1868 Italianate in Lanark, IL

Details below are from July 2012, sold status has not been verified.
To verify, check the listing links below.

Added to OHD on 7/5/12   -   Last OHD Update: 5/2/20   -   19 Comments
Off Market / Archived
National Register

326 E Locust St, Lanark, IL 61046

  • $99,900
  • 8 Bed
  • 2.5 Bath
  • 4466 Sq Ft
  • 0.33 Ac.
Three story historic brick Victorian home on double corner lot! This home was built in 1868 and is waiting for a postivie force to restor it to its original splendor! Carriage house, 19th centry period architecture, spiral staircase, full length front windows, original marble mantle, original ceiling medallions on main level and original fixtures in home. The second floor has 4 bedrooms and two full baths and the third level has the additional four bedrooms. There is a back stairway that is accessed from the laundry room on the main level and was formerly the summer kitchen.
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19 Comments on 1868 Italianate in Lanark, IL

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  1. John c says: 434 comments

    When I lived in Mount Carroll, the next town over, I knew or thought I knew Lanark pretty well. However, I don’t remember this one. I am going to have to contact people there to refresh my memory. A very interesting home for that area. OHD has featured several homes in Savanna, Illinois, in the same county but on the county’s other side along the Mississippi river.

  2. scott says: 58 comments

    too bad there isn’t any pictures….very interesting house…she needs her porch put back on.

  3. john c says: 434 comments

    In Lanark, they figure that all the women have been inside every house and can visualize what they would do with it, while all the men with money (retired or semi-retired farmers) need to see pics of the outside to be reminded about the building. Sorry — I guess my Mount Carroll prejudice is showing.

    Lanark was a dividing line town, with the Scotch and Scotch-Irish settling in the county there and going north, and the Germans also settling there and predominating on the farms to the south. Some of you that are older may recall Buss Bedding, sold through stores for keeping worms for fishing. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1951&dat=19890319&id=MqE0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=YIIFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2968,996276 Don Buss survived well into the 1980s, stopping every person on the streets to proclaim the virtues of eating root-vegetables.

    I fouind this on the web about the history of the town. It adds more information about Don, and also mentions the WWII internment of German POWs. Years ago , of course, many German-speakers remained who recalled as children either themselves talking with the POWs or seeing their parents talking with the POWs. Lanark has, as well, a sizeable group of “Dunkards” , a religious group that in both WWI and WWII attempted to adhere to pacifist beliefs. Between those people and a surprising number who would inform you quietly that the USA was glad enough to have Russia as an ally in WWII whatever was said later, Lanark had a suprising range of opinions and memories for a small midwestern town.

    All in all, it was a very interesting town full of characters 30 years ago and, I assume a new crop of eccentrics have grown to maturity.

  4. john c says: 434 comments

    Here are a couple in Milledgeville, Illinois


    Savanna, Shannon, Mount Carroll, Thomson, etc, all have interesting homes.

  5. John C. Shiflet says: 5547 comments

    I personally like this home- it is uncommon in the Midwest to see one like this. The fact that it was featured in a local engraving suggests it was a community “showplace” back in the day. The period illustration does provide a plan for restoring the porch to period accuracy. I’m also surprised the carriage house is still standing. Of course, the interior would be the deal maker or breaker but given that no money was spent maintaining or replacing the porch its quite likely much of the old interior has survived. Wish there were some interior photos no matter how deteriorated it may appear to be. Old house people often do not mind faded interiors…kind of like antique furniture collectors; original, even distressed old finishes always trump refinished versions.

  6. john c says: 434 comments

    Okay, guilt has moved the mountain. I have called the former president of the Carroll County Historical Society, who lives in Lanark, and left a message asking that she call me about the house. For all I know, she is away traveling (or stretched out on the kitchen floor as a victim of the heat), but I have put a little effort forth. She herself lives in a wonderful Prairie style home, but she and her parents always had a lively interest in all architecture and all local structure.

    • John C. Shiflet says: 5547 comments

      I’m hoping if she gets back to you that she can direct you/us to a source for interior photos. If I were still on vacation (in May) I might have stopped by to take photos, but not possible now. Y’all stay cool in this Texas style heat wave…

  7. john c says: 434 comments

    While I am waiting for Suzy to call me back, I have found a few things.

