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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Old Illinois Houses

John Drury

reprinted by
The University of Chicago Press
Chicago and London, 1977

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

[image ALT: A keyed map of northern Illinois.]
1 Carrollton 12 Peoria
2 Eldred 13 Beardstown
3 Charleston 14 Virginia
4 Hudson 15 Paris
5 Normal 16 Springfield
6 Bloomington 17 Cantrall
7 Towanda 18 Lewiston
8 Quincy 19 Petersburg
9 Jacksonville 20 Bement
10 Danville 21 Urbana
11 Nauvoo 22 Decatur

 p39  Part II, Central Illinois

As more and more homeseekers, with their pots and pans, their children and cattle, came into the vast upper Mississippi Valley, they spread out over the grassy prairies of central Illinois. They took root and, as their worldly fortunes increased, they built comfortable houses of wood, of stone, of brick. These houses were designed like the homes their owners had known earlier in the East and South. Many were in the Greek Revival and Roman Revival styles. Also, there were houses patterned after the Georgian and French modes. On farms and in the cities appeared mansions with spacious verandas, scrollwork trim, mansard roofs, and ornamental cupolas. These were the homes of successful farmers, merchants, lawyers, and public officials of central Illinois — men who had come to the state when they were young, come with empty pockets but heads full of dreams. One of the visitors in many of these homes was Abe Lincoln, a circuit-riding Springfield lawyer and storyteller who had less in his pockets and more in his head than any of them.

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Page updated: 11 Dec 07