McInteer Villa

John McInteer was born in Ireland and as a young unsupervised boy in 1827, he traveled to the United States. He settled first in Philadelphia and then Indiana, where he learned the trade of harness making. Hearing of the opportunities existing in the west, he moved to Kansas in the early 1860s. First setting up home in Doniphan County, John McInteer started a small shop in Atchison where he manufactued harnesses and saddles. His product became known for their workmanship and he did a great amount of business wagon trains plying the Overland Trails. His Business was so successful that he had to enlarge his facilities and manufacture his product on a large scale. The wealth he accumulated from his business was invested into real estate in Atchison and nearby St. Joseph, MO. He also erected number of business blocks in Atchison. The McInteer Villa is one of Atchison’s most unique residencies. Built in 1889-1890 for business pioneer John McInteer the impressive brick residence was constructed at an estimated cost of $14,000. The architect has not been identified. However, the builder was Owen E. Seip, a long time Atchison contractor. Mr. McInteer first wife Alice, died in 1892 . He married his second wife, Anna Conlon, a widow with three sons in 1895. After Mr. McInteer’s death in 1902, Anna continued living in the home until her death in 1916. During her ownership, the house was home to large numbers of he Conlon relatives which included many children. From 1916-1925 her brother Judge Charles J. Conlon, a prominent lawyer and his family made it their home. For the next twent-five years it was a rooming house and then in 1952, the McInteer Villa was purchased by Ms. Isobel Altus, a retired professional violinist and eccentric according to her Atchison neighbors. She lacked the financial resources to follow through on her desire to restore the house and in 1969, shortly before her death sold it George Gerady who had started to rehabilitate it. The McInteer Villa is still one of the most unusual and picturesque houses built in Atchison today.

Many have seen lights turning on and off in the tower….there is no electricity up there. People have seen figures in the windows when no one was home. A speaker was thrown off the counter and boxes have been seen to move. The rocking chair that “Goldie” died in has been known to rock back and forth on its own. Sounds of slamming doors throughout the night. Footstep walking down the hallway on the second floor have been heard throughout the night. Some feel uneasy on the second floor, as if they are being watched. Items tend to move from one location to another, doorknobs creaking, lights turning on and off, and dramatic temperature fluctuations. Female and Male disembodied voices, shadow people have also been seen, and phantom smells of cigarettes and women’s perfume can be smelled throughout the home. And nine documented deaths (natural deaths) and one suicide (Charles Donovan 10-10-1922) are documented to have occurred at the 1889 McInteer Villa.

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