Before blowing insulation into the walls, my F-i-L and I checked them all for anything that may impede the flow of the blown cellulose insulation.
Dead animals, stray 2x4's, artifacts left by past residences, stuff like that.
I found some treasures revealing the lifestyles of one particular owner.
A bill dating from 1894, for $80 worth of what today would be considered narcotics from a drug company in Illinois.
Who in 1894 would need $80 worth of drugs?
After some extensive research at our local library, the internet, and the history museum in town, I found out that one of our house's previous inhabitants was a prominent druggist in town. He came to this area during the land run of April 1889, setup his shop on Main Street, owned two valuable farms, and "devoted considerable attention to the cultivation of the land and to the raising of live stock."
He was one of the organizers of the Central State Bank (now known as the First National Bank here in town), was a Mason in good standing and a Reformist Republican (was a prominent figure in doing away with the thriving red-light area north of town). He even served as a councilman for awhile.
We don't know if he was the one who built our house or not. That information has yet to be revealed to me.
My research continues.