ELGIN   Is a delightfully situated city of Kane county, on both banks of the Fox river, 42 miles north-west from Chicago, and is one of the most important business points in the county. At this place the Galena and Chicago Union and Fox River Valley railroads unite. Elgin was settled by Mr. Gifford, of New York, who located there with his family in the fall of 1835. Additions were soon made to their small number, by other hardy adventurers, principally, however, relatives of Mr. Gifford's family.
In the winter of 1836, the "Pioneer Mill" was built, which consisted of a huge log, dug out at one end, like a mortar. Above this was a long handled pestle, attached to a spring pole. The grain was thrown into this mortar, and there pounded into meal. Mr. Gifford, the proprietor, gave free use of his mill to the neighbors, merely saying to them, "you are welcome to use the mill, but most not ask me to pound."
In the winter of 1835, a log cabin was put up, which is still standing, and is known as the "Culvert tavern stand," and in the fall of the same year a charter was granted Mr. Gifford, for a state road leading from Chicago to Galena, through Elgin, he being appointed one of the commissioners to survey and locate it. The first frame building erected there was in 1838.
Elgin prides herself in her school buildings, which are among the finest in the country. Elgin Academy, under the charge of Robert Blenkiron, with two male and two female assistants, is fast gaining an enviable popularity. Beside this, there are many others, both of a public and private character, all well sustained. Population, 4,000.   Edward S. Wilcox, Postmaster.  (Hawes' Illinois State Gazetteer..., 1859)

City or Town