A Hillsboro structure affectionately referred to as the Mother Thompson House that served as a home to early temperance crusader Mother Eliza Jane Thompson and was built by her father, former Ohio Governor Allen Trimble, was coming down Friday.
The home is owned by Hillsboro resident Greg Rand, who said late Friday that after years of trying to sell the property – located on a large lot on Willow Street – with no reasonable offers, and because the home is beyond repair, he decided to tear it down.
His wife, Pauline Rand, said she plans to donate some of the stone foundation of the house to be used in the construction of a new fountain under consideration in uptown Hillsboro. She said she wants to do that because one of her ancestors marched with Mother Thompson in the Hillsboro Temperance Crusades.
Greg Rand said a large arched covering over the front entrance to the home fell down on its own during a windy night about 2 a.m. one night this week. He pointed out places where the structure’s exterior brick walls are bowed from years of water damage around its eight chimneys.
The Times-Gazette on Friday viewed what were described as “servant steps” inside the home that led from the former kitchen to the upstairs.
The interior of the home has been in disrepair for several years after thieves broke in and tore up the walls, ceilings and more while in the process of stealing copper.
Local historian Jean Wallis previously told The Times-Gazette that the home was built by Allen Trimble after he had served as Ohio governor. She said that despite a sign on the home that says circa 1819, it was actually built in 1831 or 1832, according to local tax records.
Wallis said Mother Thompson moved into the home sometime later, when the home she was born in that stood about where The Times-Gazette is now located at 108 Gov. Trimble Place was destroyed by fire. She said Thompson moved out of the home when she married in 1837, but returned in 1862 and lived there until her death in 1905.
Wallis also said that all of Mother Thompson’s children were born in the home and that several other families members lived there off and on while Thompson resided there.
See Tuesday’s edition of The Times-Gazette for more on the Mother Thompson House.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.