Springfield, News-Leader July 6, 2012
Rose O'Neill Historic
Drury University’s newest student-housing project, which features
private bedrooms and bathrooms, is sold out for the coming school
The 1,650-square-foot house next to University Suites was once owned
by artist Rose O’Neill. It is at 1126 N. Summit Ave. and was built
O’Neill died in 1944 at age 69. The
university did not know of O’Neill’s connection to the house when it
bought the house about 10 years ago.
purchased the house for her older brother and his family. O’Neill
gained fame and — for a while — great fortune for one particular
creation: her whimsical Kewpie cartoon characters that were later
manufactured as Kewpie dolls.
She was a leading figure in the fight for
women’s suffrage in the United States, which was approved in 1920,
and was generous, at times to a fault, to friends and family.
O’Neill had little personal connection to
the house, her great nephew, David W. O’Neill, 73, of Springfield,
said Thursday. His famous great-aunt lived in the house for a few
weeks at the end of her life while being treated at a nearby
hospital, he said.
Drury decided to keep the building because
of its connection to O’Neill and will use it as a meeting space for
students and the community.
“That is going to be a good thing,” said
her great-nephew. He lived in the house for a few years as a boy and
recalls how his mother told him how “Aunt Rosie” would commend his