Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Old Munroe House
Old Munroe House
TitleOld Munroe House
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingSeptember 2, 1926
DescriptionDrawing of the old Munroe house. The house was estimated as being 55 and 75 years old according to different sources. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticleHistoric old house nestles in busy loop : Munroe home brings memories of early Joliet aristocracy.
Transcript of the ArticleWritten in pencil on top: " Old Munroe house Scott st near Cass St" From Joliet Herald-News "No, this quaint and picturesque dwelling in a bower of trees and bushes is not one of the modern-ancient, early English replicas that spring up everywhere nowadays at the behest of prosperous beauty lovers who seek the flavor of the old along with the comfort and finish of the new. No, indeed, this is one of the really historic homes of early Joliet, whose story shows ramifications extending into some of the most interesting periods of city growth. The sketch cannot show the faded gray tones of the clapboards, nor the generally disheartened expression it wears as it seems to shrink into a symbolic shade behind the luxuriant shrubbery. But the place itself still wears that air of patient resignation under the blows of adverse fate that sometimes these very old buildings acquire when left behind by progress. Has Varied History. Truly it is pathetic to see the few old mansions, some mere wrecks, left from a time when the region was inhabited only by the early aristocracy of Joliet. This old house on Scott street, near the northeast corner of Cass street, has a varied history. It is often called the old Munroe house because it was once the property of that pioneer family. But many other famous people have had fingers in the historic pie, according to John Morrison, who dug and delved into ancient tomes of the People's Abstract company to prove it. Mrs. Mary Lee, a pleasant brisk lady who owns to three score years and ten, fits in well with the sentiment of the place. Surrounded by Trees. And the trees and the flowers and vines, even the picket fence and shining windows all are due to affectionate care of Mrs. Jane Lee, who has lived in the place for 15 years and has done her best to make it blossom like the rose, just as if it were her own loved homestead. Mrs. Lee said that there was not a shrub or tree, no fence, no anything to relieve its bleak and sordid bareness when she came. All the paradise and locust trees have grown up since then. So it is often with these plaintive old homes when progress comes and crowds them to the wall. The pretty old house with its deep gables and many paned windows, stands on lot 3, block 12, east Joliet, according to the records. The original grant was given by the government in 1936 to Dr. Albert W. Bowen, one of the early settlers. Dr. Bowen who one of the active pioneers who succeeded in getting the county seat located in Joliet on the very square which Campbell had appropriated for the purpose. Changed Hands Often. It was in the same year that Dr. Bowen sold the tract to Charles Sayre, who soon passed it on to Elisha Sill, And in 1837 the lot was bought by Harriet Underwood. Charles Sayre was one of the early capitalists. Harriet Underwood faded out of the historic picture when the lot was sold for taxes in 1843, and the sheriff deeded it to Joel Matteson. It was Joel A. Matteson, once governor of Illinois, Joliet's most enterprising, early citizen, that many bouquets, with a few brickbats, have been thrown for his work in building up Joliet. He put up many buildings, including the woolen factory near Jefferson street bridge, which in 1849 manufactured 2, 000 yards of cloth per week. Built Old Postoffice. He built the old brick building, still standing next to the bridge on Jefferson street, which once housed the old Merchants and Drovers bank, the old postoffice and many others. He also built the finest residence of the time on the northeast corner Jefferson and Chicago streets, extending over the entire block on Chicago street. The Scott street lot passed thru the hands of Governor Matteson to James Smith in 1844, and to Harvey Lowe in 1846. In 1851 the lot was deeded back to Matteson, who in 1861, deeded it to Betsy Lowe. In 1847 Lowe sold it to the brothers, Charles and Francis Goodspeed. The latter was the father of Charles Goodspeed, now of Joliet. Mrs. Harvey Lowe was a sister of Henry Fish. In 1888 the Goodspeeds sold the place to G. H. Munroe in whose possession it remained until his death in 1913. Children of Pioneer. The heirs were Ester Munroe Schuman and George Fuller Munroe, both adopted children of the Munroes. The present brothers Munroe, Stanley and George E. are the sons of Edwin S. Munroe who was a son of the pioneer George Munroe and a brother of George H. Munroe. The Munroe heirs sold the property to William Bartholamae in 1922, who sold it in 1924 to Corlett and Clare. In 1925 it was leased to the Rubens brothers on a 99 year lease and there it stands today. The age of the house is estimated variously from 55 to 75 years Seventy Years Old. The oldest inhabitant, who shall be nameless, said that the faded old home when he was a ‘kid' looked very much as it does now, which was perhaps nearly 70 years ago. It was occupied for years by the C. B. Hayward, who also a daughter of the pioneer, George Munroe, who came to Will county in 1849. He was made sheriff in 1862. He was also school trustee and alderman. In 1865 he opened the largest wholesale and retail grocery house in Joliet, with a business of at least a quarter of a million dollars a year. He was born in Jefferson county, N. Y., April 4, `821. George H. Munroe, his eldest son, was born in 1844, in the east. He was a partner with his father, was president of the Joliet Stone company in 1875 and was treasurer of the Joliet Opera House company. Was Bank Director. He was a director of the Joliet National bank. He was a member later with his brother, Edwin S. Munroe, in the firm of Munroe Brothers of a real estate and general trust company business. The first large building on Chicago street, the Munroe hotel was erected by him. He was on every important board and committee of his time, and was called on to assist in every important public project. He married Miss Eva Weeks, only daughter of Judge Charles H. Weeks. Their daughter, Ester, is now Mrs. Jesse J. Schuman of Pittsburgh."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Physical Description28 cm. x 35 cm.
TypeDrawing
FormatImage/TIFF
Identifier2011-8-ste-afwa-0075
SourceClick this link for more historical information on the Joliet area - http://lewisu.edu/imcanal
LanguageEnglish
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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