“And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called repairing the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” Isaiah 58:12
There are a series of BLOG posts about how the families, for whom our historic home is named, converged into a single story. Included are the reasons we call our home Maison Steinbuchel and our very personal connection to its’ narrative. These also mark Memorials And Memories of pushing through challenges to delightful celebrations.
How did we get drawn into the Maison Steinbüchel storyline? Aside from simply purchasing the property, why is it so personal? Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook see some version of the following on my profile:
“Marie-Louise Steinbüchel, the wife of prominent Wichita real estate man, Herman Steinbüchel, was born in Strasbourg, France in the 1860s and came to Wichita as the bride of Peter Stackman, another famous Wichitan. The unique combination of Richardsonian and Victorian architecture of their residence, as well as the position of the family in the community, led to the designation of 1905 Park Place as a local Historic Landmark in 1977. The residence was placed on the local Historic Register in 1978 and named a Kansas State Historic Landmark in 1992.”
These official designations show it as The Steinbüchel House. We began calling it Maison Steinbüchel, not to be pretentious, but rather to bring to the forefront Marie-Louise Hahn Stackman Steinbüchel’s French Alsatian roots. These precious roots connect our stories.
Our Journey into the Story
In the late ’70s when my husband began the decision process of which doctoral program he would enter, his mentor suggested the University of Strasbourg, France. It was, to say the least, a suggestion that took our breath away.
Nonetheless, one step at a time, the suggestion became a reality. We packed up and moved to Strasbourg. In 1987 on a beautiful June day David received the degree,”doctorate de la troiseme cycle” in Protestant Theology. In the process, we fell in love with the French Alsace.
Coming Home – Repairing The Breach
In 1988, we moved back to my roots, Kansas. We lived in the Los Angeles area, weary of congestion, cost of living, tract houses, and, yes, sunshine. I longed for my Kansas sunsets, sunrises, and seasons.
As we house hunted, I wanted something with depth and history. Maison Steinbüchel contained the features I wanted.
Yes, it needed work, but something about this house said “yes”. In our final walk-through, before offers and counter-offers, we learned about that “yes”.
Memorials And Memories
The Steinbuchel House name came from a woman born and raised in Strasbourg France. This made it clear why the house was calling to us: It needed a French-speaking family in it again! A family who had tasted what Marie-Louse knew. We were coming home in more ways than one.
The owner gave us a book that had belonged to one of the family members. “A Living Gravestone” by Elisabeth Wilson, documents the roots and history of the family. At closing, we took custody of the abstract of the house in which the first entry refers to the signed treaty by President U.S. Grant.
The abstract confirms the house stands on land purchased from the Osage Land Trust in 1870. It is current through the 1970s. In it are notations of the various legal transactions including a few tussles among family members involving the property. It is a great supplement to the book.
People and Places – Repairing The Breach
This is is of itself awesome. But more than that, we have met many of the descendants of Marie-Louise, Peter Stackman, and Herman Steinbüchel. French, German, and American:
- In May of 1999, we hosted a reunion at Maison Steinbüchel of the Hahn family. French and American members were present. We interpreted for them! What an honor.
- We have visited the Steinbüchel region in Germany, seen the manor house, and walked the estate.
- We were guests in Marie’s great-great nephew’s home in Strasbourg and passed by the location of the shop where Marie-Louise’s family sold groceries.
- I have living descendants of the family as friends on Facebook. Connections made via this website continue.
- Each Memorial Day, we visit the resting places of many of Maison Steinbuchel’s family,
It is an honor to live in a Historic Landmark structure. To be allowed some entrance into their story as it intersects ours. It is more wonderful to know descendants living today as a testament to the courage and adventuresome spirit of their ancestors. Who left their families and country to make a new life in Wichita, Kansas.
Your Memorials And Memories
Memorial Day is a time to reflect. As you do, take note of the stories that come to mind – write them down. This will take memories into memorials. Get Access below to a free PDF to get you started!