1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Elgin (Illinois)

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ELGIN, a city of Kane county, Illinois, U.S.A., in the N. part of the state, 36 m. N.W. of Chicago. Pop. (1880) 8787; (1890) 17,823; (1900) 22,433, of whom 5419 were foreign-born; (1910 census) 25,976. Elgin is served by the Chicago & North-Western and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul railways, and by interurban electric railways to Chicago, Aurora and Belvidere. The city is the seat of the Northern Illinois hospital for the insane, of the Elgin Academy (chartered 1839; opened 1856), and of St Mary’s Academy (Roman Catholic); and has the Gail Borden public library, with 35,000 volumes in 1908. The city has six public parks, Lord’s Park containing 112, and Wing Park 121 acres. The city is in a fine dairying region and is an important market for butter. Among Elgin’s manufactures are watches and watch-cases, butter and other dairy products, cooperage (especially butter tubs), canned corn, shirts, foundry and machine-shop products, pipe-organs, and caskets and casket trimmings; in 1905 Elgin’s total factory product was valued at $9,349,274. The Elgin National Watch factory, and the Borden milk-condensing works, are famous throughout the United States and beyond. The publishing office of the Dunkers, or German Brethren, is at Elgin; and several popular weeklies with large circulations are published here. A permanent settlement was made as early as 1835, and Elgin was chartered as a city in 1854 and was rechartered in 1880.