Early settler and local banker Edson Smith built this French Second Empire style home for his family in 1878. It’s located just outside the central business district in Le Sueur, Minnesota.
The interior is comprised of four sections: the two and a half story central tower, a two and a half story northern wing, a one and a half story southern wing, and a one and a half story section to the rear. A steep mansard roof covers the home.
When Smith’s bank went out of business in 1893, he sold the home to another local businessman, James A. Cosgrove. James owned a harness shop in town since 1875 and was the brother of Carson Nesbit Cosgrove – a state senator and founder of the Minnesota Valley Canning Factory (later Green Giant.) James and his wife, Adeline, raised two daughters in the house and their descendants continued to live there until 1978.
Its location adjacent to the business district made it a prime commercial location once Cosgrove’s descendants moved out of the house. The house was renovated and converted into law offices with one rental apartment in the early 1980s. The front and side porches were removed, french doors leading outside were replaced with windows, and the exterior was painted a cream color. At some point, the roof tiles were replaced with shingles. Thankfully, the interior layout was left intact.
The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Today, the house is still home to law offices. The cream-colored paint was recently removed, showing the red brick through patches of leftover paint. You can find it on South Main Street, about a block past the Le Sueur Theater.