[graphic] Raleigh: A Capital City: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary [graphic] National Park Service Arrowhead and link to NPS.gov
 [graphic] Link to Raleigh Home  [graphic] Link to List of Sites  [graphic] Link to Maps  [graphic] Link to Essays  [graphic] Link to Learn More  [graphic] Link to Itineraries Home Page  [graphic] Link to NR Home
 [graphic] Property title
 [graphic] Next Site
 [graphic] Previous Site

Daniels' service as Secretary of the Navy is commemorated by the deck gun in front of his house
Photo by Jerry Blow, courtesy of Raleigh Historic Development Commission
Nationally prominent journalist and statesman Josephus Daniels (1862-1948) resided in this house from 1920 until his death. The two-story house, named Wakestone by Daniels' wife, the former Addie Worth Bagley, is situated on three acres at the edge of Hayes Barton, a suburban 1920s neighborhood northwest of downtown Raleigh. Daniels embodied the complexity of Democratic Party politics in early 20th-century North Carolina. An influential editor and journalist, he promoted progressive concepts such as better public schools, women's suffrage and railroad regulation, yet he also supported the Jim Crow laws which enforced racial segregation. He was a member of the Democratic National Committee for many years, and a close friend of William Jennings Bryan. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Daniels as Secretary of the Navy. Over the next eight years--a tenure equaled only by Gideon Welles under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson--Daniels instituted a series of far-reaching reforms. He introduced compulsory schooling for undereducated sailors, approved the enlistment of women and fought collusive bidding for government contracts. He banned alcoholic beverages from the officers' mess and instead supplied coffee, which was nicknamed "cup of Joe." Although many of his measures alienated businessmen and naval officers, Daniels' actions helped prepare the Navy for its role in World War I. A captured German deck gun, installed in front of Daniels' Raleigh home, commemorates his term of appointment.

[photo] Josephus Daniels House
Photo from National Register collection

During his career, Daniels owned and operated several newspapers, including the Raleigh News & Observer. Upon leaving office, Daniels returned to editorship of the News & Observer and full-time residency at Wakestone. He also remained in close contact with Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under Daniels. In 1933, newly elected President Roosevelt appointed Daniels as Ambassador to Mexico, where he promoted Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy with Latin America. In 1941, Daniels resigned his post because of his wife's ill health, and returned to Raleigh. After Addie Daniels died in 1943, the S.S. Addie Daniels was commissioned in her honor. Josephus Daniels died in Raleigh in 1948 at the age of 85. In 1950, the house was purchased by the Raleigh Masons, and became the headquarters for the Masonic Temple of Raleigh. While the organization has made several external and internal alterations (most significantly a late 1950s rear addition), work has been largely compatible in design and materials with the original residence.

The Josephus Daniels House is a designated Raleigh Historic Landmark.

The Josephus Daniels House, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 1520 Caswell St. Privately owned, the building is not open to the public.

 [graphic] Early History Essay  [graphic] Suburbanization Essay  [graphic] Preservation Essay
 [graphic] African American Essay
 [graphic] Modernism Essay

Raleigh Home | List of Sites | Maps| Learn More | Itineraries | NR Home | Next Site
Essays: Early History | African American History| Suburbanization| Modernism | Preservation

Comments or Questions