Wisconsin Historical Society

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Architecture and History Inventory
216 N CHURCH ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Daniel Kusel House
Other Name:
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:7130
Location (Address):216 N CHURCH ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1849
Additions: 1870
Survey Date:2004
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Italianate
Structural System:Masonry
Wall Material:Cream Brick
Architect:Daniel Kasel
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: North Washington Street Historic District
National Register Listing Date:10/23/2009 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:4/17/2009 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:This house was the home of Daniel Kusel between around 1880 and at least 1915. Kusel was half of the partnership of D. and F. Kusel, owners of Kusel Hardware, the most important hardware business in the community. Louis Kusel, who operated the business in the twentieth century, lived here between around 1915 and at least 1930.

Kusel Hardware began with the elder Daniel Kusel, a German immigrant who came to Watertown in 1849 and opened a tin shop and hardware store on Main Street. He retired in 1864 and his sons Daniel and Frederick took over the business and enlarged it into an important retail business and manufacturing concern. Before taking over the hardware business, Daniel had been, briefly, the cashier of the Merchants Bank.

Daniel Kusel was significant in the development of commerce in Watertown because, with his brother Frederick, he took a small hardware business and made it into the largest and most important business of its type in the community. The brothers also started the Kusel Dairy Equipment Company,a manufacturer of dairy equipment which provided employment and industrial development in the community. Because Kusel Hardware's main store is no longer extant, and other resources are related to the business are rare, this house takes on added significance as the best resource associated with Daniel Kusel in the community.

Originally a small brick house built in 1849 that is presently the rear wing, the Italianate styled front section was built after Daniel Kusel, an early Watertown hardware merchant, purchased the rpoperty in 1870. Characterized by a gabled projectory entrance "tower" or bay featuring a Palladian styled window, the Kusel house is further characterized by articulated triangular pediment shaped projecting wooden window heads and a one-bay open entrance porch supported by Ionic columns on paneled bases with arched openings. The porch leads to a side lighted door topped by a transom window. Exhibiting gabled sections on both sides of, as well as at the rear of the truncated hipped roof. The roof of the Kusel house features iron cresting around the truncated area. A southside screened porch and open north side porch are added features of this historic house.
Bibliographic References:(A) Evelyn Ruddick Rose, "Our Heritage of Homes," [Watertown Historical Society, 1980], p. 27. (B) Watertown City Directories, 1866-1930, Watertown, Wisconsin Public Library. (C) John H. Ott, Ed., Jefferson County Wisconsin and its People, Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1917, pp. 104-107. “Architecture/History Survey: Reconstruct STH 26 (Church St.): STH 19 To Union Pacific RR.” WHS project number 04-0759/DO/JE. February 2004. Prepared by Carol Cartwright.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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