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A Reader’s House Restored

by Bill Wilson on October 28, 2013

in Furniture & Interior Style

The homeowners brought the house back to its original glory.

The homeowners brought the house back to its original glory.

Our home is located in Milton, Wisconsin, a historic small town about 40 miles south of Madison. Milton was settled in 1838 by Joseph Goodrich, a Seventh Day Baptist; the denomination had adopted an anti-slavery stance. Goodrich characterized his new home as “Paradise Regained” and named the town for the poet John Milton.

Joseph Goodrich’s daughter (Mary “Mattie” Goodrich) married a local boy, George W. Post, who became a medical doctor. The couple moved to the Chicago area, but when Dr. Post was ready to retire, they decided to build a house in their old hometown, commissioning Chicago architect Frederick R. Schock to design it. Schock—who is mentioned (derisively) in Frank Lloyd Wright’s autobiography—also designed several buildings recognized by the City of Chicago as landmarks.

This house was built in 1914. It passed to the Posts’ daughter Jessie, who was married to another doctor, Dr. Milton Davis. Some older local residents still refer to the house as “Doc Davis’s place.” In the 1960s, the house was given to Milton College (founded by Goodrich as the Milton Academy), and was known as Davis Hall. When the College closed in 1984, the house stood empty for several years.

Our reader's 1914 house near Madison, Wisconsin has restrained Prairie School ornamentation.

Our reader's 1914 house near Madison, Wisconsin has restrained Prairie School ornamentation.

In 1998, my wife, Dr. Ethel Himmel, and I bought the house and began a long process of bringing it back to its original glory. We hope to have it fully restored for its 100th anniversary in 2014.

Himmel & Wilson, Library Consultants
Milton, Wisconsin

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