Wedel House

2427 N College Ave.

North Newton, KS 67117

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The Wedel House became the first property listed on the Newton/North Newton Register of Historic Places for its association with P.J. Wedel and his son Waldo Wedel. The home was built by P. J. Wedel in 1906 in the National Folk style. It features Tuscan porch columns and fish scale shingles. P. J. Wedel was involved with Bethel College for 49 years (1902-1951), serving as a professor of science, librarian, curator of the museum and registrar. Personal funds from Wedel, combined with a match amount from the college, were used to start the physics lab at Bethel. Wedel was also instrumental in the official formation of the school's museum, and subsequently was appointed as the first curator. Three years after his death in 1951, Wedel's final contribution to the college came with the publication of his book "The Story of Bethel College." It was a comprehensive history of the school from the time of its inception through 1948. Waldo Wedel, P. J. Wedel's son, also significantly contributed to North Newton and the world of archeology. Eventually to become known as "the Father of Plains Archeology," Waldo Wedel grew up in the house at 2427 N. College Ave. Born in 1908, Waldo left the area at the age of 20 to further his education. Described as a "Plains archaeology's preeminent scholar. Waldo Wedel's publications spanned six decades and helped define and shape research in Plains prehistory, both in descriptive and theoretical terms. In textbooks, "his publications are typically cited as the leading general authority on Plains prehistory. To a large degree, Wedel has been the primary source for studying the history of the Plains archaeology. In many ways, twentieth century Plains archaelogy has been synonymous with the name Waldo R. Wedel. The life-long interest in prehistory began when Wedel was in grade school and junior high in Newton. The first Indian relics he found were along Sand Creek about one-half mile from his childhood home.


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