Created By: Old Cowtown Museum
The Murdock House, located in the Residential Area of Old Cowtown Museum, represents a comfortable middle class Victorian household in 1870s Wichita. It was the home of Marshall M. Murdock, his wife Victoria, and their three children. Their home was built in 1874.
In 1874, Marshall M. Murdock, founder and editor of the Wichita City Eagle, built his fine home at Fourth and Oak Streets (St. Francis and Murdock). Wichita business leaders wanted to establish a Republican newspaper in Wichita recruited Murdock. Murdock was the premier publicist for the city and was known nationally almost as much for his unswerving loyalty and promotion of Wichita as for his extravagant writing style.
"Eaglehurst", as the house was known, hosted many men of state and national reputation due to Col. Murdock's business and political associations. Mrs. Victoria Murdock carried out the role of a proper Victorian wife who was a gracious homemaker. She was opinionated and supported her husband as a sounding board for his many ideas. She was also very active in many civic projects in town.
100 years later, the house was moved to the grounds of Old Cowtown Museum under sponsorship by the Midtown Association. Members of the group raised funds and donated many hours toward the exterior restoration of the house. The additions that had been added to the house in later years were removed, and the original core was retained in order to accurately represent the house in its initial time period.
The Murdock House features basic characteristics of Gothic Revival style of architecture that was popular in the mid to late 19th century. The steeply-pitched gabled roof, cresting at the ridgeline, hoodmolds over the windows, and curvilinear elements on bargeboards and porch brackets offered a model of finery in newly-founded Wichita.
This elegant dwelling was among the most stylish residences of the day in Wichita. In its time the structure symbolized Wichita's rapid advancement from frontier trading outpost to successful urban center.
The building is the most stylish upper middle class home on the museum grounds, but in the city of Wichita there were many larger and more ornate homes in the city.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Old Cowtown Museum Tour