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If Walls Could Talk: 1850 E William Street

On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the last chapter of the story of this address was written when the city council approved the demolition of 1850 E William Street. Unfortunately, ongoing disinvestment in the neighborhood had already wrote its story into the dustbin of history around 10 years ago, when the property was abandoned.

James H Galloway, courtesy Eric Howard

1850 E William Street was built in April 1922 as the home of James and Laura (Hanfelder) Galloway. James H. Galloway was born July 13, 1874 near Glasgow, Scotland. He traveled to China, India, and Africa, working as an engineer in the Transvaal and serving as a soldier during the Boer War. He began his employment at Staley in April 1912 as a storeroom and feed house employee and at the time of his death in 1942 was the longest service employee record with the company. He married Laura Hanfelder on April 30, 1908 in Granite City, IL. James rose in ranks becoming the plant superintendent and a director. He was president of the Pines Community Association, but resigned to be a Decatur Park District board director in 1924, one of the first directors. From the 1920s, it was estimated that James Galloway was able to raise a quarter of a million dollars for local charities and institutions. He died on October 6, 1942. Galloway Park is named for him. Laura Galloway died in 1963. Their grave is in Fairlawn Cemetery.

Unfortunately, while the legacy of James Galloway's contributions to the community live on in Galloway Park, his former residence will no longer be part of the physical landscape of a neighborhood he lived in and also loved.

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