March 25, 2024

An Authenticated Sears Willard in Zion

1904 Elim, Zion. Zion was once a religious utopia with biblical street names. Elim, according to the Hebrew Bible, was one of the places where the Israelites camped following their Exodus from Egypt. Photo from Realtor site.

Sears Willard. 

The Sears Willard was a one-and-a-half story English plan designed by architect David S. Betcone. This Willard in Zion is authenticated.

The original Sears door with ornamental wrought iron hinges. It is the same one pictured in the catalog illustration. Photo from Realtor site.

The Willard featured a corner fireplace and triple windows that provide a lot of sunlight. The living room was generously sized at 14' 5" by 17' 5". Photo from Realtor site.

There is a rear staircase. Photo from Realtor site.

Photo from Realtor site.

Photo from Realtor site.

Closeup of the lower cabinets and sink. Those are original Sears hinges and hardware. 

Photo from Realtor site.

The front bedroom. Photo from Realtor site.

The Willard had a second story dormer in the back and a projection on the first floor. The projection was intended to accommodate the refrigerator and some cabinetry.  Today, it serves the same purpose. Photo from Realtor site.

I don't know whether the overhang over the rear door is original, but it looks to be. Photo from Realtor site.

There are many Willard lookalikes in the Chicago suburbs. Many of the knock-offs do not have the triple window on the side of the house. Photo from Realtor site.

The original owners, Arthur and Grace Yarroll, got their mortgage from Sears Roebuck in April 1929 for $4,500. 

Arthur worked as a supervisor at Fieldcrest Mills in Zion, a factory which made lace. He also served one four-year term as the Benton Township assessor. That election made national news.

The election for assessor was a tie, and then the tiebreaker was a tie!

By 1936, the Yarrolls had moved out of the Willard and it was listed for rent.

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