The William E. Whaples house

1894 Folk Victorian

The William E. Whaples house, circa 1894, located at 306 West Main Street, Neponset, Illinois 61345.

This 1894 Folk-Victorian-style home was built by William E. Whaples, whose family founded and operated the Whaples and Farmers State Bank in Neponset, Illinois.  William Whaples and his family were prominent Neponset residents, and although the Whaples family no longer lived in Neponset by the 1970's, the bank retained the Whaples name until 2005.

The built-ins and woodwork in the home were designed and made by Mrs. Whaples' father, George Baker, a cabinet maker. Longtime residents of the home were Don and Kathryn (Gunning) Stetson, another prominent Neponset family who purchased the home in 1954 and raised six children there.  The current owner, Dave Royce, purchased the home from the Stetson family.

The house features a large screened-in porch, several stained, beveled, and leaded glass windows, a partially open staircase, pine and hardwood floors, original woodwork, a built-in window seat in the parlor, two fireplaces, nine foot ceilings, large rooms, and an ornate metal roof.  This home sits on a nearly one-half acre lot with several mature trees and enough room for a garden.

Updates include a new hot water boiler/furnace, water heater, updated circuit breaker, and an approximately 22x30 attached two-car garage.

The house is structurally sound and livable, but it needs an updated kitchen and bathrooms, as well as repairs to the scalloped wood siding, roof, and numerous other cosmetic improvements. It is a wonderful family home, but it has suffered from deferred maintenance. It was once a grand home, and it could be once again.  The owner is hoping for a buyer who will care for and restore the home, and is willing to consider all reasonable offers. Restoring this home would act as a catalyst for positive change in the entire community.

The home is located in Neponset, the world headquarters of Martin Engineering, a multimillion-dollar company. The home is also just a half block from both the school and the village park.  It is a small quiet rural agricultural community that is a great place for taking walks and riding bicycles.

Neponset is eight miles from Kewanee, a regional hub for shopping, dining, golfing, entertainment, several city parks, and community events.  Kewanee is also a Walldog mural community, and an Amtrak stop with trains to and from Chicago daily. Neponset is 15 minutes from access to 1-80 in western Bureau County, and is approximately 2.5 hours from downtown Chicago. It is also 50 minutes from both Peoria and the Quad Cities, each with their own airports.  Other nearby attractions include historic Bishop Hill, Princeton, and Geneseo, as well as closer attractions such as Johnson's Sauk Trail State Park, The Hennepin Canal State Recreation Area, Mautino State Wildlife Area, and Francis Park, which is just four miles from Neponset.

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