Judge Arnold Krekel built Cliff Manor in 1866. He purchased the property at an auction on the Cole County Court House steps from his friend Henrietta Bruns, widow of Mayor Bernard Bruns, who founded the town of Westphalia just east of Jefferson City, in 1838.
An 1869 map of Jefferson City, now on display at the entryway of the Inn, shows the house, summer kitchen that is still partially standing, and a stable.Judge Krekel decided to relocate from St. Charles County to Jefferson City shortly after his appointment by Abraham Lincoln to the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri in 1865.
While in Jefferson City, Judge Krekel was instrumental in the founding of Lincoln University, where he taught law and other subjects. He was a great benefactor of the university. Judge Krekel also opened a new bank in Jefferson City and served as board member and chair.
Before being appointed to the Federal Court, Arnold Krekel had a lengthy list of distinguished accomplishments. In 1865, he served as President of the Missouri Constitutional Convention and officially signed emancipation legislation for the state of Missouri. In 1860, he was a Lincoln delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago. Judge Krekel was anti-slavery and a pro-Union member of a group called the “Radical Unionists” who met at Henrietta Bruns boarding house (where the United States Post Office is currently located) and very much a leader of the large German Community in Missouri.
Judge Krekel was instrumental in helping to establish Lincoln University after the war. Barnes-Krekel Hall was named after him.
Cliff Manor Inn was purchased by the Turner Family who owned it from ...
The Stone House at 728 West Main is now owned by the Conservation Federation of Missouri, but dates to the Civil War.
The following was written by Michelle Brooks of the News Tribune:
The unique "cotton rock" limestone of Mis Missouri was used to construct many of the earliest buildings in Jefferson City.
Prussian born immigrant Bernard Eveler constructed a duplex at the corner of West Main and Clay streets entirely with this uneven medium between 1854-60.
The city landmark know as The Stone House appears to have been used as the gatehouse to the Union Army's College Hill Fort after the 1861 occupation. The Dutch Colonial home withstood the traffic of soldiers to be held by the Eveler family for more than 120 years. The Conservation Federation of Missouri purchased the building from the family estate in 1985 and continues to use it today for its offices.
Today it is one of the oldest residences within the city limits. The lot was first transferred from the Missouri Seat of Permanent Government to John Chappell in 1836.
Eveler bought the lot in 1854 and family records say the house was built in 1860. He built many other homes within two blocks of the area, but none other remains.
The Stone House was built with four large rooms on the main floor with oak floors, two rooms upstairs and a full-sized basement. The exterior walls are 16 inches thick and the doors and windows were made of walnut.
Eveler was one of the leading founders of St. Peter Church in 1846. The previous year he married his wife, Margaret Arens. They are both buried in the St. Peter Cemetery.
The Stone House may stand unassuming under the mature shade trees leading from the U.S. 50 exit to the Capitol, but underneath it and its Cliff Street neighbors, are the reminders of the Civil War days nearly 175 years ago.
A block east on Main Street, the Proth House was used as an armory and tunnels are rumored to run from its basement into the fort. Catty-corner from the Porth House across the intersection of West Main and Bolivar streets, a saloon was built to serve the 3,000 encamped troops toward the end of the war. Today, Paddy Malone's continues the trade there.
But behind The Stone House, even more tunnels thought to have been dug by the Union soldiers, were cause for settling and sinking for the 20th century property owners, including a fourth city Landmark, Cliff Manor Inn.
Because of its height and proximity to the river and Capitol, this block was selected as one of the five forts in Jefferson City, according to Federal Archive maps. It also had a clear view of the Dulles House, 800 St. Mary's Blvd, where Gen. John Fremont set up his headquarters during the occupation.
The College Hill Fort was located on an index finger shaped ridge from about where the Missouri River bridges are today to the James Kirkpatrick State Information Center.
The other local Union forts were constructed at Miner's Hill, High Street, Miller's Hill and Dunklin Hill..