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Examiner
  • David Jackson: Classically styled home on Noland

  • Audrey Elder and Liana Twente, leaders of Past to Present, a local research company specializing in historical Independence properties, have given me permission to share with you some research they did on an historic home that recently found new caretakers.

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  • Audrey Elder and Liana Twente, leaders of Past to Present, a local research company specializing in historical Independence properties, have given me permission to share with you some research they did on an historic home that recently found new caretakers.
    It’s the story of a Greek Revival home at 1114 S. Noland Road that was built by Napoleon Bonaparte Stone, a wealthy landowner and merchant in early Independence. It is known as the Stone-Gamble Home. Stone patented, or was the first to purchase from the government, 360 acres that covered a vast area north of present-day 23rd Street (formerly Alton) and west of Noland (formerly Harmony).
    N. Stone’s Greek Revival mansion, well-respected and admired in its own time, was built around 1856. Before the Civil War, Stone was a slave owner, and records indicate several of his slaves attempted escapes.
    It’s amazing this structure remains today since so many antebellum homes were burned during the Civil War. In fact, Stone was a signer of a declaration of Union support with a promise to “give no countenance, aid or support, in any manner whatsoever, to any person, combinations of persons or states who are endeavoring by force of arms or otherwise to overthrow the government of the United States or impair its constitutional authority within the limits of our state.”
    Stone’s daughters left their mark on the home. Stipulations in Stone’s Will denied his daughters rights to inheritance if they were to marry anyone displeasing to himself or his wife. Their three daughters married within the community, Anne marrying the well-respected Colonel John T. Crisp.
    The L-shaped home facing South Main Street at 23rd Street was owned in the 1880s by Walter S. Dickey, former owner of the Kansas City Journal Post. In 1912, Judge George and Betty Jennings of Grain Valley moved in. Jennings, foreseeing the inevitable widening of Noland Road, decided to divide the home, thus creating two homes, moving them about 300 feet to the east and facing them along Noland Road. The house to the south at 1121 S. Noland consisted of the front façade and was Jennings’s personal home. That home was dismantled in 1961, with windows, 10-foot classic pine floors, door frames and oak fireplace mantels and a green-tiled hearth being repurposed in the home at 1702 Berry Road, just off Truman Road.
    The house to the north at 1114 S. Noland, considered the original entrance from the carriage house, was sold and converted into apartment spaces. Its original floor plan consisted of the parlor, a formal dining room and two large bedrooms upstairs. A beautiful wooden staircase at the main entrance divides the “four-square.” After rear bedrooms and bathrooms were added at a later date, an open doorway at the first floor landing extended to the west. Among the original features of the house that are still in use include two iron fire-dogs in the parlor fireplace that are in the shape of Grecian Gods, and a chandelier used in the kitchen that was once gas-lit and later fashioned for electric lighting.
    Page 2 of 2 - Roy and Avanell Gamble (and later Roy’s second wife, Shirley (Odneal) Gamble) made some additional changes to the floor plan between 1943 and the 1980s, eventually returning the home to a single-family dwelling.
    The Napoleon Stone home’s newest and current owners, Perry and Melanie Johnson, were presented with a Hickman Preservation Award on April 15 to recognize the work they’ve done to restore the home and open the Silver Heart Inn to accommodate visitors desiring a bed-and-breakfast experience in a historic Independence home.
    David W. Jackson is archives and education director of the Jackson County Historical Society.
     
     

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