391 Jefferson Avenue was built for Edward and Lissey (Melissa nee Marshall) Lawrence in 1896. Edward was born in January of 1819 in England with his wife being born there as well in 1835. Edward and Lissey married on June 4, 1856 and had three children including Marshall, Jennie and Robert.

Edward is the son of Robert Lawrence, who ran a boat on the canal in England and never emigrated to the United States. Edward was born in Thurnham, Lancashire, England where, for eleven years, ran a merchant boat on the canal. After which, he and his two brothers came to America coming directly to Kane County. Edward settled in Charter Grove where he purchased a farm. Upon retiring, he and his wife, Lissey, moved to Elgin.

Lissey's father was William Marshall who was a proprietor of the 76 acre Railroad Avenue Farm located in St. Charles township. He was touted to be one of the best farmers in the township. Interestingly, three of William's daughters, including Lissey, married three brothers; Edward, John and William Lawrence. 

Edward passed away in 1902 and is buried at Bluff City Cemetery. Lissey remained in the home until her passing in 1921.


391 Jefferson Avenue is an asymmetrical, balloon-frame Queen Anne style home. The ornamental detailing, particularly on the tower with a conical roof, showcases the Queen Anne stylistic features. Other character-defining features include the asymmetrical façade, steeply pitched roof, and triangular gable detailing.  




Sources: 1987 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud