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Schaeffler House a peek at early 1900s

Staff writer

The 1909 home of a successful immigrant family in Hillsboro can be toured in its unchanged state.

Schaeffler House is a Queen Ann-style home built by successful German immigrants William and Ida Schaeffler, who owned a popular mercantile store. It was a larger-than-average home for its time. A St. Louis architect designed the house.

After the couple’s deaths, their son, Robert Schaeffler, continued to live there. He neither married nor changed the house. After he died, remaining family members donated the house to the city of Hillsboro in the early 1980s.

“The inside is beautiful maple wood and wallpaper,” Hillsboro museum coordinator Steve Fast said. “Mrs. Schaeffler hired the best people to come design the interior. There are a couple of hand-carved valances over windows.”

Fast said Robert Schaeffler’s furnishings remain in the house, and most of them were original.

The kitchen has original penny tile and most of the wallpaper remains.

Some of the walls have lincrusta design. Lincrusta is a textured wall treatment made from a mixture of linseed oil and fine wood dust, Fast said.

He said people sometimes tour the house just to get ideas for their own homes.

Hillsboro Museum also features a pioneer adobe house, an 1880s pioneer school, and a replica of an 1876 Dutch windmill.

Museum hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. To tour the house, go to the visitor’s center, 502 S. Memorial Drive. Tours can be arranged at other times by calling (620) 947-3775 for an appointment. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

Last modified Sept. 14, 2017

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