Historic Reding home destroyed by fire

A historic home in Sallisaw was destroyed by an early morning fire Wednesday (July 3).

Sallisaw Fire Department responded to the fire at Hickory and Arlington streets about 3 a.m., and firemen were at the scene until about 10 a.m.

The home, at 321 Hickory Street, was once the home of J.T. (James) and Esther Reding, according to historian Earl Strebeck.

Reding was born in Sebastian County, Ark., Aug. 29, 1859. “He came to Sallisaw in 1909 and opened a grocery store that grew to be one of the most completely equipped stores in eastern Oklahoma,” Strebeck said. “He and his wife had three children: Madge, born in 1894; James, born in 1899; and Florence, born in 1903.”

Strebeck said the Redings bought the property, Lots 5 and 6, in the Bruton Addition for $225 according to the deed book for Sequoyah County.

The Oct. 7, 1910 Sallisaw Star Gazette, on Page 5, announced, “J.T. Reding is just finishing a fine residence in the Bruton Addition which will be a credit not only to that addition but to the whole town.” Strebeck said after living there for several years after J.T. Reding died on May 2, 1926, Esther sold the house in 1941. She died in 1955.

“Most people in Sallisaw remember the house as the home of Otis William Tubbs (called Red) and his wife Mae Tubbs, who bought the house in 1947. Red is also remembered for driving a taxi. The Tubbs lived there until their deaths. Mae died in 1972 and Red died March 28, 1995,” Strebeck said.

The Redings and the Tubbs are all buried in the Sallisaw Cemetery.

No one was in the home when it burned Wednesday. The fire is believed to have started on the second floor.

Sequoyah County Times

111 N. Oak
Sallisaw OK 74955
918-775-4433