J. W. Patterson House

407 W. Broadway

Newton, KS 67114

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This structure is a great example of Queen Anne Stick architecture. It was built as the home of J. W. Patterson and family. Patterson, born in Ohio in May 1843, came to Kansas in 1869. He married his wife, Eva, in 1877 while living in Humboldt, Kansas. He settled in Newton in 1881. As a bit of interesting family history, according to his obituary (The Evening-Kansan Republican, April 21, 1914, Page 4), his mother was a direct descendent of Mary, Queen of Scots. Upon arriving in Newton, he worked as an agent for the Adams Express Company, which carried shipments along the Santa Fe Railroad. Within a few years, he became involved in real estate, insurance and the management of rentals, which is where he spent most of his career, operating out of a variety of downtown locations. He also served as city treasurer and school board member. He was a charter member of the Newton Free Library, serving on the board until his death in 1914. It was in this capacity where Patterson had the greatest impact on Newton. In 1902, as president of the Newton Free Library board, he wrote to Andrew Carnegie requesting funds to build a library, as the library had moved from several locations throughout the years and residents were interested in a building they could call their own. Carnegie began giving away his wealth in 1883 through donations primarily for the construction of public libraries. In March 1902, Patterson learned Newton was granted $10,000 on the condition the city provided $1,000 toward annual maintenance for the new building. It was believed more would be needed to successfully establish the library, and a letter was written requesting $15,000 with an agreement the city would give $1,500 toward annual maintenance. This was agreed upon, and in 1903, construction began on the Carnegie Library at 203 N Main. Today, the building is home of the Harvey County Historical Society Museum and Archives. Patterson was also an avid coin and stamp collector. An article in the April 19, 1883 issue of The Newton Kansan provides a glimpse into his collection. "Mr. Patterson has a mania for collecting old coins, and probably has one of the largest collections in existence. His list embraces a complete set of American and foreign postage stamps, a full set of pennies, a full set of paper currency, a set of confederate currency, and a full set of the celebrated Missouri defense bonds. He has one silver coin (a German piece) bearing [the] date of 1486, only two of which are known to exist. Probably the most valuable part of his collection comprises a set of American silver dollars. The first of these was coined in 1794 and a quantity were coined each year to 1804. He has all of these with the exception of 1804, and he offers $300 cash for one of that date, as only five are known to be in existence. Only 38 bearing date of 1794 are in the country. From 1805 to 1835 no silver dollars were coined, but from that date to the present time some have been coined every year, and Mr. Patterson has the entire set."

 

This home has an interesting construction story. According to a note in The Evening Kansan dated September 25, 1897, the home is a combination of two homes. It states "J. W. Patterson has moved a house to the lot just west of the J. E. Gavitt's home on West Broadway and joined it to the little house that stood there. Carpenters and plasterers are at work there now and a splendid residence will be the result." Patterson died in April 1914 at the age of 70.

Taken in 1911 title= On April 15, 1903, construction began on this Cottonwood stone and red brick building with Ionic Columns. The two-story library building was designed by W.W. Rose and constructed by Reikowski and Bartel on land donated by E.C. Llewellen. The source of funding was a $16,000 grant from the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Newton resident J. W. Peterson was instrumental in securing the funding. The structure officially opened March 14, 1904, and was a welcome change from rented rooms in the Randall Building at Fifth and Main. In 1924, a $5,000 room was added to the west side and in 1937 the basement was remodeled as a children’s section. The building served until April 1973 when a new library opened in Military Park and the Carnegie Building deed was tendered to the Harvey County Historical Society. It now houses the county historical museum and archives. title=

 

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