302 FULTON STREET
302 Fulton Street was built in 1858 for Ithiel C. and Mary Ann (nee Switzer) Towner. Ithiel was born in 1831 in Ireland with Mary Ann being born in Canada in 1839. His father was William Alexander and his mother, Eliza (nee Phillips) Towner, both natives of Canada. Ithiel had one sister, Harriet Louisa Towner, who, uniquely, married his wife's brother, Samuel Switzer.
Mary Ann was one of 10 children born to Joseph and Selina Switzer. The Switzers were active in farming and the dairy business with 400 acres just north of St. Charles. Joseph and Selina were also natives to Canada. Joseph settled in Kane County in 1849 after the passing of his wife.
Ithiel was listed as a blacksmith upon arriving in Elgin in 1851, however, after a trip to California in 1860, he became a manufacturer of carriages, buggies, wagons and sleighs. He also was elected as an alderman in 1875-1877 and again in 1883-1885. Ithiel and Mary Ann had six children, however, only one is recorded to have made it to adulthood. The Towners quickly moved from 302 Fulton Street in 1860, selling the property to John Wallace.
The home was then sold six years later to Patrick Mann and his wife, Ellen (nee Donovan). Patrick was born in Ireland in 1814 with Ellen being born there in 1830. They immigrated to the United States in 1850 and had four children including; John P., Jeremiah J., Cecelia, and Edward F.
The next owner was Edward and Catherine Mann who was listed as a laborer.
The home was added onto in 1886 with the addition built by local Elgin carpenter, John A. Wright. Wright is most known for his construction work at Fire Barn No. 3 and 5, however, he also worked on the Peck Block in downtown Elgin.
377 Fulton Street exhibits a number of Colonial Revival style elements. This symmetrical, rectangular shaped floor plan, two-storied home has a side gabled roof with two prominent front-facing dormers. Balanced windows on the front façade, along with the accentuated front door are two character defining features seen here. While these windows do not have multi-pane glazing, they are double-hung, a window type common to Colonial Revivals.
Sources: 1986 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud