Henry Kahl had the house built for his family home in 1920. It was designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style by Davenport architect Arthur Ebeling. Davenport banker V.O. Figge and his wife Elizabeth, who was Henry Kahl's daughter, donated the house and its property to the Catholic Diocese of Davenport to use for charitable purposes. In 1954 Bishop Ralph Leo Hayes invited the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm to the diocese and in 1955 they turned the house into a 25-bed, dormitory-style retirement home called the Kahl Home for the Aged and Infirm. Originally, the home housed only women. In 1963 they added a modern building and a chapel onto the main house. This made it possible to care for men as well. A 1987 addition brought the total number of beds to 135. The original house provided living space for the sisters, offices and guest rooms. In 2009 the Sisters announced that they intended to build a new facility on the north side of the city and vacate the central Davenport location. A new $40 million nursing home opened in August 2012 and the old home was vacated. In October 2013 plans were announced to turn the facility into a 68 unit senior apartment building.
Henry Kahl was born in a small cottage on the northwest side of Davenport. By the age of 12 or 13 he was driving a mule team between Davenport and nearby Coal Valley, Illinois. At 16 he started working for Davenport contractor P.T. Walsh and rose up through the ranks of the company that built railroads across the United States. Eventually he became vice president of the company and oversaw the work on the New York Central Railroad. The company was also known for the tunnel system it built for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which moved water from the Colorado River to Southern California. Other projects included train stations in Buffalo, New York and South Bend, Indiana, and the Memorial Bridge in Wilmington, Delaware. By the age of 45 he was a partner in the construction firm and a self made millionaire and with his money he invested in various companies and real estate. He bought property along Third Street in downtown Davenport. On one of the parcels he built the Kahl Building. He died in 1931 at the age of 56.