General Information and History
This is the Emmert-Zippel house. It was built in 1837 by Mr. Emmert. William Emmert had
come here from Tennessee in a covered wagon with his mother, Christina, and four teen-aged
sisters when he was a young boy. His father died of cholera, so William and his mother had to
fend for themselves. She remarried, but William, at age 13, went out on his own. They say he
may have worked for his sister who had married Mr. Stallings and ran the Stallings
Roadhouse. After he worked for her for a time he started farming on his own and was a very
successful farmer. He owned the land that is now owned by the Old Six Mile Historical Society.
At one time he owned the land all the way to Nameoki Road. He built this house which
consisted of just the front rooms. He and his first wife had four children. After her death, he
remarried and they had nine more children making it necessary to build additional rooms. The
house has the same plan as Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois which was built in 1837. Mr.
Emmert loved horses and had an extensive racehorse track that was popular all over the area,
including St. Louis.
Mr. Emmert sold the property to a German immigrant, Mr. August Zippel in 1884. One
hundred years later, in 1984, the property was purchased by the Society. It is not clear which
of the two men added the Travelers’ Room. The original two rooms were used as combination
rooms. Most dwellings of that time had only a kitchen/living room and a bedroom. Mr. Zippel
added the back porch and removed the second floor porch at the front of the house.
Mr. Emmert had built just what he thought he needed to take care of his family. We have
explored information about the way the house was built, but there were no house plans on
record in the 1830s. It is supposed that as his family grew he added the kitchen and perhaps
the summer kitchen. It is said that sometimes the summer kitchens were called “borning
rooms”. Babies were born there, then taken upstairs. It is not known which of the two men
added the Smokehouse. The house was built in the Federal Style but was later remodeled to
Victorian. The things we have on display are mostly Victorian. It is said that the Emmerts
decorated in Federal Style and Zippels in Victorian.