The Heller Cabin is interpreted as a trading post on the plains, such as what J.R Mead or “Dutch Bill” Greiffenstein might have occupied. The hunting and trading activities are the primary economic draw to the early settlement of Wichita. The area around Wichita was important to the Native Americans for hunting and trading. Non-Native American hunters and traders capitalized on the natural resources of the area i.e.: buffalo, elk, deer, antelope, and on trading with the Indians. Hunting, trading, freighting and government subsidies for supplying goods to the Native Americans south of Wichita remained an important economic base for the city throughout the 1870s. The prairie trade lingered with buffalo hunting, with the hide and meat trade as well as the bone trade continued to provide business after the arrival of the railroad. The hunting culture paved the way, as well as overlaps, the cattle and farming economy that builds Wichita.
Heller Cabin was built by Civil War veteran Leonhard Hoffman, who expertly cut and pieced the logs together. Its log construction aspects, including notching and flooring, are different from that of Old Cowtown Museum's Munger House or the Trapper's Cabin, both of which were built during the same time period.
The cabin was donated to Old Cowtown Museum by the estate of Wichita resident Donna B. Heller. The restoration process that began in April 2009 and was opened in October 2009.
Its addition to Old Cowtown Museum was especially significant as it is considered as one of the top 10 intact structures in the United States from the settlement period. This rank was given to the cabin by Douglass C. Reed of Preservation Associates in Hagerstown, Maryland, who originally assessed the structure in 2002. Reed is a nationally known preservationist, author and historian on the subject.
Historic Wichita Cowtown, Inc. funded the efforts to move Heller Cabin from Elmo, Kansas to Old Cowtown Museum and its restoration.