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Just south of the University of Kansas campus, on a quiet tree-lined street where the leaves are ablaze with fall colors, stands a house James Naismith built.
Along with inventing the game of basketball and serving as director of physical education at KU, Naismith was handy with a hammer and a nail. Inhe put his skills to work building the house on the corner of 17th and Mississippi Street.
The property was one of three contiguous lots he owned on Mississippi Street. Today, the traditional-looking two-story home at Mississippi St. Its owner, Lew Llewellyn, bought the house in and is the third owner in 95 years.
Llewellyn, who is retired from decades of coaching at Haskell Indian Nations University, and his late wife, Lois, raised five children in the spacious home. It can be detected in the fireplace and mantel, the original French doors opening onto a patio, the hardwood floors, the original trim around windows and doorways, even in the exposed lath and plaster walls in the attic.
Kathy Hanks The lath and plaster that James Naismith installed in the house he built in Photo was taken on Oct. The Llewellyns remodeled the kitchen and bathroom and pulled up the wall-to-wall carpets the second owner installed to expose the hardwood floors. They also removed the huge wood-burning stove from the basement and replaced it with central heating and air.
Kathy Hanks A vent in the floor of an upstairs bedroom put in the home at the time of construction, photo taken on Tuesday, Oct.
Naismith lived in the house for 10 years before moving two doors away to a smaller home. Llewellyn said Naismith had someone else build that house for him.
He taught at KU untilthen finally retired. Three years later, in Novemberhe died at 78 of a heart attack while recovering from a cerebral hemorrhage. He lost his dad when he was 9 and worked in the lumber industry in Canada in his late teens.
He knew how to handle tools, an ax and a saw. He found them fascinating; there was even a canceled check for a cent loaf of bread. Wilson said that when Llewellyn turned 90 last May, he downsized and they put the house on the market.
Wilson was 5 years old when they moved into the house and has wonderful memories of her childhood. She and her siblings could walk to grade school, junior high, high school and eventually college from the house.The Mansfield News Journal is the number one source for breaking news, sports, photos and videos in Mansfield, Richland County and Mid-Ohio.
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