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Victorian Home On Mississippi River

291 North Front Street, Lansing, IA 52151, USA


The historic Turner House in Lansing, Iowa, is ready for its new owners! This house (aka The Lansing House or Fitzgerald House) was built in 1874 by Captain Jeremiah Turner, a steamboat captain who wanted his residence to match the majesty of the river on which he lived and worked. The home includes original Italian tiles, redwood carpentry, and a Tiffany chandelier. The house is a two-story Italianate style home and has been recommended eligible for the NHRP by an architectural/historical study. The original carriage house is still in place, just across the alley from the home. The home has been carefully updated to provide modern conveniences while maintaining the beauty of the original build. There are three bathrooms, including a half-bath on the main, a full guest bath and an updated bath with a large shower for the master suite. There is plenty of room to entertain family and friends. Enjoy watching river boat traffic from the peaceful sunroom. A gas fireplace provides cozy warmth in the spacious living room.

Some interesting history concerning Captain Turner, the builder of this home: Jeremiah M. Turner (December 24, 1837 – May 6, 1928) was born in Dubuque and is said to have claimed being the first white person born in what was to become the State of Iowa. He had an English father, Morris Turner, and an Irish mother, Bridget Kelly. He married his wife Mary (of German descent, born circa 1844 in Dubuque). Together, they moved to Reads Landing, Minnesota and had their three daughters there. In Minnesota, Turner engaged in towing logs and lumber. As a young man he was present at the 1860 Republican National Convention “Wigwam” convention center, when Lincoln was nominated as that party’s presidential candidate; he served in the Union forces as a riverboat pilot and captain; he was an acquaintance of Samuel Langhorn Clemens aka Mark Twain; and he oversaw a fleet of riverboats –including the Pauline and Lily Turner–until his death. Locally, he went on to become one of Lansing’s most prominent citizens. He began mining lead around Lansing circa 1890 and started the Turner Button Factory, located on Center Street, in the late 1890s. It was Lansing’s first company in the freshwater mussel shell pearl button industry. He remained an active participant in that business even after handing over control of the operation to his grandson, L.T. Hufschmidt. At Hufschmidt’s passing, the company was turned over to his nephew, John Brophy, who did international business with the firm renamed the Lansing Company and manufactured costume jewelry and toys during the Second World War. Jeremiah Turner died in 1928 and is buried in Lansing’s Oak Hill Cemetery. His autobiography is titled Memories of a Raft Pilot. Captain Walter A. Blair memorialized him in a 1929 biography A Raft Pilot’s Log (Blair 1929; Postville Herald, 13 May 1928; Iowa Recorder, 30 May 1928).
Source: Tallgrass Archaeology LLC (September 12, 2019).


  • Property ID
  • 4
  • 3
  • Square Footage
    3001 sqft
  • Lot Size
    0.22 acres
  • Italianate
  • Icon
    Year Built

Updated on April 1, 2020 at 9:10 am


  • Address: 291 North Front Street, Lansing, IA 52151, USA
  • City: Lansing
  • State/county: Iowa
  • Zip/Postal Code: 52151
  • Country: United States

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