Southern side of the house
|Location||184 N. King St., Xenia, Ohio|
|Area||Less than 1 acre (0.40 ha)|
|Architectural style||Italian Villa|
|NRHP Reference #||76001432|
|Added to NRHP||November 7, 1976|
Eli Millen settled in Xenia in 1837, having left South Carolina because of his sense of revulsion toward slavery. After operating a dry goods store for several years, he expanded his operation to include pork packing and butchering. Later in life, Millen travelled to Europe, where he saw and admired a massive Italian mansion. After returning to America, he learned that a similar house had been built in New York, so he hired the architect to design a similar residence in Xenia's upscale North King Street neighborhood; it was completed in 1871. In 1912, the house was purchased by Henry E. Schmidt, a well-off produce merchant.
Built of brick on a stone foundation, the Italianate-styled Millen-Schmidt House features elements of sandstone. Its overall plan is in the shape of the letter "T"; two stories tall, it comprises a three-story rectangular tower with two Second Empire-styled gable-roofed portions that form the rest of the house. The house is entered through a Romanesque Revival-styled porch, built of stone. Originally, the interior was so elaborate that its completion required two years of work.
On 3 April 1974, much of Xenia's near north side was destroyed by one of the worst tornadoes on record. Very few houses on North King Street survived in any condition, but the Millen-Schmidt House was one of the survivors. Two years later, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, qualifying because of its historically significant architecture. Millen's goal of having "a house that people will notice" remained true over a century after its completion. Another house on North King that survived the tornado, known as the Samuel N. Patterson House, is located two blocks to the north; it too was listed on the National Register in 1976.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Owen, Lorrie K., ed. Dictionary of Ohio Historic Places. Vol. 1. St. Clair Shores: Somerset, 1999, 542/544.
- Millen-Schmidt House, Ohio Historical Society, 2007. Accessed 2012-12-23.
- Historical and Architectural Tour, City of Xenia, 2009-08, 24. Accessed 2012-12-23.