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The Edward Irving House

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1909

Edward Peek Irving

(Also known as Ed)


Born: November 28, 1863 – Wolcott, New York

Died: August 16, 1923 – Decatur, Illinois – Age 59 – At home at 8:50 AM. Had been sick for awhile

Parents: Rev. Peter and Martha Irving

Wife: Florence Bernice Faries (daughter of Robert Faries, owner Faries Manufacturing Company)

Married: June 19, 1894

Children: Florence Edwins, Eleanor Jane, Mary Frances, Robert (died December 5, 1901 age 5)

Born: Wolcott, NY

Moved to: Irving, IL (only coincidence) (until age 16) 1879

Moved to: Jacksonville.IL - both parents having died, went to Jacksonville to live with an uncle, Henry Irving

Moved to: Kansas and Illinois – Taught for a year and a half in country schools.

Moved to: Peoria and Jacksonville – for Business College. In Jacksonville, became principle of Brown’s Business College

Moved to: Decatur, IL 1889 to become principle of recently purchased Business College. (Age 26)

Education: Illinois College – Class of 1884 – youngest member of the class, but next to the highest average

Robert Faries: March 4, 1837 – November 17, 1919 (burial Greenwood Cemetery, Decatur) Obit: Daily Review Nov. 18, 1919 – Father-in-law

Work, Decatur, IL:

  • 1889-1894 Brown’s Business College
  • 1894 – Faries Manufacturing Company. Became president after Robert Faries death – Most important manufacturing in the city
  • Highly trained in business methods and principles. Accountant and organizer. In change of the business office. Extended the company all over the United States and many foreign countries.
  • September 1901 – Decatur Refrigerator and Manufacturing company (Irving a stockholder) Named one of the directors.
  • 1903 – Company changed name to Walrus Manufacturing Company. Served as treasurer and after Faries death (Nov. 1919) as president (1919).
  • Also treasurer and President of Faries Company
  • Director, Citizens Bank. Half morning at Faries, an hour at Walrus, then go to the bank.
  • Director and Vice President of the Home Ice Cream Company and the Polar company and had been connected with the management from its organization.

Public Service:

  • Superintendent of Sunday School (January 3, 1892) for 30 years – Congregational Sunday School. Organized fall 1888. He joined the church October 6, 1889
  • Officer and active member of the Christian Endeavor Society. Was also a member in Jacksonville, IL.
  • Directed Picnics – Fairview Park
  • Hospital Association Secretary – Decatur and Macon County.
  • Director of the Hospital Association on December 6, 1906. On February 26, 1907 he was elected secretary held until his death.
  • Member of the building committee of the YMCA when work started on the new building about 1901.
  • Board of Managers – James Millikin University – June 1903-June 1914
  • Director, Decatur Club – At different times. Elected May 1903 and reelected June 1905
  • Life Member – Country Club. Board of Directors 1914-1920. 1917-1919 as Vice President
  • Director, Rotary Club –One of the first directors. Would have been one of the first presidents but declined election.
  • During this time declined many duties because felt overwhelmed with business and public responsibilities.
  • Also served as Directors of the Art Institute and Association of Commerce
  • President, Water Supply Company Service. 1921. Served until his death


  • Not much time for fun. A steady business man
  • Tuesday night bowling club at the country club


  • Member, Stephen Decatur Lodge 979. A.F. and A.M. But not very active. Also member Macon lodge No. 8.
  • Macon Knights Templar


  • Longest trip, 1922 Mediterranean Cruise – Feb. 4-May 15 1922
  • Visited California two or three times. And also Florida.

Developed Millikin Place:

  • Laying out and building up Millikin Place
  • Ground that was formerly the home of Hugh W. Hill
  • A residence for Mr. and Mrs. Faries and the Irving’s was the first started in the tract.
  • Other homes followed. Adolph and Robert Mueller and W. J. Grady

Always a Republican but at no time very active. Nearest he came was in 1920 when friends organized a McKinley for Senator club and he was elected president.

Always gave faithful service to every task. Steadfast loyalty and faithfulness to any duty undertaken. Worked quietly and his name was seldom mentioned.

Great aid to the Hospital

Was Idealist. He had vision, imagination and appreciation of the beautiful, either in things material or things spiritual.

Accomplished speaker

Notes from The Friday Evening, Decatur Review, August 17, 1923

  • Thirty years – Superintendent of the Sunday School
  • Sixteen years – Secretary of the Decatur and Macon County Hospital Association
  • Nine years – Member of the board of managers Millikin University
  • President Decatur Water Supply Company from formation until his death.
  • Interested in and a director of the Rotary club and any civic enterprise which needed help

Notes from the Sunday Review – Morning, April 24, 1910

  • House to be Built by E.P. Irving
  • Buffed brick from Beaver, PA
  • Water table and stone coping will be of light brown Bedford stone
  • All casement windows and one of the most ornamental features
  • No draperies or other hangings will be used at any of the windows only shades.
  • Woodwork plain white oak, except for minor rooms and the kitchen which will be yellow pine.
  • Floors will be red oak except for yellow pine and maple
  • All white oak will be stained brown with a dull finish.