The Original Owners
Margaret E. Kerstetter Cruise Scroggs, was the first mistress of the mansion at 720 N.4th Street, Kansas City, Kansas.
Margaret was born in Stark County, Ohio, in 1843. She was an early pioneer to Kansas in 1863, but it is unknown why she came to the town of Wyandot.
In 1864 she married James A. Cruise. James was elected Clerk of the district Court in 1862 and held that position together with the office of Register of Deeds for over 10 years. He had come here from Albany, New York, in 1860 or 1861. Margaret and James had 5 children; Eugene, Marice, Chauncey, Emma and Delia. Chauncey died in infancy. A year after Delia was born James died at age of 34.
Two years after James died, Margaret married John B. Scroggs, a prominent attorney. He was one of the pioneer members of the bar of Wyandot. In 1876 they had son, John Eldon Scroggs. The baby lived 6 months.
John and Margaret had been married 12 years when they decided to build a new house. It was in 1887 and they wanted a house bigger than any in town.
The eastern slope of what was then called “Splitlog’s Hill” was selected for the new home. The house sat elevated on a terrace 10 to 15 feet above 4th Street and looked out over the whole broad confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. A stone wall contained the terrace with an ornamental iron gate bearing the letter “S” which is still there today.
The interior of the house was as fine as the exterior with stain and leaded glass windows, built ins, beautifully crafted woodwork, tile faced fireplaces and the use of lincrusta wall coverings. In the following years Eugene Cruise passed away, Marice, Emma and Delia would marry.
It was Emma who married John E. McFadden, a lawyer, in 1890. They continued to reside in the house with her mother and stepfather. In 1892, a daughter, Margaret Scroggs McFadden was born. Emma was artistically inclined. Her interests were in watercolors, tapestries and china painting. A piece of her china is on display at the museum.
In 1899, John Scroggs passed away. Margaret Scroggs died in 1915. The house passed on to John and Emma McFadden.
Margaret McFaddden married Thomas P. Palmer, also an attorney, in 1916. They were married in the Cruise-Scroggs home.
The family home was sold in 1919 to become St. John’s Orphanage.