12 S. Du Bois Avenue was built in 1925 for Harold and Etta Giertz for $3,000. Harold was just one of a dazzling array of Giertz's who were involved with Charles E. Giertz & Son contractors in Elgin. The patriarch of the family, Charles, passed away in 1913 during a horrendous heat wave at the end of June that year. The company continued in his name, operating under the leadership of Bernard, Walter and Carl Giertz with assistance from Edward and Charles F. and Leslie and numerous other Giertz's. 

In 1936, Harold and Etta sold the house to Olive Shepherd. Ms. Shepherd was a teacher at John Marshall High School in Chicago and lived at 402 Mill Street. Olive used 12 S. Du Bois Avenue as rental property and kept it for 49 years until selling it four years before her passing at the age of 90. 


12 S. Du Bois Avenue is a one-story bungalow with a garage; both appear to be in their original state. Prairie style elements seen on the red brick clad house are a hipped roof with two hipped dormers and a hipped roof porch extending from the front facade; three vertical panes over single paned windows; windows in pairs, triples, or singly. 

Decoration used are concrete caps on the porch, four brick brackets that project out from the front porch at floor level and window sills with bricks arranged in a different direction. The centered front door is wood with wood strips dividing the glass panes. The house trim and delightful garage are painted in typical Craftsman colors of subdued green, red, and yellow.



Sources: 2005 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud