Cedar Rapids Home Built by Important Citizen Has Been Demolished [PHOTOS/VIDEO]
It was built over 100 years ago and was one of the city's most impressive early mansions. Now, sadly, its existence is a part of Cedar Rapids' past.
The home was built by a future member of the College Football Hall of Fame who played in the original National Football League. His contributions to Cedar Rapids were much greater.
Arthur Poe, the grandnephew of poet and author Edgar Allan Poe, played college football at Princeton, where he was named the national player of the year in 1899. Poe was then a member of the Pittsburgh Stars of the original National Football League, not associated with today's league. He became a member of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969.
In 1904, Poe married Anne E. King and they moved to Cedar Rapids, where Arthur was assistant manager at Quaker Oats. He would later run the plant. The Poes built this majestic 5-bedroom home with 5 full bathrooms and 2 half-baths in 1917. The Poe Mansion was more than 7,600 square feet and sat on just under 3.4 acres at 340 27th St. Dr. S.E.
After only a few years in the mansion, the Poes built this 6-bedroom, 3.5+ bathroom limestone home next door at 300 27th St. Dr. S.E. Arthur Poe still lived in the home below when he died in 1951. Still standing today, Zillow estimates the home's value at more than $550,000.
Poe would be president of the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, director of the local Red Cross, president of the Coe College Board of Trustees, and so much more. According to a Coe College story on his life, Poe was considered Cedar Rapids' "most useful citizen". Poe Chapel at Coe College still bears his name. The chapel was paid for by Quaker Oats.
When the Poe family moved next door in the 1920s, Robert Soutter and his wife Ethel moved into the mansion. Soutter would become president and treasurer of the T.M. Sinclair & Company meat packing plant, in addition to vice-president of Cedar Rapids Savings Bank & Trust Company.
In the early 1930s, Lt. Sutherland C. Dows and his wife Frances moved into the mansion. He was Iowa Railway and Light Corporation's chairman of the board and president, and president of other companies.
Around 1950, Ernest Kosek and his wife Vlasta began living in the mansion. Kosek, a WWII veteran, would serve 16 combined years in the U.S. House and Senate. He would also run Ernest Kosek & Company Investments, Stocks, and Bonds/Ernest Kosek Enterprises in Cedar Rapids for four decades.
The Kosek family owned the mansion for nearly a half-century before selling it in 1996. Only two families lived there after that, according to Save CR Heritage. The mansion was for sale when it was badly damaged by the 2020 derecho.
There were so many important Cedar Rapids families tied to the history of Poe Mansion. The video below shows its recent demolition.
Below are photos of the Cedar Rapids gem that, unfortunately, is now gone. Save CR Heritage calls it tragic. There's simply no other word to describe it.
Cedar Rapids Home Built by Important Citizen Has Been Demolished
Gallery Credit: Realtor.com
Historic Iowa Home of One of Von Maur Founders Has Sold
Gallery Credit: Mel Foster Co.