Jeremiah Baughman purchased a farm in Pioneer Township south of Mechanicsville after he arrived in Cedar County from Pennsylvania in 1856, where he remained until his death in 1901. He built what is now known as the “Baughman/Shrope house” during this time as well as the house known as the “Robinson Barn”. To this day you can see “Jeremiah Baughman, 1880” inscribed in pencil on the wall of the oats bin in the Robinson barn. In 1904 James Shrope, Jr. purchased the 200 acre farm. His father, James Shrope, Sr. migrated to Cedar County from Pennsylvania in 1855. In 1906 the Baughman/Shrope house was moved a few feet to make room for the “Big House”. Since this time the Shrope family has used the Baughman/Shrope house for storage. These two families who have called this farm home have left a legacy that enriches our community to this day. Descendants include those with the names: Rate, Shrope, McNee, Kramer, Johnson, Pickert, Davidson, Tonne, Miller, Coon, Robinson, Albaugh, and Zerbe.
The farm on which the Baughman/Shrope house stood is now owned by one of those descendants Adam and Susan Robinson who have given the Baughman/Shrope house to the Cedar County Historical Society for our Prairie Village. The addition of the Baughman/Shrope house and its smokehouse have enriched the Prairie Village by adding another layer of our historical past.
This small two room house is 14 ft by 16 ft and 16 ft tall at its peak. The downstairs served as the families’ kitchen and living area while the upper floor was used as sleeping quarters. Though it only has a 224 square foot, footprint the Baughman/Shrope house and its smokehouse are rich with stories to tell us about the lives of the settlers of Cedar County.
After moving the Baughman/Shrope house to the Prairie Village in 2014 work has been started to restore the house. In 2016 and 2017 work was done to replace the floor and part of the walls that were removed because they were not salvageable and would not survive the move. Ship lath, harvested from the old Mt. Zion church of Cedar County (the flooring material came from Mr. Zion as well), was used to cover most of the interior walls on the main level. Doors have been rehung and the windows replaced in 2017 and 2018. The exterior was painted in the summer of 2018. There is still much to be done though. The walls need to be completed on the main level and the ceiling. Once those are done then work will begin to restore the second story.