HISTORY OF THE CHRYSLER BOYHOOD HOME
The Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home was built in 1889, in typical nineteenth-century, Midwestern style, constructed of white pine clapboard with a cedar shingle roof. The Chrysler family occupied this home from 1889 until 1908.
Many families owned the home until 1952 when Joe Herbert, the Dodge/Plymouth dealer in Ellis, bought the home because it was becoming run down. The Chrysler Corporation purchased it from Herbert and in 1954 the home was officially opened as a museum. In 1955, Jack Chrysler, Walter’s son and other Chrysler management came and presented the deed to the home to the city of Ellis. There was a huge celebration complete with a parade.
A new museum building was erected behind the home in 1994 to display personal items of Walter P. Chrysler. Frank Rhodes, Walter’s great grandson, Jack Chrysler Jr., Walter’s grandson, other Chrysler family members and Chrysler management were in attendance for the grand opening of the museum.
A 50th Anniversary Celebration took place in 2005 complete with a parade that included over 100 Chrysler products. Many Chrysler family members and Chrysler employees came and participated in the festivities.