607 NW. 3rd Street
The Harger House
Built in 1885
Dwight D. Eisenhower is said to have visited this home when it was owned by Charles Harger, the editor and owner of The Reflector, one of two local newspapers at that time. Harger became known as “Mr. Abilene” by traveling extensively and marking friends with many political figures, including Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Coolidge and Hoover.
Harger and his wife, Blanche, purchased this home in 1893. The original structure, built in 1885 by E. J. and Sara Warner, was of the Queen Anne style. In 1927, however, the Hargers built a sleeping porch, second bathroom and two small porches onto the home. They enlarged the living room and upstairs bedroom, added a fireplace and bookcases, and replaced windows and floors. In the process, they discarded the decorative Queen Anne porch and added onto the front of the house in order to line it up with other homes on the block. The home then took on Colonial Revival features.
After the Hargers died, their three daughters offered in 1955 to sell the hoe to Henry Jameson, Charles’ protégé and successor as editor of the Reflector-Chronicle newspaper. Jameson and his wife, Bernice, remodeled the kitchen, lightening the woodwork from mahogany to limed oak, enlarged closets and replaced doors.
The Jamesons were among former owners, friends, and artists who penned their signatures on an attic wall.
David Eisenhower visited the home in 1968 while conducting research for a biography about the life of his grandfather, President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Ken and Ann Manning, who bought the home in 1973, restored the limestone foundation, replaced 80 years of shingles, added new guttering and repainted the structure.
Originally published in Historic Homes of Abilene, The Heritage Homes Association, written by Cecilia Harris, photos by Bob Paull, 1994.