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events have happened in Freeport and Stephenson County, Illinois,
and remarkable people have lived there. These are stories gathered
about people and events from 1835 through World War II.
by Robert Bike
The Bible mentions about 232 plants by name, or closely enough to figure out what plant is meant. Of these, 24 are aromatic plants; that is, parts of the plants can be pressed or distilled to get an essential oil. Essential oils are the lifeblood of plants and have tremendous healing capabilities.
healing power of plants is the basis for modern medicines.
Originally published in manuscript form in 1999, I completely revised the book and added illustrations.
Biblical Aromatherapy in paperback,
List price $24.99; introductory offer $19.99
To order the pdf version and download to your computer or phone,
The electronic version is only $2.99!
Carlile, columnist for the Freeport (Illinois) Journal Standard,
featured this website in her column on January 19, 2007.
Life Purpose is to inspire my friends
Robert Bike, LMT, LLC
All text and photos Copyright 2002 - present Robert L. Bike, except for photos and text from uncopyrighted material in the public domain.
In 1910 Addison Luther Fulwider published the History of Stephenson County. Much of it was a re-hashing of the Tilden 1880 History of Stephenson County. Both the Tilden and the Fulwider histories were published before copyright laws. Below is a rendering of the Fulwider book, scanned, with OCR errors, spelling errors, etc. Occasionally you will see question marks. Fulwider never proof-read his book, and places where he probably meant to go back and finish were never finished, and the question marks were left.
I am cleaning the scan up as much as possible, but errors remain. This is a work in progress. I will add to it as I can, and correct errors as I can. Fulwider wrote interminably long paragraphs, which I've broken up into many smaller paragraphs for easier reading.
Beware as you read that this is a highly racist time. Native Americans were never give their just due for how they treated the land they owned. And the language used in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates was highly racially charged.
Below is Part Four - Freeport.
For easier navigation, I've added a few section headings. Enjoy!
Schools After 1860
Table of Growth of Freeport High School
Table of School Property Value
Table of School Census
The County Commencement
Table of Average monthly wages paid teachers
Y. M. C. A.
Freeport Public Library
The Great Storm of June 1869
The Freeport Post Office
County & City Officials
Part Four - Freeport
HISTORY OF STEPHENSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
RECORD OF ITS SETTLEMENT, ORGANIZATION
AND THREE-QUARTERS OF A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
By ADDISON L. FULWIDER, A. M.
"History is the accumulated experience of the race." JUDSON
S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY
OF STEPHENSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
UNDER FOUR FLAGS
The First Presbyterian church of Freeport enjoys the distinction of being the oldest Protestant church, not only in Freeport, but in the county. It was organized in 1842, with Rev. Calvin Waterbury as pastor, November 24th being the traditional date of its founding. At the meeting said to have been held on that date Rev. Mr. Waterbury presided as moderator, Samuel Spencer acted as clerk, and a resolution was adopted setting forth the confession of faith in the form and government of the Presbyterian church of the United States.
Of the fifteen men and women who assembled on that memorable day, not one is today alive. They included, besides the pastor, the following persons, all of them names of importance in the early history of the county Philip Reitzell, Mrs. Mary Reitzell, Orestes H. Wright, Mrs. Emmaretta Henderson, Mrs. Elizabeth Lucas, Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Lucas, Mrs. Sarah Young, Asa W. Rice, Mrs. Nancy Rice, Orrin B. Munn, Mrs. Jane L. Wright, Samuel Spencer, and Mrs. Elizabeth Spencer. The Rev. Calvin Waterbury was formally installed as minister by his congregation of fourteen, and the records state that his annual salary was fixed at $400, probably an extraordinary sum for the year 1842. For some time worship was held in the courthouse, but as the congregation grew, the trustees felt the need of a regular place of worship, and accordingly two lots were secured on the southeast corner of Walnut and Stephenson streets, where the Y. M. C. A. building stands today. One of these was purchased for the sum of $40, the other was donated by Kirkpatrick and Baker.
Plans were immediately drawn up for a church edifice of brick and stone, to occupy a space 40 by 65, and to cost $460. A subscription was undertaken and before long the directors felt safe in proceeding with the work of building. The stone for the foundation was quarried across the river and hauled to the place of building by an ox team driven by L. L. Munn. The wood timbers were also cut in the neighborhood, and the workers started out with zeal to finish their labor in a short space of time. They never finished it, however, for sufficient funds were not forthcoming, and when only half completed, the church was deserted, the pastor resigned, and with him fifteen members of the congregation left the church. It was a critical period in the history of the church, but the church survived. In December, 1847, shortly after the resignation of Rev. Mr. Waterbury, Rev. J. C. Downer was called to take charge. During the years 1847-1853 when Rev. Mr. Downer was with the church, a phenomenal growth was experienced. Work was re-commenced on the deserted church, and it was finished for occupancy in 1851. To years later, the pastor received another call and left Freeport, to be succeeded by the Rev. Isaac E. Carey. Mr. Carey remained in charge for three years, and was followed by the Rev. C. B. Van Zandt who left two years later, in 1860. Rev. Mr. Waterbury, the first pastor of the church returned again for the space of one year, and at the close of that time, resigned, leaving the church without a pastor for a whole year. In 1862, Mr. Carey was again called to the charge.
By this time the congregation had outgrown its quarters again and a movement was started for the erection of a new edifice across the street on the spot where the present building stands. In 1866 the comer stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies, and October 31, 1867 it was completed and dedicated by Professor F. W. Fiske, of Chicago, who preached the sermon, and Rev. J. W. Cunningham, who offered the dedicatory prayer. On the evening of the same day, Rev. Carey was installed as pastor, the sermon being preached by Rev. C. A. Williams of Rockford, and the charge to the pastor being given by the Rev. A. Kent, of Galena, and that to the people by the Rev. C. Marsh, of Mount Carroll. The church building cost $50,000 and on the day of dedication $17,000 was raised by subscription to pay the building debt.
This same building, erected in 1866, is still standing, and is still one of the most beautiful structures of the city, a credit to the community and especially to the brave band of followers whose labors helped to raise the pile. The First Presbyterian church is today in a flourishing condition, having a membership of nearly five hundred persons. The Sunday school, founded in 1844, by John Rice as superintendent, with only eleven pupils, is today one of the largest in the city. The church property is valued at $60,000.
Since the final departure of Rev. Isaac E. Carey in 1872, the following pastors have officiated: Rev. H. D. Jenkins, D. D., January, i873-September, 1889;. Rev. Edgar P. Hill, D. D., February, i8ox>-September, 1895; Rev. Charles E. Dunn, January, i896-September, 1904; Rev. Hugh Lowry Moore, February, 1905- June, 1910.
The church is for the present without a pastor, Rev. Mr. Moore having left to answer a call at Beloit, Wisconsin.
In October, 1827, before the first white settlers had permanently located in Stephenson County before that historical event known as the Black Hawk War, the first mass was offered up to God by Father Stephen Vincent Baden. This event, so notable in the history of Catholicity in the county, occurred at the cabin of a man named Simon Brady who was then living in the vicinity of Kellogg's Grove. Father Baden did not stay long in the county, as he was on his way to visit Galena and Prairie du Chien to administer the spiritual needs of the miners who were beginning to throng to those regions.
The next six years are a blank. It was not until 1843 that further developments took place. At that time, the Bishop of St. Louis, who had under his jurisdiction all the western part of Illinois, sent Father John McMahan to locate his dwelling in Galena and care for the spiritual welfare of the settlers who were beginning to appear in large numbers in that section of the country. At first Father McMahan went to Dubuque, Iowa, where he remained for a short time only, presently departing to fulfill his mission in Galena and the surrounding counties. Stephenson County was included in his charge and for the next ten years had no resident priest of its own. Father McMahan found the labors of his position excessive. In less than a year he had completely worn himself out and in the ninth month of his stay he died and was succeeded by Father Fitz Morris. Father Fitz Morris' labors were even more brief, for in three months he also went to his everlasting rest. Father Shanahan the third priest at Galena also died soon after coming to these parts and was buried beside his predecessors.
In 1843, the connection of Stephenson County Catholics with the Galena congregation ceased, and they received their first resident priest, Farther Derwin, whom the Bishop of St. Louis appointed to the. parish of New Dublin. His parish was extended over the counties of Stephenson, Lee, Ogle, and Winnebago, with his residence at New Dublin. The welcome pastor made his home with a family named Murphy and offered the holy mass in a log church "16x24 feet and seven logs high," which had been erected in 1836. In 1844 the Bishop of Chicago was given jurisdiction over all Illinois and in 1846 he appointed the Rev. James Cavanaugh to the charge of New Dublin' and the Missions in its vicinity. This clergyman was succeeded by Rev. F. Kalvelage, who erected, in 1855, the church now in use at New Dublin.
In 1854, Father Cavanaugh came to Freeport to reside permanently, but the history of St. Mary's Parish dates back farther than that. Four years before, the priest had succeeded in organizing the present parish, but no church was built, and instead mass was offered up at the home of one of the members of the parish. It was in the little parlor of the home of Thomas Egan, at a time when there were but few houses in the city of Freeport, that a number of Catholics met one afternoon to form a congregation. It was in that same little parlor, thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Egan, that services were held by Mrs. Egan's brother, Father Cavanaugh. Mrs. Egan passed away only a short time ago and was for a long time the only surviving member of the first parish. Among those who attended the first meeting in her home were Father Cavanaugh, Richard and Thomas Barren, Robert Balow, Mr. Tuhey, Edward Cavanaugh, James Manion, George Cavanaugh, Thomas and John O'Connor, Thomas Egan, Mr. Nagle, William Barren, and Mrs. Catherine Egan. One of the first steps taken was a proposal to build a church, and the congregation all put down their names for contributions in accordance with their means. A few hundred dollars were raised but the sum was inadequate for the building of a church.
In the meantime the brave little congregation was granted the use of a hall belonging to J. K. Brewster. The hall proved large enough for the Catholic citizens to assemble there to assist at the holy sacrifice on Sundays, and there they worshiped, until the little frame church, begun nine months later, was completed.
Various materials were voluntarily furnished, and thus the expense was materially lessened. Robert and Thomas McGee furnished the sills, others gave shingles, glass, nails, putty, etc., and so, after much labor and self denial, the little structure was completed, and who shall express the happiness of a devout people, such as these, when they knelt once more in a real church, however poor and plain.
During Father Cavanaugh's pastorate in Freeport there were no railroads. Early in the fifties, the Illinois Central was not completed, and he had to travel almost incessantly with horse and buggy. The cholera made his work yet more laborious, because of the great number of sick people he was called upon to see. He met with many ludicrous, and some very dangerous experiences in his travels over the wild country. Everywhere he found opportunities open for earnest work, and it is no wonder that he was greatly beloved by the members of his flock, for he was untiring in his efforts in their behalf.
Father Ferdinand Kalvelage, who succeeded Father Cavanaugh, remained in charge of St. Mary's Parish until 1859. It was during his pastorate at St. Mary's that the second church, a brick structure, was built. The new edifice was a decided improvement on the old one, and was considered a very excellent building at the time of its erection. The cornerstone was laid in July, 1855, and in it was placed a tin box containing copies of the weekly papers of the city, some manuscript, 3, 5, and 10 cent pieces, and a copy of the New York Catholic Zeitung. The lumber used in the building was brought down the Mississippi to Savanna and was hauled from there by oxen. The material was hewn out with the ax. The structure was 40x80 feet and was severely plain and unadorned. It continued to meet the needs of the congregation somewhat inadequately for thirty-five years until the present edifice was built in 1890.
Father Thomas O'Gara was Father Kalvelage's successor. He came to St. Mary's in August, 1859, and during the seven years of his pastorate he showed himself an indefatigable worker and a most zealous pastor. Not being acquainted with the German language he engaged from time to time the services of a German priest, for the benefit of the German half of the congregation, who did not leave St. Mary's until 1862. This event occurred in Father O'Gara's pastorate, the German's building St. Joseph's church and the Irish retaining the use of St. Mary's after having given a certain sum to aid in the building of St. Joseph's. It was also at this time that the first parochial residence was fitted for use, the old frame church being used for the purpose. Father O'Gara likewise secured property for St. Mary's Cemetery west of town, and succeeded in raising funds sufficient for the purchase of a pipe organ which has ever since remained in use.
Following Father O'Gara, two priests, Father Kennedy and Father Rigby filled the charge for brief and uneventful periods, and in 1867 Father Michael J. Hanley came. He stayed for only two years, but accomplished a great deal in that short time. The old frame church having become unfit for the parochial residence, it was moved away, and on a newly purchased lot was erected a two-story brick building, which remained in use until vacated by Father Stack for the use of the Sisters. In 1868 the first school was organized, later to be improved and enlarged.
Father P. L. Hendriek succeeded in 1870 and remained a short time only, to be succeeded by Father Murtaugh, who bought the brick building converted into St. Mary's school, and also painted the interior of the church building. In June, 1871, Father Stack came, and turned his attention to the school which he immediately began to improve and re-organize. Money was raised, with which the building was repaired and duly furnished. Application was made to the Dominican mother house at Sinsinawa Mound for instructors who were supplied and immediately took charge of the school. Father Stack vacated his own house that the Sisters might have a home, and then began to build them the present convent, which at that time was considered one of the most comfortably furnished structures of its kind in the northwest.
In 1877, Father Thomas
F. Mangan came to take charge. He was a very diligent worker and effected
a number of desirable changes and improvements. He repaired and remodeled
the church and added a considerable piece of land to the church cemetery,
now in very respectable condition. Father Mangan remained in Freeport
for ten years, to be succeeded by Father Michael Welby.
Father Welby was a man of great learning and was warmly welcomed by St. Mary's Parish. It was during his time that the matter of building a new church was considered, and a fair was held to create a fund for that purpose. The new priest was not, however, a man of robust strength and in 1890 he took a trip to the City of Mexico for the purpose of regaining his health. His quest was unsuccessful and he died while in Mexico.
Father W. A. Horan succeeded Father Welby. He was a most able and energetic worker, and much beloved by all the members of the parish. During his occupancy many changes were brought about. Most important of these was the building of the new church. There had been talk of building a new church during Father Welby's stay, and even earlier but nothing definite had been done. Father Koran's perseverance and courage led to the raising of sufficient funds and in April, 1890, a sum had been raised large enough to warrant immediate progress on the work. On August 3, 1890, the corner stone was laid, with appropriate exercises, Father McLaughlin of Rockford and Father Horan conducting the simple but eloquent exercises before an audience of three thousand people.
The church is 53x137 and is built of native stone, with trimming of terra cotta. On Wednesday, October 28, 1891, the solemn opening of the church occurred, the dedication not being accomplished until somewhat later.
In 1896 occurred the Golden Jubilee Festival commemorating the introduction of the Catholic religion into Stephenson County. High festival was held, a triumphal arch was erected on State street spanning the thoroughfare from the school to the church, and many Catholics from out of town were present.
In 1903, the school building and hall were completely repaired, remodeled, and rebuilt, making of the structure a thoroughly up-to-date school and auditorium.
Shortly after the accomplishment of these labors, a great sorrow came to the parish in the death of Father Horan, who had been for some time in poor health. His decease was mourned not only by his own church people but by the community at large, for Father Horan, like few of his predecessors, had been a most active influence for good in the various departments of social and charitable work in the city.
Father Horan was succeeded by Father Daniel Croke, who remained in Freeport until October, 1907, when he was succeeded by Father Thomas J. Leydon, who still holds the charge. The church is at present in a most prosperous condition and numbers over six hundred members.
All sales go to help support this website.
Stories, Volume 1
events have happened in Freeport and Stephenson County, Illinois,
and remarkable people have lived there. These are stories gathered
about people and events from 1835 through World War II.
In December, 1845, twenty-six men and women, at that time the whole of the Baptist population of the city, met in the kitchen of the Rev. James Schofield, who had been commissioned by the American Baptist Home Missionary Society to found a church in Freeport. In Rev. Schofield's kitchen, which was the only living room of the house, the organization of the First Baptist church of Freeport was effected. The twenty-six who were instrumental in establishing the church were: Rev. James Schofield and his wife Caroline, his son, John M. Schofield, and his daughter Miss Caroline Schofield (now Mrs. H. H. Wise), Mr. and Mrs. Robert Schofield, Mrs. Catherine Jones, Miss Elizabeth Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Stacks and their son and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. John Stout, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Stout, Mr. and Mrs. James Craft, Mr. and Mrs. William Perkins, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Plainer, Dexter A. Knowlton, and Royal Durfee.
Rev. James Schofield was subsequently elected first pastor of the church, the following year a lot was secured on Williams street, where St. Joseph's church stands today, and the work of building a place of worship was begun. The early history of the Baptist church in Freeport, especially that portion which deals with the building of the first church, is full of interest. Perhaps there is not a church in the city which fought harder for its existence in the days of its infancy than did the First Baptist church. It so happened that those who made up the congregation were poor men and could not aid financially in the building of the church.
Instead they did manual labor, and led by their pastor, they went to work upon the edifice and built it with their own hands. Rev. James Schofield was one of the most remarkable men in the early history of the community. An unusual personality, combined with unflinching courage, a resolute will, and a devout faith made him an inspiring and energetic leader. Had it not been for his unceasing labor, the little flock would have experienced an insurmountable difficulty in surpassing the labors and trials which beset them.
Fortunately for himself and for the church, Mr. Schofield had made a sufficient fortune to support himself and his family before entering the ministry fortunately, we may say, for his salary was only $300, half of it paid by the American Baptist Home Missionary Society, and half by the local church. After a great deal of labor, Mr. Schofield succeeded in raising enough money to buy the lumber and shingles for the church. These were purchased in Chicago and brought to Freeport by wagon. As the roads were bad, and the distance a tremendous one to haul lumber, many of the planks and bunches of shingles were scattered along the road. Rev. Schofield had, however, carefully marked each separate plank and bunch of shingles "FOR THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH AT FREEPORT" and ultimately every lost piece found its way to its destination. The church building was forthwith completed and dedicated on Christmas day, 1850, with a board of trustees consisting James Schofield, Alfred Dan, Joshua Springer, Job Arnold, and John Montelius.
The excessive exertions of the pastor had brought on an attack of ill health and he was forced to resign his charge at the close of the year 1851. At the close of his pastorate the original twenty-six had swelled to one hundred and the outlook was becoming prosperous. Before the building of the church the Baptists met in the old courthouse which had furnished a first place of worship for so many of Freeport's churches. Later they moved temporarily to a brick schoolhouse in Knowlton town where they remained until the completion of their new edifice.
After Rev. Mr. Schofield came Rev. T. L. Breckenbridge during whose occupancy the congregation was nearly doubled. He was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Reese who stayed two years. It was at the close of these two years that another misfortune befell the church. The cholera plague which was then raging in Freeport seemed to attack the Baptist church with unwonted ferocity. Many of the members died and the doors of the church were closed. It was two years before meetings were again resumed and during that time the Sunday school had been discontinued, prayer meetings had been given up, and the congregation was scattered far and wide. To the Rev. Ichabod Clark, who visited Freeport in June, 1855, belongs the credit of the re-organization. Rev. O. D. Taylor came to fill the pastorate and was succeeded by Revs. A. G. Thomas in 1858, N. F. Ravlin in 1859, and William Crowell in 1861.
While Mr. Crowell was pastor of the church plans were made for the erection of a new church building. The old church was sold to the German Catholic organization, and the Stephenson street lot which the Baptist church still occupies was purchased. In February, 1863, a chapel was completed and dedicated on this ground just west of Cherry street. Four efficient pastors succeeded Mr. Crowell: A. W. Tousey, C. W. Palmer, S. B. Gilbert, and W. H. Dorward.
Then another calamity appeared in the shape of a conflagration which destroyed the almost new chapel on the day after Christmas, 1875. The members of the church were beside themselves at this new misfortune, but bravely resolved to build again. On the very day of the fire, a meeting was held at the home of Judge J. M. Bailey, at which it was decided to immediately rebuild. Plans for a somewhat more elaborate structure were formulated, and after four years of building, during which time the congregation worshipped in the lecture room of the First Presbyterian church, the present building was finished and dedicated June 29, 1879, the dedicatory sermons being preached by the Rev. Galusha Anderson, president of the University of Chicago, and the Rev. G. W. Northrup, president of the Morgan Park Union Theological Seminary. In 1878 Rev. D. H. Cooley was called and became pastor of the church. In 1882 he resigned and has been succeeded by the Rev. E. P. Savage, R. L. Halsey, W. H. Parker, A. W. Fuller, William C. Spencer, Orlo J. Price, William H. Beynon, and F. E. Webb, the present pastor.
The First Baptist church edifice of red pressed brick, valued, together with the small lot on which it stands, at about $20,000. The auditorium is located on the second floor of the building, the first floor being given over to the lecture and Sunday school rooms. The Sunday school is in a flourishing condition having a roll of about two hundred. The congregation numbers nearly three hundred.
As we have elsewhere stated, in the early history of St. Joseph's Parish, the congregation was merged with that of St. Mary's. The Germans and Irish were members of the same congregation, but many cf the former being ignorant of the English language, it was deemed advisable to form two parishes. Father John Westkamp at once set about selecting a suitable place of worship for the Germans and on June 4, 1862, purchased the old Baptist church, which stood on the present site of St. Joseph's church. The price given was $2,000, and the congregation which paid for it numbered about one hundred and twenty-five families. The old church was repaired and fitted up as well as possible, but, in 1868, finding that it was too small to hold the rapidly growing congregation, a large gallery was built in it, and in the fall of 1871 it was decided to erect a new building.
Father John Westkamp who had been the first pastor of the church had remained only one year, after which he was succeeded by Father Ignatius Baluff. It was under Father Baluff's direction that the work of building the church now went forward. During the winter before the church was built, the members of the church living in the city quarried the stone for building purposes, and those who lived in the country hauled it to the site of the new edifice in their farm wagons. Early in the spring the old building was moved back to Pleasant street and used for church purposes until the new structure was completed, after which it was torn down, and the lumber sold. Early in June the cornerstone of the new church was laid by Bishop Foley of Chicago, before a large audience of Freeporters and Catholics from other parishes. In December, 1872, it was completed, and dedicated on the fourth Sunday of advent, by Bishop Foley in the presence of a great many priests from all parts of the diocese.
St. Joseph's church is modern Gothic in style, its dimensions 50x140 and its cost $35,000. The church is built of brick and faces northeast, being located on the old Baptist church lot on Williams and Pleasant streets near Walnut. The seating capacity of the auditorium, including the gallery, is eight hundred and fifty. The stained glass in the windows of St. Joseph's is particularly beautiful, and the building from basement to spire is one of which Freeport's German population may justly be proud.
In 1874, the charge was taken by Father Clement Kalvelage who has remained up to the present day and is deeply loved and revered by his congregation. He has made numerous improvements and changes during his occupancy. In 1881 the appearance of the church was greatly enhanced by the erection of the new steeple, one hundred and seventy-five feet in height and containing a set of four chimes which cost $1,000. Since that time numerous improvements and new constructions have been made in the church.
Scarcely had the new church been completed and paid for when efforts were made to improve the educational advantages. At first a small frame building which had been purchased of St. Mary's congregation and which stood on the present site, was used, but this became too small and was unsuited for the purpose. In 1883 the present schoolhouse was built at a cost of $5,500. Father Kalvelage has taken a very great interest in the school and has brought it to a high standard of excellence. The school has an enrollment of about three hundred pupils and is taught by Franciscan Sisters from Joliet.
Within the last few years two other notable improvements have been made. In 1895 a new parochial residence was built next to the church at a cost of about $8,500. Behind this, facing on Pleasant street a convent of similar design has been constructed at a like cost. Both buildings are of brick with white marble facings and trimmings and marble steps.
The Franciscan Sisters are also in charge of St. Francis' Hospital, which was erected in 1889 and dedicated on February 12, 1890. It has since been increased and enlarged by the addition of a southern wing. The Sisters have also charge of St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum, which was founded and blessed on May 25, 1896. The orphan asylum at first occupied a small cottage on South Walnut street but has since moved to the former residence of August Bergman on Jefferson street.
St. Joseph's congregation numbers about two hundred families at present. The total valuation of the church property including the church and attached buildings, is about $75,000.
On October 30, 1847, the Second Presbyterian church was organized by twenty-seven persons who installed and ordained three elders A. H. Kerr, Samuel Dickey, and James W. Barber. Earlier in the year a petition had been presented to the Presbytery of Rock River, Old School, praying for the organization of a Second Presbyterian church, and signed by fifty-three persons. A public meeting was held in the old courthouse building, and a commissioner was appointed to carry the petition to the meeting of the Presbytery at Princeton. For some time after the date of organization, no services were held. The following spring a few meetings were held and eight new members received into the church. The membership at this time included the following names A. H. Kerr, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dickey, Mr. and Mrs. James W. Barber, Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. McKibben, Mr. and Mrs. John Van Dyke, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Badger, Mr. and Mrs. William Lamb, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Lamb, Mr.- and Mrs. Samuel Millikan, Mr. and Mrs. James Brown, Mrs. Janes McKibben, Mrs. Jane D. Lamb, and the Misses Phoebe and Martha Dickey.
In July, 1848, the Rev. John Ustick accepted a call as stated supply for the church and thus became the first pastor. Rev. Mr. Ustick remained in Freeport for twenty-two months. He was succeeded by the Rev. John Carroll during whose occupancy the first church edifice was erected. In 1850 the congregation had increased to such an extent that quarters became crowded. A building committee composed of David Nesbit, James Barfoot, and J. W. Barber was instructed to call for subscriptions. The church members responded generously, and by 1851 a $6,000 church had been completed and in September the first sermon was preached in it.
For forty-four years the congregation continued to occupy this little church. In 1850 a Sunday school had been organized and its growth was proportionate to that of the church. Rev. Mr. Carroll was succeeded in turn by A. H. Lackey, P. B. Marr, D. M. Barber, Robert Proctor, W. J. Johnstone, B. Roberts, George Elliott, John Giffen, S. M. Crissman, and W. B. Irwin. In 1890 Rev. J. D. McCaughtry, of Staunton, Illinois, was called to the Freeport charge, where he remained for ten years. Under his guidance the new church edifice was built on the site of the old church, and formally dedicated on February 9, 1896. This church was one of the finest in the city and met the needs of a growing congregation very satisfactorily. The pulpit was occupied by Rev. J. D. McCaughtry until 1900, when he resigned and Rev. Frank A. Hosmer took his place. Mr. Hosmer was in Freeport from the spring of 1900 to the fall of 1907, and his place has been taken by the Rev. H. M. Markley, who came to Freeport in the early part of 1908.
On January 9, 1910, a great calamity befell the Second Presbyterian church. The comparatively new church edifice was totally destroyed by a disastrous fire of unknown origin. So complete was the ruin that the walls and towers fell in and the prospect of rebuilding was hopeless. The fragments of the building were accordingly torn down and a new building was immediately commenced upon the ashes of its predecessor. The cornerstone of the new church has been laid and the progress upon the pile has been admirable. When the building is completed the Second Presbyterian congregation, which numbers about two hundred and fifty at present, will have not only the newest but one of the finest churches in the city. The value of the church property will be about $35,000.
M. E. CHURCH.
The history of the First Methodist church of Freeport is practically coincident with that of civilization in Stephenson County. In 1834, shortly after the first white settlers appeared in these confines, the Rev. James McKean, a traveling missionary with a five hundred mile circuit, stopped in the western part of Stephenson County and gathering about him ten families, held services and preached a sermon. These formed the first Methodist services ever held in the county. Rev. McKean reported Stephenson County as a needy field, and two years later, in 1836, the Rev. Thomas W. Pope was sent as missionary. For some unknown reason he never succeeded in holding services. The next year, Rev. McKean returned again, and remained in the vicinity of Freeport for about two years, organizing classes and holding religious services.
It was no easy task which Mr. McKean had undertaken. Had he not been a man possessed of more than ordinary perseverance, and filled with great religious enthusiasm, the cause might never have prospered as it did eventually. In 1839 the Rev. Samuel Pillsbury came to take his place, and with the assistance of E. P. Wood and Rollin Brown, he traveled over an extensive circuit, making Freeport his headquarters.
With 1850 begins the history proper of the First M. E. church of. Freeport. In that year Freeport was organized into a separate charge under the pastorate of the Rev. J. F. Devore. No church building was at first obtainable, but services were held about in the homes of the members and later in the little red schoolhouse, a structure which has today become famous.
Occasionally it is said meetings were held in the old courthouse building. Mr. Devore's labors were unceasing and very effective. He conducted a spirited series of revival meetings and so increased the membership of his charge that a permanent house of worship became an imperative necessity. The lot, which is still owned by the church, was bought for the purpose, and preparations for the building began. The details of the early history of the church are lost in tradition. Certain it is that they would be very interesting today could they be ascertained.
The limited means of the congregation made it impossible for them to contribute a great deal in money, and in lieu of this they gave their services in the actual work of building. Only about $500 in money was obtainable, some of it being given by the Methodists of Freeport and the rest by the farmers throughout the county irrespective of denomination. From first to last, Rev. Devore was the leader and his own personal enthusiasm inspired and encouraged his followers. Not only should the credit of obtaining the subscription be given to him, but much of the manual labor as well. He succeeded in borrowing an ox team from a farmer who had shown himself willing to help and hauled much of the material to the place of building. The work could not help but progress rapidly. By the next summer (1851) the basement had been completed and the frame of the church itself constructed. In the same year the church was completed and dedicated. The reports concerning this portion of the church's history are confused and far from authentic. Some of them assert that the dedicatory sermon was preached by Presiding Elder Haney, while others credit the Rev. D. W. Pinckney with having officiated.
The church was "finished" that year and when we say finished, we mean the mere shell of the church, for the interior decorations and adornments could not be obtained. The cost of building was about $2,000, most of which was supplied by donations of labor and materials, and nothing was left to complete the interior. There were no pews, among other things, and the records state that this lack was supplied by "the contributions of individuals." We may interpret this vague phrase in several ways. Certainly no money was given, and for the time being rough benches were used and services were conducted in the basement of the church, the upper auditorium being still incomplete.
Rev. Devore left in 1852 and his place was filled by the Rev. C. C. Best later by the Rev. H. Whipple, under whose ministry the church was finished. In 1855 the completed edifice was dedicated by the Rev. Silas Boales, who preached the dedicatory sermon. The Rev. Dr. Henman had accepted an invitation to preach the sermon, but his death occurred before the appointed day of dedication.
The next decade was a period of the most remarkable growth and increase, under the pastorates of the Rev. C. M. Woodruff (1855-1856), Rev. Miles L. Reed (1856-1857), Rev. Thomas North (1857), and following him the Revs. J. C. Stoughton, David Teed, W. F. Stewart, and J. L. Olmsted, the dates of whose occupancy are lost. In 1863 occurred the withdrawal of the congregation which founded the Embury church. This took away about sixty of the members of the First church, but the gap was quickly filled by new converts who were won in the stirring revivals held.
In 1864 the Rev. W. C. Willing became pastor of the First M. E. church, and during his pastorate the church was enlarged at a cost of something like $13,000. During the repairing the services of the congregation were held in the old Plymouth Hall. In 1867 the Rev. F. P. Cleveland came to take the charge and under his ministry a parsonage was built at a cost of $3,500. The war does not seem to have affected seriously the growth of the First M. E. church as it did so many of the other religious organizations of the city. In fact, it was during the heat of the struggle that the Embury church was founded under most flourishing circumstances. In 1870, $800 was expended in repairing and refrescoing the church, and the Rev. W. A. Smith occupied the pulpit, remaining until 1873 when Rev. Cleveland returned. He continued his labors for three more years being followed in turn by the Revs. S. A. W. Jewett and C. E. Mandeville. The pastors who followed the Rev. Mandeville were Lewis Meredith, Deloss M. Tompkins, O. F. Matteson, D. M. Tompkins (who returned for a second pastorate of two years), C. A. Bunker and N. O. Freeman. During all this period the church remained in a healthy and prosperous condition. The Rev. J. W. Richards, who came to Freeport in 1896, was at one time conference secretary, and a distinguished man in church affairs. He remained until 1899 and was followed by N. H. Axtell (1900-1903), James K. Shields (1903-1906), C. W. McCaskill (1906-1909), and E. C. Lumsden (1909-) the present occupant of the pulpit.
The beautiful new temple of worship was erected in 1904 under the ministry of the Rev. James K. Shields. In 1904 plans for a church building were discussed and a building committee was appointed to look into the matter. This committee was composed of the Rev. James K. Shields, A. K. Stibgen (chairman), C. E. Brubaker (secretary), H. H. Antrim, A. M. Hoover, George L. Parks, George W. Frey, W. A. Hart, Frank L. Furry, D. Y. McMullen, Gustav Hornberg, William Smallwood, and Paul Bickenbach. The building committee went to work immediately and secured plans for a $35,000 edifice, the building of which was immediately commenced.
The cornerstone was laid with appropriate ceremonies on the 7th of August in the same year. An address was delivered by the Rev. J. K. Shields, introducing the Rev. Willis Hoover, formerly of Freeport, now of Valparaiso, Chile, who gave the principal address of the day. Rev. Shields was assisted by the Revs. J. M. Phelps, pastor of the Embury church, and Orlo J. Price, pastor of the First Baptist church. In February, 1905, the church was finished and dedicated, Bishop MacDowell officiating. It was occupied the first time for services on the first Sunday of March of that year.
The new church is a beautiful building of colonial brick surmounted by two square towers, built in the modern style of church architecture. The auditorium is on the second floor, the first floor being given over to Sunday school, lecture, and league rooms. Among the other possessions of the church is a sweet-toned organ which was bought at the time of the building of the new church. The organ is surpassed by none in the city at the present time.
The parsonage, located in the rear of the church on the corner of Cherry and Exchange streets, was built during the ministry of the Rev. N. H. Axtell. It is a comfortable building modern in every respect and was built at a cost of $5,000. The value of the church property has risen somewhat of late years and the whole is now appraised at $50,000, of which the church is worth $45,000 and the parsonage $5,000. The present pastor, Rev. E. C. Lumsden, reports a present membership of five hundred and twenty-nine with a Sunday school enrollment of nearly five hundred.
ENGLISH LUTHERAN CHURCH.
The First English Lutheran is one of the younger churches of Freeport, and has only been in active existence for about thirty years. Previous to the time of its founding many attempts had been made to establish an Evangelical Lutheran mission in Freeport, but for one reason or another all of them were failures. It was not, however, that the founders failed to begin their work soon enough, for as early as 1852 the first attempt was made. Rev. Ephraim Miller, in his report as president of the Northern Illinois Synod at Chicago, spoke of the project of sending a missionary to establish a church in Freeport in November of that year, but for some unknown reason the plan was never carried into execution.
In 1860 the matter was again brought to light but no very great enthusiasm was manifested and again Freeport was without its mission. It was not strange that no developments took place. The Civil War was occupying the minds and attention of everybody, and, aside from that, there were only a few Lutherans in the city at the time. Rev. Solomon Ritz, who visited Freeport in 1862 in his capacity of superintendent of missions of the synod, does not seem to have had much patience with the Lutherans of this city and their incessant cry "about war and the hard times." He stated in his report that it was his intention to "leave that place alone till after the war," but as a matter of fact he never returned. The following year, 1864, Rev. T. F. Easterday, who later became connected with the Lake Superior Presbytery, was sent to explore the field at Freeport, and reported that he "saw nothing sufficiently promising to warrant the putting forth of further efforts in that direction." In 1865 an apparently definite step was taken. Freeport was designated as a field for missionary endeavors, and the sum of $200 was voted for the cause. Rev. Lingle was placed in charge of the mission and after a single unsatisfactory year he resigned in discouragement. Subsequently Rev. Weiser visited Freeport to inspect the field but met with no inducements.
Rev. S. W. Harkey, who had once before tried to develop the Freeport field by sending the Rev. T. F. Easterday, again put forth his efforts, and through his advice the synod pledged $600 to support a missionary at Freeport. The synodical superintendent being unable to secure the services of a suitable missionary for Freeport, nothing was done that year.
This investigation of 1868 resulted in the sending of a report to the synod signed by the Revs. G. J. Donmeyer and John Stoll, two clergymen residing in Freeport. However, no definite action was taken at that time. In 1869 the synod sent to Freeport Rev. S. N. St. John, who had had little experience, and was quickly discouraged by the conditions which faced him in Freeport. After a year he departed, and not until 1879 was the name of Freeport again mentioned in the synod. At that time a congregation of twenty members elected the Rev. J. W. Goodlin pastor. Rev. Goodlin promptly declined as did the second pastor called, and in the face of such persistent discouragement interest waned and for two years nothing was done.
In 1881 the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society settled upon Freeport as a place for a mission, and Rev. Thomas F. Reeser, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, came to Freeport June i of that year. On the last Sabbath in August the first services were held, and a formal organization effected September 19, 1881. From this time actually dates the real beginnings of the First English Lutheran church of Freeport.
The organization was effected with but fourteen bona fide members, and the congregation worshiped in Temperance Hall, corner of Chicago and Exchange streets from the time it was organized until the new church was completed. In this hall a Sunday school was held which at times had a very encouraging attendance.
In the year 1882 steps were taken to secure a suitable building lot. After considering various locations, the lot on the corner of South Galena avenue and Jackson street, where the church now stands, was purchased. Plans were soon formulated for building a church which was finally completed and dedicated December 21, 1884. The cornerstone had been laid October 16, of the year previous. Rev. Reeser proved an enrgetic and able pastor and under his direction the church thrived.
However, on the ist of September, 1885, he resigned, accepting a call to the Lutheran church at Polo, Illinois. The first day of January of the following year, Rev. A. M. Barrett took charge of the struggling little mission. These were dark and discouraging times, the financial troubles being among the most critical of the church's history. The congregation was, however, held together by Rev. Barrett, and on his resignation on October 1, 1888, there was harmony among the people.
On November 1, 1888, Rev. H. A. Ott, of Brookville, Ohio, assumed the duties of pastor of the mission. He entered into his work with untiring zeal, and soon had the sympathy, confidence, and help of every member.
The Sunday school began to grow, and in a few months had doubled its attendance, then trebled, and even quadrupled that of former years. He remained for seven years, and eight months, during which time the church flourished under his leadership.
The crowning event of this period was, no doubt, Easter Sunday, April 2, 1893, when the congregation declared itself no longed a mission from henceforth, but a self sustaining church.
There now followed several short pastorates, as follows: Rev. W. S. Dysinger, November, 1896 to April, 1898; Rev. H. W. Tope, June, 1898 to October, 1899; Rev. G. C. Cromer, December, 1899 to October, 1902.
During the pastorate of Rev. G. C. Cromer the interior of the church was redecorated and other minor improvements were made.
Then followed the second longest pastorate in the history of the church, that of Rev. W. Gardner Thrall, from June, 1903 to August, 1907. During that period the church was steadily moving forward, and it is today thriving under the guidance of the Rev. Philip H. R. Mullen, who has done a great deal to advance the cause in Freeport. The church edifice on South Galena avenue together with the lot upon which it stands is valued at about $20,000. The present membership of the church is about two hundred and twenty-five, with a Sunday school of about two hundred.
M. E. CHURCH.
The Embury M. E. church was the result of a growth beginning with the founding of a Sunday school in the year 1863. This Sunday school held meetings in a hall on Stephenson street and the result was that Rev. Joseph Wardle was sent as missionary to Freeport later in the year. About two years later, the following people who had previously belonged to the First Methodist church, met and permanently organized the new church Rev. F. C. Winslow, Rev. Mr. McCutcheon and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Hollis Jewell, Mr. and Mrs. John Barnes, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Carey, the Rev. Joseph Best and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Abraham German, Mrs.' Sechrist, William Sells, Mrs. J. H. Staver, Mrs. Naylor, Cornelius Furst, and George Swentzell.
It was decided to build a church edifice as soon as possible. To this end ten of the congregation subscribed $1,000 a piece. A lot was bought on South Galena avenue, then known as Exchange street, and on Thursday, June 30, in the following year, 1866, the cornerstone of the present building was laid. A large audience witnessed the ceremony and the records have a great deal to say about the manner in which the stone was put in place. To quote "An appropriate hymn was sung by the congregation, after which prayer was offered by the Rev. R. A. Blanchard, who also read the ritual; the scripture lesson was read by the Rev. W. C. Willing,- followed by the Rev. J. F. Yates. of Galena, in an address, when the usual mementoes were placed, including a copy of the Bible, Methodist Hymn book, Discipline of the M. E. church, Minutes of the Rock River conference, statement of the organization and history of the church, list of builders of the edifice, Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and several states, copies of the local and state newspapers, specimens of national coin, etc., after which the stone was placed in position, and the audience dismissed with the benediction." The building was pushed rapidly and soon finished. The cost was $23,000 and the funds were practically all provided for before the dedication day which was in the fall of 1867.
At the formation of the church, the members decided to call it the "Embury Methodist Episcopal church" in honor of Philip Embury, the first Methodist preacher in America. Rev. Joseph Wardle became the first pastor, and was in a few years succeeded by the Rev. John H. Reaves, who early resigned on account of failing health. The Rev. R. McCutcheon, a resident minister, and one of the founders of the church, filled out his unexpired term assisted by F. C. Winslow and Joseph Best, who were local elders.
In 1866, F. A. Read became pastor and filled his term of three years, a period marked by steady prosperity. Rev. F. A. Read was followed by the Rev. F. A. Hardin, a man of great energy and personal enthusiasm, Rev. Hooper Crews, Rev. S. G. Lathrop, Rev. I. E. Springer, and then again by the Rev. F. A. Hardin, who returned to take charge of his former pastorate again. Rev. G. S. Young, Rev. Sanford Washburn, and Rev. H. L. Martin occupied the pulpit in turn, and then the Rev. Joseph Wardle, the first minister, returned to the church he had helped to found after an absence of twenty years. The pastors who have filled the charge since the second occupation of the Rev. Joseph Wardle, have been: Rev. J. A. Matlack, 1886-1889; Rev. N. J. Harkness, 1889-1893; Rev. T. V. E. Sweet, 1893-1895; Rev. W. H. Haight, 1895-1897; Rev. A. R. Cronce, 1897-1898; Rev. L. C. Burling, 1898-1902; Rev. J. M. Phelps, 1902-1905; Rev. E. E. McKay, 1905-1908.
Rev. McKay was succeeded in 1908 by the Rev. Ray C. Harker, the present incumbent. Rev. Harker is a man of highly intellectual accomplishments. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, and is especially effective as a pulpit orator, having taught for two years in the Cumnock School of Oratory at Northwestern. Under his guidance the church has grown and prospered steadily. The congregation numbers about six hundred and fifty. The Sunday school, of which O. T. Smith is superintendent, numbers about five hundred. The church property is valued at $28,000 of which the parsonage, valued at $7,000 forms a part. Paul Haight is president of the brotherhood and George Green is president of the Epworth league.
A new church building is at present contemplated to take the place of the old one, which the congregation has outgrown. The building will be commenced next spring, and a costly and beautiful structure, surpassed by none in the city will be erected on the site of the present church.
In 1848 or 1849 the movement was started which culminated in the establishment of Grace Parish. A little band of believers in the Protestant Episcopal faith had been for some time holding meetings in a little room on Galena street under the leadership of Rev. James Bentley, who afterward became the first pastor of the church. The meetings were not regularly held, but the interest in them was maintained, and the following year, the association determined to formally organize a church. On June 17, 1850, the men who had met for the purpose of organizing drew up the following resolution which is preserved on the church records:
"We, whose names are hereunto affixed, deeply sensible of the Christian religion and earnestly desiring to promote its holy influence in our own hearts, and in those of our families and neighbors, do hereby associate ourselves under the name of Zion Parish, Freeport, in communion with the Protestant Episcopal church of the United States of America, and diocese of Illinois, the authority of whose constitution and canons we do hereby recognize, and to whose liturgy and mode of worship we promise to conformed. Witness our hands (signed), Tames Bentley, Charles Powell, Andrew F. Hollenbach, George F. Johnson, William Bacon (clerk).
On July 12, 1850 the first vestry of the church was elected, consisting of Andrew F. Hollenbach, senior warden; Daniel Brewster, junior warden; G. F. Johnson, treasurer; Charles Powell, George Puriton; William Bacon (clerk).
One of the first steps taken was the plan for erection of a church. While the process of building was in progress the church continued to hold its services in the Galena street room rented for its uses. A portion of land (the same which is at present owned by the church) was secured at the corner of Stephenson and Cherry streets and the building was begun in 1851.
In 1853 it was finished and Bishop Whitehouse consecrated the edifice, being assisted by the Revs. McKeown, of Elgin, Benedict, of Galena, and James Bentley, the Freeport rector. The frame building, thus consecrated on the 16th of February, 1853, remained in use for only nine years, when it was literally brown to pieces in a violent windstorm which occurred in that year. Owing to the war times and afflicted condition of the congregation, the loss seemed a very serious one, and nothing was done at once to replace the structure. Meetings were again held in a rented hall, and for a time no effort was made to rebuild. In a short time, however, it became necessary again to have a church building, and the fragments of the old one were rebuilt with an added central section, thus increasing the size of the building. A period of great prosperity ensued and the treasury of the church was enhanced to such a degree that a new church building was deemed advisable.
In 1887 it was finished and dedicated by Dean John Wilkinson, of Dixon, assisted by clergymen from Chicago, Galena, Sycamore, and Amboy. The church is one of the handsomest in the city, being built of native white limestone, left with bold rock face. The rectory is connected with the church at the rear, and the architect, Henry E. Starbuck, of Chicago, accomplished the somewhat remarkable feat of placing both church and rectory on a lot 60x120 feet. The building is modern and up-to-date in every respect. The latest acquisition is a new church organ, unquestionably one of the finest, as well as the newest, in Freeport. Recently, the rectory was closed temporarily for various reasons and a new rectory was purchased until the old one could be improved and modernized.
The church has at present a congregation of between two and three hundred, with a Sunday school somewhat smaller. The present rector is the Rev. Frederick J. Bate, who has been in charge since February, 1905. The rectors who have officiated since the foundation of the parish by the Rev. James Bentley, have been: Rev. James Bentley, 1849-1853; Rev. A. J. Warner, 1853-1855; Rev. Adams, 1856-1857; Rev. I. L. Grover, 1857-1858; Rev. R. L. Crittenden, 1858-1859; Rev. S. R. Weldon, 1860-1866; Rev. J. N. Clark, 1866-1868; Rev. W. I. Johnson, 1868-1871; Rev. G. W. Dean, 1872-1875; Rev. R. F. Sweet, 1876-1884; Rev. J. B. Draper, 1884-1886; Rev. W. C. De Witt, 1886-1889; Rev. Marcus Lane, 1889-1895; Rev. Frederick W. Keator, 1896-1900; Rev. William White, 1900-1904; Rev. Frederick J. Bate, 1905.
The early history of Trinity church is the same as that of the Salem Evangelical church, which only recently disbanded. In April, 1867, the movement was started which resulted in the establishment of Salem Mission at Freeport. At the annual session of the Illinois Conference, held in Naperville, Rev. Henry Rohland offered a motion which was seconded by the Rev. S. Dickover that the Salem Mission of Freeport be established. The motion was carried but not acted upon and for a whole year nothing was done. Two years later the spring conference appointed a pastor and the Rev. Henry Messner was delegated to become the first guide of Salem Mission. The Rev. D. B. Byers was elected presiding elder of the district. Fifty-four members made up the first congregation, most of them coming by letter from the Oak street Emanuel Evangelical church, which held services only in German. A petition had been presented to the conference to permit preaching in English on alternate Sundays, but this was refused. As a result, many of the congregation withdrew, most of them going over to the Salem church. The records of the church state that the first quarterly conference leaders were as follows: Class leaders, Paul W. Rockey, Rev. D. W. Crissinger; exhorters, H. W. Pease, John Miller; trustees, John Barshinger, Paul W. Rockey, D. W. Grissinger, John Woodside, Simon Anstine; stewards, T. Y. Fiss, John Wolfinger, Elias Bamberger.
For six months after its founding, Salem Mission worshiped in "Commercial Hall" on Stephenson street, but negotiations for the erection of a suitable church edifice were immediately started. In the meantime a Sunday school was organized and the various departments of church work were begun. A house and lot on Pleasant street was secured and a building, which still stands, was immediately constructed, the total cost of lot and building being nearly $8,000. In 1888 an eleven hundred dollar parsonage was built next to the church.
The temporal affairs of the church prospered and the pulpit was successively occupied by Rev. H. Messner (1869-70), E. C. Condo (1871-73), D. B. Byers (1873-76), C. Schmucker (1876-79), W. H. Bucks (1879-80), D. B. Byers (1880-82), W. H. Fouke (1882-84), S. A. Miller (1884), W. Caton (1885-88), W. H. Fouke (1888-91), J. H. Keagle (1891-94).
In 1893 came a break. The Dubs faction withdrew from the Illinois conference, and with it went Salem congregation all except two members who remained outside. These leaders together with some others became the founders of the present Trinity church. The old Salem church was left to the faithful two and the members of Trinity sought a new place. A house and lot were bought on the corner of Union and Pleasant streets, where the present building stands, and a frame edifice was erected, the house being made over into a parsonage.
Following J. H. Keagle, who will always be remembered by the congregation of Trinity for his untiring labor and enthusiasm, the pulpit was occupied by S. P. Entorf, 1894-1898; B. R. Schultze, 1898-1900; John Divan, 1900-1903; F. W. Landwer, 1903-1906; L. C. Schmidt, 1906-1910.
The period of Rev. L. C. Schmidt's occupancy was a time of rapid growth and increase and at this time the present church building was built. The project was talked over in 1906, and the following year it was definitely decided to build a new church. The old parsonage and frame church were removed, and a large, handsome structure of colonial brick was erected on the old site. The new church which cost about $25,000 is a credit to the congregation whose labors helped to build it. It is surmounted by a tower, not crowned with a spire, but of unusual height, and is built throughout in the modern style of church architecture. The cornerstone was laid in 1907, Bishop Heil presiding, assisted the presiding elder C. G. Unangst, and the church was soon finished.
In April, 1910, a parsonage, at 40 Broadway was bought to take the place of the old one which was removed when the new church was built. The price of the new parsonage was $4,200, the building being an up to date one with all modern conveniences. The total valuation of the church property, including the parsonage, is about $25,000. Trinity church is in a prosperous condition at present under the leadership of Rev. J. G. Eller, who succeeded Rev. L. C. Schmidt in January, 1910. The congregation number three hundred and four, and the Sunday school two hundred and eighty-two.
GERMAN REFORMED CHURCH.
The early history of the First German Reformed church has not been preserved with any great accuracy. It is only known that at some time during the year 1862 a little band of adherents began holding meetings in a hall over the drug store of F. Weise on the corner of Galena street and South Galena avenue (then Exchange street). The Rev. Mr. Seaman was the first pastor and the congregation embraced a small number of names, most of whom have been lost to us, among those ascertainable being Henry Schulte, Henry H. Frank, Conrad Rodeke, Peter Belger, H. Billiker, and Mr. Ode. Mr. Seaman stayed only a short time and during his residence the church did not thrive very greatly, owing to dissensions among the congregation. Rev. O. Accola who succeeded, was able to unite the warring factions and all joined in the common cause of of securing a church building, which was put up on a lot at the corner of Union and Williams streets. After a short time Rev. Accola resigned and for some time the church was without a pastor. During this time it became disorganized and scattered and it seemed at one time as if the members had completely disbanded. Several years after in 1869 it was again united by the Rev. A. Schrader who came to take charge of the pastorate.
Rev. Schrader remained in Freeport five years and built up the cause in a most gratifying manner, after which the Rev. John Wernly came to fill the pulpit. Rev. Wernly remained here for a long time and under his direction the present church edifice was built in 1879 on the site of the old one. It is a simple and unpretentious structure of brick, with a spire one hundred feet high and cost about $3,000. In 1873 a parsonage was built on the land adjoining the church, at a cost of about $2,000.
Rev. John Wernly was followed by J. J. Jannett, E. Brunochler, and William Rech. Under Rev. Mr. Rech's occupancy the church was entirely remodeled and repaired throughout at a cost of a thousand dollars. Rev. Rech remained from 1898 until 1904, the parsonage being repaired in 1903. He was succeeded by Rev. Ernst Traeger, who still fills the charge. In 1909, the church building was also repaired and remodelled, also at a cost of $1,000. The structure was painted and otherwise improved and today presents a most satisfactory appearance. The German Reformed church is in a fairly flourishing condition, but has lost much of its membership through the establishment of the English Reformed church which occurred recently. The membership embraces about one hundred and fifty voting members. The Sunday school has a roll of one hundred with an average attendance only a trifle smaller. The church property has risen in value since paving on both sides has been accomplished and with the parsonage is worth today about $10,000.
The German Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel church was founded in 1877 by the Rev. T. J. Grosse of the Lutheran Seminary at Addison, Du Page County, Illinois. For some time after the founding of the Freeport church, Rev. Grosse continued to be identified with the Addison Seminary, but on February 23, 1877, took charge as first pastor. During the first year of its existence the church increased in membership until it reached the mark of thirty-seven. In the same year, a lot was purchased on the corner of Union and Pleasant streets. On it a small church was erected, which still meets the needs of its congregation, which has more than trebled during the thirty-three years since 1877.
At the time of the founding of the church a parochial school was established in connection. This school embraced about fifty pupils under the instruction of Professor F. Case. Instruction was given both in German and English in the elementary and advanced branches. The school is still maintained and has an attendance about as large as when it was organized.
Rev. T. J. Grosse, who founded the church, remained with it only a very short time. In October, 1877, in the same year that he came, he departed after an occupancy of only eight months. The congregation immediately extended a call to the Rev. F. Behrens who accepted and came to take the charge, which had increased in numbers to fifty-five. Since the time of Rev. Behrens there have been few changes in pastors, the Immanuel church being distinguished for this particular fact. The pastors who have occupied the pulpit since the foundation are Rev. T. J. Grosse, 1877; Rev. F. Behrens, 1877-1880; Rev. H. D. Schmidt, 1880-1899; Rev. A. C. Landeck, 1899. Rev. A. C. Landeck still holds the pastorate with a congregation about one hundred and thirty. The Sunday school is also maintained with an average attendance of about one hundred.
