Judge Willis House – Downtown Roseburg
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Judge Willis House

historic roseburg oregon Willis House

Photo credit: Alyssa McConnel

744 SE Rose St. Roseburg, OR

The Judge Willis House, one of Roseburg’s oldest structures, was constructed in 1874 and moved to its present site hi 1910. The two story wooden structure has a cross gable roof with an extension to the north. Elements of the Italianate style are evident hi the lowpitched roof, with open eaves and paired brackets, and the double-hung one/one windows with architrave cornice. The broad entry porch features a flat roof, chamferred posts on pedestals, capitals and brackets across the length of the porch. The entry door has sidelights and a transom. Siding is shiplap with corner boards. An interesting ulterior feature is a third floor ballroom. William R. Willis came to Roseburg with his mother via the Isthmus of Panama 1853, meeting other members of his family who had come overland the year before. Mr. Willis took out a Donation Land Claim and raised stock for several years before he was employed as a clerk in Roseburg, then appointed Justice of the Peace. He was County Judge from 1860-1864, was admitted to the State Bar hi 1864 and became a prominent attorney. Willis served many years on the Roseburg City council and was Mayor for three terms. President and Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes were overnight guests in the house in October, 1880 during a tour of the West. After the house was moved to its present site it served as Roseburg City Library from 1924 -1956. After the 1959 Roseburg Blast, it served as a temporary City Hall from 1959 through 1973. It is now used as office space for various organizations. The Willis House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.