Dr. Bezaleel Gillett was one of Jacksonville's earliest physicians and operated from this home which included his office and waiting room. He was a leader in his church and a member of several boards of trustees in addition to supporting the Underground Railroad. According to several accounts, Gillett quartered fugitive slaves in a large shack south of the house that has since been demolished. For example, local sources have preserved the story of how Gillett helped eight fugitives slaves who arrived at this home in a wagon. A fellow abolitionist known as Mr. James reportedly came the very next morning to help these eight people escape to Canada where they would no longer be in danger of capture and re-enslavement. According to the story passed down by fellow opponents of slavery, one of the enslaved persons noticed his former owner on the train but was able to remain undetected.
The Gillett House was one of the largest in the growing community and the location of elegant parties that were attended by many of the leading families of Jacksonville. The center of the house featured a large chimney designed to heat the entire home which featured elements of New England colonial architecture. The main entrance hall allows for natural light that would have welcomed guests and patients. Demonstrating Gillett's passion for education, the home also held a large library.