432 South Street was built for Elbridge Elijah Fay and his wife, Mary in the early 1880s. Elbridge was noted as one of Kane County’s earliest settlers as he arrived in the area in 1840 with his parents, Elijah and Martha, along with his siblings; Franklin, Prescott, Isaac, Gilbert, and Eveline. The Fay family moved from Massachusetts.

He worked as a farm hand, a tanner as well as a boot maker making his way to a successful livestock dealer in the area. By 1861, Elbridge was married to Mary Eleanor Goble and had two children, Clara and Dinnie. Martha passed away in 1898 leaving Elbridge the family home until his passing in 1913.

Soon after, the home was sold and then converted into two apartments. It remained as a two-unit for quite some time until it was deconverted back to a single family home in 1998. 


432 South Street is predominately Queen Anne in style with some Eastlake, or spindle style, detailing. Eastlake is associated with elaborately carved wooden posts, balusters, spindles, brackets, moldings, latticework, scroll-work and carved panels. This detailing gave the building more depth and variation that could give a type of identity to a style that was popularly used at the time.

One of 432 South Street’s main characteristic is its prominent front porch displaying the intricate ornamentation, also referred to as gingerbread. In addition, a unique feature to this particular home is its front bay window that is set at a 45-degree angle to the main façade. Other details can be found at the front porch gable with its fan design and its attic venting that adds extra depth to this functional feature.

Sources: Gifford Park Association; Audio: TextAloud