Yesterday, Spetember 7th, the Price-Pather House was opened up to the public. This house, in Williamsville, Illinois has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural features, but the building’s early owners, especially J. Frank Prather played major roles in development of the beef cattle industry in Sangamon County, in Illinois and in the United States.
The house’s builder, James Price, who was born in Ohio, moved to Williamsville in 1861 and is thought to have built the Price-Prather house sometime around 1868.
Price – whose father was born in Herefordshire, England – was a cattle dealer who imported the first herd of Hereford cattle to central Illinois in 1883. “During the years 1884-1885, Price and his son, Ned, won nearly 100 prizes at the leading cornbelt fairs and fat stock shows.
Eventually, in 1877, Price sold his house to John Prather. John Prather owned 3,000 acres of land in Sangamon and Logan counties, as well as substantial farms in Kansas and Ohio, and he had been part of a company that imported shorthorn cattle to his home state of Ohio.
Prather became a prominent figure in the Shorthorn breeding world. In addition to his familiarity with the breed due to his father, since they were a relatively new breed in this part of the country, Prather probably realized that he could establish a successful position in the market. In addition to being a source of outstanding beef, Shorthorns were also acceptable for dairy purposes. It was also a matter of status at the time to become successful with a new breed of livestock .
In 1882 John Prather, deeded the house to his son for “$1 and ‘natural love and affection.’”
The Price-Prather House is a two-story brick building. Its Italianate design has a number of typical elements: low pitched roofs with paired cornice brackets, one-story porches with square wood columns and paired entry doors with large glass lights and a “segmental arched transom.” It was remodeled in 1910, but the changes did “not detract to any degree from the house’s characteristic Italianate form.
The house has remained a private residence and every year for the last couple of years it has been opened to the public for viewing.
Roaming around and dancing during the open house were the the International Springfield Folk Dancers dressed in era attire.
As always I took a ton of photos but today, I am just going to post 30 although, mind you I do believe I have quite a few other photos that are worthy of posting.
You might see them here and there as times goes one.😁