Across from the Durkee House is another French Second Empire at 361 Stryker. The James Melady House is believed to have been built around 1885. The term Second Empire refers to the reign (1852-1870) of Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew Louis-Napoleon, and by extension some styles of architecture that became popular during that time.
Melady was one of the blufftop magnates who made his money on the lower West Side. He came to St. Paul in 1860 and began as a laborer for the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, then became a foreman at the Northwest Fuel Co., then ran his own coal and wood business on the flats at East Indiana Street.
He served on the St. Paul city council in the 1880s and 1890s, at times with Anthony Yoerg (see Yoerg's Heritage tour), and a brother of James Minea (see John and Mary Minea House). They were stalwart Sixth Ward men, business leaders and politicians. Melady retired in 1903, and died at 361 Stryker, living at that time with his daughter and her husband, Eugene P. Shanley.