[In June 1940, Henry Mueller, son of John and Karoline Mueller, the
builders of the Mueller-Schmidt House, visited Dodge City and gave an
interview to the Dodge City Journal, June 13 issue. Henry stated
many little known details about the building of the house. Henry visited
and lived in Ford County often during the years following the Muellers
move back to St. Louis in 1890.]
"Dodge City will always be
home in my heart...it may be because the house my father, the late John
Mueller, began in 1879 still stands, as beautiful as the day it was
built," Henry Mueller said when he was in Dodge City the other day.
Still trying to decide for sure what
brings him back to the old cowtown on every possible pretext, Mr. Mueller,
who now lives in Nashville, Ill., said, "You know it may be because I can
walk down the streets here, speak to everyone whether I know them or
not...even engage whoever I like in conversation...now my daughter is
married to a New York physician...and if I did the talking there I do here
I'd land in the 'bug' house or the big house, sure.
"In the old days Dodge City may have been
the wildest and woolliest town on record, but it had a different sort of
friendly spirit that has lived through the years...just like that house of
"By the way, that's partly why I keep
coming back here...whenever I do the Schmidt's invite me up and I have my
day dreams in the old house to my heart's content.
"But I promised to tell you about the
house...few people realize it took eighteen months to cut and face the
rocks that went into it and all of them came from Hodgeman county or up on
the Sawlog, and many of them were hauled forty miles. The rocks are two
feet thick, even the ones used for the partitions. When my father found
the rock so hard he prophesied the house would live as long as the
"My father was particular about the
mortar used...he figured it would have to be good to last with the rock.
The lime that went into the mixture was burned in the Zerbie kilns on the
Sawlog and Heinie [Schmidt] tells me that not long ago he had a mason go
over the house and he remarked that though it seemed impossible the mortar
was still hard as steel.
"Since he had such lasting material for
his house, my father considered the time element in everything else used
in its construction...the floor and ceiling joists, for example, are 2 by
14 and only eighteen inches apart.
"Even though his first consideration
seemed to be for something that would endure, father must have had a real
sense of the beautiful to have had William Sturbel build all the woodwork
by hand, including the solid walnut circular stairway that was the envy of
many a Dodge City matron in 'the good old days.'
"When the Schmidt house was the Mueller
home we were way out in the country so far as the rest of the town was
"Perhaps the most important event in the
house while we lived there was the wedding of my sister, Emelia, to Major
Dunbar [John] Chambliss....
"The fact that my father made some of the
finest boots in the whole country brought such famous folks to our house
as Wild Bill [Hickok] and Buffalo
Bill [Cody]. In fact, Wild Bill boarded with us when we lived in
Abilene...but that takes me away from Dodge City...."