The Rippon-Kinsella House
A  Bed & Breakfast Inn
History

Rippon Kinsella



      The Rippon-Kinsella House was built in 1871 by John Rippon in the Italianate style.   John Rippon was an industrialist who owned the Excelsior Machine Works in Springfield.   He later made his fortune in railroads, mining and lumber.

      The home was purchased by Richard (Dick) Kinsella around 1900, who added the wraparound Victorian porch in 1905. Dick Kinsella came from an Irish working class background and owned a paint and wallpaper store downtown. 

     Kinsella later rose to political power in Springfield.  He was the Sangamon County Democratic Party Chairman in the 1920's and 30's and was the campaign manager for Henry Horner's successful bid for Governor.  The Illinois State Journal referred to him as "much feared and admired."   One can imagine the smoke-filled rooms (the inn is now a smoke-free environment).  

      Kinsella was also a sports promoter and talent scout for the New York Giants, and built the first baseball stadium in Springfield.   Between sports and politics, the home was a very active place. Rippon Kinsella

      Lincoln's funeral procession went by the property in 1865, six years before the house was built. There were cornfields on the north end of Springfield at the time.  The procession was going to the temporary vault at the base of the hill where the monument was built in 1876.  The State Journal said that when the horse-drawn hearse reached the cemetery, the last of the funeral procession was leaving the old state capitol, two miles away.

The current owners Roger Schmitz and Dave Ridenour bought the home in 2005.   Join them for a relaxing weekend while visiting the Presidential Museum and Lincoln sites, Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana-Thomas House and New Salem.