Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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George Woodruff Home (Joliet, Illinois)
George Woodruff Home (Joliet, Illinois)
TitleGeorge Woodruff Home (Joliet, Illinois)
CreatorAdele Fay Williams
DescriptionDrawing by Adele Fay Williams of the home where George Woodruff was born in Joliet, Illinois. George was a Joliet historian and member of the Woodruff family, early pioneers in Joliet. He was well liked by Adele Fay Williams because of his support of her work. - Donated by Katherine Woodruff Barnes
Title of ArticleOld Woodruff house sturdy despite years : home in which banker brothers were born hidden by brick structure.
Date of ArticleAugust 26, 1928
Transcript of the ArticleFrom Joliet Herald-News Sunday August 26, 1928 "This is the house that Woodruff built, and not only that, it is the house where Woodruffs were born. George Woodruff, pioneer banker of early Joliet, grandfather of the present George and of Frederick W. Woodruff, built the house sometime in the forties. Reaching Joliet by horseback in 1836, at the age of 24, he was so delighted with the beauty of the country that he would go no farther to seek a home. He kept a general store until 1841, when he bought a farm near Plainfield. Later he returned to Joliet and again kept a flourishing general store until 1857. But his energy would not let him rest. He built an elevator on the east bank of the Des Plaines in 1852.Also in 1852 he started the Joliet bank in a building that still stands on the northeast corner of Jefferson and Joliet streets. Established First Bank. He started the First National bank in Joliet in 1864, at the very same time the First National bank of Chicago was established. And he was one of the hapless partners in the woolen mill that went up in smoke in 1867, where it stood near the Richards street bridge over old Hickory creek. Fred W. Woodruff, son of the pioneer George, was born in Plainfield in 1841. He was cashier of the First National Bank, becoming president at the death of his father, in 1882. Moved from Old Site. George Woodruff, son of F. W. Woodruff, famous for a consistently brilliant career, was born in this modest appearing dwelling. Frederick W. Woodruff, younger brother to George, who is president of the First National bank of Joliet, was also born in this dwelling. It was moved across the street, catacorner, from its commanding place at the corner of Cass and Ottawa streets where now the Public Service has a magnificent structure under way. The house stands where it stood after its journey across the street, on the west side of Ottawa street next to the alleyway that runs east and west past the Chamber of Commerce. Overgrown with Vines. But you cannot see this structure, a pretty house, bowered in trees, overgrown with vines, with a grassy side yard to bless itself with. It was bought by Mrs. John Swanlund, who immediately erected a smart brick building in front of it, facing Ottawa street, where she conducts a popular place for baths, where shrouded figures continually evolve themselves from the mist and vaporous atmosphere. It is probable that Mrs. Swanlund has brightened up the historic old dwelling, sharpened its edges, trimmed off its corners, touched its faded clapboards with restoring paint, to revive its ancient prestige. Cat On Guard. A magnificent woodbine grows over the porch, which you may see depicted in the picture. Its venerable stems are thick and sturdy, betokening great age. It grows over the wire fence too, as is the habit of this preserving and beautiful vine. Graceful catalpa trees spread their broad leaves and cast deep shadows at twilight in this pleasant back yard. And as everywhere, there is a cat who appears to regulate the domain, such is his imperial air. He is a dignified, bossy looking cat altho, friendly to visitors once he is assured of their good intentions. He enjoys, apparently, the endearing name of "Peaches, " and answers it with an inquiring "M M M M MMMMM." Liked By Children. Every little girl and little boy, every lordly gamin that runs errands down the way cries, "O, Peaches, " as they amble by. And sometimes Peaches deigns to answer, and sometimes remains a stoic, sphinx-like silence, as he meditates in the window box by the porch. Across the way, on the other side of the alley at the north, is a neat brick structure, which you cannot see back of the trees in the picture. But it is a residence, , much overawed by the stately Y. M. C. A. just north [illegible]uch is progress. Occupied 40 Years. This is the property of Mrs. Mary Gatons, who was Miss Mary Ann Mahoney before she was married to Daniel Gatons. She was born and brought up in Marley, later she lived in Mokena and Troy before coming to Joliet. Her married daughter, Mrs. John Reardon, who with her husband and baby, Marilyn lives with her, says the family has lived there more than 40 years. It was once a pleasant friendly and companionable neighborhood, but all that passes away as Joliet grows into a big industrial city."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
SourceClick on this link for more historical information on the Joliet area - http://www.lewisu.edu/imcanal
Publisher (Digital)Lewis University
RightsAll rights held by Lewis University. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection at Lewis University at 815-836-5665.
CollectionAdele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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