16680 W NORTH AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
16680 W NORTH AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:George H. and Frances Daubner House
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:7792
Location (Address):16680 W NORTH AVE
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1866
Survey Date:19792015
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Italianate
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Other Buildings On Site:Y
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: George H and Frances Daubner House
National Register Listing Date:5/9/2022
State Register Listing Date:11/19/2021
Additional Information:A 'site file' titled "George and Frances Daubner House" exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office.

1993 Survey information:
This fine Italianate style residence is built of cream brick (now painted); its is a full two stories tall, basically rectangular in plan, with a lower two-story wing to the east. The house is covered with a hipped roof with a deck; originally the decked area contained a large cupola. Gable roofed wall dormers, each containing a vertically-oriented oval window, are centered on each facade, admitting light to the attic. Door and window openings are round or segmentally-arched throughout; fine craftsmanship is evident in the shouldered brick enframent surrounding each opening.

The south (main) facade has a center entrance flanked by two, one-story bay windows. The door is topped by a half-round window. Each of the five sided bays contains three round arched windows; the sills of the windows connect to form a stringcourse below which recessed panels decorate each side of the bays. Above the entrance on the second floor is a segmental arch; the pairs are separated by a decorative rope-form molding.

The side wing contains a door flanked by two round-headed windows; very small windows appear in the second story of the low wing. A simple one story porch infills the space in front of the wing. A large gable-roofed bank barn stands to the east of the house. Its upper stories are of vertical board and batten over a fieldstone base. This barn is shown in an atlas illustration from 1878. Other related buildings include a fieldstone shed and a wooden greenhouse.


The Daubner House is one of the finest remaining high-style examples of an Italianate residence in the Township. Its fine craftsmanship, evident in the brick window and door surrounds and in the wood rope-form moldings, paired with its high level of integrity, make it an exceptionally fine historic resource. The bank barn to the east of the house is also notable. The group of buildings appear much as they did in an Atlas illustration from the 1870s.


George Holmes Daubner was born in Sheffield, England and came to Waukesha County in 1848. The 1873 Plat Map shows his 115 acres in Section 15, where Daubner had built this large Italianate house after returning from the Civil War. Daubner was listed as a farmer in the 1891 Brookfield Business Directory. His farm had grown to 139 acres by that time. Daubner's son, also George Holmes Daubner, was born in this house in 1867. He was educated in the Brookfield Township schools and at Carroll College, graduating in 1890. Graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin culminated with a law degree in 1893. He resided in Waukesha.

The 1914 Plat map indicates that the farm had been sold to Henry Wagner. The name "Melody Farm" commonly associated with this property dates from the farm's ownership by the Roy Kissner Family in the 1930s. Mr. Kissner was a piano maker and music lover.

The B in the photo code stands for BKFD. Another map name is City Engineer 10-1-92.

This property consists of a house (AHI#7792), barn (AHI#105087), fieldstone foundation (AHI#230676), as well as fieldstone entrance gates (AHI#230674). The Italianate-style house is comprised of a two-story block that is topped with a truncated, hipped roofline with overhanging eaves and a one-and-one-half-story, gabled wing, all of which is constructed of brick and painted white. The majority of the windows feature modestly projecting brick surrounds. The gabled Bank barn is located to the east of the house and is oriented on a north-south axis. The foundation level is constructed of both fieldstone and cut stone, while the upper story is sheathed with board-and-batten-siding. A large, sliding door is located along the structure’s west elevation. Located to the rear (north) of the house and beyond a metal fence line is the fieldstone foundation remains of a former outbuilding. Finally, the driveway is marked by a pair of fieldstone gates.

The house was built by Civil War veteran George Daubner. At the age of eight, Daubner emigrated from England with his parents in 1848, at which time they settled in Section 15 of the Town of Brookfield. Following discharge from the war, George purchased the subject parcel in 1866 and began construction of the subject house. Tax rolls suggest that the house was complete by 1870. In 1872, a barn was destroyed by lightning, after which two barns are believed to have been built, as evidenced in an 1878 illustration of the home. The Daubners remained on the parcel through the early 1900s, after which it was sold to the Rohlinger Co. By the late-1930s, Roy Kissner is identified as owning the property. In 1943, the parcel was sold to Gustave and Phyllis Sokol, who were likely responsible for naming the property “Melody Farm.”
Bibliographic References:1859, 1873 & 1891 Plat Maps. Questers, "Historic Landmark Tour," 1991. "Memoirs of Waukesha County," 1907. Historical Society List. State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 2015 SURVEY CITATIONS: “Gadzalinski/Cooper Family Tree,” Available online at www.Ancestry.com, Accessed December 2015, Tree includes a biography of George Daubner, Compiled from various sources and written by Ronald Gadzalinski; Oliver and Clarissa Harwood to George H. Daubner, Warranty Deed (hereafter cited as WD), 1 March 1866, 33/545, this and all deed information hereafter available at the Register of Deeds Office, Waukesha County, WI; Tax Rolls, Town of Brookfield, Waukesha County, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1870 (no book was available for 1869), Available at the Area Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI; Newsbrief (re: lightning hits barn), The Milwaukee Sentinel, 26 September 1872; Illustration of the Daubner farm included in Historical Atlas of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI: Snyder, Van Vechten & Co., 1878); Standard Atlas of Waukesha County, Wisconsin (Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1914); Dabro Investment Co., Inc. to Roy A. and Helen Kissner, WD, 19 November 1936, 264/309, #211254; Roy A. and Helen Kissner to Gustave and Phyllis Sokol, WD, 19 April 1943, 336/275, #255688; “Mrs. Sokol Quits Kitchen to lead Symphony Violins,” Waukesha Daily Freeman, 3 May 1948.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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