Home of Dr. & Mrs. Gerald L. Zumwalt

Updated: Oct 11, 2021


Former Sawyer Home Route 127 South - Hillsboro, Illinois
Former Sawyer Home Route 127 South - Hillsboro, Illinois

The land where the present home sits was first bought by John Tillson, Jr. October 1, 1831, from soldiers who were given tracts of land as bounty after the War of 1812. On October 6, 1840, the land was bought by Amos Sawyer and put in the name of his wife, Juliet Sawyer.


The Sawyers had four children: Alfred A. K. Sawyer, Sarah Kobb Sawyer (Fink), Juliet Sawyer (Best) (Phillips), and Amos Sawyer, Jr. Alfred A. K. Sawyer married Sarah Ellen Brewer and their granddaughter, Evelyn Sawyer Tobias , still resides in Hillsboro.


Former Sawyer Home Route 127 South - Hillsboro, Illinois
Former Sawyer Home Route 127 South - Hillsboro, Illinois

The original Sawyer home burned in 1868. The present home was built shortly thereafter in approximately 1870. November 26, 1877, the property was recorded in the name of Amos Sawyer, Jr. until May 12, 1880, when it was bought by Wm. Young. On June 5, 1895, Charles W. Miller bought the property and owned it until he died in 1922. For 14 years it was in estate and became quite run down.


In 1939, the house was bought and restored by Rice W. and Cleta Miller. During the early 40's it underwent extensive remodeling , with plumbing, electricity, a new kitchen and adjoining room to the west, indoor patio and garage . Also at this time, the basement family room, outdoor patio and bath and bedroom above the patio were added.


Former Sawyer Home Route 127 South - Hillsboro, Illinois
Former Sawyer Home Route 127 South - Hillsboro, Illinois

From 1970 to 1973, the home was in the Miller estate until it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Ben Cozzello, who sold it to Dr. and Mrs. Zumwalt on May 2, 1974.


Displayed in the home are the following pieces which were originally part of the Sawyer household: Empire chair, Seth Thomas clock, pewter cup, china plate and saucer used in the house 1842 and 1876, silver card tray, letters written October 5, 1856, diary and pictures of the Sawyer family.


Former Sawyer Home Route 127 South - Hillsboro, Illinois
Former Sawyer Home Route 127 South - Hillsboro, Illinois

Dr. and Mrs. Zumwalt gratefully acknowledge Mrs. Tobias for loan of Sawyer family furnishings; Miss Idabel Evans, Don Nichols, and Mrs. Tobias for helping supply historical information on the home; Cordie Madison who donated her sewing talents; and Rose Meir, who gave endless hours of decorating advice.


This home sits South of Hillsboro at the top of the hill near the Moonlight Y restaurant.


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