Some homes withstanding the lashings of time better than others. While other Victorian-era homes around the community have been stripped of many of their finer elements, the historic home at 3049 Redick Avenue stands with a lot of exterior integrity today. This is a history of the first house in the Belvedere neighborhood in North Omaha, called the Hoyer House.
The Original Owners
The house at 3049 Redick Avenue was built by Lansing H. Hoyer (1837-1925). His wife, Hannah T. Hoyer (1834-1922) nee Hannah Hutchins, was born in Orleans, New York, and the couple was married in Watertown, New York in 1859. They moved to Hodge, Iowa in 1861, where he was a farmer and the local postmaster. After moving to Omaha in 1880, their home was built as the first one between Fort Omaha and the City of Florence. They raised three children in the house: George Clinton Hoyer, Hattie Hoyer, and Cora Belle Hoyer, and were once featured in the Omaha World-Herald for wearing their original wedding clothes on their anniversary every year until Hannah died.
Built in 1880, the Hoyer House was built with eight rooms and modern amenities. The original home in the Belevedre Addition, the Hoyer House was built on a 10-acre parcel with fruit trees and vegetable gardens. During that era, the home was next to the pioneer-era Parker Farm, which covered the nearby rolling hills with corn. The Minne Lusa Creek flowed just a few blocks away, but there was no Miller Park, Minne Lusa neighborhood or churches nearby.
In 1904, daughter Cora’s wedding to Ray Stearns of Saratoga, Wyoming, was held at the home with more than 200 guests attending. The ceremony was held on the front lawn with “those present occupying seats in the shade of the great maple trees.” The same maple trees were useful 15 years later, when Mr. and Mrs Redick are credited with forming the Miller Park Presbyterian church. They held a “home mission” Sunday school and Bible study at their home which led to the development of the church.
Hannah died first in 1922, and Lansing died in 1925. They are buried together at Forest Lawn, along with their son George who died young.
A Neighborhood Matures
By 1925, the surrounding area was massively different. Commercial development lined North 30th Street from Redick north; that entire street was paved, as well as Redick Avenue itself. By then, the home had a large double garage and sat on merely a half-acre. The park was there, along with Trinity Lutheran, Miller Park Presbyterian, and Blessed Sacrament Catholic Churches. Minne Lusa neighborhood was almost completely developed, and kids from this house would be attending the new Minne Lusa School. Streetcars rallied along North 30th from Fort Street to Florence, and cars raged across all the surrounding streets.
An organ player named Al Jones lived there next, selling the home as an acreage in 1934. Many of the surrounding homes were platted and sold after a mail carrier named J. Carl Evans owned the home next. His wife hosted social and church activities at the house. Their grandchildren, Jack H. Nicholson and Colleen Nicholson, bought the house in 1966. The turret off the master bedroom held a baby’s bassinet then.
Marked as selling at $12,950 in 1968, there was a “large carpeted living room and dining room, along with a den, fireplace, and “huge kitchen” with a dishwasher. In 1972, the house was sold cheaper with 4-bedrooms and a 2-car garage on a large lot, and costing $11,500. HUD bought the house at that point, and sold it for $500 cash in an “as is” condition. In 1981, the Belevedre-Fontenelle Neighborhood Council won a $17,000 matching grant to rehabilitate the home.
Today, the house has not been designated as an official Omaha Landmark by the City of Omaha Landmark Heritage Preservation Commission, and it has not been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.