Hain House & Memorial Gardens
412 Fourth Street
Boonville, MO 65233
Group tours are available by appointment only. Contact the Friends’ office or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment. Cost is $5.00 per person.
What makes the Hain House special is that it is a typical, 19th century single family dwelling, built and owned by an average Boonville family. That and since its construction over 180 years ago, it has been owned by only one family, the Hains. The history of the Hain house begins in 1836 when George Hain, a Swiss immigrant, arrived in America. He came to this country because he heard that it was a land where every person, regardless of station in life, had the same opportunity to succeed. This was the dream of the common man and George Hain brought that dream with him to Boonville.
A Blacksmith and horticulturist by trade, he purchased the proprerty at Fourth and Chestnut Streets in July of 1836. He then constructed a two-room house of horizontal hewn walnut logs with a vertical log, notched and pegged, joining the two sections together. The house also had a loft reached by climbing a boxed stair which divided the two lower rooms. In 1843, George Hain married Sophia Aull, herself a Swiss immigrant, and they started the family which would occupy this typical Missouri home for the next 140 years.
As the Hain family grew, so did the residence. The Hains had three sons, William, George John, and Henry and one daughter, Caroline. Sometime between 1843-1849, they built small one-room structure about 20 feet east of the original house. This was joined to the main house when the space between was enclosed to make an additional room (c. 1855-60). Between 1860 and 1870, another wooden room extended the house to east. The Hains also built a long southern-gallery style porch facing south, with an entrance into each room it touched. By 1870, the picket fence around the propriety completed the homestead. George Hain died on September 11th, 1877, leaving everything to his wife, providing that she did not remarry. In 1887, she did remarry, the provision of the will was carried out, and son George John Hain purchased the home for $1,500.00.
George John Hain and his wife, Mary, had five children: Viet Aull, Fannie Marie, George John Jr., Alice and Agnes. Hain was a successful Boonville merchant, owning and operating “the people‘s store” until he retired in 1918. Sometime prior to 1895, he replaced the end wooden room with a two- room brick structure. In 1908, he added the brick sidewalk around the propriety.
He died in 1927, and Mary in 1935. She willed the house to her daughters, Alice and Agnes. The sisters lived together in the home until Alice died in 1959. Agnes lived there alone for 22 years, the last Hain descendant to reside in the house. The house was sold in 1981 to Crosby Kemper Foundation of Kansas City, which gave it to the Friends of Historic Boonville. With the support of the Foundation, the Friends have worked to stabilize the structure. The yard, now the Hain Memorial Garden, is open for public use. The Friends are developing plans that include creating a house museum. The Hain House stands as a symbol of the success of the American dream. The preservation and restoration of the Hain House provides all of us with a vital link to the past and challenges us to remember the determination and will that is such an important of our heritage.