660 LILLIE STREET
660 Lillie Street was built in 1882 for Samuel and Albert Soper with the Deed executed by Albert. This home was originally located at 105 N. Liberty Street, where a brick bungalow now stands. The home was relocated to 660 Lillie Street some time between 1919-1920.
Albert was a painter originally from New York state. He moved west to Ohio and then to Indiana where he met his future wife, Virginia. The Soper's 50th wedding anniversary was a featured story in the Elgin Advocate, November 17, 1906. In the story, it is hinted that a romantic mystery surrounded Albert and Virginia's marriage: "That they were not married at her home leads some to believe the story of romance. Mr. Soper's eyes twinkled this morning when asked about it, but he denied that it was a runaway match." Their son, Charles N. Soper, was the manager of the Elgin Marble and Granite Works and their grandson, Charles A. Soper, became the president of the marble works. In 1905, Charles A. married Graze Elizabeth Townsend.
The house stayed in possession of the Sopers until 1889 when it was sold to George Robinson. In 1901, Robinson sold 105 N. Liberty Street to Elizabeth Townsend -- soon to become Albert Soper's grandson, Charles' mother-in-law. She used the home as a rental until her death in 1917. The only heir of Elizabeth Townsend sold the home to Stephen A. Smith and his wife, Mary. The home continued as a rental when it was sold to Stephen A. Smith in 1917.
Stephen was a carpenter in partnership with Herman Wilkening, who lived next door to the home at 123 N. Liberty Street before the home was relocated to 660 Lillie. The 1903 Sanborn Map details the "Smith & Wilkening Contractor's Shop" at the back of their adjoining properties. Access to lumber storage, planing, and bench works buildings was through an alley that ran between Forest Avenue and Lillie Street. Those buildings and the two men's houses are still there today, though the construction business is long gone. The 1917-18 Elgin City Directory lists a renter, John Popp, as living there; he was a carpenter for Smith.
The home was then sold to Chris Mosiman in 1920 and at the same time, relocated to 660 Lillie Street. Mosian sold 660 Lillie Street in 1949.
660 Lillie is a Gable-Front house with no front facade projections with a front entry located on the south elevation. Italianate elements can be seen on the home including the low pitched, front gabled roof, original two-over-two window and simple window surrounds. The small oval window found at the west elevation is typical of houses built in the 1880s. The hipped roof porch is an addition, likely constructed in the 1940s.
Sources: 2002 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud