1835, James T. and Hezekiah Gifford, along with Samuel
Jewett Kimball, settled a
city that they would name "Elgin" in the state of Illinois, 38 miles
west of Chicago. Situated on the Fox River, Elgin is directly between the
lead mines of Galena and Chicago. Gifford, being a devoutly religious man,
named his new city after a Scottish psalm. "I had been a great
admirer of that tune from boyhood", he once stated, "and the name
Elgin had ever fallen upon my ear with musical effects". Over the
next 165 years, Elgin would be music to the ears of a great many people and
industries, including one of the largest watch making factories in the world,
the largest producers of dairy products in the Midwest, including the home of
The Borden Milk Company, as well as the manufacturing of cars, shoes, bicycles
and religious printed material. Elgin would be the home for many colleges,
including Judson College, Elgin Community College and The Elgin Academy, which
at one time was affiliated with Northwestern University.
the years, the triumphs of Elgin would be celebrated through the production of
postcards. The products of such postcard companies as V. O. Hammon, S. H. Knox, E. C. Kropp
and other would serve two purposes: they not only provide inexpensive ways for
people to communicate, but they also provide a historical record to
buildings or structures that no longer exist.
this history will be told through the postcards that I own, it will be a
decidedly short one. Any item of interest in Elgin that I don't have a
postcard of, will seem to not exist. However, much is written about the
City of Elgin by such learned and scholarly people as E. C.
Alft, Hazel Belle
Perry, Jim and Wynette
Edwards, and others. If you enjoy this brief work, I
suggest you learn more in their writings.