The 1865 M. M. McNair Home

Location

Center Avenue & Dunwiddle (1st Center Ave & 5th Street)

Architectural Style

Italianate

The McNair Family Home 1865 - 1896

In the gorgeously written article on Frances' grand wedding, it is clear that the McNair Home is as much a character in the special day as the family and friends who attended.

Built in 1865, this home housed the entire McNair family including: Miles, Elizabeth Melendy,  Laura (daughter from Miles' 1st marriage to Elizabeth Lozer & passed at approximately the age of 25 in 1877), Theodore (Mile's son from 1st marriage to Elizabeth L. & sadly passed at the age of 17 in 1873 ~ Theodore is thought to have been lost at sea)Frances,  Grant, and  Grace (the only McNair child born while the family resided in this home).

Although Frances moved out when she married Charles B. Perry in 1887, and Grant in the 1890's, Grace lived with Miles and Elizabeth in this house until moving to  Sunnyside in 1896.

The Home's Later Use

The 1865 Miles McNair House went on to ultimately operate as a group / convalescent home in the mid 20th Century.
From a 1979 article by Ray Barth...

The Charles Stephenson house here is the kind of place that grandmothers love and great grandmothers lived in. Built of yellow brick with the mid-19th Century's taste for ornamentation, it is a surefire bet for recognition when the State Historic Preservation Officer takes a look at the grand old houses of Brodhead.

But the Stephenson house at 407 1st Center Avenue will be emptied by Nov. 1 because the State Nursing Home Administrator Examining Board in Madison says it won't do for latter 20th Century grandmothers.

The comfortable and somehow comforting old house simply couldn't pass inspection as a nursing home. Esther Krattiger, who with her husband Herman, has operated the Brodhead Convalescent Home for 17 years, called it "a home away from home." Now, its last residents are moving to other "homes" a century removed from this one. Since 1954, when she got out of the tax-funded Medical Assistance program, as did other providers, Esther Krattiger has had only "private pay" residents.

They paid for their room and board with Social Security and funds of their own. Because Social Security was quite a different program when they were paying into it, most of them aren't drawing much out, and the bulk of their room rent has come from their own resources, she said. The home has 19 beds.

Paying $10 to $20 a day here, some are moving into $30 a day rooms, still paying their own way. Their savings will be drawn down at a faster rate than ever until they, too, become public charges, Mrs. Krattiger said.

Sixteen years ago she accepted Green County welfare patients at $80 a month. Now a room at the county-owned nursing home in Monroe is $900 and up. Mrs. Krattiger's top rate, and that only since last February, was $600.

She blames state intervention for much of the higher costs. "You spend more time doing paper work than caring for a patient," she said. "I don't understand why a person has to have a college education to feed and dress somebody. I had eight years of schooling and that's all it takes to take care of patients. To keep them clean and fed, that's the important thing. The state says they need 'activities'." In a house so sturdily built that it resisted change, she put in a sprinkler system, emergency lighting, a kitchen, nurses' station and food cellar and hired an activities director. "They also wanted 12 credits of schooling, so I did that, too," she says.

But when the state asked her to spend $25,000 for fireproof ing, "it just got to the point where I can't do anymore. I just can't keep up with the codes, and new ones are coming up all the time."
She has no complaint with state inspectors. "They go by the book," she said. "You get young inspectors and they really go by the book."

But, she says a bit wearily, there are some things about the elderly and their deep desire to live in the past, that are not to be found in the book. The house is for sale.


September 13th, 1979...

Brodhead Convalescent Home to Close


As of November 1, 1979, the Brodhead Convalescent Home will be closing.

It has been in operation under this name for the past 22 years. It was first opened under this name when Mr. and Mrs. George Disrude (who now operate the Mineral Bath establishment) purchased the home from Robert Riese. At that time the home was licensed for 19 patients and is still licensed for the same number.

June 6, 1963, Mr. and Mrs. Disrude sold the business to Mr. and Mrs. Herman Krattiger. Mrs. Krattiger has been the administrator since that time...

This home is and always has been an excellent home for patients needing a home atmosphere and personal attention. A small home such as this has the time to become personally into take several courses of train involved with the residents. Mrs. Krattiger attended the friendships have been formed and much sadness will be expressed by the patients who now reside there and families of those who must find a new place of residence.

It has been necessary for each resident to have their personal doctor, dentist, a dietician consultant and registered nurse a required number of hours each week and a social worker. Regular employees are on duty 24 hours each day.

It was after much consideration and surveys by the State that the above was determined. The contact with all the activities from all organizations and friends who have called and helped in so many ways to brighten the days have been gratefully accepted and appreciated.
We have tried to make it "A home away from home."

The McNair Home's Fate

Despite the eligibility of the house to be protected on the Historic National Register, it was sadly razed and became an asphalt parking lot for the church situated across the street.





Sources 

  • via Wisconsin Historical Society
Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, "Miles McNair Home", "Brodhead", "Green", "WI", "89660".

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