John Comerford, Annie Zelleken House

115 South Sergeant

Circa 1902 ~ Dutch Colonial

Featured architectural detail, gambrel roof


Comerford/Zelleken House

Annie Zelleken-Comerford House

115 South Sergeant

Dutch Colonial Circa 1902

Featured architectural detail, gambrel roof

The photo shown is a vintage photo taken in the properties hay-day. In the 1970’s the property was extremely altered from its original footprint.  Today this property is considered to be non-contributing.

John Comerford was the man of the house but the house should be referred to as the Annie Zelleke- Comerford House. This Dutch Colonial property on Sergeant was a wedding gift from Edward Werner Zelleken and Margarethe Zelleken to their first born child, Annie Doretia Zelleken

In 1891, at the time her parents were buying the land ($800.00) and planning the stately two story nine room residence, Annie Zelleken Frantz was already a widow with an infant son, Clarence. Subsequently, in 1894 she married John Comerford and they set up housekeeping and added another son, John Patrick Comerford to the family in 1901. John Comerford owned a plumbing supply business with his brother Thomas Comerford.

But happiness for Annie was not to be. By 1915 she had relocated to the sunshine of California that only her Zelleken family wealth afforded her. Her husband, John followed her but returned to Joplin in 1916 as a single man. Research has indicated that her sons, Clarence and John Patrick at the same time, had her declared insane by the California Superior Court and committed to the Southern California State Hospital at Patton California. And there she was to remain for twenty-two years until June of 1938 when she released upon the decree that she had been restored to her right mind.

Interestingly on the Joplin home front, her nephew Edward P. Dwyer was representing her sons in the sale of her property on Sergeant. However, her friend and neighbor, Mr. Frank Wallower interfered with the final disposition of the Jasper County Probate Court’s order and saved the property for Annie’s own disposition. She sold the property in 1941 to four sisters who used it for investment property.

This home on Sergeant has since been the home to Haywood Scott, local attorney and civic leader and another Joplin Mayor, C. W. Haynes.

John Comerford is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in an unmarked grave.