1. The Seiberling Mansion


  • <p>Indiana University Center</p>
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Construction of the Seiberling Mansion began in late 1889 and was finished in fall of 1891. The house was built by Monroe Seiberling at a cost of $50,000 (well over a $1 million in today's money). Seiberling was the founder of Diamond Plate Glass Company and other factories in central Indiana. He left in 1895 when the natural gas fields were depleting and the great Indiana gas boom was fading away.

After Seiberling, there were several owners, including O.V. Darby (1903-1905), who owned a general store on Main Street where Cook McDougal’s is now located.

In 1914 the house received its most notable and longest-term private owner, George Kingston. He developed the carburetor used in the Ford Model T and started Kingston Products Corporation. Kingston owned the house until 1946, when it was sold it to Indiana University to use as its Kokomo campus. At first, all classes were held in the mansion, but IU soon expanded into the carriage house to the east and the Elliott House to the west. It remained the Kokomo campus of Indiana University until 1965.

The house sat empty from 1965-1972, subject to vandalism and the ravages of time and weather. Through the hard work of volunteers and several community campaigns, the mansion was restored. It opened as the Howard County Museum in August, 1973.