416 E. Chicago Street was built for Delos and Harriet Leonard in 1870. They eventually sold the home to Moses H. and Clarissa Thompson in the 1870s. 

Moses was a lifelong resident of Kane County, residing here when he was one year old with his parents in 1834. His father, Captain Thomas H. Thompson, settled his family in the Dundee township on a farm where Moses grew up and worked until twenty-one years old. At that time, he took courses in civil engineering working in Galena and Dubuque at lead mines until around 1858 when he began surveying early railroad lines west of the Mississippi. By 1860, he started to publish maps and quickly became the pioneer map publisher in the mid-west. His maps were so thorough and complete that copies were added to many libraries around the world. He married Clarissa I. Miller, daughter of David and Clarissa Miller, in 1862 and had two children, Walter M. and Clara I. 

In 1872, Moses began working at the Elgin Gas Light Company  as its secretary and manager for around 10 years. Naturally, 416 E. Chicago Street was the first in Elgin to be lit with gas. In 1882, he then worked for the Southwestern Lumber Company as President and manager in Arkansas. He was there for only four years, returning to Elgin due to ill health. By 1892, he became the first president of the Elgin National Bank.


416 E. Chicago Street is a simple Italianate, well-preserved, and painstakingly restored in the 1990's after there was a major house fire that left the home vacant. It has an original bay, clapboard siding, window hoods, and a Greek Revival entrance.



Sources: Gifford Park Association; Audio: TextAloud