JOHN'S EVANGELICAL CHURCH
St. John's German Evangelical church is one of the oldest in the city. It was founded in 1847 by the following men and their families: H. Kochsmeier, P. Tewes, A. Mengedohd, A. Boedeker, B. Boedeker, B. Huenkemeier, F. Hanke, W. Mundhenke, C. Riesenberger, C. Lesemann, C. Beine, C. Altenberg, F. Bodmann, H. Burkhard, and E. Bine, elder.
Meetings were held by the Rev. E. Beine in a schoolhouse in the western part of the city, then known as "Knowlton Town." These meetings were continued for several years and no church was formally organized until 1850. In that year the organization was duly effected in accordance with the laws of the German Evangelical Association of the West, and in 1850 a lot at the corner of Union street and South Galena avenue (then known as State street) was purchased and a church building 33 x 40 commenced.
In 1852 the old church was finished and dedicated, the records naming as trustees Adolph Boedeker, William Mundhenke, Henry Burkhard, and August Mengedohd. A year later the Rev. J. Zimmerman was called as pastor, and in 1854 the congregation became a part of the German Synod of the West. In 1856 a parsonage and schoolhouse was erected on the church lot and a parochial school, afterward abandoned, was begun.
In 1855, Rev. Zimmerman was succeeded by the Rev. W. Kamptneier who remained for ten years. During the ministry the old church was abandoned and a new stone edifice erected on the site. This edifice is standing today and has undergone a number of alterations except for which it presents practically the same appearance as when built in 1856. The building, which cost $5,000, most of which was immediately subscribed for by the congregation, was in size 44 x 75 and held an audience room capable of seating six hundred persons. The building, while substantial, was plain and unostentatious, being entirely without adornments save for a spire one hundred feet high.
In 1866 the Rev. P. H. Hoefer became pastor and remained in charge for four years, when he was succeeded by the Rev. D. M. Fotch. He has since been followed by the Rev. C. Hoffmeister, the Rev. Martin Otto, a pastor who will long be remembered for the loving and efficient service which he rendered the church, the Rev. N. Severing, who died May 20, 1896, and finally the Rev. F. Holke, the present incumbent. Rev. Holke has filled his post most ably and has proven one of the most popular and beloved pastors of St. John's church.
Various improvements have been made upon the church building which today presents a far different appearance from the original stone structure. In 1887 it was thoroughly repaired and remodelled and again ten years later in 1897. At the latter time extensive alterations were made in the structure and all the modern conveniences were added. The steeple was rebuilt, the height was increased and a new front entrance to the church was built. The size of the auditorium has also been increased. But the most noteworthy improvement was the addition of a set of sweet toned chimes, the finest in the city. The interior was completely redecorated and changed, and the resulting edifice is practically a new church, having that appearance both inside and out.
The congregation is large and steadily increasing in numbers. A Sunday school is also maintained. The church property including a parsonage located back of the church on Union street is valued at about $25,000.
The Third Presbyterian church, while no longer in existence, is still of sufficient importance to claim a place in this history. It disbanded only a short time ago for various reasons, and the property on South Galena avenue formerly occupied by the church is now for sale.
It was in 1867 that a little congregation of Germans who embraced the Presbyterian faith decided to unite and hold services in their native tongue. This little band, fifteen strong, under the Rev. John Vanderlass, met first in the old courthouse building, which had so often afforded a shelter for struggling little churches in their infancy. But the Third Presbyterian congregation did not occupy the old courthouse long. In the following year, they decided to erect a house of worship of their own. Their plans were carried into effect and the present church edifice on South Galena avenue near Dexter street (then Exchange and Prospect streets) was erected and dedicated. It is a small white frame building with a steeple, like so many of the early churches of the city and county. It occupies land 34 x 56, has a seating capacity of two hundred and fifty, and cost, with the adjoining parsonage, $4,500.
After three years of effective labor, Mr. Vanderlass was succeeded by the Rev. E. A. Elfeld, who retired in September, 1879. For almost a year after that the church was without a pastor, but on the ist of July, 1880, Rev. C. Buettle accepted the charge and remained for two years.
The remaining history of the Third Presbyterian church is one of successive periods of quiescence and revival. For several periods the pulpit was unoccupied, and at several times a revival in interest took place. Among the pastors who followed were the Revs. F. W. Witte, William Diekhoff, etc. Following a period of declining interest, the congregation decided to disband. It was, doubtless, a wise move, although one much regretted by the older members of the congregation. The reason is evident. There was no longer a need for a German Presbyterian church. The younger members of the Third church were all acquainted with English, most of them better than with German, and preferred to hear sermons in that tongue. As a result, the Third Presbyterian church has gone out of existence. There may be a resuscitation, but it is doubtful if the church will attempt another reorganization.
M. E. CHURCH
To the Rev. Mr. Vosholl must be assigned the credit for the establishment of the German Methodist Episcopal church. In the early days of the county's history there were a large number of Germans who adhered to the faith of John Wesley, and many of them could speak English only with very great difficulty. To overcome this inconvenience, Rev. Vosholl was appointed missionary to Freeport where he arrived October 3, 1854. Soon after reaching the field of his future labors, Rev. Vosholl collected a congregation and held services in the basement of the First Methodist church while raising funds and completing arrangements for the erection of a permanent house of worship. In the year 1858 a church edifice was erected on the corner of Chicago and Spring streets, at a cost of $1,500 and occupied until 1872, when it was razed to give place to the present one. In 1887 the present house of worship was removed to the corner of South Galena avenue and Jackson street, where it still stands.
In 1880 the congregation numbered about fifty members, but from that year owing to continual drafts made thereon by reason of removals, the number diminished until the membership numbered but twenty-two. Since that time the church has taken on new life and the membership has increased to the present number of seventy. A large and flourishing Sabbath school of fifty-five is also maintained.
About seventy of the younger people of the church have joined the Epworth League, and are actively promoting the interest of that body and of the church itself. Since the establishment of the church the following pastors have of- ficiated: Revs. H. Vosholl, H. Richter, F. Fiegenbaum, R. Tillman, C. Holl, Charles Schueler, George Haas, E. R. Irmsher, B. Becker, E. J. Funk, F. Schmidt, A. Brenner, G. E. Hiller, E. Uhl, H. Wellemeyer, W. V. Schlung, E. Christ, C. Hess, Stetter, and J. H. Klaus, who left in 1896.
In the same year he was succeeded by the Rev. J. F. Hartke, under whose occupancy the church and parsonage were remodelled. The rear portion of the church was removed and placed as an addition to the parsonage. It was then replaced by a larger and more commodious addition to the church itself. Rev. Hartke stayed until 1899 and was followed by Rev. A. F. Hilmer who stayed only one year. In 1900 the Rev. F. O. Barz came to Freeport and under his pastorate a new furnace was placed in the church and the roof raised and repaired. Under Rev. W. C. Bergmann's occupancy, which followed the five years of Rev. F. O. Barz, a large expense was caused by the paving which was done on both South Galena avenue and Jackson street. This caused a debt of about $1,200.
The church is now in charge of the Rev. H. J. Loemker, who came here in 1909 from Garner, Ohio. The property, including church and parsonage is worth at least $6,000, of which the church is worth $3,500 and the parsonage $2,500.
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Stories, Volume 1
events have happened in Freeport and Stephenson County, Illinois,
and remarkable people have lived there. These are stories gathered
about people and events from 1835 through World War II.
The early history of Salem Evangelical church is identical with that of Trinity church which is treated elsewhere. In April, 1867, the movement which resulted in the establishment of Salem Mission was started. Nothing was done, however, until two years later. On the twenty-seventh day of April, 1869, the organizing meeting was held, presided over by the Rev. D. B. Byers, presiding elder of the Freeport District. Rev. H. Messner, the pastor, was present, and P. W. Rockey officiated as secretary. Articles of incorporation were adopted, and a board of trustees, consisting of Rev. D. W. Grissinger, John Woodside, P. W. Rockey, John Barshinger, and Simon Anstine, was appointed.
The charter members of the church included Mr. and Mrs. John Woodside, Mr. and Mrs. John Barshinger, Mr. and Mrs. John Miller, Mr. and Mrs. John Wolfinger, Mr. and Mrs. John Dickover, Mr. and Mrs. Simon Anstine, Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Pease, Mr. and Mrs. T. Y. Fiss, Mr. and Mrs. Elias Bamberger, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Clark, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Spitler, Mr. and Mrs. J. Fox, Mr. and Mrs. John Howard, Mr. and Mrs. Amos Hime, Rev. D. W. Grissinger and Mrs. Grissinger, Samuel Clair, Mr. and Mrs. J. Baymiller, Miss Susan Baymiller, Aaron H. Barshinger, Mrs. H. Dengler, Miss E. Dengler, Mr. and Mrs. John Fritz, Miss C. Fritz, Mr. and Mrs. Elias Koonz, Mrs. Carrie Klock, Mrs. Mary Kaufmann, Mrs. Sarah Kyle, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Penticoff, Mrs. E. Neuman, Mr. and Mrs. P. W. Rockey, Miss P. H. Reinhuber, Miss Rebecca Rohland, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Shaffer, Mrs. Anna Stibgen, Aaron H. and Thomas H. Woodside, Mrs. Sarah Woodside, Misses Mary and Lizzie Woodside, the Revs. D. B. Byers and Henry Messner, Mesdames Byers and Messner, and Mr. and Mrs. Elias J. Duth.
For a short time services were held in "Commercial Hall" on Stephenson street, where a Sunday school was also organized and all the requisite machinery set in motion. Meanwhile a committee was appointed to procure a suitable site for a church building, and to secure funds for the erection of the same.
A lot was soon purchased of David Sunderland, on Pleasant street for $2,500 and a Gothic frame building 40 x 60 feet and two stories in height was erected. The building was accomplished for the most part by the members of the congregation themselves with the pastor acting as foreman, and so effectually was the work pushed that the lecture room was finished and occupied in November of the same year. In the following year the church was finished and dedicated.
The following pastors have officiated: H. Messner, 1869-1870; E. C. Condo, 1871-1873; D. B. Byers, 1873-1876; C. Schmucker, 1876-1879; W. H. Bucks, 1879-1880; D. B. Byers, 1880-1882; W. H. Fouke, 1882-1884; S. A. Miller, 1884; W. Caton, 1885-1888; W. H. Fouke, 1888-1891.
In 1890 a break came and the Dubs faction of the Illinois Conference withdrew, taking with it all the members of Salem congregation except two. This faction in Freeport remained in control of Salem church until April, 1893, when the supreme court of Illinois decided that all property belonged to the Evangelical Association, and must be turned over to it. The Dubs adherents of Freeport then withdrew and founded the present Trinity church. The faithful two together with some others remained the congregation of Salem church.
Following the Rev. W. H. Fouke, the Rev. H. A. Kramer was sent by the Illinois Conference to rebuild the society. In 1894 he was succeeded by the Rev. W. B. Rilling, who put in four years of faithful labor, being followed by the Rev. H. A. Kramer again from 1898 to 1900. Rev. J. A. Giese came in 1900, going away in 1904, and then the Rev. F. C. Neitz, who stayed two years, leaving in 1906. The Rev. W. H. Heinmiller, who followed, stayed until the disbanding of the congregation in 1908.
The causes which led to the disorganization of Salem church were deep seated. In the first place, the members of Salem Mission had originally been members of the Emanuel Evangelical church, and the congregation was for the most part made up of people who had come over from that church because they were dissatified that the conference had not allowed English preaching in the church on alternate Sundays. This obstacle being removed, and the conference permitting English preaching in the Emanuel church on Sunday evenings, there was no longer any reason for the separation of the two congregations. Futhermore, the two churches felt that in union was strength, and that the merging of Salem and Emanuel would be a wise move.
It has so resulted, and although the Emanuel church lost nearly half of Salem congregation to other churches when the transfer was made, the church is prospering today and there is every indication that the decision was well timed.
The Emanuel Evangelical or Oak Street Evangelical church has Always been described and one of Freeport's "most substantial" churches. It is also one of the oldest, having been founded as early as 1851. At that time the following membership made up the first congregation John Krinbill, Fred Asche, Joseph Miess, John Marter, Jacob Heim, H. Thomas, G. Thomas, G. Mainzer, A. Brenner, L. Metzger, M. Metzger, John Mayer, Christian Mainzer, B. Mainzer, Mr. Lemberger, Catherine Stoskopf, William Ellebrecht, J. Wolf, J. Frey, and
The original membership was very soon increased by the stirring revivals which took place and before long a church building was being discussed. Joseph Miess, a member of the congregation donated eighty acres of land, which was sold for $450, and the proceeds used, together with other contributions, for the erection of a small brick church on Oak street midway between South Galena avenue (then State street) and Empire street. In 1868 it became necessary to occupy a new church, and plans were formulated for building the present structure. These were, however, not immediately carried into effect and it was 1874, six year later, before the building was finally finished and dedicated. The present church, which is located at 18 and 20 Oak street is of brick, painted white, with an ornate tower, and affords a seating capacity for three hundred and fifty persons. It was completed under the pastorate of Rev. A. Fuessle, F. Mayer, E. Viergge, F. Heim, and F. Asche constituting the building committee.
A large number of pastors have served in the Emanuel church since its organization. Most of them have remained only for a year or two, but for the last twenty years the term of occupancy has been somewhat longer. The pastors who officiated have been the Revs. H. Rohland, C. Augenstein, J. G. Escher, L. H. Eiterman, J. Reigel, C. Kopp, E. Musselman, D. B. Byers, D. Kraemer, J. Schneider, H. Messner, A. Stahley, W. J. Walker, M. Stamm, A. Fuessle, William Schrims, A. Huelster, E. R. Troyer, Theodore Alberding, Carl Hauser, N. Wunderlich, William F. Klingbeil, and J. C. Schaefer, the present minister.
In 1908 the congregation
of Salem church united with the Emanuel church, since when preaching has
been held in English at the evening service and in German in the morning.
The congregation numbers about one hundred and ninety-two, with a Sunday
school of one hundred and seventy-two. Most of the societies of the church,
and particularly all the young people's societies conduct their meetings
in English. Most of the Sunday school classes are in English, but a few
are taught in German. The present pastor, Rev. J. C. Schaefer, has been
in charge but a short time, having come here from Washington, Illinois. The financial affairs of Emanuel church are in good condition. The church itself is valued at $13,000 together with the lot upon which it stands, while the parsonage, which is next to the church at 14 Oak street, represents a valuation of $(6.500 making a total of nearly $20,000. The value of the Oak street property has risen of late years owing to the improvements in the way of paving that have been made in the vicinity.
FREE METHODIST CHURCH
The history of the First Free Methodist church of Freeport is one of alternating periods of activity and quiescence. There was an early church previous to 1865, but absolutely nothing can be learned of its origin or activity. From 1865 to 1877 there was no church at all, but in 1877 the church was re-organized and consisted of the following members Ferry Crowden and wife, Jacob Mease and wife, and David Moon. The Rev. J. Buss was called to the charge, and aided by these faithful few, he succeeding in reviving the church. Services were held at first in covenant halls and elsewhere, until the latter part of 1877, when the church building now in use was completed. This stood at first on South Galena avenue but was later removed to a location on Broadway. The cost of the structure was estimated at $1,000.
In 1878 a revival was experienced in the circuit in which the congregation is included, conducted by the Revs. W. F. Manly and A. F. Ferris, through whose labors ninety-one were converted and additions made to the congregation.
The history of the church since that time has been marked by continual changes in pastors, an unusually large number having occupied the pulpit. The congregation has not increased very extensively in size, but remains about the same, having a membership of between thirty and forty. The church property, including a frame edifice, 28x40 capable of seating two hundred and fifty persons, is valued at a little less than a thousand dollars. The present pastor in charge is the Rev. D. W. Finch, who has been in Freeport since last year. The parsonage is located at 92 American street.
ENGLISH REFORMED CHURCH
Freeport is the center of a group of Reformed churches in Stephenson and the adjoining counties, and being a growing city there is a natural field for the organization of an English Reformed church. It was not until 1906, however, that the present church was conceived. There had been a German Reformed church in the city for many years, but there were also many English adherents of that religion which dates it origin to the Reformation and stands for the principles of that great historic movement. Some of these attended the German church; others were scattered in other congregations.
In the summer of 1906, Mr. Chalmer Beaver, a student from the Heidelberg Theological Seminary, under the auspices of the Sunday school board of the Reformed church, opened a Sunday school which had for its meeting place the old Third Presbyterian church on South Galena avenue near Pleasant street.
In the fall of the same year, the Rev. R. F. Schultz, of Dayton, Ohio, organized a congregation of twelve members, heads of families Mr. and Mrs. George Scoeney, Mr. and Mrs. John Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Simon Brown, Mr. and Mrs. John Richard, Mrs. Potter, Mrs. Frank Shelley, Mrs. Rebecca Ditzler, Mrs. George Springman. These constituted the charter members.
Rev. Schultz remained through the year, and in November was succeeded by the present pastor, the Rev. C. M. Rohrbaugh, who took charge of the pastorate on December ist, having come to Freeport from Germantown, Ohio. For two years services were held in the old Third Presbyterian church, during all of which time the building of a permanent church home was talked over and discussed. In 1908 the first decisive step was taken.
In the early part of that year a lot was purchased on the corner of Carroll street and South Galena avenue, on a portion of the Barnes property. In the summer of that year the present edifice was erected. The cornerstone was laid on the fourteenth day of June, the speakers on the occasion being Hon. L. H. Burrell of Freeport, and the Rev. W. D. Marburger, of Dakota. The church was immediately finished and the dedication conducted on the twenty-ninth day of November. Rev. Charles E. Miller, D. D., president of the Board of Home Missions, was the principal speaker of the day. The church has now been occupied for nearly two years.
The building is a handsome structure of glazed brick, trimmed with Bedford sand-stone. The interior is finished in oak and is modern in every respect, with an auditorium having a seating capacity of four hundred and fifty, on the main floor. There is also a splendid basement designed for Sunday school rooms and social purposes. The equipment represents an investment of approximately $15,000. $5,000 of this sum was donated by the local church and its friends in this community, and $10,000 was provided by the Board of Home Missions.
Although so recently founded the church is in a flourishing condition at present, and is rapidly increasing in membership. The original twelve families concerned in the organization have now increased to over fifty. The Sunday school enrolls one hundred and forty members, with an average attendance not so large. The church property is valued at $15,000 the cost of the present structure.
CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST.
First Church of Christ, Scientist, was organized in 1899, Mrs. Elizabeth Fry Burchard being especially instrumental in its organization. For a few years previous to that time, a society composed of Christian Scientists had held meetings, but nothing had been done in the way of effecting a church corporation. At that time a charter was secured from the First Church of Boston, Massachusetts, of which Mother Church the Freeport society is a branch church.
For a year or more after organization the church held meetings in a hall in Fry's block. The names of about fifteen men and women appeared on the original charter of the church, and as the organization grew and quarters became crowded a larger room was secured in the Wilcoxin building.
Sunday services and Wednesday evening meetings continued to be held in the Wilcoxin building. A reading room was established in connection with the church and also a Sunday school. Later an adjoining room in the building was rented and united with the original room in order to accommodate the needs of the reading room and Sunday school.
In the fall of 1908 the property belonging to Mrs. H. E. Bogar at 229 Stephenson street was bought at a price of $6,000, most of the amount being immediately raised by subscriptions entirely within the church. A recent bequest of $2,000 by an interested outsider more than leaves the church free of debt. Services are at present being held in the house which was purchased, the interior having been redecorated and remodeled for church purposes. A church edifice is contemplated for the future on the same lot. The church reading room is now maintained in the church building at 229 Stephenson street.
The affairs of the church are at present in a prosperous condition and gratifying developments are expected. The services of this church are not conducted by a pastor, but by two readers who read selections from the Bible and the Christian Science text book. The readers are elected for terms of three years, those in office at present being Miss Silena Gransden, and Mrs. S. C. Porter. The church property is valued at about $7,000.
The United Brethren church of Freeport was organized in 1892, and is consequently of comparatively recent origin. Previous to 1892 a number of adherents of the sect had lived in the city, but not in sufficient number to warrant the formation of a church. A number of attempts to establish a church were made, but nothing permanent was accomplished and the project had been repeatedly abandoned. In the early spring of 1892, on the i3th day of March, nineteen members of the brotherhood met together and adopted resolutions organizing the United Brethren church of Freeport. These nineteen members, some of whom are still with the church, were: Rev. N. G. Whitney, Mrs. M. L. Whitney, Dr. L. B. Peck, Ira Long, Eva Long, Sarah Whitehead, George R. Ringer, Anna M. Ringer, A. E. Peck, Lizzie De Jongh, Anna M. Myers, Ezra Burling, George Brown, M. C. Brown, O. P. Spielman, Noah Peck, Mrs. E. A. Peck, M. Adleman and Mrs. M. Adleman.
The succeeding years were marked by prosperity and rapid growth. No sooner had the congregation organized than they began to look about and find a suitable spot for erecting their church edifice. A lot on the corner of Galena and Locust streets, at the western extremity of the former was found procurable, and the present building was erected and dedicated the following spring. It is a handsome structure, unassuming in appearance, but substantially built of brick, and quite competent to fill the needs of the congregation. The style of architecture is Gothic and a beautiful tower and spire crowns the pile. On the second story is the auditorium which will hold about one hundred and fifty persons. The first floor is given over to lecture rooms, Sunday school rooms, etc.
About four years ago, a parsonage was built on Galena street, next to the church. This parsonage, the cost of which was about $4,000 is one of the finest in the city, and a great credit to the church.
At the present time the membership of the church has risen to one hundred and ninety and a Sunday school is maintained, the roll of which numbers one hundred and sixty, with a regular attendance somewhat smaller. Since the founding of the church in Freeport, the pulpit has been occupied by a large number of pastors, all of whom have remained in the city for a very brief term. The present incumbent, the Rev. D. E. Bear, has been in Freeport for about a year, having come here from the southern part of the state.
For a long time East Freeport had been designated by the mission workers as a "neglected field." It was repeatedly brought to the notice of missionaries, and as often forgotten owing to the pressing needs of other localities equally neglected. On May 24, 1908, the Rev. B. M. Southgate came to investigate the field with the result that an organization known as the East Freeport Sunday school was started in one of the buildings in Taylor's Park. Much interest was taken in the project by the Second Congregational church of Rockford, whose members had long been desirous of establishing a church in Freeport. The success of the Sunday school which was begun with only six or eight members led to the discussion of plans for a church.
Mostly through the instrumentality of the Second church of Rockford, the First church. of Freeport was established less than a year after the founding of the East Freeport Sunday school. On the twenty-fifth day of January, 1908, a band of interested workers met and organized formally the First Congregational church. A rented house on Taylor avenue was at first used for church purposes. The Sunday school was moved here from the Taylor Park location and all the machinery of the organization was set in motion.
It was at once decided to erect a church building and a suitable lot was bought across the street from the rented house on the corner of Taylor avenue and Sheridan street. The cornerstone of the edifice was laid in August, 1908, the officials of the day being the Rev. H. L. Moore, of the First Presbyterian church, the Rev. Mr. Puddefoot, superintendent of missions of the state of Indiana, and the Rev. J. G. Brooks, the local pastor who had succeeded the Rev. B. M. Southgate earlier in the year.
The work of building was continued through the winter and the next year, and by May, 1910, it was ready for use. On May 9, 1910 the church was dedicated. The building cost $7,700, which sum was raised partly by the local church and partly by outside subscription. A number of extensive additions and improvements have since been completed raising the total cost to about $8,000. The old church building on Taylor avenue is still rented and is at present utilized as a parsonage.
In January, 1910, the Rev. J. G. Brooks was succeeded by the Rev. W. G. Jones, the present incumbent. The membership of the church has risen to about fifty-six, the original number of organizing members being twenty-three. The Sunday school is somewhat larger. It was started with an enrollment of about six members and now consists of over one hundred and twenty regular attendants.
The new church building is a modest structure of frame construction, covered with pebble-dash. A small tower and spire crowns the pile, and a handsome stained-glass window in the front, as well as smaller ones on the sides add to the beauty of the whole. At the present time the First Congregational church is the newest building built exclusively for church purposes in the city of Freeport. The Second Presbyterian church, which is about completed, will presently be the newest building.
The outlook for the church is very bright at the present time. The congregation is not only a growing one, but it is composed of members who are sincere and indefatigable workers. Owing to the fact that the Congregational church has come to supply a long felt want in Freeport, the growth should be rapid and gives every indication of being so.
Four years ago, in 1906, the First Christian church of Freeport was established by the Rev. Jordan, of Rockford, who came to Freeport as a missionary of the state association. A meeting was held at the county courthouse, to which all representatives of the denomination, as well as others interested in the faith, were invited. A church organization was there effected, about forty me and women becoming members of the church.
In the same year, the Rev. J. A. Barnett was called as pastor, and the place of worship was transferred from the courthouse, where a number of meetings had been held, to the audience room of the Masonic Temple. Rev. J. A. Barnett stayed only one year, and then left to accept a call from Galesburg, Illinois.
His place was taken by the Rev. F. W. Emerson, under whose pastorate the little band of workers prospered wonderfully and became greatly increased in numbers. Rev. Emerson remained only two years, but the impress of his work is still felt. There has been talk of building a church edifice at various times, but the church has never felt itself strong enough to attempt this. The membership has increased to fifty, and a Sunday school of about twenty members is maintained under the superintendency of Mr. Johnson. After the departure of Mr. Emerson the church was for some time without a pastor. Last year his place was taken by the Rev. C. O. Livingstone, who has recently accepted a call elsewhere, and the pulpit is again unoccupied.
Although with one exception the youngest religious organization of the city, the Christian church is in a thriving condition and gives promise of steady and continued growth. Without doubt, a church will be built in the near future. At the present time, various plans have been adopted, but nothing definite has been accomplished.
The Freeport Theosophical Society was organized in Freeport in the year 1898 by C. H. Little, who became its first president. William Brinsmaid became the first secretary. Meetings were at first held at the home of Mr. Little on West Stephenson street and in his parlor the fourteen original members gathered to hold their regular meetings.
Afterward it became inconvenient to hold meetings at Mr. Little's residence, and a room was rented in the Rice building, now the Mackay block. A few years later the society procured a suite of rooms in the Wilcoxin Block, which they used for some time.
For the past few years the lodge has met at the home of F. J. Kunz on West street. From the original number of fourteen the society has increased to twenty-five. The officers of the Theosophical Society for the current year are: President, T. D. Wilcoxin; vice president, F. J. Kunz; secretary, Miss Alma Kunz.
The People's Institute grew out of the People's Independent church, which was organized in February, 1909, by the Rev. William H. Beynon, formerly minister of the First Baptist church. The People's Independent church sought to teach and preach a universal Christian religion, without creed or restrictions as to individual convictions.
During the year the People's Independent church was merged into a larger institution called the People's Institute. The institute had three departments; viz., religious, educational, and fraternal. It has no creed, but only a "Bond of Union," which members are expected to sign. The "Bond of Union" is a line of action, not a creed, and consistency of action therewith is expected. The "Bond of Union" reads as follows: "We join ourselves together in service to God and man through serving man, as supremely exemplified by Jesus and the teachers of humanity, endeavoring thereby to acquire power to bear one another's burdens, wisdom to promote justice, truth and righteousness, and spirit to establish peace, purity, and love in the world."
Under the auspices of the three departments the following organizations are established: Public religious Sunday service, at which sermons and lectures touching on modern day problems, religious, moral, economic, and political are delivered. The Sunday school, where the Bible and religion are presented under most modern instruction. The Sunday school is graded according to the public school grades.
The Sociological Club, which deals with social problems. The Labor Forum, which devotes itself to the study of industrial problems as related to the working classes. The Municipal Club, which studies municipal problems, and exerts its influence for municipal reform.
The Political Forum, which is open to all political types of faith and parties to present their claims publicly. The Ladies' Institute League, composed of the ladies of the institute, whose object is to further the interests of the institute socially and educationally. The Young People's League, which is devoted to the development of the youth morally, socially, and educationally.
The People's Institute was founded by Mr. Beynon for the purpose of meeting the greater needs of the masses in a religious, moral, social, educational, economic, and political manner. "Believing that man is larger than any creed or any human restriction or formality imposed upon him by religious denominations or sects, and that man cannot rise to the height of the Jesus ideal, nor attain to the real brotherhood of man while hampered by factional creeds and religious restrictions, which are oftentimes the cause of dwarfing rather than developing man," Mr. Benyon conceived that an organization such as he founded would more readily help man to attain the highest ideal individually and socially, and therefore struck out to reach such a goal. Services were for a time held in the Masonic Temple, but have since been transferred to the old Salem church on Pleasant street.
September 1, 1859, the school directors of Freeport, Heald, Buckley and Smith called an election and the people voted a tax to build the River school. The ground was purchased and the building completed in the spring of 1860. In August, 1865, another special election was held and it was voted to build a new school in the third ward at the corners of Liberty and Williams streets. This building cost $17,000.00 and was completed in 1866. It was known as the Wright school.
The site for the Lincoln avenue school was brought for $1,200,00, January i, 1868. The building was completed at a cost of $12,465.77 in the fall of 1868. The directors at that time were C. J. Fry, H. M. Barnum, F. W. S. Brawley, Ezrom Mayer, treasurer; and L. W. Guiteau, alternate.
The school directors for 1877 were J. M. Bailey, Jacob Krohn and Frederick Bartlett. July 7, 1877, they decided to erect a new building for the High school. This building was built at the corner of Cherry and Exchange (then called Bridge street) at a cost of over $14,000.00. The High school was maintained in this building till -, when the present High school (the old part) was erected.
In 1867, F. W. S. Brawley, C. J. Fry and H. M. Barnum were the school directors. Formerly the principal of the High school had been given the general supervision of the city schools. But September 2, the board of directors decided that such an arrangement was not adequate to meet the demands of a rapidly growing school system, and created the office of superintendent of city schools. The board then elected Mr. G. G. Alvord, superintendent. From 1867 to 1910, Freeport has had seven superintendents, Professor C. C. Snyder serving eighteen years. Professor Snyder was a graduate of Northwestern University, and came to Freeport after teaching in Belvidere and Lyons, Iowa. The best evidence of the worth of this educator is the fact that he held the position of superintendent for eighteen years. His son, Dr. K. F. Snyder, is one of the prominent physicians of Freeport.
City superintendent R. W. Burton was elected county superintendent in 1893. Superintendent F. T. Oldt came to Freeport in 1893, after fifteen years experience in Lanark, and left here in 1895 to take position of superintendent of the city schools of Dubuque, which position he held till February, 1910. Superintendent R. S. Page, an educator of considerable experience, having been a teacher for years in Ohio and Indiana, came to Freeport in 1895 and served as superintendent till his death, January, 1904.
On the death of Superintendent Page, Professor S. E. Raines, who had been principal of the High school since 1897, was elected superintendent and is now in his seventh year in that position. Mr. Raines is a graduate of the Indiana State Normal School and of the University of Indiana. Before coming to Freeport, he was superintendent of the Sullivan, Indiana, Schools. He is a member of the National Educational Association, has been president of the Northern Illinois Teachers Association, and his mastery of the detail and his successful experience have given him a high rank among the city superintendents of the United States. Under his supervision, the schools of Freeport have made remarkable progress.
Summary of Superintendents: G. G. Alvord, 1867-1872; C. C. Snyder, 1872-1890; A. O. Deubelt, 1890-1891; R. W. Burton, 1891-1893; F. T. Oldt, 1893-1895; R. S. Page, 1895- January, 1904; S. E. Raines, January, 1904.
To go back to the beginning it may be said that Nelson Martin, who taught the first school in Freeport in the little log store-room on the river bank in 1837, was the first principal. The place of High school was filled by private schools, subscription schools, academies and seminaries till the Union school was built in 1852. Among the Select school principals were George Scoville, Messrs, Coon & Dickey, Mr. Bentley, A. B. Campbell, Geo. W. Lutz and Louise Burchard. Mary A. Potter. Mr. A. B. Campbell was principal in 1850.
When the Union school was established in 1852, Mr. William J. Johnson was principal. Hon. H. C. Burchard was principal in 1854-5; Henry M. Freeman, A. M., 1855-1858; A. N. Marriman, 1859; George L. Montague, 1860-1861; M. W. Tewksbury, 1862-1863; H. V. Barnum, 1863; W. H. V. Raymond; 1864; David Parsons, 1865-1866; G. G. Alvord, 1867-1869; S. C. Cotton, 1870; Miss E. R. Beckwith, 1871; C. C. Snyder, 1872-1874; Miss F. E. Weed, 1874-1875; Miss S. L. Stocking, 1875-1876; A. W. Green, 1876-1884; J. H. Hutcheson, 1884-1889; F. A. Rosebrugh, 1889-1893; R. E. Loveland, 1893; W. D. Hawk, 1893-1895; J. E. McGilvrey, 1895-1896; J. W. Bray, 1896-1897; S. E. Raines, 1897- January, 1904; H. E. Adams, January, 1904- June, 1904 acting principal; L. A. Fulwider, 1904.
TABLE OF GROWTH OF FREEPORT HIGH SCHOOL
The graduates of the Freeport high school have now high places in the world's work, and have reflected much credit and honor on the school and the county.
In 1882 a four-year high school course was established, a three-year having been maintained up to that date.
Almost one thousand students have been graduated from the Freeport high school since 1863. There were four in the class of 1863; fifteen in the class of 1870; sixteen in the class of 1880; fifteen in the class of 1890; thirty-two in the class of 1900; and sixty-six in the class of 1910.
Among those who have won more than average success are the following: Dr. Charles R. Sheetz, Algonia, Iowa; Hon. Homer Aspinwall, Freeport; Rev. Niles W. Neermans, De Kalb, Illinois; Thomas W. Woodside, Takanjimba, Africa; Flora Guiteau, teacher, Freeport; Clara S. Hawes, librarian, Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Mrs. Elida J. Pattison Bently, Freeport; Addison Bidwell, Freeport; Dr. Eugene Rockey, Portland, Oregon; Mrs. Lizzie E. McCoy Flanagan, Freeport; Oscar E. Heard, circuit judge, Freeport; Eliza L. Murphy, Freeport; John S. Collman, Freeport; Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Burrell, Brooklyn, New York; Mrs. Alice Serf ass Towslee, Freeport; Mrs. Alice Sanborn Brown, Freeport; Mrs. Kittie Buckman Mitchell, Freeport; Professor Thomas Hunt, Dean of the Agricultural Department, State College, Pennsylvania; Mrs. Carrie Gund Taggart, Freeport; Thomas Rockey, Freeport; Mathias Hettinger, Freeport; Ida Galloway, teacher, New York City; Henry M. Hyde, editor of Technical World, Chicago; Hazen S. Capron, banker, Champaign, Illinois; Harvey Zartman, Freeport; Mary Hosmer, Freeport; James Hyde, lawyer, Chicago; Marion Potter, librarian, Minneapolis; Rev. James Benson, Peoria, Illinois; Mrs. Edith DeVore Tiffany, Freeport; Alpheus J. Goddard, Freeport; Douglas Pattison, Freeport; Rev. Paul Jenkins, Milwaukee; Dr. Fred H. Bowers, Freeport; Edwin H. Smythe, Chicago; Fred M. Gund, insurance, Freeport; Rev. Wm. E. Ruston, Fairly, Iowa; Wm. H. Staver, Mexico; Chas. F. Stocking, Chicago; Bertha C. Bidwell, Freeport; Frank C. Fuerst, Freeport; Charles Green, attorney, Freeport; Ida I. Voight, Freeport; Charles Bentley, judge of police court, Freeport; Oscar Dorman, Freeport; Joseph Johnson, Freeport; Dr. Karl F. Snyder, Freeport; Clara Dorman, Freeport; Dr. Louis Voight, Freeport; Philip Moogk, Sparks, Nevada; Dr. R. O. Brown, Forreston, Illinois; Rev. Wm B. Stoskopf, Chicago; Leroy Laird, Cleveland, Ohio; Mr. Reeve Burton, Freeport; Dr. Mary Rosenstiel, Freeport; Olive Runner, Abbott Academy, Massachusetts; Russell Wiles, attorney, Chicago; Roy Bennethum, Ziegler-Schryer Co., Freeport; Rev. Edward Brown, Los Angeles; Burton Figely, Freeport; Chas Runner, Charles City, Iowa; Lancaster Burling, Buffalo, New York; Fred Hanke, Detroit; Chester A. Hoefer, Freeport; Walter Pfender, Freeport; Charles B. Courtney, attorney, Freeport; Professor Edwin Hoefer, State University, Laramie, Wyoming; Will Stratton, New York City; John Daniels, city engineer, Freeport; Al. G. Fleck, Rockford; Alfred Hoefer, Chicago; Karl Knechr, Evansville, Indiana; Boyd Lawver, Greenfield, Massachusetts; Professor Herbert Bonebright, State Agricultural University, Colorado; Frank Dippell, draftsman, Chicago; Dr. Stewart Litch, Chicago; Homer Sheetz, Knowlton Bank, Freeport; James Taggart, Leadville, Colorado; Fred Becker, St. Louis, Missouri; Harry Bickenbach, State Bank, Freeport; Paul Fair, taxidermist, Raton, New Mexico; Professor George Daniels, Minnesota State Normal; Nellie Hanley, Washington City; Iva Swingley, Freeport; Florence Brubaker, Freeport; Clarence Chapman, Moline Plow Company, Freeport; Oscar Hively, engineer, Kansas City; Frank Markel, Portland, Oregon; Chas. McCool, draftsman, Freeport; Walter Vautsmeier, graduate of West Point, 1910; Harvey Angle, manufacturer, Freeport; Karl Wagner, mechanical engineer, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Geo. W. Schoeffel, University of Illinois; Harvey Hartman, Freeport; Warren Madden, Freeport; Harry McCullough, Freeport; Edward Luebbing, Freeport; Walter Nolting, Freeport; Frances Watson, Tacoma, Washington; Henry Zanoni, First National Bank; Earl Andres, Savannah.
In 1905 a special election was held to vote on a proposition to build a ward school on Center street and to build an annex to the high school. It was estimated that the two buildings would cost about $60,000. The building proposition was carried by a large majority, indicating that an excellent school spirit prevailed in Freeport. Early in the year of 1906, both buildings were completed and opened for school purposes. The Center Street school has eight rooms and is one of the best school buildings in the city. It cost about $30,000. The high school annex contains an assembly with a seating capacity of four hundred, physics, chemistry and biology laboratories, a music room, three recitation rooms, a large manual training room and a gymnasium. The cost of the annex was about $45,000.
At this time Hon. August Bergman was president of the board of education, and the following were members D. F. Graham, D. B. Breed, J. N. Fleck, A. E. Hanke, B. P. Hill, C. F. Hildreth, C. A. McNamara, Otto Wagner, and J. H. Gibler. The building committee consisted of B. P. Hill, chairman, and A. E. Hanke, D. F. Graham, and the finance committee, D. F. Graham, chairman, D. B. Breed and J. H. Gibler.
During the summer of 1910, extensive improvements were made at the East Freeport school. This building had not been used to its full capacity since its erection because that part of the city had not been thickly settled up with homes. Recently, however, largely owing to factory extensions, this part of the city is building up rapidly and it was necessary to provide more room at the East Freeport school. The improvements will cost about $10,000.
In recent years the high school has expanded to meet the demands of the times. The board of education, supported by a wholesome public sentiment, has been progressive without being radical. In 1904 manual training was established in a small room in the high school. The manual training movement in Freeport had its origin with Miss Florence Knowlton who donated a considerable equipment to the high school in 190? Today the manual training room is sixty by forty feet, and is one of the best equipped departments in the state. Professor John A. Seefelder, a recognized authority on manual training, is in charge of the work. In 1906, domestic science and domestic art were introduced. This department has grown till it occupies three rooms and the work in cooking and sewing is unsurpassed. One of the rooms is a model dining room, fully equipped with linen, china and mission furniture. In 1909 the board of education established a commercial department in the high school, consisting of a four years' course in English, arithmetic, commercial geography, spelling, penmanship, bookkeeping, commercial law, typewriting and stenography. In 1909, being urged by the Citizens' Commercial Association, the cooperative school and shop course was put into practice, sixteen boys taking the course, going to school and working in the factories, alternate weeks, learning the machinists' and pattern-making trades.
The high school has been on the accredited list of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools since 1906. More than sixty graduates are in higher institutes of learning.
In public speaking the high school has won an enviable reputation. Beginning in 1905, the F. H. S. debating teams have defeated Elgin (three times), Rockford (three times), Dubuque (twice), Janesville, Beloit, and Rock Island and has lost but once (to Dubuque in 1907). In 1909 and 1910 the team won the silver cup offered by Beloit College, after winning out in a debating league of six high schools. In 1905, 1909 and 1910, the high school was represented in the State Oratorical Contest at the University of Illinois, Donald Burrell winning third place in 1909, and Wright Burrell in 1910. In 1910, the school represented by Wright Burrell, won the Beloit College Contest in Declamation.
Estimated value of school property in the city of Freeport
NAME OF SCHOOL
School census in Freeport, 1902-1910
|Males, between 6 and 21||
|Females, between 6 and 21||
It will be noticed that the increase in the number of children of school age has not kept pace at all with the increase in the population of the city.
The records of the county superintendent's office date back to 1843, when Jared Sheetz was school commissioner for the county. The first item is dated November 18, 1843, and is as follows "Rec'd of John Rice, former school commissioner of Stephenson county, from the funds of 1841 and 1842, in specie $315.06. In Illinois State Bank certificates, $133.46, which certificates I sold to John A. Clark March 15, 1844, a * SOG on the dollar."
The commissioner following Mr. Sheetz was L. W. Guiteau. September 8, 1879, the title was changed to county superintendent of schools.
The highest monthly wages in 1861 in the various townships for male teachers ran $25, $32, $33, $38, $40, $40, $40, $28, $33, $50, $40, $30, $100, $35, $35. $33. $40, $40, $35 For female teachers, $30, $15, $15, $16, $18, $16, $18, $24, $25, $25, $16, $16, $20, $22, $20, $23, $18, $15, $15, $32, $12, $29, $20, $20.
In 1869-70, Superintendent Crary conducted a three-day institute, with the following instructors: Richard Edwards, Normal. Illinois; Lewis Goodrich, Savanna, Illinois; J. N. Blodgell, Rockford; E. D. Leland and G. G. Alvord, Freeport. Mr. Alvord was president; S. R. Worrick, secretary, and N. Ford and J. Hay, assistants. The instructors received $30.00.
In 1871 the institute was held at Lena, October 20. Prof. E. C. Hewitt was instructor. Rev. F. Boon and Rev. Geo. Elliott, of Freeport, lectured. The institute lasted four days and Dr. Hewitt received $34.00.
In 1871, December 5, a four day institute was held at Davis. The instructor was Dr. J. A. Sewall, Normal, and lectures were given by L. W. Guiteau, Mr. Aug. Smith and Dr. Sewall. Eighty teachers attended and Dr. Sewall received $34.00. That year three of the county teachers were graduates of the State Normal University. In 1873-4, there was no county institute.
In 1861, the longest time any teacher had taught the same school was three years. Number in State Normal School, three.
The township treasurers in 1861 were Jacob Archer, Loran; Samuel Tyrrell, Plum River; F. M. Rogers, Howardsville; Thomas H. Hicks, Nora P. O.; J. D. DeVore, Yellow Creek; John Kennedy, Freeport; Phil Sweeley, Winslow; Conrad Van Brocklyn, Freeport; James Flansberg, Freeport; James Benson, Cedarville; Simon Bartlett, Oneco; Frederick D. Bulkley, Freeport; Jas. B. Childs, Freeport; Abner B. Clingman, Cedarville; Solomon Fisher, Rock Grove; D. S. McKibben, Nevada P. O.; W. L. Funks, Rock Run; Henry Springer, Davis; Charles Kleckner, Davis.
Lowest monthly wages paid in 1862 in the several townships: Males, $20, $26, $25, $23, $18, $25, $20, $25, $16, $20, $20, $14, $25, $29, $20, $18, $25, $18, $16; females, $12, $10, $12, $15, $12, $12, $8, $10, $12, $14, $15, $12, $8, $14, $15, $13, $12, $13, $11, $14.
In Mr. A. A. Crary's annual report for 1864-5, he says "Owing to the fact that most of our male teachers were in the army it was thought best not to call an institute during the school year ending September 30, 1865."
No institute was held in 1866-67. In 1867-8, two institutes, 14 days, were held, eighty-nine teachers out of two hundred eighty-two attending. In 1869-70, Superintendent Crary received $986.24 for his compensation. In 1870-71, the superintendent received $1,297.14; 1872, $1,422.06; 1873, $1,456.72; 1876, $1,950.90.
In 1872-3, the county superintendent's report shows number of frame school houses, eighty-six; brick, thirty; stone, twenty-nine; log, one; total, one hundred and forty-six. The log school was in township 27, range 7.
The average monthly wages paid men teachers in 1875 was $43.51; women, $30.80. In 1878, the superintendent at Freeport received $160.00 for ten months; at Lena, $95.00 for nine months.
In 1882, J. Lawson Wright, of Cedarville, was the holder of a state certificate, and Cora Carpenter, of Lena, in 1883 > 1885, Emma Biggs, Lena.
Professor David Parsons got out a sixty-six page, i6mo book, a kind of report, July, 1866. The book contained problems in arithmetic, chemistry, etc. Price, 25c.
In 1866 Professor Parsons taught the children in the high school to exercise their arms and hands in gesturing. His system comprised one thousand two hundred gestures or distinct motions. A number of these were given in concert by the students and the audience seemed to be delighted.
Dr. F. W. Byers, now of Monroe, Wisconsin, taught the Block School from 1857 to 1863 and has left a record as a kind-hearted man, but a strict disciplinarian.
Mr. Adam A. Krape, now of Lena, Illinois, was many years a teacher in Stephenson County. He was principal of the Orangeville schools and of Winslow schools, and became county superintendent in 1877 and continued in office till 1886.
Miss Elta F. Miner taught a number of years at, or near, Orangeville, and later married Rev. F. W. Stump.
Dr. A. C. Schadel was educated at the Block School, Freeport High School of 1866, and the University of Wisconsin. He served as principal of the Rock Grove and Orangeville schools. In 1870, he quit teaching and became a dentist at Warren, Illinois.
Harrison W. Bolender was one of the early teachers in the northern part of the county. He built and taught the Eldorado School. He became county clerk in 1896, and died in 1900.
Miss Mary E. Cadwell (Mrs. Dr. M. E. Bradshaw) was the first lady to teach a winter term at Eldorado. She attended the Freeport High School.
Dr. W. W. Krape, of Freeport, was teacher in the county for several years, quitting that profession for dentistry in 1873. In 1866, he attended the Freeport High School and then entered the University of Wisconsin.
Susan B. Fisher (Mrs. Geo. W. Shippy) was a teacher for eighteen years. She was educated at Eldorado and at the Teachers' Training School at Oregon, Illinois. At McConnell, she was a member of the school board. She organized the domestic science branch of the Farmers' Institute. Dr. M. M. Baumgartner taught one year in the county.
Geo. Moyer is one of the old teachers of the county. For two years he was principal of the Orangeville schools.
C. A. Bolender attended school at the Block School and at Leander College, Toledo, Iowa. He is one of the old teachers of the county.
John W. Kiester, of Orangeville, taught fifteen years and entered the R. F. D. service of the United States.
Dr. Anna M. Hinds, of Berlin, Illinois, was born near Orangeville. She was educated in Knox College and taught in Eldorado and Freeport. Later she graduated from Rush Medical College and is practicing at Berlin, Illinois.
Henry Swarts, of Orangeville, was a teacher forty years ago. In 1869-70 he taught the Sylvan School in Rock Grove. He was educated at the Block School and at the University of Wisconsin and the State Normal at Normal. He taught till 1884.
Charles A. Cadwell taught several county schools and was two years, 1871 and 1872, principal of the Orangeville schools. He received his education at the Block School and at the University of Wisconsin. He is now a United States mail clerk.
W. W. Elzler, of Eldorado, was educated at the Block School and at Western College, Toledo, Iowa. He taught successfully many years.
Edwin C. Belknap, educated at the Block School and at the Whitewater Normal, taught several years and then became a train dispatcher.
Addie F. Cadwell (Mrs. Addie F. Pugh) received her education at Eldorado and at Monroe, Wisconsin, High School. She taught several years and married Rev. B. F. Pugh in 1878.
J. F. Kleckner was a teacher in the '60s and was elected county superintendent in 1869, holding the position four years. In 1849-50, Levi L. Munn, Sr., taught a school in the northern part of the county. In 1849, George Wolf was a teacher in the county. E. R. Mulnix was an early pedagogue.
John W. Stocks taught from 1865 to 1866, went to college at Mt. Morris in 1866-67 an d taught 1868-1874. Ira Lowry, of Loran Township, was a teacher from 1846 to 1869 in this county and in Iowa. J. C. Dorn, of Oneco, taught in Oneco Township about 1845 to 1860. Israel G. Wise began teaching in Orangeville in 1873. Hon. Andrew Hinds was a teacher in Oneco Township in 1848. Joseph H. Jackson was a teacher in Buckeye about 1850. Mr. R. K. Madden came to this county in 1875 and began teaching, which he continued for years.
A. B. Crandall began the Commercial School at the corner of Stephenson and Adams streets in 1879.
In 1884, Superintendent A. A. Krape had S. Y. Gillan and O. P. Bostwick in institute work; in 1885, A. R. Sabin, Geo. E. Knepper; in 1887, E.C. Hewitt, Henry Sabin, Geo. E. Knepper, F. H. McBride, J. H. Hutchinson, M. O. Narramore, C. C. Snyder and Frances Rosebrugh.
in 1888, Superintendent P. O. Stiver secured Samuel Phelps Leland, Frank H. Hall, P. R. Walker, J. H. Hutchinson, Sara Brooks, G. E. Little, Lottie E. Jones; in 1889, J. Piper, C. J. Kinnie, F. F. Oldt, O. F. Barbour and C. C. Snyder; in 1890, Geo. Howland, Geo. E. Knepper, A. O. Reubelt; in 1891, C. F. Philbrook, Mary E. Holder, E. F. Smith; in 1892, John W. Cook, M. Quaekenbush, Miss Bonnie Snow, J. Piper, B. P. Colton, R. W. Burton; in 1893, J. Piper, F. H. Hall, F. F. Oldt, R. W. Burton, Flora Guiteau; in 1894, Prof. Chas. Zeublin, F. H. Hall, D. W. Hawk, Flora Guiteau, F. F. Oldt, S. A. Karker.
Superintendent R. W. Burton secured C. A. McMurry and S. Y. Gillan in 1895; in 1896, J. G. Needham, R. S. Page, J. E. McGilvrey, H. F. Polton; in 1897, John W. Cook, H. H. Howland, A. C. Bothe, Miss E. M. Phillips, J. E. McGilvrey, W. F. Skinner; in 1898, Jessie Dillon, S. E. Raines, E. A. Fritter, H. N. Howland, Jas. G. Needham, Olive A. Benn; in 1899, Helen Hill, H. N. Howland, E. A. Fritter; in 1900, E. A. Fritter, W. W. White, E. A. Scrogin, Marie Byrnes, W. H. Dudley; in 1901, C. A. McMurry, W. W. Stair, Maude H. Chamberlain, W. H. Dudley; in 1902, E. A. Fritter, M. J. Holmes, Jessica Eades.
In 1903, County Superintendent Cyrus Grove secured S. Y. Gillan, F. H. Hall, R. S. Page, H. H. Hewitt; in 1904, F. H. Hall, Geo. E. Knepper; in 1905, Dr. A. E. Winship, L. C. Lord, H. H. Hewitt; in 1906, W. W. Stetson and Preston W. Search; in 1907, S. D. Fess and Philander P. Claxton; in 1908, M. V. O'Shea, Jonathan Rigdon, O. T. Corson, Minnie May Davis; in 1909, S. C. Schmucker, A. J. Kinnerman, and C. C. Ellis; 1910, T. S. Lowden, Fred Mutchler, O. L. Warren and G. D. Nielson.
The greater interest in education in the rural schools is shown by the increase in the number of students which passed the final examinations: In 1894, fifty; 1895, forty-six; 1896, forty-six; 1897, eighty-five; 1899, forty-five; 1900, twenty-three; 1901, thirty- four; 1907, seventy-two; 1908, eighty-seven; 1909, one hundred and thirty; 1910, one hundred and thirty-two.
The annual County Commencement is a big day in Stephenson County, since its inauguration by the County Superintendent, P. O. Stiver in 1887. The exercises are held in the assembly room of the Freeport High School, and over 1,000 students, teachers and parents from all corners of the county crowd the room to its capacity. Superintendent Grove always secures a prominent speaker to address the graduates, this year the speaker being State Superintendent Blair. The stage was extended and it was an encouraging sight to see the one hundred and thirty-four graduates on the platform. Every district in the county now bends every effort to have a large representation on the graduating list.
Mr. Cyrus Stover Grove, the present county superintendent, was educated in a township high school, academy and state normal in Pennsylvania and in the University of Wisconsin. Before becoming county superintendent, he had been principal of the Orangeville schools for several years and came into the office with years of practical experience as a successful school man back of him. He has added largely to the equipment of the office, established a reading room and library for teachers, and an additional room is being fixed up for his use.
During his term Mr. Grove has accomplished the physical and academic standardization of rural schools, brought about county uniformity of text books, has established for the county the reputation for having the best county institutes in the state, and brought about in the county a splendid spirit of co-operation and high ideals of professional service among the teachers. Mr. Grove in 1909 was president of the Northern Illinois Teachers' Association, and was on the program of the State Teachers' Association.
Forty years ago some teachers were serving for eight, ten and twelve dollars a month. While wages of teachers have advanced in a small way, yet a few communities persist in paying wages that would seem to be a disgrace to any district.
Average monthly wages paid teachers
In 1908 there were three townships paying some male teachers $30.00 or less, and five paying some female teachers $25.00 or less. In 1910 seventeen townships were paying female teachers $30.00 or less, and fourteen paying males $40.00 or less.
Davis had a three year high school beginning in 1881 with sixteen students. The enrollment was thirty in 1890 and forty-one in 1899, but has declined of later years. The principals have been David Brown, J. Potter, F. P. Fisher, J. J. Lins, J. F. Thompson and O. A. Fackler.
Cedarville has made a few spasmodic attempts to do high school work. The situation is decidedly favorable for a good four year high school if public sentiment desires it. Some excellent work has been done in times past; some excellent students turned out, and the present principal, Mr. Fletcher McDonald, is doing satisfactory work in a two year course.
