August 2, 2011
Buena House, Buena Park, Uptown Chicago
Excerpt from a bio at the Newbury Library site:
James B. Waller was born in Frankfort, Kentucky in 1817, to William S. Waller and Catherine Breckinridge Waller. He attended Center College in Danville, Kentucky, and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and received a law degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky in 1838. He practiced law in Kentucky for the next 20 years, but also began investing in real estate after an 1849 visit to Chicago. Around 1860, Waller relocated permanently to Chicago and established a real estate business with his brothers William, Edward, and Henry.
James built a large home for his family on the north side of Chicago known as Buena House, and developed the surrounding area into the Buena Park neighborhood. After retiring from business in 1867, James B. Waller turned his attention to managing the large estate of his brother-in-law, Robert S. C. Aitchison Alexander, of which he was appointed administrator. James B. Waller married fellow Kentuckian Lucy Alexander in 1847, and the couple had 11 children: Mary Eliza (Minnie) Waller Osborne, Robert Alexander Waller, Catherine Breckinridge Waller Peet, Lucy Alexander Waller Young, James Breckinridge Waller, Susanna Lees Waller, Isabel Waller Knott, Adele Waller Rogers, Virginia Waller, and James Alexander Waller. Robert Alexander Waller attended Washington & Lee College, and later became a successful and respected Chicago businessman. The Wallers entertained often at Buena House, and the residence was known among Chicago's upper class for fine hospitality and lavish social events. James B. Waller died at his home in Chicago in 1887; Lucy Alexander Waller died in Chicago in 1902.
Labels: Buena Park