(Quoted from the Kansas Preservation Newsletter , Kansas State Historical Society, Sept.-Oct. 2007: http://www.kshs.org/resource/ks_preservation/kpsepoct07.pdf)
The Smyser House, built in 1919, is an excellent example of a bungalow residence and represents the middle-income socio-economic lifestyle of two early twentieth-century Wichita businessmen. As Wichita prospered after World War I, the land on the banks of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers became highly desirable for new homes. These houses, including 931 Buffum, were built in the newly fashionable Craftsman style of architecture. Property owner Ray Popkess chose a modest Craftsman design on a onestory plan and hired Wichita carpenter Charles F. Hembree to build it. The estimated cost was $4,400. The house is named for longtime property owners Lydia Smyser and her son Clyde, a well-known businessman who participated in civic, church, and fraternal affairs. Perhaps Smyser’s greatest contribution to the community was as a member of the Board of Regents of Wichita University (now Wichita State University). The Wichita City Commission appointed him to the board when Fairmount College became a municipally owned university in 1923. He headed various committees, including overseeing the financial management of the athletics activities and construction of Jardine Administration Building and McKinley Science Hall.
Photo: DC & VC 1-08