Contact: Judy Hansen
----Sources: Local History
DEWHURST-HEMPLE HOME/TUFTS’ MUSEUM 26 Hewett Street
In 1885, Emery Bruley built the original Tufts’ House, having built the north half of this home and then sold it to the Dewhurst family. Wallace L Hemple married the Dewhurst’s daughter, Mary. After the marriage, the Dewhursts and the Hemples lived in the house together. In 1886, the Bruley family exchanged houses with the Richard Dewhurst family. Mr. and Mrs. Hemple are credited with enlarging and adding many improvements to the home-including the front porch and port-cochere. It was during this time the house took on a Victorian appearance. The house as it stands today reflects the changes of that period as well as the personalities of each succeeding generation of owners.
At Mr. Dewhurst’s death in 1895, his daughter Mary and her husband, Wallace Hemphill, became the new owners. Reportedly, Marshall Fields did the interior decorating for their daughter’s wedding in 1916. Mr. Hemple was employed by the John Paul Lumber Company. Mrs. Hemple invested money in the former Neillsville Bank after the stock market crash of 1929 which allowed it to reopen. In 1927, the Hemples donated the band stand that still can be seen in Schuster Park.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stoll then owned the house until 1961 when it was purchased by Colonel and Mrs. William B. Tufts, this being several years after the death of Mr. Hemple. William and Jenny Tufts did extensive remodeling in the home. Upon Jenny Tufts’ death in 1982, the home was willed to the city to be maintained as a museum for all to enjoy.
In 1996, the home was purchased by Joseph and Stacie Boe. Some changes and restoration have been made in the house. The home is open for tours. A small admission fee is charged. Call (715) 743-3346 for information.
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