David and Jacqueline Saylor, contacted the Museum to learn the history of their home at 509 Easton Street in Geneva. They went through the process of our research request system and then our staff and volunteers started extensive research in the Museum’s archives. Several weeks later, the Saylor’s learned the story of their home and were pleased to find out that their home met the requirements to be honored with a bronze plaque from the Geneva History Museum.
509 Easton was built by Alla Richard Dow circa 1909. Mr. Dow, known as A.R., moved here with his second wife, Katherine, shortly after their marriage in the summer of 1909. He is known for being the organizer of the First National Bank of Geneva in 1907 and was the “Cashier” of the bank until his death in 1925. He was friends with Henry B. Fargo and Governor Yates. His obituary stated he was one of the most prominent men in the county seat.
Katherine was a prominent woman in her own right. She was on the first Board of Trustees of the Colonial Hospital after its incorporation in 1911, and was the first president of the Geneva Woman’s Club, a federated club reorganized after the dissolution of the Geneva Improvement Association, a group that did so much to advance the City of Geneva.
Harvey E. Dow, A.R.’s son was a teen when the family moved to this house. He became an Illinois State Bank Receiver and Examiner, Vice-President of the Harlem State Bank of Forest Park, and President of the Chicago Duluth and Georgian Bay Transit Company. In recognition of his leadership in both his community and within the Scottish Rite Fraternity, he was made a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council.
Subsequent owners have also been industrious people that have been dedicated to supporting the history of the community. Thanks to the Saylor’s interest, the history of this home will be kept on file at the Geneva History Museum for future generations.
The Geneva History Museum (Geneva Historical Society) has honored more than 100 buildings in Geneva with a bronze plaque since 1948. The plaque is a private recognition and is not affiliated with the City of Geneva’s designation of the historic district or building/remodeling restrictions. The following criteria are used to determine eligibility: Date of construction (100 years old or more), Historical significance and/or architectural significance, Domestic structures must have remained in appearance essentially as built and Commercial structures must substantially retain their original form and appearance.
If you live in a historic home and are interested in having the Museum research its history, please complete this Historic Structures Plaque Application and submit it with required fees.