MACRIS House — 375 Hillside Avenue

by Laurel | March 31st, 2014

31 March 2014

Horace D. Prentiss House

Horace D. Prentiss House
375 Hillside Ave
Built in 1920
Significant for Arts & Crafts Style Architecture

This is the Horace D. Prentiss house, located at 375 Hillside Avenue directly across from the intersection of Arnodale Avenue and within a few houses of Cherry Street. The house was built in 1920, according to MACRIS, and is significant for the Arts & Crafts architectural style, one of my personal favorites, and the neighborhood is, of course, Oakdale. When I saw the MACRIS image I thought it looked familiar, and was gratified to learn my memory is still fairly intact, for my parents lived across the street from this house s and my aunt and uncle still live on the next block (Calumet). So I have probably walked or driven past this place a million times in my lifetime. What was interesting is when I lived there during the 1970’s, the people who resided in the house were descendants of Horace D. Prentiss. So it was fun to research and  learn a little something about him.

Horace Duncan Prentiss was born in Ackworth, New Hampshire on 11 August 1872, the son of David Brainard and Frances (McNabb) Prentiss.  Around the age of ten, the family moved to South Hadley, Massachusetts where Horace and his siblings attended the local schools.

Mr. Prentiss entered the service of the local Post Office as a regular clerk, 01 July 1899. He became superintendent of carriers 01 July 1909 and was made assistant postmaster 01 April 1912, under Postmaster James J. O’Donnell. He was commissioned Postmaster by President Warren G. Harding on 19 Jan 1911 and was reappointed for four year terms by Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, retiring 30 June 1935.Horace D. Prentiss died on 25 March 1953; surviving him were his wife Minnie F. (Cushing) Prentiss; a son, Allan H. of Holyoke; a daughter Doris Mackiewicz of Northampton; three brothers, Rev. William C. Prentiss of North Brookfield, Milton of Granby and Rollo A . of Holyoke. He was buried in Forestdale Cemetery.

When living across the street from this house in the 1970’s my mother was friends with Horace’s daughter Doris and we knew at least one of her sons with whom my parents stayed in touch for many years later. Doris taught at Home Information and was a knitter  and seamstress. So interesting to learn her father served as Holyoke Postmaster for so many years and achieved this role, it is said, by working his way up through the ranks on pure merit.

Here is a recent image of what the house looks like (via Google street images):

375 Hillside Avenue

375 Hillside Avenue
Holyoke, MA
Photo taken about 2011-2013

Sources: Springfield Republican, Ancestry, MACRIS database, Google street images.
For more about Horace D. Prentiss see this link.

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