219 South Sergeant
Thomas Lennan House
Architect Austin Allen
Thomas Fran ‘Tommy’ Lennan was born and raised in Massachusetts and graduated from MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] in 1899. Instead of following the course set by his father and other relatives to go to sea, he immediately headed for the mining fields of the Midwest. He worked with mines in Webb City, Carterville, Duenweg, Missouri and Hattenville (later Commerce) Oklahoma. The Joplin Globe reported that “few of the veteran operators in the Tri-State field has as wide and as extensive a mining career as did Mr. Lennan who never actively engaged in any other business.” When he was not at work, Lennan was most likely on the golf course at Oak Hill Country Club. In 1906, Lennan married Charlotte Gregg, a member of a pioneer Joplin family.
Notable architect Austin Allen designed the house in the Colonial Revival style about 1916. It features the symmetrical facade, multiple-paned windows and a simple entry porch that are prominent elements of that style. The entrance has a segmented pediment with side lights and a leaded glass fanlight. The symmetry extends to the cross-gabled roof and the pedimented dormers and the double chimneys. the smaller-scaled wings were added on later. A masonry wall topped with broken stone surrounds the entire block. It originally enclosed the house and grounds of the Lennan’s as well as those of the O. H. Picher’s and the Henry McNeal’s on the other side of the block.