422 Elm Street was built in 1928 for Valentine B. and Maria King.  Valentine's sister was Olivia, who was married to Charles Erbstein, the owner of a private estate named Villa Olivia.  Maria's sister Ruth Louise was married to E. Brewster Stewart, president of the Elgin Metal Casket Company.  Valentine was born in Chicago and came to Elgin to manage the Purple Grackle, an upscale nightclub which Erbstein had built on land adjoining his own estate.  In 1924, the Purple Grackle burned to the ground and King was put in charge of its reconstruction.  Today, it is no longer there with US Route 20 bypassing where it once stood.

Valentine King died in 1931.  After his passing, his wife Maria kept, but rented out, the house until 1940 when she sold it to her brother-in-law, E. Brewster Stewart who subsequently sold 422 Elm to Fred and Ida Eggers one month later.  Fred was an employee of the Illinois Tool Works.  In 1953, the Eggers family sold the house to Robert and Dorothy Swift. Robert was the merchandise manager for Joseph Spiess and Company.  The Swift's resided in the home for thirteen years until they sold it in 1970.


422 Elm Street was designed as a Dutch Colonial. Some characteristics of this style that can be seen on this home is its gambrel roof, one-and-a-half to two stories, shed, hipped or gabled dormers, portico or decorative hood with brackets above entry and flared eaves.



Sources: 2009 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud