A simple house with a big story

11/22/2014 10:40 AM by

PHOTO: 725 North 22nd Street (right)(Jan.2006)

The Thomas Cannon house at 725 North 22nd Street has been recently polished and put on the market. A neat piece by Carol Hazard in the RTD tells of Cannon’s life, Union Hill in the 1990s, and the story of the home’s renovation:

The Church Hill house sat empty for 10 years until Ralph Oliver bought it from Cannon in 2005, just before the philanthropist’s death, and did the heavy lifting, restoring the rickety home to resell it.

A carpenter, contractor and trucker, Oliver was renovating his house on the same street when Cannon’s daughter-in-law noticed his work and asked him to buy the Cannon house and fix it.

“I had the real pleasure of having an audience with him,” Oliver said about Thomas Cannon. “He had the most positive attitude of anyone I had ever met in my life.”

Oliver said Cannon told him that he had an operation to remove cancerous tumors, but doctors said they could not do much with a third tumor. “ ‘Don’t worry about me,’ ” Cannon told Oliver. “ ‘I’ve had a good life.’ ” He chose to be buried among the poor.

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