By Jared L. Olar
Local History Specialist
As we continue this week with the history of 405 Willow St., let’s take a look at what the old Pekin city directories tell us about who has lived there over the years, and compare it with the sales history of the parcel of land where the house is situated.
First, here is a list derived from the city directories, showing those who have been heads of household or who have resided at this address.
1861: Eden John F., laborer, res. Willow, ns., 3d d. e. Fourth; Flanagan Christopher, laborer, res. Willow, ns., 2d d. e. Fourth; Regentz Julius, carpenter, res. ne. cor. Willow and Fourth
1870-71: Meints Runt., blacksmith, res ns Willow 2 d e Newhall (Fourth);
1876: Smith Dietrich C. (T. & H. Smith & Co. and Teis Smith & Co. and Smith Plow Co.) res ne cor Willow and Newhall.
1887: Smith Dietrich C. (Teis, Smith & Co.) (T. & H. Smith & Co.) (Smith, Hippen & Co.) (Pekin Plow Co.) res. 501 Willow
1893: Smith D C (Teis Smith & Co), v pres and mngr P P C, h 405 Willow
1895: Smith D C ( Teis Smith & Co), v pres and gen mgr P P C, h 405 Willow
1898: Smith Dietrich C., pres. Teis Smith & Co., and v.-pres. and mngr. P. P. Co., r 405 Willow
1903-04: Smith Dietrich C., pres Teis Smith & Co., and v.-pres. and mgr. P. P. Co., r 405 Willow
1907-08: Smith, D. C., retired, r 339 Buena Vista; address of 405 Willow not listed and presumably vacant.
1912: Bleeker, Mrs. Anna, r 405 Willow; Bleeker, Miss Blanche, steno W. A. Potts, r 405 Willow
1913: Mrs. Anna Bleker, 405 Willow; Smith, D.C., retired, and Mrs. Caroline, r 339 Buena Vista. (Reardons live next door at 407 Willow)
1914, 1915, 1916: No listing, presumably vacant; William J. Reardon at 407 Willow
1921: WILLIAM J REARDON Attorney-at-Law. Practices in all Courts. Office in Kuhn Bldg. Res. 407 Willow. Cttz. phone, office 309, res. 924-Y; Bell 53-R; Reardon, Mrs. Marie, r 407 Willow
1922: REARDON WM J (Marie A) lawyer 355 Court tels 309 Bell 126 r 405 Willow
1941: REARDON WM J (Marie E; 1), Lawyer, Marshall Bldg 340 Elizabeth, Tel 99, h405 Willow, Tel 1255
1943: Reardon Marie Mrs, 405 Willow
1966: Reardon Marie E (wid W J) h405 Willow
1969: Marshall Eug V (Eliz O) Emp Central Ill Light (Peoria Ill) h405 Willow St (Byron J. Oesch, neighbor, 409 Willow)
1970: Marshall Eug V (Eliz O) constn supt Central Ill Light (Peoria) h405 Willow St (Byron Oesch, neighbor, 409 Willow)
1999: Marshall Eugene V, Marshall Richard J, 405 Willow
2000: Marshall Eugene V, Sisco Nancy B, 405 Willow
2001 and 2002 : Nancy B. Sisco, Tita D. Sisco, 405 Willow
2003 and 2004: No listing
2005 and 2006: Marshall Eugene V, 405 Willow
The current owner appears in city directories at this address from 2007 to the present.
As we can see, despite some gaps in the chronology, the city directories provide a fairly complete list of residents or heads of household for this location. And from this list we see that the sales history from the County Assessor’s website is gravely mistaken to place Eugene V. Marshall’s purchase of the house in 1900, which is when 405 Willow St. was owned by Dietrich C. Smith.
One thing the directories cannot tell us, however, is when the house was built. The directories also don’t tell us the owners of the house or its lots, how many times the house has been sold, nor all the names of those who have lived in the house. For that information we must consult other records.
