1/25

The History of the Docs Inn

The Doc's Inn was built as a single family residence in 1893 on land that was previously used as a marble Yard by Dr. John Leatherman and his wife Lucy. It was a lavish home  at the time, as is reflected in the beautiful metal work on the window lifts and hinges throughout the house. These beautiful features are retained today in the windows and doors that are all original. 

Dr. Leatherman and his wife Lucy moved in with their 8-year old daughter after construction was completed in 1894. The house changed owners several times after it was constructed and was eventually sold to Dr. Gilbert Rhea and his wife Genevieve, the second medical doctor to own the Doc's Inn. Dr. Rhea used the house as a residence and business. He closed in the side porch of the house to construct an office space consisting of a small waiting area with a treatment room in the back. Their daughter Rita was married at the home and her wedding picture can still be seen in the Cammack Photography collection of the Depauw University archives. Dr. Rhea's wife Genevieve lived out the remainder of her life in the home and it eventually was purchased by the Catholic  church after her passing.

The Church used the home as a rectory for several years and held Sunday school classes on the main floor. The house was eventually sold and used as a rental property until it was purchased by Dr. Steve Kissel  and his wife Janna in 2018. When the Kissels purchased the home, they knew they wanted to do something special. They fell in love with the beautiful, historical features, and decided to share the history of the home with others by opening Doc's Inn - an elegant look into the historic past of small town Indiana.

Dr. Steve Kissel and his wife Janna completed most of the work done on The Docs Inn with the help of family and friends. Much of the original woodwork and plaster walls were in poor shape when the home was purchased but have since been repaired and restored. The original red oak floors have been restored to their natural color upstairs, and the downstairs floors were refinished in a dark oak stain. Both bathrooms were recently renovated and the entire house was repainted. All of the windows, including several beautiful leaded glass windows, are from the original construction in 1893 except for those added by Dr. Rhea for his office addition in the early 1900's. The home was previously awarded funds from a Stellar grant to replace the roof and repaint the exterior. The Kissels hope to complete their restoration by returning the exterior to its original white color in the near future.