Home of Mr. & Mrs. James Kenny

Home photo not available

634 Hickory Street

Hillsboro, Illinois

This home is situated on a parcel of land containing approximately 12 ½ acres which is a part of an original 80 acres deeded by the United States to John Tillson, Jr. and Lloyd Morton on March 7 , 1831 . Following entries in the abstract include transfers to Southworth Shaw, Benjamin Shurtleff, Oak Grove Cemetery Association, William Brewer and Charles W. Seymour. In December 1893, Burrell Phillips, great-grandfather of Mrs. Kenney, acquired the present acreage and sold it to his grandson, Clinton P. Bliss, in November 1904.

Mr. Bliss and Lucia C. Evans were married in 1905 and moved into a new home which burned in 1922. The present home occupied by the Kenneys was completed in 1923 and stands on the same foundation as the first house. Although the first house was completely destroyed by the fire, all of the furnishings were saved. The light fixtures now used in the four front rooms were taken down as the house was burning and were in- stalled in the present house. (Please note that the light bulbs in the living room fixture are the same bulbs that were in use in 1922!)

The Kenneys have lived in the house since 1954 and, in 1972, had it remodeled into two apartments. The second floor, which contains four large rooms, is rented.

The Kenneys became interested in bottle collecting several years ago and have used the east sun porch as a setting to display a portion of their collection. Many of these bottles were found in an old dump which was uncovered on the south edge of the property.

Much of the furniture and items of interest in the house are family pieces given to the Kenneys. The small rosewood chair in the living room came from the Burrell Phillips home. The antique slipper chair was a favorite of Judge Jesse J. Phillips and was used in his office when he was a member of the Illinois Supreme Court. The walnut secretary was a gift to Mr. Bliss from William Welge and is thought to have been made in the Welge furniture shops. The curio cabinet in the living room and the bookcase in the dining room came from the home of Mrs. Kenney’s grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Evans.

The Parian ware pitchers and the tea caddy on the buffet in the dining room were brought from Mrs. Evans family home in England, as were the pair of charcoal prints depicting the small English chimney sweeps at their “lunch break’’. The dining room furniture was a wedding gift to Mrs. Bliss from her parents. It is hand carved oak and came from Italy. The table legs, which depict four differently posed monks, are repeated on the matching pieces. The dining table is set with the wedding china of Mrs. Bliss and silverware that belonged to Mrs. Evans. The large framed woodland scene was purchased from the estate of George Chase and given to Jim Kenney by Mr. Bliss.

Prior to remodeling the house, the present bedroom was a breakfast room with a large built in, glass moored cabinet opening into the kitchen. The back porch was incorporated into the kitchen and a hallway, panty and lavatory were used to gain the bathroom and storage area.

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