The current home owner has provided a copy of an old title history for this property that was prepared in the 1980s by the Tazewell County Recorder of Deeds office. The title history begins on 24 Feb. 1836 with David Bailey, who was one of the five co-founders of Pekin in 1830, and comes down to 7 May 1984 when Eugene V. Marshall and his wife owned the house at 405 Willow St.
This house is located on Lot 4, Block 18, in a part of Pekin known as Bailey’s Addition because it was originally owned by David Bailey. (As we noted last week, this is the same David Bailey who was a party in the landmark Illinois Supreme Court case Bailey v. Cromwell in July 1841.)
Following is a table derived from the title history. It should be kept in mind that the owner of the land often did not live there, and in several instances this land was temporarily held by land agents, loan companies, or attorneys involved in deed transfers.
Grantor Grantee Date
David Bailey John B. Newhall 24 Feb. 1836
Thomas C. Wilson Sur. The Public 24 Feb. 1836 (Plat recorded)
David Bailey Samuel G. Bailey 16 Jan. 1837
Emily B. Bailey B. S. Prettyman 10 Sept. 1850
Emily B. Bailey Gideon H. Rupert, et al. 2 Jan. 1851
Rupert & Haines Peter Zeer 11 Jan. 1853
Peter Zeer, et al. Adam Moerlan 10 Aug. 1853
Peter Zeer & wife Menne F. Aden 2 Jan. 1855
Abner Mitchell & wife B. S. Prettyman 6 July 1857
William Mitchell B. S. Prettyman 6 July 1857
Erastus W. Mitchell, et al. B. S. Prettyman 11 Aug. 1857
Menne Aden Arend Behrens 14 Nov. 1860
Stephen O. Paine George R. Laughton 26 Dec. 1865
Sarah E. Barber & husband William S. Kellogg 30 Dec. 1870
William E. Hassan William S. Kellogg 22 March 1871
Menne F. Aden & wife Dietrich C. Smith 8 May 1871
D. C. Smith Teis Smith 24 Dec. 1874
Edward Pratt Shf. The Public 8 Jan. 1878 (Levy)
D. C. Smith by Assignee Smith & Luppen 8 Jan. 1879
Frederick Smith, et al. Dietrich C. Smith 15 Jan. 1879
E. F. Unland, et al. The Public 14 April 1901
Dietrich C. Smith & wife A. L. Champion, Tr. 10 April 1907
A. L. Champion, Tr. Jesse Cooper 4 Aug. 1908
Jesse B. Cooper & wife Edwin A. Forrest 27 July 1911
Edwin A. Forrest D. F. Lawley Tr. 27 July 1911
Edwin A. Forrest Pekin Loan & Home Ass’n 18 Sept. 1911
Edwin A. Forrest William A. Potts 11 Nov. 1911
William A. Potts & wife Blanche Bleeker 15 Nov. 1911
Blanche Bleeker Pekin Loan & Home Ass’n 17 Sept. 1914
Blanche Bleeker W. J. Reardon 30 Jan. 1915
W. J. Reardon & wife Union Cent. Life Ins. Co. 1 Aug. 1929
W. J. Reardon & wife Viola Osterman 1 Aug. 1932
Viola Osterman Marie Reardon 1 Aug. 1932
Marie Reardon & hus. Pekin Loan & Hom. 15 April 1930
William J. Reardon, et al. Eugene V. Marshall & wife 5 Sept. 1967
Eugene V. Marshall & wife Peoria Sav. & Loan 13 Sept. 1967
Peoria Sav. & Loan Eugene V. Marshall & wife 28 Jan. 1982
Eugene V. Marshall & wife Eugene V. Marshall & wife 7 May 1984
A comparison of the title history with the record of the city directories shows that the owner of the property has been the head of household since at least 1876. The names found in the 1861 and 1870-71 directories only lived at this location but never owned the land or whatever house or houses then stood there.
Next week we’ll delve into records that tell us the approximate date when the house at 405 Willow St. was built and what the house looked like in the past.