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Richmond's Historic Homes & Buildings

Richmond contains a great wealth of architecturally significant historic homes. These residences range in age from approximately 150 years to the more recent homes of 75 years. The architectural styles range from the earlier Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate and Second Empire to the later Stick-style, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Foursquare and Bungalow.

These structures have retained much of their original integrity due to the pattern of development of the village. Most of these homes are centrally-located in the original plat or in the older additions to Richmond. The older section of town remains primarily as it was 75 years ago, since most of the new construction has been surrounding these areas. Also, due to the Richmond fire of 1902 when 20 of the downtown structures were lost (see the 1968 McHenry County History for details), the village of Richmond suffered a major commercial development setback.

The following article attempts to provide additional information concerning a sampling of the significant structures. However, this certainly does not include all the significant structures due to space limitations. There are several others that are as important as the following featured homes.

As a footnote, I was asked to provide some personal information as to how this project got started. I am a seventh-generation descendant of the original farming settler of North Prairie, Illinois. My ancestors are from the Rosecrans, Russell and North Prairie area of northern Lake County just east of Richmond on Route 173. Although I was so impressed with the family homes of my youth, there are only a few pictures and sketchy memories that remain, as most of these homes have been lost to disrepair and new development.

After purchasing a Queen Anne home in Richmond (the L. B. Covell house), we have spent several years with the ongoing restoration and the research of our house's "past." Since there are several houses connected by family ties, the project started to expand to include other homes to a point now where I have information compiled ranging from limited to thorough on a good portion of the older homes of Richmond.

The information presented here has been compiled from and verified through the use of the available reference materials as follows:

  • McHenry County History books (1877, 1885, 1922 and 1968 editions)
  • McHenry County census records (1840, 1860 and 1870)
  • Cemetery records for Richmond, Mound Prairie and Burton Townships
  • McHenry County Grantor and Grantee Indexes and deed records

Although deed research has been my primary source of information, it should be noted that this effort (which is still continuing) would not be possible without the "clues," family information and recollections of some of the townspeople to which I extend my sincere thanks. Particularly, the resources and encouragement of Irene Borre have helped to make this a much more thorough document. (—Gail Drabant)

A. E. Wray House

10310 East Street

A. E. Wray House

Arch Wray built this Queen Anne house, at 10310 East Street, in 1910. TIlls house is architecturally significant as a Queen Anne house, with detailing consistent with this style, as opposed to other houses built in the same period. It has transitional elements of the Colonial Revival style . This house has been maintained and is still in its original form, including this conical porch tower, which is a unique feature not found in any of the other Richmond houses.

Arch (nickname for Archdame) Wray was the son of Richard and Jane Wray of English Prairie, Burton Township. Richard was one of the first farming settlers of Burton Township, coming to Burton in 1837. Arch was a veterinarian and had a three-story bam to the rear of the property, complete with plumbing that reached to all levels for use by his business. There was a ramp leading to the second story in which was an operating room.

Although this house was built in 1910, this property was owned by the Wray family for several years prior, so it is believed that there was an earlier house on the property before this one. Arch and Flora Wray sold this house to Frank and Clara (Bingham) Howden just four years after building it.

Frank and Clara Howden lived before this on the north side of town in the railroad addition. Frank had a business interest in John McConnell's Cheese Factory having bought into it in 1883. Frank was the son of Andrew and Catherine Howden. Frank and Clara had eight children, and Frank's daughter, Lucy, still lives in this house. This house has been in the Howden family for over 80 years.

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Charles Covell House

10316 East Street

Charles Covell House

Charles Covell was a farming settler in Hebron Township just northwest of Richmond on Burgett Road. Charles was born in 1819 and married Phebe Persons. They came to this country in 1861. Charles and Phebe had eight children, but only five reached maturity-of which there were two sons, Lucien Boneparte (L. B.) and Emmett C. Charles was also a carpenter besides his farming interests. L. B. and Emmett both built substantial houses on Broadway Street after moving into town.

This Italianate house was Charles and Phebe's retirement home after they moved off the farm in the 1880s. They lived in this house until their deaths in 1905. It was then sold to Thomas Williams. Later, the house was owned by the Phillips and then the Katzenbergs. The house is located at 10316 East Street.

