803, 805, 807 Court Street
Description: This turn of the century house is a two-story wood
frame structure with vinyl siding and a brick foundation. It is front gabled and generally
symmetrical. A rear wing extends
slightly east of the main structure and has a large shed dormer. A wraparound porch was removed in modern
times, but was replaced recently with a front porch having square wood posts
and railing. Second story replacement
windows swing outward and appear small for the building’s size. The original architecture has been
Construction Date: circa 1870
may be the oldest building on the north side of this block. John and Martha (Mooney) Cole lived here from
at least 1871 to 1885. John’s father was
Alpheus Cole of Connecticut who went to Canada, then became a pioneer of Lakeport, Michigan. John, born March
left London, Canada for Michigan in 1847. He was one of the first lumbermen, built
more than 14 saw mills, cleared over two thousand acres of land mostly in St.
Clair County, and had a farm of 600 acres.
His office was over the J. Miller & Son Bank, then in 6 Stevens
Block. He held the office of Justice of
the Peace and Supervisor. Their children were Francis J., Norman D., Sylvia,
Herbert I., Mason J., and Myra E. Cole.
Tax records show that John B. and Frances B. McIlwain
bought the home in 1885, they lived there until 1931. He began as a stenographer for the 16th
judicial circuit court in the Stewart block.
He was admitted to the bar in 1879, and by 1893-94 was an attorney in
the firm McIlwain & Robertson. His office was at 16 White Building, then 4-6-19 at the White Block. He was city mayor in 1889-92. Children were Herbert, Russel,
John B. Jr., and Charles. Calvin Smith,
an advertiser, and his wife Louise lived there in the mid 1930s.