19 S. Fifth Street (View on map)
James K Lewis was born in Ononadga County, New York on June 23, 1822. He graduated from the Geneva Medical College of New York in 1846, and married Louise Ferguson in 1847. Two children, Genevieve (Jenny) and John, were born before the Lewis family moved to St. Charles in 1852. Dr. Lewis built this Greek Revival house in 1859.
Dr. Lewis not only served as a physician in St. Charles, but
also held the office of mayor of the city from 1875-77, and again from 1879-81.
During his terms as mayor, Lewis banned nude bathing in the Fox River during
daylight hours. Kite flying, hoop rolling, and other activities which
interfered with pedestrians were also banned. Dr. Lewis' daughter, Jenny Lewis, was the librarian at the first St. Charles Library.
The Lewis house changed hands many times after 1862 when Dr. Lewis sold it to Catherine Easter. In 1863 Winfield Osgood, a prominent St. Charles business owner, purchased the house which he then sold in 1885 to John A. Brown, a harness maker who had originally moved to St. Charles in 1854. Brown was responsible for a major renovation of the house, installing French windows on the second floor porch, improving the utilities, and adding a second floor bathroom in 1918. The house remained in the Brown family for many years.
In 2001, the house was restored to 1850s authenticity. The house was featured on the Downtown St. Charles Partnership House Tour on September 14, 2002.
For additional photographs see:
St. Charles Illinois p 112
St. Charles of Illinois
Historic Houses Local History (Vertical File)
Celebrating History p 16
Images of America: St. Charles Illinois p.112