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Commemorating 100 years of 
community progress in the City 
of Pekin, Illinois. 


AT ur:,\na-champaign 


Compiled and printed as a service to 

the people of Pekin under the auspices p/ 




Credits for its production go to 
Thomas H. Harris, Chairman 

Charles L. Dancey, TTie History 
Miss fea Falkin and 
Charlotte Rau, Other Articles 
Marge Prenneman and 
June Wieburg, The Advertising 

W. Douglas Smith, The Pekin 
Daily Times, Hank Stockert, The 
Peoria Star and others, The 
Photography, Lohnes print Shop, 
The Book 

-Printed in U.S.A. 

):,{ X' ' 



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The Frontier Community 

Pekln became a city August 20, 1849, 
after its birth 25 years earlier in the 
rough and ready frontier tradition and 
its development as a community in that 
same atmosphere of violence and hard- 

The river valley was dotted with 
Indian villages and little else in 1824 
when Jonathan Tharpe built the first 
log cabin ever erected on the site of 
the city of Pekin and began farming an 
area including much of what is now 
Pekin' s principal business district. 

Only 10 years earlier there had been 
organized warfare on both sides of the 
river between Indians and American 
troops and militia, ending in the with- 
drawal of the troops. Even Port Clark, 
temporarily erected at the site of 
Peoria, had been abandoned and burned. 

However, Tharpe had no trouble with 
the Indians that roamed the area and 
had camps and villages at Pekin, on 
Ten Mile creek near what is now East 
Peoria, and on the far side of the 
river, and others followed him prompt- 

Just three years after he built his 
cabin, Mordecai Mobley brought in the 
first consignment of goods and Jacob 
Tharpe, Jonathan' s father, set up the 
first store in his smoke house. That 
year, William H. Hodge, the county sur- 
veyor, made the original plat of Pekin. 
He had no surveyor' s chain, and made 
his survey with string, a fact which 
accounts for the variety of measure- 
ments engineers still discover when re- 
surveying the original town properties 
and blocks. 

One year later, in 1828, just four 
years after the first cabin went up, a 
Methodist mission was established here, 
and settlers began to move up to the 
"river landing." Absolam and Joseph 
Dillon moved to "Townsite", as it was 
called, and Major Nathan Cromwell came 
up from Sand Prairie vthere he had 
settled, and Gideon Hawley, William 
Haines and Dr. John Warner became 
Tharpe' s neighbors. 

The first steamship came chugging up 
the river, churning water, blowing off 
steam and tooting Its whistle, so that 

old Jacob Tharpe thought the end of the 
world had come and routed his family 
out of their beds and summoned them to 

History records that one settler 
took after the monster with his dog 
and hunting rifle, and that it caused 
fear and consternation throughout the 

And it was then, In 1829, apparent- 
ly, that the settlers ceased to be 
"squatters" and obtained legal title to 
their lands here after a series of in- 
cidents which resulted in the first 
lots costing just 28 cents apiece. 

The official plat was taken to 
Springfield In that year and an auction 
held to dispose of the property embrac- 
ing much of what is now Pekln. The at- 
mosphere of the land sale was typical 
of the robust pioneer tradition. The 
room was filled with men who were armed 
to the teeth, eyeing each other watch- 
fully, and from time to time making 
threatening gestures and remarks. 

When the sale opened on the final 
day, a man identified only by the name 
of Harrington, reportedly jumped to 
his feet with pistol drawn and offered 
a bid of $1.25 an acre, adding that he 
would shoot the first man who raised 
that bid. 

Major Isaac Perkins paced the floor 
in a threatening manner, guns promi- 
nently displayed, and the room was 
quiet and tense as the auctioneer pro- 
ceeded but the lands were knocked down 
to Harrington without another bid being 
offered and without gunplay. 

Harrington's bold victory'was short- 
lived, however. Perkins permitted him 
to complete the regulations and acquire 
title to the lands, and then he and a 
group of Pekin settlers virtually kid- 
napped the interloper and forced him 
to convey the lands over to them in 
the original title deeds on which pre- 
sent ownership of most Pekin properties 
is still based. 

History doesn' t record who was with 
Perkins when they forced Harrington to 
release Pekin properties, but the lands 
turned up in the hands of Perkins, 
Gideon Hawley, William Haines and Major 

History of Pekin's Water Service 

The plant and distribution system 
of the Pekin Water Works Company was 
installed under a franchise granted 
by the City of Pekin to Charles A. 
Lamb. Chicago, Illinois, and Henry 
S. Raymond, Galena, Illinois, under 
date of May 24, 1886. A certificate 
of Incorporation was issued by Henry 
D. Dement, then Secretary of State 
under date of July 12, 1886. 

The stock of the company was 
owned by Chicago interests and the 
drilling of wells, installation of 
steam pumping equipment, construc- 
tion of a distribution system and 
erection of storage tank was en- 
gineered by E.S. Alexander, Chicago 

The original installation in- 
cluded 9 miles of cast iron mains 
4 inch to 14 inch in diameter and 
about 5 miles of wrought iron mains 
from %" to 2" in diameter; 100 fire 
hydrants and 32 line-valves. The 
wells and pumping station were 
located on the same tract now occu- 
pied by the plant. By the end of the 
year 1886 there were 189 customers 
served from the system. 

With a well capacity of 15 
million gallons per day and a pump- 
ing capacity of 8 million gallons 
per day, the present plant is able 
to amply meet all demands with 
adequate reserves for future growth. 
More than 350 fire hydrants provide 
the necessary protection for the 
entire city and over 950 line-valves 
insure a minimum of uninterrupted 

The Pekin Water Works Company 
has been a part of the history of 
Pekin for the past 63 years and has 
constantly adhered to a policy of 
quality, service and low cost. The 
owners and management have par- 
ticipated freely in the support of 
civic, educational and, charitable 
interests and will continue to do 
so in the hope that such policies 
may contribute to making Pekin an 
even more desirable city in which 
to live. 

In 1887 the company was purchased 
by the American Water Works and 
Guaranty Company, Ld. , of Muncie 
Indiana and Mr. FYank C. Amsbary was 
appointed local Superintendent. 
During this year, the company was 
at odds with the City Administra- 
tion who claimed that the wells were 
not drilled to "second vein" water, 
as the franchise provided. The city 
ordered a well digging firm from 

Chicago to drill a test well and a 
determination was made that "second 
vein" water was only a myth and that 
the company wells were located in a 
very desirable bed of gravel washed 

During the year 1887, the company 
could not earn its operating expense 
and pay interest on bonds and in 
January of 1888 the owners offered 
the plant for sale, and the first 
local Interest in the company was 
introduced when Mr. Goerge H. Lucas 
and Mr. Henry Lautz purchased the 
controlling stock. Prom time to time 
thereafter until 1901, several Pekin 
business men invested in the company 
but withdrew support when their 
investment earned no return. Henry 
Lautz, however, would not accept 
failure and by 1901 he had purchased 
all of the company stock and it has 
remained the property of his heirs 
since that date. 

