The words “Bed and Breakfast” instantly bring to mind romantic images of Victorian houses with curlicue trim or stately mansions with manicured lawns. The McNeill Stone Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Oskaloosa, IA, with its statue and wraparound porches, is the latter. But the romance the house imbues extends to the owners themselves.
The original owner was Wilbur A. “Little Mac” McNeill. Wilbur was the financial wizard behind the McNeill Brothers conglomerate of businesses—which included coal mines in Iowa, Colorado, Washington, and Canada and a coke company—that he ran with his brother, Hobart W. “Big Mac” McNeill, the founder and entrepreneurial genius. Seemingly uninterested in romance or marriage, Wilber focused on business.
Until Cupid’s arrow finally nicked him when he was in his 60s …
This article appeared in the Winter 2018 edition of Ottumwa Life Magazine. Read the entire article here, beginning on page 4 and view the photos, both by yours truly, Rachelle Chase.