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January 8, 2017

1853 Historic Bratton /Robertson Home Built at 124 North Water Street

FINAL REPORT ANTEBELLUM RESOURCES OF THE SHOW-ME REGION PHASE II PROJECT NO. 29-92-70123-224 Submitted by : Show-Me Regional Planning Commission P.O. Box 348 Warrensburg , Missouri June 1993 

Sequential List of Properties by Survey Title and Inventory Farm Numbers: 
Warrensburg Survey 
2-Robertson House 
3-Judge Bunn House Recommended
11-Price-Harmon House (JoGoWest) 
29-Butterfield Waruse (JoCoEast) (renovation needs checked) Highly recommended Postbellum
31-Wampler House (JoCoEast) Highly recommended Postbellum
47-Murray Hause (JoCoWest) (renovation needs checked) Highly recommended
102-Stoner-Ozias House (JoCoWest) 
133- Wyatt House (JoCoWest) (poor condition) Highly recommended postbellum
140-Kinder-Phodes House (JoCaWest) (poor condition) Recommended
158-Townsley-Jones House (JoCoEast (poor condition)

Properties deleted from orignial list due to razing or owner's objections include:
17-Brooks House
127-Workman House
(At least two of the Johnson County buildings #17 Brooks House and #127- Workman House, the latter a brick dwelling, were destroyed by fire.)
The Robertson /Bratton House, 124 North Water Street
Warrensburg, MO built in 1853.

The Robertson House (Bratton House), 124 N. Water St., Warrensburg. - Owner David and Barbara Colwell. Basically a brick stack house (Stack Dwelling property type) with additions, the Robertson House as it has been been called is located In the Old Town Hill area of Warrensburg, where it is one of the oldest existant buildings. (in his 1983 survey, historian Tom Christopher identifies it as "the second oldest-house In Warrensburg that is still standing.") However, it seems more reasonable to call it the Bratton Rouse than the Robertson House (see below). The date on the inventory survey form may be reasonably accurate for the main black, Externally there are no strong stylistic elements. Inside, the classic simplicity of the wooden mantels is impressive Greek Revival. The vernacular stack house was not among houses in the Phase I survey so the form is not contained in the typology for that project. Other than the additions, the main alterations to the exterior are the elimination and/or conversion of doors and windows, At the east end of the south elevation, where another entrance (perhaps the original one) was located, doorways on both floors were converted to windows many years ago. Meanwhile, three first floor window openings have been sealed or converted into shelves (two an the north side and one on on the south side). If the present main entrance on the east (Water Street) side was originally a window, there is no evidence of it today. The brickwork in this vernacular example is essentially common bond but occasional courses of semiFlemish bond are present. The east brick wall is approximately 13" thick at the entrance. (The brick wall at the west end of the one-story wing which is used as a kitchen is approximately 10" thick,) The kitchen appears to be the oldest addition; all other additions are frame. A frame addition of one story on the southwest may be turn-of-thecentury or older. A shed-roof addition on the southeast apparently is an enclosed porch. A small addition on the west is used for storage. An addition on the north serves as a garage. Information about about early ownership is somewhat sketchy. A step-stone for mounting horses or climbing into carriages was near the house until several years ago: the name Robertson reportedly was carved into the stone. Tom Christopher, who prepared the inventory survey form, said source Ralph Luvin thought an early owner was a "Col. Robertson and that he was a Civil War veteran, Another source for the inventory sheet, Mrs, Kenneth Fowler, suggested 1853 as the date of construction. Christopher recalled. In any case, an 1876 Warrensburg plat map indicates that the owner af 1876 then was E. H. Bratton. E. H. Bratton had been the wife and by this time probably was the widow of James M. Bratton, an early settler from Kentucky who was elected to the City Council when Warrensburg incorporated in 1856. Bratton resigned later that year. Mr. Bratton may well have been the builder. Possibly the Robertson said to be connected with this house was Col. Richard M. "Hickory Dick" Robertson, who moved to Warrensburg from Hickory County in 1876. Robertson reportedly lived with David and Carrie Nation prior to pursuing a law career. Although Col. Richard M. Robertson probably was too young to have participated in the Civil War (he was born in 18-52). he at least lived through it as a child. He was admitted to the Missouri bar in 1878, and practiced as late as 1939. In 1894. he was elected to the Missouri House. But a connection between Col. Richard M. Robertson and this house needs additional research to substantiate. (City directories indicate that he boarded at the Florence Hotel in the late 1880s. In 1900, he apparently lived at 503 S, Holden St.). Perhaps it was another Robertson who, at. some point lived in the house at 124 N. Water St. Early Bratton ownership seems probable, however, There are no historic outbuildings. Significance in architecture may be difficult to show, considering that major fenestration changes have occurred, The main entrance today faces east but the original main entrance apparently faced south and featured a verandah, Location: South 94' of the east 144 of Lot 76 in the Original Town of Warrensburg.
1877 Atlas Map of Warrensburg, MO
From another source...Book Link

Attorney at law, Warrensburg, Mo. Was born in Hickory county, Missouri, Nov. 29, 1853. After obtaining a good english education, he commenced teaching, first in his own county, then in Illinois. In April, 1876 he came to Warrensburg and entered upon the study of law in the office of C.E. Moorman Esq. He was admitted to the bar in 1878 and commenced at once upon the practice of his profession, which by close attention to business has grown into a good practice. The esteem in which this young attorney is held by the citizens of the town and county, may be inferred from the fact that as an earnest republican, he was nominated in 1880 for prosecuting attorney, and beaten only by a majority of 81 votes in a county which has a democratic majority of 600. At present he is city attorney and partner with A.B. Logan. Mr. Robertson has ability and energy which will raise him high in his profession.