659 West Canfield was originally a frame residence when built in 1881. The first owner was Reverend William Wallace Washburn, Pastor of the Cass Avenue M. E. Church.
In 1890, the new owner who lived here was Henry H. Valpey, a partner in Valpey and Company (boot and shoe industry). The old frame house was torn down and a brick apartment was built. Henry H. Valpey passed away July 5, 1897. His widow Janet E. Valpey would complete the project and continue to live in the apartment.
The apartment building was then owned by the Kenneth M. Davies family. Mr. Davies was an attorney with offices in the Penobscot Building. He resided next door at 669, the home of Dr. Vincent C. Wall.
Here's a list of houses lined up on the south side of W. Canfield between 2nd Ave. and 3rd Ave.. They can also be found on Historic Detroit:
William Wallace Washburn House