In 1908 the company set its first 
meters and by 1918 all customers 
were on a meter basis. Prior to 
metering, rates were determined by 
the number of persons, horses and 
cows and the number of outlet taps 
for each service. Water used for 
sprinkling required a special rate 
application. Contracts were drawn 
with each customer in which the 
above data was included and a fixed 
yearly charge agreed upon. Contracts 
were effective for one year and 
billing and collecting was done door 
to door. In 1914 the Illinois Comm- 
erce Commission was established and 
all privately owned water utilities 
were required to establish rate 
schedules with the Commission. 

During the year 1909 a destruc- 
tive fire burtied the roof off the 
pumping station but service to the 
City was maintained without inter- 
ru p t i on . 

The water works plant serving 
Pekin today is a far cry from the 
early plant. Four 25" concrete wells 
have replaced the old 6" and 8" 
wells and modern electric pumps are 
now used in place of the old steam 
driven type. The circular stone 
tower that supported a steel tank 
holding 180,000 gallons of reserve 
water has been dismantled and re- 
placed with a concrete covered 
reservoir located on the East Bluff, 
with a reserve capacity of 214 
million gallons of water. Nearly 
75 miles of main are in service and 
over 6, 100 customers are served. 

Nathan Cromwell. When the deal was com- 
pleted and the lands were laid out in 
lots by these pioneers in 1830, it was 
calculated that the lots had cost 28 
cents each. 

Perkins early sold his share to 
Thomas Snell. a newcomer who became one 
of the conmunity' s early builders. 

It was then that Pekin was born AS 
PEKIN. Mrs. Nathan Cromwell gave the 
newly platted town that name, and is 
also responsible for the early naming 
of the streets and the unique designa- 
tion of the east and west street series 
with the names of women. 

Apparently the town was hardly 
platted before the first saloon made 
its appearance, for records show the 
county issued a liquor license that 
year to George W. Hinch at Pekin. This 
was 10 years before the appearance of 
a bank, and one year before the first 
school was organized. 

In 1831, the first school house was 
built at the corner of Elizabeth and 
South Second streets, and John S. 
Snell, son of Thomas, became its teach- 
er. Before the year was out, Pekin was 
designated as the county seat and the 
school also became the court house, re- 
placing that which had been used at 

So, eight years after the erection 
of the first cabin, Pekin boasted a 
name, a store, a saloon, a school, and 
had become the county seat. 

In addition to the white settlement, 
there were the wigwams and camp of 
Shaubena, one of the major chiefs of 
the Pottowatamie tribe located in what 
is now the city of Pekin. The chief's 
settlement was along the riverfront 
just south of the landing place in the 
vicinity of the old "Gashouse" hill and 
down toward the Farmers' grain eleva- 

A year later, news came to the new- 
born settlement that Chief Black Hawk 
had crossed the Mississippi with a 
large force of warriors, and the organ- 
ization of militia imnediately began, 
with considerable suspicion and concern 
among the settlers about the many 
Indians in the neighborhood. 

Unknown to the settlers. Black Hawk 
had sent a message to Shaubena here at 
Pekin, urging war against the whites, 
but Shaubena, who had fought beside 
Tecumseh at Tipplcanoe and knew of the 
power of the white man' s arms, resist- 

History records that Black Hawk told 
Shaubena, "If the Pottowatamie nation 
will rise, our warriors will number as 
the trees of the forest." And Shaubena 
replied, "If so, you will find that 
white man's warriors will number as the 
leaves on the trees of the forest." 

Shaubena' s decision came at the risk 
of his own life, and in fact, his son 

was later killed by war-like and dissi- 
dent Indians because of the charge that 
Shaubena was "a friend of the whites". 
At any rate, thanks to Shaubena, the 
Indians along the Illinois river valley 
did not take part in the Black Hawk 
war, and no unfriendly force of red- 
skins penetrated closer than 50 miles 
from Pekin. 

However, a militia company was form- 
ed in this county and formally mustered 
at Pekin, to march north against Black 

Here at home, the settlers hastily 
threw up a stockade "fort" around the 
Snell school which was also the Court 
house, and called it Fort Doolittle. 

Several times, false reports of 
Indian activity caused the people to 
rush temporarily to the shelter of this 
fort, which after a time they discover- 
ed was aptly named, because little 
could have been done in its defense. 
Belatedly, the frontier settlers dis- 
covered that they had provided for no 
source of water within the fort, and 
any prolonged defense would have been 
impossible. Fortunately, Port Doolittle 
never had occasion to be defended. 

The men who marched north under 
Capt. John G. Adams, after being 
mustered at Pekin, were not so fortu- 
nate. They joined companies from Peoria 
Fulton, and McLean counties, and were 
joined by other Pekinites, including 
Major Isa£ic Perkins who played such a 
key part in the original sale of Pekin 
lands, Col. Daniel Bailey, W. S. Rankin, 
David Alexander, and a lieutenant named 
Alexander McNaughton. 

They took part in the first clash of 
the war, the Battle of Sycamore, often 
called "Stillman's Run", because the 
bulk of the militia force simply broke 
and ran at the first contact with the 
Indians, and only a handful stood and 
fought and were killed. 

It is significant that Capt. Adams 
was among those who stood, and is 
credited as the man who rallied the 
only real fighting force at the Battle 
of the Sycamore, and that he was killed 
in action there. His wife, after whom 
Jane street in Pekin is named, lost her 
mind when told of his death. 

It is also significant that of the 
13 men killed in that fight, nine were 
from the Tazewell county company that 
was mustered at Pekin, and the other 
four from Pulton, McLean and Peoria 

Major Isaac Perkins of Pekin was 
killed at Sycamore and his body badly 
mangled by the Indians, indicating that 
he had inflicted more than his share of 
damage on them. He was killed just two 
years after the mix-up over title to 
Pekin lands. 

The militia company continued to 
serve through the three other more 


of the 


Radio Station WSIV 

studios in the Arcade Bldg. 




