Home’s property once owned by temperance leader
A photo gallery of this Mystery Place is HERE
The 1857 plat map and the 1873 plat book show the owner of a property on School Section Road as Israel Stowell, who eventually built a temperance house in Walworth County.
The brick house on School Section Road, Section 16, is close to U.S. Highway 14 in the town of Darien. Currently the house is unoccupied but is in the process of being restored. It appears to have been built in the early 1900s, probably of local brick.
Stowell came to the county in 1838 by way of New Hampshire and New York. He built the first frame house in Delavan. According to Albert Beckwith’s “History of Walworth County,” he opened a stage stop inn and named it the Temperance House.
The temperance house still exists in Delavan and is in the process of being restored by the Delavan Historical Society.
According to some reports, Stowell’s inn welcomed visitors if they were Yankees or Baptists, and didn’t indulge in alcoholic beverages.
Stowell and his wife, Polly, had five children. He moved to the town of Darien in 1856. Stowell served as an associate supervisor for the town of Darien in 1868 and 1873. Polly died on May 8, 1873. Stowell married for a second time the year before his death on Jan. 28, 1876. C.W. Butterfield’s history indicated that Stowell was “a large-sized, large-hearted man, whom all loved and respected that knew him.”
The 1907 plat book indicates the owner of this property was G. W. Putnam. According to Beckwith, Putnam was married to Eliza. Their daughter, Amy, married Cyrus Matteson. Putnam is mentioned as a highly respected family of Darien. The 1930 plat book lists the owner as the George Putnam Estate.
In 1966 the owner of the property was Helen Hereley. This continues to the present day. However, on July 25, 1995, the small acreage on which this house is located was separated from the larger farm, and in September of that year the house and small acreage was sold to William Gasch. The property went into foreclosure in February 2012.
The Bank of New York Trustees obtained the property by way of a sheriff's deed. I was told by a neighbor that the property is now owned by Wesbrook Hopkins.