History of the Norman House, home of the Hoiles-Davis Museum
This brick structure was for many years known for its former owners, Isaac and Lydia Norman, and is more than 130 years old. The original portion of the home, comprising the two-story center section, was probably built around 1873 by Theodore Smith. Mr. Smith owned a hardware store at the corner of Third and Main Streets (now the site of the Greenville Post Office). Smith sold the home to James C. Merry, who in turn sold it to the Normans in 1876 for $1200.
Isaac Norman was a furniture dealer in Greenville. His business was located on Third Street, now the site of the Dollar General Store, and only three blocks from his home. The Normans added the front two-story section, the rear single-story section, and a front porch. They designed the changes to their home along the Italianate style, popular in the period. The home's short roof, overhanging eaves with decorative brackets, and tall windows typify the homes in this style. Many Italianate homes from this period can still be found throughout Greenville and Bond County.
Isaac Norman sold the home and moved to California in 1907 following the death of his wife, Lydia. The house had a number of owners over the next several years. The last were Byrl and Kathleen Alexander, who purchased it in 1962. After the Alexanders passed away, their family sold it in 1998 to the Bond County Historical Society, and with funding help from the Kingsbury Park District, the society began converting the historic home to a museum.
In December 1999 Cornelia Davis and Susan Hoiles cut the ribbon to the new museum during an opening ceremony. In honor of donations made by these two families to purchase the building, the Bond County Historical Society officially named it the Hoiles-Davis Museum. Since 1999, the Bond County Historical Society has displayed, organized, and preserved items important to the county's history at the museum. The grounds also host band concerts, pie and ice cream socials, and Heritage Day activities each year.