HALSTEAD — Ask John Eddy about historic barns in the Halstead area and he points to the Warkentin Barn — almost brushing off the history of the barn on his own homestead.
"The Warkentin is the barn," Eddy said. "After that, I think mine might be second in the county."
But make no mistake, the barn at Eddy's farm — now called The Eddy's Itty Bitty Acres — has history attached.
"County records state it was built in 1906, but that is not right," Eddy said. "I have a horse barn that was built in 1906 and a dairy barn that was built, we are thinking, in about 1918. The date is not as important as the guy who built it."
He is referring to Dr. Arthur Emanual Hertzler, who died in 1946.
"He is kind of big in these parts," Eddy said. "He built it because he wanted to supply fresh milk to all the schools in Harvey County. It is a good-size barn."
The barn will be on the Halstead Historical Society Barn Tour on Oct. 12. The tour will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and tickets are $20 for adults. All the proceeds from the tour will be used for projects and maintenance for a 1917 Santa Fe Depot in Halstead.
According to the Kansas Historical Society, Arthur Hertzler practiced medicine in Halstead and became known as the "horse and buggy doctor" and wrote a bestseller to document his personal experiences during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
In 1902, Hertzler established the Halstead Hospital. While maintaining his practice in Halstead, Hertzler taught pathology, histology, surgery and gynecology at the University Medical College in Kansas City and later at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. In 1938, he wrote "The Horse and Buggy Doctor," an autobiographical account that also documented the medical methods of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
After more than 50 years of 18-hour days, Hertzler retired in February 1946. The Hertzler Research Foundation, Agnes Hertzler Memorial Clinic, Kansas Health Museum and former Halstead Hospital still stand.
So does the barn, which Eddy has worked to restore since purchasing the property in 2000. This is the second time the barn has been part of the barn tour.
"I have done a lot of work, and I like showing it off anyway," Eddy said.
He has restored the door on the hayloft, once used to fill the loft with the help of horse teams. He has replaced all the doors with period doors and installed new wood on the outer shell.
The barn, and The Eddy's Itty Bitty Acres are now a venue available for rent. The site has hosted weddings, parties and other gatherings.
More information on the tour is available by calling 316-347-3812.
Penner/Wendling Barn: Pat and Bonnie Wendling, 806 S. Essex Heights Road, Halstead
Haury Barn: Kent and Myrla Haury, 510 N. Hertzler Road, Halstead
Hertzler Barn: John and Judy Eddy, 10415 S.W. 36th St., Halstead
Another Haury Barn: Paulette “Poly” Weesner, 716 N. Hertzler Road, Halstead