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Charles G. Cotting Houses

Main & Mill Streets

Charles G. Cotting Houses

The simpler of these two houses is C. G. Cotting's first house referred to as No. 90. It is located on the. southeast comer of Main and Mill Streets. It is the oldest house in the village of Richmond.

C. G. Cotting's second house is a grand Italianate home, with its elaborate trim and square cupola. It was built circa the 1870s just northwest of his other house on Mill Street overlooking Nippersink Creek at 5512 Mill Street

C. G. Cotting is considered, along with Purdy, as the founder of Richmond, since Cotting and Purdy platted the town in 1844. In 1846, they substantially increased the size of the town by making an additional plat to the south of their original town plat. Cotting and Purdy also built the mill in 1844. Charles Cotting is the "Charles" for whom Charles Street is named. In 1829, before coming to the Richmond area, C. G. married Sally Dike.. They had five children.

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Dr. Gordon House

5725 Broadway Street

Dr. Gordon House

This is a classic late-Victorian Queen Anne home built at the turn-of-the-century at 5725 Broadway. Dr. Gordon was a veterinarian who died early in life at the age of 26, in 1919, due to a bite from a rabid animal. His wife, Wendell a Gordon, returned with her infant child, John, to live with her parents, the T. C. Schroeders. However, she retained ownership of the house and rented it to the Peterson family and then to the Charles Mecklinburg family.

Finally in 1951, she sold it to Joseph and Amalia Miller. They rented the house to their daughter and son-in-law, Frank and Bertha Bergsma. The Bergsma family resided there for 14 years while raising their family of six children. After that it was sold to Ken Spooner, a teacher, and subsequently to the Johnson family. Dean and Judy Challed, the current owners, have now owned this house for nearly 20 years.

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E. G. Mygatt House

5507 Broadway Street

E. G. Mygatt House

This Greek Revival house is one of the oldest houses in the original plat of Richmond. The triangular pediment roof, the door with a transom and sidelights are typical elements of this style.

E. G. Mygatt's wife's name was Jane and they had two sons who preceded them in death, Seymore and Albert. E. G. died in 1879 and Jane died in 1888.

Mygatt bought this lot in 1845. The house was built in about 1850. In 1858, it was sold to Alfred Wells. Then in 1889, Besler Brush bought this house.

In later years, it was the Haythorn house (Haythorn was a local merchant), then the Gundersons owned it and the current owners are the Hoenings.

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Eldredge Houses

10510 & 10520 Main

Eldredge Houses

There are two houses on the Eldredge property which are located at 10510 and 10520 Main Street. The one to the north is the older Greek Revival house built in the 1850s. Note the characteristic door surround with transom and sidelights. Also, note the triangular pediment gables. There was once a porch on the south side of the house.

The larger Italianate house, to the south, was built circa 1873 by George W. Eldredge. George was the son of Daniel and Samantha Eldredge who were married in 1839 and settled in the northern portion of the Richmond-Mound-Prairie area. George's brother, Charles, was a Civil War veteran. George's father, Daniel, left in 1849 for the Gold Rush.

George acquired part of his wealth during the Civil War as a stocktrader. George was a founding member of the Chicago Board of Trade. Along with John McConnell, he started the Richmond Pickle Factory. George's sons were Earle and Charles. Charles became a prominent Chicago lawyer.

Descendants of the original Eldredge family still live in these houses making this one of the longest durations of continual family-ownership in Richmond.

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Elijah A. Bower House

5702 South Street

Elijah A. Bower House

This house is significant architecturally since it has a unique rectangular tower at the intersection of two symmetrical wings. Although there are other houses with towers in Richmond, this house is the only one with this particular variation. The house is located at 5702 South Street.

Elijah Bower came to Richmond in 1856 at the age of 29 and bought a farm on Route 173 in Section 12. The buildings on the land that was his farm have been removed. This house was his home after he moved into town. In 1851, before settling in Richmond, Elijah married Elizabeth Reed, daughter of James Reed of Richmond Township. This explains why he chose Richmond as his home. Elijah and Elizabeth had two children, James Thomas o. T.) and Delia who married James Greer. Elizabeth died in 1885, and in 1889 Elijah married Anna Broadley of the English Prairie settlement in Burton Township.

This house was owned by Elijah Bower for over 20 years. Later James Foster owned the house and in 1929 sold it to John and Bessie Ducey who lived there for several years. The current owners are the Villonts.

