Round Barn

In 1870 Mr. and Mrs. John Drennan immigrated from Ireland and settled two and a half miles east of Blue Rapids in Marshall County.

Drennan bought most of the land on the present ranch from the Central Branch Railroad in 1874 for $10 an acre. He purchased the last 80 acres in 1904, making it 640 acres altogether.

While building a home for his family, Drennan lived in a dugout on the ranch. He planted the many hedge rows that at one time encircled the entire farm, dividing the fields from pasture and meadow.

Having five sons and several hired men, they kept more than six miles of thorny hedge rows trimmed like a front yard.

Drennan bought a registered Hereford cow and two young heifer calves from the Morgan Ranch to start his herd. The first summer he lost the heifer calves to black leg.

The large round barn was designed by Benton Steel of Halstead, Kan., to be self supporting. The unique structure left no flat surface exposed to the Kansas wind. A trolley system was designed to distribute loose hay in the center for storage and a manger can feed 100 cattle at a time around the perimeter.

Built in 1911 for approximately $3,000, the barn is 92 feet in diameter and 40 feet from the bottom to the cupola on top. The big hay mow could hold 230 tons of loose hay.

In the ‘20s the Drennan’s dispersed their registered Hereford herd and rented out the farm.

The Stump family purchased the farm in 1961.