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James J Eldred House

James J Eldred House


Built in 1861, the James J Eldred House is one of the best examples of the Late Greek Revival architecture in the area.  The home was built by James John Eldred, a farmer in the lower Illinois River Valley.  Prior to the home being built, the land it now sits on was once home to Native Americans for thousands of years.  James Eldred was father to three daughters...all of whom passed away in the home.  Shortly after moving into the home, his daughter Alma passed away at the age of 4 in 1861, his daughter Alice passed away from tuberculosis in 1870 at the age of 17, and his daughter Eva passed away in 1876 at the age of 17 from the same cause. Despite the hardships, the Eldred House became quite popular over the years for its social gatherings.  In 1880, James began selling off portions of his land to settle his debts, as farming was an unpredictable industry at the time.  James was sued once in 1870 and again in 1900 due to unpaid debts.  James and Emeline Eldred sold the home in 1901 to Albon and Cassie Wilson, however they continued to live in the home until James' death in 1911.  Albon Wilson passed away a year after purchasing the home, and willed the home to his wife Cassie.  Cassie Wilson passed away in 1936, and the property went up for sale and was purchased by Robert H Levis of Godfrey, Illinois.  The house remained vacant since that time, with the exception of a family seeking refuge from the flood of 1943, and a handful of archaeologists who were excavating the nearby Koster Site in the 1970's.  Many of the homes former inhabitants remain with the home, and spirits of Native Americans are reported to roam its grounds.

Evidence From James J Eldred House