In 1998 Irving Dilliard purchased and donated the historic house to the City before a public auction thus saving it from imminent demolition.
Pictured is Irving Dilliard, who on April 21, 1998 purchased the D.D. Collins House and donated it to the City of Collinsville, visited the house. He takes a break while then city manager, Thomas Christie, tours the house and grounds. Vincent Kutzera was the mayor of Collinsville at the time the house was donated to the City. The ordinance accepting the gift of the D.D. Collins House was August 25, 1998.
PASSION: One of my father's passions as a writer and historian was historic homes and landmark buildings. During his thirty year career on The St. Louis Post-Dispatch he helped preservation groups in St. Louis save and restore the Robert Campbell House and the Eugene Field House. So at the age of 94 he saw an opportunity to bring that lifetime
commitment to his hometown.
THE BONN HOUSE: At that time the four room frame cottage was known as the Bonn house and Irving often stopped by to visit Walter and Agnes Bonn, who had lived there for over fifty years. He admired the simplicity and classic proportions of its architecture in the Greek Revival style and considered it a hidden gem on Collinsville's Main Street and also important as the town's oldest house.
More personal reasons for Irving's interest in saving the house were family and that comes in the second installment.