- Local Historic Register
The Warkentin House, 211 E. 1st St., was constructed in 1887 by milling magnate and Mennonite immigrant Bernhard Warkentin and his wife, Wilhelmina.
Prior to moving to Newton, Warkentin had built a homestead in Halstead. In 1886, he purchased Newton’s Monarch mills, renamed it Newton Milling Company, and equipped it to mill hard winter wheat. Warkentin was one of the leaders in the Mennonite migration from South Russia to Kansas in the 1870s. He also helped to organize Bethel College and the Bethel Deaconess Home. Warkentin died of a gunshot wound in Syria in 1908. His wife, who was with him at the time of his death, returned to Newton. Their son, Carl, assumed his father’s business after his death.
Following the death of Mrs. Warkentin in 1932, the house was deeded to the Bethel Deaconess Sisters, who operated the Bethel Deaconess hospital and home. After the sisters left the home, an organization called Preservation of Kansas Landmarks purchased the property. It was deeded to the City of Newton in 1972. Today the home is a museum operated by a volunteer board and still maintains many of its original décor and finishes, with about 80% of its furnishings original to the Warkentins.