408 S. LIBERTY STREET
In July 1889, Julia Bowen sold lots 1 and 2 of block 2 to Libbie Brown for $2,259. Libbie Brown immediately built a house on lot 1, the corner lot (402 S. Liberty Street) and left lot 2 open. In 1909, Libbie Brown warranted lot 2 to her daughter, Maude Rowland.
The Elgin City Directory has no listing for 408 S. Liberty until the 1911-1912 edition and then it is listed as occupied by Thomas Rowland, an employee at the Elgin Watch Factory. The house stayed in possession of Thomas and Maude Rowland for many years thereafter.
The house has a square footprint, with a hipped roof and a smooth stucco exterior. The front porch is full width with a hipped roof and has heavy, square supports. There are hipped dormers on three sides and windows emphasizing the horizontal and wide overhanging eaves. All of those features point to the Prairie style, which originated in the Midwest, and was meant to reflect the flatness of our mid-American landscape.
Sources: 1997 Heritage Plaque Application; Gifford Park Association; Audio: TextAloud