300 VINCENT PLACE
300 Vincent Place was built in 1925 for Edward J. O'Beirne and his family. Born in 1860 in New Haven, Connecticut, he grew up in Elgin and worked for the Elgin Watch Factory until assuming the role of superintendent for the Elgin Tubular Iron Tower Company in 1881. By 1883, he had branched out on his own, starting his own firm, the O'Beirne Brothers and Company with his twin brother William. One of their biggest projects was building the Elgin light towers, a main source of light for the City of Elgin for many of its early years. He traveled often and married twice, moving to 300 Vincent Place sixteen years after he had already retired. The O'Beirne family named it Lisadorn after a family house of the O'Beirne's from Ireland.
After Edward passed away in 1940, the O'Beirne's sold the house to Morgan Jones, owner of Morgan Jones Insurance Company. Living in this home for ten years, Morgan sold 300 Vincent in 1950 to Willis D. and Isabella Evans. Willis was the Elgin Watch Factory's Advertising Manager. In 1963, the Evans' moved out and sold the home to the Van Ness family. C. Charles and Majorie Van Ness lived in the until 1986. During his working career, Charles was the Executive Vice President and Directory of the David C. Cook Foundation, a charitable branch of the successful publishing company of the same name. Today, David C. Cook lends it name to one of Elgin's Historic Districts.
300 Vincent Place is a combination of multiple revival styles popular at the time of its construction including, Colonial, Federal and Georgian styles. Characteristics of these styles include what can been seen here: the brick exterior with quoins at the corners, the clay tile roof, and bracketed eaves with rigid facade symmetry. The entryway also features a round top portico with supporting ionic columns additionally flanked by sidelights and a fanlight. The sun porch feature decorative rafter ends, adding a touch of the Craftsman style newly popular at the time.
Sources: 2009 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud