Middlecoff-Baier House, 440 East Pells Street, Paxton, Ford County, IL
1983 Charles E. Peterson Prize, Honorable Mention
Significance: This Queen Anne style residence was built between 1890-1891 by J. P. Middlecroft for his daughter Addie. Reynolds and Newlin were the contractors. Born in Richmond, Indiana in 1835, Middlecroft moved to Illinois in 1857 and became prominent in both the political and business circles of Paxton. He served four terms as Township Supervisor and twice as Chairman of the County Board. He was also elected Mayor of Paxton in 1887 and again in 1894, and became an Illinois State Representative in 1872. Later, as the Republican leader in Illinois, he served as a Delegate to the Republican National Convention. He founded the Paxton and Brick Tile Company in 1881, the Paxton Canning Company in 1888, and built the Middlecroft Hotel in 1895. In the late 1880's Middlecroft and his wife purchased the house site from Susan Ludlow who was a relative. Plans had been drawn and construction begun by the fall of 1890. Their daughter, Addie, died in February 1891 before the house was completed. The house is red brick with blue slate shingles covering the roof and gables. The wood trim was originally painted a dark green. A cast and wrought iron fence encloses the property. The porte cochere on the west side of the house was a later addition.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: FN-153
Survey number: HABS IL-1120