The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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The Sigler House gets a makeover

+++For+years%2C+the+house+remained+empty+after+it+was+given+by+the+Carpenter+family.+In+2021%2C+the+Simpson+College+Board+of+Trustees+funded+a+%24250%2C000+renovation+to+modernize+and+update+the+long-standing+traditional+home.+%0A
Kennedey Clark
For years, the house remained empty after it was given by the Carpenter family. In 2021, the Simpson College Board of Trustees funded a $250,000 renovation to modernize and update the long-standing traditional home.

 The Sigler House, also known as the President’s House, received a makeover this semester to host more events for students, faculty and the community. 

While former presidents of Simpson College have lived in the house as a full-time residence, President Jay Byers has other plans in mind for the house to utilize its full potential.

Dedicated in 2000 as the Sigler House on 703 W. Ashland Street, the home has ties with Simpson that date back to the late 1800s. The home was named for loyal Simpson alumni Frederick Carl and Sara Eikenberry Sigler and their daughter Helen Sigler Carpenter and was built in 1907. 

According to the Indianola Independent Advocate, Carl served on the Board of Trustees for over 30 years, and after his death in 1941, his wife continued to support the college until her passing in 1947. 

After Sara and Carl’s deaths, their daughter Helen and her husband George Carpenter Jr. moved into Sigler House. When Helen died, George Carpenter gave the house to the College.

For years, the house remained empty after it was given by the Carpenter family. In 2021, the Simpson College Board of Trustees funded a $250,000 renovation to modernize and update the long-standing traditional home. 

Since then, Simpson’s presidents began living at the residence and hosted events for alumni and faculty throughout the year. 

Now, Byers has taken action to refurbish the home and give it a fresh look.

Because the president and his family reside in Des Moines, they do not live in the home full-time, but he does stay there occasionally.

Before taking on the role of president of the college, his family already lived in Des Moines, where Byers’ wife, Katie, has an art studio in the city, and his daughter, Sophie, attends DMACC.

Byers said in an email, “On a fun note, I brought my turntable, piano, and one of my guitars, most of my book collection, and some artwork from our Des Moines house. I also moved our pool/ping pong table to the Sigler House garage.”

Additionally, a grandfather clock given to the original owners’ daughter in 1987 still stands in the home, and they moved the Matthew Simpson bedroom set from College Hall to one of the guest bedrooms inside. 

There are also some old pictures that capture Simpson’s history and old furniture that they found in storage. The rest of the 17-room house was furnished by the Byers family themselves.

One event has already been hosted since the makeover: The President’s Holiday Cabinet party took place prior to the holidays, and there are plans to host an outdoor celebration for students on Campus Day in the spring.

“The idea is to make it a great gathering place for special ways to celebrate and recognize Simpson students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as all our great friends, leaders and partners across the community,” Byers added.

The Sigler House will continue to be a great tool for the college and has a great future purpose for the Simpson and Indianola community. 

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Kennedey Clark, Staff Reporter

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