“the oldest known residence in Springfield”
The Elijah Iles House is the oldest known residence in Springfield, Illinois. It is Greek Revival in style, and is thought to be the only "raised cottage" with a fully gallery or porch existing in the Springfield area. Here have lived merchants, bankers, soldiers, a state senator, a U.S. senator, an alderman, a governor, leaders in women's organizations and charitable causes. Robert Irwin, a merchant, banker, and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, purchased the property in 1841. The Irwins were prominent members of Springfield society and entertained Lincoln, among others, who was said to have been part of a group which gathered at the house to play the card game euchre. The Irwins had five children with three of them living to adulthood. Robert died in 1865, one month before Lincoln was assassinated; however, the Irwin family continued to own the house until 1891, and claim the longest term of ownership. Former Illinois Governor Shelby Cullom briefly resided at the house in 1883 before leaving for Congress. Mrs. Irwin was elderly at that time and may have been living with a relative.
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