Hanna House in Clay Center Has New Residents

By Quinn O’Hara

Photo By Quinn O’Hara

One of the most historic houses in Clay Center has new residents.

The Hanna House, which sits at 511 E Crawford, was reportedly built in 1885 by Job C. Grubs, who owned a music store in Clay Center. The home was then purchased in 1887 by James L. Abernathy, and again in 1893 by Thomas Gillespie. In 1896, the property was deeded to George W. and Alice M. Hanna, the namesakes of the home.

During his lifetime, George Hanna was a Kansas state senator, prominent banker, businessman, and a Mayor of Clay Center. As of May 3, six additional families have called the residence home in the time since Hanna’s death in 1933.

The most recent of those residents was Elizabeth Renter, a traveling journalist who compiled a 64-page document detailing the home’s history during her stay. Renter also renovated several rooms of the Hanna House during the stay, painting walls, restoring old hardwood floors, adding light fixtures, and more.

Renter recently sold the house to Jessie Nichols and Brittany Kemmerer. The couple said they, “fell into ownership of the Hanna House,” and that they never expected to call it home.

The pair said the house came fully furnished, and thanks to the work of Renter, has only some light plumbing work and slight quality-of-life adjustments to be completed to fully finish the restoration. They said they are looking forward to living in and preserving the incredible piece of Clay Center history for years to come.

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