Esther's Home & Gardens

Updated: Oct 14, 2021


Esther Challacombe's home - view looking east
Esther Challacombe's home - view looking east - Photo taken 10/11/21
Miss Esther Challacombe
Miss Esther Challacombe

Several newspaper articles mention Esther Challacombe's yard and how proud she was of her flowerbeds and garden. She was an avid gardener. For part of Esther's life she had a view of lake Hillsboro back when the lake was located where Central Park is today. If Esther was alive today her view would be of Hillsboro's new dog park.


Lake Hillsboro | Central Park | East Wood Street
Lake Hillsboro | Central Park | East Wood Street

Up until 1918 lake Hillsboro was located in Central Park. The Challacombe property overlooked the lake.

Challacombe House October 10, 2021
Challacombe House October 10, 2021

Esther died December 17, 1942. She left her home to the City of Hillsboro. She also owned oil and natural gas fields in Texas. Still today the City of Hillsboro, Hillsboro Public Library, Hillsboro Hospital, Hillsboro Methodist Church and St. Paul's Lutheran Church have all benefitted from the Challacombe trust. Esther and her parents are interred at the Oak Grove Mausoleum.

Challacombe Memorial Plaque
Challacombe Memorial Plaque

This property was given to the City of Hillsboro by Esther Challacombe as a memorial to her parents John R. and Marcella E. Challacombe. This gift was made possible though their thrift and industry.


The residence of Jesse J. Phillips
The residence of Jesse J. Phillips

Esther Challacombe's home was built by Jesse J. Phillips. View of the property from the 1874 atlas. Hillsboro wasn't very big in 1874 and at this time the home was considered out in the country.


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Jeff Dunn

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Historical Society of

Montgomery County

Advisory Board

Illinois State

Historical Society