Home of Mrs. Edward T. McDavid

Updated: Jun 25

916 S. Main Street - Hillsboro Illinois

916 South Main Street

Hillsboro Illinois

The approach to Mrs. David's home is by way of a curving drive and across a small stone bridge. Near the house the drive is bordered by a row of pyracantha bushes, bright with orange berries. The house was built in 1946 by Mr. and Mrs. Joe Roseman and purchased by Mr. and Mrs. McDavid in 1952. They added the terrace and, in 1968, Mrs. McDavid did some extensive remodeling, moving the kitchen from the front of the house (where the present dining room is located) to the rear and adding a family room in this area by extending the house eight feet to the west. A lavatory, hidden by the mirrored wall, was added off the front hall.

A closet and cupboard are also concealed in the north wall of the entranceway. The beveled glass panels on either side of the entrance door were installed recently.

The furnishings of the house reflect Mrs. McDavid's interests in her family, foreign travel, needlepoint and collecting. The small slipper chair in the hall was made at the restored Swedish colony at Bishop Hill, Illinois. The brass urn beside it came from Greece. The silk prayer rug in the lavatory was bought in Istanbul, as was the small brass mirror on the vanity.

At the entrance to the kitchen, note the small curio cabinet on the wall which contains Mrs. McDavid's "mouse house" a collection of small mouse figures purchased mostly in England. The kitchen will delight dedicated cooks with its many built in cabinets and appliances.

The family room next door has two opening onto the attractive patio and garden area. The paneling in this room matches that in the kitchen. It is obvious from this room that Mrs. David takes great pleasure in collecting souvenirs of her travels. To your left as you enter the family room from the kitchen is a series of Van Gogh stamps from the Yemen Arab Republic which have been placed in Italian frames. Below are two copper and silver plates from Peru; the bottom two are from Israel. The table directly in front of you is set with Italian pottery. The end table is made from two hatch covers from the S. S. Ralph O'Neil Note the sunken hand holds by which means the covers were lifted. The ebony figure on the table is from Kenya, Africa. A large copper kettle is used as a repository for toys. On the east wall of the room is a collection of Christmas plates (both Bing & Grondahl and Royal Copenhagen). Of the original water colors, one is from Grand Cayman Island and the larger one from the Greek island of Mykonos. The two colorful figures are from Ecuador. On leaving the family room you will see seven aqua colored plates, a series from Grand layman.

As you enter the dining area a curio cabinet to your left houses a collection of eggs and various other small treasures. The two hand carved ivory heads came from Africa. Their tribal origins can be told from the hair styles.

In the dining room, the plate collection to the left of the china cabinet is the Southern Landmark Series, including views of Mount Vernon and Monticello. In the cabinet are some older Bing & Grondahl Christmas plates, the Twelve Days of Christmas Series by Haviland and silver plates depicting Norman Rockwell drawings. For the tour, the dining table has been set with table service belonging to the Deal and McDavid families. The punch bowl on the sideboard belonged to Mrs. David's grandmother. The Great Chicago Fire plate is hand etched in silver, bronze and copper. The antique child's high chair can be turned into a rocking chair.

The grouping above the small chest on the west wall includes two small mirrors from Peru and two mounted antique butter dishes. The two icons on the wall came from Greece.

The living room is done in fall colors. Over the sofa on the north wall hangs an oil painting by local artist Carson Donnell. On the coffee table in front of the sofa is an unusual clock-barometer-thermometer. Examples of Mrs. David's needle- work can be seen in the chairs, pillows and the card table top. On the fireplace wall note the stuffed game birds mounted behind glass. The birds were shot by Mrs. McDavid's father-in-law in 1911 and mounted by F. Schwarz of St. Louis, a company still in existence. The water colors over the sofa on the south wall are from Mykonos.

A silver tankard belonging to the Tiffin family stands on the chest in the hallway. Family pictures are displayed under the glass which tops the chest. Four colorful "King Tut" plates are hung at the entrance to the den. On the left wall of the den hang a pair of "musical" spurs from Chile and a water color purchased on the street from an African artist. On the right wall is a brass rubbing from England among other pictures.

In the hallway, the mirror in the gilded frame came from the J. K. McDavid home which once stood where the Kroger store is now.

The furniture in the bedroom is mahogany. Originally, the finish was blond, but it has been refinished to its natural mahogany by Mrs. Jan Dodd, who also made the draperies. Under the glass on top of the chest are some interesting pictures. The oldest shows Mrs. McDavid's grandfather, Willoghby Merkle, holding his granddaughter who is wearing his baby dress. The other pictures show children of later generations wearing the same dress.

Continuing down the hallway, you will pass two framed notices of public sales of the belongings of Mrs. McDavid's grandfather and great grandfather on the occasion of their leaving Pennsylvania for Iowa.

The back bedroom is often used by Mrs. McDavid's granddaughters. Note the shelves of miniature furniture. The wicker doll buggy belonged to the late Kathryn McDavid, and the cane seat chair to Mrs. McDavid's mother.

As you leave the house, note the quaint lamp on the front porch which came from a Carroll Funeral Home hearse.

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