First on the air April 21, 1946 
Increased power to lOCO watts Feb. 4. 194f 



W. Kenneth Patterson 
Emil L. Prandoni 
George C. Udry 
and the entire staff 

successful battles of the Black Hawk 
war, and returned home upon the capture 
of the chief. Half the original re- 
cruits from Pekin had been killed in 
the fighting. The remainder received a 
veteran's "bonus" of 80 acres of land 
from the government. They had been paid 
at a rate of 86 cents a day per man and 

It was during the return from the 
Black Hawk war that Abraham Lincoln 
first visited Pekin, landing by canoe, 
and having a meal of corn meal and fish 
before proceeding on his way. 

A year later, in 1,833, David Marks 
arrived in Pekin and built the first 
brick building in the city for business 
purposes at the comer of Second and 
Court streets. He was a very wealthy 
man, and he and his family were 
destined to play a big part in the 
development of Pekin, continued today 
in the administration of the so-called 
"Cummings estate". 

However, the following year came an 
event more disastrous than the war. 
Asiatic cholera struck, causing not 
only wide-spread death and disease, but 
also terror. Families abandoned the 
town without even taking their belong- 
ings with them. Boats refused to stop. 
Travellers avoided the place. 

The cemetery at that time was locat- 
ed on what later became the Douglas 
school grounds: and when it was dug up 
and bodies removed, it was found that 
many had been buried without coffins 
and a number either buried hastily be- 
fore they were dead or else buried In 
such careless and fearful haste that 
they were interred face down. 

At about this time, a group of 
wealthy Easterners laid out Tremont and 
offered $2,000 and 20 acres for the 
county seat, which was promptly removed 
from Pekin and established at Treraont. 
Ihis was low tide for Pekin. 
Yet, in July of l§2i . the first 
township election was held with J.C. 
Morgan elected as president. The town 
early took over operation of the 
Illinois river ferry and has been in 
the transportation business almost 
ever since, but other ventures were 
not so successful or enduring. 

The state of Illinois launched a 
railroad to go from Pekin to Blooming- 
ton but abandoned it shortly after the 
start of construction. 

In 1839, the first newspaper, the 
Tazewell Reporter was founded at Pekin, 
and collapsed a few months later. In 
1840, Col. Charles Oakley opened the 
first bank in the Mark building, but 
although Oakley was a success (he was 
the man after whom Oakley avenue in 
Chicago is named) the bank failed two 
years later. 

The most enduring step taken during 
that period was the establishment of 

the city's first church, the MetTiodist, 
at 121 Margaret street. 

In the meantime, the energies of its 
foremost citizens were devoted to 
carrying on .the county seat feud with 
Tremont, a running political battle 
carried on largely in the state legis- 
lature, and causing a series of changes 
in the size and division of the county. 
It was while Pekin and Tremont 
fought bitterly, that Peoria was es- 
tablished and flourished. 

Incidentally, it was just after the 
Black Hawk war that the first land 
sales were held for what was to become 
the city of Chicago. 

Two more prophetic steps were taken 
in the early 1840' s. In 1840, John 
Gridley, city clerk, was authorized to 
purchase one fire ladder and two hooks, 
and apparently this was to be the only 
protection from fire available for 
years- until disaster changed things. 

The first township liquor license 
was issued April 21, 1841, to Lawrence 
Doyle and Henry Schwan for a fee of 
$25. There were many more to follow 

In 1843, with all its misfortunes, 
Pekin' s population had grown to 800; 
and then in December of that year, 
another epidemic struck. Fifty-two 
persons died and 500 were ill during 
that plague, only 300 of the entire 
population escaping entirely. 

Three years later came the Mexican 
war, and again Pekin citizens rushed to 
the colors, and again they served with 
special distinction. 

A company was mustered at Pekin 
under Captain Edward Jones, and Lieu- 
tenants William Knott and William 
Tinney. They joined a division under 
General Prank Shields, and landed with 
Scott at Vera Cruz. 

The entire force moved forward to 
assault the Mexican strong-hold of 
Cerro Gordo controlling the road to 
Mexico city. There the main body of 
the Americans faced the Mexicans and 
engaged them in combat while Shields 
division, Including the Pekin contin- 
gent, made a wide encircling movement 
through difficult country and fell 
upon the Mexicans from the rear. 

One group of Mexicans escaped the 
Pekin company, abandoning in their 
flight a buggy, a freshly cooked 
chicken, and a bag of gold. The 
Pekinites ate the chicken, turned 
in the gold, and one Sgt. John Gill 
of Pekin picked up in the buggy a 
wooden leg which proved to be that 
of the President of Mexico and General 
of the Armies, Santa Anna. 

It was later confirmed that among 
the group who narrowly escaped the 
Pekin company was the Mexican presi- 
dent and general. His capture, so 
narrowly missed, would undoubtedly have 


"Your Chevrolet Dealer Since 1916" 

The firm of Cottingham & Son was 
founded way back when the automobile 
was just getting its start. In the 
early days O.L. Cottingham sold such 
makes as: Stutz, Glider, Apperson 
JackRabbit, H.C.S. Special, Cole 8, 
and Dixie Flyer. In the year 1916, 
Mr. Cottingham started with Chev- 
rolet and the name Cottingham and 
Chevrolet in Pekin have gone down 
through the years together. In those 
early days the name Chevrolet was 
not so well known but its popularity 
has grown until for the past 18 
years it has been America' s LEADER 
in new car sales each year. 


Cottingham' s too have grown along 
with Chevrolet and this is evidenced 
by the upper photo as the firm ap- 
peared in the 1920' s and then as it 
appears today in the lower photo. 
Today the firm employs seventeen 
people and offers, in addition to 
the new and used car sales depart- 
ments, a complete stock of genuine 
Chevrolet parts and a mechanical 
staff to care for your every need, 
a body and fender department and a 
paint shop. 

ended the war at once, and brought an 
undying place in history for the Pekin 

Gill brought Santa Anna's leg back 
to Pekin after the war and later turned 
it over to state authorities. It is now 
displayed with other war relics at 
Springf i eld. 

Meanwhile, the Pekin unit continued 
to storm the Mexican position at Cerro 
Gordo after their brush with the 
Mexican general. General Shields was 
wounded in the action and was rescued 
by Lieutenant William Tinney of Pekin, 
who was awarded a gold medal for 
he roism. 

Shields' division, including the 
Pekin group, seized the Mexican ar- 
tillery and turned it on the Mexican's 
main line and the battle turned into a 
rout with complete victory for American 

Tinney returned to Pekin where he 
held a long series of public offices 
and became an almost legendary figure. 

The Mexican war veterans brought 
back with them an unusual prize, a 
church bell looted from a mexican 
mission, which they turned over to the 
Methodist church here, and which became 
Pekin' s first church bell. 

In 1848. about the time the Mexican 
war heroes returned and 18 years after 
the first tavern in the community, the 
Sons of Temperance were organized. 

The year 1849, just 100 years ago, 
was the turning point in Pekin's 
development. The Smith Wagon company, 
an enterprise which was to become one 
of the city's key enterprises and 
builders came into being at 301 Mar- 
garet street that year, and Jonathan 
Haines invented an improved mechanical 
reaper and built a reaper factory at 
Broadway and Ninth streets, the fore- 
runner of the great steel and farm 
implement factories of this area. 

The population grew. The first local 
census taken August 7, revealed a 
population of 1500 persons, so it was 
determined that a general election 
would be held to decide whether Pekin 
should organize under a city charter. 

The voting in that election was 
unanimous, and Pekin became one of the 
first cities in the State of Illinois, 
at a time when the number of Illinois 
cities could still be counted on the 
fingers. That first election, 100 years 
ago, was probably the first and last 
unanimous election ever held here. Its 
date was August 20, 1849. 

A month later, September 24. the 
first city election was held and 
Bernard Bailey was elected mayor. 
Aldermen were John Atkinson, David Ken- 
yon, William Maus, and Jacob Riblet. 
Ben S. Prettyman was city attorney; 
Thomas Cloudas, city marshal; and John 
Gridley. city clerk. 

One of the first acts of the new 
city was the construction of a city 
jail, which was built by John S. Boone 
that year, and which was apparently 
badly needed in the rough frontier 

This was the birth of the city of 

In 25 years, the community had sur- 
vived its violent origin in the land 
sales and transfers, two severe epi- 
demics, an Indian war, the Mexican war, 
flood, and its long political feud with 
rich and aggressive Tremont. 

Its population was a mixture of 
original frontiersmen, Indians, veter- 
ans of two wars, river men, farmers, 
and the first few hard-working, thrifty 
German immigrants who were to con- 
tribute much to its future growth. 

Its reputation was that of a disease 
ridden, rowdy, and sometimes lawless 
river town, rough even in comparison 
with other frontier towns of the area. 

Its population was 1500. It had more 
than its share of taverns, dirt, and 
violence; but there had iust begun to 
appear a strong new element in the 
organization and construction of two 
churches, the organization of the Sons 
of Temperance, the organization as a 
city, and the construction of the city 

One anecdote, set down as an example 
of the way Pekin appeared to strangers 
at this period, tells of the landing 
by river steamer of a stranger who 
sought lodging in a hotel here. 

He came first to the Eagle hotel. 
Proprietor Seth Kinman was sitting on 
the front step sawing out "The Arkansas 
Traveller" on his fiddle. The visitor 
looked at Seth, glanced into the door 
where there was dimly visible a scene 
of wreckage, and inquired if it was 
real ly a hotel. 

"Sure", said Seth, "Jest throw yore 
freight on the floor. The boys had a 
little fun last night but if I kin find 
a whole plate and a table that'll 
stand, I' 11 rustle you something to 
eat after a bit. " 

The stranger beat a hasty retreat 
and next approached the Taylor house. 
Bill Tinney, the Mexican war veteran, 
was its proprietor, and he didn't like 
the strangers' looks. He said he looked 
"like a dam yankee come west to fleece 
honest folk", and without warning he 
accosted the newcomer with an open 
razor in hand and asked him if he 
wanted to be shaved. 

The visitor made as hasty an exit as 
possible from the newly organized city 
of Pekin. 

The principal streets then were much 
as they are laid out today, except of 
course, that they were wider, made up 
of little more than the native dirt 
and mud, and that buildings were far 

The Art of Plastering has stood the test of 
time for hundreds of years. 

Through the use of plaster, to finish and 
decorate walls and ceilings, the culture and 
artistic development of a people may be 
measured. It' s use affords Permanence, Sani- 
tation and Resistance to fire. 

The artistry and beauty of a properly 
applied plaster cannot be attained with any 
other type of wall covering. 





Pekin Coal Mine Washing Plant 

The Pekin Mine was purchased by 
Mr. Fred Shaefer in May, 1939. It 
is located one-half mile east of 
Pekin on the Broadway road. The mine 
was opened by two shafts 100 feet 
deep and about 400 feet apart. It 
was developed in the Illinois No. 5 

coal bed which averaged 54 inches 
in thickness. 

The average daily production is 
about 325 tons which is cut by 
machines and loaded by hand into 
mine cars. All stoker coals are 
carefully prepared by one of the 
most modern coal washing plants In 
the middle west. The brand name for 
our stoker, lump, egg and nut coal 
is HOT-Test. The Pekin Coal Mining 
Company will continue to supply 
Central Illinois' coal needs with 
the same dependable service as they 
have in the past decade. 



More imposing homes were surrounded 
by extensive grounds and private lanes, 
and at the other extreme were rude, 
home-made log cabins surrounded by 
gardens and yards. 

A scattering of Indian wigwams re- 
mained in the camp near the riverfront, 
too, and the physical appearance of the 
riverfront was far different. Besides 
the greater height and width of the 
undammed river, there stood a body of 
water in the south-west part of town 
known as Bitzer's lake. 

It was so named after a shoemaker 
and tavern- keeper whose combination 

shoe-and-grog shop was located on the 
banks of this lake at Third and St. 
Mary streets. From that point a stream 
ran northward along Third street and 
emptied into the river at Catherine 
street, passing through a 16-foot 
ravine along the present riverfront 
area. This was early spanned by a 
wooden bridge. 

All of this made up the not-too- 
imposing picture of the city of PEKIN 
in 1849 when it first received its 

The future was not particularly 

—^ '';■ ^-^'^'' 


While the true picture of Pekin as 
it actually was in 1849 may be a dis- 
appointing picture of what is tra- 
ditionally glorified as the "brave new 
world", this community with its mud, 
its series of business failures, its 
crude and boisterous life, and its 
reputation as a pest-hole of disease, 
had one priceless quality which it 
shared with the rest of America-- free- 
dom: and because of that it WAS a part 
of a "brave new world" which beckoned 
enslaved people everywhere. 

Because of that one quality, muddy, 
sprawling, disease-ridden Pekin was a 
finer place than the neat, clean 
villages of Germany. 

