a Hawthorne, and she is right.

Mr. Senier and family built the Avondale in Greeley. Not a bad house for $2,176.


The Hawthorne, as seen in 1916.

The Hawthorne, as seen in 1916. This was very similar to the Avondale, but the Hawthorne had a second floor and the side walls were higher (creating more space upstairs).


The comments that followed the original blog have been hugely helpful, so I’m reprinting them here.



Rachel is an indefatigable researcher.



And Rachel is right. I had the houses in Greeley, CO and Illinois mixed up.



And then the intrepid researchers found info on that Greeley House.


And then around the 5th, Mark (who also left a comment on December 5th) sent me this email:

I found a page that mentions the Senior name on a map from 1915. There is a plot of land on the map that is just outside of Greeley in the area around the Greeley / Weld county airport. I think the map calls it Camp Senier.

Maybe this is the area the house is in if it still exist. If it’s not there then maybe its somewhere between the camp and the rail line to the west.

Using Google Maps, Mark ultimately found Milford Howell Senier’s “Avondale” at about 120 East 4th Street Road in Greeley.

Thanks so much to Rachel and Mark for finding this old Avondale. What an impressive bunch of research!!!

Now I need some photos of this wonderful house in Greeley!Ā  šŸ™‚

If you’re in the area and can get a photo, please leave me a comment below!

*Ā Ā  *Ā Ā  *


  1. Rachel

    Maybe Mark can find August Schiller’s testimonial Hawthorne in McHenry, Ill.

    I have it narrowed down to an area, North Johnsburg Rd and Wilmot Rd but I am not very good at finding plats. It was sheer luck I found the GVT #108 in Manson Ia using plat info!

    I figured the Senier Avondale was in that area because the railroad was there, the mill was there, there is a river, PERFECT location for a farm in the early 1900s šŸ™‚

    The bad thing is much of that area is not easily accessible via Google earth. When Google earth is unavailable then plat info is very helpful because you can at least get a view from above.

    You know one of my favorite things to do is find testimonial houses. Usually when I see that one was a “farm” I stop right there. šŸ™

  2. Mark Hardin

    Rachel’s comments struck a note with me. I know how difficult and time consuming it can be to find these houses.

    I was impressed that she knew that the Greeley, Colorado house was a Hawthorne especially since there is one across the street from me in Colonial Heights, Virginia.

    The fact that we often find these houses tucked in abandoned places is a testament to the quality of the materials and how well they where built.

    Not many people tear down a sound house and that’s why we can still find so many of them tucked away amongst the unattractive elements and blighted areas in modern America.

  3. Rachel

    The Avondale is in Greeley, Co and the Hawthorne is in McHenry, Ill. I think we have confused you šŸ™‚

  4. Sears Homes

    Oh wow, yes I *am* confused!!!

    Thanks for the clarification!!! Could you send me that image from the 1912 catalog?

  5. Rachel

    Rosemary which images do you need? I emailed the 1912 and 1913 Schiller testimonials as well as a page from a farm directory that lists him.

    Winfred Howell Senier is the owner of the Greeley Avondale testimonial house. His wife’s name is May P. NO CHILDREN, at least not on any of the census reports.

    August M Schiller owned the Hawthorne in West McHenry, Ill. Mark says it is at 4707 West Lakeshore Drive, McHenry, IL. I see that is now called the McCollum Lake Village. He had a farm there beginning in 1912. Schiller View Farm I think is what it was called and he owned something like 93 acres.

    Does that clear things up any? LOL clear as mud šŸ˜‰

  6. Angel Senier

    Hello are you still looking for the house in Greeley? I was trying to do some genealogy and knew that my great grandfather was born in the Greeley area. As soon as the weather warms up I plan on heading that way and could maybe snap a few shots.

  7. Angel (Senier) *******

    Thank you so much for this article! While doing some family history I came across a different article about this house with the 1912 photo.

    It was amazing to put a face to a name in my family tree. Later while trying to add the photo I came across your article and was delighted to see the 1919 photo and more recent photos.

    W.H. Senier did have children and in fact his grandson is still alive and well at age 95, He is my great grandfather.

    It was interesting to read that on a map their was a “camp senier” as W.H. Seniers’ mothers last name was Camp and he also gave his son the middle name of Camp. It makes me wonder if it was hyphenated two last names or an actual camp.

  8. Terry Senier

    The house still stands. November 2017