INSIDE THE STEPHENSON HOUSE - September 18, 2003
Hi! Henry the Stephenson House mouse is back again! And,
I am back with good news! I overheard Jim say that the 50/50 Auction brought
in $1500 more than last year! Henry here saw all the great donated items
and saw the many good folks working at the auction. Among those is a group
who worked long and hard and that is the Ahrens-Niemeier Auction Service
people. These folks offered and donated their auction services to The
Friends of the Col. Benjamin Stephenson House for the 50/50 Auction. What
a wonderful contribution from a great group of people. Henry thanks you
and I'm sure The Friends thank you.
Jim and Sid are "Two Guys and an Auction". They picked up the
donated items, handled all the auction details, distributed advertisement
and worked the entire day of the auction. They are awesome to watch! The
day of the auction is when other members of The Friends and volunteers
like Ed, Larry, Virginia and so many others appear to man Mary's food
stand, do the record keeping, hold up the items to be auctioned and generally
work where needed!
Ol' Henry noticed that Rosey brought items to sell that had Col. Ben's
picture on them. There were key chains, magnets and mousepads! This mouse
wonders what a mousepad is. Is this something every mouse should have?
The weather was just right for the good food that was served and the great
pies! Ol' Henry heard that whole pies and their crumbs were sold and Betty
even bought the pie pans! I could tell that people were having fun!
I heard Carol and The Friends talk about how super the people have been
in supporting the auction. Once again, good folks come through for a good
cause. Henry thinks The Stephenson House just attracts good people!
Hey, Henry here heard several interesting things at the auction. Early
in the day I heard Bill, the builder/architect, and Joe talking about
artists and Joe mentioned Maria Von Phul. Maria was a young artist from
Lexington, KY. who visited her Uncle Henry in St. Louis in 1818, and also
visited her sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and James Mason, in Edwardsville.
She visited several times before 1823, traveling with her watercolors,
pencils and sketchbooks. She painted keel boats, trees, and men and women
showing everyday dress and life in the Illinois Territory and Missouri.
Joe said that Maria's drawings are very rare records of life and dress
in the early Illinois Territory. The drawings end when Maria died in Edwardsville
on August 2, 1823, at the home of the Sarah and James Mason. Maria was
35 years old.
My mouse ears really perked up on this information! Maria and Lucy Stephenson
were about the same age and James Mason and brothers Hail and Paris were
involved in politics and community affairs. 'Betcha Lucy and Maria knew
each other and who knows, Maria may have given Lucy some of her drawings
and watercolors! Joe also mentioned that six of Maria's works are presently
displayed on the second floor of the St. Louis Art Museum. I sure do wish
this mouse could figure out a way to get there!
Later during the auction day Henry heard some interesting talk about the
house at 328 S. Kansas. This house on S. Kansas has four columns on the
front porch and folks have said these columns are from the back porch
of the Stephenson House. Well, I heard a conversation among some ladies
and they said the S. Kansas Street house was built by Charles Dickmann
on the land he had bought from his brother John in 1902. Charles was a
skilled carpenter and some think that Charles was the carpenter who made
the Victorian changes to his brother John's house in the early 1900's.
Henry thinks the columns were removed when Charles was doing the remodeling
and he used them on his own house on S. Kansas. The property Charles bought
was at the rear of John Dickmann's house and, of course, was part of the
Col. Ben's original acreage. It is likely and very possible that Charles
did the early 1900 remodeling on "my" house. Does anyone know
about this story and agree that Charles probably built the house for brother
John? Please let Henry know!
The Friends had a great auction and now they are busy preparing for the
Burgoo and Take-A-Peek on October 18. They never seem to stop. Wilma Jean
and Lois are talking about chopping vegetables and building two cook fires!
And, Donna is burning the midnight oil to get the Fall newsletter ready
for mailing by the first of October!
You know, it's time for Henry to take a nap and The Friends better sneak
in some naps too so they are ready for the activities ahead! Maybe they
should stop by Farm Fresh for some yummy chocolate milk for extra energy!
See ya' later,
P.S. Jim and Sid will accept donations for next year's 50/50 auction all
year long. Just call them! Jim 656-8752 and Sid 656-9408.