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From the 1880s

Posted July 02, 2014 in Adel, Community Featured
LeRoy Wicks uses his woodworking skills to add to the beauty and charm of his home built in 1880.

LeRoy Wicks uses his woodworking skills to add to the beauty and charm of his home built in 1880.

Many styles of homes are found in Adel, some of simple design and others maximizing every possible detail. Most homes are oriented to the street, providing a cloistered private world.

The home of LeRoy Wicks, built in 1880, has a unique interior design and configuration that only a woodworker such as he could create. Wicks bought the house at 1315 Main St. during an auction in the late 1970s. He rented the house for several years while living in Des Moines and moved into the house in the late ’80s. Embracing his ability to visualize the end result of his woodworking skills, Wicks has completely redesigned and updated the interior of the nine-room house, adding the finest amenities in an efficient layout. He used natural materials, ending up with a cozy and detailed home.

A favorite room in the house is the solarium/sunroom with 12 windows. This personal space offers plenty of light,  a nice view and is aided by comfortable furniture that allows attention to be turned inward to the sitting area or outward to the private backyard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWicks had a heads up, as he was introduced to the trade by his late father, Verle Wicks. Wicks started his woodworking business, Raccoon River Rustics, in 2002 after selling his Electronic Security Company in Des Moines. His handmade furniture and other handcrafted items are found in many homes in Dallas County. In his own home, an entertainment center made of pine and stained cedar is the focal point when entering the house. Other interesting pieces are a coffee table fashioned out of floor tiles and a plant stand made from a recessed floor heat radiator. Distressed wood floors and wainscoting add to the cheerful eating area just off the kitchen. On the second floor, a screened-in porch has been turned into an L-shaped master suite. The wood pieces made by Wicks for his home all blend with the architectural style of the house.

Beautiful photography by LeRoy’s son-in-law, David Karlquist, is displayed throughout the house with handmade wooden frames.

Wicks grew up in Minburn, attended the University of Iowa where he played baseball, and served in the U.S. Marines. He has four children and six grandchildren.

To be featured in an upcoming “Where We Live” column, contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or

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