In 1881, John Dalrymple acquired a section of property within the James Davidson’s addition to Elgin. In the 1881-82 Elgin City Directory notes that John works for the Elgin Watch Factory.  In July of 1883, a mortgage was taken out for $1,000. An 1884-85 Elgin City Directory shows John F. Dalrymple working at the Elgin Watch Factory as a machinist and living at 60 Porter with his wife Elizabeth. The 1900 Elgin City Directory shows a Porter of address of 118, likely noting the change because of Elgin’s last address numbering system change in 1894.

After a number of years in Elgin, John moved to Springfield to work for the Illinois Watch Company.  He passed away in 1928.  Elizabeth passed away in 1943, but the home stayed with the family until the 1970s.


The home at 118 South Porter Street is of the Gabled-Ell style with Queen Anne details.  With an L-shaped floor plan, 2-stories in height with wood clapboard siding and a cross gabled roof, this type of home was very popular with many of Elgin’s earlier residents for their affordability.  The curving bay is not original to the home, but still historic, added in the early 1930s. The full-width, wrap around porch with round classical columns with turned spindle porch supports and the front-facing gable is also a feature common to Queen Anne homes.



Sources: 1995 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud