This post is part of a collection of posts written in 2016 for Glenwood’s 150 year celebration. To see the map and full list of locations included in the walking tour, click here.
Bickle House – 226 East Minnesota Avenue
This quintessential American Four Square house was built in 1913 for Soo Line Engineer Frank Bickle and his wife Flora. The Bickle house was a modern marvel, with eleven rooms, two fireplaces, exquisite woodwork, and a built-in vacuum system. It was designed by Frank P. Allen and son of Grand Rapids, Michigan and built by Albert Wollan. Wollan also crafted the interior of the house.
The house’s most prominent inhabitant was Bickle’s second wife Ann. Ann founded the Glenwood Hospital Auxiliary and helped raise funds for the “new, modern” hospital built in 1939, and still in use today. She went on to help found the Minnesota Hospital Auxiliary. She was also active in the Glenwood Music Club, Glenwood Literary Club, Federated Women’s Clubs, Eastern Star, and the Red Cross. Ann also served as the director of Women’s Services in Civilian Defense for Pope County during WWII, coordinating homefront efforts.
Dina Bremness is also closely associated with the house. Bremness was the hospital superintendent in Glenwood and most certainly worked closely with Ann and the Hospital Auxiliary. She helped care for Frank when he became ill, and moved into the house after his death in 1959. She was companion to and eventually caregiver for Ann for the next 25 years. The art gallery in the former garage is named for her.
The house in on the National Register of Historic Places. Click to see the application.
The Bickle House and its furnishings were saved in 1988 by a group of nine women who established the Ann Bickle Heritage House. Today the Ann Bickle Heritage House serves as a community center and is open for special events. The garage has been converted into an art gallery and hosts a show each summer. Visit their facebook page for more information on events.
On a side note: The oldest house still standing in Glenwood was originally built on this site prior to 1876 for Tory Thorson and his family. It was moved in 1913, but still stands just around the corner at 307 1st Avenue SE.