About Allen Perry Lovejoy
Mr. Lovejoy grew up in Maine and learned the carpenter trade. In 1850 he moved to Janesville Wisconsin and worked as a builder. He started a lumberyard and branched out to own a few. He purchased several thousand acres of land in Michigan for his lumberyards. He was President of The Janesville Machine Company from 1875-1892 and the Director and a large stockholder in The Janesville Cotton Mills. He was elected to the Wisconsin State Legislature in 1869, served as Mayor of Janesville in 1881 and was elected to the state senate in 1887 and 1889. On May 29, 1880 he married Julia Stow and they were the parents of 4 children: Allen Perry Jr., Henry S., Julia S., and Webster Ellis.
Allen was born at Wayne, Kennebec, Maine, on 20 March 1825. He was the son of Nathan Phelps Lovejoy and Temperance Wing. He married Julia Isabel Stow on 29 May 1880. He died at Janesville, WI, on 18 March 1904.
HON. ALLEN P. LOVEJOY of Janesville, Wis., the present Senator from Rock County, and a leading business man of the State, is a native of Maine and was born in the town of Wayne, Kennebe County, on the 20th day of March, 1825. His parents were Nathan and Temperance (WING) LOVEJOY.
The LOVEJOY family is of English Puritan origin, and boasts among its members some of the most noted characters in American history. Elijah and Owen LOVEJOY of Illinois, so prominently identified with the anti-slavery agitation that preceded the late war, were of the same lineage as our subject.
Nathan LOVEJOY, a native of New Hampshire, was a man of well developed mental faculties and strong religious convictions, of the strictest integrity and highly honored man of his day. He was the son of Capt. John LOVEJOY, an active and valiant soldier of the Revolutionary War.
The whole race is noted for courage, perseverance and unswerving fidelity to those principles of liberty and truth which distinguished their Puritan ancestors. Temperance WING, the mother of our subject, and the wife of Nathan LOVEJOY, a very amiable and estimable woman, was the first white child born in Wayne, and was the daughter of Allen WING, an able and influential man, who is well remember in connection with the building of the first church in Wayne, in which enterprise he was the chief mover.
Allen P. LOVEJOY, the subject of this sketch, was reared on a farm, where habits of industry, frugality and self-reliance were inculcated from his earliest boyhood. His primary education was received in the district-schools, and he later pursued a course of study at the Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Kent Hill, Readfield, Maine. At the age of seventeen, he commenced to learn the carpenter and joiner's trade, at which he worked in the summer time, while he was engaged in teaching school during the winter months, beginning the latter occupation when but eighteen years of age. He continued in that line of work, alternating teaching and working at his trade until 1850, when, in the twenty-fifth year of his age, he determined to seek his fortune in the broader and more promising fields of the Great West. He reached Milwaukee, Wis., in the early summer of 1850. From there he journeyed to Janesville, then a thrifty village of 2,000 inhabitants, making the journey on foot, and landed at his destination with only a limited quantity of this world's goods, but rich in energy, pluck and enterprise. He at once secured work at his trade in Janesville, at which he continued for nearly two years. In 1851, he went to Beloit, where he was connected with a lumber firm, first as an employe and later, having an interest in the business.
In 1853, he returned to Janesville and resumed business as carpenter and builder. Being a first-class mechanic and a clear-headed business man, he soon acquired capital with which in 1860, he opened a lumber-yard in this city. He continued building, however, until 1863, when he devoted his whole time to the lumber business. In 1870, Mr. LOVEJOY formed a partnership with J. RICHARDS in the same line at Oregon, Wis., and in succeeding years, they opened yards at Brooklyn, Mt. Horeb, Dodgeville, Blue Mounds, Barneveld, Stoughton, New Glarus and Argyle. These several yards are conducted under the firm name of LOVEJOY & RICHARDS.
