Leah Range

Born: Aug 17, 1889
Loc: Dayton, Columbia Co. WA
Died:  Aug 28, 1957
Loc:  Mecklenburg Co, NC
Bur: Evergreen Cemetery,
Charlotte, NC
(See Gravestone Photo Below)
Father: George Washington Range
Mother: Emma Hannah Lindley
Married:  July 9, 1921
at Winston Salem, Forsythe Co, NC
Spouse: Blair Wilson Roberts
Children: Betty/Blair Jr.
Occupation: Nurse/Home Designer
  Leah Range graduated from Seattle General Hospital June 1912.
NC Marriage Records:
Name: Leah Range
Gender: Female
Age: 28
Race: White
Spouse: Blair W Roberts
Spouse Gender: Male
Spouse Age: 37
Spouse Race: White
Marriage Date: 9 Jul 1921
Marriage Location: Winston-Salem
Marriage County: Forsyth
Marriage State: North Carolina
1900 Census: Dayton, Columbia Co. WA
1910 Census: Seattle, Kings Co. WA
1920 Census: Onondaga, Onondaga Co. NY
1930 Census: Charlotte, Meckenburg Co. NC
Newspaper Abstracts:
Miss Leah Range, who recently graduated from the Seattle General Hospital has just received the appointment of head nurse in the surgical department of the Walla Walla hospital.
Source: Dayton Chronicle: June 29, 1912
1921 City Directory: Charlotte, NC
Range, Leah Miss., Nurse – City Health Dept. h 217 e. Park Ave.
Newspaper Article:
Personality Of One Woman Seen In 600 Homes in Carolinas
Mrs. B. W. Roberts, Only Woman Commercial Home Designer in Charlotte and Probably the Carolinas, is a Pioneer, as Were Her Forebears – Served as a Nurse in World War I
The personality of one little Charlotte woman radiates from 600 homes in the Carolinas. Which statement introduces Mrs. B. W. Roberts, only woman commercial home designer in Charlotte and probably the Carolinas. Mrs. Roberts herself suggests the modifying adjective "commercial" be placed before her designation as a home designer, because as she states it, to designate me as the only woman designer would be a gross misstatement, every woman is an actual or potential designer of homes. Anyway Mrs. Roberts is a pioneer in this section. She has original ideas will be discussed after the readers have been thoroughly introduced to the woman herself. Her pioneering comes naturally, for she is descended from pioneering stock. She was born Leah Range of Washington State. Her grandparents on her mother’s side were Lee and Susan Lindley, Forty-Niners, who married at the ages of seventeen and nineteen and set out in a covered wagon drawn by a team of oxen on the long trek from Kentucky to the California gold mines. After a six month journey they arrived. And in the mad gold rush they survived. Mrs. Roberts own parents migrated to Washington State which explains why the lady is a westerner born instead of a southerner. The pioneering streak of the grandparents was passed on to the granddaughter. There were no new lands to conquer. Her conquests turned to new fields of endeavor for women.
Mrs. Roberts, like the usual young woman of her day, attended the public schools of her home community and the Washington State Teachers college. She also taught one year in the public schools and turned her attention to nursing. She entered the General Hospital of Seattle and became a graduate nurse. Following graduation she was in charge of the operating room of the Walla Walla hospital at Walla Walla, Washington. A talent for art knawing for recognition finally caused Mrs. Roberts to resign her hospital position and enter the National School of Fine and Applied Arts at Washington D.C. She was studying sketching and sculpturing when the United States in April of 1917 entered the first world war. The Artist again turned nurse and volunteering for service, she was sent across with the University of Virginia unit of the Red Cross. Mrs. Roberts was in the group which set up an evacuation hospital near Chateau-Thierry. Here she learned the true meaning of Sherman’s statement "War is Hell". It took years to even partly obliterate Chateau-Thierry from her mind, Mrs. Roberts tells. No one ever again has the same regard for human life that he has before witnessing the ravages of war she says. For years I could see the 100 room monastery which we used as a hospital. I could see the sky red with the firing of cannon. I could see the lines of wounded boys – arms off ……..legs dangling……faces shot to pieces.
