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Akin sells home in Town and Country, moves family and cabinets to Wildwood

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 31, 2011 - U.S. Rep. Todd Akin is no longer R-Town and Country, after moving with his family into a new home in Wildwood.

Akin's office says that the congressman -- who is running for the U.S. Senate -- held a good-bye celebration on Memorial Day with family and friends at their longtime family home on eight-plus acres in the 300 block of Conway Roard. The sprawling grounds, which included barns and workshops, has been in the Akin family for generations but is to be subdivided for development.

Town and Country's Board of Alderman approved the plans last week.

UPDATE: It's unclear when Akin and his family actually moved into the Wildwood home, which they apparently purchased a couple years ago. According to the Post-Dispatch this morning, Akin has continued to vote in Town and Country, as late as the April municipal election.

A spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party contended that Akin "needs to be honest and transparent about when he moved" and why he continued to vote in Town and Country.

For the past 12 years, the congressman has held huge Fourth of July celebrations on the grounds. Reports his staff: "The patriotic event with an old-fashioned theme was known to include everything from revolutionary war re-enactors, cannons and Civil War-era cavalry demonstrations. Over the years, thousands of supporters also enjoyed the annual Fourth of July potluck picnic dinner."

Akin said that he maintained the property himself, "including mowing the multiple acres with a 1950s-era 8N flat-head Ford tractor and bush-hog."

"Working on the tractor and the family vehicles is a hobby and somewhat an old habit born of frugality," the congressman said.

Akin and his family has been combing through the vintage items, including woodworking tools, that had been stored for decades on their Town and Country property. But they also moved quite a bit to their new home.

According to the congressman's staff, Akin "has meticulously transferred a lot of the old homestead to the new, including reusing cabinets, and transferring antique windows from the Town and Country property into the kitchen of their newer home in Wildwood

"It will never be the same, but I will enjoy looking through those old windows and remembering all the good times at 305 Conway with family and supporters over the last 50 years," said Akin, now R-Wildwood.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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