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House at 712 North Mill Street

Sometime between 1900 and 1904, Tennessee-born Gustavus (Gus) Rugel; his wife, Effie; and their five children moved from Mesquite, Texas, to Springdale (Washington and Benton counties), where they purchased forty-eight acres of farmland along Mill Street on the north side of town. Rugel had been a hardware dealer in Texas; in Springdale, he made his living as a fruit grower.

In May 1913, Gus and Effie Rugel subdivided part of their farm to create the Rugel Addition, ten residential lots fronting Mill Street. In May 1914, Leroy Davis and Fanny Mae Davis bought Lot 6 in the Rugel Addition for $350. Within two months, the Davises sold Lot 6 for $2,000, evidence of a major improvement to the property—a Craftsman-style bungalow.

The residence (present-day 712 North Mill Street) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1992, due to its relatively unaltered original condition. On the National Register nomination form, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program historian Patrick Zollner noted, “It appears that the [Rugel] addition was largely composed of houses constructed in the Craftsman style of architecture....Unfortunately, a large number of the Craftsman-styled houses in the Rugel Addition have been seriously altered in some manner thus negating the possibility of nominating a historic district along Mill Street. Of the relatively unaltered examples, the house at 712 N. Mill Street is the best example.”

The one-and-a half-story wood-frame home was built with four rooms downstairs and three bedrooms and a bath upstairs. When he assessed the house in 1992, Zollner found the original pine floors, plaster walls, and door and window trim still in excellent condition.

Those who have lived in the little bungalow at 712 North Mill Street over the years reflect the working-class community that has always been the foundation of Springdale's economic success.

For additional information:
Hall, Kay B. “Vanderpool House Ready for Historical National Register.” Northwest Arkansas Times, March 8, 1992, 1C.

“House at 712 North Mill Street.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historical Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/WA0465.nr.pdf (accessed March 8, 2016).

Susan Young
Shiloh Museum  of Ozark History

Last Updated 4/7/2016

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