The Onion House
House", so named because of its onion shaped dome, was constructed by Thomas Lenehan in 1902. Mr. Lenehan was a Delmont citizen and active
carpenter in the community. He built the house to serve as a private
residence after completing the Delmont school building. In 1915 Dr.
Thomas Arnold established residence in the home.
According to the March 17, 1917 edition of
the Delmont Record Dr. Arnold then converted the lower level
into a clinic, and the upper level into a hospital. "This institution
is prepared to care for eight patients, and giving them all the care they
could get in any hospital. The services of the best nurses, skilled
medical and surgical attention, and all the comforts of well heated and
ventilated rooms in winter and airy cool rooms in summer. The building
is electric lighted, is fitted with hot and cold running water, bath,
lavatory and toilet and so forth. Each patient is given individual
service of meals. Everything is delightful clean and cheery. The
building is fitted with a modern operating, where facilities and
conveniences count for much."
The article concludes, "The right man is behind it, the
man who has thrown his whole heart and ambition into the profession , in the
hopes that he may fill his mission in the world towards humanity. It
goes without saying that Delmont and the people of the community are proud
of Dr. T. Arnold and wish him every success in the Delmont Hospital."
Charles Sroka purchased the home in 1920 and lived
there until 1939. Since then the house has been used for several
purposes including a beauty shop, duplex, women's clothing shop, and a
private residence. As of Aug. 2015 it is part of the museum complex of the
Historical Society of Delmont.
Owners since 1939 have been: L. Eirenberg, 1939-1942;
Jay and Nellie Hovey, 1942-1946; Jacob and Martha Lindeman 1946-1956; Henery
Bitterman, 1956-1964; John and Salma Peters, 1964-1976; Herb and Edna
Bierwagen, 1976-1983; Russ and Verla Lehman, 1983-1990; Dick and Earla
Strid, 1990-1993; Verla Lehman 1993-2000; Robert and Jan Schuh 2000- 2015;
Leo Holzbauer, June 2015 - Aug. 2015; The Historical Society of Delmont,
Aug. 2015 - now.
Verla Lehman placed the "Onion House" on the National
Register of Historic places in 1987. The South Dakota Historical
Society was interested in the house because of its unique characteristics
for a small Midwestern town of South Dakota. Those characteristics
include an irregular roof line, a wrap-around porch and the distinctive side
tower with an onion shaped dome. This dome is believed to be the
only residence in the state that contains this architectural structure
possibly made of lead or some other pliable metal.