Built in 1871 for the Bailey family in Evanston, Illinois, the Michelet family purchased the house in 1896 and had it moved to its current Wilmette location. The Baileys represented many of the larger historical stories occurring during the 19th century. William developed a successful meatpacking plant in Chicago after the Civil war -- a booming industry in Chicago at the time. Meanwhile, Nancy was an Irish immigrant who worked as a housekeeper -- a common story of Irish immigrant women during the era. Charles Michelet helped the Bailey children with a disputed will after Nancy and William died, and the children forgave all his payments due for the historic house, which he had purchased from Nancy in 1896.
Backstory and Context
Diner, Hasia R. Erin's Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.
Keating, Ann Durkin. Chicagoland: City and Suburbs in the Railroad Age. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005.
Lynch, Bruce E. "Nomination Form: Baily-Michelet House." National Register of Historic Places. June 24, 1982. http://gis.hpa.state.il.us/pdfs/200312.pdf
Mulford, Herbert B. Wilmette and the Suburban Whirl : A Series of Historical Sketches of Life in the Suburb from the Turn of the Century. Wilmette, IL: Wilmette Public Library, 1956. https://archive.org/details/wilmettesuburban00mulf
Steinberg, Ted. Down to Earth: Nature's Role in American History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Wade, Louise Carroll. "Meatpacking." Newberry Library: Encyclopedia of Chicago. http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/804.html
Bailey-Michelet House in Wilmette: By Zol87 from Chicago, IL, USA - Bailey-Michelet House, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7968485
Wide View of Bailey-Michelet House in Wilmette: By Thshriver - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21025005