|John B. Wilgus House (aka Parker Place) at 511 W. Short St., Lexington. Mary Sloan.|
Capt. Wilgus, a Unionist during the Civil War, led the Lexington Blues. The Lexington Blues was a homeguard unit, the so-called 'army of last resort', purposed with protecting the life and property of the Union supporters in the event of an invasion by the Rebels. In business, Capt. Wilgus was active in various efforts and was a successful grocer and banker in Lexington.
In 1870, Capt. Wilgus retained John McMurtry to build, and likely design, an Italianate villa in Lexington's Western Suburb on land he had acquired in the mid-1850s. Before Wilgus' acquisition, McMurtry operated both a lumber yard and carpentry shop on the site.