1282 C Avenue East, Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577
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History of the McNeill Stone Mansion…
The Wilbur A. McNeill Stone Mansion is locally significant as an outstanding example of the design skills of the firm of Hallett and Rawson, one of the state’s leading and most innovative architectural firms in the early years of the 20th century. Constructed in 1908-09 and exhibiting a combination of architectural details drawn from Colonial Revival and Mission Spanish Colonial Revival modes, this limestone-faced edifice is one of Oskaloosa’s largest and most elaborate residential properties. This house is as significant as much for how it was constructed as for its usage of materials and stylistic influences because of its innovative use of steel and concrete in its construction. By utilizing these materials, they believed they could provide a virtually fireproof, energy efficient residence that would be soundproof as well.
Wilbur McNeill served in the military until a second wound persuaded him to retire from the military. He and his brother started purchasing coal mines in Monroe County and then came to Mahaska County where they bought the majority of the coal mines. They combined the Mahaska coal mines into the Consolidated Coal Mine and they sold it to the railroad in 1881 for half a million dollars. From there, they had interests in lead mines, near Dubuque, Iowa; silver mines in Colorado and gold in the Black Hills as well as leasing coal mines in the Canmore, Canada area for twenty years. The home that was built for Mr. McNeill’s nephew to use as he oversaw the mines in Canadais also a Bed & Breakfast, called McNeill Heritage Bed & Breakfast.
Mr. McNeill married late in life and built this wonderful home with every known convenience at the time for his bride and him. There are several architectural features that came from their world travels, such as the “ALOHA” carved in the stone over the fireplace in the Solarium.
Prices subject to change without notice.