Built in 1852, the Dorman House is the currently the oldest standing two-story home in Clinton, Missouri. It was built by Judge Jerubial Gideon Dorman and his wife, Udolpha Eagle, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 not only for its architectural significance, but also due to Dorman’s long influence in Clinton and Henry County. The home remained in the Dorman family for over 150 years but fell into disrepair as fortunes dwindled. Clinton Main Street purchased the home in 1996 from the Dorman family and spent six years restoring the house using volunteer labor. They repaired deteriorating brick work, removed a wooden addition from the late 1900s, and replaced the existing porch with a replica of the original. Unfortunately, any fixtures of value had been sold, so the committee repurposed materials from other local homes which had been destroyed in recent years. Clinton Main Street utilized the home as their office until 2008, when it was deeded to the Henry County Historical Society. While the historical society has kept up with minor maintenance over the years, including a new roof, larger issues with the structure have become more apparent. The east side of the home exhibits minor cracking and separation — and after major rains for several years in a row — the house has developed severe foundation and wall issues. The 2-story, rear addition is the most concerning, with a bulging exterior wall and sinking threshold. The Henry County Historical Society needs to take immediate action to prevent further damage and possible loss of the Dorman House. It is hoped that listing as a Place in Peril will raise awareness for the Save the Dorman capital improvement campaign and help the historical society find the expertise needed to guide them through the creation of a historic structures report and the proper restoration of this Clinton landmark.
For more information on the Dorman House and to make a donation, visit https://henrycountymomuseum.org