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Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Bennett–Williams House is the finest example of Queen Anne architecture in The Dalles. It is named after the two families first to occupy the house. Prominent judge Alfred S. Bennet built the house in 1899; he would later serve as an Oregon Supreme Court Justice from 1919-1920. The next owners Edward and Elizabeth Williams bought the house in 1926. Edward was a prosperous local businessman. The house features vertical and horizontal siding, fish scale and patterned shingles, ornate woodwork, gable and hipped roofs, a large first-floor porch with a cone-roofed pavilion, a small second-story porch above the main entrance, and turret on the northeast corner with another second-story porch. The house appears to be a private residence as of 2020 but in recent times it operated as a bed and breakfast inn.

The Bennett–Williams House was built in 1899. It is an impressive example of Queen Anne architecture.

The Bennett–Williams House was built in 1899. It is an impressive example of Queen Anne architecture.

Alfred Bennet (1854-1926)

Alfred Bennet was born on June 10, 1854 in Iowa. His family moved to Oregon in 1865 when he was 11. At some point after that, he began working on farms in Wasco County until he was 19. He studied to become a teacher and eventually became superintendent of the Wasco County Schools in 1878. During these years he taught himself law and passed the bar exam in 1880. In 1882 Bennet was elected to the state legislature but in fact turned down that position to become Circuit Court Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit. He stayed in that position for many years then returned to private practice. In 1887, he married his wife, Mary, with whom he would have a son and three daughters. In the early 1900s he ran unsuccessfully for Congress but served as a delegate to the 1904 and 1912 Democratic national conventions. However, as mentioned above, Bennet became an Oregon Supreme Court Justice in 1919. Unfortunately, he only served until October 1920 because of health reasons. He continued to practice law until he died in 1926.

Edward Williams (1865-19)

Edward Williams born here in the Dalles in 1865. He was the second of 10 children. His father, Griffith, opened a general store with a partner in 1866 (it became a clothing store in 1891 and grew to six outlets by the late 1920s). It appears that Williams, when he was 23, was appointed manager of the store by his mother after Griffith passed away that year. Williams also assumed his father's place on the board of directors. He later became president in 1918 and served until he died in 1928. Williams co-founded another business—a retail and wholesale company—in 1901, which sold farm machinery and distributed automobiles. His success enabled him to purchase the house in 1926. The Williams family owned the house for several decades, at least until the 1980s.

"Bennet House." The Historical Marker Database. Accessed August 17, 2020.

Williams, E.D. "Bennett–Williams House." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. February 27, 1986.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Ian Poellet, via Wikimedia Commons: