304 Division Street is one of the oldest original middle-class homes still existing in Elgin. The stone foundation was laid and the first story built in 1852 by David W. Bangs, a known Elgin architect, and builder, who owned the property at that time. It was designed in a subdued Italianate style with tall, narrow windows and a slightly overhanging, hipped roof.

David W. Bangs was the son of Mark and Lydia Whitney Bangs, who came to Elgin via the East Coast. Born in 1801, David was married in the town of Lenox, New York in 1827 to Sibbilla Walker. David and Sibbilla moved to Dundee and then Elgin together until her passing in 1857.  David then married a second time to Jane Spire, daughter of John Spire, in 1860.

A second story on the home was added in 1865, just before the house was purchased by a widow by the name of Louisa Whedon. Mrs. Whedon lived in the house for 48 years until her death in 1913. During that time, she raised her nephew, Edward Justus Parker, in the house. Edward J. Parker became involved in the Salvation Army in Elgin in the 1870s, and he later rose through the ranks to become the National Commander of the United States Salvation Army. 


304 Division Street is a two-story, hipped roof, painted brick, Italianate style home. Common features of the style exhibited here include the tall, narrow windows and the bay window with decorative brackets. A one-story frame addition with a brick fireplace has been added to the back of the house.

The second story was added after original construction. In 1989, the central, brick chimney was removed to make room for a modern, fuel-efficient furnace. 



Sources: 1991 Heritage Plaque Application, Audio: TextAloud