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Mansion has long history in Columbus

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 10:59 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2021 at 11:09 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Evans House was finished in 1912. It’s now the headquarters for the 2021 Cattlemen’s Ball, a local ag business, and it will soon be a place for tours.

We caught up with Pat Mueller who lives in the home with her husband, Scott. “We are in downtown Columbus,” Mueller said. “The Evans House was built over a period of three years. The original builder of the home, Dr. C.D. Evans, came to Columbus on his way to Pueblo, Colorado. A small pox outbreak happened, and so he ended up staying in Columbus, working in the hospital, and establishing his practice here. Dr. Evans then married Lorena Rose North, who was from Nebraska. They built this home together.”

The house blends Renaissance, Greek, and Spanish Colonial styles. “It has a unique architecture,” Mueller said. “One of the interesting things about the house is the limestone pillars out front. There are four of them. Builders actually constructed a special rail line from the tracks two blocks away to bring the pillars up to the front of the house so they could be put up.”

There are a number of other interesting features in the house. In the entry way, you will see some beautiful mosaic tile work. “We also have a grand, circular staircase that leads to the second floor,” Mueller said. “This house cost $85,000 to build, which would be equivalent to about $3 million today. Square footage is about 16,000 square feet with the inclusion of the carriage house. There is a large amount of stained glass throughout the house, which is also original. There are some original fireplaces, mantles and surrounds.”

The house right now is home to Samson, an agricultural business, and Mueller says her son also has an accounting business in the carriage house. She says her family has moved into the house, so it’s also their residence. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places. “It was placed on the register in 1991,” Mueller said. “It was the Elks Club in the 1930′s, and later it became the first “Bunny Club” before Hugh Hefner coined the term. It was dinner club and dance club in Columbus, frequented by many socialites and businessmen.”

Mueller hopes that after June, she will be able to offer tours of the home to the public. “That’s our goal is to be able to share this house with the community and the public,” Mueller said.

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