This lovely home, located on the corner of Henry and Jefferson Streets and now known as the Napolitan Alumni House, has had important connections with Franklin College throughout its history. All the land in this neighborhood was once owned by Professor John S. Hougham, who was connected with Franklin College for many years,and the area was known as the Hougham Addition. The current warranty deed to the property today describes it as “Part of Lots Numbered 17, 18, and 19 in John S. Hougham’s Addition to East Franklin.”
In 1874, this lot on the corner of East Jefferson Street and Henry Street was purchased from Professor Hougham by Edward O. Halstead, a contractor and brickyard owner, who built this red brick house in approximately 1875. Mr. Halstead sold the home to A.W. McNaughton, a dry goods merchant, in 1884. Mr. A. N. Crecraft, a former owner and publisher of the Franklin Democrat, a weekly newspaper, purchased the house in 1898, and members of the Crecraft family lived here until 1946, when Earl Crecraft sold the home to Franklin College.
When Franklin College acquired the house in 1946, it was called the Crecraft House for the former owners. In response to an increase in enrollment at the college and the need for additional housing for women, the Crecraft House became a residence for women students for a short time.
With the arrival of Dr. Harold Richardson as president in 1949, extensive renovations and redecorating were done to the house, and it became the home for Franklin College presidents for many years. Dr. and Mrs. Richardson often entertained groups from the college and the community in what Dr. Richardson called “the house on Jefferson Street.”
This house continued to be the President’s home from 1964-75 during the presidency of Dr. Wesley Haines. President and Mrs. Haines entertained often and hosted students at “class teas” at the President’s Home. In June of 1976 the college sold the house to John and Roxie Sayre, who sold it to Frank and Ann Hetherington in 1977. In 1979, John and Pamela Rhoades purchased the house and in 1992, the house was once again purchased by Franklin College. Three years later, the college sold the house to Paul Warrenfelt and Lanya Fornefeld, who sold it to Curtis and Dena Pease in 1997. In May of 2003, thanks to the generosity of Jim and Sandra Mock Napolitan ’60, Franklin College was able to purchase the house from the Pease family. Once again, the house which had been associated with Franklin College history for many years, is owned by the college and was officially dedicated as the Napolitan Alumni House It is used as a guest house for special guests of the college.
101 Branigin Blvd.
Franklin, IN 46131