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Limestone house part of Kansas history
Shirley and Wes Radcliffe are shown on the porch of their historic limestone home in rural Hoisington. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

HOISINGTON — A limestone house and barn located west of Hoisington could be headed for the Register of Historic Kansas Places, but only if the next owners decide to pursue the effort. The current owners, Wes and Shirley Radcliffe, have started the process but haven’t actually filed the final paperwork since they put the property on the market.
The Radcliffes bought the 30-acre farm at 330 W. K-4, four miles west of Hoisington, in 1995 and moved to Kansas from California in 2002. Shirley’s sister lived nearby and the 2 1/2 story house caught her eye.
“I’ve always loved this place,” Shirley said. The native stone walls are nearly 2 feet thick on the first floor, and the house boasts three staircases, a fireplace downstairs and a wood-burning stove upstairs. The interior is a mixture of modern upgrades such as central heat and air and newer wiring, and areas still awaiting restoration.
Others have also been attracted to the home that was built in 1897. (The 40 by 60-foot barn is even older, Wes said.)
“A lot of people just drive in and want to take pictures,” she said. When the Radcliffes put up a sign announcing eggs for sale, Shirley said people would often use that as an invitation to get a closer look. In addition to the house and barn, there’s a stone water storage tank that allowed the first owner, Daniel W. Linder, to own the first house in Barton County with running water.

A storied past
After the Radcliffes moved in, a woman who owned an antique store brought them a photo of Linder. In the years since, they have learned more about their home’s first owner. According to his obituary, Linder was born Feb. 13, 1839, near Matton, Ill.
“...(He) served with the Illinois militia during the Civil War and took an active part in the stirring events of those days. He heard the Lincoln and Douglas debates from 1855 to 1860 and heard their forensic orations in the Coles county circuit court. He was well acquainted with Lincoln and often stayed at their home during court sessions.
“Mr. Linder came to Kansas in 1875, locating on the farm in Albion township where he later built a beautiful home and lived for so many years. He acquired the home by purchase from John Logan. He was a very industrious man and gradually accumulated additional farms until he was one of the wealthy men of the county.”
After his first wife died in 1918 he then moved to Hoisington. Linder died at his home at age 91 on March 9, 1930.
The obituary adds that his funeral at the Methodist Church was conducted by the Rev. Clinton D. Danner and Linder was interred in the Hoisington Cemetery. “Thus passes another one of the pioneers who came to Barton County to establish a home and rear his family when it took courage and a lot of hard work to succeed.”
The home was later known as the Ben Tempero house. Tempero was grand marshal of the Hoisington Labor Day Parade in 1983. After the Radcliffes bought the farm, Wes found an old “T” branding iron in the barn.

The next chapter
Soon the Radcliffes will move to be closer to family, and it will be someone else’s turn to maintain the historic home. According to the Carr Auction & Real Estate website, the 30-acre property can be purchased for under $250,000.
“I hope (the next owners) love it like we do and take up where we left off,” Shirley said.
“It’s a house of very much adaptability,” said Chris McCord, an agent with Carr Auction & Real Estate. McCord is also the owner of the Historic Wolf Hotel in Ellinwood, built in 1894, which he restored. He and the Radcliffes agree that the next owners could make it a show home or a bed and breakfast.
“It’s such a neat looking house, and then the history behind it,” McCord said.