History of the Historic Castle House

In the Spring of 1850, Doctor Walter D. Dixon and his wife Martha, completed the construction of what is now known as the Historic Castle House. 
 While other homes in Miller County were often one-room cabins, Dr. Dixon spared no price in building a breathtaking Victorian above the bustling City of Brumley, Missouri.  The two story home, complete with its own 30-foot tall turret, earned it the name “Castle House.”  It has original two-foot thick interior and exterior walls created out of hand poured concrete.  Most of the wood used in the building of the home was locally milled Oak and the floors were created from Black Walnut trees which grew in abundance in the area.  One key feature of the Castle House is the grand staircase that Dr. Dixon created, custom ordered, and shipped from London, England.  His second achievement was the digging of a 10,000 gallon rainwater cistern under the rear sleeping porch of the home.  Rainwater was popular with the locals for washing hair and clothing.  It's reported that women came to the Castle House weekly to buy buckets of the valued rainwater which was then carted back to their homes.


As a prominent physician in the area, Dr. Dixon practiced out of the home  and made house calls throughout the area.  The waiting room for patients was located in the first floor foyer, but despite illness or injuries, patients were required to climb the stairs to the doctor's exam room on the second floor. With the Civil War dividing the nation, the local area was also split between Confederate sympathizers and Union supporters. Federal troops were bivouacked in the pasture below the Castle House at Camp Union.  Legend tells us that in 1862, following a skirmish between rebel guerrillas and Federal troops, wounded soldiers from both sides were brought to the Castle House under a flag of truce.  While Dr. Dixon agreed to treat the injured, he would only do so outside the home, therefore the wounded were laid beside the house on the grass where they awaited treatment.  In the 1960's, two local boys adventuring into the crawl space under the Castle house found an old Confederate Soldiers uniform wrapped in a burlap sack.  The legend says the two boys took turns wearing the uniform as they strolled down the streets of Brumley.


Mrs. Martha Dixon was said to be quite the socialite, throwing elaborate parties attended by well-to-do people, successful businessmen, and even State Senators.  Near the turn of the century Mrs. Dixon was preparing the Castle House for a party to surpass all parties.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Dixon would not be attending her own event. 
 On the Saturday afternoon of the party, Dr. Dixon returned home from making house calls to find his wife dead at the top of the stairway from a suspected stroke.  Over the past 100-odd years, there have been numerous ghost stories about the Castle House and the eerie apparition of a woman who occupies the second floor.  As documented in newspaper articles, visitors to the Castle House have reported sightings of a woman dressed in an antique party dress lingering at the top of the stairs. Mrs. Dixon, also known as the crying or screaming woman, has been the subject of numerous paranormal investigations. It's also believed some spirits of patients who died in the Historic Castle House still roam its rooms.


In 1912, Dr. Dixon retired and sold the Castle House to Dr. Myron D. Jones.  Similar to his predecessor, Dr. Jones conducted his medical practice out of the Castle House, however, the examination room was moved from the second floor to the main level, while the family lived on the top floor.  In 1918, Dr. Jones found himself inundated with patients as the Spanish Flu pandemic burned through Miller County.  As hundreds of patients were brought to Dr. Jones for treatment, he ordered large buggy tents be built on the outside yard where he could see and treat the ill. Doctor Jones continued to practice out of the Castle House until the 1950's.  In his autobiography, Dr. Jones spoke of often being paid for his medical services in ham, bacon and vegetables.


Over the next 50 years, the Castle House slipped into decline and lost the grandeur that once made it a jewel of Miller County.  In 2013, the home sat empty and vandalized.  Almost all of the downstairs windows were broken out and all copper wire and plumbing had been stolen. Things changed for the positive in November 2013, when the Castle House was purchased by Nick & Marcy Sacco. They immediately went to work to restore the Castle House to its original charm and beauty.  Windows were replaced, vandalism repaired, original hardwood floors sanded and stained and fresh paint applied.  As repairs continued, the search began for antiques that would compliment the rebirth of the Castle House.  It was agreed early on, that items purchased or donated to the home required construction between 1850 & 1930, and needed to have some significant historic value. Today the Castle House shines as a landmark in Miller County with the support of its local community.  Older residents stop by often to share their memories of the Castle House.  Many speak of being born in the Castle House and delivered by either Dr. Dixon or Dr. Jones. Original barns, sheds and an outhouse still occupy the grounds of the Castle House farm.

 

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