The Godfrey Mansion – Witness to History

Captain Benjamin Godfrey was a sea captain who came to Alton in 1832 with his wife and six children. He was very successful with investments in land and other businesses that gave him the wealth needed not just for his home but for many projects involving civic responsibilities.  For example, he built Alton’s first stone church and in 1838 founded the Monticello Seminary for Women so his daughters would be afforded a good education. To get materials to the campus he built a plank road and later would be involved in negotiations to build the Alton and Sangamon Railroad. This issue of the MCHS News explores the fascinating lives of Benjamin Godfrey and a later owner of the mansion, Patrick Waters.