When John B. Kendrick drove Texas cattle westward, his “trail” ended in Sheridan, Wyoming. Trail End, also called the Kendrick Mansion by locals, was the summer home of Kendrick and his family in the 1900s.
Trail End, also called the Kendrick Mansion, served as home to John Benjamin Kendrick and his family. A self-educated man from Texas, Kendrick had a successful career as a rancher, banker, and politician. He married Eula Wulfjen in 1891, and together they had two children—Rosa-Maye and Manville. Kendrick came to Wyoming in 1879 driving a herd of Texas cattle. His journey ended in Sheridan, Wyoming, when he and his family decided to settle. Construction for the Trail End Mansion began in 1908. Although the house was completed in 1913, Kendrick had little time to spend there, as his constituents elected him Governor of Wyoming in 1914 and then US Senator two years later. The family largely used the Trail End Mansion as a summer home. When Kendrick passed away in 1933, Eula moved back to Trail End with Manville and his family.
A local contractor oversaw the workforce at Trail End, but the Kendrick family served as their own general contractors. Of the many consultants the family hired, Glenn Charles McAlister and Daniel Everett Waid proved to be the most influential. Due to their many design differences, the Kendricks assigned McAlister to the exterior and Waid to the interior to prevent disagreements in style. The 13,748-square-foot mansion has thirty rooms, including a ballroom on the third floor. The mansion has characteristics of the Flemish Revival architectural style with rubbed brickwork and curvilinear gables where the roof and walls meet. Trail End also has Neoclassical elements mixed in with columns, pediments, and balustrades. Built with electric lights, indoor plumbing, and a coal-furnace, the mansion cost about $160,000 to build. Much of the original furniture was custom made by the Berkey & Gay Company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
After Eula’s death in 1961, Manville and his family moved out. Seven years later, the Sheridan County Historical Society (SCHS) purchased Trail End and turned it into a community museum. In 1982, SCHS transferred ownership to the state of Wyoming due to the expense of opening and caring for the mansion. State operations oversaw the removal of museum-style exhibits and restored the historical appearance of the mansion—including much of its original furniture. Visitors can arrange a guided tour ahead of time or follow a self-guided tour of the mansion, including equipment for audio tours. The grounds are open to the public for no charge. With 3.8 acres of land, Trail End is home to a variety of birds, butterflies, trees, and shrubs. Guests can reserve the grounds for weddings or other events.