For, in 1849. Prussia was just 
starting to use the blood and iron 
which was to "unify" Germany in a 
series of shotgun weddings. In that 
very year, her booted armies ripped 
Schleswig and Holstein from the kingdom 
of Denmark, and the shadow of her 
spiked helmets fell across all the 
Independent states of southern Germany. 

Austria, as yet unaware that her 
master-to-be was appearing in the 
north, was busy making war on Hungary, 
and Russia was Joining in to get her 
share of the spoils. The Balkans were 
all enslaved. 

The British crown weighed heavily on 
Ireland, whose miseries reached flew 
depths in a great potato famine in 
1849. and there was bitter fighting In 
India where England was annexing new 

Garibaldi had fled for his life from 
Italy, and there was a new Inquisition 
directed against his Republican follow- 
ers there. 

It was a world-wide joke in 1849. 
when President Zachary Taylor, the 
rough old Mexican war general, said at 
his inauguration, "We are at peace with 
the world--and with all mankind!" 

The fools who ruled the nations of 
the old world laughed that the new 
chief executive of upstart America 
should make a ridiculous repetative 
sentence, revealing his cultural 

But the people of the world did 
not laugh. They were not concerned with 
whether the language was correct. 
America WAS then at peace, however the 
words might be said, and the war-weary 
tyrannized people of Europe longed to 
come here. 

So, even in 1849. Pekin was not just 
a remote frontier town of 1500 souls 
completely cut off from the flow of 
world events. In fact, the policies of 
Bismark, Germany's Iron Chancellor, had 
more to do with the development of the 
city of Pekin, perhaps, than did the 
policies of President Taylor or the 
local decision to become incorporated 
as a city. 

The builder of the German Elnplre did 
much to build Pekin. For it was the 
Germans mostly who came to Pekin in 
their flight from old world tyranny. 
There were a few Irish, and later a 
good many Italians, but first cane the 



400 COURT ST. 

PHONE 183 

More' s store, at the corner of 
Court and Fourth streets, cannot 
boast of growing up with Pekin, but 
it does look forward to an estab- 
lished future and continuous service 
to people of this community. 

R.H. More came to Pekin in 1945 
because he liked this size and kind 
of town. It compared with the town 
in which he had lived and raised 
his family. In Pekin he found that 
people were friendly and cooperative 
and that merchants couldn' t afford 
to be anything except honest and 
industrious. The town was located in 
the heart of a prosperous farming 
area and here were varied industries 
necessary to keep a town growing. 

At first, More' s dealt mostly in 
auto supplies and tires with associ- 
ated lines of hardware and house- 
wares. As post-war production in- 

creased, the store added new lines, 
always with an eye to the practical 
mindedness and thrift-controlled 
purse of the customer. The toy 
section was expanded to appeal to 
the youngsters, and the useful gift 
item stock was increased manyfold. 

Careful attention was given to 
displaying merchandise both in the 
windows and in the store, and 
Pekinites commented about the con- 
tinual discovery of "new items" at 
More' s. Customers learned to ap- 
preciate the layaway and budget 
plans that were installed. 

Pekin lost a friend when Mr. More 
passed away in 1948, but his son 
and daughter fully intend to carry 
on his policies which include a fair 
mark-up, the same price to everyone, 
and a friendly interest in every 
sale, large or small, at More's. 


Shoe Store 



Proprie tor 






Men^s Wear 










Germans, and in the years that followed 
they literally flooded the town. 

But not all at once. There had to be 
an Abraham Lincoln, to phrase the phil- 
osophy of Freedom in words that no man 
could misunderstand, before the immi- 
gration reached flood-tide. There was 
a sprinkling about 1849 but there was 
much more to come. 

Teis Smith, who came here early and 
had just started his Wagon shop, con- 
tributed mightily to the influx of 
Germans at that time. His friends, 
relatives and former towns-people came 
and were employed at the shop, in newer 
enterprises and in special crafts and 

His brother Henry Smith came over 
with him in 1849, and brothers Fred and 
Dietrich Smith followed, and the 
following year their brother-in-law, 
Luppe Luppen, came over from Germany. 
Luppen invented an improved axle for 
the wagons which made them among the 
finest built, and Pekin' s first factory 
soon became a busy and prosperous 
en terpri se. 

In 1850, the legislature returned 
the county seat to Pekin from Tremont, 
made the action "perpetual", and a new 
Grecian style Court house was erected 
at the present Court house site. 

In that single year, Pekin' s popu- 
lation jumped from 1500 to 1840. most 
of the new Pekinites having come from 

That year, the first theater. The 
Empire, was built. It was located at 
327 Court street, the present site: but 
the theater was on the second floor, 
the ground floor being a dry-goods 

In 1851, the Velde lumber company 
was established. The growing German 
population organized the first Turn- 
verein, and a year later the first 
German language newspaper, Der Wach- 
teram Illinois, made its appearance. 

Rupert and Haines started the Platte 
Valley bank, a "wildcat" operation 
issuing paper money, which was to sur- 
vive nine years, and the Germans con- 
tinued to invade the city. 

Sunday, April 16, 1852, Pekin' s 
population increased by a somewhat 
unusual method, when a large number of 
people literally "blew into town". 

The Prairie State, a river steamer 
en route to St. Louis, was in the 
process of docking at Pekin when her 
boilers exploded. Many passengers were 
killed and maimed in the explosion, 
and others were scalded and drowned. 

Pekin' s people opened their doors 
to the injured, and almost every house 
in Pekin was occupied by some victim of 
the Prairie State explosion. Many of 
them remained after their recovery, 
among them the grandfather of Paul 
Sallee, the present Pekin trouper. 
He was on his way to St. Louis when the 
explosion scalded him badly, and he was 




337 COURT ST. 

For the past twenty years. Carps 
Department store has been serving 
Pekin and its surrounding communi- 
ties. In 1929, its doors opened at 
its present address, 337 Court 
Street. At that time, the store con- 
sisted of only the main floor and a 
balcony for ladies ready-to-wear. 

To meet the demands of a fast 
growing community. Carps was in the 
process of remodeling and expanding 
when the building was completely 
drstroyed by fire oi. February 9, 
1944. Carps immediately began look- 
ing for a temporary location, and 
on March 9th business was resumed 

in the building which now houses 
the Court Motors, on the corner of 
Capitol and Margaret streets. Work 
began at once on erecting a modern 
building at the old site, consist- 
ing of a main floor, an enlarged 
balcony, and a full basrment. 

Bernard Carp is well known in 
the Pekin community and his children 
attended the Pekin schools. His 
interest is always in the progress 
of the city. 

.J. J. Bottger, the manager, has 
been associated with the Carps for 
the past fourteen years. 

