Clark-Norris Home was built in 1899-1900 by Sam and
Ann Clark of Dover, Illinois. Dover was a small
farming community five miles north of Princeton
where Mr. Clark was a farmer and also bred
championship horses and cattle.
The Clarks moved into their new home two months
after celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. It
was a house that reflected their considerable wealth
and was very modern at the time it was constructed.
The house is built of buff colored brick, has a
slate roof, dormer windows, and several small
balconies. Its curved glass windows are complimented
by a large, curved veranda which in 1971 was glassed
in to accommodate some of the museum’s collections.
The woods used throughout the house are oak, walnut,
and sycamore, and the floors are of maple, oak, and
walnut. The light fixtures use both gas and
electricity. The house was originally and is still
heated by a hot water system.
1915, the Clark’s only living child, Grace Clark
Norris, and her husband, Alfred, moved into the
house to take care of her aging parents. The
Norrises did not have children, and upon her death
in 1946, Mrs. Norris bequeathed her home and many of
its possessions to the Bureau County Historical
The museum was previously located in one
room of the Courthouse basement, and Mrs. Norris
realized there was a need for more space and a
permanent location. The museum opened to the public
in the Clark-Norris Home in 1948.
Many of the furnishings on the first floor belonged
to the Clarks and Norrises, while items on the other
three floors have been donated by Bureau County