Samuel and Alice Smith House
Abilene attorney Samuel Smith, and his wife, Alice, built this Victorian-style home in 1898. Samuel was also the city and county attorney, city clerk and police judge. Walkout windows lead to the front and south porches.
2018 Homes for the Holidays Tour
When Joe and Pam Sanfilippo moved to Abilene a few years ago they appreciated the many older homes here.
"We had been looking," Pam said. "When we first moved here we had rented a home and knew that we wanted to buy. We just loved the older, historic homes, and the character that they have."
In 2015 the stately Victorian home at 900 N. Buckeye came onto the market.
"I had looked at a lot of houses, and then this one came up," Pam said. "This one struck me."
It's grand from the outside, with its wrap-around porch and second-story balcony, but the inside is magnificent.
"The arch doorways, they are so wonderful," Pam said when asked what she likes most about the house. "And the transom windows I love."
The house was built in 1898 by Samuel and Alice Smith. Both were from Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, but had moved to Kansas separately. Samuel was a young lawyer who would be Abilene's city attorney, city clerk, police judge and county attorney.
They passed the home on to their daughter, Mary, who owned it until 1958.
According to a history put together in 1999 by owners Bob and Lynn Webb, the wrap- around porch was removed in the 1940s. The Webbs put one back on, following the
original design. They also took down interior paneling that had been installed in the 1970s and replaced it with wallpaper that looked like it came from the 1890s.
The Sanfilippos have made relatively few changes. The kitchen counters are now granite, carpets have given way to wood floors, and wallpaper to bare walls.
"It was in great condition but there were some things we wanted to update," Pam said.
One of the house's interesting features remains an enigma: the tin ceiling in the kitchen has been hand-painted. Some people claim it is the work of Arch Davis, one of Abilene's most accomplished artists; others say it was painted much more recently.