Adams-Higgins House

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Adams-Higgins House
Adams-Higgins House is located in Iowa
Adams-Higgins House
Location 1215 N. Grand Ave., Spencer, Iowa
Coordinates 43°9′1″N 95°8′43″W / 43.15028°N 95.14528°W / 43.15028; -95.14528Coordinates: 43°9′1″N 95°8′43″W / 43.15028°N 95.14528°W / 43.15028; -95.14528
Built 1884
Architect Ralston,J. G.
Architectural style Classical Revival, Late Victorian
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 84001214
Added to NRHP September 27, 1984[1]

The Adams-Higgins House is a historic home in Spencer, Iowa. It is located at 1215 Grand Avenue. The home is also referred to as the Higgin's Mansion by locals. On September 27, 1984, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.



The Adams-Higgins house, known locally as the Higgins Mansion or simply The Mansion, was built in 1884 by J.Q. Adams, a local farmer, banker, and sometime Mayor. The property was sold in 1900 to Amanda Bender, who soon sold it to Mr. and Mrs. William Higgins, newlyweds who had moved to Spencer from Chicago. They contracted architect J. G. Ralston of Waterloo, Iowa to make the home an architectural landmark, beginning in 1910, by adding massive Neo-classical columns, adding a third floor, iron fence surround, and a kidney-shaped fish pond. The building next to the house was originally built as the children's playhouse for the two children adopted off the Orphan Train when it passed through Spencer. For a short period, the playhouse was used as a classroom for children attending a nearby elementary school undergoing repairs. Mrs. Higgins died in 1961, and the property was sold at auction in 1962 to Mathilda Delaney. Mrs. Delaney occupied the home until 1983, when the property was sold to Paul and Paula Brenner, who successfully placed the home on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The Brenners did restoration projects, primarily on the interior, over the near-15 years of their ownership. The "playhouse" was renovated in 1993 by the Brenners, used as their antique shop. The home passed to Drs Jon and Debora Hade. The kitchen was remodeled and the cabinets used by Mr Higgins were brought up into the kitchen, his handwritiing can be seen on one of the shelves. The dining room boasts a mahagony cabinet that runs from floor to ceiling. The painted scenes in the dining room are assumed to be from a Chicago artist. The "Playhouse" which at one time served as a school was moved to its current location and the current carriage house was built. The current owners Neal and Kitty Conover, completed the renovation work in 2005.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 

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