The architect of the Wm. A. Nelden House at 1172 East First South was Frederick A. Hale. Mr. Hale was a prominent architect in Salt Lake City and the intermountain area from 1880 until his death in 1934. Roger Bailey, professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Utah, described Mr. Kale’s designs as having a “classic air in a Victorian period.”

This home was built for Wm. A. Nelden and his wife Sarah O. Nelden in 1894. Mr. Nelden was at the time president and owner of the Nelden-Judson Drug Company, a successful drug wholesale establishment serving all of the intermountain territory.

Mr. Nelden was born in Montague, Sussex County, New Jersey. He established himself in the drug business in Phllipsburg, New Jersey as proprietor of a drug store at age twenty. Mr. Nelden moved to Salt Lake City in 1879. He worked as a clerk in the Moore, Alien and Company drug house.

In 1884 Mr. Roberts and Mr, Nelden established the wholesale-retail business, Roberts and Nelden. In 1892 Mr. Nelden purchased the interest of his partner and confined the company to wholesale business. In 1893 the Nelden-Judson drug company was established.

Mr. Nelden married Sarah O. Stem of Pennsylvania. They had three children; Paul, Ralph, and M. Louise Nelden Cross.

Mr. Nelden was extremely active in community affairs. He served as president of the Board of Education and as board member for several years. He helped organize and was first president of the Commercial Club in 1902. He was president of the Chamber of Commerce. The governor of Utah appointed Mr. Nelden to the jubilee committee. Mr. Nelden was president of the Salt Palace Association, a group which built the Salt Palace and the adjoining bicycle track. Mr. Nelden was a member of the Kniqhts
of Pythias, the Alta Club, and vice-president of the National Wholesale Druggists Association.

February 23, 1905 Wta. A. Nelden took his own life. He was 53 years old. At the time he shot himself, he was suffering from “nervous prostration brought on by involved financial affairs.”

Mrs. Nelden and her children continued to live at 1172 East 1st South until 1907 when they moved to 145 P Street.

In 1917 Frank J. Gustin, lawyer, resided at 1172 with his wife Adele M. Gustin and children – Francis J. and Harley W. Gustin. They lived there until 1924.

In 1924 the house was occupied by the Catholic Girls Club. This club was organized by young Catholic women in business. The building served as lodging and also as a meeting place for the Meynell Club until 1937.

From 1938 to 1949 the address is listed as the Holy Cross Nurses Home.

Subsequent residents of 1172 East 1st South have been:

  • 1951 – Noel C. Devey and wife Fontella A. Devey, salesman for Carroll Realty;
  • 1952 – Edward and Lila Coleman, mill worker at Murray Elevators;
  • 1954 – Frank L. and Clara Rasicot.
  • 1955 – Mr. and Mrs. Vernal F. Tippetts.

This is located in the South Temple Historic District in Salt Lake City, Utah and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#78002678).

The architect of the Wm. A. Nelden House at 1172 East First South was Frederick A. Hale. Mr. Hale was a prominent architect in Salt Lake City and the intermountain area from 1880 until his death in 1934. Roger Bailey, professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Utah, described Mr. Kale’s designs as having a “classic air in a Victorian period.”

Frederick A. Hale was born in Rochester, New York December 25, 1855. In 1860 he came to the Pike’s Peak Region in Colorado where his father ran a gold mill. He received his primary education in Central City, Colorado. In 1864 he returned to Rochester for further education. Mr. Hale won a scholarship to Cornell University where he studied architecture for two years. In 1880 he returned to Denver, Colorado and joined a leading architecture firm there. He began his own practice three years later. Walter Ware, another Utah architect was an apprentice to Mr. Hale in Denver.

In 1890 Fred A. Hale was called to Salt Lake City to design and superintend a modern commercial building. He stayed to build a successful practice here. Buildings attributed to Frederick A. Hale in Salt Lake City are:

  • F. Auerbach Bros. Block
  • Commercial National Bank Building
  • Beason Block
  • Summit Block
  • Eagle Block
  • American Linen Supply Company
  • Public Library
  • Alta Club
  • Masonic Lodge
  • Elks Club
  • Continental Bank (his last building, only partially completed)
  • Keith-O’Brien Building
  • David Keith residence
  • Ivers residence
  • Daly residence
  • Salisbury residence
  • Nelden residence.

Mr. Hale designed churches, schools, commercial buildings, and residences in Denver, Pueblo, Aspen, Boulder, and Fort Collins, Colorado. He was the architect of buildings in looming. The Wm. A. Nelden House was featured in an 1895 souvenir guide entitled “In the Shadow of Moroni”, written by Leonard Fowler.

The Nelden residence was designed by Mr. Hale in the Georgian Revival or Neo-Colonial style. “Neo-Colonial architecture is strictly rectangular in plan, has a minimum of minor projections, and strictly symmetrical facades. “The roofs are hipped, double pitched or of gambrel forms; eaves are detailed as classical cornices; chimneys are placed as to contribute to over-all symmetry. The central part of the façade may project slightly and be crowned with a pediment.. .more rarely a portico with free standing columns may form the central feature. The standard form of window in the secular building is the double hung sash.

Georgian Revival in Utah occurred from mid 1890′ s and declined before World War I. The Nelden residence is one of Utah’s earliest and purest examples of Georgian Revival architecture.

This house is listed in the building permit book of 1894 as a “frame residence of fourteen rooms, pantries, closets, etc. Approximate cost $8,000.00.

The two-story building in Georgian Revival style is dominated by a semi-circular portico supported by eight columns and pilasters with ionic capitals. There are two smaller columned porticos on each side of the house which are connected to the main entrance by walkways with wooden balistrades identical to those which originally surrounded the second floor porches. There are six window bays on the second
level of the symmetrical façade. These are situated directly above the door and window bays below. The six-over-six double hung wood sash windows are intact. ; The truncated hip roof over the major portion of the house is pierced by two narrow dormers on the front and one on the west side. Each dormer contains a twelve-over-twelve window and classical ornamentation of the dormer gable. There are three
red brick, corbeled chimneys, one at the East and West walls and one at the rear.

Originally the house was a rectangular plan with a kitchen attached at the back. There was a dining room, parlor on the East side of the first floor joined by a grand hall to the living room on the west. A large circular staircase led to four bedrooms, a lavatory and bathroom on the second level. There is a full attic and basement.

The house was well built. An exposed wall in the attic reveals two by six inch studs, a double wall of adobe brick 11 x 5 x 3 inches with an air space between. The exterior was originally faced with clapboard and there were wooden shutters at the windows. A balustraded “Widow’s Walk” around the truncated hip roof has been removed.

In 1951, the owner Mr. Noel Devey covered the exterior clapboard with asbestos siding and made many changes in the interior. The grand hall and sitting rooms have been cut up into smaller rooms. The circular staircase has been altered and a sleeping porch has been built on the southeast corner of the second floor. The balistrades are missing from the second level porches.

Mr. and Mrs. Vernal Tippetts have maintained this house for boarders since they purchased it in 1951, Today they have rooms for sixteen boarders* The house has thirty rooms including those in the basement. The house is in good repair and clean. It has suffered from alterations, partitions and the exterior sheathing. Some of the original paneled ceiling and redwood wainscoting remain in the halls.