The Colonel Darwin W. Marmaduke House
Story by Jaden Harper | Jun 05, 2018
The Marmaduke House, which served as the Warden’s Residence for the Missouri State Penitentiary, was constructed in 1887 through the use of inmate labor and materials from the prison grounds. The house was designed by famous architect from Fulton, Missouri, M. Fred Bell, in the popular “Queen Anne” style. The house features walls of brick and stone, a large parlor, library, conservatory, and kitchen. The final construction cost was $7,000. Residence in the home was included in the warden’s compensation in addition to his salary. Sitting on the high ground of the city, the area became one of the most desirable and luxurious places in town, which attracted so many visitors, that the Marmadukes sold penny postcards of the home and prison as souvenirs.
The first warden to reside there was Col. Darwin W. Marmaduke, who moved into the home with his family in 1888. The State provided housing at the property for Col. Marmaduke and 18 other appointed wardens until the mid-1940’s when Missouri created the Department of Corrections. The residence then housed families of the Department until the mid-1980’s at which point the Corrections offices moved in and the property ceased to be a living quarters. The State provided housing to future wardens at a property three houses to the east, which had previously been the home for the deputy warden.
Unfortunately, the building began to quickly deteriorate, and the State began the process of seeking approval from the legislature to sell the property. In 1991, the Missouri General Assembly, with the Governor’s approval, authorized the transfer of the property from the State. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hawkins III purchased and restored the property through the help of contractor Jude Markway. The home’s interior finishes and some of its original features were restored, including the natural hardwood floors on the main level and limestone walls in basement. The newly renovated property served as an office space for the Hawkins Law Office from 1992 to 2000. Hawkins sold the home to the Andereck Evans Law Firm, which still leases space in the house. In 2013, Jeff and Jane Schaeperkoetter of Oakbrook Properties purchased the home at a public auction and are the current owners of the home. The home currently houses the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau and Missouri State Penitentiary Museum.
The property is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and is protected by a historic easement, which controls all alterations to the home. According to the Registry’s custom at the time, the house was given the name “Marmaduke House” in honor of the first resident, Col. Marmaduke, despite his stay being one of the shortest of all the wardens that resided there. The home is also now part of the Capitol Avenue Historic District. Admission to the museum is $2 per person or free with the purchase of a prison tour. The home is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.