Completed in 1873, this house overlooking Jackson’s Garden was built for Samuel Benedict, a law lecturer at the College, and his wife Julia. Designed by William Appleton Potter (Union College Class of 1864), the house was a large and beautiful structure with Victorian and mock Tudor elements, although neither electric lighting nor modern plumbing were ever installed.
Julia Benedict, daughter of Union College Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy Isaac Jackson, maintained her father’s garden after his death and indeed considered it her personal property. As fellow gardeners, Mrs. Perkins and Julia Benedict had a lot in common. However, Mrs. Perkins’ letters show she was often quite irritated by Mrs. Benedict, even though she admitted that she was also a hardworking woman, interesting and pleasant to talk to on occasion. One of their frequent disputes was about religion, Mrs. Benedict being a convert to Catholicism and Mrs. Perkins a devout Presbyterian. Mrs. Perkins called their conversations “very polemical and tiresome” and Mrs. Benedict herself “a person who is entirely without consistency or reasonableness” (May 23, 1904). “Her incessant talking, demanding, repeating, made me so dizzy that when she went away I nearly fainted” (December 6, 1903).
The Benedicts held the house under the terms of a lifetime lease. Julia died in 1925, and after the death of Samuel in 1933 the house was razed. Yulman Theater now occupies the place where it stood.