Charles F. Iddings

Written By: nppladmin - Jun• 22•21
Originally published to on June 18, 2021.

Today’s History post looks back at a grand Victorian home in North Platte, located at 519 West 5th Street. This neighborhood features many large beautiful Victorian houses and you may even see some original gas lamp streetlights.

The North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune announced on May 19, 1887, “The fine mansion of C. F. Iddings on Fifth Street, is fast nearing completion and when completed will be one of the finest residences in the city.” <see original homestead sketch>

Charles Iddings was born on July 19, 1856, in Warren, Ohio. He moved to North Platte in October of 1883. One of Charles first jobs was to manage the railroad eating house, and the stockyards. He eventually acquired a lumber yard. He expanded his lumber business and had lumber yards in Sutherland, Maxwell, Hershey, and Julesburg, Colorado. By 1893, Charles purchased a grain business and a flour mill to his business interests. Charles did business all over Lincoln County, as well as several towns in Colorado.

Charles married his first wife, Kate (Taffe) Iddings and built a grand home in 1887 at 519 West 5th Street. Sadly, Kate and her baby, both died during child-birth. Charles remained in the house, living with his sister, until he married Effie Cleland in 1893. Effie and Charles had four children: Florence Elizabeth (1894-1994); Nanine Ray (1896-1998); Charles Forrest Jr (1898-1968); and Henry Cleland 1900-1970). Around 1896, Mr. Iddings’ health took a turn for the worse and he eventually became in invalid, leaving his wife to run all his business interests. <see photographs of Charles and the Iddings family>

The original house was a two and a half story gabled house in a typical Victorian style. There was a windmill in the back, as well as a picket fence (which was removed in 1904). A barn sat in the northwest corner with a wood shed, tool house, privy, and chicken coop. A playhouse and wash shed were built in 1904. Sleeping porches became all the rage around 1907; since it was better for one’s health, to sleep in the fresh night air, so Charles added sleeping porches. In 1911, all the small buildings were removed when Charles and Effie bought their first car. They converted the barn into a garage.

Then on Feb. 4, 1913 the North Platte Telegraph announced, “The Iddings residence will be remodeled this spring, the work to be done under the supervision of D. M. Hogsett. While these changes are being made the family will spend the time in California.” The major renovation included the house being raised up and an underground basement put in. The house was moved back over the new basement and a third story was added. Large wrap around porches were also added to the first and second floors.

Sadly, Charles Iddings didn’t get to enjoy the new renovations to his beautiful house for very long. He died a few months after the renovations were completed, on January 25, 1914. After his death, Effie sold all his business interests shortly after his death, but continued to live in the house for several more years with her children.

The current-day exterior of the home looks mostly like it did after the 1913 renovation, with only a few changes. Interesting facts about the house:

**Buffalo Bill Cody was a friend of Charles Iddings and used to pay poker in the formal dining room.

**On the first floor, all the doors were faced with the wood that was used in the corresponding room. Oak was used in the entry hall; cherry wood was used in the front parlor and dining room; and sycamore was used in the back parlor.

**This house is mentioned in Nellie Snyder Yost’s book, “Evil Obsession.” When one of Annie Cook’s captives escaped, she sought sanctuary at the “Kelly” house. Charles Iddings house is “the old Kelly house.”

The history of the ownership of the house is as follows:

  • Charles and Effie Iddings
  • The Cramer Family
  • A. P. Kelly (Owner of the North Platte Telegraph)
  • Sarah and Verne Taylor
  • The Ken Hornbaucher Family
  • Marcene and Darrell Franzen
  • Claire and John Hawley
  • Trista and Duane Smith
  • Rachel and Steven Stahr
  • And now there are new residents living there and enjoying this beautiful historic home.

Come back next week for more North Platte History and get out and enjoy NEBRASKALAND DAYS!!

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