Ella House

826 Vattier | Manhattan, Kansas

 

On April 27, 1855, the Cincinnati & Kansas Land Company, backed by New York investors, departed Cincinnati, Ohio, on the Steamboat Hartford. Bound for north-central Kansas, their plan was to head west via the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, and Kansas Rivers, and found an abolitionist community in the newly-formed Kansas Territory. The Hartford ran aground before making it to its intended destination, at a site already named Boston by its inhabitants. The Bostonians liked the new arrivals and convinced them to stay. The newcomers, with a little encouragement from their financiers back east no doubt, graciously requested the town’s name be changed to Manhattan.

One of the members of the Cincinnati & Kansas Land Company was Dr. John L. Vattier, and it is for him which Vattier Street is named. Dr. Vattier was a physician, postmaster, politician, Masonic Grand Master, and militia officer who, during the Civil War, organized the Queen City Defenders to help protect Cincinnati from falling into enemy hands. While Dr. Vattier invested in a great deal of Manhattan real estate, he continued to live in Ohio until his death in 1881.

While a great deal is known about Dr. Vattier, less is known about the origins of this stately Foursquare home built on the eponymous Vattier Street. Certainly built in the first years of the 20th century, its original address was 828 Vattier. Jacob and Ella Remmele, if not the home’s original occupants, were certainly amongst the first. Jacob settled in Manhattan in 1858. Despite his trade as a baker, he is most renowned for having built the town’s first two-story building. His wife, Ella, for whom the house is named, was born in Saxon, Germany, in 1850, and immigrated with her parents to Elkhart, Indiana at the age of five. In 1867, she came to Manhattan, marrying Jacob the following year. Ella passed away in 1905. She was described in her obituary as, “exceptionally kind and unselfish and a devoted wife and mother. All who knew her speak of her in the highest terms of admiration.”

Restored in 2017, Ella House stands today as a magnificent and stately example of the houses being built west of the K-State campus in the early 1900s. Its location within easy walking distance to KSU, Aggieville, City Park, and the Manhattan Marketplace district makes this home perfect for a pedestrian-centric lifestyle.

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