385 S. LIBERTY STREET
The 1884-85 edition of the Elgin City Directory is the first to show a resident at 251 S. Liberty Street which became 385 S. Liberty during the city’s change in the address numbering system in 1894.
In 1887, the house was sold to Emily Farrington for $3,800. Emily’s husband, George, built a barn along Liberty Street in 1887 as well. The two worked together at the Elgin Watch Factory, like so many other Elgin residents.
In 1909, the property was sold to Emma Best who became Emma Best Marckhoff. When she passed, all her heirs quit claimed their interest to the property to Frank Marckhoff. In 1919, he sold it to Helen Koetz, in which the house stayed in the Koetz family until 1978.
The home at 385 S. Liberty is of the Gabled-Ell style with Italianate details. With an L-shaped floor plan, 2-stories in height with wood clapboard siding and a cross gabled roof, this type of home was very popular with many of Elgin’s earlier residents for their affordability. Wood 1-over-1 double-hung windows with window hoods and a bay-windows with decorative brackets are a few of the significant features included on the home.
Sources: 1997 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud