Home Of Don Traylor Family

600 South Main Street Hillsboro Illinois
600 South Main Street Hillsboro Illinois


600 South Main Street

Hillsboro, Illinois

One of the principal landmarks of Hillsboro is this red brick, white pillared mansion that is situated at the junction of Routes 16 and 127. Built in 1908-09 for the E. T. McDavid family, it was designed by Robert C. Gotwald, Architect, of Springfield, Ohio, and the bricks were brought from Bradford, Ohio.

Edward Tiffin McDavid was a well known businessman and land owner. For many years, he was one of the owners of the McDavid Motor Car Company, the Hillsboro Ford agency. While attending Missouri Valley College at Marshall, he met and later married Miss Josephine Thompson of Bonneville, Missouri. The house was a wedding present from his father, J. K. McDavid.

The exterior of the house is dominated by four huge columns supporting a classical pediment. Three small columns are clustered at each corner of the porch and two more are located where the porch adjoins the house. All of these columns are made entirely of wood, being fluted, milled and assembled in sections. Other interesting architectural details include the quoins at the corners of the main structure and the trim over the windows employing the use of a keystone.

The beautiful entrance with its oak arch, door and adjoining panels, posts and closets, appears to have been built on site. The glass is bevel cut and made in various configurations. After entering, the visitor should turn and look at the glass from inside to get the full effect.

Inside as well as outside, only minor structural changes have ever been made. The lighting fixtures, with the exception of the dining room, are original. Several are double purpose, providing light by both gas and electricity. The fireplace in the foyer had been sealed off at some time, but has been reactivated and is now used frequently.

Off the foyer to your immediate right is the music room with a large collection of classical records. Most of the doors in this area are rolling doors recessed in the walls.

The paneled dining room has another beautiful leaded glass window with a long window seat beneath it. The mahogany dining suite was made by the Imperial Furniture Manufacturing Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan in the early part of this century and was original to the house. It has been reupholstered by the Taylors. The table is 60 inches in diameter with a massive base and can be stretched out to 17 feet with seating for approximately 25 people. It is impossible to obtain table cloths for this table and they must be specially made. Before leaving the room, note the overhead beams and gas light fixtures on the wall.

In the living room, the fireplace was constructed to burn either wood or coal. The roll top desk in the corner is approximately 100 years old and was in the family of Dr. Sihler of Litchfield.

There are four bedrooms on the second floor plus a sitting room overlooking the porch. This room was originally a sewing room with built in tables, etc.

The loveseat and matching chairs were a part of the McDavid furnishings.

During the Christmas season, the house is especially beautiful. A tree placed behind the sitting room windows can be seen by passersby, while a tree placed in the foyer below causes the beveled glass to sparkle as if jeweled.

The northwest bedroom and small bath were the maid's quarters. She would have used the back stairway to the kitchen.

Only minor changes have been made in the kitchen and butler's pantry.

A colorful patio provides a pleasant spot for relaxation, and a new brick garage provides housing for three cars.

In the 1970's the Historical Society had home tour each year. This article is from a hand out visitors received when they toured this home.

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Jeff Dunn

Vice President

Historical Society of

Montgomery County

Advisory Board

Illinois State

Historical Society