One of the loveliest places in Springfield must be the former home of Mollie and Neel Glenn. Located on the corner of Fifth Avenue West (once May Street) and North Walnut, it is fondly referred to as the Glenn Memorial – or simply as “the Glenn.”
This is one of seven places that will be open on this year’s Christmas Tour of Homes, sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society.
Both Mollie Dulin and Neel Glenn lived in Madisonville, Ky. They married there in July, 1889.
Soon, the couple moved to Springfield. Her parents – Robert S. and Jane Dulin – as well as her brother, Hance Dulin, moved to Springfield, also.
Neel Glenn would later refer to the town as “the garden spot of the universe.” The couple loved Springfield – and Springfield loved them.
Neel Glenn and Hance Dulin opened Dulin, Glenn, & Company, which was regarded as the best department store in town. The two men, accompanied by Mollie, made buying trips to provide the store with the best in fashion.
Later they would invest in the Springfield Woolen Mills. Neel Glenn would serve as school commissioner and as mayor. He was responsible for Springfield’s first water and sewage system.
Meanwhile, in 1902, Mollie Glenn purchased a house and lot from Eliza Jane Gilbert for $2,300 in cash. Gilbert was a widow and had run a boarding house there.
The house was torn down and the Glenns’ home was built. Constructed in a variety of architectural styles, it has “formal entrances” on Walnut and on Fifth Avenue. The Palladian windows on the Fifth Avenue side are “one of the most striking features.”
Before Neel Glenn’s death in 1930, he and his wife decided to leave their home to the women of Springfield for their club meetings. It was also to be used as a library. The latter was done from 1946 to 1969, when Gorham-MacBane Library opened.
Mollie Glenn’s will specifically named trustees for the “Glenn Memorial Library” and “Women’s Club.” The will stated that the home would be used for any “worthwhile club” in Springfield.
She suggested several clubs such as the Wednesday Study Club but added that the trustees could approve other clubs.
She also specified that “intoxicating liquors must not be served on the premises.”
Thanks to the Federation of Women’s Clubs, the wishes of Mollie and Neel Glenn are being followed.
The Christmas Tour of Homes is always set for the second Sunday in December from 1-5 p.m. Several changes for this year need to be noted.
The cost of each ticket will be $20.
Tickets will be available only to members of the Historical Society from Oct. 28 (the annual Chili Supper) until Nov. 8. After Nov. 8, tickets may be bought online.
Tickets will not be available at individual sites this year. This is another major change from the past.
In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.