Lane County Historical Museum Dighton, Kansas home of the Lane County Bachelor

Lane County

Sod House

Two Story Sod House

Unique Hair Wreath

Old Time Stove

Walnut Dresser

Round Table

Walnut Cupboard

Two Story Sod House

To meet the government’s requirements that all homesteaders build a permanent dwelling on their 160 acres, within six months, Henry Wedekind and his two daughters built a two-story sod home in northwest Lane County, in 1899.  The home was built three miles south and one mile east of Healy and the daughters, Bertha and Dorothy helped him.

   Their home originally was 16 x 32 feet, which was larger that a lot of sod homes, but 1 ½ years later, they added a 14 x 32 foot lean-to on the back.  As the daughters wanted an elaborate home, they plastered the interior walls, by using native lime and sand.

   As there were 11 children in the Wedekind family, they needed plenty of room. Some of the descendants of the family, say that the second story might not have been full height, and those that used the upstairs bedrooms had to stoop to move around.

   Because of the size of the home, it was often the center for community parties.

   In the photo of the Wedekind house, you see a cellar at one side.  This underground shelter provided protection from cyclones and also storage for garden produce.  They probably had a garden and also planted flowers.

   As the arrival of the railroad provided quantities of lumber for frame homes, in the early part of the century they tore down their sod houses and replaced it with an attractive modern two story frame home.  (By Ellen May Stanley)


  This beautiful hair wreath was made by Mrs. Leah B. Dickinson and is made from human hair. It is said that she made this wreath during the long evenings she spent on the plains in the early days. The wreath consists of human hair donated by neighbors and the inside flower consists of hair donated by relatives. In the wreath, you will see a bird’s nest, a bird, butterflies, sheath of wheat and many flowers and leaves.


   An old kitchen range which can still be used was given to the historical society by Mr.  & Mrs. Fred Graeff, who lived southeast of Shields. They purchased the stove when they married in 1893 from the first hotel in Ness City.


   A walnut, marble-topped dresser was brought to Lane County by Mrs. Sara Owens and her family and they had owned it since 1864.



   The round table is also called a hutch table and belonged to George Passage.  The round table was made of pieces of one log and he carried the log on his shoulders for 20 miles to a cabinet maker to have this table made.  The table is made of white pine sometime in the late 1700’s.  George was the great, great grandfather of Anna Dickinson and the table came with Anna and her family when they came to Lane County.  It was used in their home for many years on the farm north of Alamota, Kansas.  The nails were put in it in later years.


   The walnut cupboard that stands in the corner was made by slave labor and given to the society by Mr. and Mrs. Dan O’Connell. It contains some dishes, butter bowl, wooden potato masher, waffle iron and other items.

© 2015 Lane County Historical Society

Dighton, Kansas