Charles and Theresa Cornelius House

118 Clay Street, Neillsville, Wisconsin

Massive Queen Anne house with tower and wrap-around porch, undergoing restoration


Overview Looking Southwest

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2015




Charles Cornelius was a very successful businessman in Clark County with interests in many locations, including Louisiana and Oregon. He purchased a large area southwest of town where he built this house and a park. After his death in 1918, the park was subdivided and this lovely home became a funeral home. It was later divided into apartments but is now being restored to a single family home. The following description is condensed from the NRHP Submission form to the National Park Service.

"The massive Free Classic Queen Anne style house measures approximately 46' wide by 79' deep. The house features a two and one-half story main block with four cross gables. Three of the four cross gables project outward from the main body of the house. In addition, a three-story polygonal tower projects from the northeast corner of the main body of the house. The main massing of the roof is hipped with cross gables on each fašade. The roof is steeply pitched and covered with asphalt shingles. The house is asymmetrical and has an irregularity of plan and massing. Balloon framing techniques provided for the ease of changes in the horizontal continuity of the wall planes. Visually, the house appears to expand in all directions. "The main east facing fašade has a three-story projecting gable located on the south portion of the main body ofthe house. A three-story polygonal tower with a tent roof projects from the northeast corner of the main body of the house. A one-story wraparound porch begins at the east edge of the south facing projecting bay and porte-cochere and wraps around the front of the house and the polygonal tower. It continues along the north facing elevation, ending at the east edge of the north three-story projecting bay. The porch floor varies in width from 1 0' to 16'. The porch is quite large; the length across the front fašade alone is 70'. Full height classical Ionic columns support the ceiling of the porch. The Ionic columns have volute capitols and smooth shafts, although some of the projecting volute forms are no longer extant. Large turned balusters and railings extend between the columns. The entablature above the porch is undecorated. A balustrade originally extended along the entire outside edge of the roof of the porch and the porte-cochere.

"The Charles and Theresa Cornelius House is nominated to the National Register of Historic Places for local significance under criterion C. It is architecturally significant as an excellent example of the Queen Anne Free Classic style. Built in 1909, fairly late in the Queen Anne era, architect Anton F. Billmeyer utilized classical columns indicative of the new interest in elements of classical vocabulary. The Cornelius House is the largest and perhaps the finest example of Queen Anne architecture in Neillsville. Charles Cornelius's biography in the 1918 History of Clark County, describes the house as being "finished in the Colonial Revival style." The period of significance corresponds with the date of construction of the house and its outbuildings."

~Condensed from the NPS Nomination Form, Submitted July, 2012

Update Log 

  • July 21, 2015: Added by J.R. Manning