Saint Charles, MO

The historic Newbill-McElhiney House in St. Charles, Missouri houses an antique shop

CJ Coombs
Historic Newbill-McElhiney House, St. Charles, Missouri.Photo bySmallbones, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Newbill-McElhiney House is a historic home located at 625 South Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri (St. Charles County). This house was constructed in 1836 and expanded in the 1850s.

This two-story home has the architectural elements of Federal-style. There is also a two-story building on the property said to be living quarters for slaves.

On April 11, 1972, this house was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and it's also within the St. Charles Historic District which was added to the National Register on September 22, 1969.
The Newbill-McElhiney house in 2022.Photo byGoogle Maps.

I really like the cobblestone roadway and sidewalk in front of the house which ties into the history of the home and property. The Newbill-MeElhiney House has 14 rooms. As you can see, the front of the house has five bays. The southernmost section with three bays is believed to the the original part of the home that was built in 1836. There were other additions that were meticulously added so as to duplicate any original work.

The Newbill-McElhiney House is named after the two people who built it. In June 1836, Franklin S. Newbill, a successful mill owner, acquired his lot at the northwest corner of Main and Perry Streets at a sheriff's auction. It’s believed Newbill had improved the lot by adding a house to it between 1836 and 1838. In June 1841, Newbill sold the house and lot.

Another resource implies that a man named William Eckert built a small two-story brick house for his daughter. Eckert was Newbill's father-in-law. Newbill married his daughter, Marian "Polly" Eckert on December 3, 1835. She was 16 and Newbill was 21.

Supposedly, while Eckert and Newbill were in business together, they had a falling out in late 1845 and "Newbill was totally out of the picture." The Eckerts continued to live at the house until Eckert's death in 1846.

In 1858, Dr. William J. McElhiney purchased the home. He moved to the area from Maryland. He was also a prominent physician and Democratic politician. He sold the home in the spring of 1865 and while McElhiney sold his house, within two years, he bought it again.

Before McElhiney passed away on October 22, 1883, at age 84, he deeded the property to his daughter. The house was subdivided between two heirs. The sound section half of the home was deeded to McElhiney’s widow. The north section was given to his daughter.

In 1888, ownership of the home was consolidated, but for the five years prior to that, it was treated as two independent residences. The home was with the McElhiney family until 1895.

William J. McElhiney’s great-granddaughter, Edna Elizabeth McElhiney Olson, was an Archivist for St. Charles County Historical Society, Inc. from 1956 to 1969. She composed a weekly historical article for the St. Charles Journal. Her content was focused on St. Charles County. Her home, but not the home discussed herein, served as an archives building which allowed for people to come and work on research.

In 1969, after the Historical Society acquired the Newbill-McElhiney House, the house was restored and furnished. The public could tour the home. However, the high cost of running and maintaining the house led to the Historical Society selling it. Interestingly, there's a house wood model of the home for sale on eBay.

The historic home used to house the Haviland Museum and a women's clothing store called String Along with Me. In 2016, Fox and Hound Antiques moved into the house.

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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