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Emmett Covell House

5802 Broadway Street

Emmett Covell House

This house, located at 5802 Broadway, was built by Emmett and Cora Covell at the turn-of-the-century. Emmett was the son of Charles and Phebe Covell who were fanning settlers just northwest of town. Although Emmett and Cora already had six children before building this house, Emmett and Cora had three more for a total of nine children who were raised in this house.

Cora was the eldest of the six children of George and Susan McConnell. She was raised two blocks from here in the house on the southeast comer of George and West Streets. The McConnells were one of the first settlers of the area.

Although Emmett's primary business ventures were agricultural, he was very active in the town of Richmond. Besides being active in church and fraternal organizations, he was the town mayor for 22 years and served as police magistrate. Emmett lived to be 85 years old, dying in 1941. Through inheritance, the house stayed in the family for several more years. The current owners, Bruce and Lynn Hunter, purchased this house in the 1970s, and are raising their family of four children in this house.

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George McConnell House

5709 George Street

George McConnell House

This house was built before the 1880s and is located at 5709 George Street. Although there are several early deeds, the exact building date and original owner has not been determined. The lot and/or house changed hands several times, with the first continuous owners being George and Susan McConnell. Prior owners of this lot included Coe S. Reeder, George Wodell, Amanda Purdy, Daniel Dennison and John Smith. Through inheritance, this house was owned by George McConnell and his descendants for 75 years.

George McConnell was the son of William A. McConnell who was one of the first settlers. George was born in Richmond in 1845. He began teaching at the age of 19 and farmed during the summers. In 1872, at the age of 27 he was given a farm, buildings, stock and a year's worth of grain by his father. His father made the same gift to his other sons. George and Susan's children were born on this farm which is directly southwest of Richmond and consists of 520 acres.

George's father, William, died in 1887. The following summer, in 1888, George purchased this house in town where he spent the last 20 years of his life. After his death in 1908, his son, who was also named William, inherited the house.

In 1962, Frank and Sadie Lasco purchased this house. It was sold in 1986 to Jay and Corinne Spies, and then to Rick and Cindy Carr in 1988. Bob and Kim Williams bought the home in 1995 and still live there today.

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George Purdy House

10306 Covell

George Purdy House

This Greek Revival house, located at 10306 Covell, was George Purdy's house.. However, it is thought to have been built by his father, John Purdy and was the John Purdy family home before being his son, George's, family home.

John Purdy came to the Richmond area in 1838 bringing his son, George, who was 12 years old then. George was the only child of five to reach maturity from John'~ first marriage. George's brother, Francis, was the first death in Richmond in 1839. John remarried, and they had two children from this marriage. The first child, Sarah, was also the first birth in Richmond in 1838. His second wife also died. John married for a third time in 1845.

John Purdy and Charles G. Cotting have the distinction of originating the village of Richmond by laying out and platting Richmond. Note that George Street is named after John's son, George Purdy; and Charles Street is named after Charles Cotting. George followed in his father's footsteps in both farming and real estate ventures and took over all of his father's business interests when John died in 1861. However, even before this, most of the land transactions were by George, not his father, John.

George married Amanda Fisher in 1863, and they had three children: Frank, George N. and Blanche.

The Purdy claim was primarily the west side of the village. They farmed the west side of town for several years. It is thought that John's log cabin was on the south side of Broadway on the site of the L. B. Covell house. This Greek Revival house was their first frame house and was the family home of the father, John, and then the son, George. This house was located on North Broadway on the site of the E. C. Covell house. When Emmett Covell bought this property for development in 1901, the George Purdy house was moved to a site on Covell Street so that Emmett could build his Queen Anne house overlooking the Nippersink Creek.

The exterior of this house has remained fairly well intact in that doors and windows have not been altered. Note the characteristic front entry with sidelights and transom windows.

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George Vinton House

10314 East Street

George Vinton House

George Vinton bought the land for this house in 1878 for $500 from C. G. Cotting. The house is located at 10314 East Street. George Vinton was a farming settler. George and his wife Harriet, had one son, J. Howard, and his second wife Minnie, had one child, George, named after his grandfather. The grandson, George, died at the age of 22.

