637 PROSPECT BOULEVARD

HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE

In 1884, the property located at 637 Prospect Boulevard was sold to August Richmann and his wife, Louise, for $1,500.

August was born in Fairfield County, Ohio on August 26, 1846 to Friedrich Wilhelm and Christine Amalia (nee Krietemeyer) Richmann. August's father was born in 1820 in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1839 settling in Lancaster, Ohio shortly thereafter. He enrolled in Capitol University at Columbus, Ohio graduating in 1843. Richmann was ordained to preach the following year and served several German Parishes in the area. He married Christine A. Krietemeyer the same year and had eleven children including six sons and five daughters. 

In 1847, he was part of the organization of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod at Chicago. At that time, he had the largest parish in the new synod numbering 900 people. In the fall of 1858, his family moved to Schaumburg, Illinois to serve a new congregation there. In March of 1862, Pastor Richmann was called to be the Chaplain to the 58th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteers of the U.S. Army and is noted as the first Chaplain of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to serve in the armed forces of the United States. He then accepted a call to serve as the pastor at St. John's in Elgin, Illinois from 1869 to 1879. Reverend Friedrich and Christine lived on the west side of River Street (now south Grove Avenue) between Lake and National, where the Grand Victoria Casino is located now.

Two of Reverend Richmann's sons, William and August, were business partners and owned a pharmacy in Chicago. Unfortunately, they had to flee in October of 1871 from the Great Chicago Fire, relocating in Elgin. There, they picked up their business selling drugs, paints, oils, etc.

August married Marie Louise Carstens and they settled into their new home and raised five children. August passed away in 1919 leaving the home to Louise. She remained in the home for six more years until her passing in 1925.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

637 Prospect Boulevard is an excellent example of a Shingle Style home that enjoyed popularity from the later 1870s until around 1910. The home does not boast much adornment as seen in most 19th century styles that preceded it, however, it over emphasizes its complex shape with undulating roof planes, unique dormer shapes and, of course, its textured shingle wall surface. Ornate detailing on this home is used sparingly, however, can be found in the patterned shingles at the porch pediment as well as the textured shingles and diamond-pane window at the turret. 

TIMELINE OF PREVIOUS OWNERS

 

Sources: 1996 Heritage Plaque Application, Find A Grave; Audio: TextAloud