The house appears to be of post and beam construction. The porch spans the front of the house and has six Doric columns supporting the porch roof. The house has five openings on its front, 4 windows and a center entry door, each symmetrically between the columns. It's sided with a clapboard which is thought to be original. This home is one of the oldest in Collinsville and the only example of this architectural style in the area.
In 1998, the late Irving Dilliard purchased the D.D. Collins House, and donated it to the City of Collinsville. Mr. Dilliard's grandparents lived in the house at once, and he was interested in preserving the house. The City's Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was tasked with restoring the Collins House. The HPC serves as the City's mechanism to identify and preserve distinctive architectural characteristics that represent the City's cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.
Additionally, numerous individuals have generously contributed to the project. With Federal, State and local grants and private donations, the HPC has completed internal demolition, hazardous material abatement, required structural repairs, roof replacement, siding repair and replacement, exterior painting, and has opened original fireplaces. Exterior work has also included new guttering and door, window and shutter replacement.
The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 21, 2002.
The Collins House was moved about 200 feet to the corner of Main and Combs Streets, now at 701 West Main Street.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COLLINS HOUSE AND ITS OWNERS
In 1837, the first plat of the Town of Collinsville was executed and recorded by Elizabeth W. Collins (the widow of Willam B. Collins), Joseph Darrow, and Horace Look, all of the property owners.
On October 2, 1845, Elizabeth W. Collins, as guardian of the children/heirs of William B. Collins, sold and conveyed Lot 6, Block 1 of the Town of Collinsville, to Daniel D. Collins. This property was located on the northeast corner of Main Street and Center Street, 66 feet on Main Street and 148½ feet along Center Street, bordered on the rear by Wood Alley.
Upon this property, Daniel D. Collins built a house for himself and his new wife, Elizabeth Anderson Collins. The house was built on the rear portion of the property.
On March 17, 1849, Daniel D. Collins and his wife conveyed the property to Lewis Lancaster.
On April 1, 1856, Lewis Lancaster and his wife conveyed the property to Joseph Lemen Jr.
On July 22, 1856, Joseph Lemen Jr. and his wife conveyed the property to Andrew Edwards. In this transaction, he apparently financed this purchase by giving a mortgage to the seller, Joseph Lemen.
In October 1858, the property was purchased by the Chancery Court.
On May 8, 1860, the interest of Andrew Edwards and his wife was conveyed by a Master's Deed back to Joseph Lemen.
On December 2, 1861, Joseph Lemen and his wife conveyed the property to Oliver C. Look. During this time, Look may have built the building on the east 22 feet of Lot 6. An old photo exists of “D. W. Jones Candy and Confectionery Store” with the house on the west and set back from Main Street towards the rear of the building (as seen in the old photograph). Oliver lived on the property from 1861 to 1885.
On April 22, 1887, Oliver C. Look and his wife conveyed the property to James I. Dilliard (his son-in-law, married to their daughter Mary Look; Mary lived in the house as a child. James and Mary were the parents of Irving Dilliard, who purchased the house in 1998 and donated it to the City).
On April 29, 1887, James I. Dilliard conveyed the east 1/3 of Lot 6 Block One to David W. Jones.
On April 23, 1887, James I. Dilliard conveyed the west 2/3 of Lot 6 Block One to Charles Gindler.
On March 30, 1892, Charles Gindler conveyed to the State Bank of Collinsville the west 2/3 of Lot 6 Block One.
At that time, the west 2/3 of Lot 6 was vacant, except for the house, which had been constructed by Daniel D. Collins in 1845.
The Bank desired to build a larger commercial building to house the Bank on the first floor and other businesses on the second floor. This was when the house was moved seven blocks west to the 621 West Main Street location.
William and Agnes Bonn purchased the house about 1915, and the widow Agnes passed away in 1996, and in 1998 the house was to go to auction. Still, just before that happened, Irving Dilliard purchased the home and donated it to the City of Collinsville. It is the oldest surviving house in the City.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.