Looking to own a bit of Abilene (KS) history? The circa 1880 Lebold Mansion is for sale. Listed at $429,069, the house boasts 23 rooms. Banker C.H. Lebold assembled the Bicknell Company of Chicago kit house at a cost of $18,000. The home has had several owners and boarded several dozen more. It’s now owned by the Dickinson County Bank after it was auctioned off in a Sheriff’s sale in 2019. The home has had two extensive renovations; one by Fred and Merle Vansholtz in 1975 and the other in 2010 by Gary Yuschalk and Larkin Mayo. The home is one of 8 architectural wonders in Kansas.
The house is one of the original buildings in Abilene. Timothy Hersey and his family settled in the region in 1858. Hersey constructed a dugout for a home, which is still visible in the basement of the tower. Conrad H. Lebold struggled with financial problems and sold the house to Otis Nelson, who was living in the home by 1887. W.W. Burrell and his family moved into the Victorian mansion in 1888. George Sterl would own and live in the house for 30 years. His estate sold the home to Cleyson L. Brown. Brown never lived in the home. Instead, he turned it into a boarding house for his single female telephone operators. In the 30s, he converted the home into the Children’s Home, an orphanage that housed upwards of 30 children at one time.
The home was sectioned off in the 40s by Jesse Hoover and rooms rented out as apartments. Kathy and Kurt Kessinger purchased the home in the early 70s. In 1975, the Vahsholtz’s purchased the home. Mrs. Vahsholtz restored the home—spending $118,000 to renovate—and gave daily tours until her death in 1999. The home was the subject of the 1997 book, Mansion of Dreams, co-authored by Merle’s son Bob and Carolyn McKinney. Her daughter, Ruth, moved in briefly; however, the family decided to sell the home and listed it for $685,000.
Yuschalk and Mayo discovered the home online and relocated from San Francisco to open a museum. They sold the home in 2010.
The home has several unique architectural features. It sits upon a former mine. Original parquet floors were restored, and a Pennsylvania Dutch-themed ceiling painting was saved. It is the perfect home for someone looking for a classic Victorian home.
There aren’t any reports of the home being haunted; however, the home played host to Halloween events. For more information, view https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/106-N-Vine-St-Abilene-KS-67410/91120914_zpid/
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