1019 Hill Avenue is a Sears Roebuck and Company home built in 1927, and stayed in the possession of the same family for a number of years. The first owners, Clarence and Adella Jahnke, lived in the garage while the house was under construction. 

From 1927 until Clarence passed away in 1939, the two lived together in the home. His brother, William lived in an identical home next door. After Clarence’s death, Adella lived in the home by herself until 1941 when she married Clarence’s nephew, Ernie Rieke.

Together, Ernie and Adella had one child, Janice, and the two lived in the home until Adella’s death in 1990.  


1019 Hill Avenue is one of Elgin’s many Craftsman bungalow Sears homes. Ordered from a Sears Roebuck Modern Home Catalog with all the parts ready to go, these houses were popular for working class families across the country for their affordability. In Elgin, thanks in large part to major industry players like the Elgin National Watch Company related businesses; there are over 200 such homes.

Consumers had the choice from nearly 400 models, this being the Vallonia. It is one of four Sears homes on the 1000 block of Hill Avenue. This house and the identical house to the north, 1921 Hill Avenue, were constructed by brothers William and Clarence Jahnke, as Clarence was a mason in town.  

Features characteristic of the Craftsman bungalow style seen here include the front porch (now enclosed), its height of one and one-half stories, decorative beams under the gables and wide overhanging eaves.



Sources: 2004 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud