516 South Street was built in 1906 for Matthew J. and Helen Heslin for $2,400. His father, Thomas, owned and operated T. Heslin and Son meat market that was located at 4 N. State Street, the retail center of Elgin's west side. Thomas had five children and his sons, John and Matthew, were the "Son" in the business. Matthew held onto the business until 1922 when he then worked for Kerber Meat Market until 1939.  For a year, the home was occupied by Alfred Williams, a chemist for Pearsall Butter Company but in subsequent years, Matthew was listed as the occupant. Matthew passed away in 1951.

Nora Heslin, Matthew's daughter, inherited the home and continued to live there until her death in 1992 ending the more than 80 years of possession by the Heslin family.


516 South Street is a Colonial Revival style house of the gambrel roof sub-type, also called a Dutch Colonial. The roof lines are a front facing gable with cross gables. The south side-gable is gambrelled while the north side gable is a peaked roof over a bay window. The upper story is shingled in plain wood over a rock-faced block lower story, a blend of early and later elements in the style. Rounded porch supports, common to the Colonial Revival style, have been replaced on the full width porch.



Sources: 2003 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud