||This article relies entirely upon a single source, the National Register Information System (NRIS) database or one of its mirrors. Articles based solely on the NRIS may contain errors. (November 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Location||Kansas City, Kansas|
|NRHP Reference #||77000600 |
|Added to NRHP||August 2, 1977|
The Sauer Castle was the residence of Anton Sauer. Sauer had married his wife Francesca in Vienna, Austria at age eighteen and a half. There, they had their five children: Gustave O.L., Anthony Philip Jr., Julius J., Emil, and Johanna.
In 1858, they decided to move to New York City to be with Anton's mother and sisters that had already been there for some time. Due to his worsening case of tuberculosis and Francesca's death in 1868, he decided to move his family to Kansas City.
After his business became successful, he began courting a young 28-year-old widow, Mary (Maria) Einhellig Messerschmidt, who had two daughters of her own: Anna and Maria. After marrying in 1869 they had five daughters (four survived to maturity): Eva Marie, Antoinette, Josephine (sometimes listed as Fosefa), and Clara. Daughter Helen (sometimes listed as Frances) died in infancy age 14 months.
By 1872 the mansion was finally fully furnished, sitting on the Shawnee Indian trail that was part of the old Santa Fe Trail that many wagons passed.
After Anton's death on August 16, 1879 in the second floor master bedroom, Mary and the children continued living in the house, as did the children continue living there after Mary's death in 1919. She committed suicide by hanging.
Daughter Eve Maria Sauer married William C. Van Fossen in the house, having one child named Helen before the marriage failed 18 months into it. She then married a widower with six children of his own, local Wyandotte County businessman and landowner, Mr. John S. Perkins. Together they had three children and stayed married until he committed suicide with a handgun at age 73, the reason being his declining health. Eve and John S. Perkins' son John Harrison Perkins had an infant daughter drown in the swimming pool on the west side of the house. Eve continued to live in the family home with her son and two daughters, Eva Marie Perkins, and Marguerite A. Perkins, until her death in 1955.
Five generations of the Sauer family continued living in the mansion until the owner of a home heating oil company, Paul Berry, bought the house after Eve's death. He lived in the mansion until his own death in December 1986. Because of ghost stories originating in 1930, the house was constantly trespassed and vandalized, which Barry and his dog fought off themselves.
In January 1987, Bud Wyman, his son and daughter in law, Cliff and Cindy Jones, bought the home hoping to turn it into a bed and breakfast. At this time, no one lived in the house. In 1988, Carl Lopp, great, great grandson of Anthony Sauer, bought the house with the intention of fixing it up and residing there to keep it in the family. However, this has proved to be a difficult task for Lopp, and has only managed minor repairs such as fixing balconies and putting a large fence around the property.
Carl Lopp's hired caretaker of the house was charged with felony theft on August 15, 1996 for stealing 30 thousand dollars worth of artifacts from the house, including a tractor, dress, chandelier, copper from the furnace, and wall sconces.
There have been a number of ghost stories that can be disproved (such as the previous family all being murdered there by the father, who then continued to commit suicide) that keep people vandalizing the house, which keeps Lopp from receiving insurance money.
It is located at 935 Shawnee Road in Kansas City, Kansas. The architect is unknown but may have been Asa Beebe Cross. The home's design is an example of Italianate architecture. It was placed in the Kansas City, Kansas Historic Landmarks on January 29, 1987. It was placed in the Register of Historic Kansas Places on July 1, 1977. It was placed in the National Register of Historic Places: August 2, 1977.