625 LILLIE STREET
In 1884, Jonathan Force sold lot 4, block 1 in the 2nd addition to William Blanchard. A number of other people exercised legal transactions to secure other portions of the land, including James McClellan, then the Kane County Sheriff. In 1891, McClellan then sold the property to the highest bidder, Godfrey Traub, for around 800 dollars.
Shortly after finishing building a house on his newly acquired property, Godfrey sold the home to Fred Traub. Fred was the first and only baker in Elgin. Records note that many people warned Fred against his dream of opening up a bakery in town, thinking the business wouldn’t survive. Not long after opening his first bakery at 61 Douglas Avenue, he opened a second bakery at 8 N. State Street.
Fred and Minnie together had eight children. After Fred’s death in 1924, two of his sons, Edward and Henry, took over the bakery business. Edward and his wife, Hilda, also moved into the family home with his mother at 625 Lillie Street. Minnie passed away in 1935. Together, Edward and Hilda stayed in the home until 1942.
In 1942, a joint tenancy warranty deed between Charles Traub and Jacob and Laura Nesler was executed. Jacob and Laura owned in the home until 1975.
In 2005, the home became one of Elgin’s Landmarks.
625 Lillie Street is a fine example of the Free-Classic sub-type of the Queen Anne style home. It is two stories tall, with wood clapboard siding on much of the home, and a limestone foundation. The pyramidal roof is topped with asphalt shingles and wood, double-hung, one-over-one windows throughout. The lines of the house are simple and uncluttered. Features especially characteristic of this style include the dentils seen along the cornice of the partial-width front porch. Diamond styled windows on the front façade dormer exhibit a touch of fanciful design.
Sources: 1998 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud