Elgin, Illinois History, Genealogy & Today

ImageElgin Township

Elgin - South Elgin

Hammond Station - stop on Chicago & Pacific Railway at S.E. corner of Elgin city limits - Hammonds Grove.

Kane County, Illinois


Do you remember the barn that looked just like this in the 1950s, south of Elgin?


Elgin & South Elgin are available for Adoption.  

Would you be willing to help?

Elgin Maps

Elgin, Kane Co., Illinois 1880

Elgin Area Map (Northern Illinois)

Elgin Township Map - Kane County Forest Preserve site

Elgin is in both

Kane and Cook Counties

be aware of that when seeking records.

Elgin History



James HANKS explored the area.  Use link to see letters and correspondence that likely brought other settlers.



First Settler - JAMES T. and HEZKIAH GIFFORD




First Births - Spring:  

Louisa Kimball daughter of John & Lydia KIMBALL;

Charlotte, daughter of Sidney and Martha KIMBALL;

Joseph KIMBALL was born later by some months.

First Store - Storrs & Bean - The contractor a man named BARNUM who lived elsewhere

First Carpenter - WILLIAM S. SHAW

First Death - MARY ANN KIMBALL, sister of P.J. KIMBALL.



First School - Miss HARRIET E. GIFFORD taught the first school in the log cabin of JAMES T. GIFFORD which was near Prairie & Villa Streets.



Elgin Academy Chartered by Solomon HAMILTON, Colton KNOX, George McCLURE, Vincent C. LOVELL, Luther HERRICK, Reuben JENNE, and Burgess TRUESDELL



Presidential Election, 1840 - Lake Precinct List of Voters



First School House Built - By private subscription.



High School built



Dr. P.W. PRATT began a fisher hatchery and enclosed a park 70 acre park known then as "Cedar Swamp" by locals.  It was located on the east side of the river 1 1/2 miles north of the city.  The many springs in this "Trout Park" fed the ponds where young salmonaide were raised.  Some of the springs were believed to have medicinal values.  Elk and deer were also stocked in the park which became a popular resort for pleasure seekers, "especially Germans form Chicago".  Dr. W. A PRATT continued to improve the facility after hsi fathers death in 1872.



Elgin population reaches 5, 441



A fine fountain was placed on Fountain Square, the site was previously known as Market Square.

Elgin population reaches 7,300



January 1st. - Death of first white woman who arrived in Elgin area - Mrs. Mary Jane GIFFORD, wife of Hexekiah GIFFORD.

January 13th - Gail BORDEN died in Borden, Texas just after making arrangements to permanently move to Elgin.

Public Library of Elgin opened March 19, 1874.  L.H. YARWOOD was the first librarian.  It was actually established in 1872 and  $3000 was raised through taxation.

Chicago & Pacific Railroad was completed to Byron, 58 miles west of Elgin.

Elgin population reaches 8000.



May 6th - William C. KIMBALL & Roswell SMITH





Elgin population reaches 10,000



D.C. Cook Publishing Company moved to Elgin and occupied the old woolen mill.  It immediately employed some 350 people.


1893 -97

Elgin suffered in the depression and many factories were closed.



D.C. Cook Publishing built on 13 acres of the former Lovell Farm along the Fox River Valley Railroad.





Elgin population reaches 25,000

Source:  Kane County History by Joslyn & Joslyn, 1908

1877 Elgin Kerosene Can Co. opened

1885 The Western Card Co. was organized.

1899 February (Elgin Courier News 02/07/1999 by Mike Alft)

Business's that didn't make history. Link - Elgin Courier article 11/22/98 by Mike Alft


1896 Susan B. Anthony -- a national women's rights leader -- visited, meeting with the women workers at the Elgin Watch Company.



1903 - 1923

Walter Haertels Monument Records (With Elgin Genealogical Society).



The Elgin Road Races were held most of the years between 1910 to 1920 in conjunction with the Elgin Automobile Road Race Association, headed by Fred W. Jencks.  See Elgin Courier news 9/23/99



Typhoid Epidemic Deaths (with Elgin Genealogical Society)


1957 The Milk Pail Restuarant was featured in Life magazine as being one of the top 10 restaurants in the country. Link - 12/20/98 Elgin Courier article


Bartlett is part of this school district.  Parts of Bartlett are also in Cook and DuPage Counties.   So, if your missing relative met someone from Bartlett at school and later married, they might be "hiding" in those counties.




