At Home with the Kendricks


TRAIL END WAS John Kendrick’s dream from beginning to end. When his wife balked at the thought of managing such a large house, her mother advised her to support her husband’s wishes. As cousin Mary Kendrick Morgan later told Manville Kendrick, "I heard your grandmother tell your mother not to oppose [your father] about the house, that he had worked hard and building that house had been a dream of his for a long time."

It was also John Kendrick who gave the house its distinctive name. In January 1914, Wilbur Burgess of Omaha noted in a letter to Eula Kendrick, "I think the name Mr. Kendrick has chosen, "Trail End," is certainly very appropriate and original, and so different from what most people would select. I sincerely hope that the trail may not end for a great many years to come."

Unfortunately, Kendrick’s time in his new home was limited. After his election as Governor of Wyoming in 1914, the family had to relocate to Cheyenne – only eighteen months after moving into Trail End. In 1916, when he was elected to the U. S. Senate, the family moved to Washington, D.C. After that, Kendrick was only able to visit the home during the lengthier Congressional recesses.



EULA'S FEELINGS ABOUT TRAIL END

According to family members, Eula Wulfjen Kendrick was not eager to take on the responsibility of such a large home as Trail End. Cousin Mary Kendrick Morgan lived on the Kendrick ranches during the planning phase of the project. She later told Manville, "I helped your mother a little on the plans when I was with you folks and she said then the house was going to be a big responsibility. I think that your Dear Father wanted the big house much more than she did."

While she may have been apprehensive about managing a 13,000-plus square foot home, Eula was looking forward to living in town. Except for occasional trips to California, Texas and Cuba, Eula’s life had been spent at the isolated OW ranch since her marriage at the age of eighteen. She was anxious to lead a more social life, similar to the one she’d known as a teenager in Greeley, Colorado. Under Eula’s guiding hand, Trail End was the site of frequent dances, dinners, teas and luncheons. Whether it was formal or casual, an invitation to Trail End was an invitation to fine food, lively entertainment and intelligent conversation.


ROSA-MAYE'S RELUCTANCE


When it came time to move into Trail End, Rosa-Maye Kendrick was even more apprehensive than her mother. She spent the first part of the summer of 1913 at the family ranch in southeastern Montana. She and her cousin, Eula Williams, went horseback riding, rooted for the home team at inter-ranch baseball games, and flirted with young ranch hands at neighborhood dances. When she returned to town - and Trail End - in July, the large mansion was very different from her lifelong home at the OW. As she noted in her 1913 diary, "Have been in town two or three days now. House was bewildering when I first came in. Am just beginning to feel at home last day or so."

It did not take long for Rosa-Maye to get used to Trail End. It helped that she was able to bring a part of ranch life with her; her beloved horses were moved to town and stabled in the Carriage House.

After her father’s successful entry into the world of politics, Rosa-Maye spent little time at Trail End. She went away to boarding school (Ely Court) in 1915, and then attended Goucher College in Baltimore. In 1927, Rosa-Maye Kendrick married Hubert Harmon. Because of his demanding career (he was a career Army officer), the Harmons didn’t visit often. When they did, they spent much of their time at the family’s OW ranch in southeastern Montana. There the Harmon children - along with their Kendrick cousins - played and rode together under their grandmother’s watchful eye.



MANVILLE'S TENURE AT TRAIL END

Those two Kendrick cousins were Manville's children, who grew up at Trail End. Along with the rest of the family, Manville Kendrick moved into Trail End in 1913 - and out again in 1914. Following years of schooling at Philips-Exeter Academy, Harvard University and Ames Agricultural College, Manville returned to the west in 1923 to work on the family ranches and live in the family home.

Manville Kendrick ended his bachelor days in 1929 when he married Clara Diana Cumming, the daughter of United States Surgeon General Hugh Smith Cumming. Diana was a popular Washington debutante who surprised all her friends by forsaking city life for the wilds of Wyoming. Manville and Diana moved into Trail End, where they raised their two children.

Manville and Diana lived at Trail End until 1961. After his father’s death in 1933, Manville took over management of the Kendrick Cattle Company, a position he held until 1988.

 State Historic Site

Trail End

 (Trail End Collection)

John Kendrick at Trail End, 1931 (Kendrick Collection, TESHS)

A Whole-House Exhibit at the Trail End State Historic Site

April 2013 - December 2013

From Dream Home to Historic House

One Hundred Years of Trail End History, 1913-2013