Minnie Vinton remained living in the house after her husband's death until her death in 1940 at the age of 73. At this point, the house was sold by the estate which went to the Bower family, a nephew of Minnie. It was sold to Dr. Winget, a retired dentist, in 1942. Their daughter, Isabelle, took care of her parents until their death. At that point, she moved to a smaller house two houses to the south of this house.

Dr. Savage, a veterinarian, then bought the house, but did not live there very long as he died in his forties. The next owners were the O'Conner family, an attorney, who then sold this house to the current owner, Jeff Heaney.

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Henry Vogel House

Market & Main

Henry Vogel House

This Queen Anne house was the second on this site on the northwest corner of Market and Main Streets in Cotting and Purdy's addition. The first was built in the 1850s. Earlier names on the associated deeds starting in 1851 were Bromley, Crossman and then Sebley.

This house was built near the turn-of-the-century by Henry and Mary Rehorst. In 1926, Nellie Rehorst, their daughter, sold this house to Henry and Sylvia Vogel. Sylvia Vogel and Nellie Rehorst were sisters. The Vogel family lived there for several years until 1960, when the Haraldsen's purchased the home.

This house is an excellent example of Queen Anne architecture with the asymmetrical tower, gable ornamentation, cross-gabled roof and the porch with its triangular pediment roof over the entrance. Note the similarities in architectural style of this house to the Frank McConnell and the Emmett Covell houses on Broadway Street.

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J. L. Downing House

5717 George Street

J. L. Downing House

This is one of the oldest houses located on the west side of town at 5717 George Street. It pre-dates most of the grand Queen Anne style homes in the neighborhood. The original main portion of the house is about 120 years old being built circa 1875. Note while viewing the house from George Street, the change in windows and the line where the west addition starts. The original house was a square form of the Italianate style with a simple hipped roof. Multiple additions have evolved the house into its present form.

J. L. Downing was a prominent Richmond merchant who settled here in 1851 from England. His business, Downing and Dennison, was advertised as being "dealers in all kinds of furniture including coffins always on hand."

In 1888, Downing sold the house to the Emma Wray family, a prominent farming family. Then in 1915, J. T. Bower inherited the house. It was in the Bower family for 30 years until 1945 when it was sold to the O'Neill. After the O'Neils, the Holmgrens owned the house before the current owners, William and Lily Karls. While the Holgrens owned the house, they operated a gift shop and penny candy store in the south wings.

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James V. Aldrich House

5705 George Street

James V. Aldrich House

Although the primary owners of this house lived in it over 50 years, this house has undergone great transition through the years. There have been over 12 owners of this property not including several renters, as compared to the usual handful of owners. Through the patient efforts of the current owners, Gene and Fran Racette, this house is being brought back to its prior splendor. After producing a picture from the glass negatives that they found in the attic, the Racette's have rebuilt the graceful front porch to the original specifications.

The primary original owner, James V. Aldrich was a mercantile merchant in Richmond. He purchased this house in 1873 for $2,025. Several months later he was married. James and Mary raised their five sons in this house. James lived here until his death 46 years later. Mary stayed here for an additional five years. Besides being a prominent merchant, James also served terms as postmaster and Justice of the Peace.

After the Aldrich family, this house was owned by the Snyders, the Hammers, the Lutheran Church (as a parsonage), the Vosses, the Fredricksons and finally the Racettes. The house is located at 5705 George Street.

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John McConnell House

6119 Broadway Street

John McConnell House

John McConnell was one of three sons of William McConnell, the first settler in the Richmond area. This Greek Revival home, at 6119 Broadway, was built in 1852 across the street from William's original log cabin. William and Elizabeth lived in this house for 20 years while raising their sons. In 1872, they moved across the street and deeded this house and property to their son, John.

John was one of the first settlers born in Richmond in 1842. He married Mary Frothingham in 1868, and they had two children, Bertha and Charles. John and Mary raised their family in this house. John ran the Richmond Cheese Factory and helped establish the Richmond Pickle Factory along with managing his farming interests.

John and Mary lived in this house at 6119 Broadway until their deaths after the turn-of-the-century. In more recent years, the Mathers family lived in this house followed by the current owners, the John Drummond family. It should be noted that Lyman Mather was the grandson of John McConnell.

