The Mansion

Begun in 1884 by Thomas B Scott, the mansion was under construction when he passed away in 1886. He left $5,000 for his wife Anne to complete the structure. She passed away a year later in 1887. The mansion was then left to their son Walter Scott to complete. Walter was not overly interested in the mansion or in living in Merrill. He did nothing to see the interior completed. In 1893, Walter Scott sold the mansion to a real estate broker, Mr. Dunning, in Chicago, Illinois, where he was living and working at the time. Mr. Dunning held onto the property for quite some time, selling in 1897 to Mr. Edward Kuechle who had hopes of making this a summer home for his family. Mr. Kuechle is the one who started construction once again to complete the interior. He purchased nine beautiful fireplace inserts and mantles from the Henry Dibble Company in Chicago and had them shipped by rail to Merrill in a special railcar.

Unfortunate circumstances seem to have befallen Mr. Kuchele however, and in 1899 after losing a large amount of money in a gold mining scheme, he lost the mansion to foreclosure. The mansion was bought at a Sheriff's sale in 1900 by Victoria Barsanti and CS Cutting from Chicago. The idea was to make this into a retirement club for lawyers and their families. The general manager that was hired to complete the work on the mansion and make it livable was a scoundrel. He absconded one night from Merrill along with funds from the club and left a pile of unpaid bills.

The mansion was eventually sold in 1904 to Mary Fehlhaber, local midwife, who had hopes of starting a small hospital in town. She operated the home as a boarding house for several years. She died in 1911, and her daughter, Pauline Frieberg, and husband took over the boarding house, selling it to the City in 1919 when Pauline's father passed away.

The City of Merrill took the mansion as it had a large amount of property and would be suitable for a new hospital. The Holy Cross Sisters from Switzerland came to Merrill for such a purpose when the mansion and land was deeded to them to bring a hospital to Merrill in 1923. The mansion remained under their control until subsequently it was purchased in 1990 by Good Samaritan Health Care around 1990. The building changed providers over the last twenty-year period, and it was razed in 2021.

The Historical Society was given several large items from the mansion - two fireplace mantles, a stained-glass window, fret work, and a beautiful pocket door.

As you can see the mansion was used for many different purposes over the years, but did not serve as a single residence really for one any family.