Kansas Historical Society Announces Newest National Register Listings

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TOPEKA, KS—The Kansas Historical Society Monday announced the newest National Register of Historic Places listings in Kansas. The six listings were entered into the National Register on October 6, 2011, and include a railroad retention pond in Beaumont, a former residence in Topeka, a water tower in Hillsboro, a barn in Pottawatomie County, a farmstead near Lansing, and a former school building in Leavenworth.

The National Register of Historic Places is the country’s official list of historically significant properties. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support 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.

Below are summaries of the listings:

Beaumont St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Retention Pond – Beaumont, Butler County
The Beaumont St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Retention Pond is located just south of Beaumont, an unincorporated village in Butler County. The property is historically associated with the nearby Beaumont St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Water Tank, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. The St. Louis and San Francisco, colloquially known as the “Frisco,” was founded in 1866 as the “Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company.” The Frisco first entered Kansas in 1879, and in 1884 began construction of a new line from Beaumont to Arkansas City, which was eventually extended south from Arkansas City to Enid, Oklahoma, in 1907. Beaumont became an important division point along the line, and developed a stock yards, depot, section house, and roundhouse. Most importantly, Beaumont became the place where all passing steam trains took on their water and fuel. The retention pond held the water supply that was piped to the water tank alongside the tracks where steam engines were re-supplied. In the era of steam-powered locomotives, watering stations like this one were essential to railroad transportation. The retention pond – the first of its kind in Kansas to be nominated to the registers – was nominated for its local significance in the area of transportation.

Crosby, William & Delora, House – 1109 SW Topeka Boulevard, Topeka, Shawnee County
William and Delora Crosby commissioned Topeka-based architect Frank C. Squires to design this Italian Renaissance-style residence in 1910. Historic architectural features include the blond brick exterior, ionic columns, stone and terra cotta ornamentation, and a red clay-tile roof interrupted by hipped dormers. The property includes an original garage, whose design and materials reflect that of the house. William Crosby was a pioneer Topeka merchant who co-founded Crosby Brothers Department Store, a local institution from 1880 to 1975, which operated out of a building in the 700 block of Kansas Avenue. Crosby lived in this home until his death in 1922, and his wife Delora moved out by 1927. By the 1940s, the home no longer functioned as a single-family residence, but rather served as offices and a reception hall due to its convenient location to the statehouse and business district. Historically, the house was surrounded by other late 19th and early 20th century mansions, including the home of U. S. Vice President Charles Curtis to the north and to the east the home of Hiram P. Dillon, a local attorney, businessman, and philanthropist. Both are extant and listed in the National Register. The Crosby House was nominated for its local significance in the areas of architecture and commerce.

1927 Hillsboro Water Tower – Hillsboro, Marion County
The 1927 Hillsboro Water Tower was constructed as part of Hillsboro’s first municipal water and sewer system. The first efforts toward a municipal fire protection system in Hillsboro came in 1888, when the city purchased a man-powered water pump. This $700 implement, which consisted of a tank, pump, and hose mounted on a two-wheeled wagon, required eight to ten volunteers to operate it. In an 1897 fire that threatened John G. Hill’s Badger Lumber Company, the apparatus proved no better than a bucket brigade. This equipment was used until 1900, when – at the apparent urging of Mayor Hill, who had just lost his coal sheds to fire – the city purchased new equipment. In 1912, the year the city established its first fire department, the city’s “water system” consisted of wells and cisterns with a capacity of 11,000 gallons. Without adequate water pressure, all the equipment and firemen in the world proved futile against the inevitable infernos – and a dependably clean water supply would have been impossible. Hillsboro’s citizens voted in favor of a bond issue in 1926 and a comprehensive water project was completed in 1927. The 75,000-gallon steel-plated water tower was nominated for its local significance in the area of community planning and development.

Heptig Barn – 12115 Antons Road, Flush, Pottawatomie County
Joseph Heptig, a young German immigrant, built this vernacular limestone barn in 1883 on a 160-acre farmstead in Pottawatomie County. The barn was the first permanent structure erected on the property, which has been owned by the Heptig family for 136 years. The barn has a rectangular footprint and gable roof and is distinguished by arched openings on the north and south ends corresponding to a center aisle through the barn. Other distinguishing features include a date stone inscribed by the builder and shaped stone window lintels and stone sills. The interior configuration is arranged around a center aisle with horse stalls/pens, granaries and corncribs along the perimeter. A three-quarter-length haymow was open to the center aisle below to facilitate the unloading of hay from a wagon inside of the barn. Hand hewn timber posts and beams distinguish the interior. It was nominated for is local significance in the areas of architecture and agriculture.

Lamborn Farmstead – 25761 151st Street, Leavenworth, Leavenworth County
Horace Greeley Lamborn purchased a 108-acre farm in Delaware Township in 1877. Although he seems to have purchased an established farmstead, it does not appear that any buildings remain from that period. The farmstead we see today is largely a result of continued development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Within this historic core is a cluster of buildings including a 1955 residence, two barns, granary/feed shed, cow shed, two chicken houses, garage, and an outhouse. This working farmstead’s setting and relationship of historic features has remained highly intact even as it has evolved to meet changing agricultural needs and technologies. Agricultural censuses from the late 1800s portray a typical subsistence farm. Diversification on the farmstead was key to its long-term success. Family recollections suggest Lamborn boarded horses for area residents and that he drove cattle to pasture on the nearby state prison island, transporting them across the Missouri River in flat boats. And, beginning in the early 1900s, the family developed a small dairy production. The property remains in the Lamborn family, and the north barn is currently undergoing extensive rehabilitation. The property was nominated for its local significance in the area of agriculture.

North Broadway School – 801 N Broadway Street, Leavenworth, Leavenworth County
The construction of North Broadway School in 1923 was part of a broader effort to erect four school buildings in Leavenworth, which included Third Avenue School, Cleveland Park School, and Sumner Elementary School. The Leavenworth School District hired architect Charles A. Smith to design the buildings. He designed the North Broadway and Third Avenue schools with identical layouts and nearly identical facades, with the only variation being the cast stone ornamentation. Gordon Walker Construction Company of Salina built the two schools. The first day of classes at North Broadway School was September 17, 1923, and 382 students were in attendance. The building functioned continuously as an elementary school until 1999, and then for various educational programs until 2010 when it was sold. The two-story U-shaped building occupies an entire block and features a concrete structure with tapestry brick cladding and cast stone ornamentation. The pointed-arch cast stone door at the front entrances and diamond-patterned brickwork on the front and rear elevations reflect the Tudor Revival style. It was nominated for its local significance in the areas of education and architecture.