I was going to put this photo in an earlier photo roundup. However, when I looked at the photo I noticed the name, Andrus, on one of the only steps that isn’t crumbling, and the house reminded me of my favorite area of Quincy, just down along the Mississippi. My interest was piqued so down the rabbit hole I went.

Here is the photo I took:

Brick home of William Andrus, foundry owner, east side of South Fourth between Exchange and Bank, builder of the Andrus Hotel, southeast corner of Third and Johnson, where once stood a log school house(1840.) The Andrus house, built about 1870, served as first quarters of the Friendly House, a social service project.

from Tales of early Keokuk homes by Raymond E. Garrison, 1959

His mother-in-law passed away at the home in 1918.

The Daily Gate City,

And he passed in 1919. Mrs. Andrus was not having a good couple of years evidently.

an old photo I found on Facebook, undated
from 1964, the house and its old carriage house going for $6,500
old photo from Facebook, undated
photo found on Facebook, undated

Info from a Facebook post:

Tuesday, March 1, 1921

The 1921 purchase of this house gave birth to Keokuk’s FRIENDLY HOUSE PROGRAM. The old mansion became the first location of a communal gathering spot for Keokuk’s South Side & West Keokuk youth. It offered activities for youngsters & it had a gymnasium set up in the two story carriage house at the rear of the property.

On March 4, 1921, a list of names for the center was published, Richton House, Knowlesleig House, Kingsley House, Friendly House and Terrace Home are suggested as names for the new community center in the old Andrus home.

The Friendly House later relocated to 327 South 6th Street & this house reverted to its previous private home status.

After a fire damaged its interior it was boarded up & has sat neglected for many years. The growth of trees around the grounds make it nearly impossible to get good photos of the house, even in fall & spring, the bare branches are thick enough to block a good view of it.

The house at 407 Timea was constructed in 1879 by William Andrus, who came to Keokuk from Ohio in 1868.

He engaged In several different occupations and finally became connected with Joseph Loeffler in the Globe Iron works, which later manufactured brick machines also.

The Royal hotel, located on Johnson street between Second and Third streets, was built by this man, and during the time he was the proprietor it was known as Hotel Andrus.

Andrus died at the residence on October 9, 1919.

And then there’s this. Evidently it sold for back taxes in 2020. A whopping $375.

There was a car or two parked in the drive when we were there. Who knows what’s going on. I am going to quickly post this before I keep going down the rabbit hole. I need to reign this in. Ernie seems slightly puzzled as to why I became obsessed with this house. He ought to be used to me by now, wouldn’t you think?