342 PERRY STREET
342 Perry Street was the site of what was duly named "The Everett Mission," after Reverend William P. Everett. Reverend Everett was the past of Elgin's First Baptist Church from 1869 through 1872. Under his leadership, the Baptist Church that still stands at 270 E. Chicago Street was built in 1870. From 1873-1888, Reverend Everett assumed pastorships elsewhere but returned to Elgin to retire in 1889. That year, he and his wife, Catherine, moved into a home at 316 Walnut Avenue. A church history refers to "the Walnut Avenue Mission," which was later renamed the Everett Mission.
Reverend Everett passed away in March of 1893. By the end of 1893, the Baptists had built the chapel at Perry and Washburn Streets at a cost of $1,700. The 1894-95 city directory includes the "Everett Mission," the first reference to that particular name. The Baptist Church may have built 342 Perry in honor of Reverend Everett after his death.
The church continued to use the home as a mission until it was sold to William C. Anderson in 1925, who converted it into the building that we see today. He sold the home a year later to Max and Mary Leverenz. Max was a local grocer. The home stayed with the Leverenz family until 1939 when it was sold to Howard and Mary Ashley. Howard was the department manager at Ackemann's Department Store.
342 Perry Street is an example of a Craftsman Style Bungalow. The house embodies several distinctive characteristics of the Bungalow typology including the prominent, elevated front porch; hipped roof, with front dormer; natural colored, brick exterior; and large overhanging eaves, to name a few. Original, decorative plaster work from when 342 Perry Street was a mission still exists in the home and can be found around the perimeter of the attic.
Sources: 2005 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud