Elgin Cottrell House
Hezekiah Elgin House (c 1845)
The Hezekiah Elgin House (c1845) at 209 South First Street in Clarksville, MO has the honor of being one of the oldest
houses on record in the City of Clarksville and one of a few remaining houses on the River Front.
The Elgin family history in Pike County began with William Elgin who in 1816 bought a 300 acre Spanish Tract said to
extend north and south from Clarksville and west for three quarters of a mile. William’s son, Hezekiah S. Elgin came to
Clarksville in the early 1800’s. He opened a trading post and built one of the first roads between St. Louis and
Clarksville. He also built the Elgin Opera House and Hotel which were both destroyed by fire in the late 1800’s.
Hezekiah had this house built about 1845. The Elgin family owned the house for more than one hundred years. The last
remaining heir sold it in 1945 to Miss Bess Bankhead She and her two sisters lived there until the 1900’s. One sister
gave sewing lessons and another gave piano lessons. Long time Clarksville residents recall that the Grand Piano was
center of the parlor window.
When the last sister died, the house was sold in 1965 to a famous artist of Clarksville, Jamie Larue Brown. Jamie later
married Pruitt McIlroy of Clarksville and they began renovating and updating the home. Bathrooms were added, electric
work was updated, three original fireplaces were reconditioned and are now in working condition.
Because of the small number of residents of this home over the years, the house has minimal changes making it one of
Missouri’s most intact homes of its type and period.
The present owner, Richard Cottrell, a native of Clarksville, also an artist, avid antique collector, lover of Historic Homes
and Historic Preservation, is now in the process of undertaking the task of restoring the home.
The house which is Ante Bellum (Latin word meaning before the civil war) in style, has Italian villa, regency, and
French Creo influences. It is not know if Mr. Elgin used an architect or was himself the designer. Due to the
Clarksville Court House Fire in the 1800’s, much of the historic information is unavailable.
The house takes great influence from the French style houses in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The house has 8
main rooms that run shot gun and each opens to the side porches. This fact and the 12 foot ceilings help cool the house
in the hot Missouri summers along the river. It also made it difficult to heat in the cold Missouri winters. The out side
stairs on the porch were used by servants so they could enter any room without going through another.
This amazing home has its original floor plan, fire places, and mantles, massive woodwork, and iron door locks with
white porcelain knobs and skeleton keys. Only the front porch is missing. A picture taken in the 1940’s shows the
porch and Mr. Cottrell plans to return it as soon as possible. The complete interior and the side porches are currently
being restored. Mr. Cottrell is following what is called a working restoration, thereby including modern conveniences
such as bath rooms, a working stove and refrigerator. As no records or photos exist, he is also following what is called
an interpretative restoration of the interior. Thus, it will be restored to what it might have looked like when it was first
built, according to the interpretation of the present owner.
When complete this Museum Home will contain one of the most extensive collections of Antique Furniture, Decorative
Accessories and Formal Portraits in the state of MO.
Mr. Cottrell plans to open this wonderful house for public tours, small private parties, weddings, and club groups.
Candle light tours on weekends in the month of December
will also be offered with the house decorated in full Victorian Splendor and Christmas Dress.
This home provides the unique opportunity for anyone who loves Historic Homes, Antiques, and beautiful appointments
to view is in an 1845 setting on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River in Clarksville, MO.
For more information please call Richard Cottrell at 573.242.9688.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
What a beautiful
welcome to the
|For Tours and Parties
(8 rooms filled with
treasures and history)
Costumed Tour Guides
Shop on Howard Street
|Elgin/Cottrell House to be featured in the May/June issue of VICTORIAN HOMES, a
national magazine. Hillary Black, Victorian Homes editor, said “We have photographed Victorian
houses all over the United States and the Elgin/Cottrell house in Clarksville, MO is by far one of
the most historically correct, beautifully decorated and full of so many wonderful treasures.
Richard Cottrell, the owner of this house, is a STAR.”
The historic house will be open on Sunday, April 17th, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. for a
tour. Copies of the magazine will be available with the $5.00 admission. No reservations are
required. The number of magazines is limited so you might want to call ahead (573-242-9688)
and reserve your copy.
The home is decorated in the 1845-1860 period and has a vast collection of antique furniture,
decorative accessories and formal portraits. The magazine will be available on news stands at the
end of this month.