Learn more about Bills-McNeal Historic District.
Historic downtown Bolivar is actually three separate, distinct areas: the Bills-McNeal Historic District, the Court Square district, and the North Main Street district. Added to the National Historic Register in 1980, these three areas combine to provide enthusiasts of historic structures a visual treat they won't soon forget.
John H. Bills was one of the founders of Bolivar, in Hardeman County, and a leader of the Tennessee Democratic Party in the nineteenth century. He came to the West Tennessee area in 1818 with members of the family of James K. Polk. In 1823 Bills married Prudence Polk McNeal, a cousin of the future president. Bills also began a cotton factoring company with her brother, Ezekial McNeal, which they called Bills and McNeal, and acquired two plantations, one near Bolivar.
Bolivar's Bills-McNeal Place is an 1856 Tuscan-style villa noted for its exquisite Spanish ironwork and considered to be one of the premier showplaces of Tennessee.
The District includes the following sites:
- McNeal House (1856) designed by architect Samuel Sloan at Bills and Union Street, asserted to be "the finest Italianate house in West Tennessee and among the most outstanding in the state." Two-story brick building with square cupola.
- Hudson-Wood-Fish House (1835), 322 South Washington Street. Federal with Greek Revival-style portico.
- St. James Episcopal Church (1869), West Lafayette Street.
- St. James Episcopal Chapel (1870), West McNeal Street.
- Ingram House, "The Columns" (1860), 303 West McNeal Street. Greek Revival, remodeled in 1909 to add Colonial Revival portico and other.
- Wright-Smith House (1867), West McNeal Street.
- Bills House, "The Pillars" (c.1831), 322 South Washington Street.
- Mark House "Wrens Nest" (c.1860), 308 Bills Street.
Washington, Bills and McNeal Streets
Bolivar, TN 38008