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November 30, 2017

'Ivyhurst': The Home of American Celebrities and Politicians in the Early 20th Century

'Ivyhurst' was the home of Robinson Franklin Downey (1849-1923) and his wife, Ella Jean 'Jennie' (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey (1860-1934), prominent citizens with influential political ties.

'Ivyhurst' played host to such celebrities as President William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson's Vice President Thomas Marshall, William Jennings Bryan, and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge. After the death of Mrs. Downey, Ivyhurst passed into the ownership of Waynesburg College, which used it to house the Music Department until 1967, when Ivyhurst was sold and destroyed to make room for a gas station.

The home was located on the corner of Greene and Washington streets in Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania. Today the location of Community Bank.

These rarely historical photos from Greene County, Pennsylvania, Archives that show this house from between the late 1910s and early 1920s.

Helen Louise 'Nellie' (Herron) Taft, President William H. Taft, Ella Jean 'Jennie' (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey and Robinson Franklin Downey (left-right) at 'Ivyhurst', 4 November 1919

President William H. Taft, Ella Jean 'Jennie' (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey and Robinson Franklin Downey (left-right) at 'Ivyhurst', 4 November 1919

The 'Ivyhurst' in the late 1910s

Bedroom at 'Ivyhurst'

Bedroom at 'Ivyhurst'

Bedroom at 'Ivyhurst'

Dining room at 'Ivyhurst'

Library room at 'Ivyhurst'

Lois Irene (Kimsey) Marshall (back row), Thomas Riley Marshall (Vice President under Woodrow Wilson) (front row from the left), Ella Jean 'Jennie' (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey at 'Ivyhurst'

Lois Irene (Kimsey) Marshall, Robinson Franklin Downey, Unidentified, Mr. Ledwith, Mrs. Ledwith, unidentified, Virginia Wilson (back row); Thomas Riley Marshall (Vice President under Woodrow Wilson), Ella Jean 'Jennie' (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey, Mary Louise Wilson (front row) at 'Ivyhurst'

Mary Louise Wilson, John C. Wilson, Ella Jean 'Jennie' (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey, Virginia Wilson (left-right) at 'Ivyhurst'

Music room at 'Ivyhurst'

Parlor and music rooms at 'Ivyhurst'

The bedroom of Ella Jean 'Jennie' (Wilson) (Lindsey) Downey at 'Ivyhurst'

The downstairs hallway at 'Ivyhurst'

The upstairs hallway at 'Ivyhurst.' The stained glass window in the background was saved and is on display at the Waynesburg University Paul R. Stewart Museum



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