History of Gelbach Manor

The 1900's

In the early 1900’s when Warrensburg, MO was still a young town and families were still settling in the quiet and cozy midwestern area, a father (who was also a banker) decided to build a house for his daughter. He commissioned his brother – a builder – to lay ground for a house, which would become the future home of his daughter – Margaret Maguire. The house was build of local sandstone and stucco with a belt course.


Margaret Maguire was known for her lavish lifestyle and soon after the house was completed, it became a center for the social life in Warrensburg, welcoming local dignitaries and even movie stars.

Margaret loved to travel to one of her many homes in the area and at times when the house was vacant, she would rent it to the Tri Sigma Sorority as well as young married couples. Although Margaret was married five times, she had only one daughter, Charlene. Charlene grew up and lived in the house for many years. She eventually became the owner of the house, before the Gelbach family purchased the home. Through the years, the original property declined. The Gelbach family purchased the home in 1988 where they raised their family and renovated the home over the years to bring it the property back to its original elegance.

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Famous silent screen movie star Sidney Toler, better known as Charlie Chan, born in Warrensburg, was a close friend of Margaret and would stay in the house while visiting the area. Chan was born in the early 1900s in Warrensburg while his mother was visiting family in the area. Toler was a Warrensburg native, but lived his life in California to star in Hollywood films.

Chan was a 20th Century Fox silent screen movie star as well as famous for his variety of roles on Broadway. In his movies, Chan played a detective solving mysteries and crimes. While Chan is known for his roles worldwide, he is most notably known for his mustache and goatee.

The 2000's

The Manor has had only two owners, and the Gelbachs continued the tradition of preserving the beautiful landmark. In the early 2000’s, The Gelbach family expanded the house with a beautifully designed back yard with a heated pool. In 2006, Gelbach Manor opened it’s doors to visitors of Warrensburg, MO as the newest Inn in town.

Rhonda Gelbach, one of the owners of Gelbach Manor, lives to meet new people. Her outstanding professionalism, attention to detail and infectious hospitality has contributed to preserving The Manor’s historic tradition as a Warrensburg Icon and helped expand its popularity beyond the local Warrensburg area.