Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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View of Buildings
View of Buildings
TitleView of Buildings
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingOctober 10, 1927
DescriptionDrawing of Buildings looking west ward to Joliet. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticleRiver skyline dominated by old mansion : Harwood home and Baldwin homestead tower above murky waters.
Date of ArticleOctober 16, 1927
Transcript of the ArticleFrom Joliet Herald-News Sunday October 16, 1927 "Some of Joliet's wandering city-beautiful skylines are slow to assert themselves to the passing eye. For one thing, the eye sees them so often, every day, that they become just a jumble of smudges against the sky, without form or meaning. But it is when the eye is alert, say early in the morning, when the sunshines and the air sheds a charming October haze over all, that the skyline springs out of the blue to impinge upon your vision. It is then that the most unconsidered trifles seem to add beauty to the place they occupy. It may be an old concrete wall, dark with the stains of ages, or a crooked old shed or a conglomeration of old sheds of various ages heights and vintages. Or it may be a group of discouraged willows growing helter-skelter, trying to hide a dilapidated building. Again it may be a rather dominant, important looking brick structure, harking back to the mansarded ‘80s, that suddenly seems to come to life in the skyline. Faded Old Willows. Each and every one of these more or less unimportant items may be found in the accompanying sketch with several more thrown in for good measure. Guess what it is; you've seen it a hundred times, And if you fail to recall it, wander down to the corner of Van Buren and Desplaines streets, where you may possibly see something like it. At any rate there it is with the river rolling rapidly down in front and the faded, lovely old willows doing their best to be beautiful against great odds, like some nice people we know of. The tallest, red brick, mansard house is the old Scutt place, built in 1884, when there were fewer houses and fewer people. The smaller brick house, which was, just the same, an important mansion of the ‘80s, is almost obscured by a tree that confuses its outlines. It was built by J. D. Paige in 1881, while he was mayor. Changed Hands Many Times. Both of these skyline mansions, fronting on Broadway, have interesting, even dramatic histories. Both served at some time as white elephants in the lives of their builders, and the properties changed hands many times, finally settling down to a quiet, prosperous life for each. The Scutt house is now the happy home of the Harwood Girls' club, a paying proposition, operated by the Will County King's Daughters. Many famous names enter into its history, since Martin H. Demmond platted the lots in 1835 and sold several to Alanson House long ago in 1836. Sold to Laura Heise. Alanson House conveyed the three lots to George R. Makepiece, and somehow the property returned to Demmond's hands in the 40's, and when Martin Demmond died, in 1844 Sophia Demmond became the owner of two-thirds, while Catherine Murray, who lived with them, had one-third. It was in 1865 that Sophia Demmond conveyed part of her holdings to Laura Heise. In 1871, states the skeleton abstract, Dr. A. W. Heise took them, and in 1881 conveyed them to Hiram B. Scutt. He began to build in 1883, but in 1886 it was conveyed to Chauncey W. Broughton who in turn in 1887 conveyed the property to Mrs. Adelaide J. Scutt, who in turn, in 1889, the year of Mr. Scutt's death, sold it to Daniel Robertson. Bought by Mrs. Harwood. Later, Mr. Robertson dying, Helen Robertson, widow, and other heirs, sold the property to Hannah M. Harwood, in 1914. At the same time Mrs. Harwood conveyed the property to the then Business Woman's club. In 1921 it became the property of the Will county branch of The King's Daughters. And so it stands today, according to Mr. Blackburn of the People's Abstract company, who furnished the facts. Hiram B. Scutt, early capitalist, was born in 1842 in Delaware country, New York. It was in 1862 that he decided to migrate to the west, dropping down in Will county, where he worked on the planning mill of Charles Ward. He was in the Civil war, entering as a member of the second Illinois light artillery. For brilliant service he was made captain. Started Wire Mill. It was in 1868 that he became a traveling salesman for a New York nursery until 1871, when he returned to Joliet, establishing the first barbed wire business in Joliet, under the firm name Scutt and Watkins. William Watkins was his partner. Later the Joliet Wire Fence company was organized, of which Mr. Scutt was made president. But his more successful enterprise was as a member of the H. B. Scutt and Company, which included James R. Ashley. The firm engaged in the manufacture of wire in the penitentiary, giving employment to 150 men. The company sold out in 1884 to Oliver Brothers and Phillips, of Pittsburgh, who continued the business under the firm name of H. B. Scutt and Company. But not relishing an idle life, he organized the Joliet Barbed Wire company in 1885, one year later. Once School Teacher. It was in 1884 that he erected the expensive residence on Broadway, now occupied by the Harwood Girls' club. Mr. Scutt was the first man in Joliet to use electric light, as president of the Citizens Electric Light company. He received an excellent education and taught school in his youth. He was married in 1866 to Miss Adelaid Ward. Frank W. Scutt, who followed in his father's footsteps, assisting his father as secretary during his ill health, and later assuming entire control of the business, which was closed out. H. B. Scutt died in 1889. Frank W. Scutt organized the Joliet Wheel company in 1889, with R. G. Surbridge, of Chicago. F. W. Schroeder was president, F. W. Scutt secretary, and R. G. Surbridge superintendent. Is Baldwin Home. The second red brick mansion in the skyline was bought by Dr. Herbert H. Baldwin and Sarah Baldwin, in 1889, from J. D. Paige, and is still occupied by the Baldwin family, Madame Sarah Baldwin and Mrs, Minnie Baldwin, wife of Dr. H. H. Baldwin. The lot on which the fine mansion stands was fated to change hands rapidly before the Baldwins acquired it. William H. Brown bought it from Martin Demmondand sold it to Lemueal Brown. Horace Haff bought it in 1859, then he died, and in 1866 the heirs conveyed it to Edwin G. Haff, who sold it to Nancy Ann Danforth, a mellifluous name and probably a pretty dame. In 1870 Julius C. Williams became the owner: in 1880 Sophia Demmond possessed it. Changed Hands Often. In 1881 Elisha D. Avery bought it in a busy button! button! who's got the button! sort of game. The same year John D. Paige bought it. In 1886 Thomas Murdock had it; in 1888 Ed S. Munroe, and in 1891 Sarah Baldwin became the owner, according to abstracts. Henry Baldwin, the father of Herbert and the husband of Mrs. Sarah Baldwin, came to America in 1855 and died in 1858. Dr. Baldwin was a teacher and principal before he studied medicine and entered the Chicago Medical college, from which he was graduated in 1883."
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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