The first owner-occupants of 6317 Bright Avenue when this house was built in 1914 were Matilda Garnatz and her brother-in-law, Albert J. Lesle, and Lesle’s wife, Ida. Lesle was a carpenter and building contractor and it is possible that he could have been the home’s builder.
The home’s second owner-occupants were Mary Kate Davis-Cook and Amos Cook, who purchased the property in 1916. Mary Kate Davis traveled across the country with twenty others from Ironton, Wisconsin, in October of 1887, to join the new colony of Friends in Whittier. She lived in a one-room house with twenty or more people until other homes could be built in the Whittier colony. Mary Kate Davis was one of the Charter Members of the Whittier Friends Monthly Meeting, which included other well-known early settlers, such as Jonathan and Rebecca Bailey. In 1912, at the age of 66, she married the Reverend Amos Cook. Amos Cook was one of the first pastors of the East Whittier Friends Church after its establishment in 1906. In addition to his work for the church, Amos Cook was a strong supporter of the Whittier College Endowment Fund. In 1916, Mary Kate Davis Cook purchased the property at 329 N. Bright where she lived with her husband until his death in 1919 at the age of 73. Mrs. Cook died in 1920, and her sister, Martha I. Cammack, inherited the property on Bright Avenue where she lived until her death in 1941.
The structure was illegally converted into a duplex, however the present owners removed the second kitchen in an effort to return the home to its original layout as a single family residence and have restored the majority of the home’s original Arts and Crafts interior.
Local designation date is December 9, 1997. Identification number is 28. A Mills Act Agreement was connected to this residence at the time it was locally designated. It's documentation calls it the Seelt House.
SOURCES: The information above has been obtained from the original local designation documents and edits from the Whittier Historic Neighborhood Association. It may also include ongoing current ownership input.