    This house is on the National Register.
    Chisholm House (added 1973 – – #73002312)
    Also known as Sprogle, John, House
    326 E. Locust St. , Lanark

    Sprogle was a local banker and built this about seven years after the town got going. A local historian states:
    We can’t leave out John Sprogle who not only had a second bank in town but may have been a chief competitor of Van Vechten’s (but we only whisper that possibility) because in 1868 both were building large impressive homes unlike any other so far in Lanark … Elegant brick multi-story, jutting up from the mostly treeless prairie and amongst the more humble wooden slope roof ones, some brought from Georgetown because of immediate need. Picture them, if you will, with only a scattering of houses just seven years after the initiation of the town. Plus the brick bank. The Mt. Carroll Mirror printed this in April of 1868: “Our enterprising neighbor, Lanark, is doing considerable this summer in the way of improvements. Work at macadamizing the streets is well advanced. A large new elevator is being built. In the way of residences Giles Van Vechten and John Sprogle are both building elegant houses with the former being Milwaukee brick, the latter Illinois brick. Several neat and valuable wooden residences are almost completed. The town is doing well and we are glad to note their prosperity.”

    Those houses still stand are labeled here, the Van Vechten at 611 E. Pearl S. and the Sprogle at 326 E. Locust.

    source for the newspaper summary: http://www.pacc-news.com/5-16-12/pdq5_16_12.html (Much more about those years of prosperity are in that account.)


  8. john c says: 434 comments

    However, a local history states that there is little hard information.

    The old buildings and dwellings carry many and varied histories, and we have
    little but “word of mouth” history. Two landmarks still standing are homes built in
    1868 by bankers, Mr. Sprogle and Mr. Van Vechten, said to be trying to out-do each
    other. The Sprogle home on East Locust is now occupied by Jesse Shidler; the Van
    Vechten home on East Pearl is the home of Mrs. Carrie Erisman and her son John.


    The contradiction is easily resolved: the Prairie Advocate columns by Caralee Aschenbrenner
    represent many years of peering at past issues of newspapers from the area, a task she began, if memory serves me right, about 1981 or so. I am amazed she is still at it and I applaud her for those efforts.

  9. john c says: 434 comments

    I suspect John Sprogle was a Dunkard, for I find that a John Sprogle was noted in the local church history as having preached a poweful sermon in 1857 at the courthouse, which, of course, he may have done in German for all I know. http://www.archive.org/stream/schwarzenaujourn03edit/schwarzenaujourn03edit_djvu.txt I also find references to Sprogle as having come to the county as a preacher from Pennsylvania, where the sect was centered originally.

  10. john c says: 434 comments

    Sprogle was a heavy invester, but apparently the post Civil War crunch hit him hard. This is from another account:
    August 11, 1868 the Mt. Carroll newspaper reported that “enterprising Lanark was doing considerable in the way of improvements” among which was named the building of a large new elevator. John L. Sprogle was the man behind the finances. He, like the Dames, Wolfs, Stovers, and VanVechtens, was called a capitalist and could well handle the vast outlay of cash to build a town from the foundation up. At the same time that Sprogle was building the elevator he was also putting up an impressive new house on Locust St. where Jesse and Mary Shidler live today at 326 East Locust. More time and effort are necessary to do justice to a history of that beautiful home at a later date. Mr. Sprogle’s considerable outlay of cash might have taxed him somewhat financially, however for just 2 years later both properties were sold for the fabulous sum of $18,000. The “STEAM ELEVATOR PROPERTY,” as it was known, showing its modern, up-to-date efficiency, now became the “Edwards and Horning Elevator” which continued for about three years.

    source: http://genealogytrails.com/ill/carroll/carrollcalendar1980.html (If you have noted a similar style, this is authored by Caralee, but in 1979-1980 or so. )

  11. john c says: 434 comments

    If, and I realize that this is a big “if” the John Sprogle who was the banker in Lanark is the John Sprogle who was at times a Dunkard preacher, then this is the obituary of his wife and himself. In any event, it is a touching example of piety and love from those times:

