In 2006 Jonas and Jane Ann Petty purchased a rental building on the South-West corner of the Pittsfield square. This structure was built and operated by William Watson (the first settler of Pittsfield) as a hotel by the name of Mansion House until the 1930s. The Petty’s renovated the property and reopened the doors as William Watson Hotel in 2008. In 2012, Jane Ann became the full time General Manager of the hotel and Petty Properties. The Pettys made the decision to list the hotel online through third-party sites and quickly learned that guests were expecting more. Not just a hometown inn, but an individual, unique touch. Jane Ann knew that the town lacked a coffee shop and began formulating a plan. As the plan for the coffee shop came together, the family needed to decide on the title of their future establishment. Jonas and Jane Ann once again found a unique tie to Pittsfield's rich history. The name "Free Press Coffee House" pays homage to the former Pike County Free Press Newspaper. John “George” Nicolay began at the paper as the “Printer’s Devil”, an apprentice. He eventually became the editor and wrote about his future employer Abraham Lincoln, announcing his candidacy for the President. With John Hay, Nicolay went on to become President Lincoln’s personal secretary and later, biographer. With dreams that had become reality, Jonas and Jane Ann welcomed the public to enjoy hand-crafted coffee, delicious food, fellowship, and history at the Free Press Coffee House in 2014.
Free Press Coffee has a mission to provide our community with an authentic and creative vibe with knowledgeable coffee service in Pike County, IL. Nestled on the south side of the square across the street from the Pike County Courthouse. We offer a full espresso menu, coffee, tea, real fruit smoothies, blended and iced options along with sweet and savory treats in the form of bagels, muffins, assorted pastries, and a full AM/PM sandwich menu. We strive to gain recognition through our dedication to acquiring relationships in the coffee industry, ongoing education, and steady growth; while building a strong team and brand. Many people gather at Free Press for various reasons. Whether its a quiet afternoon to study or a birthday party our mission is to be the new 'front porch' to all.