|City/Town: • Wellington|
|Location Class: • Residential|
|Built: • 1935 | Abandoned: • ~2004|
|Historic Designation: • National Register of Historic Places (May 19, 2004)|
|Status: • For Sale • Abandoned • Private Property|
|Photojournalist: • Mike Mattal|
Joseph C. Smith Sr. and Mary Francis Burt Smith had decided that Wellington Kansas would be the place they settled down to have and raise their children. Mary had birthed four children Edwin, Joseph Jr., Nelly, and Harry. Edwin A. Smith was the eldest of the bunch born in 1870, they had brought him from his birthplace of Madison Indiana to Kansas in 1871. He spent his entire childhood in Wellington before going off to college and then returning. His father Joseph Sr. owned a mercantile that carried his namesake and was created just a year after Ed’s birth. Edwin after returning from college joined his father’s business as a shoe and clothing merchant. When his father retired Edwin and his brother Joseph Jr. banded together and purchased the family business to run as their own under the name ‘ The Smith Bros.’
Wellington, which Edwin’s father had a direct hand in establishing as a town seemed to offer everything he wanted out of life. As he grew into his age he had decided to build his home here, one of elegance and honor. Allegedly designed by Charles Ellis & Co. the home stands tall in a Colonial Revival/Spanish Mission Revival architectural style. The outside is painted with its original pink stucco with multi-paned windows, five panes high and two wide. A decorative ornate wrought iron balcony, window box, and panels along the roof line. The roof is flat with terra cotta and wrought iron at the edges.
The technically two-story home depicts a tower above the covered entrance. On the south elevation, a slightly protruding fireplace. Now I say technically two stories because there is not an entire second floor but just a single bedroom accessed through the roof. The basement carried 10-foot high ceilings, with a beautiful billiard room and murals. Also on the property is a detached two-vehicle garage.
The home allegedly stayed in the Smith family until 1962 without any alterations. Edwin and his wife died in 1952 and ’58 but his last remaining sibling Nelly passed in 1961 so it’s possible it was left to her after his passing. What history the home gathered over the next half a century is unknown at this time. In 1998 HVAC was added to the house and per property records, it underwent an update in 2003. Just a year later on May 19, 2004, the home was added to the National Register of Historic Places making the home eligible for historic tax credits should anyone want to restore it. It has been vacant for a handful of years and is currently for sale, but its location makes it less than ideal, sandwiched between two churches that are nestled right up to the property line on each side.
Gallery Below of Edwin A. Smith Home
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