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My History House #3- 95 Fourth Street

Third in a series about residents' homes built before 1930.

95 Fourth Street faces sideways to the street.
95 Fourth Street faces sideways to the street.

The current homeowners of 95 Fourth Street were curious about their house after hearing stories about its history, but the husband's interest in the home goes further back.

According to former resident, Sean Heaney, "'N' was a childhood friend of my oldest brother, Michael. 'N' moved in during high school junior year. He was well-respected and kind. He was also a talented basketball guy and played with my brother, using the hoop in the driveway. He told us that he would like to own our house someday." And he did.

"N" bought the house with his wife 21 years ago, where he now lives with his three children.

The approximately 5,000 square foot home is situated between Hilton and Cathedral avenues, on one half acre.

Nassau County records state that it was originally built as a stable in 1875, although other sources claim 1888. In 1925 it was remodeled.

The first family that has been found to live at the Fourth Street house was the Waters family. William Otis Waters, Jr. (b. 1889 in Michigan- d. 1940 in Garden City) and Alice Haven Trevor Waters (b. 1895 in Connecticut- d. 1946) lived there from 1931 to 1935.

William Waters went to St. Paul's School in Garden City. Later, he was a member of the famous Skull and Bones Society and graduated from Yale University, Class of 1913. A fellow classmate of his was William Averell Harriman, the future New York State governor.

Waters was in the United States Infantry during WWI. After the war, he attended Columbia University School of Journalism and worked with various newspapers and advertising agencies in Manhattan, eventually getting into the stock market with Farnum, Winter and Company and American Surety Company in securities investment. American was the "largest surety company in the world," according to analysis done by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1997.

In 1927 Waters married Alice Haven Trevor, who was formerly married to George Trevor, the sports editor of the New York World-Telegram. Waters adopted her son, Haven (b. 1916 in New York City- d. 1966) and daughter, Nancy (b. 1919). In 1930 the four were living on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan with three servants where William was a stockbroker, before heading to Garden City.

While in the Fourth Street house, the Waters family were members of the Cathedral of the Incarnation. Together, they had Elizabeth Ann Waters who was born around 1932.

Haven Waters attended St. Paul's School, starting in 1930 and was an athlete. He was an "Old Hundred" quarterback in 1934 and won the Prentice Cup for tennis doubles with a classmate.

Like his father, Haven Waters also was a member of the Skull and Bones, and graduated from Yale, Class of 1936.

Around 1935 the Waters family sold 95 Fourth Street to the Morris family and moved to 65 Third Street nearby. The Waters lived on Third Street until at least 1940 with a cook and maid.

In 1942 Haven Waters, William and Alice's son married Suzanna (also spelled Susanna) J. Trusler (b. 1917), whose father was the Dean of the University of Florida, Harry J. Trusler. They eventually had five children. Haven was on the advertising staff of Newsweek. In his off hours he directed alumni fund drives for St. Paul's School and Yale University.

In 1943, William and Alice's daughter Nancy enlisted in the Women's Army Corps as an aviation cadet, after graduating from Smith College.

The second family at 95 Fourth Street was Howard E. Morris, Jr. (b. Aug. 15, 1887 in Wisconsin) and Janet C. Morris (b. Aug. 19, 1899 in Syracuse). They rented the house in approximately 1935. They had lived in New York City and East Hampton beforehand. Howard was a banker and a bond salesman with four years of college. Janet had two years of college. They had two sons, Howard, Jr. (b. approximately 1924 in New York) and Louis (b. approximately 1927 in New York).

The third family moved in around 1945. Gifford Morgan Pearson, Sr. (b. 1888 in New Jersey- d. 1974 in Hicksville) and Emma T. Pearson (b. 1890 in Washington- d. 1974 in Hicksville) had lived previously in Bayside, Queens, Bay Shore and Plandome Manor. Gifford started out in real estate, served in WWI and by 1925 was in advertising. He returned to real estate at a later date.

Gifford and Emma's son, Gifford Morgan Pearson, Jr. (b. 1916 - d. 1985 in Palm Beach, Florida) graduated college and was in sales. He enlisted in WWII in 1940 as a private in the cavalry and finished in 1945. By 1963 Gifford, Jr. was president of Boca Building Care Company in Boca Raton, Florida. His father was vice president, while Marion E. Pearson was the secretary and treasurer.

Gifford, Sr. and Emma Pearson also had two daughters. Betty was born around 1921 and Jessie C. Pearson was born approximately 1925 and was in the banking business.

The fourth family was the Wilkes family, only known by J. and Jean, who lived at 95 Fourth Street from 1953 to 1957. They lived at 59 Wyatt Road beforehand and had an insurance company on Franklin Avenue. The Wilkes' bought the house for $22,500.

The fifth family to own the Fourth Street home isn't known, but they occupied the home from 1957 to 1966.

Family number six was the Heaney family. Michael J. Heaney, Jr. and Sheila Cashman Heaney bought the house in 1966 for $63,000. Michael, Jr. was originally from Brooklyn and later moved to Garden City with his parents.

While on furlough during WWII, he met Sheila in town. He was in the financial field. He and Sheila lived in West Hempstead. According to son, Sean, their house burned down right before they bought the Garden City one. Luckily no one was injured.

They had Michael J. Heaney, III (b. 1958) who is now a paleontologist and professor at Texas A & M; Patrick J. Heaney (b.1964), Erin Heaney and Sean (b. 1967), who is an elementary physical education teacher in Brooklyn.

Sean Heaney said the home "was a carriage house to 40 Hilton Avenue, on the corner of Fifth Street...Most of the expansions were done before we moved in, but we enclosed the side porch [facing the street]. What made it unusual was that the house faced Hilton Avenue. We had 24 wonderful years there."

Sean added that the current homeowners built a separate garage and converted the old one to expand the house. They also finished the attic and basement.

If anyone has any old books, photos, phone books or papers relating to anything in Garden City, please contact village historian Suzie Alvey at suziealvey@gmail.com or historian@gardencityny.net or 326-1720.

She can scan or photograph the items, while you keep the original, or you can donate it. This will be extremely helpful to the archives at the Garden City Public Library and the Garden City Historical Society.

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