In 1897 Herman Wolff is listed as a boarding resident at 223 McClure Avenue. Later that year, in September of 1897, Herman Wolff marries Emma Wendt. By May of 1898, Herman had purchased lot 8 of block 1 in the McClure’s Linden addition from Finla McClure. By 1899, construction of the house was underway and was completed by 1900.

Wolff worked for the family business, the Wolff Brothers Company, which was owned by his father and uncle. Proprietors in farm and feed related materials like flour, feed, and hay, the company was located in downtown Elgin. Wolff also spent time working for well-known Elgin companies like the Borden Condensed milk Company.

The Wolff family, including the daughters of Herman and Emma, occupied the home for roughly 90 years. Few families have owned the home since, solidifying the home’s individual historical connections.


238 McClure Avenue is a contributing structure to the local significance of the neighborhood and is of the Queen Anne style.  Comprised of wood exterior elevations, this L-shaped floor plan is one and a half stories tall, with a hipped roof exhibiting cross gables with a dominant front-facing gable at the front elevation. The wrap-around porch is styled with turned columns, railings, and spindle-work. A gabled bay on the side elevation, with decorative window surrounds and double-hung windows all also add the character defining features seen on the home.


Sources: 1989 Heritage Plaque Application; Gifford Park Association Tour Booklet; Text Aloud