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May 13, 1997

Mobile: Then and Now

Then Now

by Tom McGehee

In 1912, Ernest F. Ladd Sir. had C.L. Hutchisson design a spacious residence at 1613 Government Street, just east of South Monterey. Ladd had married Lillie Radcliffe in 1911 and had recently been elected to the board of directors of the Merchants Bank. Ladd had helped organize the bank in 1901 after leaving the banking firm of William H. Leinkauf and Son where he had started out as a messenger. He became president of Merchants Bank in 1915.

The Ladd house was completed in 1913 and was of pebble-dash stucco with a red tile roof. The first floor held a parlor, library and den on the west side with a large bay-windowed dining room and porch on the east. Upstairs were four large bedrooms, a sewing room sleeping porch and two baths. A garage with servants' quarters above was at the back of the lot.

Mr. Ladd died suddenly at his summer home on Mobile Bay in August of 1941. He was 64. Funeral services were conducted from his Government Street home. Due to his long civic career Ladd Stadium was later named in his memory.

Ladd's widow eventually sold 1613 Government Street and moved permanently to her bay house. The former Ladd home went through several owners before being destroyed in a devastating fire in the early seventies.

The long vacant lot is reportedly being developed for office space for an attorney.


(photo courtesy of University of South Alabama Archives, Marx Collection)


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