Howard and Virginia Hogan Home

By Kathleen Swift


“We know that Oliver Picher built the house in 1904 because that date is painted on the attic rafters,” Virginia Hogan said of her home in the historic Murphysburg section of Joplin. “He built the house as a bungalow for his bride. We have been told that at a time, when a whole house cost less than $8,000, the woodwork alone cost $8,000 for this house.”

Now, that beautiful woodwork is only one of the things the Hogans love about their historic home. And every year, Christmas is the perfect time to decorate and celebrate.

“My favorite area of the home to decorate is the front foyer, living room, stairs and dining room area,” said Virginia. “The three areas flow together. I knitted all of the Christmas stockings. We hang the adults’ stockings on the stairway and the children’s stockings by the living room fireplace. I love all the greenery and lights in that area.”

Virginia’s father was a Methodist minister, and one of her treasured Christmas decorations is a creche her parents brought back from a tour of the Holy Land.

“We’ve had it since our first Christmas together,” Virginia reminisced, “and we’ve been married 54 years. It goes up first, no matter what.”

The Hogans usually begin their decorating just after Thanksgiving. They play Christmas music throughout the house, have a fire in the library fireplace and begin creating the holiday atmosphere in their home as Howard directs the bringing down of the many boxes of decorations from the attic and, of course, the grandchildren must be involved.

“It’s lots of fun to celebrate the Lord’s birthday in a home with large rooms and high ceilings built with family in mind. We’ve continued to base our family on Christ, and our children have continued that belief.

“This home is a place for the family to gather. When all 19 members of our family are together, the decorations are up, the children are running and giggling, the house is full of love and the Christmas spirit is alive, what could be more wonderful?”