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Ickes: Trimble family sells historic Moline home

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Wilson House

The Wilson House, across the street from the former Trimble Funeral Home near the I-74 Bridge, is believed to be the oldest home in Moline. The Trimble family tried for seven years to sell the house, despite offers. The family wanted to be sure the historic home would not be demolished.

It can be dicey, selling something while you're still attached.

Even harder is trying to have some say in what becomes of it afterwards, especially when you're selling property.

After seven years of trying, Moline's Trimble family has sold what is believed to be the city's oldest home.

Located east of the Interstate 74 bridge, at 6th Avenue and 21st Street, the Wilson House was spared the wrecking ball that took down neighboring properties in the path of the new bridge.

The Trimbles wanted to make sure the old brick house continued to escape demolition.

"We had turned down a couple offers that may have torn the building down, but were getting close to removing that contingency when we found the buyer," Reid Trimble, manager of Trimble Funeral Home and Crematory, said Thursday.

Whew! That was close.

County records show the brick two-story home was built in 1858. The Trimbles bought it in 1993 for $36,000 and later opened it as Wilson House Stationers. The Wilson name evidently stuck, because several generations lived there.

The Trimble's little business at the site was the precursor to their WaterMark Stationers, which is across from the John Deere Commons in downtown Moline.

I was in Wilson House Stationers and was instantly taken by its age. The Trimble family managed to open their business without disturbing the historic look of the unusual home, and their respect for it clearly continued through years of patience, waiting for the right buyer.

At one time, the asking price for the home at 604 21st St., was $52,000 real-estate records show. It was lowered to $22,500 last year.

"We were pretty much giving it away, but it's going to cost six figures to fix it up," Trimble said. "The historic preservation folks are ecstatic."

The buyer is happy, too.

Sean Vogler, a Moline High School graduate, said he hopes to get started immediately on the extensive renovations, beginning with restoration of the original exterior brick.

The owner of Olde Town Roofing and Construction, Vogler said he hopes to have the house done in a year. He is pursuing a city grant for part of the major facade improvements and plans to use the old Wilson House as headquarters for his small business.

"We have a lot of good ideas, and I want to put it back to an historic-looking property," he said Thursday. "We're going to use all our high-end finishings ... add a security system. We're going to add a synthetic slate roof, too, but the brick work is first.

"I'll do the same thing I do with my company. Once I start something, I'm on it until it's done. Depending on the timing of the city grants, it should be done in a year, and I think it'll be great."

Trimble said the wait was worthwhile to put the city's oldest home in the proper hands.

"The rumor is that it was part of the underground railroad," he said. "My dad grew up across the street from it. It's cool that it's going to a Moline boy."


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