Pekin Warehouse Company 

The Pekin Warehouse Company, 
operated as an Internal Revenue 
Bonded Warehouse for the purpose of 
storing bulk or barreled alcoholic 
spirits, "In Bond" under the super- 
vision of the Alcohol Tax Unit, U.S. 
Revenue Department, is located west 
of the 800 block South Second 
Street, adjacent to Daileyville and 
the former site of the old C. P. and 
St. L. roundhouse. 

The Pekin Warehouse Company, at 
present one of the largest of its 
kind in the country, was established 
in 1936 and opened for business on 
November 10, under the management 
of Phil M. Kumpf, its present 
manager, with one warehouse having 
storage capacity of 20500 barrels. 
With the increasing demand for 
storage space a total of five ware- 
houses were in operation by June of 
1941 increasing storage capacity to 

88100 barrels, or some 4,500,000 
gallons of spirits. 

The bui Idings, t ied into one 
another, present the appearance of 
one large warehouse 675 feet long 
by 150 feet deep. 

The company normally operating 
with a complement of 12 employees, 
along with two Government Officers, 
acting in behalf of the U.S. 
Internal Revenue Department, employs 
as many as 60 people during seasonal 

Barreled spirits or whiskey is 
accepted for storage from any 
licensed Distiller or Importing Dis- 
tributor. At present, the company 
has merchandise stored for customers 
throughout the whole United States. 

The present officers of the 
company are Mr. Herbig younge, Pres- 
ident, Mr. Sidney Kessler, Vice- 
President, and Mr. W.L. Rutherford, 


some months recovering in the care of 
a Pekin family. When he recovered, he 
married here and made Pekin his home. 

The march of progress which started 
with incorporation as a city continued, 
and was reflected in many ways. 

An indication of the heavy immi- 
gration could be seen when there was 
an ice jam in the river at Cairo in 
January of 1854- It held up 14 steam- 
boats loaded with some 2,000 German 

The Germans built neat homes, and 
were enthusiastic gardeners. They 
located in large numbers in the north- 
east part of Pekin. Their gardens gave 
that part of the city a character all 
its own, and it came to be called 
"Bohnen Pertel" in German, later called 
"Bean Town", for the same reason; and 
with the passage of years "Bohnen 
Fertel" became corrupted into Bonshe- 

Though the gardens are long since 
gone, Pekinites still refer to " bonshe- 
fiddle" and "bean town" in speaking of 
that part of the city. 

Besides the appearance of the 
Germans in ever increasing numbers, 
the business growth, the Industrial 
development, and booming trade, in part 
caused by the newly completed Illinois- 
Lake Michigan canal, there were other 
new elements appearing in the life of 
the city. 

The stirrings of anti-slavery senti- 
ment began to make their appearance, 
largely among the German settlers. 
Abraham Lincoln had succeeded in 
getting a court order setting free 
Black Nance, a slave of the same Nathan 
Crorawells who had named Pekin; and in 
1853, Lincoln represented the city of 
Pekin in a lawsuit against H. Myers 
and company. In 1853, the Baptist 
church was organized and a building put 
up at the present Elizabeth street 
location. The Baptists were among the 
faiths who had abolitionist sentiments. 

Dr. Daniel Cheever, living at the 
corner of Capitol and Court streets, 
was a leading anti-slavery man; and 
his home became a depot in the under- 
ground railroad by which slaves were 
stealthily moved north to safety and 

Samuel Woodrow, an original Pekin 
settler, (Catherine street was named 
for his wife) and his brother Hugh 
Woodrow, (Amanda street was named for 
his wife) were also active in the fight 
against slavery and the business of 
aiding slaves to escape, but they moved 
their base of operations south of Pekin 
to Circlevil le. 

In spite of the fact that there were 
these leaders in the movement, Pekin 
was a pro-slave city for years. Some of 
the original settlers bad been slave- 

owners themselves, and the overwhelming 
sentiment in Pekin was Democratic. 
Stephen A.Douglas, not Abraham Lincoln, 
was the local hero, although Lincoln 
was well-liked, and had some German 
fol lowing. 

During this same period, the leader- 
ship of a Pekin man and a meeting held 
at 400 Haines avenue in Pekin, provided 
the seed of what was to become the 
present University of Chicago. About 
1850, Pekin' s Baptist minister, the 
Rev. Gilbert Bailey, summoned the Rev. 
J.C. Burroughs of Chicago and the Rev. 
H.G. Weston of Peoria to discuss the 
need for a Baptist college. 

As a result of that meeting in 
Pekin, Stephen A. Douglas was contacted 
and he arranged a grant of 10 acres of 
government land which happened to be 
available at Chicago. There the Douglas 
University was started, which later 
was re-organized with a large Rocke- 
feller endowment as the University of 

Meanwhile, Pekin' s growth became 
faster and faster. In 1858, Bitzer' s 
lake was drained to make right-of-way 
for the new Peoria, Pekin and Jackson- 
ville railroad (later the Chicago, 
Peoria and St. Louis, and today the 
Chicago and Illinois Midland). The 
depot was built up on piling where 
Bitzer' s lake had been, and much of the 
track there was trestled. The 16-foot 
ravine cutting across the river front 
area was filled, and the bridge over 
it destroyed. The city had subscribed 
$100,000 to get the railroad and other 

That year Col. William Callendar 
built the Hamburg, Pekin' s first dis- 
tillery, which was the start of the 
great distilling industry in this area. 
A gas company was also formed that 
year, and the Velde-Roelfs hardware 
company was founded. 

The biggest day in that particular 
era came on July 4, 1859, when the 
first train finally pulled into Pekin 
on the new railroad tracks in the midst 
of a city-wide celebration complete 
with flags, bands, and a parade. 

In 1859, Abraham Lincoln won the 
presidential nomination of the Repub- 
lican party, thanks to the efforts of 
David Davis, a former Pekin resident 
who headed the Illinois delegation. He 
was later rewarded by an appointment to 
the United States Supreme Court. Henry 
H. Cole, Pekin' s pioneer photographer, 
who died in 1925 at the age of 92. was 
a visitor at that convention in the 
"Wigwam" at Chicago, and he, with 
hundreds of others, returned bare 
headed having lost his silk hat In the 
wild enthusiasm following Lincoln's 

Lincoln and Lyman Trumbull had 
spoken before a good -sized crowd in 


Getz & Swisher Agency 

Herget Bank Bldg. Phone 135 
Reliable Insurance Service 

Dwellings - Furniture 
Mercantile Buildings & Contents 
Automobile - Bonds - Plate Glass 
Business Interruption - Liability & Farm Insurance 

A partnership by B.E. Getz and 
Nelle J. Swisher was organized in 
Sept. 1945 when the agencies of B. 
E. Getz and Robert S. Hornish were 

Mr. Robert S. Hornish died Aug. 
28, 1945- He had operated his agency 
since Oct. 1, 1928 when he purchased 
the John L. Smith Agency. In Aug. 
1937 he added to his agency the 
business of his brother Geo. B. 
Hornish and in April, 1941 he pur- 
chased the P.W. Soady Agency. 

