by John Shackford
The Stuckslager home was built by Harrison Stuckslager, a prominent Lisbon businessman, in 1876/77 at a cost of about $10,000. The property, located at 307 North Jackson Street in Lisbon, is situated on an entire city block in the northeast quadrant of the town.
Harrison Stuckslager was born in Pennsylvania in 1825. He arrived in Iowa in 1851, where he operated a sawmill in Marion for three years. He then moved to Kansas for two years before returning to Pennsylvania. He married Mary Coldron in 1866 and then returned to Iowa, where Harrison raised crops and livestock. He had this house built for his bride, a young lady who waited for him for many years while he made the fortune her father demanded prior to consenting to the marriage. Stuckslager made his fortune in banking, lumber, and cattle. He was the first president of the First National Bank of Lisbon, established in 1874.
This house is an example of Nineteenth Century Anglo-Italian design, an architectural style found throughout Iowa. The overall dimensions of the house are 42' x 44'. It is of solid brick construction with a stone foundation. Two stories high, it is built in the shape of a cross. The house displays many elements common to the Italianate style: the wide bracketed eaves, decorative window hoods, windows with keystones, projecting bays, and six elaborate porches. The front entrance has etched glass in the heavy doors and an arched transom panel. A doorbell is set into the center of the front door. The original iron fence runs the length of the property on the east side (North Jackson Street). The parkway still remains at the front of the property, including limestone stairs that were used for getting in and out of carriages.
In its early days, the grounds contained semi-formal gardens, an orchard, a small pasture for horses, and ornamental shrubbery Mary Stuckslager brought with her form the East to plant on the grounds of her new home.
The original carriage house and woodshed remain on the property. The carriage house is two levels, with doors on both the north and east sides. Centered on the roof is a square cupola with small hipped roof ending in a finial and weathervane.
The interior of the home is characterized by simplicity, with cleanly-molded doorways, fireplaces, and the main staircase. The main entrance opens directly into the main hall, with a staircase (illuminated by an oval window) to the right and front parlor to the left. The rear parlor, dining room and kitchen are arranged from south to north. Walnut shutters adorn the windows. The floors are made of pine except for the dining room, which features alternating strips of cherry and maple. The main-staircase has a smoothly curved rail and leads to three bedrooms on the second floor.
Being a prominent Lisbon family, they hosted many important guests, including musicians performing at nearby Cornell College in Mt. Vernon who would come to the Stuckslager house for the evening to socialize and perform a concert for guests.
This house remained in the Stuckslager family for three generations. Harrison’s only son, Willard, resided in the home until he passed the property down to Harrison’s granddaughter, Rowena Stuckslager Friedrich. She was the final family member to live in the home, now owned by Donald Crawford.