About 1868, Mr. LOVEJOY began investing in pine lands, and since then, in company with others, he has engaged in logging on the Wolf, Chippewa, and Wisconsin rivers. This business they have carried on successfully, having cut the past season over 30,000,000 feet of logs. Later, they bought a sawmill on the Chippewa, and subsequently purchased another mill at Merrill, Wis., where the past season they cut 22,000,000 feet of lumber. Mr. LOVEJOY is also interested in manufactures. He is quite an extensive stock-holder in the Harris Manufacturing Company of Janesville, of which he has been president since 1875; is a stock-holder in the Janesville Cotton Manufacturing Company; vice-president of the Janesville Machine Company; president of the New McLean Manufacturing Company; and proprietor of the Monterey Flouring Mill. He is also director in the First National Bank; director in the State Lumber Company; and vice-president of the Merrill Lumber Company. He has a partnership in several farms in Rock, Dane, and Chippewa Counties.
Mr. LOVEJOY is a Republican in politics, but is not a politician in the ordinary acceptation of the term, although he has borne a more or less conspicuous part in local politics. In 1878, he was chosen to represent his district in the State Assembly by one of the largest majorities ever given to a candidate for that office. In 1881, he was elected Mayor of Janesville by a small majority, running against a very popular fellow citizen. In 1886, he was elected to the State Senate by a very flattering majority, running several hundred votes ahead of his ticket. His able and faithful discharges of duty in all these positions has justified the confidence reposed in him by his fellow citizens.
The most important and interesting event in Mr. LOVEJOY's life occurred at New Haven, Conn., on the 29th day of May, 1880, when he was united in marriage with Miss Julia I. STOWE, a daughter of Henry STOWE of that city, and a highly intelligent, accomplished and lovely lady. Mrs. LOVEJOY's father has been an honored member and deacon of the Baptist Church for over fifty years. He is still a resident of New Haven and has reached the ripe old age of eighty-three years. Mr. and Mrs. LOVEJOY have three interesting children, two sons and a daughter - Allen P., the eldest, was born Jan. 16, 1882; Henry S., Nov. 2, 1885; and Julia, Sept. 21, 1888.
Mr. LOVEJOY is essentially a self-made man and has achieved success within the recollection of the surviving early settlers of Rock County. Thirty-eight years ago he began at Janesville bare-handed. His first start was made with earnings while employed as a carpenter, and his progress and prosperity since have been steady and sure. Energy, industry, and integrity have marked his course from the beginning, and success has crowned his efforts in a marked degree. He would be recognized in any community as a man of great activity and power. He is tall and well-proportioned, muscular and capable of much endurance. The mold of his countenance and shape of his head clearly indicate self-reliance and unyielding will, and fixedness of purpose not easily disturbed. His movements are slow but with precision and forethought.
He is logical in all his methods and has no convictions that have not been reached by a process of reasoning. His mind is comprehensive, and he rarely troubles himself with details. With proper training he would do well at the head of an army, but would make a poor corporal or even captain. In early life his mind was much exercised on the subject of religion, he considering a religious life the chief blessing and duty of man. But not satisfied with any of the current theories of standard authorities on that subject, he strove hard and long for a role or creed on which to lean and follow, and finally adopted one peculiar to himself, more after the Unitarian model than any other, but he contributes to the support and occasionally attends the churches of other denominations.
A fine steel engraving of Mr. LOVEJOY is shown on another page.
Taken from "The Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock County, Wis." (c)1889, pp. 243-244; engraving from same book.
HOUSE HISTORY: The Lovejoy Mansion at 220 St. Lawrence Avenue
Lovejoy Mansion when it was the YWCA, c. 1981
The controversial renovations being made to the Lovejoy mansion at 220 St. Lawrence Avenue, detailed in The Janesville Gazette’s April 26, 2009 article, offer an opportunity to show how much material Hedberg Public Library has about this house, its architect, owners, and occupants. It also demonstrates the Reference Department’s ability to help researchers with “house history,” particularly when the house has been of historical interest for some time.
