143 South Willard Street

James W. Hickok House, 1850


By Eric L. Martin

Built in 1850 for James Whelphey Hickok, son of early Burlington resident Samuel Hickok, this Italianate house may have been the first example of the style in Burlington. The first floor of this house, the exterior of which was only altered by the enclosing of the western porch by 1978, contained Italianate style woodworking with Walton Wincrusta Wainscotting in the hall and wall niches in the parlor (1). Admitted to the Chittenden County Bar Association in 1842, James W. Hickok, who graduated from the University of Vermont in 1837, worked as treasurer for the University of Vermont and the Burlington Savings Bank (2). In accord with the prevailing late nineteenth century development patterns in this portion of Burlington, Hickok subdivided two additional lots from his property in 1884 (3).

Following Hickok's death in 1891, his widow, Julia, rented the house out and in 1894 moved with her daughter, Mary, to Bristol, Vermont (4). Captain Guy Howard, constructing quartermaster at Fort Ethan Allen, leased the house from 1893 until 1897, at which time Henry L. and Louise R. Ward bought the property (5). After the death of Henry L. Ward, president of the Burlington Trust Company from 1910 to 1920, in November of 1934, the Delta, Delta, Delta sorority purchased the house for $12,000 and continues to utilize it today (6).



 143 South Willard Street as illustrated on the 1853 Presdee & Edwards map of Burlington

 143 South Willard Street as it appears today

(1) Clark Schoettle, "Vermont Historic Sites and Structures Survey-Burlington-South Willard Street (6/30/77)," Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. Photocopy.
(2) The Vermont Historical Gazetteer Vol. I (Burlington: A. M. Hemenway, 1867), 473; Burlington Free Press, 14 Dec 1891, 4:3.
(3) Land Records of the Town of Burlington, Vermont, April 3, 1884, vol. 20, p. 204 & 205.
(4) Burlington City Directory for 1892 (Burlington: L. P. Waite & Co., 1892), 148; Burlington Free Press, 29 March 1897, 6:2.
(5) Burlington City Directory for 1893 (Burlington: L. P. Waite & Co., 1893), 151; Land Records of the Town of Burlington, Vermont, November 1, 1897, vol. 42, p. 111.
(6) David Blow, Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods (Burlington: Chittenden County Historical Society, 1991), 125; Land Records of the Town of Burlington, Vermont, August 26, 1935, vol. 106, p. 452; Burlington Free Press, 11 May 1935, 12:4.