John W. Lewis House

Location: 503 Chestnut
Marshall, IL 62441
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John W. Lewis House

Constructed between 1906 and 1908, the Lewis house is a two and one half story yellow brick and limestone Classical Revival structure. A large two tier wooden veranda spans the entire width of the front facade on both the first and second floors. This is adorned by six two-foot diameter colossal columns with iconic capitols. The verandas terminate in circular apse-like forms at the edges of the front facade. Three symmetrically positioned dormer windows project out from the hipped roof which is decorated with cresting along the plateau of the hip.

The John W. Lewis house is a central hall structure. Mahogany sliding doors open to the right of the hall into the parlor. To the immediate left of the hall is the library, which is detailed in oak woodwork. The dining room is located next to the library and is also decorated with oak woodwork. Original furniture, constructed in 1908 for the home, is still existent in this space. The butler's pantry adjoins the dining room, containing an original oak icebox and china cabinet. To the rear of the house is a large remodeled kitchen, half bath and bedroom. The central hall plan is continued to the second story where it is surrounded by four large bedrooms, full bathroom and a maid's room. A narrow back staircase connects the maid's room to the butler's pantry below.

Many of the existing light fixtures and brass hardware are original to the house. The home also maintains four original fireplaces, mantles and fenders. Following are known alterations to the house:
• A porch was originally constructed at the rear of the building and was removed and replaced by a breakfast room in 1977.
• The original grey slate roof was replaced in 1977 with grey asphalt shingles. A garage and breezeway were constructed on the property in 1977.

The significance of this house rests on both its architectural merit and its association with one of the early settlers in Clark County. Architecturally, the John W. Lewis house is the only example of a classical revival building in Clark County. The large veranda with two story columns is unusual for this area of Illinois.

Furthermore, John W. Lewis, Sr., the original owner, was one of the early settlers in Clark County. Originally residing around McKeen and Livingston, Illinois, Mr. Lewis later moved to Marshall (1894} to serve as Assessor of Wabash Township and Clark County Clerk (1885, 1887, 1893} and Sheriff (1894}. In addition, Mr. Lewis served in the 41st Illinois General Assembly in 1898, Mayor (1901} and Clark County Treasurer (1906}.

John W. Lewis, Jr., one of four children raised in the home was a local farmer, auctioneer, livest?ck dealer and politician. His political career spanned over 30 years, serving as Representative, State Senator, Speaker of the House, Secretary of Agriculture and finally as Secretary of State.