Fulton, Missouri’s Court Street could be the setting for a novel, or perhaps a Hollywood movie placed in a Midwestern American small town. Actually, it once was.
Published in 1940, and authored by native son Henry Bellamann, Fulton’s landmarks and physical characteristics make cameo appearances in the fictional Kings Row. The melodrama novel was a best seller (author Anne Rice is a modern fan) and was later adapted into the motion picture of the same name starring Ronald Reagan, Robert Cummings, Ann Sheridan, and Betty Field.
A stroll down Court Street towards the downtown Brick District is a must for anyone who enjoys architecture or history.
917 Court Street (The Tucker House)
The Tucker House, a brick Queen Anne with a dramatic three-story tower was designed by another talented local, architect Morris Frederick Bell, and built in 1906. Newlyweds J. Roy Tucker, and his bride, Mattie Belle Pratt, moved into the home shortly after it was completed.
915 Court Street (Homer O. Rood Residence)
The Rood Residence is a two story, frame Queen Anne that dates to 1905. Notice the transom window above the entryway. Notable Westminster College past presidents Frank L. McCluer and Dr. Robert L.D. Davidson have both owned the home. McCluer is notable for inviting Sir Winston Churchill to Fulton. Dr. Davidson is remembered for bringing the Church of St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury to Westminster College.
910 Court Street (Atkinson House)
The Atkinson House is a frame, two-story Queen Anne home designed by New Jersey architect P.T. McLagan. The home was built in 1905. The Court Street Residential District Nomination to National Register of Historic Places states that Adah Tucker Atkinson “always liked the staircase located in her father’s clothing store, so she had the architect build a smaller scale version for this house.”
908 Court Street (Courtland Apartments)
This two story brick building was designed by W.H. Gibbons and constructed in 1927 as a multi-family residence.
834 Court Street (Yates/Bell House)
The Yates/Bell House is a two story brick in the Italianate style. The home was designed for Dr. Martin Yates by M. Fred Bell and was constructed during 1880-1881. The Court Street Residential District Nomination to National Register of Historic Places describes the house as having a separate foundation for each room. It also repeats the tale that the foundation was allowed to settle for a year before construction continued.
820 Court Street (Moore House)
815 Court Street (Martin-Harris House)
This two-story, brick Greek Revival style home began as three log rooms in the early 1840’s. The Martin-Harris House was photographed in 1936 for inclusion in the Historic American Buildings Survey.
810 Court Street (Bauer House)
The Bauer House a Gothic Revival style home, constructed in 1883, is attributed to Fulton architect M. Fred Bell.
808 Court Street (Black Residence)
The Black Residence is a two-story, brick home styled in Second Empire, constructed in 1882-1883. The design is attributed to prolific Callaway County architect M. Fred Bell. In 1914 a kindergarten class, instructed by Frances Black, was held in the upstairs hall. In the early 1950’s Reverend J.R. Black started the Offset Printing Business of Associational Minutes of Southern Baptist Convention in the basement.
718 Court Street (1st Presbyterian Church)
1st Presbyterian Church is a Gothic Revival style church designed by M. Fred Bell and completed circa 1885. Construction cost was $42,000- $13,000 for exterior work and $29,000 for the interior. The church members more than received their money’s worth, especially on the interior- it is absolutely stunning. The stained glass windows were mostly replaced in 1912. The original hard-grained wood curved balcony is built to leave the windows uninterrupted. The woodwork was done by Ed and George Bellamann.
Fulton is a haven for historic homes and beautiful architecture. Bring your camera or sketch pad with you when you go for your stroll!
*A portion of our stay was hosted by Callaway County Tourism and their partners. All opinions are the author’s. This article mentions only a small sampling of Callaway County destinations. For a full listing of attractions, shopping opportunities, dining options, and accommodations visit https://www.visitfulton.com. Our immense thanks to Director Renee Graham and also to the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society.