Grace Bedell Billings Home

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1882 | Abandoned: N/A
Historic Designation: Register of Historic Kansas Places (May 17, 2022)
Status: AbandonedEndangered
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

When Grace Bedell was eleven years old in New York state, she wrote to candidate Abraham Lincoln suggesting that he grow a beard so he could be elected president. Lincoln requested a stop when the presidential train headed to the inaugural so that he could thank his “Little Correspondent” as he called her. Later, Grace married Civil War veteran George Newton Billings and they moved to Kansas. They homesteaded first and then, in 1882, built the house at 602 N. Custer, Delphos, where they both spent the rest of their lives. Today, the house is deteriorated and roof repair is needed. The interior was damaged by renters. Sharon Snively has established the Grace Bedell Educational Foundation to raise funds, purchase the property, conduct an appropriate use study, begin restoration, and convert the building into a museum.

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