In 1905, Ancil R. Smith purchased the land at Lot 12, Block 1 of of Barrett's Third Addition for $700 and built a home. In June of 1912 Christian and Justina Johnson purchased the land and the house for $1000. Ancil R. Smith also built 471 Barrett. Elgin City Directories list both Justina and Christian, even though only list Justina Johnson is shown on the deed. Christian Johnson was the owner of the Elgin Metal Novelty Co. where he and his son worked, and Justina Johnson and her daughter Mary were both nurses. The family came to America from Norway in 1879, which corresponds to the 1910 Census noting that this was a predominantly Norwegian and Scandinavian neighborhood in the early 1900s.

After the Johnson's, 479 Barrett has seen a number of owners. In 1920, Fred H. and Adella Lichthardt purchased the home but by December the next year Edward and Mary Duppler are the listed owners. For the next 30 years, the home was inhabited by the Duppler family, later including their son Edwin, his wife Mabel as well as Kathryn and Edwin Jr., Edward and Mary's grandchildren. Edward was born in Wisconsin and in the 1940 Census he is listed as a clothes cleaner with Edward Jr. and Mabel working in the Watch Factory.

In 1951 as the result of a quit claim deed, the home went into the ownership of Joseph J. Marik who quickly sold the property to Elwood and Margaret Bartlett. In 1957 Joseph and Margaret divorced and he quickly remarried. He and his new wife, Dorothy, then lived together in the home until his death in 1981.


479 Barrett Street is an American Foursquare. While this type is not actually a style as the name indicates, these houses are often based on the repetition of squares and square masses. In the instance of 479 Barrett, characteristics of a number of stylistic influences can be seen, with its cornice-lined brackets, hipped roof, full-width porch, hipped dormers, four room four plans, and overall ornamental simplicity nodding to styles like Prairie and Craftsman.



Sources: 2003 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud