On December 31st, 1880, an article in the Saint Paul Daily Globe made a mention of William R. Marshall building a house with a mansard roof on the property of 415 Summit Avenue. Constructed for a cost of $8,500, the architect is unknown, and it is also unknown whether Marshall lived in the house. William Rainey Marshall was born on October 17th, 1825 in Columbia Missouri. He came to Minnesota in 1849, and worked as a prosperous merchant. He served one term in the first Minnesota territorial legislature that formed his reputation as a leader, and he became chairman of the convention that founded Minnesota’s Republican Party. He found success in Minnesota, in banking, stocks, real estate, and newspaper publishing.
The first known resident of 415 Summit was Edward W. Winter who worked in the railroad business, and went on to become president of the Northern Pacific Railroad. In 1886 he added a $3,000 addition to the building. The next owner of the home was William J. Dean, son of businessman William Blake Dean, who built his home at 353 Summit Avenue.
William John Dean was born on September 11th, 1869 in Saint Paul. He received his education in the Saint Paul public school system, and at Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. William started work as an office boy at his father’s wholesale hardware firm of Nicols and Dean. He was admitted to the firm in 1894 and in 1905 the business was incorporated as Nicols, Dean, and Gregg of which William John became vice president and treasurer. He married Laura C. Winter on June 19th, 1894 and raised eight children with her. As his career went on, William was involved in banking, iron manufacturing, and countless local societies and committees, including the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce.