21 N Clyde (The Autrey / J A Barclay House)
Kissimmee in the early 1900's attracted investors and vacationers from all over the country. 1911 Iowa newspaper advertisements promised "5 and 19 acre tracts, rich drained muck land, 1 mile from Kissimmee and St Cloud; nine miles beautiful lake frontage; railroad through center of land; grape fruit orchards and truck gardens; no expensive timber clearing; easiest selling properties on market. "
No doubt this influenced successful Sioux City real estate broker J.A. Barclay (J.A. Barclay Company) to come take a look. In March of 1912, the parcel that would contain the current house was sold by Martha J (Wilson) Rolfes, widow Mr. Barclay. to On June 21, 1912, he committed to building additional investments here, "Mr. J.A. Barclay, of Sioux City, Iowa, will build a spacious cottage on Clyde avenue, the house to occupy part of the lot upon which his other house, recently vacated by D.A. McAdoo, now stands. The lot is a large one and two residences will not occasion the least inconvenience." The contract was let in December 1912, which dates the construction of the house to 1913. J A Barclay formed a local brokerage and insurance company called "Breaker-Barclay Realty Company" which operated in Kissimmee and Orlando for many years.
In 1914, Kissimmee also caught the attention of lumbermen Henry H Harper and J Wade Tucker who operated Tucker-Harper Lumber Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan for many years. In 1914, the Harper family came to Kissimmee and organized a new company called the Everglades Cypress Company. On April 22, 1915, the Harpers purchased the residence on Clyde. Although Henry Harper died on September 8th, 1922, his widow Laura remained in the house until 1924..
The Harper family was very involved in civic matters in Kissimmee, and served on many committees. The spirit of Christmas was alive in 1919 on the Municipal Christmas tree committee. The canvassing and purchasing committee was comprised of Overstreets, Bryans, Makinsons, and Mrs. H H Harper (Laura) The Program Committee included the future Mrs McCaughen, Maude Alice Wagner. Later on, after Mr. Harper passed on, Laura sold the house on 3/24/1924 to Maud Alice (Wagner) McCaughen. The McCaughens were successful real estate investors and C B also was associated with a Cafeteria in Orlando. In the entryway of the house, we have placed some "trench art" pieces to honor Lt. C B McCaughen and his wartime service..
On March 3, 1925, the McCaughens sold the house to D L Autrey. The Autrey family moved to Kissimmee in 1924 from Autreyville, Georgia. They owned and operated Autrey Motors, a Ford dealership, in downtown Kissimmee. In 1936, Edward L "Geech" Partin and Connie Autrey were married in this house. Katherine Autrey lived in the home until she sold it to Osceola County Commissioner Randy Sheive in 2005. The house then passed through foreclosure, and several renovation attempts during the housing bust from 2010 - 2014. We are grateful that the attempt to convert it into office space was not successful. The Kapps purchased the home in 2014 with the intention of bringing it back to its original stature, with some artistic touches inside and out.
Sanborn Fire Map 1914
The first map that the current structure shows up on is this Sanborn Fire Map from 1914. Notice that the original house has a wraparound porch completely covering two sides. This porch was shortened and a bay window added by an unknown owner.
The current house was not on the lot in 1887, but a man named "E J Xaupi" from St Louis was residing in a structure on the property (now lost to history). People came to Kissimmee from all over the country in the late 1800's. An 1887 business directory places someone named "E J Xaupi" on the property who ran a 10 pin alley on Broadway/Darlington with a residence on the SE Corner of Clyde & Verona.
"Xaupi Edward J., Jr., ten pin alley and shooting gallery, ss Broadway, 2d s of Darlington ave, r Verona, se cor Clyde ave"
s refers to "South Side", "2 d s" refers to two doors south. r refers to "residence" So E.J. Xaupi Jr lived at the Southeast corner of Verona & Clyde and ran a ten pin alley and shooting gallery approximately where 25 Broadway in Kissimmee is today. You