2727 N. Main Street

North Newton, KS 67117

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The Wirkler-Krehbiel House was built in 1898 and is one of the oldest homes in North Newton. This Queen Anne-style home was built by Christian and Elizabeth Wirkler and was later owned by their daughter, Mary, and her husband, C. E. Krehbiel. The Krehbiels were longtime residents of the home, and after their passing, their children donated the house to Bethel College in 1958. Christian Wirkler came to the United States from Switzerland in 1866. He and his family settled in Halstead in 1888. He became involved in the Halstead Seminary serving as dining hall steward. By 1891, he was boarding students for the school. When the seminary closed and Bethel College opened in Newton, Wirkler and his family relocated to Newton, building this home in 1898. An article dated June 30, 1898, in the Newton Kansan referenced the construction of the new home. "Prof. Wirkler of Bethel College has let the contract of D. Funk for a handsome residence on the college campus. The house will cost in the neighborhood of $3,000 and will be built according to the latest pattern." Upon the home's completion, the family continued housing student boarders for Bethel College. Their daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, both served the college as art instructors. Mary taught from 1899 to 1902, when she resigned to marry C. E. Krehbiel, son of Rev. Christian Krehbiel. Mary's sister, "Lizzie," taught from 1905 through 1917, when she resigned and moved with her parents to California. In 1917, C. E. and Mary would move into the home when the Wirklers left for California. They would remain there until their deaths. C. E. died in 1948, and Mary died in 1956. Their children, Olin and Francis, determined that the couple's longtime connection to Bethel College could not be overlooked and donated the home to the school in 1958. It continued to serve as a boarding house for staff and students until 1992 when Bethel sold the property to private owners.


This modern photo shows the Wirkler-Krehbiel House. title=


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