Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Bass-Mollett House

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Institution Name: Greenville College
Original/Historic Place Name: Charles Hoiles House
Location on Campus: 115 E. Beaumont Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1889original construction Crocker, Flavius
Designer: Flavius Crocker
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Victorian, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: stone
Walls: decorative shingles (wood shake)
Roof: asphalt shingles
 
Function:
ca. 1889private residence
ca. 2004-present (2006)residence hall
n.d.other (publishing company)
 

Narrative:
The mansion located at 115 Beaumont was built in 1892 by Charles Douglas Hoiles, president of the Hoiles and Sons State Bank, at a cost of about $20,000. The large house had 16 rooms, a basement, six fireplaces all with different imported tiles on the facings, solid oak woodwork, carved fireboards, and leaded glass bookcases and cabinets. All floors are hardwood, many in parquet designs. This was the first house in Bond County to be wired with electricity during construction. The third floor held a large copper tank that supplied water for the entire house. An intercom system for voice carried sound through the tubes from various rooms to the kitchen.

The old "National Trail" running from Baltimore to St. Louis went past the house on Beaumont Avenue. This hill is the highest point between St. Louis and Terre Haute and was the site of a triangular tower (built circa 1875) for surveyors establishing the 39th parallel, which was approximately the north boundary of Bond County. Flavius Crocker, architect, was called to Greenville to plan this house. Crocker had been a "local" boy who had gone on to become a well-known architect. In 1913 Crocker died in Cincinnati, Ohio, but was returned here for burial.

The A.M. Keiths lived in the Hoiles house from 1904 to 1925, at which time it was sold to the Bass family. In 1926 Elvin Bass paid $5,000 plus the Gullick House in exchange for the Hoiles House. The family--Olyve, Elvin, daughter Dorothy, and Sterling--moved in and operated the Bass-Mollett Funeral business here. Later this became the Bass-Mollett Publishing Company. Early in the 1990s the Dorothy Mollett family donated this showcase of craftsmanship to Greenville College.
 

References:

Wilson, Kathryn Eleanor. Tales, Trails & Breadcrumbs, 1838-1938, One-Hundred Years, Bond County, Illinois. Greenville, IL: Naco Printing, 1993.

 

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Last update: November 2006