373 PARK STREET
373 Park Street was built for Henry Yarwood and his three sons and daughter in 1854 in the Gothic Revival style. Henry was encouraged by his brother Reuben to move to Elgin as Reuben settled here before 1850 with his wife Abigail and their children. Henry and his family took the encouragement and arrived in Elgin in 1853, shortly before it was incorporated into a city in 1854. Henry's children were Louis, Marcus S., James A. and Phoebe. His eldest son, Louis, was a druggist; James was a Union soldier during the Civil War and lived in Wyoming; Marcus S. moved to Chicago and Phoebe, who married George Raymond, moved to Dubuque, Iowa.
Henry died shortly after moving to Elgin in 1860. His eldest son, Louis, maintained the home with his wife Caroline (Drummond) and their three children, Willard, Marcus D., and Katherine. Louis was an accomplished artist and many of his works still exist today at the Gail Borden Public library. Louis was also Elgin's first librarian. Besides being an artist, a librarian, and a druggist, Louis served as an alderman, city treasurer, and was on the Board of Trustees of Elgin Academy. He passed away in 1907 and his wife, Caroline, died in 1914.
The family home was then maintained by Louis' second eldest son, Marcus D. until his death in 1935. He was an accomplished piano teacher in Elgin. Louis' grandson and grand-daughter (Willard's son and daughter), Bertram and his sister Marguerite (m. Klock - widow) became the new owners in 1935. They owned the property until 1939 when they sold it to their half sister, Ruth and her husband, Ralph Sherman Lord (Willard's wife, Mary Hunter, remarried after his death to Gilbert Snow. They had one daughter, Ruth. In 1907, Gilbert and Mary built 400 E. Chicago Street where Mary lived until her death). To note, when Bertram and Marguerite sold 373 Park Street, they moved back into their mother's house at 400 E. Chicago. When Ruth and Ralph moved to this home, they left the house they built at 721 Douglas Avenue. Ruth and Ralph owned the house until 1969 when they sold it to Paul Born, Jr., ending the 114 years of ownership by the Yarwood family.
373 Park Street is one of the best examples of Gothic Revival residential architecture in Elgin. This style was popular between 1830 and 1870. Some characteristics of the Gothic Revival style includes its steep gabled roofs with bargeboard detailing highlighting its eaves; pointed arched windows; and vertical board & batten siding to emphasize verticality. This home is a significant structure in the Elgin Historic District.
Sources: 2009 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud