The Joseph L. Spickard House (c. 1905) is located at 201 N. Green Street in Stafford, Stafford County, Kansas (pop. 1400). The two-story house sits on a concrete-block foundation and is an unusual “transitional” combination of Colonial Revival and Neo-Classical style with interior influences from the Late Victorian period. Its dimensions are roughly 33 feet from north to south and 36 feet from east to west, plus the rear porch and kitchen extending to the west of the two-story structure. The house, approximately 3240 square feet (including third floor attic) in size, sits on the northwest corner of Stafford and Green Streets.
Exterior: The exterior of the Spickard House is primarily a Colonial Revival. The exterior is a style known as Classic Box, featuring a one-story full-width porch with classical columns on a square wood base. There are two attic dormers, one on the south and one on the front or east side of the roof. The porch deck is grooved wood-deck flooring, and the railing consists of turned posts with top and bottom wood stringers. The front door is slightly off-center, and it appears that the glass opening was beveled leaded glass, although it is now solid-plate glass. The rear porch is enclosed for use as an extension of the kitchen facilities.
The exterior walls are narrow-lap wood siding, with enclosed sofits that were constructed to support a concealed, metal, boxed guttering system. The front (east) window combination is beveled leaded glass, featuring a larger center window with horizontal bevel-leaded glass and two narrow windows on each side, also beveled leaded glass.
Interior: The interior first floor is a Late Victorian floor plan: two parlors, a dining room, a kitchen, and a bedroom. Typical of Late Victorian floor plans, the foyer/entry provides access to each room, and large openings connect each room. A beautiful staircase to the second is located in the foyer/entry. The opening from the foyer to the front parlor was originally appointed with ornate fretwork, but this fretwork was removed at some unknown time after the first sale in 1986. The symmetrical, matching angled bay windows in the dining room and back parlor are of Neo-Classical style, as opposed to the square bay windows typical of Late Victorian style architecture. The windows throughout the house are double-hung sash design.
The first-floor woodwork is yellow pine and has been stained a dark color from the outset. The openings from the entry to the front parlor were originally fitted with ornate fretwork, running up one side and across the top. Fretwork also existed across the top of the opening where the sliding doors separate the dining room from the back parlor. Some walls are painted and some are wallpapered. Wall-to-wall carpeting exists throughout the house.
The large staircase at the entryway winds upward to a large second-floor landing and five-foot-wide hallway. The second floor woodwork is yellow pine like the first floor but has always been shellacked with amber shellac. The tops of the door and window openings are adorned with an egg-and-dart motif.
There were originally four bedrooms and one bath on the second floor. However, a long, narrow bedroom in the middle of the south side has been converted into two bathrooms, both with vinyl flooring. Doors have been moved to allow access to these bathrooms from the bedrooms on either side of the former middle room. A narrow, enclosed staircase off of the second floor leads to a floored and studded attic that was not originally finished square footage. The attic area has been finish into a bedroom and bath(circa 1998). The original bathroom in the northwest corner of the second floor has painted woodwork and its original sink, and a new toilet and vinyl flooring have been installed. The original claw-footed tub exists but has been enclosed (c. 1940).
The house was originally both wired for electricity and plumbed for gas lighting. None of the original combination gas and electric light fixtures remain. While the lighting is still knob-and-tube wiring, Romex wiring has been installed for the outlets. Matching original electric fixtures can be found in the two parlors (circa 1910-1920). Light fixtures in the southeast and north bedrooms are original electric fixtures (circa 1920-1920) installed after the gas/electric fixtures were removed. Most of the original push-button light switches are still functional.
The heating system is a gravity gas furnace Round Oak, with a blower later installed to circulate air. Window air units are the source of air conditioning. Ductwork exists throughout the house, although no heat or air is available to the attic area. Zoned heating and air conditioning have been installed on each floor without altering or changing the existing ductwork.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The Joseph L. Spickard House of Stafford, Kansas, is locally significant under Criteria B for the contribution to the education and politics/government of Stafford by its residents, the Spickards—particularly Joseph L. Spickard and his daughter Maude Spickard.
Historical background: The Spickard House was built in 1905 by A. E. Asher, president of First State Bank in Stafford. The foundation was laid in spring 1905 (Stafford Co. Republican, April 13, 1905, p. 2), and the Asher family moved in the following September to end his commuting to work from Hutchinson to Stafford (Stafford Co. Republican, September 28, 1905, p. 5). Asher installed a telephone connection within the next month (Stafford Co. Republican, October 12, 1905). The house was apparently one of the first in Stafford to have indoor plumbing. Asher sold the house for unknown reasons in October, 1906, to the Joseph Spickard family.
Joseph L. Spickard and family: The Spickards were heavily involved in the Stafford community and were especially instrumental in organizing many rural country schools and districts in the Stafford area. Joseph Lafayette Spickard (1860-1941) was a farmer who moved his family into town from its farm ten miles south of Stafford when he bought the house in October, 1906. In Stafford, he was on the Farmers National Bank board of directors. He also served two four-year terms as county commissioner and was a member of both the city council and the board of education. His wife, Emma Colvin Spickard (1860-1925), was a public school teacher who was strongly involved in church work and active in club and social circles. She and Joseph had three daughters as well as one son, Joseph, who only lived for five months.
Emma eventually hired a live-in housekeeper because of illness following an attack of paralysis several years before her death. Emma died in the house the same day (March 22, 1925) that her second daughter Faye Spickard Erhart (1896-1988) gave birth in the house to a girl, whom she named Emma after her mother. Faye was married in 1918 in the house to Everett Erhart and lived as a homemaker with five children across the alley on Mincer Street west of the Spickard house.
Maude Spickard (1883-1966), eldest daughter of Joseph and Emma, taught school like her mother and was county superintendent of schools for a number of years as well as clerk of the district court. She served on the library board and was active in the Methodist church. She belonged to the Delta Kappa Gamma sorority as well as a club for teachers called PEO, the full name of which remained a club secret. Maude and Joseph owned a department store called Spickard Novelty Store in Stafford for several years, and she stored the leftover stock in the Spickard attic after the store closed in the mid 1930s. She spent hours as an avid gardener in the Spickard flower garden. Maude remained unmarried—she never wed after her fiancée died in the 1917 flu epidemic—and lived the rest of her life in the house after her parents’ deaths. She took several boarders into the Spickard House throughout these remaining years.
The Spickards’ third daughter, Belle Spickard Wilson (1900-1985), married pharmacist Jack Wilson in 1920, but they had no children during their 16 years of marriage before he died in 1936. Belle, a bookkeeper involved as a member of the Methodist church and the American Legion Auxiliary, eventually moved back to the Spickard house in 1965 to live with Maude, just prior to Maude’s death the following year. Belle remained in the house until her own death almost 20 years later.
The house was then sold in 1986, and it changed ownership several times before F. Clare Moore purchased it in 1994 and began work on the property. It has been used as a bed-and-breakfast facility since 1994.
Stafford County Republican: April 13, 1905; Oct. 12, 1905, p. 2; Sept. 28, 1905,
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