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Strawn’s Opera House
Tuesday, March 7, 1882
The Decorative Arts
The Jacksonville Journal, Mar 8, 1882
Wilde's lecture in Jacksonville, IL. It took place on one of eleven consecutive days that Wilde lectured in eleven different cities, often in rural areas to smaller houses. In 1882, Jacksonville was a city of around 11,500 (and had grown to only 19,446 at the 2010 census).
Ellmann records a letter held at Yale University that tells of a visit by Wilde to Illinois College while he was in Jacksonville. The letter, from the father of James Babb (a former director of the Yale University Library), describes Wilde's 'splendid diction and his descriptive powers,' and that his 'sentences are mellifluous and sparkle with occasional gems of beauty'.
Many thanks for Rob Marland for his work in verifying this lecture
Opera House (Strawn’s Hall) *
South side of the Square (now
31 S Central Park, Jacksonville, IL 62650)
Built: 1861 (Jacob Strawn)
Destroyed (fire): June 27, 1887
* Not to be confused with the Grand Opera House (b. 1892).
Wilde stayed overnight in Jacksonville, probably at the Southern, or possibly Dunlap House.