"I could still see the main hall where the boys were deloused before being sent to rooms". "But at last it ended as most horrors do. I found myself again in America and married to a builder of homes. I began drawing, little sketches for my husband, for, I reasoned. If the homes were going to be built they had just as well be beautiful as convenient. Soon I was drawing plans regularly and decided that if I were going to design homes I had just as well learn something about it" So Mrs. Roberts accordingly enrolled in the National Correspondence School in Home Designing, Scranton, Pennsylvania. While she was taking this course her two children Bob and Betty were born; hence she declines to state how long it was before she became a graduate in home designing. She has never taken the state exam as an architect and doesn’t’ class herself as one – her only is home designing. However a number of architectural magazines have given recognition to Mrs. Roberts plans. As for her opinion on home planning " There is no definite rule to set down" she says. "You’ve heard of the old saying that no two women can live in the same house, well no two women are satisfied with the same plan. Mrs. Jones may say that she wishes a plan drawn like Mrs. Smith’s but when you begin to draw that plan, Mrs. Jones wishes her closet on a different side of the room from Mrs. Smith’s - she wishes her ceilings a little higher – or her windows a little larger.
"I have planned about 600 homes in the Carolinas but no two of them are exactly alike". Asked to explain her success Mrs. Roberts replied: "If I have been successful it is because I have never tried to thrust my ideas upon other women, Each, housewife knows the needs of her own family better then anyone else does. I just try to help the potential home builder get her ideas clarified and on paper. Of course there are a few essentials that apply to all house planning. As I have explained the family needs and the amount of money to be expended determine the kind of plan. A family with a small amount of money cannot get all of the things needed. In this case the necessities have to be chosen. For instance a family with daughters needs a den in the home much worse then does a family where there are boys. If Mary has a date mother and dad cannot use the living room; thence some kind of retreat is essential. But if Jimmy has a date he is in some girl’s home and the mother and dad can loll in the living room all they wish". One of the main things to be considered in building a home is the avoidance of making any one room a traffic way. A living room is not satisfactory if all the traffic of the family passes through it – neither is the dining room or any other room.
There are a few "musts" in house planning; Plenty of light and plenty of closet space are the two most important. Each bedroom should have it’s own closet – the master bedroom should have two and there should be additional linen, broom and coat closet. The wall finish is a matter of taste. Some like paper-some like paint. There is not a great deal of difference in the attractiveness of the two. The kitchen is getting to be the prettiest places in the modern home. Plenty of cabinets and plenty of lights make a usable kitchen. There should be a light over the sink, one over the stove and one over the breakfast table, if it is in the kitchen. Lots of windows, cross ventilation if possible, and plenty of closet space are the main requirements. And all houses should be insulated and weather stripped. The saving in fuel more then compensates for the extra costs". And what makes one house beautiful and another ugly? According to Mrs. Roberts the main items are balance and color. The windows and doors so as to be pleasing to the eye as well as convenient and the color right. And too, beauty in a house depends on fitting the house to the lot and community. The type of architecture to be chosen depends largely on the lay of the land. A small house should not be placed among a group of large ones. The home should blend into the background and not stand out against it. Here and there in Charlotte – mayhap in Club Colony… er in Myers Park… Elizabeth… Dilworth or in one of the suburbs – one runs into a Roberts home. There is something different about it. This may be a sunken window – it may be an unusual arrangement of bookcases – it’s always an abundance of light and storage space. There’s no way to designate just what quality the home has – but it radiates a special personality, the personality of a woman how has lived and studied widely.
By Fannie Lou Bingham
Charlotte Observer 10 Aug 1941

Funeral services for Mrs. Leah Range Roberts, 69, Charlotte architect, of 1709 Avondale Ave., who died yesterday at her home, will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Harry & Bryant Chapel in the Oaks. The Rev. Harland Creech, pastor of Dilworth Methodist church, will officiate. Mrs. Roberts was born Aug. 17, 1888, in Dayton, Wash., daughter of the late George W. Range and Emma Lindley Range. She attended Washington State Teachers College, the National School of Fine and Applied Arts in Washington, D.C., and was a graduate nurse of General Hospital in Seattle. She was a member of the Dilworth Methodist Church, the DAR and the Colonial Dames. During World War I she was a member of the University of Virginia Red Cross unit and helped set up an evacuation hospital near Chateau-Thierry. Survivors include her husband, B. W. Roberts, Jr., of Philadelphia; a sister, Mrs. Wesley Eager of Dayton; and a brother, Walker Range of Eugene, Ore.
Source: North Carolina Room/Library Charlotte, NC/NCR Reference Staff