B.E. Getz commenced his insurance 
business Nov. i, 1937 when he pur- 
chased the Chas. P. Holland Agency 
and in April 1939, he purchased the 
B.P. Waltmire Agency. 

Miss Nelle J. Swisher was associ- 
ated with Mr. R. S. Hornish in the 
insurance business since 1933. 

As a result of the consolidation 
of the above agencies and the 
experience of the present partners, 
the Getz & Swisher Agency is proud 
of their contribution to Pekin's 
business progress. 

^^ ^^ S17-S19 COURT aTRCI 



Jones Bros. Jewelers was founded 
March 4, 1939, by Orville and Earl 
Jones. It was started after many 
years of preparation and study in 
all fields of the jewelry business. 

The actual start was in 1928, 
when Earl started to study at Brad- 
ley Horological Institute. A short 
time later Orville took up the study 
of Horology. There followed years 
of practical experience in all 
fields of the jewelry business. 
Their combined experience includes 
watch and jewelry repairing, jewelry 
manufacturing, clock repairing, 
diamond setting, engraving, and 
jewelry designing. 

Earl Jones took up the study of 
Geraology, and in 1936 received the 
title of Certified Gemologist and 
Registered Jeweler of the American 
Gem Society. He was president of 
the Northern Ohio Guild of the A.G. 
S. and has served as instructor at 
their annual Conclaves for many 
years. At present he serves on the 


Board of Governors of the gemo- 
logical Institute of America. 

Earl was working as designer and 
sample maker of Orange Blossom rings 
at the Traub Manufacturing Company 
and Orville was managing the watch 
repair department at Wm. Taylor Son 
& Company in Cleveland when they 
decided to combine their talents. 

In 1942 the Town and Country Gift 
Shop was added, and 1947 the store 
was completely remodeled and en- 
larged to its present size. The 
remodeled store includes a large 
China and glass department in a 
separate room, a gift shop, a new 
silver department, and a much 
larger jewelry section. The repair 
department has grown to include 
four watchmakers and three jewelers. 
During the Christmas Season there 
are as many as 20 employees. 

Prom a small beginning in 1939 
their store has grown to the largest 
jewelry store and gift shop in 
Central Illinois. 






Pekin' s court house square. October 6, 

In 1858. Peter Weyrich was elected 
mayor, another indication that the new 
German citizens were moving into the 
political as well as business life of 
the city. 

Thus, the first 10 years of Pekin' s 
existence as a city brought a flood of 
German immigrants who brought to Pekin 
Its first factory, its first dis- 
tillery, a number of new business 
houses, new churches, its first rail- 
road, and finally a changing attitude 
toward slavery and a changing political 

In I860, Pekin had grown from 1,860 
people of the 1850 census to 5,023. 
There were 742 houses, 49 stores, four 
hotels. 26 industries and workshops, 
half a dozen drug stores and $2,000,000 
of taxable property. This year, George, 
John, and Philip Herget started a 
grocery store in Pekin. 

There were also 11 churches and 12 
schools, as compared with 25 saloons 
and five pool halls, but apparently 
that represented an improving con- 
dition. There were 503 children attend- 
ing the schools. 

After these 10 years of almost un- 
broken progress and prosperity came the 
city's first major disaster since its 

Fire equipment was apparently still 
limited to the single fire ladder John 
Gridley had purchased as town clerk a 
decade before, and on March 22. 1860. 
a fire broke out on downtown Court 


street in the E. Grodenburg grocery 
store. It swept unchecked down both 
sides of Court street and razed the 
entire block on both sides of the 
street from Third to Capitol streets, 
including the Tazewell Register build- 
ing and equipment. The loss was 
estimated at $150,000. However, that 
block was all rebuilt, and this time 
with brick buildings. 

The fire had another by-product in 
that it created a fever for the organi- 
zation of fire companies in the city, 
which, in turn produced new evidence of 
the growing size and strength of the 
German element and of the clash between 
the new and the old citizens of Pekin. 
A fire- fighting company was quickly 
organized after the fire and made ap- 
plication for a fire engine to be pur- 
chased for their use. Then a group of 
German population got together, and 
they too organized a fire company and 
made a similar request to the council. 
Both asked to be designated as the 
Number One company. 

The arrival of the engines by steam- 
boat was the occasion for a public 
celebration. All the townspeople turned 
out and the two companies donned their 
uniforms, fell in. and marched down 
Court street to the dock. There it was 
found that the engine designated for 
the German company had a big "No. I" 
painted on it. and the engine designat- 
ed for the original company was 
similarly painted "No. 2". 

At this discovery, the original com- 
pany fell into ranks again, announced 
that "Our engine isn't here", and 



The city of Pekin is served with 
electricity and gas by the Central 
Illinois Light Company. Since 1865, 
when the first gas utility was or- 
ganized in Pekin until the present 
day, advancement of utilities have 
been paralleled with the growth of 
the city. 

To trace the history of utilities 
in Pekin, one must go back to Feb. 
18, 1861, when an Act to Incorporate 
the Pekin Gas Light Company was 
approved by the General Assembly of 
the State of Illinois. It was in 
1865, however, before the Pekin 
Gas Light Company was organized, 
with Wm. Stansbury as president. 
Mr. Stansbury served in this ca- 
pacity until 1893, when this company 
was sold to H.G. Herget. In 1866, on 
Feb. 5, the first gas street lights 
were turned on in Pekin and the old 
lamp-light was a familiar figure 
until 1888 when they were replaced 
by electric street lights . In 1886, 
the first electric utility was 
organized and was known as the Ft. 
Wayne Electric Light Company. One 
year later, August 18, 1887, the 
Jenny Electric Light Company of 
Pekin was formed and acquired all 
the interests of the Ft. Wayne Elec- 
tric Light Corapany. The City of 
Pekin Electric Light and Power 
Corapany was organized in 1891. This 
company continued operations until 
it was dissolved on March 17, 1900. 