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L. B. Covell House

5805 Broadway Street

L. B. Covell House

The L. B. Covell house, at 5805 Broadway, is an example of late-Victorian Queen Anne architecture transitional to Colonial Revival. Lucien Boneparte and Anna Moore Covell built this house near the turn-of-the-century. Anna was the eldest of nine children of William and Eliza Moore from Solon Mills. L. B. was the son of Charles and Phebe Covell who were farming settlers just northwest of Richmond. L. B. and Anna were already in their late forties when they built this house. L. B. and Anna were childless.

Although L. B.'s primary business ventures were agricultural interests, he was very active in Richmond. Besides church and fraternal organization interests, he was the township supervisor for 22 years and director of the school board for 46 years. Anna was a school teacher. They lived in this house at 5805 Broadway until their deaths¥L B. in 1923 and Anna in 1926.

After Anna's death, her sister, Edith Turner, inherited the entire L. B. and Anna Covell estate due to there being no children. For several years the estate remained administered by Mrs. Turner. After her death, the house still remained in the estate but was then administered by Ben Winn who was Edith's son-in-law. For the duration of the estate, the house was rented. First it was rented to the Ellsworth family for 12 years. Then it was rented to the Ehorn's and was the town funeral parlor for over 20 years. After that it was rented to the Powers family. In 1965, the house was sold to Walter Mason, and he started the restoration process. It was then sold to the Hanus family who resided in the house for 14 years until 1986 when the current owners, Scott and Gail Drabant, purchased this home. On January 26, 1989, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Memorial Hall

10308 Main Street

Memorial Hall

Memorial Hall stands firmly on Main Street in Richmond with the bicentennial time capsule on one side and the World War Memorials on the other. Directly behind the building is Well #1, Richmond's first supply of "city water." It has always been the heartbeat of village affairs-just as the original purpose of such a building had been defined in the will of Charles DeWitt McConnell filed September 5, 1903. He was the grandson of William McConnell, the first settler of Richmond. He had left a bequest of $10,000 "to be used for the purpose of erecting a village or city hall, the same to be called Memorial Hall, to be used when required by church societies and school functions free of charge, and not to be used for immoral exhibitions or immoral shows, the said money to be paid to the lawful trustee of said village whenever said building or hall shall have been completed and approved by executor, hereinafter named."

Mr. E. C. Covell, then president of the board searched for a suitable site. In October of 1905, the land was purchased from Charles Kruse, owner of the corner hardware store. Bids were to be made by March 26, 1906, for the accepted building plan and a contract for building Memorial Hall was let to Mr. Fred Arp, a local mason, for $9,348.

After the inheritance tax was paid, $9,682 was received The Memorial Hall is located at 10023 Golf Avenue in Richmond, Illinois. on November 6, 1906, for the $10,000 bequest. No date is given, but the first Sunday after completion, the dedication was held. Four hundred and three chairs were ordered for a cost of $489.80. It was heated by furnaces purchased from Charles Kruse, and lighted by gas fixtures.

It was complete with a large balcony and a stage. Scenery curtains were ordered from the Cox Scenic Company to be delivered by February 15.

Village board meetings had been held at the Richmond Bank building and the Richmond Gazette office. The first village board meeting was held at Memorial Hall on June I, 1908, with Mr. E. C. Covell as president.

The auditorium on the first floor had a ticket office and coat check space on either side as you entered. The balcony Was reached by a stairway on either side of the entrance door. It also had a curved front railing that swept gracefully along. The stage had dressing rooms off to either side.

The auditorium was, for many years, the performing home of the J. B. Rotnour Players, producers of good family entertainment and melodrama. It was also used for school graduations; Richmond Grade School and High School, plus the one-room rural schools in the Richmond-Burton Townships. School plays and operettes were performed there. Memorial Day services were held inside the building. Alumni dances with crepe paper decorations, borrowed wicker porch furniture, floor lamps and lovely baskets of lilacs and garden flowers made an elegant setting. Ladies of the local churches prepared the alumni dinner in the basement kitchen. Tables filled the basement hall. The Grand Army of the Republic and Women's Relief Corps sponsored a George Washington Birthday Ball every February 22 with decorations of red, white and blue. This was a formal dance and all who came were dressed appropriately, it was the social event of the year. In 1908, the village board granted permission to the high school to use the hall for basketball. On November 4, 1930, Frank Love, the superintendent of Richmond High School was given permission to install showers at the hall at no expense to the village. On December 5, 1933, Mr. Love, chairman of a committee, received a $3,000 grant and the civil works administration was contacted to make "major changes" in the' hall to provide the regulation-sized basketball court. The balcony was made smaller as well as the stage and dressing rooms.

