Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Homestead (2)
Homestead (2)
TitleHomestead (2)
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingFebruary [19], 1928
DescriptionDrawing of a house. In 1928, the homestead was built 68 years ago. The homestead belonged to James Lewis Alexander. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticleAir of dignity hovers over old homestead : Alexander home retains polished appearance despite its 60 years.
Date of ArticleFebruary 19, 1928
Transcript of the ArticleFrom Joliet Herald-News February 19, 1928 "An air of dignity and somewhat of aloofness clings to this pleasant mansion among the trees—the chatelaine—so to speak—of 500 broad acres that form its domain. To look at its thrifty, polished, up to the minute appearance, no one would imagine that it was built as long ago as 1860, or about 68 years ago. When it was built, it was one of the show places in the region, and it has not abated a jot or a tittle of dignity or of beauty since then. This house, by the way, stands on North Broadway; you see it every time you take this road to Chicago. It is the homestead of the late James Lewis Alexander, built by his own father, now occupied by the third generation that has grown up there. The place is nine miles north of Joliet and stands just opposite a bit of Dupage township, exactly across the road. Lives in Cottage. There is a beautiful and expensive view of the once beautiful Desplaines, now the sanitary district, dotted with the smoky chimneys of manufacturing plants, against the horizon hills across the valley. A little way back of this gabled dwelling, facing the Romeo road, is a pretty cottage where Mrs. James Lewis Alexander delights to live, when the spirit moves her, where she has gathered her lares and penates about her. It is a charming place and right close to the homestead where flourishes the lovely third generation , the grandchildren. And such a delightful family it is. Here live Mr. and Mrs. Healy Alexander and their eight fine children. Healy Alexander is one of the two children of Mr. and Mrs. James Lewis Alexander. Healy now owns the 500 broad acres of the big farm and works it, too. Mrs. Healy was the only daughter of John C. Baker of Manhattan. Cousin of E. C. Akin. Mrs. James L. Alexander was once Laura Haywood, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Haywood, of Joliet. Mrs. Haywood was before her marriage to Mr. Haywood, Miss Elizabeth Akin, a sister of E. H. Akin, and cousin to E. C. Akin, attorney, of Joliet and of the late Miss Lottie Akin, first librarian of the Joliet public library. Miss Laura Alexander, only daughter of Mrs. Laura Haywood, Alexander, was married to Herbert Johnson, who is now the successful business manager of the Chicago Civic orchestra, a position that has held for many years. Mr. Johnson's is a marvelous career, carved out solely by his own exertions, aided by remarkable ability. Mr. Johnson's parents came to Lockport when he was but 6 years old. He was graduated from high school when he was but 14 years. After that he worked for some years in a specialty company, after which he had a position under Harold McCormick, which he had a position under Harold McCormick, which he held for some time. It was here he found his opportunity. He became acquainted with Campanini, and together they organized the Civic opera company. He became assistant to Campanini, and later the manager. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are now on a tour with the opera company, which is in the east, as it is their custom as well as their pleasure to accompany the singers on their tours. Approves Insull Plan. Mrs. Alexander said that Mr. Johnson was highly delighted with the Insull plan for a great opera house on Wacker drive. He believes that recent criticism of the location is undeserved. Mrs. Alexander has had frequent opportunities of meeting the great singers of the company, and finds them delightful, simple and sincere. The other family is equally remarkable in its own way, as you will agree. It must be a splendid thing to grow up on a farm. Here is Mary, the eldest of eight, who was graduated last year at the University of Illinois, and is now taking a post graduate course with the purpose of becoming a dietician. And she is charming as well as learned. Children Attend School. Then comes Elizabeth L., who is in her second year in the university. And that isn't all. There is James Lewis Alexander II, who was graduated from Lockport high school and is about to enter the university. Well then, as if that were not enough to show the serious purpose in life and the high ideals of these youngsters, behold John Baker Alexander and Margaret too, who will soon be graduated from the Lockport High school, and then, no doubt, ho for the halls of learning for both. And then the baby! This is Miss Ruth Marion Alexander, 8 years old, who will enter the grade school next year. But, of course, she has not lived for eight years with a bevy of students without becoming a most accomplished young woman. And in spite of their studies they are also wholesome, happy and healthy youngsters. Caroline and Hayes also, 12 and 13 years old, the in betweens, are also in school and on their way. The history of the tract is short according to J. B. Blackburn, of the People's Abstract company. It lies, the part holding the homestead, in the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 3, Lockport township. Michael Noel took a patent on it in 1845, perhaps earlier, as he put a mortgage on it for $140, perhaps to build a small house. It was sold in 1844 to Richard K. Swift, but by some peculiar attraction, returned again to Mr. Noel, who put it in trust to Messrs. Morris and Collins. This was released later and in 1853 was sold to James L. Alexander became the owner. The sketch herewith shows the house as it looked Friday afternoon. Once a wise man said: ‘Happiness grows at our own firesides, and is not to be picked in strangers' gardens.' If you do not find happiness in your home it is perhaps, because you have not planted the seeds of happiness there. Or, having planted them, you have not stayed around to watch them grow."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Physical Description28 cm. x 21.5 cm.
SourceClick this link for more historical information on the Joliet area - http://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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