A Mitchell County farmstead is the latest Kansas property to join the National Register of Historic Places. Three Wichita apartment buildings and private residences in Wamego and Douglass, along with two barns in Chase County and a former high school in Belleville were also added to the Register on June 25.
Kansas now has 1,317 properties included on the National Register list.
The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service. It was created by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and is part of a nationwide program that coordinates public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
Eligible properties must be significant for one or more of the four criteria for evaluation. Properties can be eligible if they are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history. They can be eligible if they are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past. Distinctive construction can qualify properties for the National Register if they embody the characteristic of a type, period, or method of construction, or represent the work of a master, or possess high artistic values, or represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction. Lastly, properties may be eligible for the National Register if they have yielded or may be likely to yield information important in prehistory or history. The National Register recognizes properties of local, statewide, and national significance.
Details of the new listings include:
The Abram Click Farmstead, 2030 Independence Ave., Beloit, in Mitchell County
It is a collection of six historic farm resources located at the southeast corner of K-14 and U.S. Hwy. 24 on the northwest edge of Beloit.
Click was a native of Kentucky and was living in the Beloit area as early as 1973. He came with a influx of new residents that migrated to the area between 1870 and 1880. He obtained his patent for 40 acres in 1880, but he sold the improved land in 1883. The property continued to function as a farmstead through the 1980s.
Today, the farmstead is owned by the Mitchell County Historical Society and includes 6.8 acres with a limestone house, barn ruins, water tower, washhouse, granary, and outhouse ruins. The Gothic Revival house was constructed circa 1880 and features ornate window hoods, dressed sills and quoins that is likely the work of Joseph Hill, a locally well-known 19th century stone mason. The house is an excellent representation of early construction in Mitchell County.
The later wood frame washhouse, granary, and outhouse demonstrate the evolution of the farmstead into the early 20th century. The property was nominated as part of the Historic Agriculture-Related Resources of Kansas multiple property nomination for its local significance in the areas of agriculture and architecture.
McNee Barns, Hwy. 50, three miles south of Elmdale in Chase County
The McNee Barns are located in the Kansas Flint Hills in the west-central portion of Chase County. The nominated property, which has been owned by the McNee family since 1916, includes four historic resources: a circa 1920 horse barn, a 1948 boxcar barn, a dry-laid stone fence, and an Aermotor windmill.
The horse barn is characterized by its roof shape. It has a gable roof with one-story shed bays on the east and west sides forming a broken gable roofline. In addition to the original horse stalls, the interior of the barn features a loafing shed, two granaries, and a few cattle stalls and milking stanchions.
The upper floor of the barn is a full height haymow with a hay hood and hinged hay door at the north gable end. A second smaller barn is made of two parallel railroad boxcars with a gable roof enclosing a center bay between the cars.
The boxcars were obtained from the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway likely following World War II and placed on stone footings to serve as space for hay storage. The property was nominated as part of the Historic Agriculture-Related Resources of Kansas multiple property nomination for its local significance in the areas of agriculture and architecture.
Belleville High School, 915 W 18th St., Belleville, in Republic County. The residents of Belleville voted in favor of $115,000 in local bonds to finance the construction of a new high school in 1931. Wichita architect Samuel S. Voigt designed the Collegiate Gothic-style building, and Hoisington contractor Alex Helwig oversaw its construction.
The school served as the public high school for 31 years and then as a junior high and later middle school for another 51 years. The building embodies the traditional characteristics of the Collegiate Gothic style with its red brick exterior and stone detailing, multiple gable roofs, and pointed arches.
At the time of its opening, the school's design reflected the latest trends in school planning with separate auditorium and gymnasium spaces and specialized classrooms for the manual training and domestic science departments. It was nominated as part of the Historic Public Schools of Kansas multiple property nomination for its local significance in the areas of education and architecture.
Naomi & Leona Apartment Buildings, 509 & 507 S. Market St., Wichita, Sedgwick County
The Naomi and Leona Apartment Buildings were built in 1926 and 1927, respectively, by property developer and contractor Oliver J. Mourning. The buildings feature the same design and appearance. Mourning named the Leona apartments after his daughter and the Naomi apartments after his mother, but by 1939, the buildings had different owners and were known by different names.
The identical brick buildings are two-stories each with a flat roof, full-width one-story front porch, and a second-story balcony. Each building reflects the Neoclassical style, which is evident in the symmetrical facade and dentiled cornice. Located just five blocks south of Douglas Avenue, a main thoroughfare through Wichita's central business district, the buildings featured 24 units, each with a fireplace and private bath and kitchen amenities.
Tenants were mostly single women, with some single men and married couples. The buildings were nominated as part of the Residential Resources of Wichita multiple property nomination for their local significance in the areas of architecture and community planning and development.
Ellington Apartment Building, 514 S. Main St., Wichita, Sedgwick County
Wichita developer and contractor John Wenzel built the Ellington Apartment Building at the height of an apartment construction boom in 1927. Architect Walter V. Street designed this two-story brick building, which exhibits restrained elements of the Neoclassical style.
Located just five blocks south of Douglas Avenue, a main thoroughfare through Wichita's central business district, the building featured 20 units each with private bath and kitchen amenities. Tenants generally included a mix of couples and singles, with single women generally outnumbering single men. It was nominated as part of the Residential Resources of Wichita multiple property nomination for its local significance in the areas of architecture and its association with community planning and development.
Cassius and Adelia Baker House, 609 Elm St., Wamego, Pottawatomie County
Built in 1910, this Craftsman-style house was first home to Cassius and Adelia Baker, who had moved to Wamego in 1869. He was a prominent member of the local business community and was a founding member and president of the Commercial Club, a predecessor of the Chamber of Commerce. He also was active in civic affairs, serving as mayor of the city, Township clerk, trustee, and treasurer.
The couple had witnessed the development of Wamego from a small river town of a few hundred people to a thriving railroad center with nearly 2,000 residents. The Baker House is located one block west of the downtown and is an excellent example of a Craftsman-style residence. It was nominated for its local significance in the area of architecture.
Creed-Mills House, 219 N. Maple St., Douglass, Butler County.
Melissa and Henry Creed purchased 80 acres and began construction on this house in 1894. Henry and his son Oscar farmed the land, and in later years Oscar subdivided and sold most of the acreage. Today the property is less than two acres. Thomas and Charlene Mills purchased the property from the Creed family in 1970.
The house is an excellent example of the Folk Victorian style, which was popular in Kansas during the period between 1870 and 1900. The arrival of the railroads in the area made the availability of standardized dimensionally-cut lumber and mass-produced ornamental detailing available to the rural areas. For the Creed-Mills House, the National Folk form is expressed in its massing and the presence of multiple exterior doors, which occurs frequently.