110-114 S Main - Fort Scott Downtown Historic District - Fort Scott, Ks.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 37° 50.423 W 094° 42.375
15S E 349866 N 4189477
Quick Description: This is a three story painted white stone and brown brick building located at 110-114 South Main in Fort Scott, Kansas.
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 12/9/2012 8:06:01 PM
Waymark Code: WMFWWP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:
From the National Register Application:
(visit link)

"Scottish Rite, Spanish Revival style, 1929. Inventory: 011-1830-00065 Status: contributing.

Description: This is a rectangular concrete building with a brick veneer on the side wall and stone and terra cotta on the main east and north facades. It has a flat roof and parapet. The building has lavish ornamentation expressing the Spanish Revival style.

The two similar buildings are divided by a projecting entrance bay ornamented on the first floor with terra cotta ornamentation including three projecting light sconces, two narrow vertical windows, and a projecting cap. There are recessed paired vertical windows above the entrance. First floor bays in the northern section are similar. There is a corner entrance and an entrance in the second bay. The corner entrance has a glazed wooden entrance door with an arched head and the second entrance has paired glazed wooden entrance doors. This section has five bays each with four 111 double-hung windows. The bays are ornamented by terra cotta molding. There is an ornamental light sconce on the upper northeast corner and a stepped parapet with an eave cap. The north facade (facing First Street) has six bays with similar detailing. There is a prominent recessed terra cotta panel above the northeast bay, four bays with windows, and a side entrance bay at the northwest corner.

History: When C. W. Goodlander arrived in Fort Scott in 1858, he noted that the Masonic Lodge was the only fraternal organization in the town. Lodge meetings were discontinued after the Civil War broke out in 1861, but resumed in 1865. In 1867 the Masons built their first Lodge building at 120 E. Wall. In 1891 the Blue Lodge Masons asked for a lifetime lease on the third floor on the Van Fossen building (23 S. Main) which was added for their use. In 1900, the Scottish Rite Masons purchased the old Huntington House hotel from J. D. Hill and renovated the building for a Masonic Temple which was dedicated on April 28, 1904.

By 1920, however, the Fort Scott Consistory, with 2,500 members, began planning to build a new temple. Dr. C. A. Van Velzer led the organization in negotiation with the Western Insurance Company which resulted in an agreement with Western to buy enough mortgage bonds to reserve the north half of the planned building for the insurance company. This plan required the purchase of the building at 116 S. Main and moving several existing businesses. Two buildings were constructed on the site with an original cost of $500,000. Beginning in the spring of 1923, the southern section, the new Masonic Temple, was constructed first. As soon as this was completed, the old Huntington House was demolished.

The Western Insurance Company was founded as the Western Automobile Indemnity Association by Oscar Rice, a local insurance agent. In the early twentieth century, Rice recognized the opportunity for insuring the increasing number of automobile owners. The mutual company was incorporated on November 10, 1910 by several important Fort Scott businessmen-mayor and grain dealer W. E. Brooks; John H. Crain, attorney, A. B. Dickmann, banker; Grif R. Hughes, clothing merchant; T. P. Coppage, railroad superintendent; and W. C. Gunn, real estate and investment broker. The first insurance policy was issued on May 24, 1911. Ray B. Duboc and E. C. Gordon, and Melvin Hurst took over leadership of the company in 1922 when Oscar Rice died. Soon after Rice's death, Western became a stock company. Duboc and Gordon adopted the old Fort Scott blockhouse as a symbol of the company. The Western Insurance Company survived the Depression and eventually became "one of the foremost fire and casualty companies in the country" by 1981. The company merged with Lincoln National Insurance in 1985.

When the Scottish Rite Temple leaders planned their temple, the Western agreed to rent the ground floor offices and to buy bonds which financed the two structures. In the mid-1940s, the Masons had financial difficulties and the Western foreclosed on the bonds. The Masons retained title to the Temple and the Western acquired the northern building. The company completely remodeled their section in 1947. The main entrance was moved to 14 East First Street and faced with marble. The interior remodeling provided three floors of offices with mezzanines."

Integrity: This is one of the key contributing buildings in the Fort Scott Downtown Historic District. The Western Insurance Company building has integrity of location, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association. Although the building overall has very good architectural integrity because of its massing, scale, and detailing, there have been alterations. In 1947, the Company remodeled the interior of their section of the building. At that time, the contractor moved the main entrance to 14 E. First Street and covered the first floor bay at the northwest corner with pink and black marble. Extensive interior remodeling provided three floors of offices with mezzanines. Some exterior windows and window openings also were altered. Later in 1968, an elevator was installed. Despite these alterations, the building retains sufficient architectural integrity to be listed as a contributing resource."
Name of Historic District (as listed on the NRHP): Fort Scott Downtown Historic District - Fort Scott, Ks

Link to nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com page with the Historic District: [Web Link]

NRHP Historic District Waymark (Optional): [Web Link]

110-116 S. Main Ft. Scott, Ks. 66701

How did you determine the building to be a contributing structure?: Narrative found on the internet (Link provided below)

Optional link to narrative or database: [Web Link]

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