Kokomo’s Seiberling Mansion
A Legacy of the Indiana Gas Boom
Construction of the Mansion - 1889
Monroe Seiberling used the wealth earned from the Diamond Plate Glass Company to build himself a beautiful house. Construction of Seiberling’s spacious home began in 1889. The mansion reportedly cost $50,000 – approximately $1,500,000 today. It has 27 rooms, 10 gas fireplaces, and more than 10,000 square feet of floor space. The architectural style is an unusual mixture of Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival, with lavish interior woodwork done in multiple native woods.
The Mansion’s Other Owners - 1895-today
The Seiberling family left in 1895 for a new business opportunity in Illinois. Franklin Miller bought the home in 1905 with money earned selling patent medicines. The Cora B. Miller Company was named after his wife. Advertisements carried the image of the mansion across the country. George Kingston, who became wealthy manufacturing carburetors for Henry Ford, was the longest resident. He owned the home from 1914-1946.
Indiana University bought the property from Kingston’s estate. It was the center of the IU Kokomo campus until 1964, then was left empty and unused for seven years falling into disrepair. As community leaders struggled with the choice between demolition and renovation, the Howard County Historical Society stepped up and fought for the latter. In 1971, the mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places and, in August of 1972, it became the Howard County Museum. The mansion is open to the public from 1:00pm-4:00pm Tuesday through Friday.