The Lena High School had sixty-five students in 1879; one hundred and seven in 1880; ninety-one in 1881; fifty in 1884; sixty-four in 1886; seventy-six in 1887; seventy- four in 1891; thirty-nine in 1894; sixty in 1896; seventy-six in 1898; forty-seven in 1900; forty-six in 1909; and fifty in 1910. The number of graduates from 1897 to 1910 range from one and three up to nine in 1880; thirteen in 1891; seven in 1910. The principals have been O. P. Bostwick, Charles Fardyce, Geo. Howell, George M. Herrick, M. M. Warner, C. F. Philbrook, S. A. Harker, G. N. Snapp, and M. O. Narramore, J. R. Insman and W. R. Bowlin.
In 1862 there were five hundred and eighty-five students in private schools in the county; in 1870, three hundred and seventy-five; in 1891, seven hundred and thirty-two; in 1897, nine hundred; in 1909, eight hundred and eight.
The total expense for public schools in 1896 was about $102,000; in $134,000; in 1900, $144,000; in 1908, $148,000 and in 1909-10, $165,000.
1892 P.O. Stiver 139 7,024 9,890 79 168
1893 P.O. Stiver 144 6,845 9,307 79 170
1894 P. O. Stiver 144 7,066 9,674 79 174
1895 R. W. Burton 145 7,352 9,567 86 176
1896 R. W. Burton 147 6,895 9,550 75 163
1897 R. W. Burton 148 6,986 9,759 75 170
1898 R. W. Burton 147 7,196 10,193 84 153
1899 R. W. Burton 147 7,135 10,544 78 166
1900 R. W. Burton 147 7,026 9,978 67 149
1901 R. W. Burton 147 6,871 9,920 76 165
1903 C. Grove 147 6,894 9,782 58 179
1904 C. Grove 147 6,978 9,829 54 186
1905 C. Grove 146 7,109 9,690 67 187
1906 C. Grove 148 7,189 9,358 50 196
1907 C. Grove 148 6,941 9,010 45 197
1908 C. Grove 149 6,920 8,862 40 210
1909 C. Grove 151 7,039 9,199 34 210
1910 C. Grove 151 7,038 9,039 33 212
The above table of statistics makes an interesting study and shows the trend of affairs educational.
The officials of the Freeport public schools and the standing committees for the year 1910-11 are: Wm. H. Wagner, president; Evelyn M. Graham, secretary; and S. E. Raines, superintendent. Teachers and Salaries R. K. Farwell, B. P. Hill, H. F. Dorman. Building and Grounds C. F. Hildreth, F. O. Keene, Dr. E. H. Place. High School Dr. W. J. Rideout, Dr. E. H. Allen, J. W. Henney. Text Books and Course of Study Dr. E. H. Place, C. F. Hildreth, B. P. Hill. Finance B. P. Hill, H. F. Dorman, R. K. Farwell. Printing and Supplies J. W. Henney, Dr. W. J. Rideout, C. F. Hildreth. Rules, Tuition, and Discipline F. O. Keene, Dr. E. H. Place, Dr. E. H. Allen. Auditing H. F. Dorman, R. K. Farwell, F. O. Keene. Commencement and School Entertainments Dr. E. H. Allen, J. W. Henney, Dr. W. J. Rideout.
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Stories, Volume 1
events have happened in Freeport and Stephenson County, Illinois,
and remarkable people have lived there. These are stories gathered
about people and events from 1835 through World War II.
Globe Park, or Krape Park, situated just beyond the southwest corner of the city limits, is one of the most beautiful spots in Illinois. It is situated in the valley of Yellow Creek and is covered with grove and forest trees. Here Yellow Creek cuts through the Cincinnati Shales, the gorge and craggy bluffs adding to the beauty of the landscape.
Dr. W. W. Krape, who has done many good things for Stephenson County, early recognized the beauty and the value of the land. He bought the tract several years ago and has spent a considerable sum in beautifying the grounds.
For five years Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Krape have maintained a ten-day Chautauqua in the month of June. Considering the difficulties of transportation, the Chautauqua has been fairly successful. Some of the greatest stars of the Chautauqua platform have appeared here. Among these are: Hon. William Jennings Bryan, ex-Governor Richard Yates, Mrs. Lake, "Billy" Sunday, Hon. James E. Watson, Governor Hoch of Kansas, ex-Governor J. Frank Hanley of Indiana, Kryl's Band, etc.
The park affords one of the best sites for a big Chautauqua in Illinois, and some day, no doubt, such a Chautauqua, drawing 10,000 to 20,000 people daily with 5,000 campers, will be found there.
The first edition of the Freeport Journal appeared on November 22, 1848, in the shape of a six column weekly folio. The promulgators of the enterprise which fostered the Journal were H. G. Grattan and A. McFadden. Mr. Grattan came to Freeport in 1848 from Janesville, Wisconsin, where he had started the Janesville Gazette, and having profited well from his business ventures in the newspaper line once before, he was induced to enter the field again in Freeport. The original edition, of which very few copies to-day survive, presented a very strange appearance. It was a small four page sheet, the first page being devoted to literary selections, the second to telegraphic and editorial news, the third to local news and poetry, and the fourth to personal notes and advertising.
Advertisements were also scattered through the other pages. A small notice at the head of the editorial column informed subscribers that the price of subscription was $2, if paid within six months, $2.50 if paid within a year, and $3 if deferred longer than twelve months. Taken as a whole, the make up of the paper was attractive and satisfied the public taste.
The first office was a tumble-down brick structure which occupied a lot on what is now the corner of Broadway and Beaver streets, northwest of the home of Judge Ormsbee. The second story of this ramshackle edifice was for a while occupied by the infant newspaper, which lived and thrived there for nearly a year and continued to advance the interests of the Whig party. After leaving this building, which threatened to collapse at any moment, the office was installed in a frame building on Galena street between Walnut street and South Galena avenue, the ground floor of which was occupied by the cabinet shop of A. W. Rice.
One issue was dropped owing to the "bother" necessitated by the operation of moving and, once in its new quarters, the Journal re-commenced its aggressive career with renewed vigor and life. In 1849, Mr. Grattan retired from active partnership and Mr. McFadden remained the sole proprietor for two whole years. In 1851, he took in with him Hiram M. Sheetz. Just before this event, the quarters were again changed. The base of operations was removed to a site north of the old court house in a dilapidated old wooden building, which has long since ceased to exist. Part of this ancient structure was occupied by the Journal until stern necessity forced the Journal to move or perish in the general havoc incidental to the falling of the building. In 1855, the paper moved to the third story of Martin's Block on Stephenson street, between Van Buren and Chicago, where it was located for the next nine years.
In September, 1852, owing to the prosperity of the little sheet, and the increased demand for interesting and readable news, the paper became a seven column folio, being increased by the addition of one column per page. New fonts of type were also purchased and the whole establishment revived and renovated. In comparing the Journal of 1852 with the paper of to-day, we are forced to admit that the former was not "newsy," to use an overworked adjective, but at the same time took a far greater and more energetic interest in the politics of the day. Its policy was always Whig, and its editorial columns were full of comments, invective and exhortations on the political situation of the times.
After the decisive Whig defeat and the triumph of the Democratic party in 1852, the Journal had very little to say, and contented itself with occasional admonitions designed to prevent a repetition of the calamity in the future.
Mr. McFadden left the business next year, disposing of his interest to Mr. Sheetz on April 15, 1853. Mr. Sheetz thus became sole owner and remained in possession until April 25, 1856. At that time the business was sold to C. K. Judson and C. W. McClure, who, under the firm name of Judson & McClure, continued to issue the paper for ten years. On May 6, 1858, William T. Tinsley, who had recently been editor of the Lyons, New York, Republican, came to Freeport, and purchased an interest in the Journal. He remained here less than a year, however, and on March 17, 1859, sold out his interest and returned to Lyons, New York.
The Republican party, as an institution, was first formulated in 1856 and from that time the Journal embraced its policies. It cried out again and again through its columns against the advance of negro slavery, repeatedly took its stand for the principles of freedom and democracy as exemplified in emancipation and union and uttered bitter words against the advocates of secession and slavery.
When the news of the surrender of Fort Sumter was flashed over the wires, the Journal took up the cause of the North and maintained its steadfast and aggressive stand from that time until the wires at last brought the long awaited news of Appomattox Court House and peace. It was unflinching in the position it had taken against slavery, and maintained its position throughout the long struggle with never a trace of inconsistency or indecision. In spite of war times, the paper seemed to thrive, and there was certainly a great demand for the news. On April 9, 1864, the quarto was increased to a folio, and continued to be published by Judson and McClure until the beginning of the year 1866. At that time, after Judson and McClure had effectively "held the fort" throughout the dark struggle, they decided to dispose of their business.
This was carried into effect, and Bailey and Ankeny became the new proprietors. They remained in charge until May 9, of the same year, when General Ankeny retired. The interests of the Journal were then merged with those of the North-West, another newspaper being published in the city at that time, by General S. D. Atkins. General Atkins retired from the North-West, which then turned over its property to the Journal, and General Ankeny sold out his interest in the paper to J. S. McCall and M. B. Mills. This partnership continued in effect until November of the same year, when J. S. McCall became the sole proprietor.
Mr. McCall made the second effort to establish a daily paper in addition to the weekly. The first effort had been made by Judson and McClure, soon after they took possession of the paper. But the financial panic of 1857 and the non-support of the townspeople, brought it to a sudden and ignominious close. The daily, which Mr. McCall started, suffered a like fate. It was an excellent paper, and thoroughly deserved support, but the Freeporters were slow to accept innovations and disliked anything that savored of a change, even though it might be for the better.
After a somewhat disheartening experience in the newspaper business, Mr. McCall decided to quit that field of labor, and sold out to General Atkins, who was then postmaster of Freeport and still holds that position of honor. In 1869, he took charge and remained in possession until June n, 1873, when he disposed of his paper to William B. Thomas, Dwight B. Breed and Charles R. Haws. Thomas, Breed and Haws remained as editors and managers until May 26, 1875, when Haws sold out his interest to General Atkins, and the firm became Smith D. Atkins & Company. On the 2nd of September following, General Atkins sold out his interest to Captain A. V. Richards, of Galena, and the firm became A. V. Richards and Company. This concern was also short-lived, although it began the publication of a daily newspaper in 1882, with rather more success than its predecessors had attained.
In April, 1883, Captain Richards sold out his three-fourths interest to Smith Atkins, who again came into possession of the paper and has since remained the controlling partner. In 1887, the paper was re-organized, and James R. Cowley, city editor, purchased an interest, becoming a partner with Atkins and Breed. At that time the office occupied the building on the corner of Chicago and Exchange (then Bridge) streets which had been built for the purpose by Jacob Kline. In the fall of 1892, the office moved to the building at 97 Chicago street, which it had purchased. It still occupies these quarters, which are, however, rather too crowded. The present management comprises the following gentlemen: General Atkins, president; James R. Cowley, vice president; Dwight B. Breed, secretary and treasurer. A daily and also a weekly edition is published. The circulation is large and the Journal is one of the most popular, as well as the oldest paper in existence in the county.
The history of the Deutscher Anzeiger differs from that of all the other Freeport newspapers, in that the periodical has never changed hands since its original inception. In 1853, it was founded by William Wagner, Sr., assisted by his son, William H. Wagner, Jr. Today the business is conducted by William H. Wagner, assisted by his own sons, and thus the ownership of the paper has never been changed.
The founder of the Anzeiger, William Wagner, was an evangelical clergyman, who had been forced to emigrate to America on account of the political upheavals in the fatherland. He hailed America as the land of freedom in which one could say what he pleased and speak the truth without fear of consequences. His subsequent experiences taught him, alas, that in America as elsewhere the man who acquits himself conscientiously is in frequent danger. Mr. Wagner founded the Anzeiger under the most adverse conditions. Not only were the public to whom he was catering adverse to the starting of any new project, whatever it might be, but he was absolutely without funds, and had no previous knowledge of the art of printing. His ceaseless energy and courage were responsible for the meager success which he presently attained.
As a starter, he purchased the presses and type fonts of a Galena newspaper which had previously suspended publication, and had them brought by freight to Freeport. Then began the publication of the Deutscher Anzeiger. The first edition consisted of four five-column pages weekly apparently a very limited sheet yet even at that it was frequently difficult to secure the necessary composition for the regular edition. At that time it was impossible to obtain printed inside or plate matter, and practically the whole of the paper had to be set up at the home office, whose office forces at first consisted of four apprentices. It was impossible to think for a moment of engaging a practical compositor, as the expense was altogether too great, and the four novices, Wilhelm Wagner, Sr., his son, William H. Wagner, the German instructor, Air. Knecht, and his son Philip, burned the midnight oil many a time in their efforts to restore the order of a printed page out of the chaos of a case of type.
At that time the printing part of the establishment was located in the office of the Freeport Bulletin, on the third story of the Wright Building, on the northeast corner of Stephenson and Adams Streets. Early in 1854, the proprietor decided to rent separate quarters, which should also contain the editorial rooms, and a location at No. 8 South Galena Avenue (then Exchange Street) was secured. At that time a hand press of the most primitive sort, which is still on exhibition at the Anzeiger office, was secured and the proud and happy publisher was able to accomplish the printing of his own newspaper. Shortly after this the circulation of the paper had so increased that the finances of the company permitted the employment of a professional compositor. Mr. Louis Crusius was engaged, and from that time on, the Anzeiger never missed an issue.
In spite of increased facilities, the publication of the German weekly was still attended by many difficulties. Mr. Wagner, in addition to his editorial duties, was also the pastor of a rural church, and found it necessary to devote much of his time to his pastoral calls. At the same time he was burdened with poverty, and the Anzeiger was barely able to endure the strain. It is said that in order to save freight charges on paper, Mr. Wagner used frequently to go into Chicago (free transportation being furnished him) and bring out great bundles of paper far too heavy for a man to carry. These he brought with him as baggage and thus saved unnecessary expense. In spite of his incessant labors it was not until his two sons became old enough to be associated with him in the business that prosperity began to smile on the venture.
In the early part of 1855, having found the quarters too small, the business was transferred to the third story of the Rosenstiel Building, now 93 Stephenson Street, in which location it remained until November, 1857. Occupying only the rear half of the story, and finding that space too contracted, the office was removed to the third story of the Child's Building, opposite the Brewster House. In February, 1859, however, Mr. Wagner was able to secure the entire floor of his former location, and so returned to his old quarters.
In that year, W. H. Wagner, son of the editor, who now conducts the business himself, became proficient enough in the art to be entrusted with the whole of the technical part of the business. Five years later he and Oscar Ziegler, Sr., brother-in-law of the senior Wagner, became associated with the paper as Wagner & Company, but Mr. Ziegler remained with the firm only two years.
The list of subscribers increased daily and another move became imperative. The company transferred its business to the Krohn Building, and purchased a new cylinder press, but the situation there was inconvenient, and soon after another change of location was made to the John Hoebel Building. This made the sixth move in the thirteen years of the paper's existence.
On New Year's Day, 1868, the Anzeiger was doubled in size, and the working force enlarged. Five years later, a new building site 20 x 60 feet, on Chicago Street, was purchased, and the Anzeiger proceeded to fulfill its long cherished hope of erecting an office of its own. The joy of the proprietors at moving into their own establishment was indeed somewhat dampened that year by a suit for libel brought against the firm by a certain Mr. Broad, of Freeport. That Mr. Broad may have been justified in his suit is possible, for the court brought a verdict against the firm of Wagner & Company for the sum of $263. It was not much in the face of the $25,000 which Mr. Broad had asked, but it was a great sum to the struggling firm of Wagner & Company. Through the generosity of Mr. Wagner's parishioners in the town of Silver Creek and a benefit concert given by the German citizens of the city, a sufficient sum was realized to cover the debt.
In January, 1876, the size of the paper was again increased and this time assumed its present proportions On November 26, 1877, the members of the firm experienced a great sorrow in death of Wilhelm Wagner, senior partner and founder of the paper. Early in 1878 a new cylinder press was purchased, and Wagner & Company suddenly found the building they had built ten years before too small for them. A site on the corner of Chicago and Galena Streets was bought and a three story structure built in 1884. This was occupied until October, 1902, when the company removed to its commodious new quarters on the corner of Chicago and Spring Streets.
The present firm name is W. H. Wagner & Sons, the business being conducted by William H. Wagner and his sons Albert and Oscar. The new printing establishment is by far the finest and most up-to-date in the city. The company now makes a specialty of fine job work and binding, and its weekly newspaper, the Deutscher Anzeiger, is now the only German newspaper in the city. Some time ago a small weekly sheet called the Sonntags Gast was instituted, but has since been discontinued. The subscription list of the Anzeiger has not grown of late years to any great extent, for the use of the German tongue in Freeport is becoming less each year.
The high standard of the paper, however, is maintained, and, even in the face of existing conditions the periodical has a long lease of life before it.
NATIONAL SWINE MAGAZINE
The National Swine Magazine was launched about seven years ago. It is devoted exclusively to swine raising. A year and a half ago it was bought by the W. H. Wagner & Sons Company of Freeport, under whose control the paper has improved in quality and circulation. The editor is Mr. Amos Burhenz, a practical farmer, of Waterville, Minnesota. The writers for the magazine are all practical farmers or professors in agricultural colleges. The circulation now is about 17,000, having increased 100 per cent since acquired by the W. H. Wagner Company.
The Freeport Bulletin, under its present name, dates back to July, 1853, but in reality it had its birth six years earlier in the shape of a tiny pioneer sheet, known as the Prairie Democrat, which was the first newspaper to make its appearance in Freeport. In 1847 Freeport was a growing settlement of about the same proportions as the Lena of today. In a town of that size there was a natural demand for a newspaper, and this growing need was one reason for the founding of the Prairie Democrat. The other, and more vital cause, was found in the fact that Hon. Thomas J. Turner, who represented this district in Congress, wished to gain control of a periodical through whose editorial columns he could speak, and express his opinions upon the various subjects then agitating the body politic. With this end in view, he founded the Prairie Democrat, and secured the services of S. D. Carpenter to direct the business end of the venture. In November, 1847, the first issue of the paper was published.
When the Prairie Democrat was first launched forth upon its mission, the number of store and office buildings in Freeport was few. At first a room was secured in the old court house building, and the business of the paper conducted there. But the stay of the Democrat in the court house building was of short duration. It subsequently removed to a frame building on the corner of Galena and Chicago Streets, where it remained during Mr. Carpenter's administration of affairs.
For three years, Mr. Carpenter continued to fill his dual role of editor and manager, and then apparently became wearied of so thankless a position. He left the business, and turned over his interest to J. O. P. Burnside, who thereupon took charge. Mr. Burnside's introduction into the affairs of the paper does not seem to have caused any material change in its political attitude or even its make-up and general appearance. He moved the place of publication from the old stand to the corner of Stephenson and Chicago Streets. Here he published the paper for two years, and under his efficient administration it continued to thrive, in spite of the appearance of a new rival in the field in the shape of the Freeport Journal. In 1852 he disposed of the Prairie Democrat to George P. Ordway, who ran it for a year and then re-sold it to Mr. Burnside.
When Mr. Burnside took possession of the paper for a second time he realized that a complete reorganization was necessary. The appurtenances of the office were "decrepit with age," and the type and cases were utterly unfit for use. They were accordingly replaced with new materials, and in July, 1853, the Prairie Democrat, re-christened the Freeport Bulletin, commenced publication, after a short interval, as a weekly paper. The Bulletin catered to Democratic readers, of which there has always been a preponderance in Freeport, and steadily grew in strength.
Mr. Burnside was in time succeeded by Bagg & Brawley, who remained in charge for a brief period and sold out to Giles & Scroggs in 1861. In 1864 Mr. Giles sold out his interest in the business to Mr. Scroggs and that gentleman continued as sole proprietor for five years. In 1869, Mr. Giles bought the whole business and continued to publish the Bulletin himself for seven years. During Mr. Giles' editorship the paper increased in subscription and authority through this section of the country, and came ultimately to be regarded as the true index of Jeffersonian democracy in northern Illinois.
On the second day of January, 1873, Mr. Giles relinquished his hold, and announced that the office had been disposed of to Taylor & Aspinwall, who would henceforth conduct the business. The alleged buyers never gained possession, but instead the business was turned over to C. C. Schuler, of Freeport, and J. W. Potter, formerly editor of the Bolivar (Missouri) Herald. These gentlemen took charge of the enterprise on January 16, 1873, but not until June 19 of that year did the paper appear in its "new dress." New type fonts were purchased and the appliances of the establishment were renewed and repaired. The partnership of Schuler & Potter continued for over a year, and then, in October, 1874, Mr. Schuler sold out his interest to Mr. Potter, bade farewell to the patrons of the Bulletin and departed to engage in the banking business in Iowa.
On September 18, 1877, the first issue of the Freeport Daily Bulletin appeared, with the editorial departments in charge of F. Chas. Donohue and O. F. Potter. For some time the Bulletin and the Daily Herald, a publication which has long since been discontinued, continued to be the only daily papers in Freeport. Very soon the Journal became a daily publication and subsequently other rivals entered the field. The Bulletin, however, still retains the honor of being the oldest Freeport daily newspaper still in existence.
On the 23d day of May, 1885, Mr. J. W. Potter's very busy life was closed, and his son, O. F. Potter succeeded to the management of the business. Mr. Potter, Jr., continued in charge for ten years, and sold out his interest, afterward returning to take charge of the editorial department of the paper.
In 1895 "Messrs. H. Poffenberger, P. O. Stiver and H. F. Rockey came into possession and conducted the paper for a number of years. Mr. Rockey soon retired from the business and the firm became Poffenberger & Stiver, which it still remains.
The office of the printing establishment is located at No. 99 Chicago Street. Both a daily and a weekly edition are printed. The subscription of the daily is held to be the largest of any paper in the city at present, and it is doubtless the case, for the Freeport Bulletin is the only democratic newspaper in the city which is printed in the English tongue.
The Deutscher Anzeiger adheres to the Democratic party, but is printed almost entirely in German, the editorial department of course printing its editorials in that language. In view of this fact the Bulletin is to all practical intents and purposes the only Democratic newspaper in the city today. It has always steadfastly adhered to the principles of Democracy, and from the establishment of the Prairie Democrat in 1847 has constantly taken a forceful and aggressive stand in every election, whether national, state, or municipal. It is enjoying a deservedly wide popularity and is one of the leading newspapers in this section of the state.
The Freeport Standard is Freeport's youngest newspaper, and concerning its life history there is not much to be said. It was the direct outgrowth of the Freeport Democrat, which dissolved and passed into the hands of W. W. Krape.
Mr. Krape was a man of influence in the community and had long wished that he might be able to express his personal and political views through the editorial columns of a newspaper. When the Freeport Democrat was offered to him, he immediately seized the opportunity to possess himself of the long desired medium. In addition to this, he wanted a job office where he might print the numerous publications and pamphlets of the Knights of the Globe, and the Cosmopolitan Insurance Company, of both of which organizations he was head.
Having had no previous experience in the newspaper business, Mr. Krape was at a loss as to what course he should pursue and was glad to entrust the technical end of the business to competent and able workmen who had been associated with the Freeport Democrat under Mr. Donohue's management.
The first place of publication was in the old Democrat office, but quarters were cramped there, and a move was soon made to the old post-office building, on the corner of Van Buren and Exchange streets. But these quarters were also uncomfortable and unsatisfactory, and Mr. Krape decided to move his newspaper to its present location on Stephenson street, across from the court house.
In December, 1909, Mr. Krape, having tired of his experiment, disposed of the business to Mayor W. T. Rawleigh, who is now sole editor and manager. The office is still maintained on Stephenson street, between Van Buren street and South Gelena avenue. There is a job office in connection which does a limited business.
The Freeport Standard is Republican in its politics and has always maintained an unusually aggressive stand on all questions of municipal and state politics. There is a large circulation, many of the subscribers of the Democrat, as well as many Republican citizens having enlisted as subscribers for the Standard.
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Stories, Volume 1
There have been, in the annals of Freeport, a number of newspapers, whose careers have terminated either in financial failure, or by combination with other organs. The number of these is surprisingly large, especially the number of German newspapers, and while they have lost all significance as far as the Freeport press of today is concerned, still some brief mention is due these unhappy periodicals who found themselves swallowed up in the maelstrom of business competition, or otherwise unable to withstand the stress of circumstances.
Freeport Tribun. The Tribun was a German weekly founded in the middle of March, 1859. The editor was William Massenberg, and the paper sought to advance the interests of the Republican party among the German citizens. But the number of German Republicans has always been few in Freeport and Stephenson county, and after a year of unsatisfactory labor, the Tribun retired from the field of activity. All files or record of its existence are entirely lost and nothing remains to tell the tale of its demise.
The North-West. The publication of the ill-fated North-West was begun on August 17, 1865. It was a paper purely literary in character, and took no stand in politics. As the original promulgators, W. O. Wright and T. Ormsby, observed, in stating their aim, the North-West desired to become "a publication, the columns of which, comparatively free from politics, entirely free from personalities, scandals, disgusting, obscene, and immoral advertisements, would offer inducements to writers of merit for contributions that could be read in the family circle by parents and children."
For six months Messrs. Wright and Ormsby, under the firm name of Wright & Co., conducted the North-West. They then disposed of it to Atkins and McCall. The office and job rooms of the North-West were located at 104, 106 and 108 Stephenson street, where the business was conducted by Atkins and McCall until April 5, 1886. M. B. Mills then became a partner in the firm and its responsible head. This arrangement lasted scarcely a month and the paper was then combined with the Journal. The title was changed to the "North-West, a Weekly Journal of Western Literature." The paper was materially improved and enlarged, but did not meet with approval. The Freeporters of that day and generation looked with disapproval, if not absolute scorn, on such an undertaking as the North-West was struggling to promote. No one would subscribe, and the editors regretfully stopped the publication and tried to forget the incident.
When the North-West was abandoned, it had been in existence for less than two years. The job office was consolidated with that of the Freeport Journal, and the various printing appurtenances were sold to that paper. The North-West was a project that had deserved better success, but there was no demand for it, and the very founding had been ill-advised. The files of the paper have not been preserved in entirety, and the whole affair is now a matter of the dim past.
The Freie Presse, establishd nine years after the Tribun, was in a certain sense an attempt at a resuscitation of that paper. It was fostered by different individuals, but its whole purpose was to promote the interests of the Republican party. William Caspar Schultz, and Christian Mueller, who were editors of the publication, continued their work for nearly a year. But they saw the utter hopelessness of their task and resigned to fate. All records of the Freie Presse have been long since lost.
The Freeport Budget was a Republican newspaper, founded in May, 1873, under the direction of Dr. K. T. Stabeck, of Davis. It commenced publication as a weekly seven column folio with a subscription of only one hundred and fifty. In fact, the outlook was not encouraging and the editor of the Budget was working against heavy odds. Dr. Stabeck had cherished a fond hope that he might continue to practice medicine and conduct the affairs of the Budget at the same time, but a very brief experience taught him that such a thing was impossible. For a while he continued to have his editorial office at Davis and the paper was known as the Budget of Freeport and Davis, two editions being printed. The printing and typesetting was done in Freeport until the fall of 1874, when Dr. Stabeck purchased the necessary appliances, moved them to Davis, and there set up in business as publisher as well as editor.
The Budget became, of course, more closely a Davis publication, although not so intended. In the spring of 1875, K. C. Stabeck, a brother of Dr. Stabeck, became associated with him in the business and the doctor went to Europe for a vacation of two years. On his return in 1877, the Budget was removed to Freeport, where Dr. Stabeck took charge, and his brother continued to issue the Davis Budget as a separate publication. Dr. Stabeck purchased the Monitor, a Freeport weekly, and A. Keeler became associated with him in the business for a short time. This partnership was brief. In 1878, Mr. Keeler was sue ceeded by Charles R. Haws. In the following fall, he too left, and Dr. Stabeck assumed sole control and responsibility. At the same time his brother, K. C. Stabeck, discontinued the Davis Budget, and took up the practice of law. In the following spring, Dr. Stabeck sold out to General Atkins, but retained his editorial connection with the paper, and took charge of the local columns. A relative, Thurston Stabeck, of Winnebago County, acted as his assistant. This triumvirate remained in charge for nearly two years, when Dr. Stabeck dissolved his connection with the paper, and it became the Freeport Republican, under the sole control of General Atkins. In 1882, it was merged with the Freeport Journal, and the career of the two newspapers was at an end.
The Monitor was a weekly record of current events, local, state and national, established January, 1874, by W. T. Giles. Democratic as to politics, and of temperance proclivities, the Monitor was a bright, newsy, little sheet, and was well received by the community. The office of the publication was at first in the Hettinger block, but was later removed to the Grange building. The Monitor flourished for nearly four years, and finally disappeared from view, swallowed up in the Freeport Budget.
The Nord Westliche Post was born in 1875 and died within a year. It was founded by one F. Krumme, who cherished the conviction that a German newspaper of independent politics would flourish on Freeport soil. A very brief experience convinced him of the utter impossibility of any such venture, and he removed to Lake City, and later La Crosse. Meeting with no success at any place, he abandoned the project in disgust. The experiment is now almost forgotten. The Daily Herald did not mark the first attempt at establishing a daily newspaper in Freeport, for the Journal had entered the field, as early as 1857. It did, however, mark the first effective attempt, and while, short-lived itself, it led to better things.
It came to life on April 30, 1877, under the management of Ernest Seitz and A. H. S. Perkins. Mr. Perkins occupancy of the editorial position was short, however, and after only a few weeks of management, he resigned. He was succeeded by F. Charles Donohue, who took the paper in hand and made of it a success. He became local editor of the sheet, and succeeded in developing it wonderfully, both financially and in a literary sense. At the end of two prosperous years, he resigned his position to William F. Gore, a Chicago journalist, and went to accept a more lucrative position with the Freeport Bulletin. Mr. Gore's experience in Freeport was brief, and another Chicago newspaper man, by name Charles Vickenstaff Hine, came to fill his place. Soon after James C. McGrath became interested in the venture and the firm became Hine, Seitz and McGrath.
The Daily Herald was of independent political proclivities until 1880, when it espoused the cause of Republicanism. In doing so, it sounded its death knell. Too weak to compete with the other papers, it had nevertheless served a good cause, and when it discontinued publication a short time later, a daily paper had become a matter-of-fact necessity in Freeport.
Freeport Banner. The Banner was the last German newspaper to be established in Freeport, and only later has it been dropped. It made its first appearance in July, 1879, edited by H. W. Frick.
Mr. Frick soon removed to Janesville, Wisconsin, and was succeeded in the work by his brother, Charles W. Frick, who continued to edit the paper up to the time of its demise. The printing office was first housed in a two story brick building on Chicago street, was later removed to Stephenson street, then to the second and third stories of the T. K. Best building, and finally to the location on the corner of Chicago and Exchange streets, which is still occupied by Prick's printery. The Banner was a seven column weekly folio of German proclivities. A weekly sheet was also published known as the "Sonntags-Blatt." The publication of both of these was discontinued in 1906, four years ago, and Mr. Frick has since maintained exclusively a job work establishment.
The Freeport Democrat. W. T. Giles, who had been sponsor of so many Freeport papers, became also the founder of the Freeport Daily Democrat. For five years he conducted the business, and then, in 1887, sold it to F. Charles Donohue, who was for many years one of Freeport's most prominent journalists. Mr. Donohue continued to run the Democrat for nearly twenty years in the building on East Stephenson street, now occupied by the King's Daughters Settlement Home. In 1905, the business was discontinued, and sold to W. W. Krape & Co., becoming merged into the Freeport Standard. Mr. Donohue then accepted a position with the Freeport Bulletin, but his health failed and he died shortly after. The Democrat was one of the brightest and best newspapers in the city, when it was founded, and the discontinuance of the paper was deeply regretted by the large list of subscribers. Although only in existence for a short time, it will long be remembered as one of the most up-to-date newspapers which Freeport has ever entertained.
The Freeport Wide Awake was a four page campaign paper, published every Saturday during the campaign of 1860, "in advocacy of the election of Lincoln and Hamlin," by Hulburt & Ingersoll. The Wide Awakes had a torch-light procession September 29, 1860, three hundred and fifteen carrying torches.
At the head of Freeport's three daily and weekly newspapers are three very competent city editors. The oldest in the service and one of the ablest writers of Northern Illinois is Mr. O. F. Potter, of the Freeport Bulletin.
Mr. Thomas Lawless, of the Standard, is a newspaper man of rare ability and is an adept at finding out the news, and in preparing and arranging it in an attractive manner for the public.
Mr. N. T. Cobb, who came here from North Carolina a few years ago, is city editor of the Journal. In a short time he has become familiar with both the business and editorial departments of the Journal. He is a man of brilliant ability, a tireless worker and possesses the talents of a natural newspaper man.
Hon. Stephen Rigney, representative from this county in the last state legislature, is one of the well to do farmers of the county. He is an intelligent and upright citizen, and made a record for himself in the legislature that is gratifying to his friends and to the entire county. By unquestionable integrity and fidelity to his trust, he has won the title of "Honest Steve Rigney/' at a time when the corruption of the legislature has dragged into the mire of disgrace.
For thirty-one years Fire Chief Rodemeyer has been connected with the Freeport fire department. From the bottom to the top, he has worked his way up by merit and has always been a brave and competent fire fighter. The efficiency of the fire department has never been questioned. Chief Rodemeyer was first appointed chief in 1883.
G. A. R.
Although the order of the Grand Army of the Republic was organized in the state of Illinois, and as early as 1866, yet Freeport did not have its post until twenty-nine years ago in 1881. To Dr. B. F. Stephenson, of Springfield, Illinois, belongs the honor of suggesting the formation of this union of veteran soldiers and of launching the organization into existence. The first objects of the association were to afford assistance to disabled and unemployed veterans of the war. Dr. Stephenson, who had been a surgeon in a volunteer regiment during the war, was firmly convinced that an organization of the returned soldiers, for mutual benefit, was imperatively needed. A ritual was drafted under his supervision and the first post of the order was established at Decatur, Illinois. Other posts were soon mustered throughout Illinois and other states, and the first department convention was held at Springfield, Illinois, July 12, 1866. General John M. Palmer was there elected department commander. The first national convention was held at Indianapolis on November 20 following, and representatives from eleven states were present. During the year 1867 the order spread rapidly and has grown since until now every city, town, village and hamlet has its G. A. R. Post.
The second national convention was held at Philadelphia in 1868, only two years after the founding of the G. A. R., and even in that brief space of time, the order had grown to national proportions and was in a very nourishing condition. In that year the first observation of May 3Oth as a Memorial Day by the Grand Army was ordered, and on May II, 1870, May 3Oth was fixed upon for the annual observance by an article adopted as part of the rules and regulations of the order.
In 1868 came an unfortunate decline which nearly resulted in the abandonment of the order. An idea that the G. A. R. was a political organization gained currency in some inexplicable manner, and a decrease in membership immediately took place. Many of the men who had been most enthusiastic supporters and members became disgusted and left the organization. This was particularly notable in the west, where an almost complete disruption of the order occurred. In May, 1869, an effort was made to introduce measures making the G. A. R. more like a lodge in organization. Three degrees of membership were instituted, but this move met with instant and widespread disapproval, and two years later, in 1871, all sections providing for degrees or ranks among members were stricken from the rules. At the same time a rule was adopted prohibiting the use of the organization for any partisan purpose whatsoever, a rule which has since been strictly followed.
John A. Davis Post of Freeport was organized in Freeport on July 5, 1881, taking its name from Colonel John A. Davis, the gallant commander of the Forty-sixth.
The naming of the post after the brave soldier who lost his life in the early part of the war was in every sense appropriate, for John A. Davis was not only one of the bravest hearts that ever donned a blue uniform, but he was also one of the oldest settlers of Stephenson County, and his father and brother were intimately connected with the early history of Rock Run Township. He and his brother founded the present village of Davis, establishing a small general store which came to be called "The Davis Store" and formed the nucleus for the present group of stores and houses. While engaged in this business the war broke out and John Davis was one of the first to volunteer. He was chosen captain of Company B and later colonel of the Forty-sixth Regiment, in which there were five companies from Stephenson County. After leaving for the war he did not return to his home until after the battle of Shiloh, in which he was seriously wounded. He returned to the war a second time, against the advice and persuasion of friends and family, and especially the members of his political party, who wished to send' him to Congress. Hardly had he set foot upon the battlefield when he fell a victim at the battle of Hatchie, on October 5th, 1862. He died soon after at Bolivar, Tennessee, calm, brave, and self-possessed to the last. His remains were brought to Freeport and the funeral held in the First Presbyterian church under the direction of Chaplain Teed.
Forty-six men were
mustered into the organization which takes his name. Colonel Sherburne
of Chicago and Assistant Adjutant General Bennett were present at this
organization, which was effected in accordance with the objects of the
G. A. R., which are:
1. To preserve and strengthen those kind and fraternal feelings which bind together the soldiers, sailors and marines, who united to suppress the late rebellion.
2. To assist such former comrades in arms as need help and protection; and to extend needful aid to the widows and orphans of those who have fallen.
3. To maintain true allegiance to the United States of America, based upon a paramount respect for, and fidelity to the National Constitution and the laws, to discountenance whatever tends to weaken loyalty, incite insurrection, treason or rebellion, or in any manner impairs the efficiency and permanency of our free institutions; to promote the spread of universal liberty, equal rights, and justice to all men, and to encourage honor and purity in public affairs.
After being mustered in, John A. Davis Post No. 98 elected the following officers: Commander John Hart. S. Vice Commander Charles F. Taggart. J. Vice Commander Levi M. Devore. Quartermaster Charles G. Sanborn. Chaplain William Swanzey. Officer of the Day Philip Arno. Officer of the Guard Newton Linsley. The commanders since then have been: 1882 James I. Neff. 18831. F. Kleckner. 1884 Smith D. Atkins. 1885 W. W. Moore. 1886 Henry Burrell. 1887 J. Brown Taylor. 1888-1889 John R. Harding. 1890 Charles T. Green. 1891 F. C. Held. 1892 Smith D. Atkins. 1893 George H. Tandy. 1894-1895 L. A. Underwood. 1896-1897 Wm. B. Mayer. 18987. T. F. Runner. 1899 Israel Solt. 1900-1910 F. C. Held.
The Roster of the Post includes: Andre, John J., Rockford. Angle, Luther. Asten, Charles. Atkins, Smith D. Armbrust, James, 132 Walnut St. Aspinwall. J. E., R. F. D. 4, Freeport. Adelman, Milton, 146 Mechanic St. Barnes, Oliver, West Freeport, died Dec. 7, 1909. Bertsch, John A., died Dec. 24, 1909. Brandt, Abram, Rock City. Byers, F. W., Monroe, Wis. Bokhof, Herman, Rock City, 111. Bouray, Albert, Ridott, 111. Burrell, Henry, 102 Lincoln Ave. Blosser, Wm. H., 80 Cherry St. Benson, David, 210-212 S. i6th St., Omaha, died Dec. 10, 1908. Bamberger, Ephraim, 273 Union St. Brady, Wm. I., 18 Harlem Ave. Bowman, Wm. H., Nora, 111. Burrell, Daniel, 45 Lincoln Ave. Barr, William, Walnut St. Best, Hiram C., 350 Walnut St. Burton, R. W., 209 Pleasant St. Beal, Jacob S., R. F. D. 2, Ridott. Baker, E. D., Scioto Mills. Boop, W. H., Iroquois, S. D. Becker, Jacob, Durand, 111. Brown, Edward S., 255 Stephenson St., died May 18, 1910. Bongye, Daniel, 22 West St. Bongye, F. D., Freeport, died March 16, 1909. Burkhart, John, Russell, Minn., died March 16, 1909. Baker, Wm. H., Scioto Mills. Brownlee, Harrison, 278 Clark Ave. Bear, Francis, 387 Oak St. Christler, W. J., 196 Carroll St. Corman, George, R. F. D. 4, Freeport. Clingman, Jason, Dakota, 111. Clingman, John T., Davis, 111. Cooper, B. G., Freeport. Cornelius, Samuel, Davis, 111., dead. Clingman, Wm. H., Cedarville, 111. Clark, Benjamin, 138 State St. Cummings, James R., 132 Walnut St. Drener, Fred, 34 Douglas Ave. Diecher, John, 20 Powell St., dead. Dryer, E. W. R., 40 Railroad St. Daughenbaugh, Christ, Orangeville, Ill. Dommel, Henry, Soldiers' Home. Dennison, N. W., Chicago, 111. Dean, Joseph, 197 Locust St. Durling, Ezra, 7 Fifth Ave. Engleman, Jacob, Red Oak, 111. Ellis, Eli, 115 N. Galena Ave., dead. Eisenbise, P. W., 77 Orin St., transferred. Fossolman, Phillip, 103 West St. Fox, Joshua, 185 Jefferson St. Ferrel, Jacob, 429 Empire St. Fawner, Phillip M., 337 Fifth Av. Fry, Josiah, 225 Pleasant St. Fry, Jacob, 231 Pleasant St. Figely, Wm. F., 18 Ordway St. Ford, Walter G., in N. Galena Ave. Freitag, Phillip, 153 Union St. Graber, John, 22 Oak Place. Gunn, James, 12 Chestnut St. Goethe, Robert, 71 Jefferson St. Grimm, Geo. W., 134 Float St. Carman, Henry C, Cedarville, 111. Gale, John A., 4 Cottonwood St Getty, Royal Q., 214 Benton St. Graham, G. W., 23 Grove St. Halen, James F. Hayes, Thomas, Davis, 111. Hawn, Isaac, 21 John St. Held, F. C. Hayes, John R., 517 62d St., Chicago. Hockman, Henry, Lebanon, Mo. Hoyman, Henry, 264 Walnut St. Hennick, Wm. H., Louis Ave., East Freeport. Hart, Albert W., 15 Addison St. Kaste, Wm., Sr. Keller, Henry, 307 Adams St. Klefer, George, Ridott, 111. Knecht, Phillip, 81 Carroll St. Kamerer, Carl, 258 S. Galena Ave. Kyle, Urias. Knoeller, George, 141 Jackson St. Keeler, N. F., 132 Van Buren St. Krape, W. W., 780 Stephenson St. Kohl, George, 115 Foley St. Kailey, Wm., Lena, 111. Keyes, Edward, City. Kauffman, T. M.. 27 Park Ave. Kencke, Rudolph, 161 Taylor Ave. Keck, H. S., 38 Locust. Kleckner, G. S., 573 Stephenson St. Kryder, Wm. H., Cedarville, 111. Kauffman, Alex., 275 Carroll St. Kautenberger, Peter G., 180 Chicago St. Kundinger, Theo., no Clark Ave. Keith, B. B., 45 Jefferson St., dead. Keeling, G. F. Roller, Frederick City. Kern, Richard, Davis, 111. Koym, Fred, 158 Oak St. Kellogg, A. S., 292 N. Galena Ave. Lang, Robert, Rock City, 111. Lied, Edwin, 68 High St. Lininger, J. F., 52 Wilbur St. Leigh, Jesse R., 673 Stephenson St. Lattig, Aaron, P., 404 West St. Lathrop, John S., transferred. Long, George, 87 Walnut. Lawver, George, 246 Elk St. Luedeke, Henry, 77 Winneshiek St. Law, John S., Cedarville, 111. Marie, George E. Miller, Ambrose, Rock City, 111. Morrison, Hugh, 392 Stephenson St. McLees, Robert C., 15 Dexter St. Mallory, Isaac N., 128 American St. McLain, Isaac, Ridott, 111. Moersch, John, 50 Hardin St. Madden, Wm. J., 36 West St. Myers, Louis, Sheldon, la. Mogle, Samuel, 108 Exchange St. McGurk, James, Lena, 111. Mitchell, N. L., Davis, 111. Newcomer, B. F., 231 Douglas Ave. Newcomer, Abraham, Red Oak, 111. Ott, Andrew, 36 American St. Pietrek, Paul, 16 Ordway St. Potter, Johnson, Davis, 111. Prince, Jacob, 25 Vine St. Penticoff, Daniel, 305 Union St. Palmer, Levy H., 26 Chicago St. Rotzler, John, 161 Elk St. Rodearmel, Arthur, 460 Stephenson St. Rodemeyer, Joseph, 83 Chestnut St. Runner, Z. T. F., 39 Lincoln Ave. Romine, Homer, 73 Galena St. Rodenbaugh, J. M., 26 Walnut St. Rawk, David, Davis, 111. Reitzell, W. J., 22 Harlem Ave. Roberts, Albert, McKinley Ave. Ropps, Wm., 305 Liberty St. Schlegel, Julius, 523 S. Galena Ave. Stewart, Wm., 203 N. Galena Ave. Solt, Israel, 55 Cherry St. Stouffer, B. F., 37 S. Galena Ave. Spitler, W. H., 34 Nursery St. Sieferman, Lawrence, 29 Chestnut St. Smith, Iriah, Orangeville, 111. Schock, Enos, Rock City, 111. Smith, Wm. Smith, John G., dead. Snyder, John W., R. F. D. 3, Freeport. Stober, Wm., 151 Delaware St., dead. Sprague, Irwin, 222 Van Buren St. Sechrist, A. G., 209 West St. Shaughnessy, Samuel, 26 Park Ave. Smith, J. H., 199 Stephenson St., dead. Taft, Ira B., Soldiers' Home. Thompson, P. R., 328 Stephenson St., died Jan. 6, 1910. Thayer, Wm. H., 127 S. Galena Ave. Turneaure, G. B., 23 Green St. Vore, John, 51 Illinois St. Van Reed, M. A., 47 Brick St. Vore, Wm., Cedarville, 111. Weinhold, W. S., 146 Washington St. Williams, Hugh. Wentz, Phillip W., Park Heights. Waddell, John R., 399 Walnut St. Webb, Oliver, 165 Locust St. Winters, William, Dakota, 111. Wardlow, Robert, Rock City, 111. Williams, Henry, 241 Spring St., died Dec. 12, 1909. Work, James M., 153 Jackson St. Washburn, Crip. Young, Thomas B., Rock City.
The Grand Army of the Republic, as a national organization, has always stood for all that was best in civic affairs, for advancement in all business relations, and as a result, has accomplished a great deal of good and has gained an enviable reputation. What has been true of the national order has been equally true of the local branch. Together with its auxiliaries, the Ladies of the G. A. R., the Woman's Relief Corps, and the Sons of Veterans, John A. Davis Post has maintained the high standard of the national society and has been an active influence for good in the community.
The most active days of the Grand Army of the Republic are now over. An interesting report from Washington, D. C., states that about ninety names per day are being dropped from the pension rolls. This means an average of about two thousand seven hundred deaths per month or thirty-two thousand annually among the federal survivors of the Civil war carried on the pension lists. It is too evident that the old soldiers of both armies are vanishing rapidly. The generally accepted estimate of the number of individuals serving in the Union army and navy during the Civil war was two million two hundred and thirteen thousand three hundred and sixty- five. On June 20, 1909, the actual number of survivors of the Civil war on the pension rolls was five hundred and ninety-three thousand three hundred and sixty-five. On June 30, 1909, the actual number of will be a matter of history. But the brave men who fought for the Union of their country will never be forgotten, nor the effective work which they accomplished through the medium of the G. A. R.
For some time after its organization the John A. Davis Post met in the hall formerly known as Old Temperance Hall, in the building on the southeast corner of Chicago and Exchange streets. Recently the place of meeting was moved to the G. A. R. Hall in the City Hall building. This room is also used by the auxiliary associations as a meeting place and the city donates to the order the free use of the rooms.
On the days May 23, 24 and 25 there occurred a noteworthy event in the history of the John A. Davis Post, and the national order as well. The 44th annual encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic was held, and Freeport, was selected as the meeting place. For three days the city was turned over to the distinguished visitors, who flocked to Freeport in immense numbers from all parts of the United States. Mayor Rawleigh delivered an opening address of welcome, and presented the principal speakers of the day. The men of distinction who were present and spoke during the three days of the encampment were General Fred Grant, Governor Van Sant, of Minnesota, Governor Deneen, of Illinois, as well as many others of less national reputation. The Grand Opera House, the First Presbyterian Church, and the First Methodist Church were utilized as places of meeting, and were all crowded to the doors on every occasion. It was during one of the encampment meetings that Jasper T. Darling made his now famous speech against the placing of a Lee monument in the Hall of Fame. The incident created quite a breeze at the time it occurred and violent demonstrations of protest were made by the audience. Even now the occurrence is not forgotten, and is regarded by many as the one blot on the record of the Freeport encampment. In all other respects the event was a most brilliant success. Certainly the Freeporters and the John A. Davis Post acquitted themselves in most hospitable fashion, and the out-of-town guests were loud in their praise.
The decorations on the occasion of the encampment were particularly attractive. Stephenson street was spanned with flags and triumphal arches and every building was royally draped with the Stars and Stripes. The encampment was doubtless a big "boom" for Freeport, and the credit for the success of the affair should be given to the Freeport business men and the John A. Davis Post for their untiring efforts to secure the encampment for Freeport. It was a pronounced success and will go down on record as one of the big events of Freeport's history.
One of the most promising organizations of the city of Freeport is the Sons of Veterans, Smith D. Atkins Camp No. 400, Division of Illinois. The society, which has had a rapid growth during the past few years, nationally as well as locally, is composed of the direct male descendants of those men who served as Union soldiers in the Civil War. The Freeport camp was instituted about ten years ago with fifteen charter members, and named in honor of Smith D. Atkins, Freeport's veteran postmaster, and former commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. M. G. Kleckner became the first commander.
Since the time of founding the Sons of Veterans have increased in membership until at present their number is eighty-four. The officers of the organization for the current year are: Commander, George F. Korf; senior vice commander, Frank Hawn; junior vice commander, Frank Hand; chaplain, F. M. Carl; secretary, E. Ray Williams; treasurer, F. M. Miller.
During the recent G. A. R. encampment in Freeport, the national convention of the Sons of Veterans was also held. At this convention resolutions to change the name of the society was introduced but nothing was done on the matter. It was proposed to change the name from the "Sons of Veterans" to the "Sons of the Grand Army of the Republic." It was argued that such a name was more consistent with the original aim and purpose of the society, but others felt, on the contrary, that the name "Sons of the G. A. R." would imply that the members were sons of members of the older organization, rather than of any or all of the old soldiers of the Civil War. The project was not looked upon with favor by the Freeport camp, but nothing was done, and the motion was laid on the table to await further developments.
The activity of the Sons of Veterans has also been conducted along social and fraternal lines. Each year there is a social gathering at the time of initiation, at which the auxiliary ladies' organization assists. The prospects for growth are bright, and the Sons of Veterans number in their camp some of the leading business men of the city.
The Freeport Post of the Ladies of the G. A. R., which is not an auxiliary, but an allied organization of the Grand Army of the Republic, was founded by Mrs. Helen Underwood in September, 1900. The membership of this national society is made up solely of the wives and immediate families of the soldiers of the Union army, as opposed to the Woman's Relief Corps, which admits to membership any loyal woman. The society was inaugurated with thirty-five active members and nineteen comrades. Mrs. Underwood, who was instrumental in the organization became the first president, and afterward became the society's chaplain, which office she has occupied for the past four years. At present there are sixty members and about thirty comrades. The officers recently elected are: President, Mrs. T. M. Kaufmann; secretary, Mrs. J. A. Gale; chaplain, Mrs. Helen Underwood.
The Ladies of the G. A. R. find their work in assisting sick and enfeebled comrades and sisters, sending them fruit, etc. On each Decoration Day, the society makes it its duty to provide a means of transportation for the aged and infirm comrades to go to the cemetery. The ladies also attend the funerals of G. A. R. members in a body, and are present at all memorial services.
The history of the progress of the Ladies of the G. A. R. for the past ten years has been unusually bright, and the society has lost only four of its members through death. At the time of the recent encampment the national convention of the Ladies of the G. A. R. was held in Freeport and the affairs of the society were found to be in most prosperous condition.
The Woman's Relief Corps, which admits to membership all loyal ladies of the Union, is the only recognized auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic. It has been in existence in Freeport for many years, having been founded in 1888, by twenty interested ladies. These ladies became the charter members of the Freeport organization and elected Mrs. L. M. Devore president. At present there are sixty-two active members in good standing, who meet on the first and third Tuesdays of each month to carry out the offices for which the society was founded. The object is to do charitable work and care for the orphans and widows of the soldiers of the G. A. R.
Each Decoration Day, the Relief Corps serves lunch to the old soldiers in the G. A. R. rooms at the City Hall. During the G. A. R. the Woman's Relief Corps was particularly active. They gave a reception at the Freeport Club to the visiting posts, and afterward another reception in the G. A. R. rooms in honor of Commander F. C. Held, who was honored by election to the post of senior vice commander of the state. Like the other auxiliary ladies' organizations of the various lodges, the Relief Corps aims to care for the sick and afflicted of the comrades, and render them all possible service.
The officers at present are: President, Mrs. Therese Otto; secretary, Mrs. Bowers; treasurer, Mrs. Molter.
D. A. R.
The elder William Brewster Chapter No. 519, of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1900, by Mrs. Charles D. Knowlton, who is at present honorary regent of the chapter. For some years previous to the time of founding there had been chapters in the various cities about Freeport, but no effort had been made to establish a society in Stephenson County. In 1900 Mrs. William Talcott of Rockford was state regent, and being desirous that Freeport should have a chapter, she conferred with Mrs. Knowlton on the subject. The result was that Mrs. Knowlton succeeded in getting the 'members together, and although it took some time to secure the necessary papers and establish the claims of the various members it was less than a year when the Elder William Brewster Chapter became an established fact, and Mrs. Knowlton, who had done so much to promote its existence, was elected regent. She retained this office for nine years and was only supplanted this year by Mrs. Matthew B. Marvin who takes office next fall.
Ten ladies were instrumental in founding the chapter: Miss Gertrude Converse, Miss Esther Dana, Mrs. Walter Diffenbaugh, Miss Jesta Judson, Mrs. Charles D. Knowlton, Mrs. J. L. Robinson, Mrs. F. A. Read, Mrs. J. L. Rosebrugh, Mrs. Emma S. Wise, and Mrs. Charles C. Wolf. Since the time of founding the membership has swelled to thirty-seven names. An honored daughter was Mrs. Eleanora Zimmermann, who died November 5, 1909, aged eighty-eight years. She was the only real daughter in the chapter, being a daughter of Major Nicholas Ickes, of Chester County, Pennsylvania, who served under General George Washington. Major Ickes was a figure of some prominence in the army and gained promotion and title for brave conduct, although he was only sixteen years of age when he entered the army. He married Miss Susan Barnhisel and became the father of twenty-one children, of whom Mrs. Eleanora Zimmermann was the nineteenth.
The chapter holds meetings every two weeks at the homes of the members. Readings, discussions, and papers usually form the order of the program. In addition to this a number of activities have been fostered by the D. A. R., among them the annual colonial ball which is held yearly at the Masonic Temple. The function is held on Washington's Birthday and is usually a costume affair. In past years, the ladies have arranged a colonial minuet, maypole dances, etc. While the colonial ball is the most notable event of the D. A. R. year, the chapter has put the most work and time upon the Relic Room of the County Historical Society which is located on the second floor of the Library building, and it is of this that the members are most proud. The historical collection of relics suggestive of and dealing with the early history of state and county is most complete and interesting. A number of the exhibits were loaned to the society for a short time, and the rest are its permanent property. The historical collection is intended as the nucleus of a historical museum which shall have its rooms in the Library building, and contain relics of interest in connection with the history of the state and county.
The original purpose of the D. A. R. was to find and mark the graves of all Revolutionary soldiers throughout the country. A number of these have been discovered within the confines of Stephenson County and all have been appropriately marked. A short time ago the Freeport chapter helped the Rockford chapter to officiate at a meeting at Polo at which memorial services were held for two old Revolutionary soldiers. A monument was erected and a boulder, and these were dedicated on June 20, 1910, with appropriate exercises.
The D. A. R. have maintained a very flourishing society in Freeport, and further developments are awaited with interest. The organization is one of the most wide-awake in the city and has accomplished a great deal of valuable work during the short period of its existence.
The object of the Freeport Woman's Club, as stated in its constitution, is "the self-improvement of its members, and united effort for the advancement of social conditions in the home and the community." The club has been in existence since 1895 and during this time has been instrumental in effecting improvements and innovations in every direction. Mrs. Robert Hall Wiles, now of Chicago, was the prime mover in its organization and to her efforts may be attributed the successful career of the Woman's Club for the past fifteen years. In the fall of '95 a meeting was held in the circuit courtroom of the courthouse to which all ladies interested in the formation of a woman's club were invited. A large attendance resulted, and the club was formally instituted then and there, Mrs. Wiles being elected president. Mrs. Wiles served for several years and has since been succeeded by Mrs. C. F. Hildreth, Miss Flora Guiteau, Mrs. Charles D. Knowlton, Mrs. H. D. Bentley, Mrs. F. H. Towslee, Mrs. J. C. Gregory, and Mrs. George I. Brown.
Perhaps the most notable thing done by the Woman's Club was the placing of a granite boulder to mark the spot where the Lincoln-Douglas debate was held. The boulder, which is a huge red sandstone slab of exceptional beauty, was selected by a committee of the ladies of the club who went to Devil's Lake, Wisconsin, for the purpose of choosing a suitable stone. It was placed in its present position in 1902, and in June, 1903, it was formally unveiled and dedicated by President Roosevelt.
The work, however, of which the club has been the most proud has been the work in connection with the juvenile court. A committee consisting of three of the members of the club has been active in juvenile court work for a number of years. The work was undertaken soon after the founding of the club, and while it has not been noised abroad, but has, on the contrary, been kept very quiet, nevertheless a great amount of telling work has been accomplished.
In addition to these activities, the club has done charitable work in the community for the past fourteen years. Thirteen years ago, in 1897, it was voted to furnish a Christmas tree for the inmates of the county farm every Christmas eve. The tree was a great success the first year, and the custom has been continued ever since.
In the beautification of the city, the Woman's Club has not been idle. Four years ago, in 1906, they presented the City cemetery with one hundred white cut birch trees which have made a material improvement in its looks. The City cemetery had been for some time somewhat ragged and run down in appearance but through the efforts of the clubwomen the city has been induced to turn over a new leaf and the cemetery is today in much better condition than it might have been, had not the club seen fit to bend its efforts in this direction.
One of the first charities undertaken, was the care of the hospitals. For the past nine years the members have been sending fruit and jelly to both St. Francis and the Globe Hospital. Each individual is asked to bring a jar of fruit and a glass of jelly on an appointed day in the fall and the offerings are evenly distributed between the two hospitals. In the winter of 1902-3 the ladies took it upon themselves to furnish throughout a children's room at the Globe Hospital. They have also assisted financially in settlement and charitable work in the city. Some years ago they pledged themselves to give a stated amount each year to the King's Daughters' Settlement Home, and the results accomplished in this line have been, to say the least, gratifying.
Four years ago, an agitation was started for the establishment of a domestic science department in the Freeport high school. The Woman's Club was anxious that this movement should successfully culminate, and immediately agreed to furnish the department throughout should the course be ultimately adopted as a part of the school curriculum. The domestic science department was, in fact, established the following fall, and has just completed the fourth year of its existence. The Woman's Club purchased the necessary supplies and made an arrangement with the manual training department to make the tables, and the furniture of the dining room. The domestic science rooms are one of the features of the high school building today, and the Woman's club is in a large measure responsible for the steady advancement of the department since its founding.
Last year the Citizen's Commercial Association began to set afoot a movement for the establishing and maintaining of a rest room for out of town visitors. It was thought that this would materially aid in Freeport's growth, or that it would at least show the enterprise and ambition of the Freeport population. The Woman's Club, when consulted by the secretary of the association, agreed to furnish and equip the room with the necessary furniture and appurtenances. This work has just been completed and the club has still another public service upon which to congratulate itself.
There have been other services, but they have been less public than the ones above mentioned. The club has also assisted in the intellectual growth and uplift of the community by means of the lectures which it has secured for several years past. Undeniably the club has met with success and has ably fulfilled that part of its motto relating to "united effort for the advancement of social conditions in the home and in the community." As far as the "self improvement" clause is concerned, it may be said that this has by no means been neglected. The policy has not been to take up any one definite line of study and pursue it for an entire year. On the contrary, the programs have been varied so varied in fact, that, in looking over a recent year book of the club, we find one Saturday devoted to a discussion of "South Africa and Her Political Relations," while the next is occupied with a talk on "Music as a Factor in Education." The club members have certainly neglected their opportunities if they have failed to acquire that broad general culture which it was the aim of its founders to diffuse.
The meetings of the club are at present held in the audience room of the Masonic Temple. After the foundation of the society meetings were held for a short time in the courthouse. They were soon transferred to the auditorium of the Y. M. C. A., where they continued to be held until the remodeling of the Y. M. C. A. building made it necessary for them to seek new quarters. For a short time they were housed in the First Presbyterian church, but they soon moved to the Masonic Temple, which they have now occupied for some years. There is at present a movement on foot to purchase a permanent home for the club. Several schemes have been advanced, one to the effect that the Woman's Club and Shakespeare Society shall buy the club house of the Freeport Club and occupy it jointly. Other plans have been proposed, but the outlook for a club house is not very hopeful at present.
During the short period of its lifetime the Freeport Woman's Club has accomplished untold good in every branch of activities into which it has ventured. This has been entirely due to the energy and tireless work of its members. In view of its achievements in the past, Freeport has reason to look forward with confidence to still greater developments in the future.
Among the literary clubs of Freeport, none has been more active than the Freeport Shakespeare Society. The club was first formed in 1887 under the name of the "Wantahno" (Want to Know) Club, and the charter members pledged themselves to carry out a course of reading and study outlined by the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle. This course was completed within a year, but the "Wantahno's" had found their year's work; so enjoyable and profitable that they decided to make their club a permanent organization. It was then, in 1888, that the present Shakespeare Society had its inception, Mrs. Carl Nelson Moller, formerly Miss Vennette Grain being especially instrumental in the work of reorganizing. Mrs. Moller, who was a recent graduate of Wellesley College, proposed that the Wantahno Club make plans for a Shakespeare Society which should follow the same lines as the Shakespeare Society of Wellesley College. A number of new members were asked to join, and all entered into the work with zeal and enthusiasm. Mrs. Moller was elected president of the club for three consecutive years. The organization at first went under the name of the "Wantahno Shakespeare Society," but two years later in 1890, the name was changed to "Freeport Shakespeare Society" which name it has retained up to the present day.
It was the first design of the club that the membership should consist solely of unmarried ladies, but when several of the sisters forsook their vows and exhibited a preference for the married state instead of single blessedness and membership in the Shakespeare Society, it became necessary to forge a new rule. It was finally settled that the statute must stand unchanged as far as the election of new members was concerned, but that "once a member, always a member" should be the rule in other cases.
While the original
intention was to study the life and works of the Bard of Avon, the Shakespeare
Society had strayed somewhat from this purpose, and History, Economics,
Art, and Literature have formed subjects for discussion for the greater
part of the time. It has been the custom to present one or more plays
each year, and this rule has been pretty regularly observed. The first
dramatic effort of the society was a sylvan performance of "As You
Like It," which was given in the pine grove at the residence of Oscar
Taylor on South Carroll street. The play was a memorable success, and
those who have witnessed it and later productions of the club as well,
say that it has never been surpassed for daintiness and idyllic beauty.
The cast on this occasion comprised:
The Banished Duke Miss Mary Staver
Duke Frederick, the usurper Miss Nellie Moore
Amiens Miss Carolyn Harding
Jaques Miss Charissa Taylor
Lords attending on the Banished Duke
Charles, wrestler to Frederick Miss Frances Goddard
Oliver Miss Margaret Bidwell
Orlando Miss Laura Malburn
Sons to Sir Rowland de Boys
Adam, servant to Oliver Miss Margaret Stearns
Touchstone, a clown Miss Anna Sanborn
Corin Miss Emma Krohn
Silvius Miss Emily Smythe
William, a country fellow Miss Emily Smythe
Rosalind, daughter to the Banished Duke Miss Mabel Wright
Celia, daughter to Frederick Miss Helen Hill
Phebe, shepherdess Miss Helen Staver
Audrey, a country lass Miss Margaret Rhody
In succeeding years other histrionic attempts have seen light, but while the first performances given by the club were either public, or at least witnessed by large audiences, the society has become exclusive of later years, and their productions have been privately staged at the homes of the members and before audiences consisting of the club members themselves and their immediate families. Among the plays which have been given are "Twelfth Night," "The Taming of the Shrew," "The Comedy of Errors," "The Merchant of Venice," and a number of non-Shakespearean plays, as well as short scenes or cuttings from the Shakespearean comedies. Outside professional companies have also been secured, among them the Ben Greet Players, who gave "As You Like It" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Bailey's Park. The most notable outside performance was that of "Antony and Cleopatra" by the Charles B. Hanford Company, the part of Cleopatra being taken by Miss Alice Wilson, now Mrs. Cecil Magnus, of Fort Hamilton, New York, a former member of the Shakespeare Society.
Among the outside activities undertaken by the society has been the securing of lecturers who have appeared not only before the club but before public audiences, on subjects connected with the current topics of the year's program. In this way the society has served not only to widen the interests and broaden the intellectual horizon of its members, but of the community as well.
The Shakespeare Society
has recently completed the twenty-second year of its existence. There
are at present but three active members whose names were on the original
roll of the Wantahno Circle. The organization has increased in numbers
and has extended its labors into every field of cultural activity. During
this period, sixteen of its members have occupied the president's chairs,
only two or three of them having served for more than one term. The presidents
of the society since its founding have been
Miss Anna M. Smythe, 1887-88.
FREEPORT SHAKESPEARE SOCIETY.
Miss Vennette S. Crain, 1888-1891; Miss Margaret Bidwell, 1891-1892; Miss Laura Malburn, 1892-1893 and 1904-1905; Mrs. Mabel T. Hettinger, 1893-1894; Miss Anna Barton, 1894-1895; Mrs. R. B. Mitchell, 1895-1896 and 1899-1900; Miss Helen Hill, 1896-1897; Miss Bessie Gund, 1897-1898; Miss Jennie Huenkemeier, 1898-1899; Miss Bertha Trembor, 1900-1901; Miss Harriet Lane, 1901-1902; Miss Bertha Bidwell, 1902-1903 and 1905-1906; Miss Mary Stoskopf, 1903-1904; Miss Alice Bidwell, 1906-1907; Miss Eva Hettinger, 1907-1908.
"Love the best things; do the wisest things; think the purest things; aspire to the noblest things!" When the Euterpean Musical-Literary Society organized in 1902, it chose the above motto to guide its steps. The club was organized through the efforts of Wilber M. Derthick, founder and director of the Euterpean Fraternity, who went about the country establishing clubs in every city or prominence. The Euterpean Fraternity of America was founded in imitation of the Euterpe, a Norwegian musical society of which the composer, Edward Grieg, was the chief. Mr. Derthick and his wife, Mrs. May M. Derthick, succeeded in establishing the Freeport chapter in 1902 and provided the members with a program for the winter of 1902-3.
The Euterpean was not the first society which Mr. Derthick had fostered in Freeport. About ten years ago, he came to this city and assisted in founding a club which became known as the "Musical-Literary Club." While this club had really no connection with the Euterpean Society, still those who had been members of the Musical-Literary Club became members of the Euterpean for the most part, and in addition to this, the aim and general purposes of the two clubs were very much alike. There was this exception; the "Musical-Literary Club" aimed to carry out programs which should cover the fields of Music and Literature. The Euterpean took up this work and added the province of Art. Painting was discussed and the works of the great masters were studied, while the literary and musical work was continued as well.
The "Musical-Literary Club" had disbanded after three years of work. The Euterpean too. in spite of an interesting and helpful year, broke up at the end of one season. It was not until three years later that the old members began to make some move toward reorganizing. Then, remembering the pleasures of their one year together, they decided to meet and continue the musical-literary programs. Mr. Derthick had given up his work and the Euterpean Fraternity as a national organization was no longer in existence. But the ideas which he had instilled into the minds of his former pupils were still fresh, and the men and women who had studied with him were anxious to recommence their work.
The result was a complete reorganization in 1905, under the name of this "Euterpean Musical-Literary Club." Miss Julia Molter was elected president and retained her office for one year. In 1906, Mrs. Edna Baker Oylet was made president, and she remained in office for three terms. She was succeeded in 1909 by Miss Isabel Fry, the present leader of the society. After two years of this work, the Euterpean began to feel that it had undertaken too heavy a proposition. It was very enjoyable to study art, music, and literature, but it took time and continued effort. The programs were long, and it seemed that undue efforts were expended upon them. Moreover, the club was composed almost entirely of persons interested chiefly in music. Accordingly, the nature of the club was again changed and in 1907 the society became the "Euterpean Musical Club."
The Euterpean Musical Club filled a long felt want inasmuch as it was the only exclusively musical club of the city. The Woman's Club has maintained a music department and had given public musicales at various times, but the chief interests of that organization lay elsewhere. The Euterpean, however, has given itself entirely over to music, and the development and education of a musical taste in the community. To this end, they have given at least two artist recitals a year ever since 1907. They have secured a number of eminent musicians, among them Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Butler, of Chicago, who are honorary members of the Euterpean, and have given several Euterpean recitals both privately and publicly.
It has been the custom for the past three years to close the work of the year with a picnic or social gathering of some sort, on the evening of the final recital. This recital has usually been one of the two artist recitals of the year, but on one occasion the program was made up exclusively of home talent. Last year, the picnic and closing recital was held at the club house of the Lakota Club in West Freeport. The Lakota Club gave its house over to the Euterpean Society for the occasion and the Euterpean entertained the Lakota men as their guests. This year the picnic was held at the home of Mrs. Frank Bass, on South Carroll street. The artist on this occasion was Mr. Harold Henry, of Chicago, pianist.
The Euterpean Society plans to continue its work next year, with Miss Isabel Fry, as president, and it is to be hoped that it will remain a permanent institution. It is one of the few clubs of the city which have been organized with a definite purpose in sight, and is second to none in importance as it is the only musical society of the city. The Euterpean has only been active for a short time, but during that brief period it has accomplished a great deal in the way of furthering musical interests in Freeport.
One of the literary clubs of Freeport which has not appeared in the limelight at any time, but has always continued to do its work quietly and unassumingly is the organization which is known as "The Culture Club." As its name indicates, the aim of its members is the acquisition of a broad range of knowledge and experience productive of general culture. The club is somewhat smaller than any of the other organizations of the city, the membership being limited to eighteen. At the present time there are sixteen members.
The Culture Club had its beginnings in a small and exclusive circle known as the "Home Reading Circle," which was founded nearly seventeen years ago. The three members who may be styled as charter members of the club, inasmuch as they first gathered together at one another's homes to pursue a course of read- ing, are still active members. These three found the association so pleasant and the work so enjoyable that they decided to increase the membership and widen the circle of activities. This was done in a few years and the club soon took its present name of "The Culture Club." The three charter members were all teachers and most of the present membership is made up of teachers in the Freeport schools. However, this is by no means considered as a necessary qualification for membership.
The Culture Club
meets once a week, on Monday evenings, at the homes of its several members,
and carries out a literary program consisting of papers and discussions.
A program of work is outlined each year and adhered to throughout. It
has been the custom of the club of late years to select as a general topic
for the year's work a nation and its people. In connection with the study
of the land and people, some of the literature of the nation is read.
Two years ago, Russia was the topic, last year France was the general
subject, and next year
Germany will be studied.
The roll of members is as follows: Miss Emma Voss, Miss Alice Reitzell, Miss Eva Milner, Mrs. Edward Bengston, Miss Clara Swanzey, Miss Mabel Goddard, Mrs. Linnie Scofield, Mrs. Kettle, Miss Vida Graham, Mrs. A. C. Knorr, Miss Vorta Walker, Mrs. William H. Thoren, Mrs. A. Billerbeck, Miss Ida Bastian, Miss Susan Brown, and Miss Irene Place. The officers for the current year are: Preseident, Miss Emma Voss; vice president, Mrs. L. E. Scofield; secretary and treasurer, Miss Mabel Goddard.
The work of the Freeport Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was inaugurated by the Freeport Woman's Club. On the meeting of April 15, of that date the subject was first brought up by Mrs. J. G. Oyler, who has since continued to be very active in the work. The principal cities about Freeport all had humane societies which were doing good work, and the more enterprising Freeport people, particularly the ladies of the Woman's Club, felt that the lack was a serious detriment to Freeport's good name. Accordingly, Mrs. Oyler who had investigated the subject moved that the Woman's Club take action to found a Humane Society, and appoint a committee to carry out the project. Her motion was carried and a committee was appointed by Mrs. Hildreth, then president of the Club, consisting of Mesdames Zipf, Oyler, Dunn, and Truesdell.
The work was soon under way, and a few weeks later an organization was perfected. The organizing meeting was held in the parlors of the Y. M. C. A., and after transacting preliminary business, the society elected the following members to serve as first officers of the association President, Henry Dorman; vice president, Mrs. John G. Oyler; secretary, Miss Marion Clark; treasurer, Joseph Emmert; humane officer, Charles Hall.
Thirty-eight charter members enrolled in the first humane society, and the club started out with the laudable intention of preventing cruelty toward children as well as dumb beasts. But at first the humane society did not thrive. There had been other humane societies in previous years, which flickered and died out after a short and uncertain existence, and it seemed at first that the new organization was to follow in the beaten path. It is due to the unfailing energy of the members, and especially the officers that the humane society survived and became so potent a factor in the welfare of the community. Charles Hall, humane officer, was chief of police at the time, and his time was occupied with his duties in other directions. Consequently his career as humane officer was not marked by any great activity, and he did not accomplish any marked success.
Some of the more active members, feeling that it was a disgrace that the humane society should not be properly supported, called the members together at another meeting two years after the first one, in 1903. A reorganization took place and new officers were elected. At this time the following were placed in office President, Henry Dorman; vice president, T. H. Hollister; secretary, Mrs. J. G. Oyler; treasurer, Joseph Emmert; humane officer, B. F. Brubaker.
From the time of this reorganization dates the present activity of the Freeport S. P. C. A. B. F. Brubaker proved himself a willing and capable humane officer, and to him is due a great part of the credit for the excellent reputation which the humane society has of late achieved. Although engaged in other business he has devoted time and energies to his duties as humane officer, and has more than creditably filled his position.
A short time ago occurred the death of President Dorman. T. H. Hollister thereupon took his place. The other officers of the association have remained unchanged. From an original thirty-eight the membership has swelled to over one hundred and fifty, and constant additions are being made from time to time.
The juvenile court work has been an outgrowth of the humane society, and, like that organization, was fostered by the Freeport Woman's Club. Three names have been very intimately connected with its career in Freeport, those of Miss Bertha Bidwell, Miss Alice Hettinger, and Mrs. John G. Oyler, who have devoted much of their time and efforts to the maintenance of the institution.
Mrs. Oyler has been the first and only probation officer, and Judge Clarity has been the only judge of the juvenile court. During the comparatively short time of the court's activity, no less than one hundred children have been cared for. Some of these have been sent to institutions of correction, some have been sent to schools for dependent children, and others have been placed in good homes. A large number have been legally adopted.
The juvenile court succeeded in sending to the penitentiary a woman who had been the author of a notorious case of child abuse, one Mrs. Mary Jane Sked, who is at present incarcerated in Joliet. The ladies interested in the juvenile court have also taken up the matter of impure and immoral productions at the theatres of the city. A profound agitation was aroused only one or two years ago by the appearance of a certain company at the Grand Opera House, whose performance was styled indecent. The company had intended to return and repeat its performance, but the prompt action of the juvenile court committee blocked any such procedure.
The people connected with the court have done a great deal of good in the past, and give every indication of keeping up the good work.
TRUANT AND HOME
Until last year the board of education employed the services of the chief of police as truant officer of the public schools. The arrangement was never satisfactory, for the chief of police always found himself too burdened with his regular duties to properly attend to cases of truancy. Following the lead of other schools in Chicago and the east, the board decided to engage the services of a truant officer who should devote her entire time to the work. Mrs. Edna Baker Oyler was engaged at a regular salary, and since September, 1909, has continued to fill the office most ably.
Her proper title is truant officer and home matron of the Freeport public schools, and in addition to her duties in cases of truancy, she is expected to direct her efforts toward bettering the condition of the children of the city schools in a moral, religious, and sanitary way. Mrs. Oyler deserves a great deal of credit for the unflinching stand she has taken and for the surprising and gratifying results she has been able to accomplish. She has unearthed a great many surprising and startling situations, and has been the cause of a large number of arrests and fines. The selling of tobacco and liquor to minors, and gambling on the part of boys under age have been the marked objects of her campaign, and in this connection she has been able to institute reforms in a number of instances. Mrs. Oyler's crusade has only begun but the board of education feels eminently satisfied with the proceedings so far, and hopes for a continuance of the work. In the employing of a special truant officer and home matron, the board of education is placing the Freeport public schools in the front ranks as the most progressive in the northern part of Illinois.
W. C. T. U.
Of the various temperance organizations which once flourished in Freeport, only one remains, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and that has not only survived the shocks of a troublous career, but it has steadily increased in strength, and now holds a post of honor and importance. The I. O. Good Templars, which was for a long time the leading temperance order of the city, as well as the Sons of Temperance, and several lesser societies, like the Freeport Reform Club, have lived and passed away after comparatively brief careers.
This does not mean that the temperance movement has suffered a relapse in Freeport. Quite the contrary. The temperance wave which recently swept over the land arid caused so many of the states of the Union to "go dry," was as strongly felt in Freeport as elsewhere. The death of the above mentioned organizations merely means, if interpreted aright, that no reform movement which does not "mean business" can long endure, and certain of Freeport's temperance organizations, before their demise, were doing very little active work. The W. C. T. U., on the other hand, has always been most active, and has always carried the greater burden of the good work on its own shoulders.
It was founded on the fourth of April, 1874, when a meeting of the ladies of Freeport who were interested in the cause of temperance, was held in the First Methodist church, with a view to ascertaining what means could be best employed in the undertaking on which they were engaged. Mrs. E. M. Marsh (deceased), who afterward became identified with the W. C. T. U. for many years acted as chairman, and Mrs. J. R. Lemon was the secretary. At this meeting the W. C. T. U. was organized and there were present Mrs. F. O. Miller, Mrs. Isaac F. Kleckner, Mrs. E. Hemenway, Mrs. A. W. Ford, Mrs. J. S. Best, Mrs. L. Fisher and others. Mrs. Lemon was elected the first president, Mrs. Kleckner secretary, and Miss A. Jenks treasurer. Among the ladies still residing in Freeport who have since headed the local W. C. T. U., are Mrs. A. K. Stibgen, Mrs. Robert Bell, Mrs. W. O. Wright, and Mrs. L. B. Sanborn.
On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the organization of the society, in 1889, appropriate exercises were held in the Y. M. C. A. auditorium. Papers were read by Mrs. A. W. Ford and Mrs. Emily V. Keever and Mrs. Louise Rounds, at that time state president also addressed the gathering. The papers and discussion which formed the program of the occasion recalled the work which had been accomplished in the lifetime of the Freeport W. C. T. U., the mass meetings which had been held, the various crusades which had been conducted against drink, and the number of persons reclaimed from the evil effects of the habit. The work within the last ten years has been particularly gratifying. However, it has been conducted in a quiet and unpretentious manner, and very little publicity has been given to it.
The society now in existence numbers about - members. The officers for the year are: President, Mrs. W. H. Manchester; vice president, Mrs. J. J. Nagle; secretary, Mrs. Anna Alexander; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Nellie Effinger; treasurer, Miss Jeannette Engle.
Within the last few years a growing sentiment for the preservation of our songsters has manifested itself throughout the entire country. The Freeport Audubon Society, perhaps more commonly known as the Bird Club, has been a direct outgrowth of this sentiment. Miss Edna Porter was the founder of the society. It was established four years ago, by ten ladies interested in the study and preservation of birds, and has been very active since that time in carrying out its purpose. The members, whose number is limited to twenty-five, meet every two weeks at one other's homes and carry out programs consisting of papers and informal discussions. The club is very enthusiastic about its work, and is one of the most wide-awake organizations of the city. It aims to teach its members and -the community as well of the nature, appearance, and habits of the feathered tribe, and is taking all the steps in its power to prevent the possible extermination or thinning out of the song-birds of this region, many species of which are rapidly becoming depleted.
Each member makes it a personal matter to do all she can in this direction. An illustrative incident occurred very recently. A small boy who evidently didn't know any better, was seen to enter a yard, pick up a baby robin, which had apparently fallen out of the nest before able to fly, play with it, and then throw it away after having handled it pretty roughly and broken both of its wings, The matter was reported to one of the members of the Audubon Society. After having ascertained the name of the small offender, she made it her business to see him personally and talk with him on the subject of birds. So successfully did she accomplish her purpose that the boy was much affected and promised never to torture any robins in the future.
During the past winter, the Audubon Society held a public illustrated lecture on the subject of birds. The lecture was one sent out by the State Audubon Society. The colored slides were also provided and the lecture was read by one of the members. This practice will probably be continued in future years, but no definite plans have been made to that effect.
The Audubon Society has become very popular during the past year. A large number of names are on the waiting list, but the membership is limited to twenty-five, and all are active and enthusiastic members. The ten ladies who organized the club are still on the roll of active members. For the first two years of the club's existence, Miss Louise Morgan served as president. She was succeeded by Miss Marion Clark, who has also served for two terms. The names of the charter members who founded the society four years ago are Mrs. J. Clark, Mrs. E. Morgan, Miss Louise Morgan, Miss Flora Morgan, Miss Marion Clark, Miss Laura Clark, Miss Edna Porter, Mrs. L. G. Younglove, Miss Mae Stewart, and Miss Belle Gransden.
The original Stephenson County Medical Society was organized in 1865, with Dr. L. A. Mease as its first president. For some few years affairs were conducted regularly, and meetings held on stated occasions. But the attendance became small, duties were neglected, and the interest waned. For a short time, there was no county medical society.
In June, 1878, the society was reorganized under the name of the Stephenson County Society of Physicians and Surgeons, and the following officers were elected: President, F. W. Hance; vice president, L. A. Mease; secretary and treasurer, Charles Brundage.
The new society consisted of nine members L. G. Voigt, L. A. Mease, C. M. Hillebrand, F. W. Hance, C. B. Wright, E. A. Carpenter, Charles Brundage, Louis Stoskopf, and B. T. Buckley. The society soon took in the following additional members: I. P. Fishburn, and S. K. Martin, Dakota, and T. L. Carey, Lena.
For some years the society was neither active nor well patronized. One cause or another, usually professional jealousy, kept the membership list from growing, and the Stephenson County Society of Physicians and Surgeons was not known as an active and energetic organization. But within the last few years a remarkable growth has taken place. About all the physicians in good standing in the 'county are members of the association, both in Freeport and in the villages of the county. A few years ago the name was again changed to the "Stephenson County Medical Association," by which it has since continued to be designated.
There are thirty-eight
active members in good standing and four honorary members. The membership
list follows. In all cases, except where otherwise specified, the members
are Freeporters. The list includes B. A. Arnold, E. H. Best, Paul Burrell
(Winslow), E. E. Burwell, R. J. Burns, C. L. Best, J. S. Clark, J. N.
Daly (Orangeville), F. A. Dietrich, B. Erp-Brockhausen, J. F. Fair, T.
J. Holke, W. A. Hutchins (Orangeville), Linda Hutchins, N. R. Harlan,
Sara Hewitson, W. Karcher, A. F. Kober (McConnell), C. P. Leitzell (Dakota),
F. J. Lins (Durand), D. C. L. Mease, H. E. Morrison, W. B. Peck, N. C.
Phillips, W. J. Rideout, Mary L. Rosenstiel, A. Salter, M. Saucerman (Rock
Grove), J. H. Stealy, W. B. Stiver, R. J. Stiver (Lena), A. E. Smith,
K. F. Snyder, E. J. Torey, S. C. Thompson (Cedarville), E. A. Carpenter
(Baileyville), L. G. Voigt, A. A. Wilson (Davis), J. G. Woker (Pearl City).
The honorary members are: R. F. Hayes, C. M. Hillebrand, D. B. Bobb (Dakota), and J. W. Saucerman (Winslow).
The officers of the present association are: President, A. E. Smith, vice president, B. Erp-Brockhausen; secretary, J. Sheldon Clark; treasurer, D. C. L. Mease.
Meetings are held quarterly subject to call by the president of the society.
The Freeport Club is an organization of which the business men of Freeport are justly proud. It possesses a club house which for convenience and elegance of appointments is hardly surpassed by any similar building in a city of this size. For twenty years it has been in existence during which time it has maintained the high standard of excellence set by its founders.
On October 21, 1890, the organization was completed by twenty-nine of Freeport's business men and the present Freeport Club was founded. Previous to that time a club had been maintained by ten of the men who now went into the Freeport Club. This club maintained a club room in the Wilcoxin building, then known as the Opera House Block. When the Freeport Club was formally instituted the club rooms were moved from the Opera House Block across the street to a room which is now occupied by the C. E. Wilkins photograph gallery.
The twenty-nine men whose names are to be found on the original document of the Freeport Club are: Wallace Collins, Boyd P. Hill, W. Ensign Boyington, F. A. Read, James W. Hyde, W. A. Stevens, Alfred Brown, John S. Harpster, Dwight B. Breed, Edward Winslow, C. C. Hanford, W. E. Fry, Henry J. Porter, Charles A. McNamara, John A. Martin, Mathias Hettinger, Jr., Charles D. Knowlton, Arthur Rodearmel, Lalon Z. Farwell, W. H. Taggart, Michael Stoskopf, Charles E. Scott, W. S. Benson, Horace Webster, Addison Bidwell, Dr. E. H. Allen, William J. Hall, Frederick Bartlett and Robert Hall Wiles.
Soon after organization a large number of new members were accepted into the club, which then entered upon a season of rapid and promising growth. Charles D. Knowlton was elected president, and retained his office for a number of years. His successors have been Boyd P. Hill, Michael Stoskopf, and L. Z. Farwell, the present officer. Mr. Farwell has occupied the chair for the past nine years and has proved himself an able and efficient president.
Three years after the organization of the club it was found advisable to change quarters. The room on Stephenson street had become too small to suit the needs of the growing society and the officers began to look about for a site for a club house. At this time they made a very fortunate "find." The present club property on Stephenson street was then owned by ex-mayor Jacob Krohn, who had become a member of the club. Circumstances made it necessary for Mr. Krohn to move, and he offered to sell his home to the Freeport Club for use as a club house at a very small figure. The club found the Krohn property admirably suited to its needs and closed the bargain at once. The house was secured for the sum of $5,500, which now seems ridiculously small, as the house and lot are at present valued at a much larger sum.
On July 8, 1893, the club moved from its cramped quarters down town and six days later, on the I4th, the house warming was held, an occasion which will long be remembered by the older members of the organization. The building has been occupied during the seventeen years which have passed since that date, and numerous improvements have been made upon the property, raising its present value to something over $10,000.
Among the additions made have been the bowling alley, ball room, billiard room and tennis court. The bowling alley was built in at the rear of the building, a special structure being erected for the purpose about ten years ago. At the time the club members took a great interest in the sport. Various teams known by the names of Rough Rollers, Smooth Rollers, Smith P. I.'s, etc., were organized and captained by enthusiastic members, and two silver cups on the mantel over the fireplace of the reading room give evidence of the one time interest in the game.
The club house ball room has been the scene of many a brilliant function since its equipment not a decade ago. The floor is one of the best dance floors in the city and the room itself while somewhat small is quite adequate to the needs of the club and has been used and enjoyed continuously by the members and their families. The billiard room and tennis court have also been in constant use, and the club men and their families have derived a great deal of pleasure and enjoyment from the use of them.
Among the customs instituted by the club have been the annual New Year's ball on New Year's eve for the purpose of watching the old year out and the new year in, and the annual Fourth of July fete on the club lawn. A large amount of money has been expended at these fetes in securing displays of fireworks, and the results have always been highly satisfactory, the spectators always enthusiastically reporting a most enjoyable time.
The club is now established on a firm basis as one of Freeport's oldest social organizations, and, in fact, the only one of its especial kind. It is the only club affording a means of entertainment to both members and their families and out of town friends. As such it is assured of a continued prosperity. The present officers of the club are president, L. Z. Farwell; vice president, T. H. Hollister; secretary, Norman Tuckett; treasurer, J. Manly Clark.
The present membership is eighty-six active members. There are also a number of honorary members.
The Lakota Club is a club made up of the younger business men of Freeport. It is exclusively a social organization, and possesses a handsome (if somewhat diminutive) club house in West Freeport on the Schofield property.
The Lakota Club had its inception two years ago in June, 1908. when seven young men who found themselves congenial and united by the common bond of bachelordom, met and formulated plans for the organization of a social club. These seven young men, who are still, with one single exception, members of the club today were Raymond S. Wise, Dr. J. Sheldon Clark, Jos. Sibley, George Creighton, F. A. McNess, F. H. Bowers, and Mentor Wheat. A committee was immediately appointed to look over the various properties in and around Freeport which would afford a suitable location for a club house.
After some deliberation the committee selected as a site the land north of Stephenson street owned by Ira Schofield, which was then known as Schofield's Park. The park contained a miniature lake which afforded excellent facilities for bathing in summer and skating in winter. In addition to this the situation was quite ideal in all other respects for the location of a country club. It is a somewhat retired glen, sloping somewhat from the road and invisible through a grove of tall spreading trees. The land leased by the Lakota Club surrounds the lake and extends south nearly to the street.
It was not until the work of equipping the club house was under way that the subject of a name for the club was broached. It was then decided to call the club by the Indian name of "Lakota" which means "Our Allies" or "Our Friends."
The club house has been well fitted out. It contains an excellent dance floor as well as all the other attachments of an up-to-date club house.
Last year the Lakota Club instituted the custom of giving monthly Sunday receptions to their friends and their wives. The club house and grounds were admirably suited to giving receptions of this sort and the townspeople who enjoyed the out-of-door afternoons feel deeply indebted to the Lakota men for their kindness in entertaining them. The practice has not been continued this spring but will probably be begun again this summer. The latest project of the Lakotas is to secure the Ben Greet Players to give a performance on the Lakota grounds which are very well adapted to this sort of sylvan production.
While the Lakota Club is one of the newest circles of the city in respect to years, none is more firmly established and none enjoys a greater social prestige. The membership of the club has now increased to ten. The officers of the club which have remained the same since the founding are President, Raymond S. Wise; vice president, Mentor Wheat; secretary, Dr. Clark; treasurer (1st year), George Creighton, (2nd year), F. W. McNess.
The Germania Society, as a separate organization, dates back only as far as 1877, but in reality it existed for many years before that in the shape of two distinct societies; The Freeport Saengerbund, and the Freeport Turn-Verein. Of the two, the history of the Saengerbund has been preserved with more fidelity, but the early records of both are entirely lost, and the charter members of both organizations have long been dead.
In 1855, Saengerbund was organized and in 1865 the Turn-Verein. The membership lists of both clubs immediately grew to large proportions and before long nearly every influential German citizen of Freeport belonged to one society or the other. At that time the German population of Freeport was for the most part made up of people who had been born and bred in Germany, and the customs of the Fatherland were fresh in their minds. Of late years, the activity of the Germania Society has somewhat decreased, and for a very obvious reason.
The younger generation have little or no interest in the preservation of German customs and traditions. They are to be American citizens and their whole interest is centered on the new country. For this reason, if for no other, the Germania Society is an object of marked interest to the historian because in another generation or two it will be a thing of the past. During its existence it has been one of the most active organizations of the city, but many of the old members are gone, and the activity is waning. It is useless to hope for a very vigorous resuscitation, for the interest is dying a natural death, and the members of the Germania are directing the bulk of their efforts elsewhere.
The Turn-Verein and the Saengerbund were long regarded as the most popular and important organizations of their kind in nothern Illinois. The Turn-Verein was established in August, 1856, and sought excellence among its members not only in music, but also in athletic sports. It erected the structure formerly known as Turner hall, now Germania hall, on Galena street between Adams and Mechanic streets, in 1869, at a cost of $18,000. Germania hall is still in use, and for a long time was the only opera house of the city. The hall contains the rooms of the Germania Society on the ground floor and a spacious auditorium with a stage on the second floor, where the meetings of the Saengerbund are held and their entertainments given.
The Saengerbund was organized less than a year earlier than the Turn-Verein, in December, 1855, and had as its object the formation of a musical society, vocal and instrumental, among the German section of the population. On Saturday evening, December 15, in response to an appeal from the "Deutscher Anzeiger," twenty men, both old and young, assembled in the hall on the third floor of the Hoebel building, at present 79 Stephenson street, for the purpose of organizing the Saengerbund. The first president was Mr. Carl Strohacker, and Mr. John Geiger long held the office of secretary. The following were among the charter members William Bergholte, Philip Fleischmann, John Geiger, George Held, John, Philip, and Peter Hoebel, Louis Jungkunz, Joseph Lampert, Carl Schoen, H. Schrenkler, John M. and Henry Spratler, Carl Strohacker, and William Wagner, Sr. Philip Knecht, a German teacher, who had but a few years pervious come to Freeport from Rhenish Bavaria, was unanimously chosen director, a position which he continued to fill for eight years in a very creditable manner.
The first rehearsal of the Saengerbund took place on Friday evening, December 2ist, of the same year, in the same hall in which the organization of the Bund was perfected, and for the following fifty-five years from that time to the present rehearsals have been held every Friday evening except in unusual cases. The first social entertainment was held on January 27, 1856, and bi-weekly social gatherings continued to be held for many years, at first in the afternoons, later in the evening.
The first public event fostered by the Saengerbund was a public concert held in Phoenix hall, on Easter Monday, March 24, 1856, followed by a dance. The reports of the affair are meagre but those which exist in the "Anzeiger" seem to proclaim the attempt as a decided success.
In 1856, the Turn-Verein was organized, and it also started a singing society. The two societies worked hand in hand for a long time. Many of the German citizens were members of both Saengerbund and Turn-Verein, and everyone of consequence thought it necessary to be a member of at least one of them. Mr. Knecht. leader of the Saengerbund, became also the leader of the Turn-Verein. and, while there was always a certain rivalry, friendly but very much in earnest, existing between the two societies, still on many occasions the two joined forces and forgot all their differences. On November 10, 1859, at the celebration held in commemoration of Schiller's birth, the two choruses sang together and each rendered two selections independently. About the same time, the Saengerbund took an active interest in a National Saengerfest held in Chicago by the North American Saengerbund, but the details of this event are entirely lacking.
In 1863, the society had increased in membership to a large extent and larger quarters were necessary. Accordingly, in February, of the next year, they moved to the rooms in the building at 100-102 Stephenson street, which had formerly been occupied by the Masonic lodges. In the same year, Mr. Knecht resigned as director and William H. Wagner was chosen by the Bund to fill his place. Mr. Wagner was young in years and experience, but he was not lacking in courage or enthusiasm, and so it came about that he filled the position, with occasional temporary intervals of rest, for a period of thirty-three years. At that time, the director received no stipulated salary, but from time to time benefit concerts were given for him, and considerable sums were occasionally realized.
About the beginning of 1866 the Saengerbund again moved its base of operations to the Hettinger building. In the meantime the singing of the society was constantly improving, and at a concert given by the Bund at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, the singers, and especially the young director, received an ovation for the manner in which they acquitted themselves.
The Saengerbound of the northwest held a fest in Galena from the 17th to the 19th of June, 1869, and, although the Freeport society was not a member of that organization at the time, the Galena people extended them an invitation to attend, which invitation was gladly accepted. For some reason the Freeport singers arrived at Galena in advance of any of the other societies, and on the occasion of the first concert the Freeport and Galena associations were the only ones present. Tradition says that the Galena Fest-President in his address commended the Freeport Saengerbund upon this fact, and called them "a model society."
In 1870 arrangements for a private Saengerfest were perfected and an invitation was extended to all German singing societies within a radius of one hundred miles. The fest was held from the 14th to the 16th of June, and was participated in by singers from Davenport and Dubuque, Iowa, Mineral Point, Janesville, and Burlington, Wisconsin, Galena, Sterling, Rockford, Mendota, Lena, and Davis, Illinois. The Dixon and Amboy societies did not send singers, but were represented by delegates, and the people from Davenport, Dubuque, and Mineral Point were accompanied by bands. The grand chorus comprised about two hundred voices, and was assisted by the visiting bands and the local Union Cornet Band. Addresses were delivered on the occasion of the gathering by Mr. Caspar Butz, of Chicago, who spoke in German, and Hon. Thomas J. Turner, of Freeport, who spoke in English. The event aroused great enthusiasm and was pronounced a decided success.
In 1875, the Turn-Verein presented the whole of Carl Maria von Weber's opera "Der Freischuetz," under the direction of Professor E. Bischoff. On this occasion, some members of the Saengerbund also assisted and aided in making the affair a great success.
In 1877, it was decided that the Saengerfest of the Northwest Saengerbund should be held in Freeport. On this occasion Mr. W. H. Wagner, director of the Saengerbund, did not feel competent to conduct the concerts of the organization and temporarily turned over his baton to Mr. Bischoff, leader of the Turn-Verein. Under Mr. Bischoffs direction, the fest was held. The attendance was not much greater than that at the private Saengerfest of seven years previous, and only about one hundred and seventy visiting singers were present. This was due to the fact that only one society from Milwaukee appeared in a body and two of the other societies merely sent delegates. It was a great disappointment to the local fest committee, who had expected the Milwaukee singers to turn out en masse; but from a musical standpoint, the fest could not have achieved a greater success. Bach's Ochestra from Milwaukee furnished the instrumental music and all of the grand choruses were rendered with orchestral accompaniment.
One of the immediate results of the Saengerfest of 1877 was the union of the Saengerbund and Turn-Verein who combined in the hope of becoming a more influential factor in the German life of the city. The organization took on the new name of the Germania society, and Turner hall was rechristened Germania hall. In 1882, the hall was entirely rebuilt and remodelled and as a dedication, a grand concert was arranged, at which part of Flotow's "Stradella" was produced. The several roles on this occasion were sung by local talent, Miss Anna Meyer (now Mrs. Louis Biersach), Mr. H. W. Schroeder, Mr. Ben Stoneman, and Mr. R. Hefti taking the leading parts. A chorus of forty voices accompanied their efforts, and all the records of the occasion unite in declaring that the event was unquestionably one of the best ever given under the auspices of the Germania Society.
In 1887, the official body of the Saengerbund of the northwest solicited the local society to undertake another Saengerfest. This was accordingly done. At both of the previous fests, Wilcoxin's Opera House had been utilized as a concert hall, but directors feared that the size of the new audience would prohibit that. They made arrangements for the use of Taylor's Park and had a great singing platform built in front of the grand stand for the accommodation of the choruses. The events justified their expectations, for over four hundred visiting singers were in attendance, and the platform was crowded. Concerts were given afternoon and evening, and large audiences heard all of them. The fest was a great success, and even the weather man was kind until the last day when he sent down a pour of rain. The rain somewhat dampened the ardor of the audiences, and the treasury of the society suffered in consequence. However, owing to the generosity of J. B. Taylor, owner of the park, who gave almost the free use of the grounds for the occasion, the deficit was avoided.
In 1896, a split occurred within the ranks of the Germania Society. The Turn-Verein and Saengerbund had supposedly worked side by side through the years in perfect harmony, but in reality there had been an undercurrent of dissatisfaction. This was brought to the surface in February, 1896, in the withdrawal of the Saengerbund division of the Germania Society, which for a while continued to hold its meetings in Blust hall. Scarcely a year later, they decided that "in union there is strength" and, having overcome their old differences, and healed their old wounds, they again allied themselves with the Turn-Verein and continued to hold their meetings in Germania hall. From that time the society has been united and no differences have occurred.
On July 3rd and 4th, 1905, occurred the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of the Saengerbund, and, in commemoration of the event high festival was held. Many singing societies from out of town attended, and Professor Theodore H. Trost, director of the local society, wielded the baton. July 4th was observed by appropriate Independence Day exercises, and July 3rd was marked by the holding of two concerts. In addition to the out of town Saengerbunds, several soloists of national reputation were secured, and the Germania Society received their guests royally.
Since that time, the Germania Society has done nothing in a public way, but has continued to conduct the business of its organization without interruption. The president of the society for the current year is Charles G. Steffen, with F. P. Ohden acting as secretary. The club meets on the first Wednesday of the month in the club rooms in Germania hall.
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Stories, Volume 1
The County Club, which represents the interests of the Republican party in Freeport and the county, was founded in 1899 and has been in existence for about eleven years. Before its organization a need for a club of the kind had long been felt, and several abortive attempts had been made to establish one.
On August 30, 1899, the present County Club was organized and incorporated under the Illinois state laws with a membership of forty-one Republicans of Freeport and the surrounding country. On October 5th of the same year the first meeting was held and Robert P. Eckert was elected president of the organization. The object of the County Club as stated in its charter was "to advance the science of political Economy; to promote friendly and social relations between its members; to levy and collect dues; to exert such influence and render such service as it can in behalf of good government, and to promote the growth and spread of the principles of the Republican party. The forty-one members whose names were affixed to the original document were: James E. Taggart, Robert P. Eckert, William H. Foil, J. R. Young, Louis H. Burrell, Homer F. Aspinwall, Oscar E. Heard, B. H. Brundage, J. L. Meyers, W. A. Stevens, R. W. Burton, A. Grier, F. C. Held. H. W. Bolender, James B. McCool, C. L. Snyder, J. H. Firestone, G. A. Huenkemeier, J. F. Fair, E. L. Stewart, Horatio C. Burchard, C. P. Leitzell. James Rezner, W. A. Schwarze, L. M. De Vore, James R. Cowley, G. S. Kleckner, Dwight B. Breed, Louis McGovern, J. E. Adatnson, Henry Gilbert. W. B. Peck, R. M. White, F. P. Waite, W. H. Crotzer, J. M. Fox, Charles F. Rieger, Charles Hall, L. W. Lyon, C. J. Wells, A. W. Hershey.
The first step taken by the club was the securing of suitable club rooms for the use of the members. A suite of room on the second and third floors of the building over Barrett and Emerick's Jewelry Store was engaged and has been in use ever since. The membership of the club is somewhat larger than at the beginning, but has remained throughout an exclusive organization. The officers of the County Club for the current year are President, C. W. Harden; first vice president, James E. Taggart; second vice president, W. W. Krape; third vice president, J. R. Young; secretary, T. M. Kaufman; treasurer, Boyd P. Hill.
The Stephenson County Democratic Club, which is analogous to the County Club, and represents the interests of Democracy in Freeport and the county as the former does the interests of Republicanism, was founded in April, 1903. On the twelfth day of that month, the leading democrats of Freeport and the county gathered together and elected F. Goodwin president of an organization, the object of which should be to promote the best interests of the Democratic party in this section of the state. Twenty-four names were affixed to the original charter, among them all the prominent democrats of Freeport.
Rooms were secured in the T. K. Best building on the corner of Chicago and Stephenson streets, and fitted up as club rooms. These rooms have ever since been maintained and form a rendezvous for the good democrats of the city to meet each other in a social and fraternal way. They contain billiard and pool tables and card tables, and are in charge of Thomas Beeler, who acts as custodian.
The membership of the club comprises now between three and four hundred democrats. Regular meetings of the club are held previous to all elections and during campaigns. The present officers of the club are as follows: President, H. B. Witte; vice president, Oscar E. Stine; secretary, Charles Straub; financial secretary, Al Emerick; treasurer, Ed. Seeker; directors, H. Poffenberger, Douglas Pattison, Robert Bruce Mitchell, William Milner, and Christopher J. Dittmar.
While the Citizen's Commercial Association, as such, has only been in existence a short time, its precursor, the Freeport Business Men's Association, dates back as far as 1901. On June 7 of that year, a meeting was held, attended by the leading business men of the city, at which steps were taken to form and incorporate an organization to be known as the Business Men's
Association of Freeport. A short time later, an election of officers was held and the following were given posts of honor: C. W. Harden, president; D. C. Stover, vice president; F. M. Gund, secretary; R. D. Kuehner, treasurer.
This organization was for a time a very lively one. An inducement was made to get new factories and business firms to locate in Freeport, and some very gratifying results were accomplished along this line. In the main, however, nothing of importance was done, and the Business Men's Association gradually but surely declined in activity and importance.
On October 1, 1907, a revival was accomplished at the regular meeting held on that date. It was decided to employ a regular paid secretary to give his services to the association, with the understanding that he should transact all the business formerly entrusted to the directors. Wilbur Coons was chosen for the position, at a salary of $100 per month, with the agreement that he was to be employed for six months, and, at the end of that time, if his services had proven satisfactory to the officers and directors, he was to be retained as secretary at such salary as should be arranged for by the association.
From that time dates the activity of the Citizen's Commercial Association, although the name was not changed until over a year after that date. The activities undertaken by the association have been many and varied, and the two secretaries who have been in charge since the establishment of the custom, have succeeded in doing a great deal for the welfare of Freeport. Their work has been carried on rather quietly and without much publicity; hence it is somewhat difficult to enumerate the various public services which the association has succeeded in rendering Freeport. They have really done much more to promote the growth of the city than would seem apparent from a mere statistical report. Among the various achievements and activities of the past two years have been the securing of several new manufacturing establishments for Freeport, and a large amount of improvement and change within the city itself.
The latest acquisition to the roll of factories and manufacturing plants has been the Freeport Casket Co. The Commercial Association aided the gentlemen interested in the organization of this concern to obtain a factory site on Jackson street in East Freeport. The plant will be immediately erected, and will soon be one of the most prosperous of Freeport's mercantile establishments. The association also bought the property of the Freeport Novelty Company, on Hancock avenue, and in the buildings formerly occupied by that company, they found quarters for the new manure spreader factory. This property as well as some of the adjoining territory was purchased from Miss Millie Baumgarten, and will be immediately laid out in factory sites. The section of the city south of Taylor avenue was platted out and organized entirely through the efforts of the Commercial Association, and it is probable that before many years this will become the principal manufacturing section of the city.
The Moline Plow Company, also, whose Freeport branches are among the largest and most important factories owned by that mammoth concern came to Freeport invited by the Commercial Association. Through their agency, the Moline Company bought the defunct Robinson Mfg. Company, and turned it into the Freeport Carriage Company, a branch of the Moline Plow Company. An immense new addition to the old factory testifies to the present prosperity of that institution. The Moline Plow Company was also induced to buy the Henney Buggy Company, and has since made improvements and additions so extensive that the Henney factories now occupy the whole of the block bounded by Chicago, Spring, Van Buren, and Jackson streets. The building of the Jackson street switch, from the Illinois Central tracks along Jackson street to the Henney plant, was fostered by the Commercial Association, and has since proved an invaluable asset to the factory.
Besides the larger factories, a number of smaller concerns have been induced to locate in the city, such as the Freeport Quilting Company, now located on Van Buren street. Negotiations are at present under way which will doubtless result in the securing of more of these concerns, which, though comparatively unimportant when compared with the Stover and Moline Plow Company factories, still give employment to a large number of individuals.
The Citizen's Commercial Association has also been active in other directions. One of their achievements was the inauguration of the rest room, now located in the old post office rooms of the Wilcoxin block. The rest room is intended for the accommodation of out-of-town visitors, and especially the farmers who come to Freeport for the day. It is well patronized, and contains, in addition to the rest room itself and the woman's rest room, a restaurant, conducted by F. H. Bear, and the offices of the Commercial Association. The Freeport Woman's Club has also extended its aid to the rest room project. The ladies of that organization have always been interested in the civic welfare of the city, and at the solicitation of the association they agreed to raise the money to furnish the room.
The cooperative shop course now in effect at the Freeport high school, in accordance with which the boys of the city may gain an education, and at the same time work in the shops and acquire the practical experience necessary for the pursuit of their chosen trade, was originated by the Commercial Association in consultation with Professors Fulwider and Raines. The plan followed enables the boys to go to school one week and work in the factory the next. They work in pairs, one section going to school and the other to the shops for one week, while the next week the order is reversed. The system has been eminently successful in Freeport and has since been adopted in other high schools, being known as the "Freeport Idea."
Recently the Commercial Association has been successful in having a sub-postal station established. The new station is in the Third Ward at Iroquois Square, at the junction of Iroquois, Adams and Williams streets, and is in charge of A. J. Robson.
