118 S UNION STREET
The Elgin City Directory from 1915-1916 shows no home listed at 118 South Union Street, but by the next year, in 1917-1918, the Elgin City Directory does list the home. The lot belong to Elizabeth’s aunt prior to the Kirkland’s purchasing it to build their house upon. Financial arrangements, including changes of title, deed, and mortgage were delayed to benefit the Kirklands.
The 1915-1916 Elgin City Directory also verifies that Pear Pearson was a South Street neighbor and carpenter at this time and was the builder of the home at 118 South union Street.
Alfred and Elizabeth Kirkland were both prominent Elginites in their own rights as have many of their descendants, who have held many high positions in the city and county and well-respected jobs as lawyers and judges.
Alfred Kirkland was a newspaperman, acting as the assistant managing editor of the Chicago Herald-American. After spending a career in the journalism field that spanned 44 years, he took to writing a book about the history of Elgin, titled “Modern Elgin.” Kirkland also worked for the Elgin Daily News and the Elgin Press and later the Elgin Courier.
The Kirklands lived in the home from the time it was built in 1916 until 1949 when they sold to Marc and Helen Green. The Green family lived in the home until 1957 when they then sold to Henty and Marjorie Becker. The Becker family resided at 118 S. Union Street from 1957 to 1978, when they then sold the home.
The house has a square footprint, with a hipped roof and a smooth stucco exterior. The front porch is full width with a hipped roof and has heavy, square supports. There is a hipped dormer with three 3-lite windows on the façade and windows emphasizing the horizontal and wide overhanging eaves. All of those features point to the Prairie style, which originated in the Midwest and was meant to reflect the flatness of our mid-American landscape. The porch has been screen in, but that is a feature likely not original to the home.
Sources: 1995 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud