Elgin History Museum





For this week’s house, I wanted to feature a house owned by a doctor or nurse as a tribute to all the hospital staffers working around the clock during this unprecedented crisis.
Looking through Mike Alft’s book “Elgin: An Amercan History” I found Dr. Carlton E. Starrett, who served in the Spanish-American war. He and his family lived at 571 Center Street – which was a little hard to research because it doesn’t exist anymore! Luckily, it was listed in Steve Stroud’s book There Used to Be.
This house was built in 1886 for $5,000 by the Turnbull Brothers for Henry Adams, who was the president of the Western Card Company. The next owners were the G. W. Sears family, who were in the books and stationery supplies business. The next family to move in were the C. N. Black family who are pictured in the first photo, and the Starrett family moved in around 1896. According to an article in the Elgin Daily Courier from March 26, 1920, the home was sold to St. Joseph Hospital for $10,000. It was then used as a residence for the nurses until the early 1970’s. The home was razed in 1973 along with the old hospital and the entire block became St. Francis Park. I couldn’t find many photos of this house. If anyone has exterior or interior photos – please share!