Today The Patrick C. Haley Mansion maintains a private event facility, The Haley Mansion – a place for festive celebrations. The unique craftsmanship and original fixtures receive dutiful care to maintain their lasting beauty. The Mansion captures the ambiance of the turn of the century that many of us enjoy to this day and will continue to in the future.
The History of Patrick C. Haley
It’s castle-like structure is engaging and enchanting
Patrick Columbus Haley was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1849. In 1852, the native family of Saranac, New York, moved to Will County. Then in 1871, Haley received his law degree from the University of Michigan. And in 1872 he began his practice in Joliet resulting in Haley becoming a successful attorney. Haley went on to represent towns and businesses throughout Chicagoland. To name a few: Elgin, Joliet & Eastern suburbs; the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, Michigan Central Railroads, and the Sanitary District of Chicago.
In addition to achieving an enviable reputation as a lawyer, Patrick C. Haley gained recognition as a progressive politician. As a steadfast supporter of the Democratic Party, he served many elective offices. Throughout his lifetime, Haley was Joliet Mayor, City Attorney, Ward Alderman, Will County Democratic Central Committee Chairman, and Democratic Candidate for Congress.
About the Family
In his life, Haley was known professionally and socially as a cordial, expressive, and a man with a good heart. Hence, these genial qualities were reflected in his personal life. As a result, Patrick C. Haley won the heart of Mary Anastasia Darcy. Mary was the daughter of a successful cattle buyer and real estate owner. Also, her family was prominent citizens and early settlers of Joliet.
On December 1, 1875, the young couple married. During their marriage, their devotion to each other and commitment to their family was evident. After fifteen years of marriage and becoming parents to six children, Patrick and Mary agreed it was time to build a larger residence. Consequently, the Mansion was established on their property at the corner of Center and Marion Streets. While residing there, their family grew three more. Moreover, the Haleys were proud of their land in St. Patrick’s neighborhood located west of the Des Plaines River and the city’s business center.
Prestigious families were known to build homes along Center Street on the bluff overlooking the city of Joliet. Haley contacted architect Frank Shaver Allen to design their dream mansion.
Frank Shaver Allen (1860-1930) was a nationally known Architect and Egyptologist who helped create The Mansion. Because of his contribution of objects discovered during excavations in Egypt to many American museums he was the Haleys go-to. Plus, he’s locally famous for designing Joliet Central High School, Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Joliet, and the Barber Building. Furthermore, he was a genius who made spectacular use of locally quarried limestone.
Construction of the mansion began in 1891 and was complete two years later. Today, the Mansion is complete with a distinguishable tower and extensive porches. According to family history, the illustrious three-story residence depleted one quarry of its stone. In order to honor Irish heritage, Gaelic insignias are cut in stone on the front porch facing Center Street.
Although admiring the exterior of the 8,600 square foot castle-like structure is engaging, it is even more enchanting to walk inside and marvel at its intriguing interior. The Haley’s entertained to a great capacity in the spacious rooms and parlors. Additionally, each room is adorned with lavish furniture, hand-made embellishments, and elaborate fireplaces. Also, the intricate detailing on the woodwork which consists of solid mahogany, cherry, and oak, adds splendor to the mansion. During its initial heyday, politicians, city founders, explorers, and newspaper publishers were among famous guests. But perhaps no event at its time could have been as ceremonious as the marriage of Patrick and Mary Haley’s daughter, Angela, to Harry Keeley on November 29, 1917.
After Patrick C. Haley’s death on February 2, 1928, just two months following his amiable wife’s death, the mansion was occupied by three of their unwed daughters. Unfortunately, Margaret, Madeline, and Genevieve did not imitate their parents’ flair for entertaining. As a result, the mansion lost renown for its social significance.