HISTORIC LEDUC-SIMMONS ESTATE

A brochure printed in 1958 upon the dedication of the LeDuc Mansion to the Minnesota Historical Society

Comments:  This brochure was printed in 1958 upon the dedication of the LeDuc Mansion to the Minnesota Historical Society.  I have excerpted the parts that deal with the post-1930 history of the house.  One gets a sense of the quality of Carroll's merchandise - and the pride he had in his family history - while reading through this brochure.  There are several factual inaccuracies but it is worth reading all the same.

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IN MEMORIAM

ELLEN PRINGLE SIMMONS

1894-1956

...

TOUR

The house is furnished in its original period.  The whole first floor has fine imported crystal chandeliers, old imported marble mantle pieces and French gold leaf mirrors in the same period.  To replace the chandeliers in the modern equivalent would be about $1,200 each.

An old map of the city hangs on the entrance hall wall.

The north drawing room is where the reception was held for President R.B. Hayes in 1878.  A frame notice of this affair hangs on the south wall.  Portraits on the East wall are of Judge Benjamin Pringle, a member of President Lincoln's Supreme Court Cabinet, also appointed as American Council stationed at Capetown, So. Africa to work in the suppression of slave trade prior to the Civil War, and the other portrait is of Mrs. Pringle.  (Mr. Simmons' mother was a Pringle.)

The Brussells rug is in the period of the house.  Curtains are of handmade Belgian lace and the draperies of imported Italian silk and wool Damask.

General LeDuc's room, on second floor, has the portrait painted by Thomas Walker.  This artist painted all the panorama in the dome of the capitol at Washington, D.C.

Windows in LeDuc's room are covered with the original lambrequins and Cluny lace curtains.  Bed is custom built by Thomas Mac Entire, most prominent cabinet maker of his time from Salem, Mass.  Spread is hand made and the rug is pure silk Kashan, original cost when purchased as new was $12,000.  The astral lamp, one of many in the house, burned whale oil (1830).

All furniture belonged to Simmons' grandparents, the LeDucs having taken theirs to Minneapolis.  LeDuc died in this room in 1917.

Ellen's room is furnished in New England Provincial, curly maple; Windsor chairs (1750-1775) and Hitchcock bench with rush seat.  The room has handloomed bedspread, a Franklin stove and pictures are engravings of Washington subjects.

Carroll B. Simmons' room is furnished with the Pringle and Beecher furniture.  The sofa is Chippendale, bed, Sheraton and authenticated desk from General Warren, soldier of the Revolution and killed at the battle of Bunker Hill.  The portrait over the desk is of Lyman Beecher, father of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher, and done in Boston, 1820.  The mirror over the cabinet is a George Washington Mourning Mirror of about 1800.  The Currier and Ives series are more valuable because it is a complete series and also because of the subject matter.

The dining room is where the presidential party dined.  On the table is the original punch set.  Except for the Brussels rug in the drawing room, antique orientals are used throughout the house.  The silver on display is of both families, Simmons and Pringle, having the same pattern by coincidence.  (Approximate date of silver, 1820.)

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The Hastings Centennial Committee is most grateful to Mr. Carroll B. Simmons for preserving this historic landmark for the city of Hastings and for the State of Minnesota.  It is also deeply appreciative to him for his assistance and cooperation in preparing and opening his home for tours, closing down his antique business prior to and during the Centennial week to help our city commemorate this 100th Year Observance.

Mrs. Albert A Jacobsen, Committee Chairman

Mrs. Joseph Pfost, Tour Chairman

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