A step has also been taken in a social way. Last winter the society minstrels were held in the Grand Opera House, under the direction of Mrs. Florence Magill Wallace, of Moline. The object of the entertainment was to provide funds for the maintenance of the rest room, and a large amount was raised. The society minstrels were so well attended and so heartily applauded that it is planned to make the winter festival an annual event. The program consisted of a minstrel entertainment and songs, dances and choruses exclusively given by home talent. The cafe scene, which formed the basis of the minstrel show, brought together on the stage several dozen of Freeport's popular society people, all of whom manifested the greatest interest in the project, and were present in a body either appearing in the performance itself or in the audience.
Mr. Coons, the first paid secretary of the association remained in the city for over a year and left in December, 1908. Just before he left the name of the organization was changed from the Freeport Business Men's Association to the Citizen's Commercial Association, which name it has retained up to the present time. Mr. Coons was succeeded by Herbert Shearer who remained in Freeport for only a year. During Mr. Shearer's administration rapid progress was made and today the Citizen's Commercial Association is an established fact, and is regarded by all as the cause of Freeport's rapid growth during the past few years.
The latest and one of the most important achievements of the Commercial Association has been the securing of Colonel Roosevelt to speak in this city on September 8, 1910. The event has not come off yet, but the Citizen's Commercial Association is almost entirely responsible for the enthusiasm which has been aroused over the coming of our ex-president. Rockford was very anxious to secure him for speaker on the same day, and it took a great deal of strenuous correspondence, and a good deal of hard work to persuade Colonel Roosevelt to come to Freeport instead of the larger city. It is quite certain that if the Citizens' Commercial Association had not directed its efforts toward bringing the colonel to Freeport, we should not have the pleasure of anticipating his visit on September 8th.
At present Mr. C. H. Wright is secretary. The membership of the organization includes about one hundred and sixty individuals and corporations, all of the prominent business firms of Freeport being represented. Mr. Jacob Weiss is president and a very able and efficient head of the organization.
STOVER MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Probably the concern which is doing the largest business of any in Freeport is the Stover Manufacturing Company, makers of the Samson Wind Mill and the Ideal Feed Mill. Their plant is located in East Freeport on Henderson street, near Fairview avenue, near the city limits. It is a mammoth factory, and the various additions and enlargements which have been completed during the past few years make it more certain of its title than ever before.
The Stover Manufacturing Company celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year. It was founded in 1860 by Daniel C. Stover, Freeport's late financier and inventive genius, who began his business in a small way on the corner of Stephenson and Cherry streets, where the Y. M. C. A. building stands today. The original name of the firm was the "D. C. Stover Experiment Works," and by 1880 the business had become so large that it was deemed advisable to incorporate the company under the laws of the state of Illinois. This was forthwith done, and the plant was moved to the corner of Spring and Mechanic streets. Soon after the old carriage shop of F. S. Taggart was purchased, but the growing concern rapidly became too large for the new buildings. The site of the present Stover Engine Works were bought, on East Stephenson street and the river, and the present shops were erected. These have stood almost unchanged until this year. A large new addition to the west wing has just been finished, and this constitutes the first large addition to the engine plant.
In 1890 the tract of forty-five acres on Henderson street, where the main shops are located today, was purchased, and the buildings erected. They performed the service required of them until 1908, when the foundry was found to be of insufficient size to turn out the proper number of castings. Additional buildings were then constructed, and the original foundry was turned into a machine shop. Shortly before that a power plant had been built with a capacity sufficient for generating a supply of electricity for both wind mill factory and gas engine works.
So greatly has the business of the Stover Company increased that the day is evidently not distant when entirely new factories will be built. The high quality of the goods turned out accounts for the popularity of the article among farmers. Nearly all of the farms about Freeport are equipped with Samson windmills, and even in the remote parts of the United States the Stover product is to be found doing duty. Not only has the domestic business increased appreciably, but the foreign business is very large. The foreign trade of the Stover Manufacturing Company, although it is of recent growth, has already assumed such proportions as make it necessary for the plant to occupy larger quarters. The greatest care is given to every detail of the manufacturing.
The plant is equipped with a chemical laboratory, and all mixtures are made by analyses, all of the metals, steel, wire, etc., that enter the goods are carefully analyzed, and a high standard of excellence is thereby secured. The company is constantly on the look out for new and improved machinery, it employs a number of mechanical geniuses on its force, and the business done is steadily increasing. The windmill output averages forty thousand of the machines annually, while a force of about four hundred workmen are employed.
The Stover Manufacturing Company was formerly connected with the Stover Motor Car Company, an institution which was organized to manufacture gasoline engines for automobiles. The business was continued for about a year, and about thirteen months ago it was discontinued. The Motor Car Company plant, a large and modern building, in East Freeport, near the Stover Engine Works, has since been utilized by the latter concern for the manufacture of gas engines.
Forty years ago, in 1870, the Stover Engine Works was established. It was an outgrowth of the Stover Manufacturing Company, inasmuch as the same men were connected with both companies, but as far as the organization was concerned, the two companies were entirely separate concerns and have always so remained.
The Stover Engine Works manufacture a variety of engines, including stationary, portable, and pumping varieties of the horizontal engine, and in addition to the gas and gasoline engines a make which is run by alcohol is included in their manufactures. Like the windmill factory, the market of the Stover Engine Works is the whole civilized world. The foreign output has so increased of late years that an addition to the East Freeport plant has become an absolute necessity. The result has been the commodious west wing, a handsome building of red pressed brick, which is to contain also the offices of the company. The Stover Works employ about two hundred and fifty hands on the average. The output of engines is very large, and is increasing annually. The time is evidently not far away when an entirely new plant will be the inevitable outcome. The officers are: President, P. S. Stover; secretary, J. Fred Smith; superintendent, William F. Freidag.
The forerunner of the Arcade Manufacturing Company was a small concern known as the Novelty Iron Works, which was founded as early as 1868. The men interested in the organization of the Novelty Iron Works were E. H. and Charles Morgan, composing the firm of "Morgan Brothers," and the first factory of the company was built on the corner of Chicago and Jackson streets.
Here they continued to do business for nearly twenty years. The company first occupied two small brick buildings and a total of ten hands were employed. In 1874 the old buildings were torn down and more commodious quarters, consisting of a machine shop, foundry, engine room, and offices were erected on the same site, at a cost of about $25,000. In 1877 J. P. Easter became a partner in the concern but retired in about a year and the old firm name was restored. During Mr. Easter's stay, the company began the manufacture of plows on a large scale.
Pumps, windmills, iron pavements, store fronts, and a variety of castings were manufactured by the Novelty Iron Works. The company went out of business in 1885, and the Arcade Manufacturing Company was then and there organized with E. H. and Charles Morgan and Albert Baumgarten as the original promoters.
The buildings of the Novelty Iron Works were utilized for a brief time only. They quickly became too crowded, and a move was soon made to a new factory erected especially for the purpose in East Freeport. From there the company moved, in September, 1891, to another site, and took possession of a building which had beep recently vacated by the Emory and Williams Canning Company. This building was fitted up with suitable machinery, and a prosperous business start had just been made, when, on July 24, 1892, the factories were burned to the ground and all the new equipments lost. It was suspected at the time that the plant had been fired by an incendiary. However that might have been, the entire factory with all its appurtenances was a total loss, and the Arcade Manufacturing Company, which had of late enjoyed such pleasant prospects, gloomily faced a deficit of over $20,000. Not only this, but about 40,000 coffee mills, finished and in the process of manufacture, were burned, and the new company was unable to fill its first orders.
The fire was a severe blow, and any but the most zealous of men would have been profoundly discouraged. Not so the new Arcade Manufacturing Company. Hardly were the ashes of the fire cold when negotiations were under way for the purchase of a new factory site in East Freeport. A large square of land, formerly belonging to the Keller-Wittbecker farm was bought, and part of it was divided up into lots. The newly platted section of East Freeport was known as the Arcade Addition, and on part of the land, the company erected its new offices and foundries. In February, 1893, the new factory had been completed, and the Arcade Manufacturing Company was ready to begin over again. This time success crowned their efforts. The buildings which were constructed then are in use today, with a number of alterations and additions. The main building is a large brick structure, 200 x 40, while the foundry is 100 x 70. Besides the two lager factories are a number of smaller buildings, occupied by foundries, machine shops, drying houses, warehouses, general offices, etc. The plant is up-to-date in every respect, employs a large force of men, and turns out a variety of products.
In 1893 L. L. Munn became a partner in the firm. In December of that year, he invested heavily in the company, and thenceforth became the principal stockholder. For many years he filled the office of president, and, on his death, his interest in the concern was taken up by his son, L. L. Munn, Jr. Albert Baumgarten subsequently retired from the firm to found a factory of his own, the Freeport Novelty Works. This factory, the offices of which were located on Hancock avenue, in East Freeport, ceased to do business at Mr. Baumgarten's death, and its buildings are now occupied by the Freeport Manure Spreader Company.
The Arcade Company has always made a specialty of coffee mills, but it turns out a variety of goods. Besides the dozens of coffee mills of different designs the Arcade plant turns out hinges, screen door hinges, stove pipe dampers, lid lifters, cork extracters, corkscrews, and numerous small notions and novelties. A large number of children's toys have also been manufactured, such as toy coffee mills, miniature trains, swings, doll carriages, etc.
In whatever new department of manufacture the Arcade Manufacturing Company chooses to venture, its results are sure to be attended with success and its products are invariably the very best. Everything is made from the finest material obtainable, and by skilled workmen. The road agents and traveling salesmen of the Arcade Manufacturing Company are to be found in every state of the Union, and wherever their articles are introduced, they are sure to find a popular market. The affairs of the company are in the best of condition at home, financially and otherwise. The concern has been forced by circumstances to pass through a number of exceedingly trying situations, not the least of which was a prolonged strike which aroused a great deal of agitation about a year ago, but it has come through them all successfully, and would seem to be enjoying at present a well earned season of prosperity. The officers of the institution are President, Edward H. Morgan; vice president, Charles Morgan; secretary, Loyal L. Munn, Jr.; treasurer, E. H. Morgan; superintendent, Chas. Morgan.
MOLINE PLOW COMPANY
The Moline Plow Company owns and operates two large plants in Freeport: the Henney Buggy Company, and the, Freeport Carriage Company. The former is a very old concern, which has done business in Freeport for nearly half a century, and has but recently passed into the hands of the Moline concern. The Freeport Carriage Company, under the name of the Robinson Manufacturing Company, did business in a small way for many years before it was absorbed by the new company. Its founder and president, J. L. Robinson, began the manufacture of carriages in a wagon shop on Exchange street. As his business increased, he found it necessary to secure larger quarters. The ultimate outcome of the need was the building of the factories west of Stephenson street and bordering on the Illinois Central Railroad tracks, and there the concern did an apparently thriving business for many years. About four years ago the concern became insolvent and the factory was purchased by the Moline Plow Company, who have since made extensive additions nearly twice the size of the original factories.
The Moline Plow Company, as an institution, was organized in 1868, and is incorporated. The present officers are President, G. A. Stephens; vice president, F. G. Allen; secretary and superintendent, C. R. Stephens. All of these gentlemen reside in Moline. The local manager of the business is M. A. Steele, who has been here for many years, and is a thoroughly competent and able official.
Since taking hold of the Freeport factories, the Moline Plow Company has almost doubled their size, and is now contemplating more extensive additions. The Henney Buggy Company is located on the block bounded by Chicago, Spring, Jackson, and Van Buren streets. It originally occupied only about half of the block, while the rear of the premises were filled by warehouses and lumber sheds. Within the past few years, buildings have been added to such an extent that now the concern's factories cover the whole of the block. The output of the Henney Buggy Company branch is enormous, being about thirty thousand carriages of various sorts per annum. That of the Freeport Carriage Companies branch is nearly as large, being about two-thirds as much or twenty-thousand vehicles. The total output of the Moline Plow Company's buggy factories in Freeport is thus on an average fifty thousand. The factories give employment to a large number of men, and are a great boon to the city of Freeport in every way.
Recently the Henney branch began to feel the need of better transportation facilities. The Freeport Carriage Company is located on the Illinois Central lines and is thus easily accessible to the Northwestern and C., M. and St. P. roads, but the Henney plant is several blocks from the nearest railroad. The need was formerly met by a side-track which ran through the alley between Spring and Jackson streets, but this single switch presently became too small to meet the demand. Then, through the efforts of the Citizen's Commercial Association of Freeport, who were also instrumental in persuading the Moline Plow Company to locate its branches here, permission was secured for laying a branch switch along Jackson street from the Illinois Central tracks to Van Buren street. This switch was built early this year, and has proven itself indispensable to the crowded Henney plant.
THE HOEFER MANUFACTURING
The Hoefer Manufacturing Company had its origin in a small buggy factory at Centennial, a few miles west of Freeport. The Hoefers were men of an inventive turn of mind, and F. W. Hoefer moved to Freeport and began working out some inventions in a room in the old Courthouse building. Later, he set up a shop in what is now the Kinne Hotel, which was then a manufacturing building.
In the summer of 1892, Mr. F. W. Hoefer and D. C. Stover formed a co-partnership and started the Stover Novelty Works, in the building now used by the Armour Packing Company. Mr. F. W. Hoefer was the active head of the concern. The company's first product was power metal saws, and only a few men were employed. During the second year, 1893, the panic struck the county but the firm came through and increased the output. The firm supplied the government with saws and drilling machinery at this time. In 1896, Mr. Stover sold his interest and A. G. Hoefer bought an interest in the company. The business developed rapidly and various sizes of drilling machines were put on the market. A full line of bed-spring machinery was manufactured. The company held the basic patents on this machinery and was enabled to control the market in this country and abroad. Many attempts were made to infringe on these patents but the company invariably won out.
In September, 1899, the old name was abandoned and the Hoefer Manufacturing Company was incorporated, and E. A. Hoefer joined his brothers in the concern. The officials were: President and treasurer, F. W. Hoefer; vice president, E. A. Hoefer; secretary, A. G. Hoefer.
The business of the company prospered and the factory was removed to the Tuckett building in 1901. The demand for the Hoefer products was so great that the company decided to build a building at the corner of Chicago and Jackson streets. The building is 60x120, three-stories, with a wing 60x40 one story. The new building gave the company room for expansion which it needed and new lines of goods were put on the market.
In 1905, A. G. Hoefer withdrew from the company on account of illness, and Chester A. Hoefer, son of Fred W. Hoefer, bought an interest in the company and was elected secretary.
In July, 1908, E. A. Hoefer withdrew from the company, C. A. Hoefer purchasing the additional interest.
In 1908, exclusive agencies were established in the important cities of the United States and Canada and in many foreign countries including England, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Spain, France, India, China, Japan, Russia and some of the South American countries. Through these agencies, Hoefer products go into all corners of the world.
Since 1908, the company has added to its equipment, has proceeded with the standardization of its products and the manufacturing methods have been thoroughly revised and brought up to date. The company has increased its line and broadened its market. The product at present consists of metal saws, upright drills, horizontal drills, horizontal and vertical boring machinery. When running at full capacity, the company employs about sixty-five men.
The present officials of the company are President and treasurer, Fred W. Hoefer; vice president, P. E. Hoefer; secretary, C. A. Hoefer.
One of Freeport's newest manufacturing establishments is the Ziegler-Schryer Manufacturing Company, in East Freeport. No new company ever began under favorable auspices. Owing to the successful experience of the men back of it, the new company was successful from the beginning.
The Ziegler-Schryer Company was incorporated in June, 1909. The officials of the company are: President, Mr. Oscar J. Ziegler; vice president, P. L. Schryer; treasurer, Roy M. Bennethum; secretary, Lewis Hughes.
The present output of the company consists of gas, gasoline and distillate engines. The Z-S Engines are of the horizontal type. In addition to the engine business the company does a general machine shop work and makes high grade gray iron castings. The company puts out an attractive line of goods and is meeting with such success that it has already become necessary to enlarge the plant and increase the output. Eighty men are employed at present and the number is constantly increased.
Mr. Oscar Ziegler
was connected with one of the largest manufacturing companies of the west
for over twenty years, as designer and superintendent of construction
of a line of feed grinders and wind mills. Mr. Paul Schryer is an expert
gas-engine man, having served for years as designer and superintendent
of construction, in a large engine works of Freeport. Mr. Hughes and Mr.
Bennethum have had years of experience in the business and in some of
largest concerns in the west.
The Dirksen and Towslee Planing Mill is one of the newest institutions of Freeport. It was founded in 1902 by R. D. Dirksen and F. H. Towslee, and first began doing business in a small way in a factory on State street near South Galena avenue. When these lodgings became too small to house the growing concern, as they eventually did, the proprietors bought the factory formerly used by the Burrell Brothers Vinegar Works, and there established their new plant.
The factory is a three-story brick structure 40x100 feet, with adjoining lumber sheds which have a capacity of three hundred thousand feet of lumber, and two large moulding sheds, each 20x60 feet in floor area. The yards and mill cover two acres of ground, and the tracks of the Illinois Central pass the mill making excellent transportation facilities. The Dirksen and Towslee property is situated in the northern end of the town, near the river, just west of the Freeport Water Company buildings, and a short distance east of the D. E. Swan Organ Factory.
Fifteen hands are employed steadily. The business done by the Dirksen and Towslee mill is mostly local although considerable shipping is done to the smalt towns within a radius of fifteen or twenty miles. The outside business is constantly increasing, and while the concern is still young, it has a most promising future and has already done much to gain the confidence of the buying world.
W. T. RAWLEIGH
The Rawleigh Medical Company, although only a little over twenty years old, has, in the short time of its existence, built up a business which extends over the whole of the United States, and has made its president and incorporator a millionaire. Mr. Rawleigh's clearheaded business ability is responsible for the firm's progress during the last twenty years of its existence. It was he who began the process of manufacturing medical preparations it is said by preparing them on the cook stove of his own kitchen. As he succeeded in a small way, he began to think of branching out, and founding a bigger concern. He established a system of wagons which cover the whole of the surrounding country with a network of routes, and thus sold his products chiefly to the farmers.
In 1895, he formed the Rawleigh Medical Company, and incorporated the concern of which he has since been president. The first factory was located on the corner of Douglas avenue and Powell street. A large business was done in this place, and it was here that Mr. Rawleigh got his start and made sufficient capital to enable him to build his new factory. The disadvantage of the Douglas avenue site lay in its distance from the railroad and its consequent lack of transportation facilities. Accordingly a strip of land bordering on the Illinois Central tracks near the foot of Galena street was purchased and the present modern and up-to-date factory erected. The plant has a large capacity, and the yearly output is enormous. The company deals in the various branches of goods which are usually handled by such medical companies Salves, ointments, liniments, toilet preparations, patent medicines, stock dips and remedies, spices, extracts, baking powders, etc.
In addition to the large local business done in Freeport and the surrounding country, the Rawleigh Medical Company has a large foreign trade, all of which has been developed within the past three of four years. The company now maintains at its establishment a private printing plant where all the literature and labels of the company are printed. The pile of buildings also includes a power house, where the company's own four hundred and fifty horse power generator furnishes power for turning all the machinery of the factory. Two hundred hands are employed in and about the factory, and over a thousand salesmen are on the road distributing Rawleigh's remedies and extracts. A southern ware-house at Memphis, Tennessee, was added to the company's real estate in 1907, and the concern is doing a business unequalled by any other concern in Freeport. The officers are President, W. T. Rawleigh; vice president, W. J. Trevillian; secretary, J. R. Jackson.
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Stories, Volume 1
The Natural Carbon Paint Company was organized a few years ago by the late Albert Baumgarten and F. W. Siecke, who is still connected with the concern. The cause of the founding was the discovery, made by the gentlemen interested in the project, of a natural carbon substance, which was superior to lampblack in the manufacture of paint. This substance was found in large quantities in the vicinity of Eleroy, in Erin Township, also in Mt. Carroll in Carroll county. The carbon substance, which was named "mindura" from its enduring qualities, when mixed with a quantity of linseed oil, made as desirable a pigment as can be imagined, and was especially valuable for painting surfaces which are ordinarily subjected to great wear and tear, such as railroad rolling stock, and articles subjected to great heat, such as steam pipes, boiler heads, steel chimneys, etc., which are painted not only for protection's sake, but for appearances, metals which are subjected to the action of acid fumes, generated in train sheds, under viaducts, in chemical works, creameries, tanneries, etc., are rendered impervious to the action of the destructive elements when coated over with an application of the "Mindura" paints.
The Natural Carbon Paint Company has a retorting capacity of about sixteen tons of Mindura pigment per day of twenty-four hours, and a grinding capacity of oil of eighteen barrels of semi-paste, or ten barrels of semi-paste, and ten barrels of liquid goods per day of ten hours. The company caters primarily to large consumers of paint, such as railroads, manufacturers of structural steel and iron, and builders of steel cars.
The process by which the paint is manufactured is exceedingly interesting. The raw material is shipped from Eleroy and Mt. Carroll to the Freeport factory, where it is washed, crushed, refined, and roasted at a temperature of about nine hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit in specially constructed and patented retort ovens. Then it is hydrated, and finally pulverized and air-separated to a fineness of two hundred mesh. When metal surfaces are perfectly clean, a proper application of "Mindura" mixed with pure linseed oil will preserve them at a moderate cost better than any paint before the public.
The officers of the Natural Carbon Paint Company, which is an Illinois corporation, are: President, M. Schauer; vice president, Rudolph Stadermann; secretary and treasurer, F. W. Siecke.
The business of furnishing so large a community as Freeport with water is one of huge magnitude, and, since 1882, the Freeport Water Company has given the city of Freeport an excellent water supply, pure and wholesome for domestic purposes, and of ample quantity. When the company was first organized in 1886, eight miles of mains, from four to sixteen inches in diameter were laid, while now there are thirty-four miles of mains covering the city and its suburbs, so that scarcely a house within the limits is not within reach of an adequate supply of city water. In 1902 and 1903 a complete new pumping equipment, also a filter plant was put in, so that for the last eight years, the city water supply has been filtered, this providing for as fine a supply of water as can be found in this vicinity. "Freeport water" has been even more famous than Freeport beer, and for many years, the Illinois Central Railroad Company has used Freeport artesian well water in the reservoirs of its passenger cars and in all the dining cars used by the company. The latest report of the health officer on city water states that the city water is pure and wholesome for drinking and cooking purposes, and recommends the extension of the city mains and the use of city water wherever possible instead of well water, as the latter is apt to become infected with germs from cesspools, sewers, etc.
The officers of the Freeport Water Company are: President, Michael Stoskopf; vice president, J. H. Snyder; treasurer, Addison Bidwell; secretary and superintendent, Owen T. Smith.
The pumping station and wells are located near the Cedarville bridge on the river banks. The standpipe is located on Whistler street, near Stephenson, in West Freeport.
While it has only been in operation for eight years, the Stephenson County Telephone Company already has a list of subscribers quite as large as that of the Freeport Telephone Company, and lines extending throughout Stephenson County, and into the neighboring counties of Winnebago, Carroll, Ogle, Jo Daviess, Whiteside, etc. By an arrangement recently completed by the directors of the Stephenson Telephone Company, the Freeport subscribers are able to get telephone connection with Chicago. The wires pretty thoroughly cover the country within a radius of fifty miles of Freeport. The subscribers number about two thousand five hundred, and the company employs twenty-three lady operators in its office on the third floor of the Rice building. Exchanges are maintained at all the village of Stephenson County.
The company was organized in 1902, by a company of Freeport financiers, who elected Charles D. Knowlton president of the corporation. He served for a number of years and was succeeded by Dr. D. C. L. Mease, the present official. The other officers of the company are Vice president, W. A. Hance; treasurer, Ezra T. Morse; secretary, L. A. Herrick; directors, T. K. Best, Charles D. Knowlton, William O. Wright, F. A. Read, and Douglas Pattison.
The company is now capitalized at $150,000, all of which is Freeport capital, and is doing a business which is rapidly increasing. The service is excellent, and the instruments in use of the most modern type.
On the first of April of the present year, the Freeport Telephone Company observed the thirtieth anniversary of its birth. It was established on the first day of April, 1880, by E. T. Keim of Dubuque, acting on behalf of the National Telephone Company, with a capital of $10,000, and the following officers President, L. Z. Farwell, vice president, W. G. Barnes; treasurer, F. Gund; secretary, C. H. Little; directors, O. B. Sanford, James I. Neff, L. Z. Farwell, E. B Winger, F. Gund, and C. H. Little.
On the 10th of June of the same year work was commenced, poles erected, lines placed, etc., and the line went into operation the first of July. For some years the list of subscribers grew slowly. The conservative Freeporters did not take readily to the telephone idea. As late as fifteen years ago, the telephone directories consisted of a single folded sheet of cardboard, with the names of the subscribers finding ample space on the two inside pages. But progress has come, and the subscription list of the Freeport Telephone Company has increased accordingly. The subscribers now number about two thousand two hundred, with telephone exchanges in the villages of Rock Grove, Orangeville, Pearl City, Lena, etc. In 1880, and for some time thereafter one telephone operator was sufficient to attend to all the business, but at the present time the force number nearer two dozen. The officers of the present year are: President, L. Z. Farwell; vice president,; secretary,; treasurer,; superintendent, George H. Green; directors, L. Z. Farwell, Roy K. Farwell.
The Fuerst-McNess Company was organized February 1, 1908, by Mr. Frank E. Fuerst and Mr. F. W. McNess. Mr. Fuerst is president and treasurer; Mr. F. G. Thomas, vice president; Mr. F. W. McNess, chemist and secretary. Mr. Fuerst is a graduate of the Freeport High School and of the University of Michigan School of Law. Mr. McNess is a doctor of pharmacy, a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, graduating with honors. He came to Freeport several years ago from Cleveland, Ohio.
The offices and ware-rooms of the company are in the large three-story building at the corner of Spring and Liberty streets. The company manufactures and sells proprietary medicines, flavoring extracts, spices, perfumes and stock and poultry remedies.
The company was organized February 1, 1908, began work in March and started the first wagon on the road, April 10th. At the end of the first year the company had twenty-five wagons out and now have over one hundred wagons operating in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky. Missouri, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Pennsylvania. The company is the originator of the free sanitary trial bottle system. For a new company, the Fuerst-McNess organization is making remarkable progress and the general public has confidence in Mr. Fuerst as business manager and in Mr. McNess as chemist.
BAIER & OHLENDORF
The Baier and Ohlendorf brewing establishment is the oldest in the city. It was established sixty-one years ago, in 1849, as a supply depot for malt liquors by Calvin McGee, and had a capacity of about two hundred barrels per annum. Mr. McGee did not find the business either pleasant or profitable according to the tradition, and sold it a year later to a Mr. Wade, who ran it until 1852. In that year the brewery buildings were rebuilt and sold to E. Hetrich, who carried on a prosperous business until his death, which occurred about twelve years later. His widow married William Beck, who took charge of the business, made some valuable improvements, and conducted the business until his death four years later. Mrs. Beck attempted to act as proprietor for a short time, but did not succeed in the undertaking very well, and sold out to Baier and Seyfarth in 1869.
These gentlemen took charge of the Beck Brewery, and continued the manufacture of beers for a while with the amount of machinery possessed by the old brewery. Then they laid foundations for one of the finest plants in the country, and soon completed the building which is still standing on the corner of Adams and Jackson streets.
In 1891, Mr. Ohlendorf succeeded Mr. Seyfarth, deceased, and the business has since been conducted under the firm name of Baier and Ohlendorf. The concern takes great pride in the quality of its product, and spares no effort to make it perfect. The main brand of beer manufactured at the Freeport Brewery is "Pilsener," which is put up both in kegs and in bottles. The capacity of the plant is about thirty thousand barrels of the liquid substance annually.
The Schmich Brothers Brewing Company is the brewery of latest growth in Freeport. It occupies a large and up-to-date plant in East Freeport, on East Stephenson street and the Pecatonica River, and employs a large force of workmen in its various departments.
The history of Schmich Brothers plant may be traced back to 1880, although the present concern was organized much later. In 1880, Matthias Schmich purchased an interest in the old Western Brewery, now occupied by Franz Brothers Brewing Company. For seven years the business was conducted by Messrs. Schmich and Huber and in 1887 George Schmich, a brother of Matthias, purchased the interest of Mr. Huber, and the firm became Schmich Brothers, which it has remained to this day.
The members of the firm were young and enterprising men, and they soon found that, in order to compete with the other breweries of Freeport as well as their rivals of Milwaukee, their plant must necessarily undergo an enlargement. For a while, the remodeling of the old Western Brewery was contemplated, but finally the firm secured a building site in East Freeport, and erected their present commodious and well appointed quarters. The plant was begun in 1896, and finished during the early part of 1897, at a cost of $75,000.
Various necessary improvements and additions have been made in the last decade which raise the efficiency of the plant to a high figure. The capacity is about twenty thousand barrels of beer per annum. The factories contain two splendid engines, one eighty horse power and the other thirty. The company also conducts its own artificial ice plant, and uses nothing else. A specialty is made of the celebrated Schmich Brothers Rochester and Export bottled beer, and the product is shipped to all parts of the United States. The company is capitalized at $100,000 under the Illinois state laws. The officers are: President, Matthias Schmich; secretary, W. N. Cronkrite; treasurer, George Schmich.
The Western Brewery is very old, having been in existence since the year 1864. During that year Michael and Mathias Steffen erected two large stone buildings, each 100 x 40 and two stories high, which they proposed to devote exclusively to the manufacture of a superior quality of lager beer.
Their plant, which was located on the Lena Road, was then far outside of the city limits, but is now inside of the line. In 1879 Michael Huber bought the plant, and in 1880 Matthias Schmich became a partner in the venture. Huber and Schmich remained the proprietors of the Western Brewery until 1887, when George Schmich, a brother of Matthias, bought out Mr. Huber's interest and the firm became Schmich Brothers. About ten years later, in 1897, the Schmich plant was transferred to its present site in East Freeport, and the Western Brewery passed into the hands of the Franz Brothers, who have made a great success of the venture.
An entirely new and up-to-date plant has been erected, with a capacity of about fifteen thousand barrels of beer per annum. A new addition to the brewery has been an artificial ice plant which was built about two years ago. The artificial ice plant is conducted by A. F. Balles, who utilizes the product in his wagon trade, and supports the plant in connection with Franz Brothers.
The Western Brewery manufactures a high quality of beer, and is doing a lively and encouraging business. The trade is mostly local but has become larger of late years, and includes a large outside circuit. Splendid transportation facilities are offered, as the tracks of the Illinois Central Railroad pass only a few hundred feet distant from the buildings of the brewery, and it is altogether probable that advantage of this fact will be taken to build up an extensive outside trade. Franz Brothers have been in business but a short time, but already their business is established on a sound basis, and their product is known far and wide.
YELLOW CREEK BREWERY
The Yellow Creek Brewery deserves mention, as it is the oldest brewing establishment of the city of Freeport. It was founded in 1845 by Mathias Hettinger, who, with John Hettinger, began in a small way, and laid the foundation for a business which afterward assumed large proportions.
In 1852 Mr. Kachelhoffer became a partner in the business but sold out in 1856, and retired from the firm. Adam Aiker bought Mr. Kachelhoffer's interest and took part in the business for four years, his death occurring in 1860. Under the firm of Hettinger & Aiker large beer cellars were built, and the equipment of the plant much improved. The Aiker interest was purchased by Jacob Haegle for $4,000, and the firm became Hettinger & Haegle. In 1869 Michael Roth purchased the Hettinger interest for $7,500, and the firm became Haegle & Roth.
Mr. Haegle withdrew from the business after many years of connection, and Michael Roth was succeeded by his son, L. J. Roth, who still conducts the business. The buildings of the Yellow Creek brewery are situated on the State Road, about a mile and a half east of town. These comprise the brew house, ice house, warehouse, and the attached buildings, and are commodious and thrifty in appearance. The capacity of the brewery is about two thousand barrels of beer annually. The business done by the Yellow Creek brewery is almost altogether local. Mr. Roth has built up a reputation for himself among the German citizens of Freeport, and the Yellow Creek brewery beer is well known as lager beer of a high quality.
The city of Freeport has always been noted for its large output of windmills and pumps. Not only does it possess the large plant of the Stover Manufacturing Company, but the Woodmanse plant, which manufactures a grade of windmill surpassed by none on the market. The factory, which is a large brick structure, on the corner of Galena and Liberty streets, has been built and added to within the past fifteen years, and is today as modern and complete an institution in every respect as Freeport can boast of.
The business of the Woodmanse Manufacturing Company has always been largely controlled by the founder and present manager, Mr. H. Woodmanse. Beginning business in a small way, Mr. Woodmanse has worked up and enlarged his market until now the Woodmanse product is known throughout the country as superior and up to date in every particular. The great advance is due largely to the energy and ability of Mr. Woodmanse himself, who has exercised a personal supervision over the details of the work at all times. He has had faith in the excellence of his windmill, and has never allowed himself to be discouraged by any obstacle in his path. Mr. Woodmanse is exceedingly jealous of the reputation of his windmill, and takes every precaution to turn out a product which will surpass any other in existence.
The factory was established by Mr. Woodmanse in 1872 near the site where it now stands, on the corner of Stephenson and Liberty (then Dock) streets. Here he opened a depot for the sale of agricultural implements, devoting himself particularly to the sale of the Marsh harvester, one thousand seven hundred of which he disposed of in six years. In 1878, he opened his factory on its present site on the corner of Galena and Liberty streets. He first commenced the manufacture of windmills and farm pumps, but of late years has confined himself solely to the Woodmanse windmill, and has placed large numbers of his machines on the farms of the surrounding country. Mr. Woodmanse is owner of the controlling interest of his plant, by a large amount.
George L. Steenrod is superintendent of the factory. The output of the factory is about twenty-five thousand of the windmills annually, and a force of over two hundred workmen are employed. The foreign trade in windmills has grown of late years. Excellent freight facilities are offered by the Illinois Central and Northwestern Railroads, whose tracks pass the Woodmanse factory, and connection is also afforded by means of the Transfer Bridge, with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway.
LIGHT & COKE COMPANY
The Freeport Gas, Light & Coke Company, formerly known as the Freeport Light & Fuel Company, was organized as early as 1855. Before that time the only methods of illumination in Freeport were the kerosene lamp, and the ancient tallow candle. In the early part of the year 1855, Thomas J. Turner and a number of other public spirited citizens met and formed the first gas company of Freeport's history. They obtained a charter from the state legislature, permitting the incorporation of the company, and bearing the date February 15, 1855. On October i6th of the same year the organization was perfected by the election of the following officers: Thomas J. Turner, president; E. H. Hyde, treasurer; Homer N. Hibbard, secretary. The capital stock was fixed at $50,000.
During the same year grounds for the buildings of the gas works were purchased, contracts were let, and the work of construction was begun. Early in 1856 they were completed. The spot where they were first built is still occupied by the gas company buildings, the original structures having been replaced by the modern and up-to-date edifices.
The company continued to operate the works for a number of years, but did not make a success of the business end of the venture, and sold out to Thompson Dean, a Cincinnati capitalist. About September i, 1863, Mr. Dean also withdrew from the business and sold out to S. S. Ashcraft and Thomas Butterworth. These officers remained in charge until May 14, 1867, when the gas works were purchased by L. K. Scofield and C. S. Hill, of Freeport, at a cost of $23,626. On the 26th of July, 1871, Mr. Hill sold his interest to L. L. Munn, who operated the works in conjunction with Mr. Scofield, until February 26, 1879. On that date Mr. Scofield withdrew from the business, and went to engage in business in Fort Scott, Kansas.
His interests in the gas works was purchased by L. Z. Farwell, and Farwell and Munn remained in charge until 1890. Then Mr. Munn disposed of his interest to Mr. Farwell, who conducted the business alone until 1895. In 1895 the works were bought out by a stock company, which now controls the plants. The new company numbers among its members some of the leading citizens of Freeport, and was incorporated under the laws of the state of Illinois as "The Freeport Light & Fuel Company," with a capital stock of $100,000.
Three years ago a business deal was concluded by Charles D. Knowlton, president of the gas company, by which the holdings of the stock company were to be transferred to Charles W. Morse, a New York capitalist. On the failure of that gentleman to complete his part of the deal, the bargain was declared off, and the stock company is again for the present in charge.
The secretary and manager of the company is Z. T. F. Runner, who has held the position for many years. He has been associated with the plant since 1868, with the exception of a few years spent on the road as a traveling salesman, owing to failing health. Mr. Runner has made the manufacture of gas an intensive study, and is considered one of the most thorough gas men in the business.
LIGHT & POWER COMPANY
The existence of an electric light company in Freeport dates from 1882, in which year the first company, known as the Freeport Van De Poele Electric Light and Power Company was established. Previous to 1882, the streets of the city had been shrouded in darkness by night. The gas company, in accordance with its contracts with the city, had put up a number of gas lamps, but for one reason or another, they were unsatisfactory and were discontinued. During the summer of 1882, the Van De Poele Company, of Chicago, gave several exhibitions with the light in this city, and succeeded in interesting Freeport capitalists in the project of organizing a company. In the fall of that year the above mentioned company was organized with a capital stock of $25,000, and a contract to light the city for a period of twenty-five years.
On December 26, 1882, the plant, which was located near the Illinois Central tracks on Galena street, was put into operation. By the close of 1883, the company had forty lights in operation in the city hotels and stores, but no move had been made to light the streets. In July, 1885, the matter was brought before the city council, who granted the company a five year's contract, the city to pay $4,500 annually for the light. The plant was then owned by a stock company, in which D. C. Stover, Charles Nieman, Fred Gund, and R. H. Wiles were the principal holders. A difficulty arose between the gas and electric companies, which was immediately forestalled by the purchase of the electric light plant by Farwell and Munn, owners of the gas works. In 1886 a new power station was erected close to the gas works, and three years later a large Westinghouse incandescent dynamo was added to the equipment of the plant.
On the 2nd of February, 1890, a disastrous fire completely destroyed the electric light plant, and L. Z. Farwell, who had recently purchased the interest of Mr. Munn was left to bear the loss alone. He immediately rebuilt the plant, and in August, 1893, he removed the plant to Liberty street where he erected a brick building, 50 x 150, and established a system of power and lighting, representing an outlay of $75,000, furnishing the city and private consumers with ninety arc lamps. Mr. Farwell remained sole owner until the summer of 1894, when the plant was purchased by the Freeport General Electric Company.
The origin of the Freeport General Electric was in 1886, when Messrs. F. C. Platt and G. D. Clinger, of Waterloo, Iowa, introduced the subject of a street railway system to the citizens of Freeport, and succeeded in interesting several capitalists in the project. A company was organized on October 16, of that year, with a capital stock of $45,000, and incorporated by F. C. Platt, G. D. Clinger, Jacob Krohn, J. B. Taylor and W. G. Barnes. Large stables were erected on Taylor avenue, and a horse car system operating four miles of track was installed. The lines were on Carroll, Williams and Chicago streets, Oak Place, and North Galena avenue, with a west and east line on Stephenson street and Taylor avenue, intersecting the north and south line at the corner of Stephenson and Chicago streets. On November 4, 1886, the company elected the following officers Jacob Krohn, president; F. C. Platt, vice president; J. B. Taylor, secretary; W. G. Barnes, treasurer; G. D. Clinger, general manager. The cars began to operate on Thanksgiving Day, 1886.
In January, 1887, G. D. Clinger sold his interest in the enterprise to J. B. Taylor, and F. C. Platt disposed of most of his stock to the same gentleman. Hiram Warner, of Morris, Illinois, became general manager. In the winter of 1892-3, Congressman Mutchler, of Pennsylvania, visited Freeport, purchased the horse car lines, and in company with some other gentlemen, proceeded to convert it into an electric railway. On August n, 1894, the work of putting down new rails was commenced, and the trolley cars arrived the following November. On the first of December, of that year, the Freeport Electric Light and Power plant was purchased, and the light and power systems consolidated into one under the title of the Freeport General Electric Company.
The Freeport General Electric Company continued to do business for about seven years, and gave the citizens of Freeport excellent service. The terminals of the various lines were extended, and the rolling stock of the company kept in excellent condition. About ten years ago, the business was purchased by A. P. and A. J. Goddard, who moved the electric light plant from its location on Liberty street to the old Goddard's Mill site, Clark avenue and the river. A new power house was built, and the water power afforded by the Pecatonica river dam, familiarly known as Goddard's dam, was utilized. The old structure, formerly occupied by the mills of Goddard and Clark, was also used. This, however, burned down about two years ago, and the brick power house, with additions and changes, was used alone.
A. P. and A. J. Goddard made a number of extensions to the street railway system, when they took possession of the lines, building the extension in the southeastern portion of the city, which is known to Freeporters as "the loop." The Loop Line runs east from the old Carroll street terminal at Empire street to Bauscher street, north of Bauscher street to Adams street, northwest on Adams street to Chippewa street, north on Chippewa street to Shawnee street, east on Shawnee street to Gund avenue, north and west on Gund avenue to Hancock avenue, north on Hancock avenue to Taylor avenue, connecting with the East Stephenson street line of the company. The building of this line helped to open up the Arcade addition, and other parts of the city, which were formerly altogether without transportation facilities. It is no longer in operation, except in parts, having been discontinued on account of difficulties with the railroad companies whose tracks it crosses several times.
About six years ago a competing company was organized under the title of the Freeport Light & Power Company, Charles E. Gregory, of Chicago, being the chief instigator. When A. P. Goddard died, the firm of "A. P. and A. J. Goddard" became the Freeport Railway, Light and Power Company, and Alpheus J. Goddard continued to fill the position of general superintendent. For several years the two rival light and power companies ran side by side. In July, 1910, the two companies consolidated, Charles E. Gregory being elected president, and Alpheus J. Goddard vice president. It is planned to thoroughly renovate and renew the rolling stock of the company, and effect a much needed improvement in the street railway system. A new extension to connect the western terminals of the Stephenson street and North Galena avenue lines is planned. It is said that the company has bought a large tract of land west of North Globe avenue and plans to run its line through, plat the addition, and open it up to buyers. The scheme is a good one, and as the country is particularly beautiful and well adapted to residence lots, and is, moreover, in that section of suburban Freeport in which the natural growth of the city is trending, the addition of transportation facilities should make the lots sell like hot cakes.
J. W. MILLER COMPANY
The J. W. Miller Incubator Company, a private concern owned by J. W. Miller, has its factory and offices at the south end of Oak Place, between the Illinois Central tracks and the river. It had its origin in the J. W. Miller Poultry farm, which was located on the owner's farm south of town. The poultry business was begun by Mr. Miller about twenty years ago, and continued until 1901, when the present work of manufacturing incubators and brooders was commenced.
While the concern is one of the smaller factories of Freeport, yet Mr. Miller does a large business, both in Stephenson county and in the adjoining states. He began the work of making incubators and brooders on his farm on the Dunbar road, and continued there for two years. He then moved into the Stover building, which he occupied for two years more. From the Stover building, Mr. Miller moved to his present factory, where he has been located for about five years.
About fifty men are employed by the Miller Company during the busy season. The average yearly output of incubators and brooders is in the neighborhood of fifteen thousand. The tracks of the Illinois Central, which pass the factory, offer good shipping facilities.
ICE AND COLD STORAGE COMPANY
The Freeport Artificial Ice and Cold Storage Company, makers of pure distilled water artificial ice, organized their company in January, 1907, and elected the following officers President, W. E. Fry; vice-president, W. H. Flachtemeier; secretary, W. H. Foil; treasurer, W. N. Tice.
Immediately after the work of organization was accomplished, the ice factory now in use was built. The plant is located south of the Illinois Central tracks at the corner of Adams street and Clark avenue. Although built with a view to supplying every demand in case of a large increase in business, the plant is already too small to satisfy the wants of the growing business. A new addition is contemplated by the directors of the company, but no definite action has been taken as yet.
The machinery used is of the most up-to-date variety, and was purchased from the Henry Vogt Machine Company, of Louisville, Kentucky. The absorption system is employed, and the ice is frozen in cans. Pure distilled well water is used throughout, and the precautions taken to insure perfect purity in the finished product are in evidence at every stage of the manufacture. The water used is obtained from the company's own wells. It is converted into steam, forced into the condenser at the top of the building, then conveyed through a number of skimmers and filters, charcoal and sponge, into a boiler, where it is re-boiled at a temperature of 212 degrees. The water thus purified is poured into the freezing cans and lowered into tanks of calcium chloride brine. Pipes carrying ammonia gas suround the freezing can, and the action of the ammonia gas on the calcium chloride brine produces a temperature low enough to freeze the contents of the can. The cans contain three hundred pound cakes of ice, and, at a temperature of fourteen degrees above zero, forty-eight hours are consumed in the process of freezing.
About sixteen hands are employed by the company during the busy season, which is, of course, every season except midwinter. Four wagons are constantly employed to distribute the product, and the plant turns out on an average twenty-eight tons of ice every twenty-four hours. Large ice-houses adjoin the ice factory, but the capacity of both factory and ice-houses is now taxed to the utmost. In addition to the local business, the company does some shipping. A spur track of the Illinois Central enters the company's grounds, and thus furnishes good transportation facilities.
The Freeport Shoe Manufacturing Company was organized in September, 1900, by a company of Freeport gentlemen, of whom Fred Dorman was elected president, Henry Baier vice-president, Will H. Foil secretary and treasurer, and B. Goldman superintendent. The idle and deserted factory of the H. Meyer Boot and Shoe Company was purchased, the original firm having failed after a short and satisfactory career, and the manufacture of boots and shoes was immediately commenced.
The manner in which the Freeport Shoe Company has built up a trade has been nothing short of miraculous. The market was at first restricted to almost nothing, but within ten years the output has grown so enormously that today one thousand pairs of boots and shoes are made daily. The whole of the product is at present sold to the Selz, Schwab & Company, of Chicago.
The factory is located in West Freeport, south of Lincoln Boulevard, in the addition known as the Shoe Factory Addition. The plant is well equipped in every respect, and employs the most up-to-date machinery. A force of one hundred and twenty-five hands is employed throughout the year.
A number of changes have occurred in the ownership of the company since its comparatively recent organization, but the list of officers is, with one exception, unchanged. The present officials are: President, Fred Dorman; vice president, Henry Baier; secretary, H. H. Antrim; treasurer and superintendent, B. Goldman.
The Keene Canning Company was started under the firm of Emory & Keene in the year 1887. The first factory was located across the river in East Freeport, but the company remained there only a year. Mr. Emory then left the business, and F. O. Keene has since been sole proprietor and manager. In 1888 the business was moved to its present location at the foot of Monterey street, close to the Illinois Central tracks. Hardly had the new factory been erected when a disastrous fire destroyed the whole property, entailing an enormous loss. Mr. Keene was in the east when the fire occurred, and as soon as he returned commenced the erection of a new factory.
Hard times ensued for the Keene Canning Company, and it is due to the pluck and persistency of Mr. Keene that the company has reached its present prosperous condition. Last winter, 1909, the new factory, a fine three-story brick building, was built to replace the old frame structure.
The company cans three articles of food corn, peas, and pumpkin. The first vegetable canned was corn.; then, a few years ago, Mr. Keene began the work of canning sugar peas, and, finally, pumpkin. The new factory is up-to-date and contains entirely modern machinery. Formerly some of the work, such as the husking of corn, was done by hand, but for some years all of the work has been done by machinery. Now the product is not touched from the time it leaves the farmer's wagon until the can is opened by the consumer. Machinery conveys the unhusked corn from the bins, where it is unloaded, to the third story of the building, where it is husked, shelled, cooked, and canned. The cans are then automatically sealed, and put through a machine which decorates them with wrappers indicating the brand.
Formerly the peas were all shelled at the factory, but now much of this work is done at the farms, and the peas are brought to town already shelled. Mr. Keene owns a large number of farms himself, nearly 1,000 acres in all, where he grows all of his peas and a small quantity of corn. The balance is purchased from the farmers of the vicinity. The different farms belonging to the Keene Canning Company are located in every portion of the county. There are large tracts south of town, and also in Lancaster Township. The largest pea producing farm is located in Lancaster, a short distance northeast of town, and is known as Pea Ridge. Here an auxiliary plant has been erected, and the work of shelling the peas is practically all done here. When the peas are brought to the Freeport plant they are ready to be cleaned, cooked, and canned immediately.
The pumpkin industry is of recent growth. The product is canned both in the ordinary sized cans, in quart tins, in, gallon tins, and in other receptacles of varying sizes. About 1,400 tons of pumpkin were canned last year.
The capacity of the cannery, since the addition of the new machinery, is very large. About 120,000 cans of goods are manufactured daily, which makes a total of nearly 4,000,000 cans of goods for the entire season. Of the 4,000,000, about 2,250,000 cans are of corn, 1,000,000 of peas, and less than 1,000,000 of pumpkin. The equipment of the factory is such that 240 tons of corn can be handled daily.
As regards machinery and equipment, the factory is thoroughly up-to-date. They possess a 340 H. P. boiler, a 150 H. P. engine, and a 30 H. P. engine. Among the farm equipment is a gasoline plow, fifty horses and mules, between thirty and forty wagons, reapers, and seeding machines, etc. From one hundred and fifty to two hundred hands are employed at the factory during the busy season, which, however, does not last throughout the entire year. A visit to the establishment is well worth one's time, and the process of cooking and canning is extremely interesting. F. O. Keene is in direct control of the concern, and acts as manager and superintendent.
D. E. SWAN COMPANY
The D. E. Swan Organ Company, manufacturers of high grade cabinet organs, is a concern of recent growth, although its predecessors have been in operation for a number of years. The Burdett Organ Company, which preceded it, was organized by the Burdett Brothers, and bought the factory formerly occupied by the Johnson Wheel Company in North Freeport. The Burdett Company was in existence for a number of years, and then sold out to the Cable Company, manufacturers of pianos and organs. When the Cable Company decided to remove its plant from Freeport two years ago, the Freeport property was purchased by D. E. Swan, general superintendent of the plant, and the organ business was continued.
The Swan factory occupies a large lot north of the addition in North Freeport known as the Wheel Factory addition. It is a large structure, meeting satisfactorily the insistent demands of the growing company for additional floor space. The Illinois Central Railroad, whose Wallace yards are situated just west of the organ factory, offers facilities for transportation of the manufactured product, and in this respect the Swan Organ Factory's location surpasses that of any manufacturing concern in the city.
The company manufactures a high grade instrument, and has a large yearly output. Over one hundred hands are employed in the various departments, and the prospects for the future of the D. E. Swan Organ Company are extremely bright.
HENNEY BUGGY COMPANY
The name "Henney" has been one around which much of Freeport's industrial progress has been built up. John W. Henney, Sr., came to this county in 1848 and in 1868 he began the manufacture of buggies and carriages in a small shop at Cedarville. The business grew to such proportions that he moved his business to Freeport and established the celebrated Henney Buggy Company. The business developed rapidly and soon became one of the leading industries of its kind in America. The name plate "Henney" on a buggy or carriage meant a guarantee of honest material and workmanship, and did much to give Freeport a nation-wide reputation as a manufacturing center. While the business has passed into the hands of the Motive Plow Company, Mr. Henney is still connected with Freeport enterprises, is a member of the Board of Education and is one of the county's most honored and distinguished citizens.
THE CHARLES E.
In 1858, over 50 years ago, the Meyer Company began the manufacture of vinegar in Freeport. The business has enjoyed a remarkable progress, and large shipments are made all over the middle west. The company suffered a heavy loss by fire a few year ago, but have gone on increasing the output. In July, 1910, the company bought the buildings of the Bear Brening Company, at 60 Oak place, and will now have a plant adequate to meet the demands of the trade. Mr. Stahl, at the head of this company, is one of the Freeport's most capable young business men and that insures the future success of the organization.
THE WALLACE SEVERANCE
GAS MACHINE COMPANY
This company is the originator and manufacturer of the Wallace Severance Gas Machines, for lighting and cooking purposes. The company has been in business eight years, operating in the old Shrinkler building at first and then moving to present quarters at 43 South Galena avenue. This invention has made it possible for a man to have his own gas plant in his home or in his place of business. The company is doing an increasing business over the western states through traveling salesmen and local agents.
THE FREEPORT GAS
The Freeport Gas Machine Company is located on Stephenson street, and manufactures and sells the Freeport Gas Machine, an automatic gas plant producing a gas suitable for cooking and illuminating purposes. The officials of the company are President, Dr. D. C. L. Mease; Vice President, H. J. Johnson; Manager, S. P. Wallace; Secretary and Treasurer, A. Stoller. The "Freeport" Gas Machine is sold in large numbers throughout the western states. The gas machine is in great demand in the rural communities and in small towns where there are no large gas plants. Many farmers light both house and barn. This company is doing a good business and has excellent prospects.
THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL
One of Freeport's best industrial establishments is the Illinois Central Shops. The plant is a large one covering several acres of ground and employs about 300 men. It does an immense business in repairing and rebuilding Illinois Central rolling stock. The machine shops and the round house are equipped with the best and latest improved machinery.
The officials of the Illinois Central Shops are all practical men of the highest order of ability Master Mechanic, Victor Powell; Train Master, Martin Flannigan; General Foreman, Edward Lawless; Floor Boss, Mr. Dick; Blacksmith Foreman, Jack Sweeney.
The last five years have seen the most rapid growth of the manufacturing interests of Freeport that the city has ever known. The Henney Buggy Company, now the Moline Plow Company, has more than doubled its buildings, its numbers of employees and its output. Besides large additions to the old plant two large new buildings have been on the site of the old Robinson plant. The Stover Engine Works, the Stover Manufacturing Company and Woodmansees, have made steady advances. The Organ factory, the Illinois Central Shops, the Shoe factory, Hoefer's and the Arcade are all doing an increasing business. The new Ziegler-Schryer Company is forging ahead with strides that warrant the belief that it will soon be one of Freeport's largest concerns.
Quality has always been the standard with Freeport manufacturers. Freeport goods have been shipped to all civilized countries of the world, and "Made in Freeport" is a stamp that sells. Besides encouraging established factories, Freeport offers excellent inducements to new concerns. Good factory sites are to be had and the Citizens Commercial Association is always ready to give support to legitimate concerns. The railroad facilities are first class and no better banking houses are to be found in any city in the country. In fact, there is nothing wanting to make the city a big manufacturing center.
J. W. MILLER COMPANY
The Freeport Journal of January n, 1909, gives the following as the annual output of the J. W. Miller Company: Annual business of the poultry farm $40,000; annual output of incubators and brooder, 30,000; fireless cookers, 7,000. The company employs about 100 people.