Elgin Area Information

 American Legion Post 57 of Elgin, Illinois (at Elgin Genealogical Society)

Don't Get Lost!  Book Mark This Site Before Leaving



Down Town Neighborhood Revitalization Association Tour (a few of the historic sites)


Hinsdell,A. B. ,House, 443 E. Chicago St., ELGIN, Kane County, IL.

Elgin Area Historical Society                847-742-4248

Teeple Barn -16-sided Teeple Barn at I-90 and Randall Road.

Teeple Barn (different link) was built in 1885 by dairy farmer Lester Teeple, and designed by Elgin architect W.W. Abell. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was listed as one of the Ten Most Endangered Places in Illinois for 1999 by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois.  Historic Preservation Specialist Sarosh Saher, 847-931-5943.


Historic Districts Enhance Elgin's Neighborhoods

Heritage Commission Sites

470 Arlington Avenue built in 1902 by M. & L. Schranck

943 Bellvue Avenue built in 1926 by E. Fierke

568 Brook Street built in 1893 by F. Müller

721 Douglas Avenue built in 1923 by R. S. Lord

733 Douglas Avenue built in 1891 by W. Hart

912 Douglas Avenue built in 1908 by E. H. Cutter

1025 Douglas Avenue built in 1924 by C. A. Rinehimer

43 DuPage Court built in 1892 by J. W. Ranstead

352 North Street built in 1910 by D.F. Barclay, Jr.

470 Park Street built in 1886 by J. L. Sheehan

327 Walnut Avenue built in 1900 by Pegler


Non-Residential Buildings

The Elgin Tower Building - 100 East Chicago Street

The Professional Building - 164 Division Street

Biographies - Info

E.C. "Mike" Alft - author, educator and historian who once served as the city's mayor.

David F. Barclay for whom Barclay Park is named - 05/30/1999 Elgin Courier News article by Mike Alft

Myra (Colby) Bradwell (1831-1905): The first woman to pass the Illinois Bar Exam, later refused an attorney's license because of her gender.

Robert A. Frahm - Police Officer - Died: 12/04/75

       Lloyd Augustus Hall - Chemist

William G. Hubbard

William Hubbard (1849-1930)

       James T. Gifford - Elgin Founder moved to Grafton, Wisc

Lillian (Rapp) McDonald (1899-1957) - became Elgin's first woman airplane pilot (in 1931) and began riding motorcyces in 1950.

Edward J. and William H. O'Beirne (link to Elgin Courier 05/16/1999 article)

Arwin E. Price "The Drunken Mayor" article Elgin Courier

Charles (Elgin Slim) H. Struckman - Police Officer (link to Elgin Courier by Mike Alft)  

       Lester Teeple

       Alexander Tyler -  Veterinarian

       Brigadier General Lloyd T. Waterman



       Doctors of 1908

       Bar Association Lawyers 1908

       Lawyers Who Practiced in Kane County

       The Solid Men of Elgin - 1864

Genealogy/Home Page Links

Alft Family

James A. NUNAMAKER Senior and Judith HRITSUK Family history

Family Linked Medical Problem  MHaus - Malignant Hyperthermia




Company Biographies & Info

Burns Pharmacy Elgin druggist Fred Burns. Burns served up Burns Malts at the soda fountain in his Burns Pharmacy, at Bluff City Boulevard and St. Charles Street on Elgin's south side.

Clearbrook Farm - Milk Pail

Elgin Watch Company - Mini Bio

Illinois State Historical Marker - Elgin Watch Company

D.C. Cook Publishing


Elgin Sweeper (street cleaning)

Dr. John O. Butler (tooth brushes)


Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.


Clubs & Organizations

Elgin Amateur Radio Club






Crime - Fires - Disasters Etc.

Tornado  March 28, 1920



Chicago Junior School

Elgin Academy - (chartered in 1839)Elgin Academy College Prep School for grades k-12

       Administration Office 350 Park, Elgin, IL   847/695-0303


Judson College

St. Edwards Catholic High School

St. Mary's Academy 112 Villa St (1880 - 1925) (Elgin Courier 01/03/1999 link)


Elgin Mental Health Hospital


Official Sites



Points of Interest

Walton Island - Walton Island History

Remember When

This is the place for you to share your memories of "Old" Elgin.  Send Mail Image


Days Gone By - Elgin Courier Link

Research Heritage

Scottish Heritage (Elgin Courier article)


Resources - Kane County & It's Communities

Elgin Facts

Village Profile - Elgin


Back to Kane County Home Page

Community Links   Kane County History Resource Page    

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Last Updated 10-Oct-1999                     KaneCoIL@aol.com