Lindenwood University dedicated the reconstructed Sappington-Dressel House, a landmark home originally built in south St. Louis County, at a private ceremony Saturday, October 21 at the Historic Daniel Boone Home and Boonesfield Village.
The home was constructed between 1806 and 1810 on what is now Gravois Road in St. Louis County. Zephaniah Sappington was the oldest son of Sgt. John Sappington, a Revolutionary War hero from Maryland who, with his family, came to the Missouri Territory at the beginning of the 19th century.
Sgt. Sappington also fought with Daniel Boone at the Battle of Blue Licks in Kentucky and served time as a trustee of Fort Boonesborough, the first permanent American settlement in Kentucky founded by the Boone family. The house was "the next door neighbor" to Whitehaven, the childhood home of Julia Dent and, after her marriage, the home of Julia and her husband, President Ulysses S. Grant.
The home was purchased by Henry Dressel in 1887 when Dressel's son, John, was nine months old. He lived in the house for the next 100 years. John Dressel became a well-known civic leader in the Sappington area. Through his efforts, the Lindbergh School District was chartered in the home in 1950.
The house was at risk of being destroyed in the late 1980s, but public interest in preserving the house, spearheaded by the Sappington-Concord Historic Society and the Dressel family, saved it from demolition.
Randall Andrae, former director and operator of the Historic Daniel Boone Home, believed it would be an appropriate addition to the living history village begin constructed at the Boone Home and carefully catalogued, dismantled and moved the building to the Defiance property for reconstruction. When Lindenwood University acquired the Daniel Boone Home and Boonesfield Village in 1998, it made completion of the Sappington-Dressel House one of its first priorities.
The dedication honored the Sappington and Dressel families; representatives of both families were part of the program. Guests from as far away as Virginia, Michigan, Texas and California were present.
Dennis Spellmann, president of Lindenwood University, represented the university.
"Lindenwood is the third "family" to own this important building, and in its new role as steward for the Sappington-Dressel House, Lindenwood will continue the traditions of character, citizenship and public service that have been the hallmarks of these two important Missouri families," Spellmann said.
In its reconstructed setting the house will be a history house, an archival repository for Sappington and Dressel family papers and artifacts, a site for academic and community meetings and the location of a new oral history library that is being started at the Daniel Boone Home.
The Daniel Boone Home and Boonesfield Village are part of the Lindenwood University system. For additional information, call 636-949-4858.