220 St. Lawrence Avenue around 1881.
THE FIRST OWNER: Allen P. Lovejoy (1825-1904) built the 10,000 square-foot mansion at 220 St. Lawrence Avenue shortly after his 1880 marriage to Julia Stowe. Born in Maine, Lovejoy began his working life as a teacher and a carpenter. He moved to Janesville in 1850 where he worked as a contractor and builder. He established a lumberyard in Janesville in 1859 and began investing in pine lands and sawmills in 1868, becoming one of the Midwest’s most important lumber barons. He was also involved in the Harris Manufacturing Company, the Janesville Machine Company—the largest agricultural implement factory in Rock County--and the Janesville Cotton Mill. A bank director as well, Lovejoy’s political career included being the mayor of Janesville for one year and also a state legislator for a couple of years.
HIS WIFE: Julia Stow Lovejoy (1849-1953) was a fascinating person in her own right. A thirty-year-old school teacher when she married Allen P. Lovejoy (who was 55 at the time), she became the first president of the Rock County Women’s Suffrage League, founded in February 1912. She was involved in the establishment of the first kindergarten in Janesville, the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and Janesville’s first hospital. She also served for several years on the Janesville Public Library board. She celebrated her 100th birthday in December 1949, by which time she was referred to as “Janesville’s First Lady.”
THEIR ARCHITECT: The architect who designed the Lovejoy mansion was James Douglas. A Milwaukee architect, Douglas was born in Scotland in 1823. Forming a partnership with his brother, Alexander, as “J. A. Douglas, Architects and Builders,” he started out as a designer of churches, but later turned to domestic architecture. The Lovejoy mansion was described in a 1980 Janesville Gazette article as representing the “Late Picturesque” or "Queen Anne" style: “The cream brick veneer over a balloon frame includes protruding wings and steep-gabled roofs. Corner upstairs windows are hooded with overhangs. Decorative ‘bargeboards’ have crosses and curves punched into them, while brackets of the first story, wrap-around veranda have dot-encircled holes. Local quarry stone was used for the foundation below ground, with dressed Milwaukee stone above ground. It has several fireplaces, hardwood floors, fine quality wood moldings, plaster and glass.” Red oak, walnut and butternut are some of the woods used in the house but were painted over by the time the YWCA moved in. Door knobs and hinges were made of solid brass. Corn husks provided insulation in the walls. Because of Allen Lovejoy’s background as a carpenter, he is said to have sat on a camp stool, overlooking the work being done on his house to ensure that everything was built to his specifications.
SECOND OWNER: After Mrs. Lovejoy’s death in 1953, Joseph A. Craig bought the Lovejoy mansion but never lived in it. As soon as he bought it, he presented it to the YWCA. A prominent figure in Janesville business and philanthropic circles, Craig was responsible for the development of the General Motors Assembly Plant in Janesville. A manager of the Janesville Machine Company, he persuaded General Motors to acquire his company to establish GM’s Samson Tractor Company division. In 1919, GM built a large, new factory to produce tractors. When tractors failed to sell well, GM converted the factory to a Chevrolet automobile and Fisher body assembly plant.
THIRD OWNER: The YWCA occupied 220 St. Lawrence Avenue from 1954 until May 2001, when its new building was opened at 1735 S. Washington Street. According to the Janesville Gazette (21 May 2001, 1A), the YWCA put its building at 220 St. Lawrence Avenue on the market for $247,900 by Lee Sather & Associates, “who offered to sell the building for no commission.” YWCA staff reported that it was difficult to leave such a beautiful building.
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES STATUS: In 1980, while the building still belonged to the YWCA, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was nominated for that status by the YWCA and the Rock County Historical Society. The local paper pointed out that being on the National Register of Historic Places meant that “any restoration, preservation or stabilization project involving the structure is now eligible for matching federal grants.”
FOURTH OWNER: In 2002, a religious group, the Ekklasia Foundation, bought the
Lovejoy mansion from the YWCA for $190,000. Brad Goodrich represented the Foundation, according to the Janesville Gazette (25 July 2002, 1B). What the future holds for this mansion
is not clear, but its past can be traced pretty easily.