600 N. Spruce Street
The Jacobs House
Built in 1884
A contractor and builder, Rolandus B. Jacobs, constructed this home in 1884 using mail order plans. Jacobs and his business partner, A H. Paul, purchased this property on Spruce Street and then divided it into lots. Paul used a similar mail order plan to build his home next door.
Paul and Jacobs built several structures in Abilene, including the Dickinson County Courthouse that was razed in the 1950’s. Jacobs went on to serve as Dickinson County Clerk, a position later held by his son, Herbert, who also resided in this house.
The Italianate style house consists of a foyer, front and back parlors, a dining room and a kitchen on the first floor, and three bedrooms upstairs. The parlor and dining room feature three, eight-and-a-half-foot walk-in windows which once led to a side porch. This side porch, a sleeping located above the entry and the back porch all were removed. Jerry and Joan Orr reconstructed the back porch to look like the original during renovation in the 1980’s.
The foyer contains a stained glass window; the back stairway is lit by a leaded glass window. A wooden archway enhances the large bay window in the dining room.
The home originally contained no fireplace as it was warmed by the latest invention, a gravity heat system. There is evidence, however, that a wood burning stove was located in the kitchen.
All of the original doorknobs, window sashes and other hardware still function. Two original light fixtures, a clay-foot bathtub and a set of pocket doors were moved to new locations in the home by the Orrs.
The Old Glory Guest House is a Bed and Breakfast Establishment and the home of Major Sam and Linda Hawes.
Originally published in Historic Homes of Abilene, The Heritage Homes Association, written by Cecilia Harris, photos by Bob Paull, 1994.