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A Walk through History in Jacksonville, Illinois

June 2018. While visiting Illinois in the summer of 2018, we took advantage of the many historic sites in the central part of the state. This day, we took one of the many walking tours of Jacksonville.

1047 West State Street

This home was built in 1864-1865. Dr. Owen Long bought the house in 1873 for $6,000. He was an intimate friend with Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant and a lifelong friend of Stephen Douglas. President Hayes wished to support Dr. Long as consult to Hamburg. M

James T. King bought the home from Dr. Long in 1881 for $4,000. He hunted with Theodore Roosevelt and was appointed to represent the United States at the International Exposition in Paris by President McKinley in 1899.

The William S. Hook House - 1042 West State Street

William Spencer bought this property in 1888. He and his brother, Marcus, played an important role in development of the Streetcar Railway System in Jacksonville and also in Los Angeles, CA.

After William's death, his sister Fannie became mistress of the home. Legend is that Fannie would sit in the upstairs window and check the passing of cars in front of the house--and woe to the conductor who passed behind schedule! Fannie attired in trousers and smoked cigars and was expert at chewing out late conductors.

The Clay House - 1019 West State Street

Built in 1834, only the northeast wing remains of the original structure. It sat originally on 6 acres of land--an entire city block! The home was owned by Porter Clay (half-brother of Henry Clay), his wife, and stepson John J. Hardin. Many famous persons visited the Clay home, including Henry Clay and Daniel Webster.

The Bateman House - 907 West State Street

This house was built in 1851 and sold to the famous educator, Newton Bateman. Mr. Bateman is credited with doing more than any other man in the formation of the Illinois system of public schools. He became the first Superintendent of Public Instruction in Illinois.

The Judge Henry B. McClure House - 919 West College

This house was built in the 1950's, enlarged in the 1860's, and had the extended front porch added in 1902. Judge Henry McClure purchased the home in 1854 and it remained in his family for the next 67 years. Judge McClure practiced law with the Honorable William Brown and the Honorable Richard Yates. He later practices with his son-in-law, Henry Striker, Jr.

The Octagon House - 222 Park Street

Rufus C. Crampton, professor of mathematics and astronomy at Illinois College from 1853-1888, built this house from a design by Orson Squire Fowler, the nation's leading phrenologist. Octagonal houses may be a truly American architectural invention, as no European precedents exist. This is one of only nine known octagonal houses in Illinois.

The Fayerweather House - 252 Park Street

This house was built in 1852 and has bay windows on the north and south sides of the house. The house was built by Julian M. Sturtevant, who came to Jacksonville, married Elizabeth M. Fayerweather, and became a teacher at Illinois College in 1829. He was appointed President of the college in 1844. The house is named for his first two wives, Elizabeth M. and Hannah Fayerweather--who were also sisters.


Thanks to the Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for information on the homes presented on this walking tour.

Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

310 E. State St.

Jacksonville, IL 62650

Ph: 217.243.5678


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