Anton Sauer, a German immigrant, moved to Kansas City after the death of his first wife Francesca, in 1868. Sauer had moved to Kansas City because of failing health, having been diagnosed with tuberculosis. In 1869 he met and married his second wife Maria. After purchasing land from Tom Bigknife of the Shawnee Indian Nation, he built his home on a hill overlooking the Kansas River at 935 Shawnee Road in Kansas City, Kansas.
The home was completed in 1872 and the family moved in at that time. The two large French doors are guarded by stone lions on each side of the front steps. Residents in the area at the time dubbed the house Sauer Castle because of the lookout tower at the front of the home. The lookout tower provided the family with a view of the Kansas River and the river basin to the north.
One legend says there are tunnels running from the river to the home, but no entrances at either location have ever been found. Another says that Mary would walk back and forth on the lookout tower while watching for her husband when he was returning from a business trip. Mary died at the residence in 1919. It is said in the early evening and late at night her figure can still be seen walking back and forth on the tower roof.
Seven years after moving into the home Helen, one of the daughters of Maria and Anton, died at the home. One month later Anton died in the master bedroom of Sauer Castle. Legend has it that Helen was buried in the yard of the residence and still remains there today. In truth Helen was buried in the yard until Anton died. At that time her body was removed and taken to Union Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri where it was buried near Anton Sauer.
Another legend says that a child fell into a swimming pool on the west side of the residence and drowned. Allegedly the pool was immediately filled in with dirt, never to be used again. The four corners of a large swimming pool are visible on the west side of the house.
There is also a legend which says Mary killed herself after Anton didn’t return from the Civil War and that when he did return and found her dead he killed himself. This legend can be reputed by the fact that the house wasn’t completed until 1872, seven years after the end of the war.
Other reports of hauntings are supposedly the results of suicides by both guns and hangings (reportedly from the transom between the nursery and master bedroom and in the lookout tower). Another tale is that one daughter jumped off the lookout tower to her death in the front fountain. There was a suicide by gun in the home. The husband of one of the daughters shot himself in a second floor room.
No one will ever know for sure what stories are true and which are not. Only the ghosts know for sure and they will only say boooooo!