Mexico, MO

The Graceland Mansion in Mexico, Missouri is also known as the Ross House or Clark House and is over 160 years old

CJ Coombs

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Graceland, aka Ross House and John Clark House, Mexico, Missouri.Jerrye & Roy Klotz MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The historical Ross House (referred to as the Graceland Mansion) in Audrain County is owned by the Audrain County Historical Society and houses its office and museums. Architecturally, it is a two-story dwelling in Classical Revival with Italianate-style elements.

House history

Audrain County was organized in 1836, and named after James H. Audrain who was a member of the Missouri state legislature. The county seat is the town of Mexico which was platted in 1837.

The property where the Ross House ended up being built was acquired by George F. Muldrow in 1838. After he and his wife purchased the property, they divorced shortly after that, leaving Mrs. Muldrow in possession of the property. In 1857, Mrs. Muldrow sold the property to her son-in-law, John P. Clark, who had just been elected to county court as a judge. This same year, an elegant home was built on the property. Clark is given credit for building the Graceland Museum.

In 1867, Clark sold the home to Colby T. Quisenberry who called the house Graceland. Quisenberry was noted as having produced champion saddle horses.

Mexico, Missouri was once noted as the 'Saddlebred Horse Capital of the World.' The American Saddlebred Horse Museum was established in 1970 to complement Graceland. It is the oldest Saddlebred Horse Museum in the nation. (Source.)

In 1874, the historical home was purchased by James E. Ross, a native of Pennsylvania who lived in the home with his family for 50 years. Ross was appointed a term to county court by Governor Hardin. Ross died on January 4, 1900, and the house remained in his family until 1920 when it was purchased by Elwyn R. Locke.

It was next passed on to Elwyn's son, Sam Locke, in 1941. Before Sam's death in 1962, he sold the house to the City of Mexico. Sam was the inventor of the Warm Morning Heater. He became a major landowner in Audrain County from the profit of his invention. The one-millionth heater was sold in 1946.

In 1978, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author; 30 years of legal secretarial experience; BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. Thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, truth, non-fiction, reading, history, and travel.

Kansas City, MO
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