The oldest business in Freeport run by one family is that of William O. Wright on Stephenson Street at the corner of Stephenson and Chicago. This store occupies two rooms for the clothing and shoe departments. The business was founded by Orestus H. Wright, who came to Freeport in December, 1836. Early in 1737 he opened a store in a log building near the river. The same year he built a frame store and later built the first three-story building in Freeport, the building now occupied by the Cascade Laundry. He was largely instrumental in building the first bridge across the river and exerted great influence in bringing the railroad to Freeport. He held the offices of Probate Judge and County Clerk. He died in 1851.
His son, William O. Wright, who now conducts the business, was born in Freeport in 1841, four years after the county was organized. It has fallen to the lot of but few men now living, to have lived in Freeport sixty-nine years ago. He has seen Freeport grow from a shack, frontier village of a few settlers, to a city of over twenty thousand people. He was educated at Beloit College. Learning the printer's trade in the office of the old Prairie Democrat, he started the "Northwest," a weekly newspaper. In the Civil War Mr. Wright served in the Adjutant General's office under General Hurlburt, in Colonel Putnam's regiment. He is a Mason, a member of the Freeport Club, was several years a member of the Board of Education, a director in the Gas Company and the First National Bank. For over twenty years Mr. Wright was a member of the Democratic State Central Committee. His life, almost contemporaneous with the history of Freeport, has been and is now one of wide influence in northern Illinois.
Mr. L. Z. Farwell, one of the most prominent of Freeport's older business men, has been a resident of Stephenson County since coming here with his parents in 1852. In 1860 he came to Freeport and in 1861 formed a partnership with Mr. O. B. Bidwell. The firm of Bidwell & Farwell conducted a wholesale notion business over Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. In 1871 Mr. Farwell bought Mr. Bidwell's interest and conducted the business alone from 1871 to 1885, doing at times a half million dollar business annually. In 1877 Mr. Farwell bought a half interest in the Gas Company and bought Mr. Munn's interest in 1890 and conducted that alone till 1895 when he sold to a stock company. In 1879 he organized a telephone company in which he still holds a large interest and of which he is president. Besides other interests he is a director of the Second National Bank in which he is a heavy stockholder. For fifty years Mr. Farwell has been recognized as one of Freeport's most successful business men.
He has always taken a great interest in the Freeport Club, of which he has been president for years. His son, Mr. Roy K. Farwell, is secretary of the Freeport Telephone Exchange Company, and chairman of the Board of Education, and is prominent among the younger business men of Freeport.
William Koenig came to Freeport in 1856. He was an apprentice at the cabinet trade with Darius Kuehner. He then worked five years for J. B. Snyder and entering business for himself, formed a partnership with David Hunt. In 1880 Mr. Koenig bought Mr. Hunt's interest and has since conducted the business alone. In 1895 he built the large four-story building now occupied by his furniture store at the corner of Stephenson and Mechanic streets. He has operated one of the most complete furniture stores in northern Illinois. He was a large stockholder in, and secretary of, the Robinson Manufacturing Company. He is now assisted in the business by his son, Robert, a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
Mr. Loyal L. Munn, Sr., came to Freeport from New York State in 1846, at the age of seventeen. He taught school one year and in 1850 went into the insurance business. In 1853 he organized the Stephenson Insurance Company and was secretary till 1865. He was in the dry goods business from 1866 to 1869, and in the Gas Company from 1871 to 1889. In 1862 he built the Munn Building. In 1893 he bought a large interest in the Arcade Manufacturing Company and was president of that concern. Mr. Munn died in 1908. He was a man of remarkable resources and energy. He was a thirty-third degree Mason.
Hon. August Bergman was one of Stephenson County's leading business men of the second generation. He came here in 1852. He was born in the village of Meinberg, Germany, in 1835. His first work in Freeport was in a brickyard, where he labored eight years. In 1864 he entered the livery business and began the agricultural implement business in 1867. The firm of Bergman & Dorman expanded rapidly till it was one of the largest in northern Illinois. The partnership being dissolved he conducted the implement business till his death early in 1910.
Mr. Bergman had held the following offices Street commissioner, alderman, mayor three terms, president of the Board of Education, director of the German Insurance Company, etc. He was one of the most popular of Freeport's successful business men.
No one stands higher among the older business men and citizens of Freeport than Mr. William Wagner, the venerable editor and publisher of the Anzeiger. He came to Freeport with his father in 1852. From 1853 he was identified with his father in the publishing business. On the death of his father, Mr. W. H. Wagner took up the managing of the business for which he had excellent training. The business prospered under his able management and in 1886 he built the Anzeiger Building, a large three-story brick structure at the corner of Chicago and Galena Streets, which houses one of the most complete and up-to-date printing plants in the state. Several of Mr. Wagner's sons have been associated with him in the business. Mr. Otto Wagner withdrew from the firm in 1905, and began a bindery and office supply business on Galena Street. Mr. A. F. Wagner withdrew in 1910. Messrs. Oscar and Frederick Wagner are now connected with the business. Mr. W. H. Wagner is a man of wide influence in Freeport, and is now president of the Board of Education.
The dry goods establishment of William Walton Nephews is one of the pioneer stores of the city, and is justly renowned thought this section of the state. So excellent a line of goods does it carry that it is patronized extensively by purchasers from neighboring cities, and the Rockfordites, whose city is nearly twice the size of Freeport, say that no Rockford store carries the same quality of dry goods.
The store was established by William Walton in 1858. Mr. Walton was a native of England, having been born in County Dunn, and raised in Birmingham. In England he took up the dry goods business and was a clerk for many years. In 1855 he came to the United States. He was located for a brief season in New York, then in Chicago, where he was connected with the dry goods house of J. B. Shay, and finally in Amboy, Illinois, where he embarked in business for himself. After a short stay in Amboy he became satisfied that the town was not large' enough to support the store he was anxious to establish, and accordingly he pulled up stakes and came to Freeport. Since his removal to this city, the business has steadily prospered. Mr. Walton soon gained the confidence of the public and built up a reputation for honesty and fair dealing which has survived unblemished up to the present time.
Mr. Walton also invested heavily in real estate in and about the city of Freeport, and, as his cares began to grow numerous and arduous, he looked about him for help. This he found in the persons of his three nephews, William, Joseph and Edwin Hall, who came over from England at his request and took charge of his business. At his death in 1898 they assumed control under the firm name of William Walton Nephews. William Hall took charge of the clothing and men's furnishing department, while Edwin Hall became manager of the dry goods department. Thus the business is still conducted.
At first the store at 104 Stephenson Street was the one occupied. Later the next store building west was rented and occupied for the clothing store, and finally the next store building east was secured and added to the dry goods department. The upper floors of the buildings are also occupied at present by the carpet and curtain departments, and the establishment as a whole is one of the most progressive and up-to-date of the city.
The dry goods establishment of F. A. Read, which occupies the first and second floors of the Weishar Block, is one of the substantial and well established business firms of the city. It was established in the spring of 1877 by C. H. Seeley, who opened a small store on upper Stephenson Street, and thus formed the nucleus about which the present business has grown up. In the fall of the same year F. A. Read became associated with Mr. Seeley and the firm name became Seeley & Read. The place of business was transferred and the new firm opened in the store now occupied by Huss & Kinley in the Wilcoxin Block. It was not long before these quarters became far too crowded, and a new building was erected for the store by C. H. Rosenstiel, on the opposite side of Stephenson Street from their present location. These quarters were also far too small, and presently it became imperative that a change be made if the extensive trade which the founders had built up was to be retained. Henry Weishar, seizing the opportunity as a good business venture, built the Weishar Block especially for Seeley & Read, and fitted up the first and second floors of the building with the necessary appurtenances for the stores. A large increase in business followed and the firm began to handle a more extensive class of goods. A millinery department was added, and opened to the public, with an exceptionally fine line of goods. In time a carpet department was also added.
In 1893 the concern met with a great disaster. The place was visited by a ravaging fire which consumed the entire interior of the Weishar Block and left only the walls standing. The whole stock was lost, and hardly a vestige of the once elegantly modeled store was discernible. The three men most concerned in the loss were not discouraged, however, and the building was immediately reconstructed. Another fire has occurred since that time, but with no such serious results. In February, 1899, Mr. Seeley withdrew from the firm to engage in the mining business, and the firm has since been F. A. Read alone. The store carries a line of dry goods, millinery and carpets which is unexcelled by any in the northern part of the state. Recently the store front was remodeled and new entrances built. It is one of the handsomest stores in the city at present. Mr. Joseph Johnson, Mr. Read's son-in-law, is now connected with the business.
At the sign of the only plated tower in existence in the world, the crockery establishment of C. H. Little & Co. has continued to do a flourishing business for over half a century. It is one of the oldest business firms of the city, and has always held an unequaled reputation throughout the city and surrounding country.
In 1859, Mr. Little established the business which bears his name, at 71 Stephenson street, across the street from its present location. Here it remained for eight years, and then, in 1867, Mr. Little moved across the street to 74 Stephenson street, which place the firm still occupies. At that time, he took in with as partners Mr. F. J. Kunz, and Mr. C. H. Becker. A new building was built for the accommodation of the firm, which, with certain alterations and addition has been in the possession of C. H. Little & Co. ever since its erection. Some time ago the business had so thoroughly outgrown its original quarters that additional floor space became an imperative necessity. A store in the next building was secured and made a part of the original store. This arrangement has continued in effect for a number of years.
The original building of the C. H. Little & Co. is one of the finest in the city, and the plated tower which scales its front is one of the most unique advertisements in the world. All three floors of the buildings are occupied by the store, together with the basement, which is used as store room. The line of goods carried by C. H. Little & Co. is not surpassed in Northern Illinois. In addition to the crockery department, a line of beautiful and choice cut glass is carried. The toy department is par excellence. As a whole, the firm enjoys exclusive patronage to a degree unknown by most of the business houses of the city, and retains its ancient reputation as the leading crockery establishment of Freeport.
The Burrell grocery business was established by L. F. Burrell in 1854. Henry. Daniel and John Burrell came to Freeport from Pennsylvania in 1850. Mr. John Burrell was associated with Mr. Emmert in the drug business until ? . They are all men distinguished for a high order of business ability and integrity and are numbered among Freeport's most substantial citizens.
In his seventy-ninth year Joseph Emmert is yet one of the active business men of Freeport. He has been in the drug business since arriving in Freeport in 1855. The business was established by John S. Emmert in 1846. Mr. Emmert has occupied the same premises for the fifty-five years. He is one of the pioneer druggists of northern Illinois, and the oldest merchant in Freeport. Mr. Emmert takes great pride in the fact that he has trained a number of boys in business and they have been remarkably successful.
The B. P. Hill Grain Company began business in 1882. The company does a big business in grain, coal, salt, coke and wood. Besides the elevator in Freeport with a capacity of 40,000 bushels, the company has elevators at Evarts, Lena, McConnell, Baileyville, Steward, Red Oak, Woosung and Haldane. Mr. B. P. Hill is president and treasurer of the company.
The H. A. Hillner Company does an extensive business in coal, wood, feed and grain. Besides a big new elevator in Freeport, Mr. Hillner has elevators at Ridott, German Valley, Dakota, Davis, Waddams and Florence. The company was organized in 1903, but Mr. Hillner had been in the business as an employe of H. J. Porter since 1884.
The Armour Packing Company has a branch office in Freeport that does a large business in this section.
The Standard Oil Co. maintains a large local plant. Besides supplying the Freeport trade the company makes large shipments by; means of two wagons and the railroads to points in northwestern Illinois. The company's local manager, Mr. A. H. Stephenson, has been with the company for 18 years and is one of the most competent and reliable business men of the county.
The business of Kuehner Brothers was established at the present location on the site of the Howe Hotel by Darius Kuehner in 1857. He was a successful business man and built the business block in 1869. The business is carried on by his sons, Fred and Robert, who are among the county's most progressive business men. The store was remodeled and extended in 1906, and is one of the finest and most elaborate furniture stores in Illinois.
Mr. Frederick Dorman came to Freeport in 1874 and for thirty-five years was identified with many of Freeport's large business interests. He was president of the Shoe Manufacturing Co.; president of the Howe Gas Machine Co.; vice president of Guyer & Calkins; a director in Woodmansees Mfg. Co., one of the principal stockholders of Dorman & Co., dealers in agricultural implements, and president of the State Bank.
Ezrom Mayer, the secretary of the Union Building and Loan Association, has been a resident of Freeport since 1847. He entered Oscar Taylor's Bank in 1855; held a position in the bank of De Forest & Co. several years and was the first cashier of First National Bank. For many years he was in the bank of Hettinger, Collman Brothers & Co. Besides his active management of the Union Loan Company's business he has many other financial holdings. At the age of 73 he is an active business man with a wonderfully cheerful disposition.
One of the prominent attorney's of the early days was A. T. Green who came to Freeport in 1839, walking from Rockford. He was a native of New York. He was a postmaster from 1843 to 1849. Besides being a prominent attorney he was one of the men who stood with L. W. Guiteau in the agitation for free public schools. His son, Charles T. Green, was also a lawyer and served in the Civil war. His grandson, Charles H. Green, is now one of the county's successful attorneys.
Mr. J. M. Galloway has been in business in Freeport since 1858. With Mr. W. H. Snooks he conducted a bottling works for years in the old "Mansion House," the hotel built by Benjamin Goddard in 1837. It stood diagonally across the present Y. M. C. A. tennis courts on Walnut street. They now conduct the business on Galena street.
C. O. Collmann came from Hanover, Germany, in 1850. He farmed in Ridott township till 1866 when he entered the mercantile business in Freeport. In 1876 he was one of the organizers of the bank of Hettinger, Collmann Brothers & Co., now the German Bank. He was a high official in the German Insurance Company. At the age of 78 he is still president of the German Bank.
Hon. E. P. Barton was one of the talented members of the Stephenson County bar after 1855. He was a graduate of Hamilton College, New York, and was admitted to the bar in Brooklyn in 1852, where he practiced law till 1855. He was associated with the following firms; Turner, Burchard & Barton; Burchard & Barton; Burchard, Barton & Barnum and Barton & Barnum, leading law firms of the county. He was elected County Judge of Stephenson County, a position he filled with distinction.
Henry Baier, of Baier & Ohlandorf, is one of the oldest citizens and business men of Freeport. He came to this county from Bavaria in 1843. His business ability has made him one of Freeport's wealthy men, and at the age of 74 he is still a leader in some of the city's largest enterprises.
Mr. Orlando B. Bidwell was born in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, July 28, 1829. He came to Freeport in 1856, and was one of Stephenson County's most prominent citizens till his death January 14, 1909. In 1861 he formed a partnership with Mr. L. Z. Farwell in the wholesale notion business. He was a stockholder and director in the Freeport Gas Light & Coke Co. and a heavy stockholder and treasurer of the Freeport Water Company. In religious, educational and philanthropic work Mr. Bidwell was a leader. He was a stanch supporter of the First Presbyterian church, a Trustee of Beloit College and gave time and money to Y. M. C. A. Mr. Bidwell was President of the First National Bank from 1870 to 1909.
For fifty-five years A. W. Ford has conducted a jewelry store in Freeport, on Stephenson street. He is one of the oldest, best known and reliable merchants of the city. He was one of the founders of the Y. M. C. A., and has been a leader in church affairs.
Hon. John H. Adams [sic] was one of the early settlers whose character made a deep and lasting impress upon the history of this county. Born in Pennsylvania in 1822 and educated in an academy at Trappe, Pennsylvania, he learned the milling business as an apprentice and came to Stephenson County in 1844. He located in the north end of Cedarville and bought the mill. In 1844 he planted Norway pine seeds on the hill across the creek and those pine trees may be seen there today as a monument to the memory of one of the county's greatest men. He was foremost in the campaign to secure the first railroad into the county and was always a champion of the church and of free public schools. With his money and by public addresses he encouraged enlistments for the war in 1861. In 1864 he was one of the organizers of the Second National Bank of Freeport of which he was president. Aside from being a business man of more than ordinary ability and political leader, he was a man of wide reading, in sympathetic touch with the great world struggles of his time, a gentleman of profound sincerity and of marked culture. Such a man was the father of America's greatest woman, Jane Adams [sic] of Hull House, Chicago.
Judge Mathew Marvin for almost forty years has been a prominent figure in Freeport. Before coming here he lived in Warren and Galena. He was appointed postmaster at Warren and later was elected Judge in Jo Daviess County. He has twice served as city attorney here and has been Justice of the Peace since 1895. His son, Mathew Marvin, is one of the prominent real estate and insurance men of Freeport.
General Smith D. Atkins was state's attorney for this district at the breaking out of the Civil war in 1861. He was born June 9, 1835, in New York, and came to Stephenson County with his father's family in 1848. He lived on the farm for two years, and then came to Freeport and entered the office of the Prairie Democrat. He was educated in the Mount Morris College where he was foreman on the Mount Morris Gazette while a college student. In 1853 he was associated with the Savannah Register. He studied law in the office of Hiram Bright in Freeport and was admitted to the bar and began practice in 1850, after further study of law in Chicago. In 1860 he stumped northern Illinois urging the election of Lincoln. At Lincoln's first call for troops, Mr. Atkins was the first man to enlist in this county and organized the first company and went to the front as captain of Company A, Eleventh Illinois.
For gallant service at Fort Donelson he was promoted to the rank of major in the Eleventh Illinois. At the battle of Pittsburg Landing he won special mention for bravery and conspicuous service, as Acting Assistant Adjutant General on General Hulburt's staff. In the summer of 1862 he recruited the Ninety-Second Illinois and went to the front as its Colonel. He commanded the First Brigade, Granger's Corps, till July ist, 1863, when the Ninety-Second was attached to Wilder's Brigade. The Ninety-Second was now a calvary regiment and with it General Atkins served in the campaign against Chattanooga; entered Chattanooga September pth, 1863, driving out Bragg's Cavalry at 10:00 a. m. and at 3:00 p. m. was on the battlefield of Chickamauga. He served with Wilder's Brigade till April 4, 1864, when his regiment was attached to Kilpatrick's Cavalry. In Kilpatrick's division he commanded the Second Brigade, marched with Sherman to Savannah, Georgia, where on January 12, 1865, he was promoted Brevet Brigadier General, and commanded that Brigade of Cavalry through the Carolinas to the close of the war.
He was under fire in more than 100 minor battles and skirmishes, was twice wounded, and had one horse shot under him. He was appointed Major General of Volunteers, March 13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious service.
Major E. A. Duncan, formely of Sherman's Staff, says of General Smith D. Atkins: "The battle of Macon, or what is called Walnut Creek, was a cavalry engagement, fought by one of Kirkpatrick's Brigades under the command of Colonel S. D. Atkins, of the 92d Illinois Mounted Infantry. This gallant officer with his little brigade fought the whole of Crew's division, and not only fought them, but whipped them capturing nine pieces of artillery. The rout of the enemy was complete. For gallantry and soldierly bearing on this occasion, General Sherman recommended Colonel Atkins to the Secretary of the War for promotion. The promotion was made and no setting, however rich, ever became the jewel it contained more worthily than did his broad shoulders become the stars that gemmed them."
In 1865 General Atkins was appointed postmaster and has served in that capacity to the present day with the exception of the eight years of democratic rule by Grover Cleveland. During most of that time he has been editor and chief proprietor of the Freeport Journal. In county, state and national politics he has been a leader for fifty years. His editorials are more widely quoted than any other in Illinois. He is author of the history of the Ninety-Second Illinois Regiment. He was a member of the Chickamauga National Commission. He has always been a man of decided opinions, of unquestioned integrity and fidelity in fifty years of public service.
He is the most widely known citizen of Stephenson County, and has enjoyed the personal acquaintance of most of the great men of the United States from Lincoln to Roosevelt the only resident of Stephenson County whose name is in "Who's who in America." Beginning as a farmer's boy he has been successful as lawyer, soldier, editor, author, in politics and in business. At the age of 75 he is still in active life, a grand old man whose happiest moments are in his home with his grandchildren upon his knees.
Mayor W. T. Rawleigh is one of the best known city officials in Illinois. He is giving Freeport one of the very best business administrations it has ever enjoyed. Mr. Rawleigh is a business man of unusual ability. Twenty years ago he began here without capital and today conducts probably the largest business in the county, with large four and six story buildings covering over half a block with over three acres of floor space. He employs over two hundred people in his plant and has over one thousand two hundred retail wagons carrying the trade over established routes in almost all the states of the Union. Besides being president and treasurer of this large business, Mr. Rawleigh is a director in the German Bank, mayor of Freeport, proprietor and editor of the Freeport Standard. He has been honored by being elected president of the Citizens' Commercial Association and commander of the Sons of Veterans. Because of his successful and aggressive leadership, he is in demand as an official and speaker at meetings of the mayors of Illinois, and is now a candidate for the position of representative in the Illinois State Legislature. No man is readier than he to aid with time, influence and money in building up the city of Freeport. He is a demon for that work and by being methodical, he is able to deal successfully with all his vast interests successfully.
Guyer & Calkins. One of the most important commercial firms of Freeport is the wholesale grocery establishment of Guyer & Calkins. Since the establishment of the company in 1901, the business has been steadily and appreciably increasing, until at the present time the company has both a reputation and a profitable trade, extending over a wide territory.
Before the founding of the Guyer & Calkins Company, the wholesale grocery business was for a short time carried on by Clement & Calkins. The firm was dissolved in 1901, and the present company formed, Mr. Clement going into the real estate and land business.
The large warehouses of the company are located at 23, 25 and 27 Liberty street, near Galena. They are supplemented by three other buildings and warehouses, which are utilized for carrying on the business. The tracks of the Illinois Central and Chicago & Northwestern Railroads lead directly to the factory, thus facilitating the loading and unloading of goods.
Many of the goods handled, especially the brands of canned goods, are put up under the direct supervision of the house, and thereby attain a degree of excellence unapproached by most varieties of tinned goods on the market. Nine traveling salesmen are employed constantly by the company, who cover a large territory in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. The officers of the company are: President, H. L. Guyer; vice-president, Fred Dorman; secretary and treasurer, W. L. Calkins.
Bowler & Jones. The Bowler & Jones firm is of recent origin, but the companies which preceded it, date back many years. The business now carried on by Bowler & Jones was established in 1852, by the late J. B. Taylor, who conducted it until 1888. He then sold out to Brigham, Bowler & Co., who remained proprietors for eleven years. In 1899, this company was succeeded by the present firm, Bowler & Jones, consisting of Colonel H. S. Bowler and L. W. Jones, who have since conducted the business.
The firm, which deals with the wholesale saddlery and leather goods business, maintains offices and a warehouse in a three story brick building at 41 and 43 Stephenson street. Floor space equivalent to 120x360 feet is used, and the company manufactures custom-made harness, strap work and collars. They are also jobbers of saddlery hardware, shoe findings and leather. Bowler & Jones carry a very large stock, and are the largest saddlery house west of Chicago. Two traveling salesmen are employed, who cover Iowa, Wisconsin and part of Illinois.
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Stories, Volume 1
The first house in Freeport was built by William Baker in 1835 on the Pecatonica River. The first undertaking in the town was a real estate business. In 1835 a real estate company known as Baker, Kirkpatrick, Galbraith & Company was organized and laid claim to a large part of the territory now occupied by the city. Early in 1836 a town was laid out by the company in the north part of the southeast portion of section 31. The Indian half-breeds had been granted the right to select land in any part of the unoccupied territory they might choose. One of these, Mary Myott, selected a claim on section 31 as soon as it was known that the company had laid out the town. Baker, Kirkpatrick, Galbraith & Company then moved the town stakes farther west. This early real estate company was enterprising and besides putting up several buildings and selling lots in 1836, secured in 1837 the location of the county seat by donating the courthouse lot and giving a bonus of $6,500. About this time a map was gotten up boosting Freeport. The map was in colors and showed a prosperous village along a beautiful river, the Pecatonica, on which there was shown a large steamboat. Unlike many of the "paper" towns laid out at this time, Freeport made good, settlers came in large numbers and various forms of business began in a substantial way. Although the hopes of the promoters of making a "port" of importance here were never realized, yet in other ways the town prospered.
This development of the town and city was largely due to the quality of the settlers. The progressive nature of the men of the older eastern states, was supplemented by the industry, economy and thrift of the German element. Many of the first settlers were men of small means, but were wise enough" to place their savings in real estate. These holdings became additions to Freeport, and as the town grew in population and real estate values rose, several family fortunes were made.
One of the first, if not the first, was the O. H. Wright holdings in the 3rd ward. This was extended and has since been known as the William O. Wright additions. John A. Clark laid out the Winneshiek addition. Judge Purinton was owner of a valuable addition in the third ward that still bears his name. Probably the largest holder of real estate was Dexter A. Knowlton, Sr. in that part of Freeport now known as Knowlton's first, second and third additions. Seven degrees to the south lay Pattison's addition, and Colonel T. J. Turner owned the addition on what is now Addison street, Martin P. Sweet's addition was west of Turners and was valuable property. North of Turner's was Ordway's addition. Burchard's addition is on Lincoln avenue. The early real estate men did for their day what the present real estate men are doing for theirs they laid out their property in town lots, made improvements and aided materially in building up the town.
Among the later additions that have been laid out, improved and partly built up are the following: The Arcade addition about the Arcade Manufacturing plant; Taylor's Park and Lichtenberger's addition in East Freeport; the Shoe Factory addition, Zartman's, Burchard's, Wise and the Organ Factory addition in West Freeport; Saxby Heights addition and ? .
The city has grown along the lines laid out by these real estate leaders. The various additions have afforded a means of expansion for a growing city and in connection with the excellent building and loan associations, has made Freeport a city of homes.
Today, no phase of the city's activity is better prepared for that advancement all look forward to in the next ten years than the real estate holdings. There is ample room for expansion south, west and east, with an abundance of splendid additions, with good drainage facilities and a beautiful outlook. The rapid development of Freeport industries is sure to bring an increasing population and the demand for lots will find an ample supply. The only thing lacking, which now seems assured, is the extension of the street railway system. With normal financial and industrial conditions and the extension of the street railway, Freeport should reach the 30,000 mark in 1920. The Citizens Commercial Association is well organized and ably officered and is already making great strides in this direction. The Building and Loan Associations are playing an important part in this progressive movement.
THE UNION BUILDING
AND LOAN ASSOCIATION
The name of this old and established organization was recently changed to the Union Loan and Savings Association. It was incorporated in June, 1883, and has been doing a satisfactory business for 27 years. The first officials were: President, L. Z. Farwell; Vice President, J. W. Henney; Treasurer, C. O. Coilman; Secretary, Urias M. Mayer.
The authorized capital of the association is five million dollars. The company loans on first mortgage real estate only. The object of the association is to create and foster habits of economy, to provide homes for each of its members at the least possible cost and invest their savings where they are best secured and are most productive.
The present officials are President, J. N. Galloway; Vice President, F. E. Schaeffer; Treasurer, S. H. Webster; Secretary, Esrom Mayer. The company has one of the finest offices in the city in the Frueh building, Stephenson street, and is doing a large business.
THE FREEPORT BUILDING
AND LOAN ASSOCIATION
One of the most substantial organizations in Freeport is the Freeport Building and Loan Association. This association has just issued its sixty-seventh quarterly statement showing that during the last quarter 748 shares of installment stock were sold. The company is in its seventeenth year and is doing an excellent business to the entire satisfaction of its many patrons.
The association was organized November i, 1892, with the following officials President, A. Bergman; Vice President, L. M. De Vore; Treasurer, D. C. Stover; Secretary, Louis Dickes. Mr. Dickes served as secretary for thirteen years.
The present officials are President, Louis Dickes; Vice President, Jacob Klein; Treasurer, H. H. Antrim; Attorney, W. N. Cronkrite; Secretary, C. F. Hildreth. Mr. Hildreth has been secretary for five years. He is a business man of extraordinary ability and energy, and under his management the company is doing a rapidly increasing business.
THE GERMAN BUILDING
AND LOAN ASSOCIATION OF FREEPORT
Though only two years old the German building and Loan Association of Freeport is enjoying a healthy growth, and promises to be one of the successful associations doing business in Freeport. The object is the accumulation of funds to be loaned among its members. Its capital stock shall be one million dollars, divided into shares of $100 each.
The association was organized and incorporated August 4, 1908, and began business in August that year. The officials then elected still hold office as follows President, M. Hettinger; Vice President, T. K. Best; Secretary, T. A. Secher; Treasurer, L. R. Jungkunz; Toorney, Douglas Pattison.
THE GERMAN INSURANCE
The old German Insurance Company of Freeport has passed into the history and with its passing went one of the great business enterprises organized and developed in the county of Stephenson. It alone gave Freeport a national reputation. It paid large dividends to capitalists who held its stock and furnished an abundance of work for the publishing houses, increased our post-office business and afforded employment to a large number of citizens.
Freeport has been a well known insurance town for sixty years. The Stephenson County Insurance Co. was organized in 1853, the Farmers' in 1857. Columbia of 1861 lasted two years. The Continental closed up after reinsuring in Chicago. The State and several others were chartered but did not open for business. The United States ran from 1865 to 1869. The Winneshiek chartered in 1861, issued no less than 50,000 policies. Among its stockholders were: U. S. Grant, Benjamin F. Butler, Simon Cameran, John A. Logan and others. The law of 1869 put it out of business. The Protection Life had an auspicious beginning but after two years came to ruin.
The German was organized
February 16, 1865, under title as the Freeport Insurance Company, by A.
H. Stone, W. J. McKinna, A. M. Lawver and George P. Kingsley. The franchise
was purchased by D. Kuehner, L. Ashendorf, Richard Meyer and William Wassenberg
in 1866. July, 1866, Mathias Hettinger was elected president; December,
1867, Fred Gund, Sr., was elected secretary, in which capacity he served
for years. The company prospered and in 1897 built the large building
at the corner of Exchange and Galena avenue,
now the Old Colony Building.
By 1900 the German was doing a nation wide business and was universally conceded to be one of the soundest companies doing business in America. Connected with the German for years were such men as C. O. Collman, William Trembor, Henry Baier, D. S. Schulte. For the last few years of its existence Mr. Fred Gund was secretary. He was recognized as one of the most competent insurance men in the country, and the German was riding a high wave of prosperity when in a day it was shaken to its foundations and forced into the hands of a receiver by the San Francisco earthquake and fire. The "Insurance Trust" that had been fighting the German aided in its speedy ruin. In spite of all efforts to save the company, it closed out the Royal and went out of business in 1907.
Mr. Fred Gund, now at the head of the Williamsburg's western department, is building up a large business in the Old Colony building.
BANKS OF FREEPORT
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
The First National Bank of Freeport was organized on February 24, 1864, with a capital stock of $50,000. At that time the following officers were elected President, George F. DeForest; cashier, Esrom Mayer; directors, W. P. Maiburn, L. L. Munn, O. B. Bidwell, C. J. Fry, Esrom Mayer, G. F. DeForest and L. F. Burrell. A little more than a year later, on the loth of March, 1865, the capital stock was increased to $100,000, with a surplus of $25,000. The same officers remained in charge of the institution until 1870. At that time, O. B. Bidwell became president. He remained in charge until the time of his death, which occurred January, 1909, and has since been succeeded by his son, Addison Bidwell.
Upon Mr. Bidwell's election to the presidency, Geo. F. DeForest, the first president, became cashier, and retained that position until his death in 1883. He was succeeded by Aaron H. Barshinger, who died in 1891, and was succeeded by Addison Bidwell. Mr. Bidwell filled the position until he became president last year, and was succeeded by J. Manly Clark, with John T. Hinderks as assistant cashier.
In 1883, the first charter of the bank, which had been taken out for twenty years, expired, and the house was re-chartered for a like period, under the name of the Freeport National Bank, and with the following officers O. B. Bidwell, president; O. B. Sanford, vice president; A. H. Barshinger, cashier; John Burrell, O. B. Bidwell, C. H. Little, W. O. Wright and O. B. Sanford, directors. The capital and surplus then amounted to $166,000, and the affairs of the bank were in a most prosperous condition. Four years after the taking out of the second charter, by consent of the comptroller of currency, the bank was permitted to take its first name, and again became the First National Bank, of Freeport.
The First National Bank is one of the leading, as it is the oldest banking house of the city. The firm is capitalized at $150,000. The surplus and profits amount to $120,000, with an additional stockholders' liability of $150,000, making a total responsibility of $420,000. The officers are: President, Addison Bidwell; vice president, W. O. Wright; cashier, J. Manly Clark; assistant cashier, John T. Hinderks; directors, C. H. Little, W. O. Wright, Boyd P. Hill, Joseph Emmert, John Burrell, Addison Bidwell.
The Second National Bank of Freeport opened its doors for business less than three months after the First National Bank had set out on its career. The former commenced business in May, 1864, and its rival institution had then been in existence since February of the same year. Like the First National Bank, it was capitalized at $50,000, and in less than a year it was raised, first to $75,000, then, within a year, to $100,000. In 1883, the original charter expired, and the bank was immediately re-chartered. On the expiration of that charter in 1903, another charter was taken out.
John H. Addams, of Cedarville, was the first president of the Second National Bank. He was one of the founders of the establishment, and retained his office as head of the concern as 'long as he lived. His death occurred on August 17, 1881, and A. H. Wise was immediately chosen to succeed him. Mr. Wise's health was poor, and he found the duties of his position too arduous for him. After a brief season in office, he resigned, and his place was filled by M. Lawver. After a short term of service, he too resigned, and Dr. F. W. Hance was called upon to become president. Dr. Hance tried the experiment for a short time, but he very soon found that his duties as president of a bank interfered seriously with his professional labors. As a result, the office fell vacant again. Jacob Krohn was thereupon persuaded to assume the office, and he satisfactorily filled it until his death, which occurred in 1902. At that time, M. V. B. Elson was the logical candidate for successor, and thus the position fell to him.
Alexander Stone was the first cashier of the Second National Bank. In a single year he retired, and was succeeded by L. W. Guiteau. Mr. Guiteau retained the position for a number of years, and upon his death in 1880, J. Brown Taylor took the office. He was followed by Horace Webster. Upon his death, D. F. Graham, of the German Bank, became a stockholder in the Second National, and assumed the duties of cashier. He still occupies the position.
A short time ago the affairs of the Second National were re-organized. Coincident with this, an improvement and rehabilitation of the banking offices took place. The interior was remodeled and re-decorated and the old bank on the corner of Stephenson and Van Buren streets was made to look like a new institution. New furniture was installed, new offices and private rooms partitioned off, and the whole given an appearance of shiny newness.
The Second National is one of the most popular of Freeport's banks. The bank is now capitalized at $100,000, with a surplus of $20,000. The officers are President, M. V. B. Elson; vice president, L. Z. Farwell; cashier, David F. Graham; directors, M. V. B. Elson, L. Z. Farwell, D. F. Graham, Reuben Siegfried, J. L. Meyers, J. H. Graham, E. A. Blust, Geo. Ennenga.
The German Bank was originally a private banking institution under the name of Hettinger, Collman Brothers and Company, and was founded by five of Freeport's prominent German citizens: M. Hettinger; Sr., C. O. Collman, A. Collman, D. B. Schulte and Fred Gund. In May, 1876, the project was first started, and on the twentieth of that month formally organized with a nominal capital of $20,000. The business was conducted in a conservative, but successful mariner, and before long the institution was prospering wonderfully.
Within a few years, the bank was christened the "German Bank," but the firm remained Hettinger, Collman Brothers & Company. On the first day of January, 1894, the German Bank was incorporated as a state bank under the laws of the state of Illinois, with a capital of $150,000 and the following officers President, C. O. Collman; vice president, M. Hettinger, Jr.; cashier, D. F. Graham; assistant cashier, Louis R. Jungkunz; directors, C. O. Collman, D. B. Schulte, J. W. Henney, John Fosha, John Sullivan, M. Hettinger, Jr., and J. S. Collman.
On the first of January, 1895, M. Hettinger, Jr., retired from the business, and C. E. Meyer became director. A few years ago, D. F. Graham, who had long acted as cashier, resigned to accept a like position with the Second National Bank. His place was thereupon filled by Louis R. Jungkunz, who had for some time acted as assistant cashier. The present officers are President, C. O. Collman; vice president, John S. Collman; cashier, Louis R. Jungkunz; directors, C. O. CoHman, J. S. Collman, D. B. Schulte, Wm. Trembor, W. N. Cronkrite, W. T. Rawleigh.
The German is one of the most prosperous banking houses of Freeport. The offices are located on the corner of Chicago and Stephenson streets, where they have been for many years. A short time ago they were refurnished and remodelled and now present an attractive and modern appearance. The capital of the German Bank is $150,000, with undivided profits amounting to over $100,000.
The State Bank is Freeport's youngest banking house, and although of comparatively recent organization, has attained a degree of prosperity and substantial growth, not at all commensurate with the short period of its existence. The bank was, however, organized under most auspicious circumstances, and by a circle of the ablest financiers that Freeport can name among its citizens. It has always enjoyed a reputation for security, and careful management, and was for a long time presided over by the late D. C. Stover, who was at the head of three of the largest manufacturing concerns of the city.
In August, 1891, the State Bank, was first chartered under the banking laws of the state of Illinois, with the following officers: D. C. Stover, president; R. G. Shumway and Henry Baier, vice presidents; H. H. Antrim, cashier; Henry Dorman, assistant cashier; D. C. Stover, Dr. W. S. Caldwell, Wm. H. Wagner, L. M. Devore, Henry Baier, Fred Dorman, Jacab Schaetzel, R. G. Shumway and Louis Fosha, directors.
For many years the list of officers and board of directors remained unchanged. Then some vacancies were caused by death, and today the list stands as follows: President, Fred Dorman; vice president, Henry Baier; cashier, H. H. Antrim; directors, A. S. Held; J. F. Smith, F. W. Hoefer, J. H. Stealy, H. H. Antrim, Fred Dorman, W. H. Wagner, Henry Baier, Homer F. Aspinwall, Walter D. Mack.
When the State Bank was organized, the establishment was capitalized at $125,000. The present capital is the same with a surplus of $133,000. The bank does business on the corner of Stephenson and Van Buren streets where they have been ever since the founding of the firm. The State Bank is managed by an efficient and cautious board of directors, and enjoys a well earned reputation in the community.
Knowlton's Bank, the present firm name of which is Charles D. Knowlton, Banker, is an outgrowth of two other banking institutions which have also borne the popular name of "Knowlton's Bank." The first of these was established in 1869 by D. A. Knowlton, Sr., who had amassed a large fortune, and, in company with his sons, Dexter, Charles and Homer, established the banking business now conducted in this city, and in the neighboring village of Pecatonica, under the name of D. A. Knowlton and Sons.
Upon his death, the Freeport business was taken in hand by Dexter A. and Charles D. Knowlton, who conducted the affairs of the bank under the firm nane of Knowlton Brothers, until the death of the former, which occurred in 1903. The firm then became Charles D. Knowlton, Banker, which it has since remained.
The bank has always been known as one of the soundest and most prosperous of the city. All of the gentlemen connected with it have been known as cautious and clear-headed financiers, who have preferred to do a small, safe, and honorable business, than a very large one. They have given their attention principally to first class investment securities and give particular attention to first mortgage loans upon real estate. They have themselves been largely interested in real estate within the city of Freeport. Homer W. Knowlton, a brother there is even an example of failure among the list. The life history of some of C. D. Knowlton, has long been the cashier of the Pecatonica Bank. Ezra Morse is cashier of the Freeport Bank.
There have been a surprisingly large number of banks which have lived for a short time and then, suddenly and sometimes unexpectedly, passed away. Some of them have been merged in others, some have been discontinued, and of these banks has been very interesting, but it is not our purpose to discuss them at any great length. Most of them nourished for a short time, and then went out of existence, leaving no impress or trace of their work in Freeport financial circles.
The first bank of Freeport was established twelve years before the National Bank was inaugurated. In the summer of 1851, when Freeport was scarcely the size of Lena at the present day, Taylor and Bronson opened their bank, which they called an "exchange office," on Stephenson street, near Chicago street, in the store now occupied by H. A. Huenkemeier's grocery. One year later, in 1852, James Mitchell, Freeport's pioneer banker, opened a bank on the site now occupied by Jungkunz' drug store. Four years later, Everett, Clark & Co. began to conduct a similar business on the western portion of the site now occupied by the Hotel Brewster. For a brief space, these three institutions represented the banking interests of the growing city. Then, in 1856, De Forest, Hyde & Co.'s banking office opened where the Second National Bank is housed today.
Taylor, Bronson & Co. had undergone certain changes in the meantime. Mr. Bronson removed to Rockford, and A. W. Rice continued the partnership with Mr. Taylor under the firm name of the Freeport Bank. In October, 1857, both the Freeport Bank and Everett, Clark & Co. succumbed to the wave of financial depression, known as the panic of 1857, which swept over the whole country with disastrous results.
After the banking circles of Freeport had somewhat recovered from the ill-fated crash of '57, James Mitchell became associated with Alexander Neely, of Belvidere, Illinois, and later with Holden Putnam, R. Richardson, of Boston, and A. Page, of Rutland, Vermont. For many years they did a prosperous business under the firm name of James Mitchell and Company. Their institution was known as the Stephenson County Bank, and was located on the corner of Stephenson and Chicago streets. When, at the beginning of the Civil War, a call was issued for volunteers, Holden Putnam entered the service and was killed at the battle of Mission Ridge. From that time, Mr. Mitchell remained sole owner of the firm until January 1, 1874, when J. W. Neff became a partner. The death of Mr. Mitchell occurred in August of the same year, and his son, W. H. Mitchell took charge of the family interests in the bank, and became a partner with J. W. Neff. The business was continued under the firm name of James Mitchell & Co. until 1884, when, by mutual agreement, the partnership was dissolved, and the business discontinued.
De Forest, Hyde & Company remained in business under that firm name only a few weeks. At the end of that time, Mr. Hyde left the business, but Mr. De Forest and the other members of the firm continued until 1864, when their interests merged into the First National Bank.
The Farmers' and Merchants' Bank was organized in May, 1892, by Esrom Mayer, who had been former cashier of the German Bank. At first the offices were located on Chicago street, but were subsequently removed to the corner of Stephenson and Chicago streets in the rooms now occupied by the clothing store of William O. Wright. The bank was capitalized at $100,000, and the first officers elected were: Ersom Mayer, president; J. H. Snyder, vice president; J. H. Brockmeier, cashier. After a very brief existence, lasting only a few years, the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank was discontinued.
This completes the list of Freeport's banks. Those which are now doing business are placed on" the firmest sort of financial basis. The men in charge are possessed of both wealth and experience, and the banking facilities of the city are not surpassed by any other city of the same size in the state.
COUNTY COURT AND BAR IN 1910
Attorney J. A. Crane, the Nestor of the Stephenson county bar, holds the unique position of being in active practice to-day and of having been an attorney in the time of Turner, Sweet and Burchard. He has lived to see an entire change in the men about the court. In a reminiscent mood he spoke of the change of men and methods in a life-time of over fifty years at the bar. According to the venerable attorney, there has been a big change in method. In the early days there were only five or six reports; now the number runs into hundreds. Long lists of citations were impossible. Naturally, the issue depended then, in the absence of citations, on the appeal of the attorney before judge and jury. This made the early attorneys great students of men. In the absence of tons of law books, the lawyers studied human nature. In selecting juries and in addressing them, this knowledge of human nature was brought into play. These conditions afforded opportunity to men of great natural ability. It was a time when individuality and intuition played a strong part. Instead of spending days and weeks accumulating a mass of statistics, citations and authorities, the lawyers spent much less time and spent it in meditation, in outlining an appeal to the jury. As Mr. Crane says, "Then we knew the law and knew men; now, we are bookworms."
Mr. Crane was born in Southern Illinois. He was fortunate in having a remarkable teacher, a man who had come into the state as a civil engineer at the time when Illinois was building paper railroads all over the state. When the "bottom fell out," the civil engineer, having no railroads to build and a family to support, began teaching school, and young Crane was one of his students.
Mr. Crane was reared on a farm. On occasional trips to the city, he had observed the courts in session and the life of the lawyer appealed to him with a force that caused him to abandon farming. He graduated from Harvard Law School and took a post graduate course. His rise to prominence at the bar in Northwestern Illinois was rapid. He became the most successful criminal lawyer of his time. His clients considered themselves fortunate in securing his services.
Today Mr. Crane has his office in the Wilcoxen block and is actively engaged in his practice. He is at his office early in the morning, while many professional men are yet in bed. He combines, more than any other man, the personality of the early attorney with the wide reading of the later day lawyer.
Judge James H. Stearns, one of the oldest attorneys of Stephenson county, was born in New Hampshire in 1841. In 1862, he was graduated from Harvard College and located in Freeport in 1871. In 1876 he entered the law office of Judge J. M. Bailey and was admitted to the bar in 1878, and began practice as a member of the firm of Neff & Stearns. In 1880, he was city attorney. From 1889 to 1894, he was corporation counsel. In 1894, he was elected county judge. As a corporation lawyer and legal adviser, he has no superior. Associated with him at present is Hon. Oscar R. Zipf, with offices in the Old Colony building, formerly the German Insurance building.
Judge Henry C. Hyde was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1836, spent his boyhood on a farm in Winnebago County, Illinois, and was graduated from Beloit College in 1856. In 1859 he was admitted to the bar and began practice in Freeport. In 1860 he was elected city attorney, and in 1883 county judge. During his practice, Judge Hyde was ranked as an attorney of unusual judgment and legal learning. One son, James Hyde, is a lawyer in Chicago, and another, Henry M. Hyde, is editor of the Technical World and an author of note.
Michael Stoskopf was born in Freeport in 1846. He attended the public schools, studied law with Bailey and Neff and was admitted to the bar in 1873. He has been justice of the peace and was Master in Chancery for twelve years. He built up an extensive practice and was well known over Northern Illinois. He was elected to the state legislature in 1889 and in 1895. During the session of 1889, he was largely responsible for the passage of the bill authorizing a tax for library purposes. He opposed all measures inimical to the public welfare and won a reputation for unflinching integrity and fidelity to a public trust. He is a Mason, 33d degree of the A. A. S. R., a distinction accorded to only a few in each state. He is highly respected as a citizen and as an attorney.
W. N. Cronkrite was born in 1863. He was graduated from Knox College with honors in 1881. For three years he read law in the office of Hon. J. S. Cochran, and was admitted to the bar in 1884. From 1884 to 1886, he was bill clerk in the House of Representatives, being appointed by Hon. E. S. Haines.
In 1886, he was appointed deputy county clerk, which position he held for eight years. In 1894, he began the practice of his profession. In 1895, he was corporation counsel. He has acquired a wonderful mastery of precedents and authorities in common law and as an advocate, his ability before court and jury is highly respected by opponents. His career of sterling integrity and his mastery of law have won him a vast patronage and the confidence of the public.
Judge Oscar E. Heard was born in Harlem township in 1856. He was graduated from the Freeport High School in 1874, completed his education in Northwestern University and was admitted to the bar in 1878, after studying in the law office of Hon. James S. Cochran. In 1884, he was elected state's attorney and held that position for sixteen years. Although a young man, he was remarkably successful as state's attorney, fighting many great battles and contending successfully against the best legal talent of Northen Illinois.
In 1903, he was elected judge of the Circuit Court, and in this position has won a reputation for fair dealing and a thorough understanding of the law. He has been called to sit on the bench in Chicago during crowded terms of the courts of the great city and has acquitted himself admirably. In 1909 Judge Heard was re-elected for six years.
The circuit includes Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Lee and Ogle counties. With Judge Heard are associated Judge James B. Baum, of the Appellate Court, and Judge Richard S. Farrand, of the Circuit Court.
The settlement of the estate of the German Insurance Company, by Judge Heard, was the biggest judicial work ever undertaken in the county. The expedition with which Judge Heard handled this case broke all records for closing up large estates and won from the receiver, Mr. Niblack, vice-president of the Chicago Title and Trust Company, the highest commendation. Judge Heard has served on the Board of Education, the Library Board and is a 33d degree Mason.
Hon. Douglas Pattison was born in Freeport in 1870. In 1889 he was graduated from the Freeport High School and after spending a year or so in Mr. Stoskopf's law office, entered the University of Michigan, completing both Liberal Arts and Law Courses. He began the practice of law immediately. In 1892, he stumped the county and was appointed deputy circuit clerk. He soon won great popularity in the Democratic party and was nominated and elected to the legislature in 1904. In the legislature he soon won a strong following in the minority party and was honored by being selected minority leader. In 1908, he was a candidate for the nomination for governor on the Democratic ticket.
The present state's attorney is Hon. Louis Hood Burrell, whose education was received in the Freeport High School, Beloit Preparatory School, and with the class of '"93" at Yale. He studied law in the office of Oscar E. Heard, then state's attorney, and was admitted to the bar November 4, 1897. Mr. Burrell served nine months in the Spanish-American war. In 1900, he was elected state's attorney and soon became a popular and trusted official and was re-elected in 1904 and 1908 by large majorities. Mr. Burrell is an orator of unusual ability, is much sought as a public speaker and has won remarkable success as a lawyer, being strong before a jury because of his direct and straightforward method of handling cases. While making an exceptional record as state's attorney, probably his greatest success and that which meant much to the county, was his investigation and prosecution of the bridge graft cases.
Mr. Burrell is a member of the State Bar Association, member of the Masonic and I. O. O. F. orders and is commander-in-chief of Freeport Consistory.
County Judge A. J. Clarity, who is finishing his second term, is a lawyer and jurist of marked ability. He has the confidence of all parties and all classes of people. One of his greatest services to the people and one in which probably he takes the greatest pride, is the Juvenile Court work. In dealing with delinquent children, Judge Clarity has always shown a rare combination of sympathy and judgment. In this work he has co-operated with the Juvenile Court League and with the schools. Besides court cases, the judge deals with many delinquents individually. Many of these report to him once a week and he has secured good positions for a number of boys. So successful has been this work, that Judge Clarity .has been called the "Ben Lindsay" of Freeport.
M. C. A.
The history of the local branch of the Young Men's Christian Association is in reality the history of three distinct organizations. No less than three serious attempts, inaugurated and fostered by different individuals, were made to found a Y. M. C. A. before success was finally attained. As early as 1868 an association was organized, but it lasted only four unsatisfactory years. Again in 1876 another movement was begun, and a society formed which lasted for five years. In 1882 the Y. M. C. A. was again reorganized and the present strong and efficient association dates from that time.
The first association was the outcome of a convention of Stephenson County Sunday schools which met in Freeport in 1868 to discuss plans for the foundation of an organization for the young men of the city. The famous evangelist, D. L. Moody, was present at this memorable meeting, and the action taken by the convention was in the main adopted at his suggestion. He proposed that a young man's society be formed with the avowed object of "extending a home, entertainment, education, and Christian fellowship to every young man in the city, regardless of race, color, or pecuniary circumstances." The work was at once taken up with great enthusiasm, and it seemed that the organization would prosper.
At first a suite of rooms over the room then occupied by Maynard's Dry Goods Store was secured, and the work was immediately begun, for the most part along religious lines. The first president of the local society was R. B. Currier, and for a time no local secretary was employed. In the winter of 1869 a secretary was secured, in the person of a city missionary, who pointed his labors altogether in the direction of religious betterment.
Perhaps due to the lack of a general secretary, perhaps because of the lack of a definite aim or system, the first Y. M. C. A. never flourished. The original organizers were enthusiastic and energetic enough, but they were inexperienced and could neither effect the thoroughness nor completeness of organization that later endeavors succeeded in accomplishing. The association was not very well supported by the townspeople, and the ardor of the founders began to cool. After leading a precarious and shaky existence for four years, the machinery collapsed and the Young Men's Christian Association of Freeport became a matter of history.
No sooner had the association ceased to exist than a crying need for it began to be felt. In less than two years after the first failure, in 1876, to be exact, a second association was formed and the name of the Y. M. C. A. again resuscitated. The organizers on this occasion were largely the influential German citizens of Freeport, and C. R. Bickenbach was by them elected president. New club rooms were rented on the southeast corner of Stephenson and Van Buren streets over the rooms now occupied by the State Bank. Here again the association pursued a somewhat uncertain career, although in the main more successful than the first society. But it also was doomed to failure. In January, 1881, occurred a disastrous fire which totally destroyed the contents of the Y. M. C. A. rooms, including their furniture and valuable documents. Under the circumstances it was thought impossible to continue and so the second Y. M. C. A. passed out of existence after only five years of history.
In the next year, 1882, the citizens began to reflect on what had occurred, and a third attempt was decided upon. On the 20th of May of that year a small but enthusiastic circle of workers met in the parlors of the First Presbyterian church and effected a reorganization. So thoroughly was their work accomplished, and so satisfactorily did the events which followed tend to build up the Y. M. C. A. that it has since that time continued to live without ever a thought of abandonment.
About fifty men were instrumental in the organization of the present society, each of whom signed the approved constitution and paid the membership fee of $1.00. They elected as officers: President, Professor C. C. Snyder; vice-president, I. F. Kleckner; second vice-president, C. R. Bickenbach; corresponding secretary, E. B. Winger; recording secretary, W. A. Merifield; treasurer, A. H. Barshinger; directors at large, Jacob Williams, E. B. Winger, and F. A. Jayne.
The new officers showed that they had the situation in their grasp and knew what was needed when they made it one of their first acts to engage a local general secretary. The first man to fill this position was F. G. Perkins, who stayed a little less than a year and resigned in 1883 to be succeeded by W. W. Smith.
During the seven years of Mr. Smith's residence the association was wonderfully increased in numbers and activity. It was Mr. Smith who first effected a broadening of the society's work and introduced the department of physical education. The original purpose had been supposedly fourfold "To extend a home, entertainment, education and Christian fellowship" to the young men of the city. But the first three aims had been entirely neglected. Mr. Smith now proposed to revive them, and to this end he succeeded in raising enough money to remodel the rooms and add a gymnasium. Mr. Smith was a man of pleasing personality and great enthusiasm, and made a very large number of friends during his stay in Freeport. In November, 1889, he left to go to another association, and was followed by three temporary secretaries C. R. Bradley, J. A. Schaad and W. L. Cahoon. A permanent local secretary was then secured in the person of J. P. Bailey, who came to the local society in June, 1891.
