The Enduring Historical Buildings of Molalla
By Gail J. McCormick for The Molalla Pioneer
The Fred M. & Nellie Henriksen House #1 is located at 524 South Molalla Avenue in Molalla. The architecture is Tudor and English Cottage Style. It is a very large house with a fancy brick arched front entry and decorative motifs in the front gable end. It has multiple windows and a steeply pitched roof. It is built of brick with a stucco finish. The house is dated 1927 – 1955. Later residents were William and Nina Orcutt, who operated the Orcutt Drug Company Store. Also, Doctor Dale Robinson once lived in the house. He remodeled the basement into a chiropractic office.
House #2 is a small cottage located at 124 Sweigle Street. The architecture is Craftsman Cottage Style. Outstanding features are a very decorative front porch and shingles on the front gable. The front sidewalk is engraved with "F. M. Henriksen, 8-9-24". Since Nellie Henriksen purchased the property in 1914, the Henriksens most likely built the house at an earlier date than the sidewalk inscription. This house is dated 1914 – 1927. Both houses are in excellent condition and are privately owned.
Fred M. Henriksen
Fred M. Henriksen was born in 1882, at Nebraska. His parents were Christian and Mary Henriksen. They were a farming family, who immigrated from Germany to America in 1872. They settled in Dixon County, Nebraska. Fred moved from Nebraska to Oregon in the early 1900s. He first lived in Wasco, Oregon, where he worked as a bookkeeper for a brewery. He married Nellie M. Coffelt in 1907. Nellie's parents were James Monroe Coffelt and Samantha Ellen Liggett Coffelt. Both parents were considered pioneers. James was born in 1848 at Iowa. In 1864, he crossed the plains from Iowa to Oregon. Samantha was also born in Iowa in 1848. In 1865, she crossed the plains to California and in 1871, she moved to Oregon. James and Samantha married in 1873 and, soon thereafter, they moved to Lebanon, Oregon. There they spent the rest of their lives.
The Hardware Store
Fred and Mary moved to Molalla around July of 1913. That same year they opened a hardware and implement store. The business was called the The F. M. Henriksen Hardware and Implements Store. Fred first purchased the implement department from the Robbins Bros. Store. He built a 50' by 64' building on the corner of South Molalla Avenue and East Second Street, where Lam's Chinese Kitchen is now located. His store became very popular for its "high grade line of shelf and heavy hardware". His stock included "builder's tools, stoves, paints, farm and garden tools, plumbing goods, implements, vehicles and so on". Included were "Studebaker Wagons and Buggies, DeLaval Cream Separators, the International line of gas engines, harvesting machinery and so on". They also handled the newly famous plow made by the Oliver Chilled Plow Works and Bain Wagons, who laid claim to being the "wheels that won the West".
Fred and Nellie had two children: a daughter, Essie and a son, Marvin. Fred and Nellie were very active in the community. Fred was on the Buckeroo Rodeo Board of Directors and served as President of the Molalla Buckeroo in 1938. He also was one of the directors of the Commercial Club and a City Councilman. Fred died in 1955, at Clackamas County, Oregon. Nellie died in 1959, at Marion County, Oregon.
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