ATCHISON, KS.HISTORY Built in 1884-85 by Balie "B.P." Waggener, a railroad attorney and politician in Atchison in the 1800s. Waggener is his day managed to accumulate what was said to be the largest legal library in the state of Kansas and one of the biggest in all the country, containing approximately 10,000 volumes. The spectacular home was placed in the National Register of Historic Places on May 3, 1974. Balie Peter Waggener was born in Platte County, Missouri on July 18, 1847. His great-grandfather was a lieutenant colonel in the Continental army in the battle for independence and his grandfather served as a Major for the U.S. Army in the war of 1812. At 14, he found work as a toll-gate attendant and began to study law. In 1867 at the age of 20, he was admitted to the bar and formed a partnership with Judge Albert H. Horton, who was then a United States District Attorney. Waggener continued to practice law as a full partner in numerous firms until Jan. 4, 1876, when he was appointed general attorney for the Missouri Pacific Railway Company for the State of Kansas, and on May 1, 1910, he was made general solicitor for that company for the states of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Although a Democrat and a powerful man within that party, he eventually was elected to the state Senate despite hailing from a decidedly Republican district. In Masonic circles he was a well known figure, being a Knight Templar and a Thirty-second degree member of the Scottish Rite, and also a member of the Shrine. On May 27, 1869 he married Emma Hetherington, daughter of a prominent Atchison family and eventually they bore a son who followed in his footsteps holding the same position at the Missouri Pacific Railway Company and then president of the Exchange State Bank of Atchison, as his father previously had been. Despite more sinister claims, he proved to be a very generous and philanthropic man, who each year held a picnic for the children of the town to celebrate his birthday. The most distinguishing feature of the home aside from its obvious architectural beauty, are the gargoyles perched on its roof. Gargoyles historically have been positioned on buildings and dwellings to stave off evil spirits. As a result of their presence and their prominence, the Waggener house is more commonly known as "The Gargoyle House." The home is now owned by Paul and Marsha Adair who say that the figures are not gargoyles, but are in fact called "Griffins" who essentially serve the same purpose as gargoyles do. THE HAUNTING The legend of the house, to no surprise, centers around the two gargoyles that adorn the roof. It has been said that Mr. Waggener, a wealthy and successful man who displayed a sense of humor told many he had garnered his riches and power by making a deal with Satan which some apparently took quite literally. While gargoyles are said to fend off evil spirits, the story here was that they were displayed as a type of symbol of the covenant. The house allegedly comes with an evil curse. The next owner of the home tried with no success to remove the gargoyles from the roof as he thought them to be an eyesore. He reportedly fell to his death the following day on the staircase.Paul Adair actually grew up in the house, but he and his wife claim they have never experienced a ghost. However, many investigators and psychics who have toured the property claim to have a very different view. Perhaps any spirits who linger approve of the stewardship of the Adairs and leave them to their own devices.