329 W. Union Street
The Albert Dippold House
In October 1894 Albert Dippold and his wife Barbara purchased four lots on West Union Street along with the three lots behind them as a location for their new home. A year later they took out a mortgage to build this beautiful two-story Victorian house on the southwest corner of Union and Kingshighway in Edwardsville.
The original architectural ornamentation of this house is remarkably well preserved. Many
different styles of wood siding add texture to the e
xterior walls. Beginning at ground level, there is a subtle chevron pattern followed by straight lap siding at the level between windows. Between the first and second stories is a scalloped pattern. The double hung windows with corner blocks of Eastlake design were originally flanked by shutters which are now stored in the attic along with original hardware. The porches in front and back also have original Victorian trim.
The only major change to the exterior of the house over the years is a one story addition on the north side of the house, but the chevron pattern siding was duplicated on the new addition to blend with the rest of the house.
Albert Dippold and Barbara Miller, children of German immigrants, were both born in Madison County, Albert in 1851 and Barbara in 1856. They married on December 11, 1877, in St. Louis and by the time they moved into their new house on Union Street they had eight children. The oldest, George, was 17 and the youngest, Royal, was just a year old.
Albert was one of the men that established the Farmers’ Mill, a co-operative, in 1889. Edwardsville had many flour mills over the years, but most, like this one, were eventually destroyed by fire. The most prominent relic of the days when Edwardsville was a milling center is the former mill warehouse on High Street where the Doll Corner, a gifts and antique shop, is now located. Albert’s brothers later founded the Dippold Brothers elevator that many older Edwardsville residents may remember was on St. Louis Street.
Albert died suddenly on September 27, 1897, of peritonitis from a stomach ulcer. His obituary said, “He always had a pleasant word for everyone, at home and in business life. Of a naturally quiet and retiring disposition, his friends were many and staunch and he will be more missed than can be expressed in empty words.” A few years later, in 1901, the youngest Dippold child, Royal, died of diphtheria at the age of 7.
After Albert’s death, Barbara supported her family with proceeds from the sale of his stock in the Farmers’ Mill. She died in 1905 at the age of 48, almost exactly eight years after her husband. By this time her children were mostly married or on their own, and the younger boys already employed at local shops as clerks.
It would take some time to settle the estate and during those years the house was rented to Peter Marks, a retired farmer from Bunker Hill. Marks moved to Edwardsville to be closer to his oldest son, John E. Marks, who in 1901 partnered with Philip F. Weber to establish Marks, Weber Furniture Dealers and Undertakers.
That connection is notable because when the Peter Marks family moved to a new home on Coventry Place in Aug 1908, the Philip Weber family moved into the house on Union Street. The Weber family purchased the house in March 1908 for $5,000.
The Weber and Marks families were connected by more than just a house and business. They were also related by marriage. Philip Weber’s son and John Mark’s brother married sisters, Florence and Edna Kriege. In addition, one of Philip’s nieces married a brother of the Kriege sisters.
Philip Weber and Christine Hessel, both from Clay County, Missouri, were married in 1891. Philip taught school for more than a decade before moving to Edwardsville and partnering with undertaker John Marks to purchase the established Main Street undertaking and furniture business of Matt Roa. Weber was not an undertaker, but was in charge of the furniture end of the business. The company continued as a furniture and undertaking business until 1927 when they purchased Dr. Fiegenbaum’s home at 304 N. Main Street and established Edwardsville’s first modern funeral “home.” Philip Weber retired in 1929, selling his interest in the company to his eldest son, Bernard, which began a tradition that continues today into a fifth generation at the Weber and Rodney Funeral Home in Edwardsville.
When the Weber family moved into the house on Union Street, Philip and Christine had a lively household of six children, the eldest being 14 and the youngest eight. They had purchased the entire seven-lot property originally owned by the Dippolds so the children had plenty of room to play in the woods. In 1941 their youngest son, Frederick, purchased part of the land where he built his own house on Union Street on the south side of his parents’ home.
Christine Weber like many of the social elite in Edwardsville, was active in philanthropic organizations like the Humane Society and the Shut-In Club as well as in literary organizations including the Monday Club and the Edwardsville Gardening Club. The Webers were both very active in their church, Immanuel Methodist, where Philip served for many years as Sunday School Superintendent.
Philip and Christine Weber were married for 64 years. She passed away in 1955 at the age of 92, and he followed three years later in 1957 at the age of 95. Their family occupied the house on Union Street for nearly sixty years, and the next owners, the Lane family, for over fifty years. The current owners hope to restore the house to its former glory and thanks to a century of good caretakers, all the pieces are there to make that possible. The beautiful woodwork inside is as spectacular as the exterior trim which has been freshly painted.
In the attic, along with the original shutters were other reminders of days past including parts of a letter, a paint box once owned by a son, Joyce Weber (Joyce was a masculine name a hundred years ago), and several romantic century-old photographs yet to be identified that could be from the Dippold, Marks or Weber family.
Information for this article was obtained from resources at the Madison County Archival Library, the Madison County Recorder and Probate Offices, Edwardsville Public Library and from current and previous owners. Architectural descriptions were provided by architect Jennifer Plocher Wilkins. If you have questions about this article, contact Cindy Reinhardt at 618-656-1294 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Cindy Reinhardt
Published in the Edwardsville Intelligencer April 2016