Before 1930, the basement had two jail cells that frequently held a wayward drunk or hobo.

The Memorial Hall basement has also been a temporary home for the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary. The senior citizen group, the Pioneers, have also enjoyed the dining room and kitchen. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts also held their meetings there. It has been the polling place for elections. The village clerk had office space and the board continued to hold their meetings there. The police department occupied the room where Richmond Public Library had its very beginnings in the 19305. It moved to a portion of the drug store building on Broadway and Main in the 1940s until July 7, 1972, when it came back to occupy the upstairs auditorium of the Memorial Hall. On October 22, 1990, the Nippersink District Library moved into their new building on Hill Road.

On March 2, 1993, the village offices moved into the new village hall which also houses the police department. This would leave Memorial Hall completely abandoned were it not for the interested individuals who desire to keep the downtown area the same. The Nippersink Creative Arts organization immediately found continued community use for this Memorial building. Chris Gallagher secured a grant from the Illinois Arts Council in 1992. At present it houses the food pantry, the Richmond Spring Grove Chamber of Commerce and after-school classes in the arts and dancing for children. Special art classes for adults are sometimes held on Saturdays. The Richmond-Burton High School drama class enjoys presenting their plays on the stage they have restored to original size. Murder mystery nights for fundraisers by Creative Arts are an annual event. A memorial service for local artist, Gene Derdeyn, filled the auditorium.

Through the efforts of Chris Gallagher, Memorial Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in Washington D.C. in September 1993. An awards ceremony and plaquing service was held in May of 1994 at the Memorial Hall.

It is indeed still filling a community need and takes its rightful place in the now busy life of the village.

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Michael Greeley House

9818 Main Street

Michael Greeley House

This late-Victorian Queen Anne house, located at 9818 Main Street, is transitional to the Colonial Revival style. The use of columns, rather than turned posts, the Paladian windows in the gables and the adjacent pairs of windows are all elements of the Colonial Revival style. This property was owned by Dr. Bennett before Greeley. Michael Greeley was a farming settler with his farm having originally been straight west of this farm. The original house on the Main Street location no longer exists. This house was built circa 1910. Mr. and Mrs. G. Meyers bought this house in the 1960s and made it into a rooming house. They enclosed the front porch and had an ice cream parlor in the porch area. The current owners, besides using the house as their residence, have the "Serendipity Shop" antique store in a portion of the house.

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Sarah Gibbs House

10313 West Street

Sarah Gibbs House

This house is significant to the historic architecture since it is the only Second Empire style house in Richmond. It is located at 10313 West Street. The house has been plaqued by the McHenry County Historical Society, so additional information is available other than what is presented here.

Sarah Gibbs built the house circa 1885 after her husband, Herman Gibbs, and her three children had preceded her in death. Herman was a Civil War colonel. Herman and Sarah were farming settlers who came to Richmond in 1843. In 1845, Herman purchased the lots on the southeast Comer of Broadway and Main streets (the current site of the Kruse Hardware store and Memorial Hall) and built a hotel?The Richmond House. Later, his son-in-law, John Wray, took over management and ownership of the hotel.

Two out of three of Herman and Sarah's children married and had children before their deaths, so there are surviving relatives. Ella Gibbs married John Wray who was the hotelkeeper as previously mentioned. John and Ella had two children, John and Guy. Mary Gibbs married Edwin Potter and had one child,'Mary, who married James Thomas a. T.) Bower, son of Elijah A. Bower.

Through three generations of Bowers, this house remained in the family for several years until the current owners, the Dixons, bought it in the late 1980s. Not only was J, Thomas Bower the postmaster, but three generations of Bowers were postmasters for Richmond. The most recent, Thomas C. Bower, grew up in this house and with his wife, Gwen, still reside in Richmond.

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Susan McConnell House

5803 Broadway Street

Susan McConnell House

This house is a significant late-Victorian house transitional to the Craftsmen period with Stick style influences. This grand house, located at 5803 Broadway, was built by the wealthiest resident of Richmond just after the turn-of-the-century in 1908. Note that local personal wealth was documented, since it was published on the front page of the Richmond Gazette. The top 20 taxpayers in ranking order were printed along with the dollar amounts that they paid annually for property taxes. Susan topped the list in 1909 with an amount of $550. All amounts below the fifth ranking taxpayer were below $200.

