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Northwest Missouri State University


The Thomas Gaunt House was constructed during the decade of the 1870s as evidenced by the white brick lettering on the west side of the structure.Thomas Gaunt purchased the tract of land in the Northwest quarter of section eighteen (18), Township sixty-four (64) of Range thirty-five (35) on May 4, 1860 for $693.00.Gaunt purchased an additional tract of 19.01 acres on March 31, 1864 for $120.00.By 1882 Gaunt had 72 acres, which was later donated by his daughters as the location for the Fifth District Normal School (now Northwest Missouri State University) in 1905.Thomas W. Gaunt was born in Staffordshire, England, on the 4th of April, 1830 to Thomas Gaunt and Catherine Wooley.Gaunt left England for the United States on Aug. 3, 1853, and arrived in New York on Sept. 12, 1853.In the spring of 1854, Gaunt immigrated to McDonough County, Illinois, where he found employment with the Smith and Franklin Plant Nursery.In April 1955, Gaunt immigrated to Andrew County, Missouri where he established a nursery for Smith and Franklin.Gaunt moved to Nodaway County in 1857 where he established the Gaunt Nursery.The Gaunt Nursery cultivated and developed many of the early ornamental shade and fruit trees found in Northwest Missouri.During the Civil War, Gaunt served in the Enrolled Missouri Militia with the title of Captain (Company G, T36th Regiment Missouri Militia).Since its donation in 1905, the Gaunt House has housed a century of Northwest Presidents and their families.Deerwester was the first president to live in the Gaunt House.The only baby to be born in the house was President Cook's daughter.The Presidents' wives have held an annual faculty/staff Christmas reception at the Gaunt House since 1964.Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Gaunt were given to President Hubbard's wife, Aleta, in 2008 by descendants of the Gaunt family.  The 5x7 photographs are displayed in the Gaunt House.President B.D. Owens and his wife pose for a picture on the front porch of the Gaunt House.  B.D. Owens was president of Northwest from 1977 to 1984 and was the only president who was an alumnus of Northwest.Portraits of the all the Presidents and their wives are displayed within the Gaunt House.Portrait of Thomas Gaunt which is on display within the Gaunt House.Portrait of Thomas Gaunt's wife which is on display within the Gaunt House.

Gaunt House

Born in Staffordshire, England on April 4, 1830, Mr. Thomas W. Gaunt was the son of Thomas Gaunt and Catherine Wooley.

Gaunt left England for the United States on Aug. 3, 1853, and arrived in New York on the Sept. 12, 1853. In the spring of 1854, he immigrated to McDonough County, Illinois, where he obtained employment at the Smith and Franklin Plant Nursery. In April 1855, Gaunt immigrated to Andrew County, Missouri, where he established a nursery for Smith and Franklin. He later moved to Nodaway County in 1857, where he established his own plant nursery, which cultivated a wide variety of ornamental, shade and fruit trees.

During the Civil War, Mr. Gaunt served in the Enrolled Missouri Militia and obtained the position of Captain of Company G, 36th Regiment Missouri Militia.

The Thomas Gaunt House was constructed during the 1870s. A date appears on the white brick lettering on the west side of the house. Gaunt purchased the tract in the Northwest quarter of section eighteen (18), Township sixty-four (64) of Range thirty-five (35) on May 4, 1860 for $693.00. He later added an additional tract of 19.01 acres on Mar. 31, 1864 which he purchased for $120.00.

By 1882 his holding had grown to 72 acres. Later, his daughters would donate the house and grounds for the proposed site of the new Maryville Fifth District Normal School, which is now Northwest Missouri State University. The Gaunt House has been the home for all Northwest presidents since its donation in 1905.