The D. D. Collins House is one of the oldest in Collinsville. It was built by Daniel Dove Collins about 1845 at its original location on the northeast corner of Main and Center streets. It was moved to its present location in the 1890s. The Collins House is Greek Revival in architectural style, characterized by the use of columns, narrow windows around the front door, two long vertical panels on all the doors, six-over-six windows, and a center hall connecting the front and back doors. This building is a rare local example of a Greek Revival cottage and there are no other homes like it in Collinsville. The house has been authentically restored to the period of its early use from about 1845-1860.
As the story goes, the main floor joist for the first floor may have been salvaged from a steamboat stranded on one of the Cahokia Mounds during the flood of 1844.
Daniel Dove Collins
D.D. Collins moved from a small town north of Bangor, Maine to Portland, Maine, where he served as an apprentice for a building contractor and traveled to work on the Erie Canal. Eventually, he moved to Chicago where he built a church. He then moved to Collinsville and opened a general store in the village of Caseyville. He married Elizabeth N. Anderson in 1834 and they had eight children. They lived in the house for about five years. As the business center of Collinsville expanded, the Collins House was moved by a later owner to its present location. He also built several other houses in Collinsville, which have not survived, and the Presbyterian Church in 1843.
D.D. Collins was elected as the first president of the Collinsville Village Board in 1850 and many of the early City meetings were held in this house. Collins was also an associate judge in the second county court held in Edwardsville from 1853-1857, and was thereafter referred to as “Judge Collins.” He was also a road commissioner and election judge, and built plank roads in the area.
Irving Dilliard, a noted Collinsville resident and a former editor of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, recognized the significance of the D.D. Collins House. He purchased it in 1998 and presented it to the City of Collinsville. Dilliard’s grandparents, Oliver Childs Look and his wife Kate, once lived in the house and their daughter, Mary, married James I. Dilliard, and Irving was their son. Oliver’s father, Horace Look, helped Elizabeth W.H. Collins plat the original town of Collinsville and he served as postmaster for 30 years.