George and Susan McConnell raised their children in the house on the southeast comer of George and West Streets. George and Susan's eldest child was Cora who married Emmett Covell. Upon George's death, Emmett sold this double-lot to his mother-in-law on which she had constructed this unique house. Note particular attention to details, types of woods and finishes of the wood. This house was considered modem at the time and was designed by an architect rather than several of the other area houses that used mail-order plans. The houses on either side were also built by relatives. Emmett's brother's house (L. B. Covell) to the west used similar woodwork and Susan's son's house (Frank McConnell) to the east had the distinction of sharing a common privy. There is an original sidewalk connection through the backyards for this purpose.

Although Susan was a widow, she had a helper that resided on the second floor. Susan lived in this house nearly 30 years, dying in 1934. From 1948 to 1987, the Roy and Cora Sutton family lived in this house. Roy preceded his wife in death; however, she continued ownership until her death in 1987. They had four children that were primarily raised in this house. Cora Sutton was the daughter of Emmett and Cora Covell and was raised across the street. The current owners, Roy and Barbara Wulffen, purchased this home in the late 1980s and are in the process of restoring this house.

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T. C. Schroeder House

10382 Main Street

T. C. Schroeder House

This house has the distinction of being the house that stopped the disastrous Richmond fire of 1902 on Christmas Eve. The house is located at 10382 Main Street. Ralph Kilbourne sat at the very top of this house dumping icy buckets of water on carpets that were laid out on the roof to form a wet blanket: At times, his own clothing was on fire. T. C. Schroeder's house was one of the few downtown Richmond buildings saved. In all, 20 buildings burned, resulting in the rebuilding of Richmond's commercial buildings into primarily brick structures. This fire was a great setback for the growth of Richmond, since 'many merchants were uninsured and were not able to rebuild their businesses.

Theodore C. Schroeder came to Richmond in 1885 at the age of 28. His wife, Maggie, was also 28 years old. Their first house was located on the same site, but set back farther from the road. It burned in 1889. The current house was built in 1892. T. C. and Maggie had four children: Frank, Dora, Wendella and Edith. This house originally had an open spindle porch which has since been enclosed. The porch framed the tower by including a decorative railing on the top of the porch roof, a spindle frieze with corner brackets framing turned posts and a geometric patterned balustrade.

T. C. Schroeder was the owner of a general merchandise store where Ed's Antiques was located in 1994. As a primary merchant, he also was one of Richmond's wealthy residents (ranked third in 1909). After T.C. Schroeder's death in 1935, his daughter, Wendella, managed the several farm properties that he had acquired through the years. Some of the tese properties were received as payment for merchandise. In 1965, Ray and Nancy Anderson bought the house from the Schroeder daughters. The Andersons lived there several years until its purchase by the current owners, the Crutchers.

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William Smailes House

George & Main

William Smailes House

Although William Smailes owned this house at the time of the 1872 plat book drawing, this house has had several other prominent owners. Edwin A. Lay, the fourth postmaster of Richmond, built this house in about 1850. He purchased the lot in 1849. The house is located at the southwest comer of George and Main Streets. In 1863, he sold it to John Wray, the hotelier for the Richmond House Hotel which was one block north of this house.

William Smailes bought this house in 1870. He was a prominent merchant in town, having a tailoring business. This business was located on the northwest comer of Broadway and Main Streets, and was one of the 20 buildings lost in the 1902 fire.

After William Smailes, Dr. Sanford Fillmore Bennett (1836-1898) lived in this house. Dr. Bennett, besides being a physician, wrote poetry and several songs including a famous hymn, In the Sweet Bye and Bye. Dr. Bennett was also the first Village President when the Village was incorporated in 1872 and was the first grade-school principal in 1861. Dr. Bennett married Gertrude Crosby Johonnott of Solon Mills in 1860.

The Bennett's had three children: Edwin Richardson (1861-1902), who also became a physician; Robert Crosby (1866-1942); and May Ruth (1869-1946). May Ruth married John Frank Wray, son of a previous owner of this house.

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