The house at 323 Summit Avenue was built in 1893 for Edward and Mary Saunders. Designed by Clarence Johnston in the Renaissance Revival style, the original construction cost came to about $35,000. Construction of the brick and stone mansion started in July of 1892, and was completed in September of 1893.
Edward Nelson Saunders was born in 1845 in Ohio. He married Mary S. Proal on February 9th, 1874 in Saint Paul, and together they had five children. Edward worked in the coal business, and in his career became the president and treasurer for the Northwestern Fuel Company. With a large fortune, in 1892, he invested in a home on Summit Avenue.
Mary Saunders was heavily involved in the social realm of the rich and famous in Saint Paul, and hosted various clubs and parties from her family’s mansion. Edward Saunders died on June 23rd, 1913 in his home, and Marry lived there until her death on December 19th, 1937. The home was then sold that year to the Catholic Church, but today is a private residence.