The John L. Lewis
home is a two and a half story vernacular structure with
a hipped roof pierced by a single dormer window. The
fašade has a slightly projecting porch with Doric
columns. Original clapboard siding has been covered on
the second floor with aluminum siding. The significance
of the structure comes from its former owner, John L.
Lewis who was a renowned labor union leader. Lewis
lived in the house from1917 until 1965. He left school
at age 15 and started working in the mines as his father
had done until he was blacklisted for his union
activities. Lewis was elected president of a local
chapter of the United Mine Workers, became a lobbyist,
and in 1911 became a general field agent for the AFL.
It is said that his one goal in life was to become
president of the United Mine Worker’s national
organization. He attained that goal in 1920 and held
the position for the next 40 years. He was hailed by
President Coolidge, Commerce Secretary Hoover, and the
nation’s press and financial journals as a labor
statesman. He worked with nine U.S. presidents during
his tenure and retired in 1960, but continued to serve
on the board of directors of the union. He died in 1969
and was buried here in Springfield.