Francis G. Newlands Office

In 1890-91, soon after constructing his impressive residence on the bluff overlooking the Truckee River, Francis G. Newlands had a smaller house built on his estate to serve as his personal office. The second building, like the first (see separate entry for Senator Francis G. Newlands House, NHL), was designed in the Queen Anne style, a unique architectural style for the neighborhood that would eventually grow around it, but consistent with Newlands’ personal holdings in the area.

Newlands, the son-in-law of Comstock titan William Sharon, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1892 and to the U.S. Senate in 1903. He died in 1917, and the house passed to Reno physician Sidney King Morrison and his family. Born in Eureka, Nevada in 1879, Morrison had established a medical practice in Reno in 1902 and was a prominent physician in town for 40 years. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Cooper Medical College in San Francisco, which is now a part of Stanford University. His medical specialty was surgery and he was noteworthy as a diagnostician; he also served as Washoe County Physician for more than a decade.

During World I, Morrison served as chief medical examiner for his district in Nevada. Many of his clients came to Reno from California and in later years he served people from all over the United States. An active Mason, he frequently provided pro bono medical services for those who could not afford his services.

Mrs. Sidney Morrison, the former Janet Bell, hosted innumerable events at the family’s Elm Court home. A former teacher in Truckee, she was exceptionally active in club life, particularly in the cause of education and the Trinity Episcopal Church. After her husband died in 1942, Janet continued to live in the house until her own death in 1972.

The Francis Newlands’ Office is a half-timbered version of the Queen Anne style consisting of 3,006 square feet plus a small basement, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Notable interior features include the original cast-iron radiators, original doors, floors, and hardware. One addition, a downstairs bathroom, is wallpapered with historical newspapers featuring the history of the house and surrounding area. Peter and Renate Neumann purchased the house around 1980, and worked tirelessly to retain the building’s original character.

Images

The Newlands Office
The Newlands Office The Queen Anne style of architecture was popular for residential construction in the United States from approximately 1880 to 1910. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson
1891 sketch
1891 sketch A sketch of the Francis G. Newlands Office appeared in the local newspaper, reflecting the pride felt by the community in Newlands' accomplishments and contributions to Reno's landscape. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: December 24, 1891
Francis G. Newlands
Francis G. Newlands Newlands served as a U.S. Congressman from Nevada from 1892 to 1903 and as a Senator representing Nevada from 1903 to 1917. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
Newlands houses on the bluff
Newlands houses on the bluff In this early photograph looking southward toward the bluff from the north bank of the Truckee River, the Newlands House is on the right and the Newlands Office on the left. Source: Renate Neumann
Dr. Sidney K. Morrison
Dr. Sidney K. Morrison Sidney Morrison lived with his family in the house for many years, during which the house was the site of countless club and church meetings and fundraisers. Source: Encyclopedia of American Biography, New Series, Volume 17, American Historical Society Date: 1944
Trimming the ivy in 2002
Trimming the ivy in 2002 Renate Neumann trims the ivy outside the home. Peter and Renate Neumann have owned the house for more than 40 years. Source: Renate Neumann Creator: David Colborn Date: 2022
Decorative lamp post
Decorative lamp post The lamp post at the entrance to the grounds provides a charming entrance to the property. Creator: Donna and Paul Erickson

Location

1 Elm Court, Reno, NV

Metadata

Donna and Paul Erickson, “Francis G. Newlands Office,” Reno Historical, accessed May 19, 2024, https://renohistorical.org/items/show/189.