309 STANDISH STREET
In the early 1880s, more than 100 properties in Elgin were sold by Homer Hendee. One such property was the plot of land 309 Standish was eventually built upon. Hendee made an estimated $18,000 profit from the sales. Charles Mixer, a Kane County Sheriff, was already invested in Elgin real estate, owning and leasing apartments on National Street, and bought the 309 Standish lot for the price of $1,000.
The address was originally 105 Standish, but when Elgin’s address numbering system changed for the fourth and final time in 1894, it became 309 Standish as we know it today.
Unfortunately, by the time the Mixers officially moved in, Charles had passed away, leaving Louisa to occupy the home alone. Louisa was Charles’ second wife, and lived in one of the National Street apartments before moving into the Standish home. She was first recorded as occupier of 309 Standish in the 1892 Elgin City Directory.
Louisa Mixer is listed at 309 Standish until the 1904 edition of the Elgin City Director when George Midgeley is the new owner. George and his wife lived in the home together for the next 20 years. After his passing, George’s widow, Lulu, continued to live in the home until the 1960s until selling to Earl and Margaret Murray.
The home at 309 Standish Street is an example of the fluidity of architectural styles. While the time period in which it was constructed and the irregularly shaped floor plan, and steeply pitched roof of irregular shape and intersecting gables are noted aspects of the Queen Anne style. That said, it lacks a number of other features of the Victorian era style including textured shingles, patterned masonry, half-timbering or detailed spindlework.
Sources: 1999 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud