“And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” Isaiah 58:12
I am putting together a group of posts about how the families, for whom our historic home is named and converged into a single story. In other words, the reason we call our home Maison Steinbuchel
This includes our very personal connection to this house but also connections we have to the descendants of those for whom the house is named, These have been expounded in the past, but it is a good time to republish that information.
Maison Steinbüchel or The Steinbüchel house?
How did we get drawn into the Maison Steinbüchel storyline? Aside from simply purchasing the property, why is it so personal? Aside from the history, and there is a lot of it, let’s put the house into a contemporary context. Those of you who follow me on Twitter
see some version of the following on my profile:
“Marie-Louise Steinbüchel, 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.”
The registers show the designation simply 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 roots are quite precious to us and are how our paths converged even before we were aware of it.
Our Journey into the Story
In the late 70’s when my husband began the process of deciding which University he would attend to study for a Doctorate. His mentor
suggested he consider the University of Strasbourg
, France. It was, to say the least, an idea that took our breath away. He had attended a couple of summer courses in Strasbourg in the early 80s as a part of his Masters in Apologetics
from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law.
The thought of moving to France in order to complete a doctorate was stunning.
However, one step at a time, the idea became a reality. In 1987 he received the degree of “doctorate de la troiseme cycle” in Protestant Theology. During the 1983-84 time frame while we were in residence, I received a degree in French from the University of Strasbourg
. In the course of living and studying abroad, we learned much and fell in love with the Alsace region of France.
In 1988, I received a promotion in air traffic that took us to Kansas, and back to my roots. We lived in the Los Angeles area and grew weary of congestion, cost of living, tract houses, and, yes, sunshine. I longed for my Kansas sunsets, sunrises, and seasons.
As we looked at houses, I wanted something with depth and history and we homed in on Maison Steinbüchel. It had all of the features I wanted in a house. Yes, it needed work, but something about this house said “yes”.
It was during our final walk-through, before all the offers and counter-offers, that we learned of the house’s history and the fact that it was named for a woman who had been born and raised in Strasbourg France. No wonder the house was calling to us! It needed a French-speaking family in it again. One who remembered 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
” which 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
. It states that the land the house stands on was purchased from the Osage Land Trust in 1870
. The Abstract 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
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, saw 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.
It is an honor to live in a Historic Landmark structure. 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. This is more than a project, this is history and current events in parallel.