On the site where 421 Summit stands today, there stood a small frame house. It was purchased in 1882 by Joseph Wheelock, who the then hired architect Clarence Johnston to redesign it for him. The home was remodeled into a much larger dwelling for the cost of about $10,000. Joseph Albert Wheelock was president of the Pioneer Press, and was a business partner with Frederick Driscoll who built his home at 266 Summit Avenue in 1884. Joseph lived in his house at 421 Summit until his death on May 9th, 1906. The home was then demolished in 1912.
The present house at 421 Summit was built in 1912 for Edward and Lucinda Buxton. The home was designed in a mix of the Beaux Arts and Italian Renaissance styles by the Chicago-based architectural firm of “Marshall and Fox”, and cost around $22,500 to construct. Edward Timothy Buxton was born on April 20th, 1852 in Warsaw, New York. He worked for himself as a lumber baron, and on October, 2nd, 1885 he married Mary Elizabeth Chase in Chicago, Illinois. While living in Wisconsin in 1894, Mary died, and Edward moved to Michigan. There he met Lucinda Lee, and married her on April 5th, 1899. By 1910 the couple and Edward’s three children were living in Duluth, Minnesota, and in 1912 built a home on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul, where they lived for the next 11 years.
Edward and Lucinda moved out of their home on Summit Avenue in about 1923. The next resident to live in the house was Egil and Rachel Boeckmann. Egil was a renowned physician in the state and Rachel was daughter of famous railroad builder, James J. Hill. The Boeckmanns lived at 421 Summit Avenue until 1930, when they moved to their newly built home at 366 Summit Avenue.