432 DIVISION STREET
In February of 1882, Henry Downs bought lots 8 and 9 on Division Street. Downs paid $300 for the property and took out a $1000 mortgage not that long after. Downs was a bookkeeper at the G. M. Pecks dry goods store in town.
In 1885, Downs sold 432 Division to Alice and Winfield Weld who then sold the home to Ora and Nellie Chappell. Three years later, Florence Aldrich and her husband Uriah bought the house from the Chappells. Uriah was a cab driver in town. Unfortunately, shortly after purchasing the home, Florence passed away from Bright's Disease at 37, leaving behind two children.
With Florence gone, her brother James Lane, took over a failing mortgage and paid up all outstanding balances and court costs. James warranted the property back to Uriah, who by 1896 was remarried to Anna Husted. Shortly after, they divorced and the home went into Anna's name. By 1899, Anna had warranted the property to William Grote, but by the turn of the new century, 432 Division is listed as vacant.
Summer of 1900 saw the start of a long family lineage, the Leitners, in the Division house. Lena and George Leitner were the mother and father of Edward and Henry who were co-founders and co-owners of Leitner's Meat Market at 201 E. Chicago Street. After a number of the Leitner family members bought and sold the home over the years, Edna Lubbers Cook, daughter of Edward Leitner, bought the home in 1941 and owned it until 1970.
The National Register of Historic Places nomination form for the Elgin Historic District lists 432 Division as a contributing property to the historic significance of the area. The home exhibits the Gabled-Ell form, with a front facing gable with a cross gable behind, creating the L shape, and two stories in height. Near the turn of the 20th century, these were popular homes with working class families thanks to their affordability. Often they include touches elements of other styles, and in the case of 432 Division the wrap around front porch, its enclosure a later alteration, is a nod to the Queen Anne style.
Sources: 2003 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud