The John Peirce Mansion
Real estate developer, Northside promoter, and city booster
John Peirce began construction of this home. The architect
was Charles P. Brown, who also designed the 1890 Corn
Palace, Augustana Lutheran Church and several other
prominent Sioux City buildings. The exterior walls of the
twenty-one room house are South Dakota quartzite.
1900 Peirce staged a national raffle of his home,
selling approximately 40,000 tickets at one dollar per
chance. The confusing (and, as discovered later,
fraudulent) lottery ended with millionaire New York threadmaker William Barbour securing title to the residence.
Barbour sold the home to Stella and William Gordon in
exchange for bonds issued by the company which was operating
the Combination Bridge. The Gordons, in turn, sold the
Dr. J. N. Warren.
Prominent businessman Thomas S. Martin purchased the
mansion. He had founded the Martin Department Store in
Sioux City in 1889, which had grown to become one of the
largest and best-known in the region. The Martins lived
here until 1920. (T .S. Martin died on August 9, 1915).
The house was occupied by
C. A. Escher, a stock dealer.
The residence was occupied by
Hutton, who was sales manager for the Thompson and
DeJarnette Dodge dealership.
1928 J. Earle Martin,
the son of T. S. Martin and the president of the T. S. Martin
Department Store, moved into the house after a major
renovation project. The family lived there until 1946.
The home was owned and
occupied by Martha Zanfes. The house was then known as
house of lights,” for Mrs. Zanfes, an antique collector,
placed lamps in all windows and around the street edge of
1951-57 The building served as
a residence for Lutheran Hospital student nurses.
The Junior League of Sioux City purchased the house for
$10,000. It was donated in 1959 to the City of Sioux City
for use as a cultural building.
The Sioux City Public Museum, formerly located in the
library building, opened to the public in its new quarters.
The John Peirce House was placed on the National Register of