A House of Stone: Kitty Burkhart

In the early 1940s, when first class stamps cost just 3 cents apiece and zip codes hadn’t even been invented, Carol Brown, wife of Hubert and mother of Chilton and Kitty, found just the thing to take her mind off wartime upheavals and uncertainties: an old house in the country.  Weatherworn, supplied with neither electricity nor indoor plumbing, the two-story limestone edifice dating to 1828 seemed historic and imposing. It had to have some stories, perhaps even a ghost. Restoring the place would be an adventure.

Several months later, when the house had been made livable, Carol and her daughter moved in.  It wasn’t long before Carol began investigating her new home’s history. So began a seven-year correspondence with the great-grandson of the house’s original owner, one of the area’s earliest settlers of European descent. 

The two families’ stories are now firmly intertwined in the stones of the Daniel Stout House, recognized as the oldest surviving residence in Monroe County, Indiana. Carol’s daughter Kitty, now in her mid-80s, still lives there, a devoted steward of the place and its history.

The 1818 land grant from President James Monroe to Daniel Stout


Kitty's great-grandparents appear at the top of this photograph. Her mother, Carol Brown, is the young girl at the far left.

Wayne and Kitty Burkhart on their wedding day

Carol Brown, around the time she took on the Stout House. The trees at the east of the house today are reflected in the glass of this framed photograph.

"Brownie" Brown

Kitty Burkhart, seated third from the far right, with her daugher Liza (to Kitty's left), son (to Kitty's right), daughter-in-law, and two grandsons.

Kitty Burkhart today, at the foot of the stairs her mother designed to access the second floor. (The house was originally constructed with exterior stairs to the second floor.)


2 responses to “A House of Stone: Kitty Burkhart

  1. Nancy, what a wonderful project! Very much looking forward to the book.

  2. Vicki Massy Palmer

    I have always loved that house. Kitty’s son, Garrett, took me there to meet his grandparents when we were in high school and, later, when home for a reunion, Gary and Beverly took me to visit Kitty. I absolutely MUST get out to visit Kitty next time I’m in town. She and my late mother went to high school together. What a great project!

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