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Ella Eager House in Beaver Crossing Added to National Register

Lincoln, NE - 02/27/2024 - The History Nebraska is pleased to announce that the Ella Eager House has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The Ella Eager House is located in Beaver Crossing in Seward County.

The Ella Eager House's nomination recognizes its association with architecture. It is significant to local history as an example of Victorian Queen Anne domestic architecture.

Completed in 1904, the Ella Eager House displays many characteristics of the Queen Anne style. These include multiple siding materials; a large wraparound porch with a balustrade of turned posts; a complex roof; differentiation between the first and second stories; diamond and fish scale shingles in the gables; a combination of large sash and fixed windows; and details such as spindlework on a side porch and four lightning rods with porcelain balls. The house was moved from its historic location in 1974 to its current location in the opposite corner of the large lot.

The nomination explains the historical context of the house in great detail by focusing on the life of its most historical owner, Ella Eager. Eager (1854-1915) and her husband, DeWitt, moved to the Beaver Crossing area in 1880. The mercantile store they purchased became the largest in Seward County. Later, the discovery and use of an artesian well in the store's basement made the village a regional recreational attraction. The town built a pool fed by this and other wells. In winter, the wells were used for ice.

In addition to economic success, the Eagers enjoyed social and political leadership. Several clubs and societies met in their home. The people elected DeWitt Eager to the Nebraska House of Representatives in 1896; he served one term. During DeWitt Eager's travels and absences, Ella Eager managed the family's businesses. The Eagers also traveled extensively as a family, visiting Chicago in 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition.

In 1901, the Eagers divorced. However, instead of becoming a social outcast, Ella Eager acquired ownership of her and her husband's businesses, including a lumber yard and real estate interests, in addition to the mercantile store and icehouse. The construction of the Ella Eager House began in 1903 and was completed by early 1904. It became an important residence for her family, and she used it to continue providing a venue for local community organizations to meet, still holding many leadership roles. Eager was also an active proponent of women's suffrage. Eager continued to travel, visiting California and Texas to treat her asthma.

DeWitt Eager returned to Ella in 1914 after filing for divorce from his third wife. DeWitt and Ella remarried that fall "and in November departed to winter in Texas in hopes of improving Ella's health." She died June 27, 1915, after having arranged for her property to pass to her children rather than her husband. DeWitt Eager eventually left Beaver Crossing, married a fifth time, and moved to California. He died in 1924. He is buried next to Ella Eager in Beaver Crossing.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's inventory of properties deemed worthy of preservation. It is part of a national program to coordinate and support local and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect the nation's historic and archeological resources. For more information on the National Register program in Nebraska, contact History Nebraska's Historic Preservation Office at or visit