Address: 105 East Gambier Street
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Year Built: c. 1835; additions c. 1860
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: Unknown

This house was once owned by James Israel, a Mount Vernon native who grew up working on his father’s farm and attending the local public school. In 1864 Israel enlisted in the Union Army, his service lasting one-hundred days. Israel contracted typhoid but recovered, soon after moving to Chicago where he entered the hardware wholesale industry. Israel returned in Mount Vernon in 1869 and began a manufacturing business of linseed oil and grains. After much success, Israel closed his business in 1897 and joined the Mount Vernon Bridge Company as secretary and treasurer, and served as general manager. In January 1910, James Israel became president of the Mount Vernon Bridge Company. Israel enlisted in the Union Army in 1864 and served for 100 days. Israel contracted typhoid, and moved to Chicago to find work in wholesale hardware for five years. He returned to Mount Vernon in 1869 to manufacture linseed oil and grain. He closed his business in 1897 and joined the Mount Vernon Bridge Company, where he became secretary and treasurer, and for a short time served as general manager. Israel became president of the Mount Vernon Bridge Company in 1910. Under Israel’s management, the Mount Vernon Bridge Company grew to become one of the largest factories of its kind in the Mid-West.

On June 17, 1872, Mr. Israel married Ada B. Jones, daughter of the prominent General Goshorn A. and Sarah Raymond Jones. The couple reared three children, and the family home at 105 East Gambier Street was known as “the favorite gathering place of the best people in the vicinity.” 

The structure features a brick three-bay façade on a deep lot; the front roof has an axis parallel to the street. The entrance-way has a transom and narrow sidelights surrounding the doorway.  The floor-length façade windows are particularly striking. An addition to the house is a Victorian-style porch supported by slim, Egyptian-like columns and ornate brackets. Brackets beneath the main structure’s cornice are an 1860’s addition. Projecting bay windows on the east and dormer windows along the front and side roofline are later additions.