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updated: 8/19/2014 12:50 AM

St. Charles to move holding cell for Civil War deserters

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  • The Jones Law Office Building, located at 302 Cedar Ave. in St. Charles, will move for the second time in its existence this week. Work crews will life the entire structure off its concrete foundation and move it to a new location in Langum Park.

      The Jones Law Office Building, located at 302 Cedar Ave. in St. Charles, will move for the second time in its existence this week. Work crews will life the entire structure off its concrete foundation and move it to a new location in Langum Park.
    James Fuller/jfuller@daiyherald.com

 
 

It's easy to mistake St. Charles' historic Jones Law Office building as an elaborate tool shed or children's playhouse in need of a paint job when coming upon it just strolling down Cedar Avenue.

Later this week, the office itself will take a stroll down Cedar Avenue as the city will move the structure in an attempt to make it more visible and inviting for heritage tourism.

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Aldermen approved up to $1,000 of funding Monday night for a joint dedication with the Camp Kane facility located at the city-owned Langum Park, along Rt. 25 near Devereaux Way. That will bring the total cost of moving the building to $71,000.

The historical significance of the office stems from its connection to Steven Sandborn Jones. The lawyer is credited with the push that lead to the adoption of "St. Charles" as the city's name. St. Charles was originally called Charleston, but there was already a community in Illinois with that same name, leading Jones to call for a change to "St. Charles." He is considered either the first or one of the first lawyers in the Fox Valley area.

Jones' law office building also served as a holding cell for deserting soldiers during the Civil War. There is still graffiti inside the law office from the captive soldiers.

The city must move the office because it sold the property it is currently located on last year. The actual move will take up to three hours and involve the closure of North Cedar Avenue heading south to Riverside Avenue. Riverside Avenue will then close as workers move the office to its new home in Langum Park.

This is the second time in the office's history that the entire structure will be lifted and moved. Jones' office was once attached to the Minard House, another historic St. Charles building. Ira Minard was an Illinois state senator and helped organize Kane County.

The dedication ceremony for the new location is scheduled for Sept. 18.

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