History of The BEALL MANSION
The Mansion Built as a Wedding Present
The mansion was designed by one of the most renown and prolific architects of the day, Lucas Pfeiffenberger. It was built right before the St. Louis World's Fair, in 1902 and 1903, as a wedding present by railroad baron and river boat magnate Z. B. Job for his son, Z. B. Job, Jr. and Mary Drummond, heiress to the Drummond tobacco fortune.
In 1908 Mary had her husband declared insane and committed to an asylum. He would be the first of five millionaire husbands each of which would be declared insane or die shortly after marrying her.
In 1909 she sold the mansion to Edmond Beall for the sum of $20,000. It has been known as The BEALL MANSION ever since.
Senator Edmond Beall
Mr. Beall was a both a politician and a successful businessman.
In 1872 Edmond Beall and his brother, Charles, pooled $75 to co-found Beall Brothers Shovel Company later to become Beall Brothers Manufacturing. By 1907 they had built their enterprise into the largest manufacturer of miner's tools, railroad implements and heavy equipment in the United States. Mr. Beall was also President of the Home Building and Loan Association of Alton.
The Honorable Mr. Beall started his political career as an Alderman of the 4th ward. He became the head of the streets and alleys committee and spearheaded legislation to get the streets of Alton paved with brick. “He is considered the man who pulled Alton out of the mud by spearheading the paving of streets and roads throughout the city.” —Centennial History of madison County, Volume II, Published 1912, pg.852-855.
Mr. Beall went on to become a four term major of Alton, Senator, and would be offered a cabinet position in the Roosevelt administration by his good friend, Theodore Roosevelt.
The BEALL MANSION was widely recognized for its architectural significance by the publications of the day.
“One of the leading homes in a city of elegant residences and one of the finest and best built houses in this section.” —Alton Illinois Illustrated 1912, page 42
. . . “an outstanding example of the eclectic style of the new century.” —Alton Illinois, A pictorial history, Published 1912, page 98