During Mr. Smith's stay the new Y. M. C. A. building was built a great credit not only to the association itself and the men connected with it, but to the city at large and especially the membership of the churches who contributed so liberally toward the erection. After the reorganization in 1882 the Y. M. C. A. had occupied rooms over Emmert and Burrell's (now Emmert's) drug store, where it remained until the completion of its own building. Several individuals had at various times suggested the purchase or erection of a Y. M. C. A. building, but none had been seriously considered.
The first moment of serious consideration came in April, 1885, when E. E. Brown, at that time assistant state secretary, presented the local officers with a ten dollar bill which he said was to be the foundation of the building fund. Even then it took two years for a final determination to be made, although the ladies' auxiliary worked faithfully in the meantime and succeeded in raising nearly $1,000. At that time the city council voted to furnish the stone for the basement and first story of the building in case it should furnish quarters for the city library. The German Insurance Company also presented the sum of $1,000. The lot on the corner of Walnut and Stephenson streets, which had been occupied many years before by the First Presbyterian Church before it moved to its present site, was purchased from Isaac Zartman, and on October 19, 1888, the cornerstone was laid.
During the following year the building was completed at a cost of $26,000 and opened on October 6, 1889, by a meeting conducted by the evangelist E. W. Bliss, preparatory to a series of revival services conducted by D. L. Moody, who had at that time returned to the city. The cost of the building had been much more than the builders had contemplated and for several years after the completion it was burdened by a heavy debt. Then, through the services of the Ministers' Association, principally due to the efforts of the Rev. Edgar P. Hill, a sufficient sum was secured to cover the entire indebtedness.
A month after the completion of the structure, Secretary Smith left the city, and no permanent secretary filled his place until the coming of J. P. Bailey in 1891. Mr. Bailey was succeeded by J. P. Burdge, who stayed until 1896, then resigned and was followed by H. L. Sawyer. When Mr. Sawyer accepted a call elsewhere, the Rev. J. H. Keagle, formerly pastor of Trinity Church, and now located at Cedarville, accepted the position of secretary. He was an able and energetic worker and under his direction a great deal of good was accomplished.
In 1900 Mr. Keagle was succeeded by J. E. Heilman, under whose direction the association remained until 1904. In that year J. L. Rogers came to take charge. He remained only a short time. During his .stay the building was somewhat remodeled, and a swimming pool was added. He was succeeded by R. C. Smedley, who departed last year to be followed for a short term by Will Anderson and then by A. L. Mayer, who is at present acting as general secretary. A. R. Buffin has for some years officiated as boys' secretary, and C. E. Smith is at present physical director of the institution.
A number of changes have been made in the building since it was built. The structure is three stories in height, the basement and first story being built of native white limestone, and the upper stories of red brick with white stone trimmings. The basement originally contained dressing rooms and a gymnasium together with the public library rooms, the first floor, the auditorium, general offices and reading and association rooms. Since the moving of the public library, a swimming pool has been installed in the basement and the gymnasium moved to the first floor in the space formerly occupied by the auditorium.
The association is in a flourishing condition at the present time and has a large membership. The building is one of the ornaments of Freeport, and is now entirely free from debt. The whole property is valued at about $40,000.
The annual reports of the Young Men's Christian Association give some idea of the extensive part played by this organization in the life of Freeport.
The report, April
30, 1910, follows:
Men Boys Total
Number of paid-up bona-fide members 236 180 416
Number of different paid-up or bona-fide members, entire year 260 185 545
Active members (members of Evangelical churches) 168 40 208
Members engaged in industrial occupations. . 70 25 95
Average daily attendance at rooms or building. 163 75 238
Number of socials, dinners, teas, banquets. 5 8 13
Total attendance at above social events 600 490 1,090
Paid entertainments 3
Dormitory rooms 7
Dormitory capacity 12
Dormitory occupants 12
Directed to rooms outside building 10
Number of boy members in High School 57
Number of boy members in Grammar School 102
Number of boy members at work 21
THE PHYSICAL DEPARTMENT.
Men Boys Total
Number of different members using physical department 127 177 304
Number enrolled in class work 127 177 304
Number of sessions held 255 284 539
Total attendance all gynasium classes 3.671 5,208 8,879
Total attendance of all physical privileges. 14,173 12,160 26,279
Work for different groups: Young men, 59; business men, 23; high school boys, 52; basket ball teams, 17; volley ball teams, 4. The Hiker's Club took seven hikes.
BOYS' SUMMER CAMP.
Mr. A. R. Buffin conducted fifty-six boys in a ten day camp on Rock River, near Beloit. These camps have been remarkably successful and have been maintained by Mr. Buffin several years without accident or anything to mar the pleasure and benefit of the outing.
The physical department of the Y. M. C. A. has been remarkably fortunate in recent years in having at its head such men as Leroy Rogers and Frank Rogers and the present very efficient director, Mr. Chas. E. Smith.
The reading room contains forty-five magazines for men and five for boys and the Chicago, St. Louis and the Freeport newspapers. At intervals the Y. M. C. A. has attempted night school work but has never met with very gratifying success. The reading rooms are well occupied and the library of the boys' department is put to good use.
Mr. Chester Hoefer is chairman of the religious work committee. During the year 1909-10, thirty men were enrolled in Bible study classes, and eighty-seven boys, making a total of one hundred and seventeen. Fifteen of the boys are high school students. The total number of religious meetings for the year was one hundred and four. The average attendance of the boys' meeting was sixty-five; the men twenty-five. Ten meetings for men and one for boys were held outside of the building.
Y. M. C. A. PROPERTY.
The association owns the building, the value of which is $40,000. The lot is valued at $10,000; the general furniture, $500; dormitory equipment, $300; gymnasium equipment, $400. The association pays tax on rooms rented for business and carries $16,000 insurance.
The boys' department of the Y. M. C. A. probably makes the best showing of any of the departments, the membership being one hundred and eighty-seven, with an average attendance at the Sunday afternoon meetings of sixty-five. This department is under the management of Mr. A. R. Buffin, to whom is due the credit for building up the department.
His life among the boys in Freeport, in and out of the association, is an example of the highest type; the unselfish and noble-minded spirit. It goes without saying, that he exerts more influence of a permanent character for good among the boys and young men than any other influences combined.
The new secretary has just begun his work, but he has made a good impression and the future of the Y. M. C. A. looks brighter than at any time in its history. It has back of it the encouragement of the best business men of the city.
Y. M. C. A.
Of the small handful of earnest workers who banded together to form the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Y. M. C. A. in 1882, not one is today alive. The work which they did has lasted, however, and the organization is now in a prosperous and healthy condition. All the early records of the auxiliary have been either lost or destroyed, and to find anything concerning the conditions under which it was formed, or the early activities has been not only a difficult but a fruitless task.
The aim of the Ladies' Auxiliary has always been to cooperate with the officers of the Young Men's Christian Association, and aid, in whatever ways have been possible, in making their work easier, better directed, or more productive. They have, for instance, taken up themselves the labor of caring for the dormitories in the Y. M. C. A. building, and have shouldered the care of the various banquets which are given by the association.
At various times when the association has been hard pressed for funds, the Ladies' Auxiliary has been very active in raising money. At the dedication of the Y. M. C. A. building, which was presided over by the famous Evangelist Moody, a very dramatic scene is said to have occurred. One of the members of the Y. M. C. A. who had been very active in the work, announced to the audience the fact that the treasury was bare, and the building was still oppressed with a heavy debt. He called for voluntary subscriptions, but there was only a feeble and half-hearted response. Again and again he called, but there was apparently no enthusiasm. Finally, disheartened by the lack of willingness and generosity, he burst into tears, to the immediate and general consternation of the audience. In an instant one of the members of the Ladies' Auxiliary was on her feet. "We will help you," she cried, "the ladies will help you!" Her enthusiasm was infectious, and the rest of the society immediately caught something of her energy and earnestness. Then and there they subscribed a large sum of money, which they duly paid. At various times since they have aided the Y. M. C. A. by subscribing sums of money.
When "Billy" Sunday held his famous revival meetings in Freeport in 1906, he was instrumental in starting an agitation to pay off the entire indebtedness of the association. About eleven thousand dollars was raised, of which the Ladies' Auxiliary promised to pay one thousand. This voluntary subscription has now been entirely paid, a fact which gives some idea of the energy and enthusiasm of that body, in spite of the fewness of its numbers.
From a mere handful, the membership of the Ladies' Auxiliary has swelled to thirty-five active members in good standing. The officers for the present year are: President, Mrs. Dexter A. Knowlton; vice president, Mrs. Z. T. F. Runner; secretary, Miss Harriet Carnefix; treasurer, Miss Mary Swanzey.
The early history of the Freeport public library is of extreme interest. The institution now known as the Freeport public library had its origin in the "Young Men's Library Association," the origin of which was due to a religious revival held in the city of Freeport during the winter of 1874-75. The original members of the association were the members of a Sunday school class in the First Presbyterian church, the teacher of which was Miss Winnie L. Taylor. The names of the members were: George M. Sheetz, Jacob Stine, D. W. C. Miller, H. A. Swanzey, W. A. Stine, E. H. Becker, Albert Chamberlain, C. C. Wolf, George W. Brown, W. H. Diffenbaugh, R. J. Hazlett.
As these young men complained that they had no place to spend their evenings, Miss Taylor conceived the idea of starting a reading room where they should have an opportunity of meeting evenings, and passing the time pleasantly and profitably. Each of the members of the class subscribed $10, and several lectures and benefit entertainments were held for the benefit of the new library. Rev. Robert Collyer delivered his lecture on "Clear Grit." Hon. W. B. Fairfield, and Rev. E. E. Hall gave readings for the benefit of the venture, and $73 in voluntary contributions from public spirited citizens of Freeport was secured.
The first contribution of which there is any record was that of Mrs. John R. Walsh, of Chicago, who gave $50. Mrs. Walsh was a friend of the Taylors of Freeport, and while visiting at their home, Miss Winnie Taylor, the originator of the library project, succeeding in interesting her in the enterprise. The first contribution of a Freeport citizen was that of Pells Manny, who gave, entirely unsolicited, the sum of $500. In all a total of about $700 was realized, which was invested in substantially bound copies of the standard authors. Rooms were secured for the Young Men's Library Association in Fry's block, which were fitted up in the nature of club rooms, and for a while patronized only by the young men who had started the library.
Presently the general public became so interested that it was deemed advisable to open the library one afternoon each week to the public at large. Saturday afternoons were ever after reserved for outsiders, and the library was presided over by Miss Winnie Taylor, as librarian. The association occupied different rooms. Besides the one above mentioned, which was in Fry's block, rooms were fitted up in McNamara's building, on Stephenson street, and for one year, the association was given the use of quarters in the residence of Oscar Taylor, rent free.
Such was the history of the Young Men's Library Association. Not until fourteen years after its organization was the first Freeport public library formally instituted. In 1889, the first library board was appointed by Mayor Charles Nieman, and on March 30 of that year they held their first meting in the council room of the city hall. The first board consisted of Miss Winnie Taylor, P. H. Murphy, E. P. Barton, Henry Lichtenberger, Will R. Malburn, S. D. Atkins, Miss Mary E. Holder, B. T. Buckley, and D. C. Stover. S. D. Atkins was elected president, and Miss Mary E. Holder was made secretary. Shortly after the organization, Will R. Malburn resigned, and his position was filled by G. W. Warner.
On January 27, 1890, the present by-laws of the association were drawn up, providing for the appointment of a librarian. Up to that time there had been no regular librarian. The library had been conducted under the old regulations of the Young Men's Library Association, it had been open on Saturday afternoons only, and Miss Winnie Taylor had officiated as unpaid librarian.
When the Y. M. C. A. building was built, the city offered to furnish the building stone for the first story and basement of the structure, providing the association would furnish quarters for housing the Freeport public library. This the Y. M. C. A. agreed to do, and as soon as they were finished the public library moved in, opened on May 2, 1890, and continued to occupy the rooms for about ten years. The rooms were located on the first floor, with an entrance on the Walnut street side of the building, which has since been done away with. These quarters were never large enough for the library, from the very beginning, and they steadily became more unsatisfactory. The library grew very rapidly. Miss Harriet Lane, who had been first appointed sole librarian, soon found the duties of her position too arduous to assume alone, and the services of an assistant librarian was required. Miss Minna Kunz filled the position for a short time, and later Miss Eva Milner was engaged as substitute librarian.
All the while that the library occupied the Y. M. C. A. rooms, the Y. M. C. A. itself was growing, and found the quarters which it occupied too cramped. By mutual consent, the association and library decided to separate as soon as a way could be conveniently found. When the new city hall was built, it seemed that the time had come. The city agreed to fit up the second floor for library purposes, and did so, but the result was so highly unsatisfactory that the library board decided to give up the use of the room without delay. The place was not only small, but it was entirely unsuited for library purposes. It has always been regretted by the Freeport people that such a step was ever contemplated, for the city hall is at present marred by a cycle of literary names, which are inscribed in the red sandstone under the eaves. The idea is presumably to give evidence of the fact that a library is housed in the city hall building, but as the library never took possession of those quarters the inscriptions are manifestly inappropriate and out of place.
About 1900 the building of a new building for the exclusive occupancy of the Freeport public library was contemplated, and it was decided to build one. But nothing was done for some months, until the crowded condition of the quarters in the Y. M. C. A. building made it imperative that relief should be found at once. It was about the time that Andrew Carnegie instituted the practice of donating money for the building of libraries, and the great philanthropist was solicited for a contribution for the Freeport public library. He magnanimously presented the library board with the sum of $30,000, which, however, was insufficient for the building. When completed, the present library building cost in the neighborhood of $40,000. The additional $10,000 was donated in part by Dr. W. S. Caldwell, who left a legacy of $2,500 to the library, and in part by subscriptions at large among the philanthropic citizens of Freeport. The board of education leased a suite of rooms on the second story of the building for a period of ten years, at a rental of $12 per month. This helped to pay something toward the library expenses also.
The new library building was opened September 4, 1902. It is unquestionably the handsomest of the public buildings of Freeport. The building is built of red colonial brick with stone trimmings. Vines which were planted when the building was built, eight years ago, have completely overrun the sides and rear of the structure, giving the whole an attractive and picturesque appearance.
The first floor and basement of the building are given over to the Freeport public library, and contain the reading rooms, storerooms and stack rooms of the circulating and reference departments. The second floor is occupied in part by the board of education rooms. The east room is given up to the Historical Museum of Stephenson County.
Plans are being made to move the children's room to the second story of the library, install the reading room in the apartment now occupied by the children's room, and turn the present reading room into a reference room. When the contemplated improvements are accomplished, the library will be more conveniently arranged. The equipment, as concerns shelving, etc., is modern in every particular. The shelves of the main stack room are metallic, and were made by the Fenton Metallic Company, of Jamestown, New York. The Freeport public library is also a government depository, and receives all public documents and congressional records from Washington.
The late Robert R. Hitt, congressman from this district, always took a deep interest in the welfare of the Freeport public library, and it is largely due to his efforts that the collection of public documents is so complete as it is today. His successor, Frank O. Lowden, has also been of great assistance in filling out the collection of government pamphlets and congressional records. These various documents are stored in the basement of the library and occupy about half of that department.
The library is in charge of six able and experienced librarians. Miss Harton, Lane, who is head librarian, has been connected with the institution ever since its organization as the Freeport public library. She is assisted by Miss Eva Milner, reference librarian; Miss Ruth Hughes, children's librarian; and Miss Marguerite Davenport, Mrs. Harvey Hartman, and Miss Emma Burton, substitute librarians.
The library today contains about twenty-eight thousand volumes in its various departments, not including the government document division. The records of the past year show that over sixty-six thousand volumes were drawn from the library. Sixty or more periodicals are taken by the Freeport library, and can be consulted in the reading room. Files are kept of all the Freeport daily papers. The library has at various times received large legacies of libraries from Freeport citizens. Among the largest collections have been the libraries of Horatio C. Burchard and E. P. Barton.
The library board consists of nine members, appointed by the mayor of the city. The board at present in charge consists of O. P. Wright, president; Fred Wagner, secretary; L. L. Munn, treasurer; L. Z. Farwell, Miss Winnie Taylor, Addison Bidwell, Joseph Barron, Harry Hineline, and Robert D. Kuehner, members.
The Freeport public library has had a rapid growth since its establishment in 1890. The annual report of the librarian for June, 1891, shows that the library then contained four thousand, six hundred and seventy-three volumes. A systematic method of increasing the number of volumes followed and the annual report of 1910 shows that the library now contains twenty-eight thousand, one hundred and twelve volumes.
Miss Lane, the efficient librarian, keeps thoroughly posted on new books and the library will be found at all times to be abreast of the times. The needs of organizations, such as churches, schools, the Shakespeare Society, Culture Club, Woman's Club, D. A. R., etc., are given considerable attention and books and magazines are added to supply the wants of these and other organizations.
A comparison of the
reports of 1891 and 1910 affords some interesting contrasts: In 1891,
thirty thousand, three hundred and fifty-one volumes were loaned; in 1910,
sixty- four thousand, two hundred and sixty-nine.
Itemized lists follow:
Fiction 16,602 40,991
Juvenile 10,400 12,246
Travel 958 1,069
Poetry 265 ....
History 864 1,066
Science 284 826
Biography 334 866
German 194 ....
Religion 106 619
Essays 152 ....
Art and music 135 ....
Useful arts 579
Fun arts 450
Foreign literature .... 1,646
Current periodicals 807
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Stories, Volume 1
HOSPITALS OF FREEPORT
The hospitals of Freport are three in number: St Francis, the Globe Hospital, and the White Sanitorium. All are elegant in their appointments, and for comfort and general completeness of equipment are hardly surpassed by any similar institutions in a town of the size of Freeport. The oldest of the three, St. Francis Hospital, is maintained by the Catholic sisters of St. Francis, and supported by the congregation of St. Joseph's German Catholic church.
St. Francis Hospital is located on that beautiful natural eminence known as Walnut Hill in the southern portion of the city, on Walnut, near Empire street. The site is most beautiful, being high and dry, and commanding a superb view of the city and its suburbs. Of late years the neighborhood has been built up, but when the institution was founded it was practically bare of houses. A contemporary account describes the hospital as a "large, four story brick edifice, occupying a beautiful site just on the southern boundary of the city, and surrounded on the west and south by broad fields and green meadows, bounded by groves of pine and rugged oaks." The "broad fields and green meadows" have given place to pleasant stretches of green lawn and shaded park, and there has been a mushroom growth of beautiful and substantial residences. The "groves of pine and oak" remain, however, and in the midst of one of them St. Francis Hospital stands, the pioneer structure of Walnut Hill, and still one of those numerous public buildings in which the people of Freeport take wellgrounded pride.
The building was erected in 1889, at a cost of $20,000, and was dedicated on the 12th of February, 1890. Two days after the dedication the first patient was admitted, and the hospital has since continued to receive the patronage of the sick and afflicted of all classes, nationalities, and religious sects. The hospital is a charitable institution, and although conducted by a Catholic organization and cared for by Catholic Franciscan nuns, its inmates are not chosen with regard to race, color, religion, sect, or nationality. During the first year of its career the hospital cared for sixty-eight patients. The second year one hundred and forty-six were cared for, showing that the institution had increased in reputation and popularity. Since that time the increase has been consistent with the growth of the city.
All the leading physicians of Freeport have availed themselves of the privileges of St. Francis Hospital. The institution has no regularly appointed staff of physicians, and each patient is at liberty to choose his or her attendant. In addition to the work carried on in the hospital itself, the sisters of St. Francis nurse patients in private families, and carry on much charitable and remunerative work outside as an extended department of the institution. The expenses of the hospital are met in part by the contributions of patients, who pay as much as they are able, and in part by the charitable and benevolent societies of St. Joseph's church. A large sum was recently left to St. Francis Hospital by J. B. Taylor, one of Freeport's oldest citizens, whose death occurred within the past year. Mr. Taylor was not a Catholic himself, but was a generous and philanthropic man by nature, and had always taken an active interest in the affairs of St. Francis Hospital and St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum.
The hospital building is a model of convenience and utility. It is spacious, and well ventilated, finished in oak throughout and supplied with every convenience known to architect and sanitary engineer. It is of brick, four stories high, with stone basement and a handsome tower. It is heated with steam, and lighted with gas and electricity. In 1903 a large addition was built on the south end of the hospital, the needs of the institution having outgrown the old building. The new addition is of pressed brick, four stories in height, and contains, besides some of the most modern and elegantly furnished apartments of the hospital, a large chapel in which mass is read by the priests of St. Joseph's parish. All the rooms of both buildings are supplied with hot and cold water. In the basement are located the kitchen, dining room and laundry, and also a room for paupers. The first floor contains the parlors, reception room, operating room, physicians' offices, sisters' apartments, bath rooms, etc. The other floors are devoted to wards. The total value of the property, together with the new addition, is about $35,000.
The White Sanitarium
on the corner of North Galena avenue and Clark avenue, is a model institution
of its kind. It differs from the other hospitals of Freeport in having
a regular corps of physicians and surgeons of its own. These are Dr. J.
T. White, Dr. R. M. White, Dr. R. H. Shaw, and Dr. W. C. Leeper. Dr. Littlejohn,
of Chicago, and Dr. C. C. Kost, of Dixon, were also
at one time connected with the White institution.
The first White Sanitarium
was established in 1898-9 by Dr. J. T. White, who came here from Missouri.
He was a graduate of the Missouri Medical College, and a post-graduate
of Johns Hopkins University, and has had considerable experience in his
chosen field. He first established his office and located his rooms at
his own residence on Douglas avenue, near Cherry street. His practice
grew and he presently saw fit to establish a sanitarium at the same
place. In 1901 he was joined by his brother, Dr. Rooert M. White, who became a partner in the business. Dr. R. M. White was a graduate of the Still College of Osteopathy of Des Moines, and of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago.
The Drs. White remained at the Douglas Avenue Sanitarium for only one year, at the end of which time the Younger property on the corner of Clark and North Galena avenues was purchased. An extensive addition was made before the sanitarium moved to its new home, and the grounds and attached buildings were considerably improved.
For two years Dr. David Little John, of Chicago, was on the staff of physicians of the White Sanitarium. Soon after his departure his place was filled by Dr. C. C. Kost, of Dixon. Dr. Kost stayed in Freeport about a year. He has been since succeeded by Dr. R. H. Shaw and Dr. W. C. Leeper. Dr. Shaw is a graduate of Iowa State University, and of the College of Physicians and Surgeon of Chicago. Dr. Leeper graduated from Vanderbilt University, at Nashville, Tennessee, and finished his medical training at the Illinois Medical School, and at Columbia University, New York. Under the management of these skilled and competent physicians the career of the institution has been one of marked success.
The latest addition to the group of buildings forming the White Sanitarium was the commodious west wing known as the Hospital Annex, which was erected in 1907, at a cost of $21,000. Another edifice to the west of this is now contemplated, and when the whole is finished the sanitorium property will comprise the greater part of the land bounded by North Galena avenue, Walnut street and Clark avenue. The land west of the sanitorium is already in the hands of the sanitorium directors and plans for building have been made.
The White Sanitorium also conducts a nurses' training school known as the Christian Training School, which was established by Miss Winifred Taylor and Dr. J. T. White in 1905. Miss Taylor has always taken a deep interest in the affairs of the training school, and is now its president. Fifteen nurses of the training school are in the service of the sanitorium all the year round.
The management of this corporation is unique and unlike that of any other hospital doing business in this section of the state in that its physicians are entirely in its employ, receiving only a salary for their services with an idea that no patient's financial condition will influence their diagnosis or treatment. In this way it is all the same to the physicians whether the patient pays much or nothing as he is wholly dependent upon the corporation and the patient receives an entirely independent opinion.
The institution is up to date in every respect, in equipment, methods, and all the appurtenances thereto. The buildings are at present one of the boasts of the city, and when the new addition is completed, the White Sanitorium will be a permanent monument to the indefatigable zeal and energy of its founder. The institution has facilities for caring for forty-five patients. The property assets of the corporation have grown until they almost reach the $100,000 valuation.
Globe Hospital. The newest of the Freeport hospitals is Globe Hospital. The hospital is an incorporated association, under the act of February 22, 1900, the incorporators being the first directors. The hospital was opened July 1, 1902, on West Stephenson street, and occupies the building formerly owned by the late Horatio Burchard, who sold it to the Globe Hospital about seven years before his death.
He had occupied it himself for fifteen years, and previous to that time, it had been the residence of Colonel Shaffer, who was afterward appointed governor of Utah. As the original building was somewhat small, it was enlarged, and fitted up with the latest and best modern hospital equipments, including fine operating rooms, an X-ray room, elevator, heating plant, electric lights, etc. There are forty-two beds in the hospital, and on an average twenty patients are being cared for at the hospital at all seasons.
The hospital was originally a part of the Knights of the Globe Home, and it was intended that the hospital should supplement the larger institution. The hospital has, however, become the most important part of the home, and has taken an important place among the hospitals, not only of Freeport, but of northern Illinois. Dr. W. W. Krape was the founder of the hospital, as he was of the Order of the Knights of the Globe, and has since continued to be identified with the directing staff.
There is no regularly appointed medical staff. The physicians of Freeport and of the county have all been considered as members of the staff, and every physician within a radius of fifty miles is considered as a member of the medical advisory staff. The work of the hospital is strictly charitable. No person suffering or needing care, whose disease is not a prohibited contagious one, has ever been turned away from Globe Hospital because of inability to pay. The institution was founded with charitable work in view, and has since done yearly charitable work to the extent of about $500 per annum. The nurses of Globe Hospital are at the command of rich and poor alike outside of the hospital whenever needed.
There is a great demand for an old people's home and orphanage in connection with Globe Hospital, and in the near future the management expects to erect a cottage for old people on the hospital grounds. A number of rooms have been set aside at the hospital for the accommodation of old people, but arrangements are not yet entirely satisfactory. It would indeed be a public service if some philanthropic citizen were to give money for the erection of a home and orphanage,
There is also a nurses' training school, founded in 1903, which is conducted in connection with the hospital. Nineteen nurses have graduated from the school since its foundation. Miss Anna R. Pengilly, superintendent of the hospital, is in charge of the school, assisted by Miss Emma Bluhm, head nurse. A nurses' cottage of eight rooms has been erected on the grounds adjoining the hospital.
No hospital has a greater patronage than Globe Hospital. The delightful situation of the hospital, the careful and painstaking treatment which patients receive, and the excellent equipment of the institution have given Globe Hospital a name and reputation among every class of citizen in Freeport. The hospital is, of course, entirely non-sectarian, and aims to serve every one of its patients without discrimination as to religious belief, or any other consideration of the sort. A large number of patients are cared for annually, and the capacities of the hospital building are taxed to the utmost. An addition to the building is contemplated in the near future, if sufficient funds can be secured for its completion. The hospital is in every way an ideally conducted institution, and all who have enjoyed its privileges have testified as to the excellent manner in which the patients are cared for.
DAUGHTERS SETTLEMENT HOME
There have been numberless charitable organizations in the city of Freeport, and some of them have put in some really effective work. But, until the founding of the King's Daughters Settlement Home, there was a lack of system, an absence of unified and continuous effort, which rendered a great part of the earnest and conscientious labor as good as worthless. Since that organization has taken upon itself the bulk of charitable work among the poor of the city, the results have not only been gratifying, but in many cases astonishing. Much of the labor carried on by the settlement home is of the sort that cannot be written about. There is no publicity attached to it, and the vast majority of the townspeople know very little about the deal of good which is being done daily in the little rooms of East Stephenson street. Too much credit cannot be given to the earnest and unceasing labors of the noble women who have given their lives to the work of reclaiming lost souls and bettering the condition of Freeport's poor, socially, morally, religiously, and materially. There has been no "spread eagle" about the settlement work and, in fact, the ladies connected with the project have been so modest concerning their undertaking that the public in general is uniformed as to the achievements of the past six years.
A historical sketch cannot pretend to give any idea of the amount of good which has been done by the settlement home, but it may perhaps convey something of the scope of the work, and the branches of activity which have been taken up by the ladies in charge.
The King's Daughters Settlement Home was organized in 1904, but not incorporated until September 13, 1909. It was an outgrowth of the Deaconess Home, which was carried on under the supervision of the two Methodist churches of the city. The deaconesses aimed to carry on the same sort of work that is at present undertaken by the workers of the settlement home, but the field of their activity was necessarily more limited. The Deaconess' Home was located for a time on the corner of North Galena avenue and West street, and later on the corner of Van Buren street and Oak place.
For many years the deaconesses had done a good work in Freeport. At length, when, owing to various complications at the time of building the First M. E. Church, that congregation did not feel equal to the task of providing for the maintenance of the work, the deaconesses withdrew from their support altogether, and this wise step enabled them to have the support of all the churches and their congregations, rather than only two of them. A store building was rented on East Stephenson street, in the poorest district of the city, and there under the auspices of the Comforting Circle of King's Daughters, the Settlement Home was established. The three deaconesses who were instrumental in the work were Miss Ollie G. Webster, who has since left the city, Miss Margaret Niblo, and Mrs. Eva M. Bailey.
The home, which was at first known as the Deaconess' Coffee House and Settlement Home, became afterward known as the King's Daughters Mission and Settlement Home. Nearly two hundred names appeared on the list of subscribers who promised to help provide for the maintenance of the institution among them many business firms of the city, and the several charitable organizations of the churches, such as the Amity Society, Comforting Circle King's Daughters, Ministering Circle King's Daughters, Women Workers of the First Presbyterian church, etc.
Various departments of instruction, entertainment and education are provided by the settlement workers for the poor of the city. An innovation of the past year has been a class in manual training for the boys, which met with great favor among the boys so great, indeed, that they clamored for instruction every night in the week instead of one, as was originally offered. Mr. Lebkicher acted as instructor for a while, and was succeeded by Mr. Barrett, who will teach the class next year. There has been also a "Bird Club" for the boys, under the patronage and tutelage of Miss Marion Clark. The aim of the Bird Club was to awake and stimulate humanitarian ideas in the minds of the boys, and to instill a love for the beautiful feathered creatures which are so beneficial to man.
The regular departments of work included the cooking class, the industrial school, the employment bureau, the Sunday school, the mothers' club, as well as the above mentioned organizations. The cooking class is composed of an enthusiastic club of girls under the direction of Miss Laura Clark. Much good must come from this work, as the girls are taught to prepare nutritious foods from inexpensive materials.
The industrial school under the supervision of Mrs. Bailey is one of the most important branches of the work. There are two divisions: the primary department, and the girls' sewing department. Mrs. Bailey has been ably assisted by a corps of eight excellent workers. The primary department has been in charge of the Misses Katharine and Jeannette Porter, Mrs. Osmer, Mrs. Wickler, Miss Marion Clark, and Miss Riefsnyder. The advanced department has been taught by Mrs. Wm. H. Foil, and Mrs. Henry W. Hamilton.
The employment bureau is an important phase of the work. The bureau finds that the supply of workers does not equal the demand for them. If any one in Freeport is without legitimate employment, it must be because that individual has not sought assistance from the King's Daughters Settlement Home Employment Bureau. An effort is made to provide the employer with reliable help, and to secure for an employee a just employer.
The Sunday school meets every Sunday afternoon at three o'clock. The adults' Bible class has been well attended and has been a great boon to mothers and fathers with little ones, who would otherwise be deprived of the privilege of the study of God's word. The young ladies' class holds its session in the parlors upstairs, and is doing much toward inculcating principles of purity in the hearts of these girls. The intermediate class is by far the largest, numbering sometimes thirty-five or forty, and is doing much good. The primary division is flourishing. The attendance is large, and the lesson hour of the class is the happy hour of the week for the little ones. The truths impressed upon their minds and hearts in story and song will fill a large place in the development of their future lives.
The mothers' club continues to be one of the most successful of the clubs at the home. The membership has increased, as well as the attendance at the meetings, which are held the second and fourth Thursday afternoons of each month. Many outside friends of the club contribute to the interest and enjoyment of the programs. Instrumental and vocal music, readings, and recitations, besides talks and papers have all helped to make the meetings a success. An effort is being made to induce the members to subscribe for the "Mothers' Magazine," and under the able and enthusiastic direction of the vice president, Mrs. Simmons, the work committee has accomplished much during the year.
The annual budget of the King's Daughters Settlement Home is defrayed by rummage sales, tag day, shower parties, and the subscriptions which must be met through the generosity of the public. Aboard of lady managers is in charge of the work. The officers for the year are: President, Miss Gertrude Converse; vice president, Mrs. J. A. Clark; secretary, Mrs. P. O. Stiver; treasurer, Miss Myrtelle Hoover; workers, Mrs. Eva M. Bailey; Miss Margaret Niblo.
The Oakland Cemetery Association was organized August, 1901, by a company of Freeport gentlemen, nearly all of whom are still connected with the enterprise today. Of the large number of public spirited citizens who united to provide the city of Freeport with more suitable cemetery facilities, the following were elected officers President, William Trembor; vice president, C. W. Harden; secretary, C. F. Hildreth; treasurer, Joseph Emmert; superintendent, Owen T. Smith.
In less than a year, the offices of secretary and superintendent were combined, and Mr. Hildreth resigned from his position. The post of secretary-superintendent has since been filled by Mr. Smith. Oakland Cemetery embraces a large tract of wooded land in Florence Township, on the Pearl City road. One hundred and eight acres in all are owned by the association, thirty acres of which are used for cemetery purposes. The original plans of the cemetery were drawn up by O. C. Simonds, a landscape gardener of Chicago, and provide for the further development of thirty additional acres as fast as they are needed. Further than that no plans for the development of the land have been made.
The cemetery sells lots in accordance with the long plan, which provides for the perpetual care of the grounds, A board of trustees is appointed to care for the permanent fund set aside from the income from the sale of lots to insure the perpetual care of the grounds and lots.
The cemetery itself is most beautiful. A description of the growth will be found elsewhere. The place has been in use since August, 1902, when the first burial, that of Mrs. Homer F. Aspimvall, was made. The old soldiers have a lot decorated with cannons from Fort Delaware which were given them by the government. A large number of burials have been made at Oakland Cemetery since the institution was organized, and many lots are at present being moved from the old city cemetery on Lincoln avenue to the new grounds west of the town. The present officers of the association are President, Joseph Emmert; vice president, C. W. Harden; treasurer, A. S. Held; secretary-superintendent, O. T. Smith.
OLD SETTLERS' ASSOCIATION.
The Stephenson County Old Settlers' Association has held annual meetings every year beginning in 1870. The meetings are held at Cedarville. The annual meetings have been held in three beautiful groves; first, in Montelius' Grove, then in Addams' Grove, near the schoolhouse, and finally in the present grove north of the village.
In the fall of 1869
the idea of holding annual Old Settlers' Reunions began to take form.
December 16, 1879, a public meeting was held in the courthouse at Freeport,
to take steps toward an organization. Mr. D. A. Knowlton, Sr., was elected
chairman and L. W. Guiteau, secretary. The following committee was appointed
to report the following Saturday James Turnbull and Samuel Gunsaul, Winslow;
Levi Robey and Samuel K. Fisher, Waddams; Luman
Montague and Thomas French, West Point; Williard P. Naramore and Jacob Gable, Kent; Andrew Hinds and Bissell P. Belknap, Oneco; John H. Addams and James M. Smith, Buckeye; Robert Bell and William B. Mitchell, Lancaster; Calvin Preston and Samuel Chambers, Rock Grove; S. E. M. Carnefix and Stephen Seeley, Rock Run; John Brown and Harrison Diemer, Dakota; A. J. Niles and D. W. C. Mallory, Ridott; Charles H. Rosenstiel and Fred Baker, Silver Creek; Conrad Van Brocklin and Anson A. Babcock, Florence; Ralph Sabin and John Lamb, Loran; Samuel Hayes, Jefferson; Pascal L. Wright and Perez A. Tisdel, Harlem; Thomas Kaufman and Alanson Bacon, Erin; E. Ordway, William Smith, W. G. Waddell, Thomas C. Gatliff, Benjamin Goddard, O. W. Brewster, Jere Pattison, George Purinton and Isaac C. Stoneman, Freeport.
At the meeting on Saturday the following committee was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws, to provide a permanent organization and to arrange for future meetings Geo. Purinton, L. W. Guiteau, M. Hettinger, D. A. Knowlton and W. S. Gray. The next meeting was held January i, 1870, and the following were elected officers President, Levi Robey; secretaries, George Purinton and D. H. Sutherland; treasurer, L. W. Guiteau; vice presidents, W. H. Eels, B. P. Belknap, Charles T. Kleckner, John Brown, William B. Mitchell, A. W. Lucas, H. P. Waters, F. Baker, Benjamin Goddard, Pascal Wright, C. Van Brocklin, Luman Montague, Hubbard Graves, Jacob Gable, Samuel Hayes and Alanson Bacon.
The first meeting was held in Cedarville, September 6, 1870. President Levi Robey was in the chair. The secretary being absent, on motion, Jackson Richert was elected secretary. On motion of John H. Addams, article three of the constitution was amended to read as follows "Any person may become a member of this society who is a citizen of Stephenson County, by signing the constitution and paying the sum of twenty-five cents."
A call was made for all old settlers from 1834 to 1840 to stand. Quite a number of ladies and gentlemen stood up. Short speeches and responses were made by President Levi Robey, Luman Montague, Henry Eels, I. W. Guiteau, Levi Lucas, Rev. B. H. Cartright and others. It was voted to hold the next meeting August 30, 1871, at Cedarville.
The second meeting held August 30, 1871, in Montelius' Grove. Cedarville was well attended, Levi Robey, president, and Jackson Richart, secretary. Music well, Oneco; J. Radebaugh, Winslow; Luman Montague, West Point; Hubbard was furnished by the Cedarville Glee Club. The vice presidents were L. CaldGraves, Waddams; F. Bolender, Buckeye; John Brown, Dakota; W. C. Lunks, Rock Run; R. Farburn, Ridott; R. Bell, Lancaster; T. L. Wright, Harlem; B. Goddard, Freeport; E. Bacon, Erin; J. B. Timms, Kent; S. Hayes, Loran; Conrad Van Brocklin, Florence; F. Baker, Silver Creek; Dr. W. P. Narramore, Lena.
Levi Robey and wife stood up at the call for 1834; L. Montague, S. Chambers, Mr. Berry and J. B. Timms for 1835; L. Goodrich, 1836; T. Wilcoxen, J. Richert, G. H. Barber, Josiah Clingman, 1837; B. Belknapp, C. Caldwell, M. Bolender, J. Murdock and S. Rotrough, 1838. Speeches were made by Levi Robey, Luman Montague, S. Chambers, J. B. Timms, T. Wilcoxen, Mr. Belknapp, Mr. Rotrough and Rev. B. H. Cartwright. The main theme of the speeches was the conditions of the early days, with special reference to the friendship and sociability of the people.
At the meeting of 1872, August 28, at Montelius' Grove, President Robey presided and Rev. Donmeyer offered prayer. On motion of J. H. Addams, a committee was appointed to draft a new constitution, the old one having been lost. The chairman appointed the following: J. H. Addams, Judge Hines, Hon. James Taggart, Fred Bolender and Michael Gift. The meeting in 1873 was held in Montelius' Grove, Levi Robey president. Rev. John Lynn offered prayer. Music was furnished by the Dakota Brass Band. L. W. Guiteau, Fred Bolender and William Wright were appointed to secure some one to make an historical address in 1874. A committee of one from each township was appointed to secure statistics of the early settlements.
The annual meeting of 1874 was held in Addams' Grove near the Union school, Cedarville. At this meeting William Wright read a sketch of Harlem Township's early settlers. At the 1875 meeting, Addams' Grove, August 25, speeches were made by Hon. H. C. Burchard, J. H. Addams, Rev. B. H. Cartwright, L. W. Guiteau, S. D. Atkins and Jared Sheetz. Dr. W. P. Narramore was elected president; Jackson Richert, secretary, and William Wright, treasurer.
In 1876 Levi Robey was elected president. U. D. Meacham addressed the meeting on the early settlers and progress of the county. Hon. Andrew Hinds addressed the meeting of 1877, August 29, Mr. Robey being president.
In 1878, August 28, J. H. Addams, chairman of the obituary committee, reported the deaths of Conrad Van Brocklin, E. Ordway, James Brown, Johnathan Reitzell, John B. Johnson, Martin Brubaker. Samuel Lapp. Solomon Rutheroff, Charles Smallwood, W. Pundlett, Mrs. Gross, P. T. Ellis and Mrs, E. S. Caldwell.
In 1879 the officials were: President, Levi Robey; secretary, Jackson Richert; treasurer, William Wright. August 25, 1880, was a rainy day but the attendance was fair. Vice president, John H. Addams, presided. The following deaths were reported: George Reitzell, L. W. Guiteau, John Wilson, James Hart, Samuel Bechtold, George Lamb, Mrs. Aaron Chamberlain, Mrs. Isaac Stoneman, Mrs. Andrew St. John, Reuben Laver, John Gregory, John Seidler, Henry Smith, Joseph Baumgartner and Adam Hutmacher.
In 1881, General Smith D. Atkins addressed the meeting, August 31. Rev. James Schofield and D. A. Knowlton, Dr. Fred Byers, of Monroe, Rev. Kroh, Hon. R. R. Hitt, Hon. H. C. Burchard and D. S. Brewster also spoke. Bissell P. Belknapp was elected president. In 1882 addresses were made by General S. D. Atkins, Levi Robey, Judge Coates and L. L. Munn. Belknapp was president again in 1883.
In 1884 Dr. W. P. Narramore was president; John Wright, secretary; and Henry Richert, treasurer. Speeches were made by Major N. C. Warner of Rockford, by Thomas French, S. D. Atkins, O. B. Munn, Hiram Clingman and Dr. Narramore. August 26, 1885, Hon. Isaac Rice of Ogle County made the address of the day. At the 1886, General Atkins, Giles Turneaure and W. P. Narramore were made obituary committee. Hon. J. S. Cochran, Hon. E. L. Taylor, Judge Dinwiddie, Isaac Kleckner and Levi Robey spoke.
In 1887 Dr. Fred Byers, General Smith D. Atkins and Hon. Michael Stoskopf addressed the meeting. In 1888 Rev. John Lynn, Professor C. C. Snyder, Hon. R. H. Wiles, James McNamara, Levi Robey and General Smith D. Atkins were the speakers. In 1889, August 28, the music was by the Henney Band. The speakers were Rev. H. A. Ott, Freeport, H. M. Timms, R. R. Hitt, Levi Robey and H. C. Burchard.
In 1890 the officials were Dr. W. P. Narramore, president; J. W. Adams, secretary; and Henry Richert, treasurer. The speaker of the day was Governor J. W. Fifer. John K. Brewster and S. J. Dodds also addressed the meeting.
In 1908, Dr. Narramore resigned the office of president. He had served twenty-five years, with the exception of one year when David Brewster was president. In 1908 General Smith D. Atkins was elected president, a position he still holds. Frank W. Clingman has been secretary since 1897.
In 1909 about one thousand eight hundred people attended the Old Settlers' Annual Meeting. Hon. Charles B. Selby was the orator of the day. Speeches were also made by Hon. Stephen Rigney and Hon. Martin Dillon. President Smith D. Atkins has arranged for the 1910 meeting to be held August 31, at Cedarville. Good music and an orator of reputation will be secured.
The program has been completed for the forty-first annual meeting of the old settlers of Stephenson county, which will be held in the Old Settlers' grove, one-quarter of a mile northeast of Cedarville, Wednesday, August 31. A feature of the day's outing will be the old-fashioned basket picnic at noon. The chief speaker of the day will be Honorable Benson Wood, of Effingham. Mr. Wood is one of the best known orators in the state. He is an ex-member of congress and is also prominent in G. A. R. circles, having been commander of the G. A. R. department of Illinois.
The program complete is as follows: Call to order. Music by Cedar Cliff band. Prayer by chaplain, Rev. J. H. Keagle, Cedarville. Welcome address, Earl J. Smith, Cedarville. Response, Rev. W. D. Marburger, Bunker Hill, 111., Military Academy. Reading of minutes. Treasurer's report. Election of officers. Music, Cedar Cliff band. Adjournment for dinner. Band concert i to 2 p. m. Annual address, Honorable Benson Wood. Short addresses by old settlers and others. Music by Cedar Cliff band. Warm meals will be served by the ladies of the United Evangelical Church at Cedarville for 25 cents.
The officers of the association are: Smith D. Atkins, president; Henry Richart, treasurer; F. W. Clingman, secretary; Clinton Fink, obituary secretary; executive committee, M. B. Humphrey, Wm. Clingman, S. B. Barber, Jr., J. F. Kryder, S. W. Frank and Luther Angle.
It is expected that the gathering this year will be fully up to the record set last year when between two and three thousand were present. Honorable Charles E. Selby, of Springfield, was the speaker a year ago. The old settlers have always been addressed by able men of the state, such leading citizens of Illinois as Cullom, Lowden and Oglesby having been on previous programs. The first meeting was held in Freeport, forty-one years ago and there are some living today who attended that initial gathering. It is expected that Freeport will send a large delegation to Cedarville the last day of this month.
GREAT STORM OF JUNE, 1869
On June 19, 1869, Freeport was the victim of a most violent storm. The wind was terrific and for hours the rain poured in torrents. The branch south of Galena street over-flowed, cellars were filled, the south part of town was cut off and people could not get to their homes. The sidewalk at Chicago street was washed away some distance. Damage was extensive at Kuehners, Pattison's Machine Shop, Hoebels and the Gas Works. John B. Taylor's Tannery, on Jackson street, suffered a loss of over $3,000, the dam being washed out, the vats swept away, and eighty cords of bark and forty sides of leather washed away. All over town large trees were blown down. The barber shop at the corner of Van Buren and Stephenson streets, under Pelton & Company's Jewelry store was flooded. The cellars of John Hoebel's saloon and of the middle ditch, Potter & Company, wholesale liquor house were also flooded. The total damage to Freeport was estimated at $50,000.
The present courthouse was begun in 1870 and finished in 1873. To make way for the new structure the old building was hauled away to the lower end of Douglas avenue and used as a machine shop. The first courthouse was built by Thomas J. Turner who took the contract from the county commissioners in 1837. Julius Smith directed the work of getting out the timbers in the winter of 1837-8. It was a two-story frame structure, and in its earliest day was considered a marvel of architecture. A writer of an early history says it was considered to surpass in size and elegance all other buildings west of Detroit and north of St. Louis. It stood as Stephenson County's Temple of Justice from 1838 to 1870.
During that time many notable men did duty within its walls as judges or as attorneys at the bar. Among those were Martin P. Sweet, Seth B. Farwell, Thomas J. Turner, Thompson Campbell, Thomas Drummond, Joseph L. Hoge, James L. Loop, Joseph Knox, Jason Marsh, Benjamin R. Sheldon, E. D. Baker, E. B. Washburne, Burnap, Charles Betts, John A. Clark, U. D. Meacham, H. C. Burchard, J. M. Bailey, F. W. S. Brawley, John Coates, J. C. Kean, Hiram Bright, Charles F. Bagg, Thomas F. Goodhue and others.
During the early days the old courthouse served as a meeting place for new congregations before they could build churches. It was there too that mass meetings were held, conventions and railroad meetings, but as early as 1850 citizens and the newspapers began to complain that the old courthouse was not in keeping with the progress of the county. It was argued that a community would be known by its public buildings, and Freeport should have a more modern structure as a means of attracting settlers and building up the town. But there was always opposition, and no definite steps were taken toward the erection of a new building till 1869.
The board of supervisors in 1869 consisted of the following: Charles H. Rosenstiel, John Burrell, J. A. Grimes, George Osterhort, C. F. Mayer, H. H. Becker, Francis Boeke, James McFatrick, S. K. Fisher, Peter Marlin, James A. Templeton, H. O. Frankeberger, Andrew Hinds, Samuel Wilber, John H. Williams, Ralph Sabin and A. A. Babcock. A committee was instituted to secure plans for a new courthouse, to cost not exceeding $80,000. This was April 22, 1869. On. February 22, 1870, the plans of E. E. Myers of Springfield were accepted. The contract to build the new house was let to A. Walbaum & Company. A building committee consisting of S. K. Fisher, Ralph Sabin, George Osterhort, A. P. Goddard, Andrew Hinds and Peter Marlin, was appointed April 23. During the summer the corner stone was laid.
The new courthouse was dedicated February 22, 1873. The total cost of building and equipment was $130,413.56. The building is of stone, 99 x 80, four stories high including basement and mansard roof. The clock was placed in the tower by A. W. Ford, who is still in business as a jeweler in Freeport near the City Hall. The clock weighed two thousand pounds. The pendulum is eight and a half feet long, and the weights necessary to run the clock weigh nine hundred and fifty pounds. The clock was built by the Seth Thomas & Sons, of Connecticut. The bell weighs one thousand eight hundred and fifty pounds and was cast at the foundry of E. A. & G. Meneley of Troy, New York.
On the first floor, following around to the right, are the following offices in order County clerk, county treasurer, county court, county supervisors, county sheriff, and clerk of the circuit court. On the second floor, in the northwest corner, is the office of the county superintendent. Until the winter of 1909-10, the state's attorney had his office in the southeast corner of the building. At that time Hon. Louis H. Burrell, state's attorney, moved the office to a suite of rooms over the Knowlton Bank. The room vacated is now used by the state's attorney only during the time that court is in session.
The county superintendent uses the two rooms on the top floor, one as an examination room and one as a library and reading room for teachers. This was established by County Superintendent Cyrus Grove in the fall of 1909.
At present, the circuit room is being remodeled. It has always possessed poor acoustic qualities. The court room is to be smaller. Jury rooms, a witness room and a room to be added to the county superintendent's office are to be cut off the old court room.
The first county jail was built of logs, probably by Thomas J. Turner. It was located on the corner of Cherry and Exchange, now the site of the First Ward school. Before the jail was completed, prisoners were guarded, it is said, by armed citizens. The old log jail did a big business in its day. The presence of outlaws, counterfeiters, horsethieves and claim-jumpers in the community made frequent demands for jail space. Breaking out of jail was not uncommon, for the class of criminals of that day was desperate in the extreme. The "night watch," patrolling the premises was necessary to establish reasonable security. Before the log jail was completed, a few law breakers were imprisoned in William Baker's root house.
The criminal business soon outgrew the log jail, partly for lack of room and partly, too, for greater security. The "Little Stone Jug" was adopted as a county jail. This stone bastile was located north of the present jail. The citizens now believed that jail deliveries would cease. In this belief they were disappointed, for the passion for freedom was strong.
It is one of the anomalies of history that a progressive civilization demands jail facilities that are both secure and commodious. In the fall of 1875, the county supervisors, under the inspiration of a large jail delivery, decided to build a new bastile. This action was taken November 4, and a committee appointed to secure specifications for a jail to cost not exceeding $35,000. The committee consisted of John Erfert, A. H. Hinds, J. H. Pierce and F. A. Darling.
The committee visited Rockford, Joliet, Dixon and Monroe and inspected the jails of those cities. The contract was finally let to W. H. Myers, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who completed the present jail at the corner of Exchange and North Galena. The plans were furnished by T. J. Tolan & Sons, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The building is made of brick and stone, contains the home for the sheriff besides the county jail. The total cost of the building and lot completed, was $40,553.00.
FREEPORT POST OFFICE
The Freeport Post office has kept pace with the growth and development of the county. The spring of 1836 the mail was delivered by Thomas Grain, founder of Grain's Grove. There was no established office till 1837 when B. R. Wilmot became postmaster in a small room on Galena street. In 1842 L. W. Guiteau was postmaster with an office at the corner of South Galena ave. and Galena streets. The mail was received daily by the stage. Hon. Thomas J. Turner was next in position and kept the office in his residence in Galena street between Van Buren and Chicago streets. From 1843 to 1849 Attorney A. T. Green was the town postmaster. The office was at the corner of Van Buren and Galena streets and later at the corner of Chicago and Stephenson.
George Reitzell conducted the office at the corner of Van Buren and Stephenson streets from May, 1849, to 1853, when F. W. S. Brawley took charge at the corner of North Galena ave. and Exchange streets. From 1858 to 1861 Mr. Charles S. Bagg conducted the office at the corner of Chicago and Exchange streets and was succeeded by Mr. C. K. Judson who served till 1865 when General Smith D. Atkins was appointed by President Lincoln. An attempt to have Mr. Atkins removed because he was not a follower of the Andrew Johnson faction failed.
The General continued to hold the office under General Grant's Presidency, and it was said that he was the only postmaster who remained under Grant that had served during Johnson's term. General Atkins continued to hold the office under Hayes, Garfield and Arthur. The election of Cleveland in 1884 and again in 1892, caused the appointment of Democrat and Mr. John F. Smith served from 1885 to 1889, and F. Charles Donohue from 1893 to 1897. From 1889 to 1893, during Harrison's term, General Atkins was again postmaster and in 1897, after the election of McKinley he was again appointed and has since held the position by appointment under President Roosevelt and President Taft. During these 45 years of service as postmaster, under Presidents Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft, the business of the office has had a remarkable growth, the rural delivery and city delivery systems have been established and the present government building erected. Today Freeport has a more efficient service and a better building than most cities of her population.
The county officials now holding office are: County Judge, A. J. Clarity, of Lena; County Clerk, Fred C. Held; Circuit Clerk, C. D. Cramer; State's Attorney, Louis H. Burrell; Sheriff, William C. Milner; County Treasurer, Barton G. Cooper; County Superintendent of Schools, Cyrus Grove; County Surveyor, W. H. Butterfield; Coroner, Dr. M. M. Baumgartner. The Board of Review consists of James Rezner, chairman; H. N. Hartzell, secretary, and Al. Freuh. The Board of Supervisors for 1910-11 is made up of the following:
Town. Supervisor. Post office.
Jefferson Fred Byers, Loran.
Loran . D. L. Mitchell, Pearl City.
Florence John Bruce, Freeport, R. R. i.
Silver Creek Fred Bangasser, Freeport, R. R. 5.
Ridott William T. Lamb, Ridott.
Rock Run Fred Alberstett, Davis.
Lancaster James Rezner, Freeport.
Freeport John Bauscher, Jr., Freeport.
Freeport Frank Lohr, Freeport.
Freeport Phillip Molter, Freeport.
Freeport J. H. Bamberger, Freeport.
Freeport O. E. Stine, Freeport.
Harlem Thomas Pigney, Sciota Mills.
Erin W. H. Kauffman Lena, R. R. 2.
Kent R. R. Thompson, Kent.
