John N. Seaver built the house at 766 South Street in 1890. A carpenter for Seaver & Company, his business manufactured wood mantles, office and store fixtures, brackets, moldings, planning and other pieces necessary for general carpentry work.  This business is listed at 108 River Street in the 1894-95 Elgin City Directory.

By 1903, Annie and L. Eugene Austin resided in the home, with the business L. E. Austin Dairy also listed at 766. The 1915 City Directory also shows the occupation for the owner of 766 South as “Milk Dealer.” In 2001, multiple original receipts from L. E. Austin Dairy were found in the home, with 766 South listed as the address.

While the time between the Austins and the current owners stretches far, much had happened to the exterior of the home.  Sadly, for many years, the home had succumbed to disrepair and lost much of the Victorian touches that made it special. In more recent years, however, the home went through rehabilitation that including replacing the roof, restoring the chimney, and repairing and painting the exterior.


766 is an example of the Queen Anne style.  Some of the common features of the Queen Anne style seen here include the steeply pitched, cross gabled roof; the dentils along the porch roof line; spindlework ornamentation; the tower; and the decorative shingles in multiple locations.



Sources: 2002 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud