The Dr. William H. & Frances C Axtell House is historically significant for its association with Frances Cleveland Axtell (1866-1953), who was active throughout her life in local, state and national politics. Frances was one of the first two women elected to the Washington State Legislature and narrowly missed becoming the first woman senator in the United States.
The Axtell House at 413 E Maple Street was originally built in 1902 as a clapboard-sided 2.5 story in the Classical Revival style, and was the Axtell home from 1902 until 1942, during which is served as a gathering place for a variety of politicians, suffragists, clubwomen and celebrated personalities. The Axtell House is significant for the period beginning in 1902 when the home was built, and ends in 1942, the year Frances moved out of the house/apartment.
Frances converted the house to apartments in 1926, a transformation in which she was very involved. Based on historic images, elements that defined the original character of the home remained after the conversion into apartments. The alterations included reworking of the porch, an addition to the east and west facades, and a new stucco veneer. Today, the Axtell House remains the only direct connection to the amazing life and work of Frances Axtell.