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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q. How much did William Reddick spend to build his home?
    A. $25,000 (1840 amt.) - C.P.I. conversion amount for 2009 would be about $642,000.00
  2. Q. How did William Reddick make his money?
    A. Various jobs held by Reddick included glass blower, farmer  (agriculturalist), tax collector, sheriff, land appraiser, merchant, Illinois state senator; it is believed that William Reddick amassed a good deal of his fortune thru land speculation.
  3. Q. Who were the members of his immediate family?
    A. William and Eliza Collins Reddick had no children. They “took in” Elizabeth Burrier Funk near the time of her mother’s death in 1852.  She was raised in the Reddick household but never formally adopted.  In 1884 Elizabeth legally changed her name to ElizabethFunk Reddick at the request of William Reddick.  By 1887 these members of the immediate  Reddick family had died. There are no surviving direct descendants of William Reddick.
  4. Q. Did William Reddick support Abraham Lincoln?
    A. Reddick was a Democrat who supported Stephen A. Douglas during the Illinois Senatorial race of 1858. It is said he sat on the platform with Douglas during the debate.  Thru the years local history has mentioned that Reddick supported Lincoln, but there is no evidence of that.
  5. Q. Why did William Reddick build such a large home?
    A. Reddick had ambition and planned to become the governor of Illinois. The rise of the Republican party following the national election of 1860 placed those who were Democrats at a decided disadvantage.
  6. Q. What happened to the Reddick home following the death of William Reddick?
    A. In his will, Reddick left his mansion to the city of Ottawa to be used as a public library. This will was tested in court and not resolved until the fall of 1887.  The decision of the court was that the will should stand as written.  The Mansion was opened as a library on September 19,1888, and continued to serve the citizens of Ottawa until 1974.
  7. Q. When did William Reddick and his wife die?
    A. William died in 1885 and his wife, Eliza preceeded him in death July 5th 1883. The mansion became the Reddick Library in 1888.