place in the weekly paper. So it must be true. A piece of local history is now on the market in
The beautiful house at 400 E. Spruce St., in Marcus, is owned by retired postmaster, George
Engebretson and wife, Karyn. It was built in 1898 by Marcus pioneer, E.J.
Edmonds, at the height of the Victorian Revival period of American architecture. He came to
town from rural Rock Township in 1885, having purchased interests in the Louis Gund
elevator from a Mr. Edson. Edmonds became sole owner of the business the following year
and soon added a coal and lumberyard.
His access to house plans and materials of the highest order are evident in this well-maintained home.
It has endured a number of transformations but is once again a lovely family dwelling.
It is my understanding that E.J. Edmonds, who passed away in 1908, was survived by
his wife, Frances, who lived there until her death in 1935. After that, the commodious place
was purchased by Lowell and Ruth Nelson and became both their residence and the Nelson
Funeral Home for some 20 years.
When I recently inquired if those years might have supplied the embellishment of a "resident ghost,"
the Engebretsons' answer was a bit ambivalent, leaving me to suspect they feel that such a possibility
might just add to the charm.
When the Nelsons moved to another location, the house was sold to Ed and Florence
Evans who lived in a portion of it and converted the remainder into apartments. About 40
years ago Lucy Yoshioka, beloved vocal instructor, was one of the first to live in one of
them. She and a number of her former students are still able to regale us with great stories of
that time. Since then a good many local residents, most of them as newlyweds, have lived in
Through all of its incarnations, the fine old place has maintained its authentic charm. It has been
beautifully restored and is in excellent condition. There have to be some history buffs in our area who
could purchase it and enjoy living in this stunning piece of our past. Or perhaps there are former
Iowans out there somewhere, aging baby boomers nearing retirement, who are weary of the urban
rat-race and ready to return to peaceful, small-town living. This might be just the opportunity they
are looking for.
No, I've not been offered a "cut" or anything like that. I'm just a bit carried away with the hope that
this local landmark will continue in caring hands for at least another century.