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The official Greene County Illinois travel information site.

In 1821, Madison County was divided and Greene County was created. Newly platted land was used to incorporate Carrollton as the new county seat. Also in that same year, J.W. Skidmore, a merchant, erected a two-room building located on the northwest corner of the public square. In September of that year, the County Commissioner made the decision to pay Skidmore $4,000 to use his building for holding court hearings.

Samuel Lee was a man held in high regard in the early days of the county. He served as County Clerk and Recorder, Circuit Clerk as well as Justice of the Peace. Lee purchased the building for the purpose of constructing additions to the south. He married Skidmore’s sister-in-law, 16 year old Mary Ann Faust in 1824. Before the construction on his large estate at the center of town could be finished, Lee would pass away in September of 1829.

Samuel Lee directed in his will that his “brick mansion house” be completed to be used by his wife Mary Ann Lee. Plans were executed to his exact specifications. The project was believed to have been carried out by Moses Stevens who was also responsible for the second courthouse in Carrollton in 1832.

The one and a half story Federal Style home was the residence for Mrs. Lee and their two small children. She would marry a young and promising lawyer, Edward Baker on April 27, 1831. Baker’s political career took off and he became a close confidant of Abraham Lincoln. In August of 1835, he moved his family to Springfield and sold his brick mansion to Orange Heaton.

Heaton eventually sold the estate to Charles Drury Hodges in March of 1850. Hodges was a lawyer and merchant who served as a county judge and a representative in the U. S. Congress and Illinois State Senate. Judge Hodges added a second story in an Italianate style to the east portion of the home in 1854.

The Honorable Hodges passed away in 1884 but the family continued to reside in the home. Mrs. Hodges died in 1899 and the following year, their son Beverly C. Hodges converted his childhood home into the Hodges Office Building. Through the years it would house dentists, doctors, lawyers and insurance agents. After 70 years in the Hodges family, the home was deeded to Dr. N.D. Vedder in 1921.

In 1974, Attorney William Vogt and the Greene County National Bank purchased the property and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Two years later the estate was transferred to the Greene County Historical and Genealogical Society, which is still in use today.

 

Lee-Baker-Hodges House

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