272 Division Street was built in 1880 by the Victoria and Andrew Schaller, but it was not the Schaller family's first home on Division Street. Before moving into 272, the family resided in 268 Division, though building 272 marked a substantial upgrade in the size of their home.  The Schaller's were German immigrants of Catholic faith with seven surviving children, many of whom worked at the Elgin Watch Factory.  Andrew died in 1863, at the age of 49, and Victoria and her son Joseph, Superintendent of Joseph Freiler's Wholesale Liquor Establishment, lived together in 272 up until her death in 1897.  

Following Victoria's passing, a Bill for Partition was initiated by Frank Schaller against Joseph to separate his interest in their mother's estate and lot 3 (268 Division) was sold to the Catholic Bishop of Chicago.  272 remained Joseph Schaller's residence until his passing in 1901. 268 served as a residence for the nuns who taught at St. Joseph School. Following settlement of the Partition suit in 1898, a Master in Chancery Deed for lot 4 (272 Division) was issued to Harry Barnes that year.  Two years later, Barnes sold the house to Peter Anderson who then sold the property to the Catholic Bishop of Chicago and it served as the residence for the St. Joseph Church priest, remaining the church rectory to this day.


272 Division is an example of the Italianate style. The home consists of two stories and is front gabled with a side gabled section in the rear. A one story addition is behind the side gabled section. Some Italianate features included in this home are the wide eaves, the low pitched roof, decorative brackets on the porch, and crown framed window surrounds. 272 Division is a part of the St. Joseph Church campus and is included in the Elgin Historic District.



Sources: 2008 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud