Hello. My name is Sarah. My parents, Ann and Guy Booth, purchased this building in 1997 to house their various businesses. I have been enamored of its beautiful doors and windows, the sun room and the creaky staircase leading up to the circular maze of bedrooms. Ove the years I have enjoyed meeting and visiting with the adult children who grew up in this home as well as others who have visited as friends and Cornell students. Their memories, our current care and appreciation mixed with the scent of Mom’s shortbread, add to the current character and charm of this building.
This house was probably built around 1853, the year that Cornell College was founded as the Iowa Conference Male and Female Seminary. The house is Greek revival in design, most clearly evident in the pedimented entry porch with a fan light window. The wing on the east end of the building is a later addition.
The original owner of this house, Henry Albright, was one of several local men, including Allison Willits and E.D. Waln, instrumental in founding Cornell College. Albright was a mason, with a brick yard at the foot of the Mount Vernon hill. He did the mason work on “Old Sem,” the first building on the Cornell campus and, of course, built his own house, said to have been the first brick home in town.Dr. Francis Fisher Ebersole was born in Pennsylvania in 1877 and spent most of his life as a practicing physician in Mount Vernon, with both his home and office located in this building. He died in 1951. The Ebersole Student Health Center on the Cornell College campus was named for both Dr. Ebersole and for his older brother William Stahl Ebersole , who served as a professor of Greek, Registrar and, twice, Acting President of Cornell College during his 43 years on campus. Funding for construction of the health center and for endowing a campus physician’s salary came from the estates of both brothers and their wives. Part of the Ebersole bequest was the donation of this house to the college for use as a residence for the campus doctor.