    CATHERINE SPROGLE , Died, April 26th, 1872, at the residence of Dr. S. H. Sprogle, in Cherry Grove, arm of the Church, Carroll county, Ill., our dear old Sister CATHARINE SPROGLE, aged 80 years, 2 months and 5 days. She left a dear husband who was not permitted to attend the funeral on account of the infirmities of his mind. According to the course of nature, it will not be long until he follows her. She left four children to mourn her loss, but they need not mourn as those who have no hope, for she lived in the Lord for many years, and died in peace. She left behind her a good example for us all to follow. We indeed have loss a Sister and Mother in Israel. Her remains were followed to the grave by a large concourse of people. The funeral services were improved from the 13th chapter of Hebrews, 14th verse.
    Contributed by Carol Parrish – with thanks to Dennis from “The Monthly Gospel Visitor” (1851-1873)

    JOHN SPROGLE – Died, also, in the same Congregation, (Cherry Grove) May 10th, 1872, our beloved old Brother JOHN SPROGLE, aged 74 years, 3 months and 25 days. Oh, how sad to think that our Old Brother and Sister are with us no more – as his companion preceded him too weeks to the spirit land. He remarked, when she lay a corpse, “there mother lies in that corner, and soon I will lie in the other.” It seems that our old Brother knew [although deprived of the right use of his mind] that his days were short on earth, yet we rejoice to know that he was faithful to the end. It is said that he delivered a good sermon and prayed for his companion before she died. May those whom he admonished in his early days, and who have not yet repented, take warning ere it shall be forever too late. And may we, as “Pilgrims” on our way to Zion, try to live faithfully, that when we have to leave this world we may be so happy as to meet our old Brother – for we feel assured that he has gone to rest. The funeral occasion was improved by the Brethren from Rev. 14: 13, to a very large concourse of people – the largest funeral I ever attended. (Mary Eshelman)
    Contributed by Carol Parrish – with thanks to Dennis from “The Monthly Gospel Visitor” (1851-1873)

  12. john c says: 434 comments

    Sorry, I did not give the on-line source for those obituaries: http://genealogytrails.com/ill/carroll/carrollobitsS3.html

  13. john c says: 434 comments

    Unfortunately, I don’t think the nomination forms for the National Register for this particular house have been made available on the internet as yet.

  14. john c says: 434 comments

    I talked to Suzy. There is a new county history out and, in a section she did not work on, she believes there would be information as to whether Sprogle the minister was the banker or instead his father.

    As to the house, she knew of no pictures available. The front porch had collapsed some time ago, she recalled. An elderly woman owned the property for a number of years, followed by, now, two successive owners over the last ten to twelve years. She believed that one or the other of those two owners had replaced the roof. When the woman’s ownership came to its end. Suzy went to the house for a sale of household goods. At that time the interior appeared to be in relatively good repair, but, as she added, there is brickwork and the like to be worked on.

    On the inside, the house has a center hall plan, with the major stairway in the hall. To one’sleft, as one enters, was a room and, behind it, the dining room and, behind that, the kitchen. To the right, on the other side of the hall, was one very large room, with a fireplace, although she cannot now recall if the room had originally been two rooms or had always been one room.

    She stressed, of course, that the house was unusual both in style and in height for the town and area.

    John S, there are or were a lot of farmers in the Lanark area who might take on this sort of house project and do a pretty good job of it — putting in a porch closely resembling the original — if they were attracted to the house. I just am not sure if that style will appeal. I hope someone does buy it and restore it.

    That leaves the possibility of an out of towner. A lot of people come to the area from Chicago, buying vacation/retirement houses at Lake Carroll, some miles out of Lanark. Those people would not want an old home in town, but it is always possible that someone who came out to visit might be an old home buff or fan.

  15. says: 458 comments

    I love it when a house still resembles an antique illustration of itself.

  16. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12227 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Updated with a few interior photos plus new exterior.

  17. John Shiflet says: 5547 comments

    Thanks for the new photos. I see nothing to change my opinion from my July 2012 remarks that this was a relatively unchanged mid-19th century house. Marble mantels (a very clean looking example here) were hallmarks of high end homes in those days and surely this was one. The absence of visible cracks in the plaster indicate at least in these rooms a very stable structural environment remains. Paint the exterior in original brick colors (a real artist can blend colors so skillfully that the bricks appear natural and unpainted) and rebuild the front porch to match that shown in the period illustration. An investment, yes, but it would bring back an important community landmark home and help preserve local history.


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