After the Civil War an Irishman by the name of Joseph Kenny, who had previously been a teamster for the Union Army, traveled to Montana in search of gold. However Kenny met with little success in Montana and decided to move to Boise, Idaho. In Boise Kenny would establish the Arc Light Saloon at the same location as the present day Egyptian Theatre. Kenny’s business in the sale of liquor was very lucrative and he was able to buy a Warm Springs Avenue lot from Enos Walling in 1891. Construction of a house did not begin until 1903 with Kenny’s enlisting of the esteemed architecture firm of J. E. Tourtellotte & Co, which went on to design many of the iconic building of Boise including the Boise Carnegie Library, the Idaho State Capitol, and Saint John’s Cathedral, which was partially funded by a substantial donation from Joseph Kenny. Kenny wanted a modern six room stone cottage which through the efforts of J. E. Tourtellotte & Co and numerous local workers manifested itself in 1903 as a modestly sized Warm Springs home that incorporated local sandstone and was in the Queen Anne-style with a complex shingled roof, two towers, numerous gables, and a sweeping curved porch.
Joseph Kennedy tragically died two years later in 1905, his wife Margaret sold the house in 1910 to Stephen Parker who would, later that year, sell the house to Dan Brown of Dan Brown and Co, a local wine and liquor wholesaler, who would then sell the house to a dentist by the name of Cory A. Philpott in 1915. The house would remain within the Philpott family for the next thirty years and would house Philpotts including LaVerne R Philpot who was an inventor of sorts that invented the first color fax machine and made contributions to the improvement of televisions.
Eventually the Philpott’s stay on Warm Springs came to an end as the house was sold in 1944 to Max Sheridan. The house would then pass through a number of fleeting owners over the next thirty years. One odd development over this period of erratic ownership was the disappearance of the highest tower with the only given explanation being a family’s children incessantly played in and on the tower and since their parents didn’t want them to the tower was removed to eliminate the temptation.
Eventually a more permanent owner of the house arose in 1979 with the purchase of the property by Dan and Kathy Yribar. The Yribars have owned the house ever since and have continually renovated the house while maintaining the original decor and style. Much of the house was in need of work and the Yribars made renovating the house a “labor of love” as they worked to improve every room, expand the natural hot water system, and rebuild a slightly simpler tower in the absence of the original. All of these grand improvements were made whilst only enlisting outside help on the more difficult aspects of the house such as the roof, floor, and cabinets. Great improvements have been made by the Yribars to bring the house to its full potential and the house of 904 Warm Springs Avenue stands proudly in its Queen Anne-style glory with a plaque to recall the Irishman Joseph Kelley who brought the house into the existence with the profits of the Arc Light Saloon, the inspiration of J. E. Tourtellotte & Co, and the work of various Boisians.