Lexington, MO

It's been around for 136 years: the Thomas Talbot and Rebecca Walton Smithers Stramcke House

CJ Coombs
Historic Thomas Talbot and Rebecca Walton Smithers Stramcke House, Lexington, Missouri.Photo byGoogle Maps.

Set a distance away from Highway O is the Thomas Talbot and Rebecca Walton Smithers Stramcke House, also referred to as The Cedars. This is a historic home located at 15834 Highway O in the vicinity of Lexington, Missouri. The house is privately owned.

This two-and-a-half-story house was constructed around 1887. The architectural style is Queen Anne. It has a three-story round tower with a conical roof. It also has a wraparound verandah. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 29, 1999. It has a sandstone foundation and the walls are weatherboard and shingles. The architect and builder are unknown.

The Stramcke House has a full basement. At the time the house was nominated for the National Register, it was painted in shades of blue and gray with yellow accents.

The interior of the home includes varnished oak, walnut, pine, and other woods. The landscape around the house is a lot of corn fields and homes that are newer.

This image is a close-up of the home showing the shingles.Photo byStramcke House/NRHP Nomination Form.

The house is significant due to its architecture. It looks like a country castle. It's very ornate and detailed. There are a lot of interesting elements and textures in this house.

Inside the home are original staircases and mantels. The woodwork includes oak and mahogany. For as old as this home is, it's obvious it's been well cared for. Supposedly, it was also called The Cedars because there used to be a lot of cedar trees that lined the driveway and were in the yard.

Thomas Talbot Stramcke and Rebecca Walton Smithers

Thomas Stramcke was a builder. He met Rebecca Smithers in St. Louis. Thomas was employed in St. Louis and Rebecca happened to live there. They married on December 14, 1869, which happened to be Thomas' 23rd birthday.

Stramcke's family lived in Lafayette County on a farm of 370 acres not far from where the historic house was built. Thomas and Rebecca settled in that county and supposedly, their house is patterned off of one he saw in St. Louis.

Thomas and Rebecca stayed on the farm until their fifth child was grown and after that, they moved to Lexington.

Thomas was born in Lafayette County in 1846. He was the only child of his parents to survive infancy. His father was born in New York, supported the Confederacy, and owned slaves. When his father died, Thomas was the sole heir.

Thomas continued his father's business in real estate. He was also involved with coal mining. Rebecca, who was accustomed to St. Louis life, most likely had to adapt to rural life.

Thomas Talbot Stramcke died on March 11, 1931, at age 84. Rebecca W. Smithers Stramcke died on Aprl 28, 1911, at age 61. Of their five children, one son died at age two.

There have been other owners of the house, and some replicated what was deteriorating which continued to promote an unaltered design. They also avoided giving in to having metal siding installed. The outbuildings that were linked to the house at one time are now gone but this country castle still stands tall in Lafayette County.

Thanks for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and author/publisher with a BA in Eng Journalism/Creative Writing. I worked in law firms for 30+ years and retired early to pursue writing. I was born into the Air Force, so you could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, research, history, true crime, reading, art, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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