Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Marker Details

Image Courtesy of Rolfe Jaremus
The marker is located in Kay Park on IL Route 24, Watseka.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
The Illinois State Historical Society with a generous gift from The Miner Charitable Foundation.

Marker Description:

Henry Bacon was born in Watseka, Illinois, to Henry Bacon, Sr., and Elizabeth Kelton Bacon, both from Massachusetts. The family came to Iroquois County in 1851, where Henry Sr. worked as a civil engineer on the Chicago branch of the Illinois Central Railroad. Later, Henry Sr. invested in real estate, founding the town of Delrey, Illinois. Henry Jr. was born on November 28, 1866 in section 31 of Middleport Township near the intersection of County Road 27 and US Route 24. In 1869 the family left, eventually settling in Wilmington, North Carolina. Henry Jr. returned to Illinois in 1884 as a student at the University of Illinois at Champaign. He left after one year to begin his architectural career as a draftsman, eventually serving in the office of McKim, Mead & White (MMW) in New York City, one of the most prestigious architecture firms at the time.

Bacon’s works were in the neo-classical and beaux-arts styles. Bacon represented MMW at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, where he worked with Daniel Burnham. He also worked closely with renowned sculptor Daniel Chester French on many memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial. Other structures designed by Bacon include buildings in the 1889 Paris World Expo, the New York Herald Building, New York’s Pennsylvania Station, the Court of the Four Seasons at Panama-Pacific Expo in San Francisco in 1915, the World War I Memorial at Yale University, the Confederate Memorial In Wilmington, N.C., and many other distinguished public buildings and monuments. He died in New York City on February 16, 1924.


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