Hodge House - ramp and narrow doorway

Old Cowtown Museum Tour

Hodge House - ramp and narrow doorway

Wichita, Kansas 67203, United States

Created By: Old Cowtown Museum


The Hodge House in the residential district of Old Cowtown Museum represents life of the an African-American family in early Wichita.

The Hodge House was built by Wesley Hodge, an African-American blacksmith from 1878-1885. In 1880, Wesley was 40 years old and his wife Millie, a homemaker, was 38. They and their children Fannie, 15, and James, 13, who worked as a bootblack, lived in the house.

When they arrived in Wichita in 1876, they joined a growing population. In 1875, the census listed Wichita as having a population of 62 African Americans. By 1880, it had grown to 246 people.

Wesley passed away in 1885 at 45 leaving his wife Millie to support their two teenage children. At same time, the family acquired the former Presbyterian/Catholic Church building. It was moved to 605 N. Main next to their home and converted into a rooming house. The rooming house continued to support Millie Hodges throughout her long life. She lived to be 97 years old and never remarried. She was active in the Calvary Missionary Baptist Church where her daughter Fannie played its first organ in 1878.​​

​​Before this home was relocated to Old Cowtown Museum, people within the community assumed it was a parsonage because of its location next to a church. It wasn't until one of Old Cowtown Museum's curators dug deeper into its history that it was discovered the home belonged to the Hodges, one of Wichita's first African-American families. In 2011, Old Cowtown Museum renamed ​the "Parsonage" the "Hodge House" and redecorated the interior to accurately tell the story of this family

This point of interest is part of the tour: Old Cowtown Museum Tour


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