Home of Mr. & Mrs. Robert C. White

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

412 South Oak Street - Hillsboro Illinois
412 South Oak Street - Hillsboro Illinois

412 South Oak Street

Hillsboro, Illinois

Mr. and Mrs. Presley J. Edwards and infant son, Warrick, moved to Hillsboro in 1870, where Mr. Edwards purchased a drug store. Shortly thereafter, they bought this property which they named “Oaklawn”. At that time, the land included the present Major property on the west and the house consisted of four rooms - the present dining room and the two rooms on the northeast side of the present house. We do not know who built the four rooms or when they were built. Two rooms were added to the back of the house in 1889 and, in about 1893, six rooms and two hallways were added. Probably at this time the dining room was made from the original two rooms on the west.

Six children were born here. Dr. Edwards passed away in 1903 and Mrs. Edwards died here in 19 10. Two of the daughters, Mary and Bessie, continued to live here until 1956 when illness caused them to give up the home. Miss Mary was born in this house in 1878 and Miss Bessie was born here in 1876. Bessie Edwards was a first grade teacher and, later, a principal of Edison school for 45 years.

In 1957, the house was sold to Robert White and he and his family moved into the house in November of that year. The only partition changed in the remodeling by the Whites was in the kitchen. This had been two rooms divided by a hallway in the center, and the hall- way was removed and the present kitchen and utility room were made. New windows were put in the kitchen, but the utility room window is original to that part of the house.

The wicker furniture on the porch was from the home of Mrs. Rice Miller and was a gift from Mrs. Ralf Hauck.

In the hallway, as you come in the front door, are a love seat and chair which belonged to Mrs. White's grandmother; the what-not cabinet was from the Bliss family. At the west end of the hallway is a buffet which was the first piece of furniture bought by Miss Bessie when she started to teach school. She asked that the White family ''give it a home''.

The fireplace in the ''Family'' room was rebuilt, but the mantel and the ''Firedogs''-andirons--were original to this house. The rush seat, walnut chair was in the Edwards family and an old spool cabinet is being used for a table in this room. In the next room is a ''Family Tree'' done by Mrs. White for her husband's family. Pictures, diplomas and a marriage certificate of the White family hang on the walls in this room.

The dining room table is set with dishes and silver belonging to Mr. White, her mother and fraternal grandmother. The glassware on the teacart belonged to Mr. White's grandmother and Mrs. White's great-grandmother. The painting on the south wall was painted in Europe in 1870 by Juliet White, later Juliet Hoiles of Greenville, a sister of Mr. White's grandfather. The oak buffet belonged to Mrs. White's grandmother and the high chair was Mrs. White's. The needlepoint chairs were done by Mrs. White.

The kitchen table and chairs belonged to the grandmother of Mrs. White, and the pie cupboard was in the Edwards family. There is a brick, dated and signed, taken from the kitchen during the remodeling. The scales belonged to Mr. Edwards.

The round Victorian table in the west living room was in the Edwards family, and the leaded-door bookcase belonged to Mr. White's family. The love seat and walnut what-not were in Mrs. White's family.

The bathroom upstairs was taken from the northwest bedroom by the Edwards sisters about 1933. The northwest bedroom contains a bed and dresser which belonged to Mrs. White's great-grandmother and the wardrobe was left here by the Edwards family. The furniture in the northeast bedroom was Mrs. White's grandmothers. In the southeast bedroom is a cedar chest, dressing table and chifferobe which were Mrs. White's as a child. The Victorian rocker belonged to Mr. White’s grandmother. The trunk in the southwest bedroom was painted by Mrs. White, as was the "Edwards trunk" in the upstairs landing.

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