West Point M. F. Halladay, Lena.
Waddams Wm. J. Wachlin, McConnell.
Buckeye F. W. Clingman, Cedarville.
Dakota George Nesemeier, Dakota.
Rock Grove D. I. Felts, Davis.
Oneco Alfred C. Ebel, Orangeville.
Winslow Hazel Thompson, Winslcw.
Finance Lamb, Halladay, Alberstett, Bruce and Lohr.
County Accounts Kauffman, Molter, Mitchell, Bamburger, Hazel, Thompson.
Poor and County Homes Felts, Ebel, Nesemeier, Baucher, R. R. Thompson.
State's Attorney Nesemeier, Molter, Bauscher.
Roads and Bridges Molter, Clingman, Felts, Bangasser, Wachlin.
Coroner Pigney, Bamberger, R. R. Thompson.
Purchasing Agent's Accounts Mitchell, Stine and Bruce.
Sheriff Halladay, Lamb, Wachlin.
Public Buildings Alberstett, Pigney, Bangasser.
Assessment and Taxes Clingman, Beyer, Stine.
County Superintendent Accounts Ebel, Felts, Lohr.
Blind Kauffman, Beyer, Hazel, Thompson.
The Chairman of the Board of Commissioners is James Rezner and F. C. Held is Clerk.
During the last ten years of progress in all lines, extensive city improvements have been made in Freeport. A broader public spirit has been manifested in support of various civic enterprises. The electric street-lighting system has doubled. Miles of macadam and brick streets have been built till Freeport from a city having the poorest streets in the state, has won a reputation for having the best. The work of building good streets so well maintained by Mayor Oilman's administration, is being kept up under Mayor Rawleigh. The extension of water mains and the increase in the number of hydrants, with the additions to the equipment and force of the fire department, make Freeport one of the safest cities in Illinois. Charles Hall, as Chief of Police, has proved to be eminently satisfactory, and has a corps of good officers working under him. It is sufficient to say, that no city has a more competent body of firefighters than Freeport.
LOCAL OPTION CAMPAIGNS.
Freeport has witnessed two Local Option Campaigns, one in 1908, and one in 1910. In the 1908 campaign Mr. J. R.' Jackson was chairman of the local Anti-Saloon League, or Civic League, and Edward L. Burchard, was secretary and chairman of the publicity committee. Mr. D. F. Graham, was vice president and Mr. Fred Hoefer treasurer. Mr. Edward Bushelle was president of the Local Liquor Dealers Association during both campaigns. This campaign of 1908 was hotly contested from start to finish, both sides making extensive use of the daily press and the opera house. The bitterness aroused during the campaign was not less than that experienced during Civil war times.
When one of the most strenuous election days in the history of Freeport was over and the votes counted, the Civic League had lost by 714 votes. In the campaign of 1908 Mr. J. R. Jackson was again president of the Civic League, with J. R. Leckley, secretary. This was a more quiet campaign and the Civic League lost by a much larger vote.
TRUSTEES OF THE
TOWN OF FREEPORT FROM ITS ORGANIZATION IN 1850 TO THE YEAR 1855.
1850-51. Thomas J. Turner, president; Julius Smith, John K. Brewster, John Rice, Joseph B. Smith.
1851-52. Edward S. Hanchett, president; Silas D. Clark, Thomas Egan, Isaiah G. Bedee, John H. Schlott.
1852-53. Silas D. Clark, president; John Black, Walter P. Hunt, Jeduthan G. Fuller, Asahel W. Rice.
1853-54. Peter B. Foster, president; Frederick Baker, William D. Oyler, Henry Smith, Julius Smith, Jacob Mayer, William W. Smith, Isaac Stoneman.
1854-55. Asahel W. Rice, president; John K. Brewster, Warren C. Clark, Edward S. Hanchett, Isaac C. Stoneman.
FROM ITS ORGANIZATION IN 1855 TO 1910.
Thomas J. Turner, 1855; A. Cameron Hunt, 1856; A. Cameron Hunt, 1857; John W. D. Heald, 1858; Denard Shockley, 1859; Hiram Bright, 1860; Francis W. Hance, 1861; Urban D. Meacham, 1862; Charles Butler, 1863; John F. Smith, 1864; John F. Smith, 1865; David H. Sunderland, 1867; C. J. Fry, 1869; E. L. Cronkrite, 1871; Jacob Krohn, 1873; A. P. Goddard, 1875; Jacob Krohn, 1877; E. L. Cronkrite, 1879; James McNamara, 1881; James McNamara, 1883; August Bergman, 1885; August Bergman, 1887; Chas. Nieman, 1889; Chas. Nieman, 1891; August Bergman, 1893; J. P. Younger, 1895; J. P. Younger, 1897; Albert Baumgarten, 1899; G. A. Huenkemeier, 1901; C. J. Dittmar, 1903; C. J. Dittmar, 1905; C. J. Dittmar, 1907; W. T. Rawleigh, 1909.
Aldermen First Ward.
Wm. G. Waddell, 1855; John A. Clark, 1855; John H. Schlott, 1856; Hoiden Putnam, 1856; John A. Clark, 1857; John C. Kean, 1858; Warren C. Clark, 1859; Thomas Coltman, 1860; Elias C. DePuy, 1860; Isaac H. Miller, 1861; Jacob B. Kenegy, 1862; Isaac H. Miller, 1863; Wm. G. Waddell, 1864; E. L. Cronkrite, 1865; Wm. G. Waddell, 1866; August Bergman, 1867; A. P. Goddard, 1868; B. T. Buckley, 1869; Wm. O. Wright, 1870; J. W. Grain, 1871; Elias Perkins, 1871; Elias Perkins, 1872; O. S. Ferris, 1873; George Wolf, 1874; Chas. F. Goodhue, 1874; August Bergman, 1875; Chas. F. Goodhue, 1876; August Bergman, 1877; J. H. Crane, 1878; A. T. Irwin, 1879; T. L. Waddell, 1880; Jacob Hartman, 1881; Daniel Adamson, 1882.
Aldermen Under Minority
Plan First District.
Patrick Lahey, 1883; B. T. Buckley, 1883; Daniel Adamson, 1883; W. H. Holland, 1885; B. T. Buckley, 1885; J. J. Piersol, 1885; S. W. Reigard, 1887; J. J. Piersol, 1887; B. T. Buckley, 1887; B. T. Buckley, 1889; S. W. Reigard, 1889; W. H. Holland, 1889; Geo. Milner, 1891; B. T. Buckley, 1891; Wm. Harris, 1891; D. B. Breed, 1893; H. H. Hineline, 1893; H. F. Hanke, 1893; Geo. E. White, 1895; S. W. Reigard, 1895; D. B. Breed, 1895; Frank Harris, 1897; D. B. Breed, 1897; C. D. Cramer, 1897; George E. White, 1899; C. D. Cramer, 1899; Charles L. Snyder, 1899; C. D. Cramer, 1901; W. E. Fry, 1901; F. O. Keene, 1901; C. D. Cramer, 1903; C. W. Harden, 1903; W. T. Rawleigh, 1903; J. H. Gibler, 1905; C. W. Harden, 1905; J. E. Harrington, 1905; J. H. Gibler, 1907; C. W. Harden, 1907; J. E. Harrington, 1907; Chas. I. Grant, 1909; August E. Hanke, 1909; L. G. Younglove, 1909.
Joseph B. Smith, 1855; John Barfoot, 1855; Asahel W. Rice, 1856; Samuel B. Harris, 1857; Irvin H. Sunderland, 1858; Thomas Robinson, 1859; Chancellor Martin, 1860; James H. Bartlett, 1860; Nathan E. Prentice, 1861; John H. Beaumont, 1862; E. McLaughlin, 1863; Jacob Rodearmel, 1864; Charles L. Currier, 1865; J. H. Snyder, 1866; Chas. L. Currier, 1867; B. Hunkemeier, 1868; Jacob Rodearmel, 1869; H. H. Upp, 1870; T. C. Catliff, 1871; Geo. W. Oyler, 1872; M. Hettinger, 1873 '> Geo. W. Oyler, 1874; S. Zartman, 1877; Geo. W. Oyler, 1876; I. S. Zartman, 1877; Darius Kuehner, 1878; I. S. Zartman, 1879; J. Brown Taylor, 1880; Louis Stoskopf, 1881; D. C. Stover, 1882.
R. M. Race, 1883; Wm. Ascher, 1883; L. M. DeVore, 1883; George Bruehler, 1885; L. M. DeVore, 1885; J. N. Galloway, 1885; G. W. Oyler, 1886; J. Lawson Wright, 1887; J. N. Galloway, 1887; J. R. Cowley, 1887; J. N. Galloway, 1889; J. R. Cowley, 1889; L. W. Brunn, 1889; J. F. Fair, 1891; Wallace Collins, 1891; J. R. Waddell, 1891; Henry Keller, 1893; W. S. Best, 1893; L. M. DeVore, 1893; G. A. Huenkemeier, 1895; W. S. Best, 1895; F. C. Kruse, 1895; G. A. Huenkemeier, 1897; W. S. Best, 1897; F. C. Kruse, 1897; E. O. Dana, 1899; W. H. Flachtemeier, 1899; John R. Rosebrugh, 1899; W. H. Flachtemeier, 1901; W. A. Merrifield, 1901; Steve Steffen, 1901; Oscar Hill, 1903; W. A. Merrifield, 1903; Steve Steffen, 1903; H. F. Dorman, 1905; Geo. Brockhausen, 1905; Steve Steffen, 1905; H. F. Dorman, 1907; Geo. Brockhausen, 1907; Steve Steffen, 1907; F. A. Schulz, 1909; A. H. Wieman, 1909; John S. Schadle, 1909.
A. Cameron Hunt, 1855; John P. Byerly, 1855; J onn W. Heald, 1856; John Hoebel, 1857; Warren C. Clark, 1858; James M. Smith, 1858; John Hoebel, 1859; Moses B. Thompson, 1860; Jacob Hime, 1861; John O'Connell, 1862; John Hoebel, 1862; P. E. Fowler, 1863; Jacob Krohn, 1864; J. S. Rogers, 1865; Jacob Krohn, 1866; Fred Bartlett, 1867; Henry Baier, 1868; A. J. McCoy, 1869; Henry Lichtenberger, 1870; A. J. McCoy, 1871; Henry Lichtenberger, 1872; A. J. McCoy, 1873; Henry Lichtenberger, 1874; A. J. McCoy, 1875; Charles G. Steffen, 1876; Peter Muldoon, 1877; Henry J. Porter, 1878; J. R. Wagner, 1879; Henry J. Porter, 1880; W. H. Wagner, 1881; A. J. McCoy, 1882.
A. J. McCoy, 1883; John Erfert, 1883; O. P. Wright, 1883; Charles Nieman, 1885; J. E. Frisbie, 1885; O. P. Wright, 1885; A. J. McCoy, 1887; T. J. Foley, 1887; H. P. Kochsmeier, 1887; A. J. McCoy, 1889; H. Leemhuis, 1889; Fred Flachtemeier, 1889; C. F. Franz, 1891; J. F. Burns, 1891; N. B. Loos, 1891; C. F. Franz, 1893; J. E. Frisbie, 1893; O. P. Wright, 1893; G. M. Holbrook, 1895; W. T. Rockey, 1895; C. F. Franz, 1895; J. F. Burns, 1897; W. M. Brown, 1897; Louis McGovern, 1897; J. F. Burns, 1899; Louis Bauscher, 1899; Louis McGovern, 1899; P. J. Lonergan, 1901; Louis McGovern, 1901; Julius Wagner, 1901; C. G. McCarty, 1903; Louis McGovern, 1903; Julius Wagner, 1903; Louis Bauscher, 1905; Louis McGovern, 1905; P. J. Lonergan, 1905; Louis Bauscher, 1907; Louis McGovern, 1907; P. J. Lonergan, 1907; John W. Daniels, 1909; G. Benj. Winter, 1909; P. J. Lonergan, 1909.
John A. Jameson, 1855; H. N. Hibbard, 1856; H. N. Hibbard, 1857; J. Bright Smith, 1858; J. Bright Smith, 1859; Henry C. Hyde, 1860; Jas. S. Cochran, 1861; John C. Kean, 1862; John C. Kean, 1863; John C. Kean, 1864; F. W. S. Brawley, 1865; John Coates, 1866; H. M. Barnum, 1867; Thos. F. Goodhue, 1868; Thos. F. Goodhue, 1869; Thos. F. Goodhue, 1870; Thos. F. Goodhue, 1871: T. T. Abrams, 1872; John C. Kean, 1873; John Kean, 1874; John C. Kean. 1875; John C. Kean, 1876; O. C. Lathrop, 1877; John C. Kean, 1878; John C. Kean, 1879; J. H. Stearns, 1880; John C. Kean, 1881; John C. Kean, 1882; P. J. Geib, 1883; John C. Kean, 1885; John C. Kean, 1887; John C. Kean, 1889; M. Marvin, 1891; M. Marvin, 1893; P. J. Geib, 1895; R. B. Mitchell, 1897; R. B. Mitchell, 1899; Bruce Mitchell, 1901; Bruce Mitchell, 1903; Bruce Mitchell, 1905; Bruce Mitchell, 1907; Bruce Mitchell, 1909.
H. N. Hibbard, 1855; H. N. Hibbard, 1856; H. N. Hibbard, 1857; J. Bright Smith, 1858; J. Bright Smith, 1859; L. F. Burrell, 1860; L. F. Burrell, 1861; L. F. Burrell, 1862; Frank Corbin, 1863; J. E. Brown, 1864; Joseph B. Smith, 1865; Joseph B. Smith, 1866; U. M. Mayer, 1867; Joseph B. Smith, 1868; James Durst, 1869; F. B. Malburn, 1870; F. B. Malburn, 1871; F. B. Malburn, 1872; Wm. Trembor, 1873; Wm. Trembor, 1874; Wm. Trembor, 1875; Wm. Trembor, 1876; Wm. Trembor, 1877; Wm. Trembor, 1878; Wm. Trembor, 1879; H. C. Hutchinson, 1880; W. C. Clark, 1881; W. C. Clark, 1882; W. C. Clark, 1883; W. C. Clark, 1885; W. C. Clark, 1887; T. D. Osborne, 1889; T. D. Osborne, 1891; G. H. Tandy, 1893; G. H. Tandy, 1895; G. H. Tandy, 1897; G. H. Tandy, 1899; G. H. Tandy, 1901; G. H. Tandy, 1903; .Wm. Waterstradt, 1905; Wm. Waterstradt, 1907; Chas. W. Peight, 1909.
E. W. Salisbury, 1855; Oscar Taylor, 1856; Oscar Taylor, 1857; Geo. J. Brewer, 1858; Silas D. Clark, 1858; Fred Bartlett, 1859; B. F. Black, 1860; W. W. Smith, 1861; M. D. Chamberlin, 1862; C. L. Currier, 1863; Thomas Webster, 1864; John Hoebel, 1865; Geo. Lichtenberger, 1866; C. W. Rosebrugh, 1867; Philip Arno, 1868; C. W. Rosebrugh, 1869; C. W. Rosebrugh, 1870; W. H. Wagner, 1871; C. Trepus, 1872; C. Trepus, 1873; D. B. Schulte, 1874; Horace Meigs, 1875; Horace Meigs, 1876; Jacob Molter, 1877; Jacob Molter, 1878; Henry Ratz, 1879; D. B. Breed, 1880; D. B. Breed, 1881; F. C. Held, 1882; F. C. Held, 1883; George M. Lowis, 1885; Richard R. Hughes, 1887; Frank Hettinger, 1889; Geo. W. Graham, 1891; John Tappe, 1893; Henry Ratz, 1895; G. G. Hoffman, 1897; Jerry Riordan, 1899; John Dejongh, 1901; Harry C. Knauff, 1903; James O'Rourke, 1905; James O'Rourke, 1907; Edward Wagner, 1909.
W. W. Smith, 1855; W. W. Smith, 1856; W. W. Smith, 1857; John R. Edick, 1858; Henry Settley, 1859; David C. Laird, 1860; John H. Mease, 1861; Isaiah G. Bedee, 1862; Jacob C. Gilbert, 1863; Jacob C. Gilbert, 1864; Chas. Baumgarten, 1865; F. R. McLaughlin, 1866; F. R. McLaughlin, 1867; Charles Rohkar, 1868; J. B. Shirk, 1869; J. B. Shirk, 1870; Geo. J. Lamb, 1871; E. W. R. Dreyer, 1872; E. W. R. Dreyer, 1873; E. W. R. Dreyer, 1874; E. W. R. Dreyer, 1875; E. W. R. Dreyer, 1876; E. W. R. Dreyer, 1877; E. W. R. Dreyer, 1878; Eli S. Chamberlin, 1879; Eli S. Chamberlin, 1880; Eli S. Chamberlin, 1881; Eli S. Chamberlin, 1882.
City Mcerslwls Appointed.
J. W. Sanderson, 1883; J. W. Sanderson, 1884; Eli S. Chamberlin, 1885-87; Eli S. Chamberlin, 1887; C. J. Dittmar, 1889; C. J. Dittmar, 1891; B. F. Brubaker, 1895; Wm. Root, 1895; Wm. Root, 1897; Wm. Root, 1899; Charles W. Hall, 1901; John J. Sweeney, 1903; John J. Sweeney, 1905; Henry Silk, 1907; Chas. W. Hall, 1909.
No surveyor elected, 1855 > no surveyor elected, 1856; Ludwick Stanton, 1857; Marcus Carter, 1858; Marcus Carter, 1859; Wm. O. Saxton, 1860; Wm. O. Saxton, 1861; Marcus Carter, 1862; Chas. Baumgarten, 1863; Chas. Baumgarten, 1864; Marcus Carter, 1865; Marcus Carter, 1866; Ludwick Stanton, 1867; Marcus Carter, 1868; Chas. Baumgarten, 1869; C. T. Dunham, 1870; Chas. Baumgarten, 1871; Chas. Baumgarten, 1872; Chas. Baumgarten, 1873; Chas. Baumgarten, 1874; F. E. Josel, 1875; F. E. Josel, 1876; Ludwick Stanton, 1877; F. E. Josel, 1878; F. E. Josel, 1879; F. E. Josel, 1880; F. E. Josel, 1881; F. E. Josel, 1882.
City Engineers Appointed.
F. E. Josel, 1883; F. E. Josel, 1884; F. E. Josel, 1885-87; F. E. Josel, 1887; F. E. Josel, 1889; Arthur Lagron, 1891; Arthur Lagron, 1893; Arthur Lagron, 1895; F. E. Josel, 1897; George Graham, 1899; George Graham, 1901; George Graham, 1903; George Graham, 1905; George Graham, 1907; John A. R. Daniels, 1909.
W. W. Smith, 1855; W. W. Smith, for ist Ward, 1856; R. McMasters, for 2d Ward, 1856; Edwin R. Ross, for 3d Ward, 1856; John P. Byerly, 1857; Henry Settley, 1858; Henry Settley, 1859; B. Wasserzieher, 1860; B. Wasserzieher, 1861; B. Kuenkemeier, 1862; B. Wasserzieher, 1863; August Bergman, 1864; P. E. Fowler, 1865; Henry D. Rodearmel, 1865; Henry D. Rodearmel, 1866; Henry D. Rodearmel, 1867; Edwin McLaughlin, 1868; Edwin McLaughlin, 1869; Edwin McLaughlin, 1870; James Darrah, 1871; James Darrah, 1872; James Darrah, 1873; James Darrah, 1874; James Darrah, 1875; William Ascher, 1876; Adolph Boedeker, 1877; J. S. Rogers, 1878; J. S. Rogers, 1879; B - Huenkemeier, 1880; Wm. A. Knipschild, 1881; B. Huenkemeier, 1882.
A. H. Altemeier, 1883; A. H. Altemeier, 1884; H. F. Hanke, 1885-87; H. F. Hanke, 1887; Wm. Ascher, 1889; M. T. Steffen, 1891; Conrad Toelle, 1893; A. H. Altemeier, 1895; M. Scanlan, 1897; A. H. Altemeier, 1899; John H. Place, 1909.
Luther W. Guiteau, 1855; Horatio C. Burchard, 1857; David Seem, 1859; A. T. Green, 1863; Abraham Braisted, 1866; George Wolf, 1867; Abraham Braisted, 1870; E. P. Hodges, 1871; Leonard Stoskopf, 1874; J. R. Wagner, 1878; J. R. Wagner, 1882; A. R. Dubs, 1886; S. R. Dubs, 1889; S. R. Dubs, 1891; S. R. Dubs, 1893; S. R. Dubs, 1895; Marcus Lane, 1897; Marcus Lane, 1899; Marcus Lane, 1901; Charles J. Bentley, 1903; Charles J. Bentley, 1905; Charles J. Bentley, 1907; Charles J. Bentley, 1909.
There are at present in Freeport as many as seventy-six different social, fraternal, and secret organizations, a list of which is hereby appended. Twelve of these are Masonic, and six are of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Three are connected with the Grand Army of the Republic, and a number of them are church societies. The following constitute the list, the names of officers together with the place and time of meeting being in each case given A. F. & A. M., Excelsior Lodge No. 97. Officers: Roy Burkhart, W. M.; C. C. Wolf, secretary. Meeting, first and third Fridays. Place, Masonic Temple.
A. F. & A. M., Evergreen Lodge No. i7o. Officers: Timothy Stultz, W. M.; W. N. Cronkrite, secretary. Meeting, first and third Mondays. Place, Masonic Temple.
A. O. U. W., Wilhelm Wagner Lodge No. 250. Meeting, Thursdays. Place, 103 Stephenson street.
American Order of Owls., Freeport Nest No. 78. Officers: A. F. Dittman, president; J. E. Stewart, secretary. Place of meeting, Seitz hall.
Anchors. Officers: John Bauscher, Jr., president; Charles Meyer, secretary.
B. P. O. E., Freeport Lodge No. 617. Officers W. G. Krappe, E. R.; J. W. Clark, secretary. Meeting, first and third Thursday. Place, 133 Stephenson street.
Consistory, Freeport Lodge of Perfection. Officers L. L. Munn, Jr., T. P. G. M.; W. B. Erfert, secretary. Meeting, second Wednesday. Place, Masonic Temple.
Consistory, Freeport Council Princes of Jerusalem. Officers L. H. Burrell, M. E. S. P. G. M.; W. B. Erfert, secretary. Meeting, subject to call. Place, Masonic Temple.
Consistory, Freeport Chapter Rose Croix. Officers: W. C. Jencks, P. M.; W. B. Erfert, secretary. Meeting, subject to call. Place, Masonic Temple.
Consistory, Freeport Consistory S. P. R. S. Officers: R. D. Kuehner, commander in chief; W. B. Erfert, secretary. Meeting place, Masonic Temple.
Court of Honor, Freeport Court No. 71. Meeting, second and fourth Thursday. Place, K. of P. hall.
Catholic Knights of Illinois. Officers Fred Rodemeyer, president; E. A. Blust, secretary. Meeting, first Sunday. Place, St. Pius hall.
Democratic Club. President, H. B. Witte; secretary, Herman Straub. Meeting place in Best building, Stephenson and Chicago streets.
Dramatic Order Knights of Khoraissan, Husn Temple No. 108. Officers: E. I. Rubendall, R. V.; J. C. James, secretary. Meeting, first Thursday. Place, K. of P. hall.
Equitable Fraternal Union. Officers: President, H. J. Keith; secretary, John A. Meyer. Meets second and fourth Wednesdays. Place, K. of P. hall.
Encampment, Western Star No. 25, I. 0. 0. F. Officers Al. Linder, C. P.; E. S. Auman, scribe. Meeting, second and fourth Tuesday. Place, Odd Fellows' hall.
Fraternal Tribunes, Lodge No. op. Officers': F. H. Randall, C. tribune; M. E. Tenney, secretary. Meeting, first and third Thursdays. Place, Odd Fellows' hall.
Freeport Saengerbund. Meeting, Fridays. Place, Germania hall.
Freeport Club. Officers: L. Z. Farwell, president; W. G. Krape secretary. Place of meeting, 268 Stephenson street.
The Freeport Shakespeare Society. Meeting every Monday night. Officers Miss Louise Morgan, president; Miss Margaret Gund, secretary.
G. A. R., John A. Davis Post No. 98. Officers: Fred. C. Held, commander; John Rotzler, secretary. Meeting, first and third Tuesdays. Place, city hall.
I. O. M. A., Free port Lodge No. 50. Meeting, Friday. Place, 107 Stephenson street.
I. O. O. F., Freeport Lodge No. 239, I. O. O. F. Geo. Foss, N. G.; Al. Dittman, secretary. Meetings, every Monday. Place, Odd Fellows' hall.
I. O. O. F., Winneshiek Lodge No. 30. Officers: Noble grand, W. F. Altemeier; V. grand, E. L. Yoder; secretary, Henry Brinkman; financial secretary, Frank B. Koenig. Meetings, Wednesday. Pkce, Odd Fellows' hall.
I. O. O. F., Stephen A. Douglas Encampment No. 100. Officers C. P. Allen Janssen; Chas. Meyer, high priest; A. F. Dittman, secretary. Meeting, second and fourth Friday. Place, Odd Fellows' hall.
I. O. O. F., Illinois Lodge No. 259, Rebekah Degree. Officers: Anna Jackson, N. grand; A. Roberts, recording secretary. Meeting, first and third Saturdays. Place, Odd Fellows' hall.
I. O. O. F., Stephenson Lodge No. 61. Meeting, Mondays. Place, 107 Stephenson street.
I. O. O. F., Canton Unity. Officers Captain, E. L. Yoder; lieutenant, John Bricker; secretary, John Sharpies.
The Homesteaders, No. 257. Officers President, Alvin Ulrich; secretary, J. P. Scanlon. Place of meeting, K. of P. hall first and third Friday.
G. A. R., John A. Davis, W. R. C. No. 44. Officers: Therese Otto, president. Meeting, first and third Tuesday afternoons. Place, city hall.
G. A. R., Ladies of the G. A. R., John Brown Taylor Circle. Officers: Mrs. T. M. Kaufman, president; Mrs. J. A. Gale, secretary. Meeting, first and third Wednesday afternoons. Place, city hall.
Germania Society. Officers: Chas. G. Steffen, president; E. P. Ohden, secretary. Meeting, first Wednesday. Place, Germania hall.
German Benevolent Society. Meeting, second Wednesday. Place, Germania hall.
German Lutheran Benevolent Society. Meeting, second Sunday. Place, German Lutheran church.
Home Fraternal League. Officers: A. J. Robson, president; Maud L. Bowers, secretary. Meeting, second and fourth Thursday. Place, K. of P. hall.
Home Guardians of America, No 28. Meeting, second and fourth Thursday. Place, 109 Stephenson street.
I. O. O. F., Court Mohawk, No. 3/07. Officers: W. C. Rubendall, chief ranger; Al. Luebbing, recording secretary. Meeting, first and third Tuesday. Place, K. of P. hall.
I. O. M. A., Brueder Lodge No. 149. Meeting, Tuesday. Place, 107 Stephenson street.
Improved Order of Redmen, Winneshiek Wigivam No. 345. Officers R. D. Kuehner, sachem; F. J. O'Rourk, C. of R. Place of meeting, Odd Fellows' hall.
Immanuel Ladies' Society. Meeting, fourth Wednesday. Place, German Lutheran church.
I. O. O. F., Busy Bee Lodge No. 138, Rebekah Degree. Officers Mrs. A. B. Haney, N. G.; Mrs. Ida Howell, secretary. Meets second and fourth Saturday. Place, Odd Fellows' hall.
Knights of Pythias, Freeport Lodge No. 452. Officers: A. O. Hart, C. C.; Frank J. Becker, K. of R. and S. Meeting, every Monday, 8 P. M., 125 Stephenson street.
Knights and Ladies of Honor, Germania Lodge No. 1544. Officers Fred. Rosemeier, Cf . Proc.; F. P. Ohden, secretary. Meeting, second fourth Tuesdays. Place, 98 Stephenson street.
K. T., Freeport Commandery No. 7. Officers Fred S. Albright, E. C.; C. C. Wolf, recorder. Meeting, first and third Wednesdays. Place, Masonic Temple.
Knights and Ladies of Security. Meeting, first and third Thursday. Place, in Stephenson street.
K. 0. T. M. Meeting, first and third Saturday. Place, in Stephenson street.
Knights of Columbus, Freeport Council No. 653. Officers: John Manion, Gr. Kt.; John Peck, recording secretary. Meeting, first and third Tuesday. Place, 75 Chicago street.
Loyal Order Moose. Officers: J. Bauscher, Diet.; J. H. Stewart, secretary. Meets first and third Friday. Place, Odd Fellows' hall.
M. E. O. A. C., Royal Palace No. 2, Most Excellent Chaldean. Officers: F. F. Rogers, king; C. C. Wolf, secretary. Meeting, subject to call. Place, Masonic Temple.
Modern Woodmen of America, Cherry Camp No. 64. Officers Tory Johnson, V. C.; John De Jongh, clerk. Meeting, first and third Wednesday. Place, Seitz hall.
Mutual Order Protection, Stephenson Lodge No. 192. Officers John Bauscher, Jr., president; Fred. Schumayer, secretary. Meeting, first and third Thursday. Place, Fry building.
Mystic Workers, Freeport Lodge No. 51, M. W. O. Officers: J. H. Bamberger, prefect; Charles Peight, secretary. Meeting, first and third Wednesday. Place, 152 Stephenson street.
National Protective Legion, Geo. Washington Legion No. 2,038. Officers President, R. G. Weir; secretary, H. O. Price. Meets second and fourth Tuesdays. Place, K. of P. hall.
O. E. S., Freeport Chapter No. 303. Officers Amelia Miller, W. M.; Mrs. Rebecca Stiver, secretary. Meeting, first and third Thursdays. Place, Masonic Temple.
Order of Eagles, Aerie No. 679. Officers: Henry Kirchhaefer, president; J. D. Lilly, secretary. Meeting, first and third Thursday. Place, Seitz hall.
Red Devils. Officers Charles Schmelzle, president; Emil Molter, secretary-treasurer. Meets Monday evenings at Germania hall.
R. A. M., Freeport Chapter No. 23. Officers: J. M. Munn, H. P.; C. C. Wolf, secretary. Meeting, first and third Tuesdays. Place, Masonic Temple.
R & S. M., Freeport Council No. 39. Officers Chas. F. Knecht, T. I. M.; C. C. Wolf, recorder. Meeting, second and fourth Tuesday. Place, Masonic Temple.
R. N. A., Cherry Blossom Camp No. 260. Officers are: Mrs. Frances Ohlendorf, oracle; Mrs. Alvina Taylor, recorder. Meeting, second and fourth Wednesdays. Place, Seitz hall.
Royal Arcanum, Stephenson Court No. 1986. Officers Jesse H. Patterson, regent; B. A. Bookman, secretary. Place, 152 Stephenson street.
R. N. A., Freeport Camp. Officers: Mrs. Ida Mernitz, oracle; Louisa Camerer, recorder.
Sons of Veterans Auxiliary, Smith D. Atkins' Camp, Lodge No. 27. Officers Maud L. Bowers, president; Nellie Altenbern, secretary. Meeting, first and third Friday. Place, G. A. R. hall.
Stars of Equity, Freeport Assembly No. 1. LeRoy Lattig, president; J. N. Wagner, secretary. Meeting, first and third Tuesday. Place, 127 Stephenson street.
St. Joseph Society. John Eberly, president. Meeting, last Sunday. Place, St. Pius hall.
St. Pius Society. Officers: E. A. Blust, president; Louis Balles, secretary. Meeting, third Sunday. Place, St. Pius hall.
Spanish-American War Veterans. Officers: William Shouer, commander; Emerson Cross, adjutant.
Sons of Veterans, Smith D. Atkins Camp No. 400. Officers: G. F. Korff, c.; Ray Williams, secretary. Meets second and fourth Tuesdays. Place, G. A. R. hall.
Tribe of Ben Hur, Stephenson Court No. 412. Officers Albert E. Drews, chief; Mrs. A. Rieger, scribe.
U. C. T., Freeport Council No. 157. Officers E. L. Hoile, Sen. C.; J. W. Benston, secretary. Meeting, first and third Saturday.
Volksverein. Meeting, second Sunday. Place, St. Pius hall. IV. S. of J., Capernaum Shrine No. 4.. Officers: Miss Alena Hall, W. H. P.; Mrs. Loveall, secretary. Meeting, fourth Thursday each month. Place, Masonic Temple.
W. C. 0. F., St. Mary's Court. Officers Mrs. A. F. Lichtenberger, C. R.; Mrs. M. G. Kleckner, secretary. Meeting, second and fourth Thursdays. Place, St. Mary's hall.
Western Catholic Union. Officers Jacob Schadle, president; Joseph Schramm, secretary. Meeting, second Sunday. Place, St. Pius hall.
Women's Club. Officers: Mrs. George I. Brown, president; Mrs. H. W. Rowley, secretary. Meeting, Saturdays 3 P. M. Place, Masonic Temple.
White Cross. Officers Fred Albright, commander; Lillian Albright, secretary. Meeting, second and fourth Thursday. Place, Globe hall.
Yeomen of America. Officers: W. J. Burdick, president; Mrs. A. J. O'Neill, secretary. Meeting, second and fourth Tuesday. Place, Seitz hall.
The city of Freeport is known throughout the land in Masonic circles as the home of some of the most progressive and prosperous of the lodges of that fraternity. It is one of the three cities in the state which possess chapters of the Consistory, S. P. R. S., the others being Chicago and Peoria. The first Masonic lodge was organized in Freeport less than fifteen years after the city itself was founded, less than fifteen years after a single log cabin marked the site where a flourishing town was soon to arise, and thus the history of Masonry in Freeport has been coincident with and parallel to the history of the city's growth and progress.
A feature of Masonry in Freeport which has served to exalt the local chapters above those of the surrounding cities has been the number of distinguished names connected with the Freeport organizations. A large number of Freeport Masons have been actively connected with the work of the grand bodies in the state and districts. Among them have been many of Freeport's most prominent citizens, such as Thomas J. Turner, N. F. Prentice, Loyal L. Munn, Jacob Krohn, and M. D. Chamberlain. The leaders in the local work have also been Freeport's most distinguished men, such as R. D. Kuehner, O. E. Heard, J. F. Fair, W. S. Best, C. C. Wolf, Michael Stoskopf, and W. N. Cronkrite.
Sixty years ago the first lodge was organized in Freeport. At first meetings were held in Fisher's building on the corner of Galena street and South Galena avenue (then Exchange 'street). There they remained for some time and then removed to rooms over, the Stephenson County Bank, which was then doing business on the corner of Stephenson and Chicago streets. From there they made a third move to rooms in the next building over Cronkrite's store. After a brief sojourn here they transferred their place of meeting to Munn's building and thence to the Fry's Block Hall, where they remained for many years.
As early as 1896 there was serious talk of building a Masonic temple. The Masons of Freeport had long felt that their importance in the city and state warranted building a temple where they could suitably accommodate their societies.
Plans were even drawn up and estimates of the probable cost made, but these were all dropped and the structure which was finally built eight years later was very different from the one originally contemplated. In 1904 it was thought best to take some definite action on the subject, and accordingly the consistory voted to take action preparatory to building a temple.
They organized themselves into a separate corporation, four hundred strong, and four hundred $100 bonds were issued, each member buying one. These bonds called for interest at three per cent and were made payable at the death of the owner. This ingenious arrangement provided for the payment of the annual dues of the members of the consistory for their lifetime. Ultimately more than four hundred bonds were issued, and the membership of the consistory swelled appreciably. After taking the preliminary steps, a building committee had been appointed, consisting of W. N. Cronkrite, L. H. Burrell, J. F. Fair, O. E. Heard, and R. D. Kuehner, and these five began their work with a will. The Masonic Temple was started in the summer of 1904, completed by the end of the next year, 1905, and formally opened to the public on Thursday the 25th of January, 1906. On that day a public reception was held and the friends of the lodge members were cordially invited to enter and inspect the spacious halls of the temple. The building when completed, had cost nearly $60,000.
On Friday, January 26th, 1906, the next day after the reception, the first lodge meeting was held in the new temple of Excelsior Lodge. On that occasion a past master's night was held, and all past masters of the lodge were present and assisted in the ceremonies of initiation to the third degree. The active officers on that memorable occasion were: C. C. Wolf, master; Charles Green, senior warden; W. H. Irwin, junior warden. The temple has been in use since that date, and has been occupied by the twelve Masonic lodges at present existent in Freeport.
Excelsior Lodge, No. 97. This was the first Masonic lodge organized in Freeport. It was established in 1850, and the first meeting held on February 22nd of that year. No charter was granted at that time by the Grand Lodge of the state, the work being carried on through a dispensation of the grand master of the state. The following Freeporters, Erastus Torry, Julius Smith, Thomas J. Turner, Gershom Rice, and Oscar Taylor, were present at the first meeting, together with S. B. Farwell, John Jackson, and S. H. Fitger, visiting masons. On November 6, 1851, a charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of the state, and the society ceased to work under special dispensation. On January 8, 1852, the first officers were installed under the charter, as follows: Julius Smith, W. M.; T. J. Turner, S. W.; Oscar Taylor, J. W.; J. A. W. Donahoo, treasurer; A. W. Rawson, secretary; William Scott, S. D.; Reuben Ruble, J. D.; James Wright, steward and Giles Taylor, tiler.
Immediately upon its organization, Excelsior Lodge made rapid strides, and to its success must be attributed the subsequent organization of two other lodges, Evergreen, and the Moses R. Thompson Lodge. At the present time, there are only two lodges in existence, the Moses R. Thompson Lodge having consolidated with Excelsior Lodge in January, 1890. Excelsior Lodge numbers three hundred and sixty-two members at present. The officials for the current years are: Roy Burkhary, W. M., and C. C. Wolf, secretary. The lodge meets the first and third Fridays of the month in its room in the Masonic Temple.
Evergreen Lodge No. 170. Evergreen Lodge was organized in April, 1855, under a dispensation granted by the M. W. Grand Master of Illinois to the following Masons A. T. Green, H. R. Wheeler, Charles Butler, Erastus Torry, James F. Kingsley, William Swanzey, J. F. Ankeney, E. W. Schumway, and G. G. Norton. The first meeting was convened in the Masonic Hall on the corner of Stephenson and Chicago streets on the evening of August 16, 1855. During the fifty-five years since that date, meetings have continued to be held on the first and third Mondays of the month. The charter officers elected after the granting of the charter a short time later were J. A. W. Donahoo, W. M., A. T. Green, S. W.; J. F. Kingsley, J. W.; H. R. Wheeler, treasurer;. Charles Butler, secretary, J. Crow, S. D.; J. Thomas, J. D.; and J. C. Walton, tiler.
Evergreen Lodge now has a membership of one hundred and eighty. The officers at present are Timothy Stultz, W. M., and W. N. Cronkrite, secretary.
Moses R. Thompson Lodge, No. 381. The first meeting of Moses R. Thompson Lodge, under dispensation, was convened at Masonic Hall December 31, 1862, with the following charter members, appointed by the Grand Master of the state Nathan F. Prentice, Charles L. Currier, L. L. Munn, H. H. Taylor, G. W. Tandy, Robert Little, E. Moffatt, J. G. Knapp, W. D. V. Johnson, B. F. Burnside, S. Lumbard, Elijah Northy, and W. B. Chatfield. The first officers were N. F. Prentice, W. M.; L. L. Munn and Charles L. Currier, senior and junior wardens.
After twenty-eight years of existence, Moses R. Thompson Lodge decided to consolidate with Excelsior Lodge. While the membership was large enough to warrant the existence of two strong lodges, it could not support three lodges of uniform strength. As a result, Moses R. Thompson Lodge decided to disband, and has been a part of Excelsior since 1890.
Freeport Chapter, No. 23, of the R. A. M., was chartered September 29, 1854, to a limited number of members with A. W. Rawson, high priest, Erastus Torry, king, arid Julius Smith, scribe. The present officers are J. B. Munn, high priest, and C. C. Wolf, scribe. The chapter has a membership of about two hundred and forty and meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month in the temple.
Freeport Council No. jp, of the R. & S. M., was organized and chartered , with a membership of, and the following as first officers.
It meets at present on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. The officers are Charles F. Knecht, T. I. M.; C. C. Wolf, recorder. The membership at the present time is one hundred and ten.
Freeport Commandery No. 1, K. T., was organized under a dispensation from the Grand Encampment of the United States on August 19, 1857, A. O., 739, and chartered by the Grand Encampment two years later at its triennial conclave held in Chicago, on October 26, 1859, A. O. 741. On that date a perpetual charter was granted with the following members Sirs Moses R. Thompson, Homer N. Hibbard, Loyal L. Munn, Henry H. Taylor, N. F. Prentice, Galon G. Norton, James F. Kingsley, H. Richardson, and John M. Way. Sir Moses R. Thompson was elected the first eminent commander.
The commandery meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month in the temple. The present officers are Ralph T. Ryan, eminent commander, and C. C. Wolf, recorder. The membership is two hundred and thirty-four.
Freeport Consistory. The Freeport Consistory, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, was established at Princeton, Illinois, and was removed to Freeport on May 14, 1869. It has been the most active Masonic body of Freeport, and consists of the four following lodges
Grand Lodge of Perfection, which meets on the second Wednesday of the month, has a membership of over six hundred, and is presided over by L. L. Munn, Jr., as T. P. G. M.
Freeport Council Princes of Jerusalem, which meets at call of the M. E. S. P. G. M., Walter C. Jencks.
Freeport Chapter Rose Croix, who M. W. M. is W. M. Palmer, and which meets at the call of the officers.
Freeport Consistory, of which L. H. Burrell is commander-in-chief. The membership of the consistory is 604, and meetings are held subject to the call of the officers. The Freeport Consistory is one of the three chapters of that body located in the state, the others being at Chicago and Peoria.
Order of the Eastern Star, Freeport Chapter No. 505, was established in the city July 8, 1895, and has a present membership of over three hundred. The officers are Miss Amelia Miller, worthy matron; J. M. Fox, worthy patron; and Mrs. Rebecca M. Stiver, secretary. Meetings are held the first and third Thursdays of the month.
White Shrine of Jerusalem, Capernaum Shrine No. 4, was established in the summer of 1904, by Mrs. Pauline K. Dickes, who became its first worthy high priestees. The present membership of Capernaum Shrine is three hundred, about coincident with that of the Eastern Star. The present officers are Miss Alena Hall, W. H. P., and Mrs. Etta Loveall, secretary. The Shrine meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Masonic Temple.
Most Excellent Order of Ancient Chaldeans, Royal Palace No. 2, was instituted in July, 1907, by the Imperial Lodge No. I of Chicago, who were the founders of the order. The charter members at the time of founding numbered eighty-seven. This number has since increased to one hundred and two. The officers of the Freeport Royal Palace are: T. F. Rogers, king; C. C. Wolf, scribe. Meetings are subject to call by the king.
This completes the list of Masonic Lodges in Freeport. The Masonic fraternity has always taken a front rank stand in the social and fraternal circles of the city, partly because of its long standing in Freeport, partly because it has numbered about its members nearly all of the most prominent and influential citizens of the city. Also because of the Masonic Temple, one of the most beautiful buildings of the city today, architecturally and from a utilitarian standpoint.
The mere fact that the Masonic Lodges were instrumental in the erection of this pile places their brothers among the foremost of Freeport's energetic and patriotic citizens. The property owned by the Masons includes the temple and lot and their appurtenances on Stephenson street between Walnut and Cherry. These are valued at about $75,000.
There are eight lodges in Freeport connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. These are the Freeport Lodge No. 239, the Winneshiek Lodge No. 30, Stephen A. Douglas Encampment No. 100, Stephenson Lodge No. 61, Canton Unity No. 3, two lodges of the honorary Rebekah Degree, Busy Bee Lodge No. 138, and Illinois Lodge No. 259, and Western Star Encampment of Patriarchs No. 25.
The Odd Fellows have always played an important role in the fraternal life of Freeport. The Winneshiek lodge, the first one to be instituted in the city, was founded as far back as 1847, and has been almost part and parcel of the city itself, a sharer in all the vicissitudes of the latter's growth. The other lodges are only a few years younger, and all have numbered among their members some of Freeport's most prominent citizens.
The origin of the world organization of Odd Fellows is lost in obscurity. It extends back beyond the fifth century, and there are indications that the fraternity existed in Spain before that time. In Portugal it was introduced in the sixth century, and its existence in France dates from about the twelfth century. From France it was carried to England, and the American Independent Order of Odd Fellows is an outgrowth of English Odd Fellowship.
In 1829, in a room of the Seven Stars, an ancient Baltimore hostelry, a circle of men met for the purpose of organizing and establishing an American Odd Fellows' society. The prime mover of the meeting was Thomas Wildey, the father of American Odd Fellowship, and the outcome of the meeting was the organization of Washington Lodge No. 1.
Since that time, only eighty-one years ago, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows has spread throughout every state of the Union, and has its lodges in hundreds of cities, villages and hamlets. For about six years after the foundation in Baltimore, the growth of the order was only gradual. Then it took on new impetus and the rapid growth since that date has never for a moment been checked. In 1851 an honorary degree of Odd Fellowship, the Daughters of Rebekah, was instituted, designed to promote fraternal relations between the wives and widows of Odd Fellows.
The first Illinois lodge was established at Alton on August u, 1836, and christened the "Western Star No. 1." Since that date the spread of the organization in Illinois has been rapid. The qualifications for admission to the I. O. O. F. are a belief in the Supreme Creator, sound health, good character, and an honorable trade. The members bind themselves by a solemn oath to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, care for the widow, and educate the orphan.
Winneshiek Lodge No. 30. On July 15, 1847, when the city of Freeport was a mere handful of houses and stores, the Grand Lodge of Illinois granted a charter for the organization of a lodge in Freeport to be known as "Winneshiek Lodge No. 30," of which the following men became charter members Thomas F. Goodhue, E. A. Aiggins, C. G. Strohecker, A. W. Schuler, W. T. McCool, H. G. Moore, S. D. Carpenter, Chas. Powell and S. B. Farwell.
Meetings were first held in the garret of a brick building in that portion of the city which is now the Second Ward, then known as Knowltontown. In time the organization became prosperous, and the place of meeting was changed to one more convenient and better adapted to the needs of the order. After various changes, the I. O. O. F. finally took possession of the hall in the Munn building, which has since continued in their hands, and is known as Odd Fellows' hall. The growth in importance and prosperity of Winneshiek Lodge has been steady and consistent. Some of the famous men of Freeport's history have been connected with the I. O. O. F. and always the order has stood for the best and most advanced in social, fraternal, and charitable circles. None of the charter members of Winneshiek lodge are living, and many of them never returned from the Civil War.
The lodge now numbers about one hundred and seventy members, and has elected for the current year the following officers Noble grand, W. F. Altemeier; vice grand, E. L. Yoder; secretary, Henry Brinkman; financial secretary, Frank B. Koenig. Meetings are held on Wednesdays in Odd Fellows' hall.
Freeport Lodge No. 239. A large number of German citizens of the Winneshiek lodge had for a number of years wished to organize into a separate lodge where their own mother tongue could be used in the meetings and rituals. In 1857 a portion of them decided to take this step, and a withdrawal from Winneshiek lodge was effected. A charter for the new lodge was petitioned for, and Freeport lodge was duly installed with the following charter members: D. B. Schulte, John Hoebel, Jacob Krohn, Henry Deuermeyer, and William Stine.
Meetings were at first convened in the old Odd Fellows' Hall over the Stephenson County Bank, corner of Chicago and Stephenson streets. The place of meeting was afterward moved to the lodge rooms in Munn's building, now known as Odd Fellows' Hall. Meetings have been held there ever since.
Freeport Lodge has an enrollment of about one hundred members at the present time. Meetings are held every Monday, and the business is conducted by the following officers: Noble grand, George Foss; secretary, Albert Dittman.
Stephenson Lodge No. 61. Stephenson Lodge is the newest acquisition to the ranks of the subordinate Odd Fellows' lodges of Freeport. It was founded in April, 1884, by members who thereupon withdrew from the other two lodges, W. W. Krape being instrumental in its founding. As it was thought best to conduct the business of Stephenson lodge entirely apart from Winneshiek and Freeport lodges, the new society did not meet in the old Odd Fellows' Hall, but secured new quarters in the Rosenstiel building, on the third floor over the store now occupied by H. A. Hunekemeier. Here club rooms have been fitted out, and the fraternal and social side of this lodge is made an especial feature. The membership is ninety-five, having grown from an original fifteen. The officers for the year are: Noble grand, Arthur Graham; secretary, Walter Oswald.
Western Star Encampment of Patriachs No. 25. Encampment No. 25 was founded at Belvidere, Illinois, but was subsequently removed to Freeport. The charter had been granted to Belvidere on the i4th day of October, 1857, and the removal was accomplished within a very short time after that date. The Western Star Encampment is the highest branch of Odd Fellowship and is open to all brothers in good standing who have obtained the Scarlet Degree in the subordinate lodges.
When the encampment was removed to Freeport the charter members were seven in number. The encampment now has a membership of one hundred and twenty-seven, among them some of the most prominent business men of Freeport. The officers are: C. P., Geo. McKnight; scribe, E. S. Auman. Meetings are held
Stephen A. Douglas Encampment No. 100. The Stephen A. Douglas Encampment was an outgrowth of Freeport Lodge, in that it came to be founded by the same German citizens who had been the originators of the subordinate organization. It was chartered October 12, 1869, by Jacob Krohn, John Hoebel, William Wagner, Sr., Henry Rohkar, Sr., Gabriel Lampert, and Mathias Hettinger, Sr., who made up the entire list of charter members. From this small list the membership has grown to about seventy-five. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in Odd Fellows' Hall. The officers are: C. P., Allen Janssen; high priest, Charles Meyer; secretary, Albert F. Dittman.
Canton Unity No. j P. M. The Canton Unity, which is a social and military order in Odd Fellowship, is the newest of the I. O. O. F. lodges of Freeport. It was founded in October, 1904, by I. G. Wise, with a charter roll of twenty-five members. The branch is somewhat analogous to the commandery in Masonry. Although of recent organization it is flourishing and promises to be one of the most active of the I. O. O. F. organizations of the city. There are about forty-five members. The officers are: Captain, E. L. Yoder; lieutenant, John C. Bricker; secretary, John Sharpies.
Busy Bee Lodge No. 138, Rebekah Degree. The honorary "Rebekah" degree, designed to include the wives and widows of Odd Fellows was originated in 1851. Freeport now possesses two lodges, of which the Busy Bee Lodge is the oldest. It was chartered in Freeport June 4, 1884, by about a dozen members, out of whom three are at present living. The especial function of the Rebekahs is to care for the charitable and social side of the Odd Fellows' organizations, with the emphasis on the former. They make provisions for the care and maintenance of dependent widows and orphans of Odd Fellows, and for that purpose they support two orphan asylums and homes at Lincoln and Mattoon in this state. The present membership is about one hundred and forty-eight. The officers for the current year are: Noble grand, Mrs. A. B. Haney; secretary, Mrs. Ida Howell. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month in Odd Fellows' Hall.
Illinois Lodge No. 259, Rebekah Degree. Illinois Lodge was established June, 1889. Dr. Krape, who was also instrumental in establishing Stephenson Lodge, was a factor in securing the Illinois Lodge. Forty-three names appeared upon the original charter, and Mrs. George Emerick became the first noble grand. Mrs. I. G. Wise was the first secretary of the lodge.
Illinois Lodge now numbers one hundred and seventeen members. The officers for the years are Noble grand, Mrs. Anna Jackson; secretary, A. Roberts. Meetings are convened on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in Odd Fellows' Hall.
This completes the list of the various I. O. O. F. organizations of Freeport. All are in a most prosperous condition, and have succeeded in accomplishing a great deal since their founding. A movement is now under way for the building of an Odd Fellows' Temple, but it is extremely improbable that the project will culminate in the near future at least. Concerted action is the only factor which can possibly bring about the building of such a temple, and at present, with Stephenson Lodge holding meetings in quarters of its own and having no connection with the other lodges, the outlook for such unity is not very bright.
Winneshiek and Freeport Lodges have taken steps toward the building of the temple, in that a sort of ways and means committee has been chosen. Among the active members of the committee are the Rev. William H. Beynon, William Garrety, Henry Brinkman, and George Schmelzle. Should these gentlemen be successful in raising enough funds to carry the project through, Freeport will have more reason than ever to be proud of its I. O. O. F. lodges.
The Freeport Lodge No. 617 of the B. P. 0. Elks was organized September 6, 1900, with a roll of charter members numbering forty. It is thus one of the youngest organizations in the city, but, during its career, has been very active. It has taken the place, to a great degree, of a young men's club among the younger business men of the city. All of the prominent young men of the city are identified with the Elks, and while the younger men are those principally interested in the lodge, and connected with its workings, the membership is by no means limited to their ranks.
The national organization of the Elks transacts its business with appropriate secrecy. Absolutely no publicity is given to the affairs of the Grand Lodge, and if some of the good offices were made public, it is certain that the Elks would number an even larger circle of friends and members than they today enjoy. The work of the order has been carried on in charitable lines, and an amount of work has been done which seems nothing short of astonishing to the uninitiated. For example, large sums of money were raised and sent to the sufferers in Italy after the great Sicilian earthquake at Messina. A great deal was done to alleviate the sufferings of the miners' families after the Cherry disaster, and in all of these good works, the Freeport Elks have not failed to do their part.
The Freeport Lodge maintains club rooms at 133 Stephenson street over C. W. Harden's store, between Van Buren street and South Galena avenue. Here a common meeting place is provided for the members of the organization, and thus' the social and fraternal life of the society is promoted. The lodge now numbers two hundred and forty members. Meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays of the month in the club rooms at 133 Stephenson street.
The officials of the Elks, known as the exalted rulers, are as follows for the current year R. P. Eckert, R. D. Kuchner, Dr. C. L. Snyder, T. H. Hollister, Emil Haeni, M. J. Hanly, W. E. Fry, Wm. A. Stevens, W. N. Tice, and Wm. G. Krape. John W. Clark is secretary.
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Stories, Volume 1
This is the entire text of the 1910 Fulwider History of Stephenson County except for the veterans and deaths from the Civil War, which are located elsewhere on this site. Still to be done: scans of the illustrations in the book, tables clarified, and errors corrected.
Part Four - Freeport