State Historic Site

Trail End

Trail End, 1913 (Hoff Collection, TESHS)

Edited by Site Superintendent Cynde Georgen; from Trail End Notes, March 2013

“THOUGH WE CANNOT vouch for its accuracy,” stated The Wyoming Eagle on March 25, 1927, “the following from The Denver Post concerning the building of the Kendrick mansion at Sheridan will interest a large number of Wyomingites."

Indeed, the article is almost completely inaccurate, but it is a most entertaining piece of fiction nonetheless! We reprint excerpts from it here.

Kendrick Telegraphed Wife To At Least Save the Foundation of Their New Home

The marriage of Rosa-Maye Kendrick of Washington, D. C, to Major Hubert R. Harmon of that city and the preparation for furnishing their London house have given rise to a number of charming anecdotes on the bride's mother, Mrs. John B. Kendrick, wife of United States Senator Kendrick, who studied interior decorating with fervency some years ago when the Kendricks were building a new home on their Wyoming ranch.

Mrs. Kendrick, who is a spirited matron, given to interesting herself in everything about her, shortly after laying of the foundation of the Wyoming house, browsed through New York shops in quest of something lovely with which to furnish it. And in this search for beauty it occurred to her that a course in interior decorating might not be amiss. So between congressional sessions, while the Senator watched the erection of the new Kendrick abode by personal observation at the scene of action, Mrs. Kendrick studied the rules of building procedure from afar.

​When she entered the school, it is said that the Italian renaissance period had captured her fancy, but before the new pupil had been there long she had changed her mind in favor of the Normandy influence.

She at once took cognizance of this and wrote to the Senator asking that certain changes be made in the building plans, and Senator Kendrick good-naturedly assented.

A week later a chapter on windows and doors excited the wife of the Washington solon, and in terror lest a letter would not reach her husband soon enough she sent a detailed night letter
[telegram] explaining to him the position and size of the doors as called for in the specifications and begged that he delay construction work and the ordering of material until she had decided fully on them.

A day telegram got the Senator out of bed at midnight a week later.

The message was from Mrs. Kendrick. She wanted a certain partition which was now well up and had all the characteristics of a bona fide wall, torn out to make room for another idea she had just gleaned from attendance at classes at the school.

The wish was granted and for two weeks the construction of the new domicile went on peacefully. But smooth sailing was of short duration.

One night the Senator was awakened from sound slumber by the pounding on his door, and two telegrams and a special delivery letter were delivered in haste. He tore them open with anxious fingers, fearing that Mrs. Kendrick was ill. However, such was not the case. Mrs. Kendrick was well. Yea, only too well. All three missives urged further radical changes in the construction of the new house. "Change fireplace in living room to north end instead of south end," ran one. "Cut two more windows in dining room and omit built-in buffet," read another. "Want turret and tiled roof, consult architect," admonished the third.

This was too much for the jovial Senator from Wyoming, who telephoned to the nearest telegraph office and in terse English wired back, "For heaven’s sake, save the foundation."

"Save the Foundation!"