In the mid-1800s, Jacob Stettner purchased a number of lots along Lillie Street in Jonathan Force’s 2nd Addition to Elgin. One of the lots he sold was to his brother, Louis Stettner. As reported by the Elgin Daily Courier in 1900, Louis commissioned for a home to be built on the property for $1,600. This house became 665 Lillie Street.

Louis Stettner (Jr.) was the son of a German immigrant who worked as a harness maker for John Spiess. Louis followed in his father’s footsteps and became a harness maker as well. Louis, Jr. was one of seven children, many of which lived on Lillie Street along with him. His father lived at 659 Lillie Street, William was at 665, Jacob at 671 and Otto at 633 Lillie Street.

In 1909, Stettner’s brothers acquired 665 for $1, who turned around and sold half of the property rights to their sister, Rose, for $1. Rose sold her half in 1922 to William and his wife Emma. The house stayed in the Stettner family possession until 1951.  Since then, 665 has seen a number of different owners.


665 Lillie Street shows many features of the Gable-Ell of homes. Popular for many years through the turn of the 19th century for their simplicity is design, and thus price, some of features seen in 665 Lillie include the front gable on a rectangular body with a cross gable. The enclosed front porch you see today was once open; however, the original back porch remains open. Originally, 665 Lillie’s exterior was comprised of wood clapboard but today the clapboard is covered with aluminum siding. Matching wood, double-hung sash one-over-one windows were made to match. While some changes have been made, the Illinois Urban Architectural and Historical Survey lists this property as contributing to the history of the neighborhood.  



Sources: 2000 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud