Iola, KS

128-year-old house in Iola, Kansas evolved into a bed and breakfast before it was sold

CJ Coombs
Northrup House seen from the southeast.Photo byAmmodramus, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Northrup House at 318 East Street in Iola, Kansas (Allen County) was constructed around 1895. This house is 128-years-old and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 12, 1997. It is privately owned.

Originally, the house was a one-and-a-half-story cottage and later became a two-and-a-half-story frame house. The foundation is rusticated limestone and concrete. Also on the property is a one story garage.

The house is signficant because of its architecture at its place in history. The architect and builder are unknown. The house contains weatherboard on the first level and shingles on the second level.

According to the Redfin real estate website, the house was last sold in June 2007. At one point, the house operated as the Northrup House Bed and Breakfast. As reported earlier by the Iola Register, it was sold to a family with five children.

The house

Since the time the house was built, over the subsequent 17 years, the house went from a Queen Anne cottage to a free classic Queen Anne house. Between 1899 and 1901, a bay was added to the west side of the house. The house explanded by 1905 giving it another level. The front porch was wrapped around the east elevation.

In 1912, it's believed the sleeping porch on the second level was added and tower. The ornate design on the tower is beautiful. The second story barely overhangs the first story. The front porch sits on a rusticated concrete block wall and is supported by Tuscan columns.

The first floor contains spaces divided by pocket doors. There is a foyer and gentlemen's parlour with a fireplace. To the north is the ladies' parlor and from there, you reach the dining room and a green house. The kitchen and butler's pantry are also on this level. There are five bedrooms on the second floor and a ballroom in the attic.

Access to the third floor is gained from the second floor hall. A lot of the woodwork is oak and pine is in the kitchen and pantry. The main rooms on the first floor contain stained glass windows. The second floor contains four stained glass windows.

There was a time when the house didn't receive a lot of maintenance, but it was completely restored in 1994-1995. At that time, two families created the Northrup House Bed and Breakfast. By 1996, the property and business were purchased with restoration of the ballroom to follow in the next year.

Lewis Northrup

Lewis Northrup lived in this house with his family. Lewis was the youngest son of an early settler and businessman of Iola, Levi Northrup, who arrived there in 1861. Levi established a dry goods store named Northrup Brothers, the Northrup Lumber Company, and the Northrup National Bank of Iola (est. 1869). These businesses continued to function through Levi's sons.

After Levi died in 1896, Lewis became the president of Northrup National Bank of lola. Levi was the one who obtained the land where the house sits and the lots were deeded to Lewis in 1894, the same year Lewis married Lettie A. Bruner.

In 1895, Lewis and Lettie began building their house. They had three children named Drusilla (died at one month old in 1898), Roswell (1895-1976) and Laverne. After Lewis reorganized the bank and became its president, his brother, F. A. Northrup, was the vice-president and his brother, D. P. Northrup became the second vice-president.

The construction date for the historic home is believed to be about 1895. During the 1880s, the Queen Anne Style was popular through the country before it evolved into the style of Colonial Revival.

In 1927, the Northrups sold their property. In 1965, it was acquired in a tax sale. The property evolved into a bed and breakfast and returned into a family dwelling in 2007.

Lewis Northrup died in 1923 at age 58-59.

His public spirit, his generosity, his unselfish willingness to serve his friends and the public, his absolute honesty, are so well established that it is not too much to say that he holds not only the good will but the regard of the entire community. (Source.)

Lettie A Bruner Northrup died in 1951 at age 76-77.

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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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