Bond County Museum
- We are closed for the season. Thank you for visiting during Summer/Autumn 2018.
- The Historical Society is currently renovating our newly donated location across the street and plans to re-open as a museum in Spring 2021.
- Or on special occasions
- Groups welcome. Advance notice required for guided tours. Admission by donation.
The Bond County Museum is located at 409 S. Fourth St. in Greenville, Illinois. The location is at the corner of Winter and Fourth Streets, and is only four blocks SW of the Bond County Courthouse. If traveling on Illinois Route 127 (Third St. through Greenville), turn west onto Winter St. at sign marked Museum, and go one block on left. (Click below for detailed map)
The museum operates under the Bond County Historical Society with funding assistance from the Kingsbury Park District.
The museum will open for special tours. Please email email@example.com or call 618-664-1590 with details to arrange special openings.
History of the U.S. DeMoulin Mansion, home of the Bond County Museum
In 2018, Bond County Historical Society received as a donation one of the most historic and recognizable homes in Greenville. The large, three-story white house at 409 South Fourth Street, also known as the U.S. DeMoulin mansion, was given to the Society by its owner, Barbara Holmes and her daughter Robin. “Barbara had always wanted to live in a Victorian house in a small town. She had a few distant relatives in this area, but never had been in the house before she bought it,” John Coleman, Treasurer of the Historical Society said. President of the Historical Society Kevin Kaegy stated that, “Ms. Holmes has decided to move to be with family. She has appreciated her time in Greenville and the friendliness of the residents. She wanted to donate the home as a way to give back to the community and make it available for the public.”
In a letter to the historical society, Holmes said of the house: “She is a grand old house—to be appreciated and enjoyed by all of Greenville. This is my gift to you, my hope for her.” Kaegy added, “The Historical Society is overwhelmed by her generosity and honored that she entrusted its care to us.”
The home was built in 1900 by promiment businessman Ulysses S. DeMoulin, one of the three brothers who established the iconic Greenville company of the same name. The DeMoulins were French, having immigrated to this area around 1850. U.S. married twice—to Emma Diehl and Cora Caskey—but, by choice, had no children. The Queen Anne style house with Craftsman transitional touches features a large rounded turret, a large foyer, parquet floors, and majestic open oak staircase. The home was built with separate quarters and staircase for a live-in maid. At one time it also featured an outdoor tennis court and a small elevator, which was removed during renovations in the 1990s. Of the 30-35 turreted houses in Greenville, it is the best-preserved.
Born October 3, 1871 in Jamestown, Illinois, Ulysses Sordet “U.S.” DeMoulin moved to Greenville in 1895 to join his brother Ed in a lodge paraphernalia business that would later become DeMoulin Bros. & Co. He purchased property September 1898 in what was then known as the Colcord Addition. Two years later DeMoulin constructed his home on two of these lots at a cost of $5,000. The June 28, 1900 issue of the Greenville Advocate reported, “When completed the residence will be one of the finest in the city. The interior will be finished in hard wood in the most approved designs.” An unattached garage was added in 1921 and a sunroom in 1925. Although he wasn’t a tennis player, U.S. DeMoulin’s nephews were which led to his constructing a tennis court south of the house in 1912. He continued to live in the home until his death on July 11, 1955. The second Mrs DeMoulin stayed the home for another eleven years.
From the DeMoulin Museum, 205 S Prairie St, Greenville: a quirky institution dedicated to the founders, employees, and products of DeMoulin Bros. & Co.
Recent owners of the residence include Max and Beverly Bowman in the 1980s, Linda and Bob Baumhoegger in the 1990s, Jim and Audrey Walters (who rebuilt the garage in the early 2000s), and then Holmes and her daughter Robin Withrow 2015-2018. The home is in outstanding condition. Over the past 20 years the previous owners have restored virtually every aspect of the structure. The house is located directly across Fourth Street from the Society’s former Hoiles-Davis Museum (the 140+ year old Norman-Alexander house, open 1999-2018). The Historical Society moved their collection to the new site over the course of several months, completed a major accessibility project to comply with ADA laws, and re-opened as Bond County Museum in Spring 2021. The new location gives the museum a larger, grander space to display more of the artifacts the society has accumulated, and the four-lot grounds provide ample room for outdoor concerts and receptions. The Bond County Museum name is a return to the Historical Society’s collection as once displayed in a basement room in the Greenville Public Library (1973-1992).
Since 1999, the Bond County Historical Society has displayed, organized, and preserved items important to the county’s history at the series of two museums. The grounds also have hosted annual band concerts, annual pie and ice cream socials, and Heritage Day activities.