Pillow-Thompson House

aka: Jerome Bonaparte Pillow House

The Pillow-Thompson House is a Queen Anne–style house in Helena-West Helena (Phillips County). Constructed in 1896 by Jerome Bonaparte Pillow, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 7, 1973. It is also known as the Jerome Bonaparte Pillow House.

Designed by George Barber, the house is the only Victorian home in the state with full-wood construction with the exception of the fireplaces and foundation. The house faces south and has two stories with several towers, turrets, and dormer windows. The house is very ornate with an irregular shape. The front of the house has a veranda that extends around the east side of the home with another small porch located on the west side of the house. A circular corner tower is cantilevered on the southwest corner of the house, extending through the second and third stories of the home. The house has seven points on the roof, each capped with a metal finial.

The interior of the house has double parlors, a dining room, and a library. The kitchen and pantries are located in a rear extension. A U-shaped two-landing staircase is located in the front hall and extends to the second floor. Originally all of the interior woodwork had a natural finish, but most was painted over the years. During a renovation in the 1990s, the woodwork was returned to its natural state.

Five generations of the Pillow family resided in the house. The house was donated to the Phillips Community College Foundation in 1992 by Josephine Pillow Thompson and her son George de Man. After extensive renovations, the house reopened to the public in 1997. It is available to tour and is open for meetings and special events.

For additional information:
“Pillow-Thompson House.” Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas. http://www.pccua.edu/community/pillow-thompson-house/ (accessed February 25, 2020).

Richardson, Gene. “Pillow-Thompson House.” National Register of Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/PH0010.nr.pdf (accessed February 25, 2020).

David Sesser
Henderson State University


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