In 1911, David C. Cook sold lots 23 and 24 in block 2 of his Addition to Julia Moulton, a widow, for $850. A year and a half later, Julia warranted the lots to her divorced daughter, Kate Moulton Ford, an employee of Cook Publishing. The original house at 826 Brook Street was likely built in 1912 and was the residence of Kate, however, by 1921, Kate was living at the Olive Apartments (814 Brook Street), an enterprise for women who were single, widowed or divorced and worked at the Cook Publishing Company. 826 Brook Street was then rented out. Kate's sister, Winnifred Fish, a widow, was the manager of the Olive Apartments. In 1929, Kate and Winnifred made a contract with Mr. Geldmacher to remodel and make an addition to lots 23 and 24. The permit for the work was $5,000. Winnifred and Kate continued to rent the home. One of their tenants was Theo Saam who was the Superintendent of Elgin Public Schools from 1930 until 1936.

Winnifred retired from Cook Publishing in 1944 and Kate retired in 1948. Winnifred and Kate were both active members of the First Universalist Church, the women's branch of the Masons-the Order of the Eastern Star and the Society for the Visually Handicapped. Winnifred passed away in 1959 and Kate in 1965.


826 Brook Street is a large, well kept house with hints of its original elements nicely blended into the Tudor Revival style of the 1929 remodel. The house has a jerkin head roof with a cross gabled section behind. Steeply pitched dormers appear in the second story on the south facade and are balanced on the north facade with steeply pitched gables that are vertical extensions of the wall. The front entry is capped by a narrow, steeply pitched roof that flares downward on its north section over the entry door and rests upon a decorative bracket.

The windows have wide surrounds and are mostly one over one paned an in numerous sizes. The first story is clad in shingle with the second story clad in plaster. Half-timber style decoration is seen on the upper story. 



Sources: 2011 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud