Sept 5th-Potluck Meeting-Program:Lake Garnett Grand Prix-6:30pm Museum

the history of

The Harris House


This lovely brick house was built in 1888, by Peter Barndt, an expert brick and stone layer, and his son Peter Jr., for the family's personal home. Mr. Barndt also constructed a number of other buildings in Garnett and Westphalia. The bricks were made along South Fork Pottawatomie creek, south of Garnett, where an abundance of clay existed, and it is known there was a kiln. 

The home is of late Victorian design, with special bricks made to trim above the windows, and each of the 44 windows has a tulip-patterned brick, and a tulip in the woodwork. The house features very beautiful and elaborate wood trim below the eaves at the roof line. 

Mr. Barndt gave the residence to his daughter Pauline (Mrs. Abe) Gerkey, from whom it was purchased in 1920 by Dr. C.B. Harris, Sr., for his family. Dr. Harris practiced for more than half a century in Anderson County, coming here in 1906, immediately after completing studies at the University of Kansas City Medical College. 

His first practice was in Westphalia, where he delivered his first baby, and in 1909 purchased his first Auto, a Maxwell. However because of the road conditions it was necessary most of the time for him to use horse and buggy transportation. 

In 1910, Dr. Harris Sr., moved his practice to Mont Ida. In 1920, he moved his office to Garnett above Davis-Galloway Clothing Store, where he remained 35 years. After his son, Dr. C.B. Harris Jr., began his practice the office was moved to the Fourth Avenue Hotel location on Oak. 

In 1956, Dr. Harris Sr. was honored for 50 years of practice and it was thought he had the longest continuous practice of any physician in this county at that time. The office remained in the Hotel until Dr. Harris Jr.'s retirement in the spring of 1986. 

Layout of the Harris House


First Floor:
The first floor contains a parlor, dining room, kitchen, music room, office room (where Dr. Harris saw patients for awhile), a glassed-in backroom, and 2 porches.

Second Floor:
A narrow ornate staircase, brought to Garnett by the Barndt family from their home in Ohio, graces the way to the upstairs of the home. Here, there is a master bedroom, two other bedrooms, "Granny's room," and another study room, along with a wonderful balcony overlooking Fourth Avenue's "White Way." A maids staircase also leads from the first floor to the second floor.

Attic Floor:
The maids room was opened in June 1992, and was cleaned, painted and furnished by Pres. Dorothy Lickteig & V. Pres. Shirley Campbell. Articles found in the attic, were cleaned, refinished, and are on display. From this attic, access can be gained to the cupola on top of the house where the Harris family would raise the flag for display.

The full basement has stone support walls beneath every wall in the house, and contains a wine and milk cooler which circulated cold well water throughout a cement tank, and a mangle iron. The basement is not yet open for public viewing.

Originally there were fireplaces in each room. These fireplaces first used coke for heating, and later steam heat was added. One can be seen yet in the library. Transoms are above each doorway to move the cool breezes through the house in the summer.

When ACHS members removed the ceiling tile which had been added many years ago, it was found the dining room ceiling had been paneled. You will find that in remodeling, the paneling was repeated.

Guy Rogers was president of ACHS in 1980 when the house was donated, and held an open house in the fall of 1981 to show what work needed done. In August 1986, Ona Mae Hunt assumed presidency of ACHS and held the grand opening of the home on Oct. 5, 1986. To these two people are given the credit for the leadership and hard work that brought the renovation of the house to completion.

Dorothy Lickteig took over as president April 1, 1992. Carol Ann Askins Beller, Juanita Kellerman and Elsie Brown were the other ACHS officers at the time of renovation.  Others credited with help and assistance on this renovation were: Maurice Harrington, Don McAfee, Dick McCullough, Stanley Morey, Alvin Morris, Jim Cubit, Landon Kellerman, U.H. Hunt, Russell Kirkland, J.B. Peine, Omer Rockers, Mike Warzewski, Alan Quirin, Jon Hunt, Mary Ann Stevens, Dorothy Murray, Eva Gregg, Ray Parks, Bob Cramer, Tom Lewis, Albert Potter, Eric Sayers, George Raymond, Sam Mills, Lloyd Cramer, Joe Dougherty, Lawrence Kellerman, Gilma Rogers, Ed & Zula Foresman, Thelma Moore, Mrs. Ted Daulton, Donna Harris, William Walker, Ken Weide and Charles Walters. Bob Cramer did the stained glass repair.

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(Updates since 1992 will be forthcoming)