Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Poulton House

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Institution Name: Culver-Stockton College
Original/Historic Place Name: Poulton House
Location on Campus: 800 College St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1894-1985original construction Legg, Jerome B. E. N. Cason Menke & Co. J. L. Kelly & Co. Davis & Son
1953remodeled Unknown
1985remodeled; addition of free-standing garage Unknown
1993remodeled Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone
Walls: St. Louis hydraulic-pressed brick
Roof: asphalt/fiberglass composite
1894-1953private residence (Ellison Poulton family)
1953-1985president's house
1985-present (2007)private residence (academic dean's house)

Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Poulton House, an imposing brick building with a gracious wrap-around porch on a large corner lot, was a private home until 1953 when Ellison Poulton, a Cantonian and 1919 alumnus, gave the house to his alma mater. For the next thirty years it was used as the president's house until a newer building was constructed for that purpose in the mid-1980s. It was used as a sorority house and later by other college administrators. Most recently it has been used as a residence for the academic dean.

The home's architectural features are noteworthy. The Canton Planing Mill provided a range of high quality materials for the woodwork in the house. Owned by the Cason family, the Mill was for decades a pillar of the local economy and provided fine woodwork to the most significant buildings in Canton. The vestibule of Poulton House is paneled in oak; the main staircase has grilled woodwork. The front parlor offers a cherry wood carved mantel as well as decorative mosaic tile. The sitting room (back parlor) is finished in antique oak, as is the dining room with its terra cotta tiled mantelpiece. Sliding pocket doors connect the parlors with the dining room. The upstairs flooring utilizes quarter-sawn oak. A decorative oriel window and an art glass stair window can be seen from the vestibule. The two front upstairs bedrooms are finished in cypress wood and the west bedroom with gum. The east bedroom utilizes white walnut while the servant's bedroom is finished in the more economical yellow pine. The original bathroom held a porcelain-lined bathtub and the attic had a 400-gallon water tank. Curiously, the attic was used as a ballroom at times. The basement included a laundry room, lumber room and a wrought iron range furnace to heat the entire house. Originally, the home employed some of the latest technologies of the time, such as "speaking tubes" for internal communication in the house and also electronic doorbells.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Lee, George R. Culver-Stockton College: The First 130 Years. Canton, MO: Culver-Stockton College, 1984.

Peters, George L. Dreams Come True: The Story of Culver-Stockton College. Canton, MO: Culver-Stockton College, 1941.

The Poulton House. Canton, MO: The Canton Press, May 2, 1895.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office

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