In 1899, the name Pekin Gas Light 
Company was changed to Pekin Light, 
Heat and Power Company, bringing 
together the gas and electric 
properties of the city. Gas and 
electric properties were again 
separated in 1902. Gas was supplied 
by the Pekin Light, Heat and Power 
Company and electricity by the 
Citizens Gas and Electric Company. 
This separation coritinued until May 
1, 1913, when the Central Illinois 
Light Company was formed. This 
company acquired all the interests 
of the Citizens Gas and Electric 
Company and leased the gas proper- 
ties of the Pekin Light, Heat and 
Power Company. In 1934, the Pekin 
Light, Heat and Power Corapany vyas 
dissolved and it wa.s at this tirae 
that the Pekin Utilities became the 
Pekin District of the Peoria Di- 
vision of the Central Illinois Light 

Much eraphasis has been put upon 
the Pekin District in CILCO' S ex- 
pansion prograra. New gas mains have 
been laid and old ones repaired. The 
generating capacity at its main 
power station has been more than 
doubled within the last ten years, 
to keep abreast with the increasing 
demand for its services. The Central 
Illinois Light Company will continue 
to grow to supply MORE POWER FOR 

Central Illinois Light Company 


marched away, leaving the unwanted "No. 
2" sitting on the dock. 

However, three fire companies in all 
were organized and did operate shortly 
after the original conflagration. They 
were the Defiance fire company, the 
Independent fire company, and the 
Rescue fire company with a total mem- 
bership of more than 200 men. 

The fire companies proved to be 
more social than anything else, staging 
a grand parade once a year and a 
victory celebration after each blaze; 
and after a time these celebrations 
came to be a problem too. The city 
offered $10 to the company that was 
first to reach a fire and douse it, and 
at that time this was about the right 
sum to stage a sizable victory party, 
with liquor about 25 cents a gallon. 

Immediately, the city was visited 
with a record-breaking series of fires, 
many of which started in a suspicious 

It is said that a fire company that 
felt a celebration was due would muster 
its men, line them up at the ropes of 
their engine, open the door, send out 
a chosen member to start a fire, and 
then stand by, waiting for the alarm to 
come in. In this manner, the old com- 
panies sometimes reached fires in a 
remarkably short time. Pacing this sort 
of practice, the city council withdrew 
the $10 bonus, which was getting expen- 
sive in more ways than one, and the 
number of fires was promptly reduced. 

It was in 1862 that the first fire 
station was built. B.S. Prettyrnan was 
then mayor. 

The practice of independent fire 
companies setting their own fires is 
further proof that the flare for vio- 
lence which was born in Pekin still 
remained after 35 years, and there was 
other evidence of it about that same 
t ime. 

A murderer named John Ott, who had 
killed a woman and two children near 
Delavan, had been sentenced to be 
hanged in the Court house square, March 
1. 1861. A stockade was erected around 
the new scaffold to provide a private 

The citizenry had a different idea 
about the thing, and they poured into 
Pekin the day before the hanging, and 
did a lot of pouring after they arriv- 
ed, too. That night, rowdy, drunken 
mobs of people milled in the streets 
and tore down the stockade. 

A lynching was feared, and three 
companies of troops were hastily 
brought into Pekin and martial law was 
declared In the city; but even with 
martial law the scene of the hanging 
proved to be a combination carnival 
and Roman holiday. An estimated 10,000 
people jaimed the streets of the city. 
Business men built platforms on their 

properties and sold space. Troops sur- 
rounded the scaffold to prevent any 
interference with the grim business 
itself, but the crowd hooted at the 
condemned man and crowded every avail- 
able point of vantage. 

One platform collapsed, injuring a 
number of would-be spectators. Another 
over-zealous onlooker plunged right out 
of a second story window and was badly 
hurt. People not only crowded in to 
see, themselves, but many held small 
children high above their heads to let 
them see Ott hang. 

Had they known it, most of the 
families of this area were soon to have 
all the violence they wanted for a long 
while, because it was only a matter of 
days after the disgraceful mob scene 
at the Ott hanging that the first shots 
of the Civil War were fired; and Pekin 
and this area were to feel the effects 
of that war as harshly as any sub- 
sequent conflict, and in many ways 
more so. 

This era of Pekin' s history closed 
with the city still much of a frontier 
town, with much of its business still 
transacted in the off-hand frontier 

The law was administered, for 
example, largely without records and in 
the rough hewn style of the frontier. 
Attorneys needed little more than the 
recognition of the court to practice 
law, and many of the judges themselves 
had little or no legal qualifications. 
Juries were rounded up in a catch-as- 
catch-can manner. 

It is recorded that during the term 
of Sheriff William Tinney (The Mexican 
War veteran) a newcomer from the East 
repeatedly challenged jurors in a case 
at law here. Each objection caused 
Sheriff Tinney the unpleasant task of 
scouring the countryside for another 
jury panel. The third time the newcomer 
lodged his protest. Sheriff Tinney 
knocked him unconscious with a chair, 
and the court simply adjourned because 
of the lack of response of the 
attorney--who incidentally left town 

In spite of the evidences that rough 
edges remained, however, there was 
considerable physical change in Pekin. 

The last of its Indian Population 
had been moved westward to a Kansas 
reservation during this period, and 
with them went a few Pekin men who 
had married squaws: and hundreds of 
Germans more than took their place, 
bringing with them something of the old 
world civilization. 


With the outbreak of the Civil War, 

Pekin citizens found themselves divided 

in sentiment, and those who fought for 

the Union found that this battle had to 




Commonwealth Edison Company is proud and happy to 
be a part of this progressive community. While it is true 
that we haven't been here as long as many of you, we 
still feel that we are a real part of the community and 
join in celebrating its centennial anniversary. 

It has been a pleasure to be instrumental in this com- 
munity's development and we look forward to many, many 
more years of pleasant association with its citizens. 

Your neighbors at Powerton Station 


be fought here at home as well as on 
the many battle-fields nf the war 

While Pekin soldiers marched, even- 
tually, from Cairo to the Gulf of 
Mexico and eastward, with Sherman, " to 
the sea", the Union symphatizers at 
home had problems too. 

The record shows that Tazewell 
county sent 3,000 men to the colors in 
the Union army in the Civil War, a 
shockingly high number of soldiers in 
proportion to the population of that 
day- -a considerably higher percentage 
than served even in World War II. 

Perhaps because so many Union en- 
thusiasts immediately left with the 
Army, the secessionist element seemed 
to have the upper hand here at home 
during much of the Civil War. The 
"Knights of the Golden Circle", an out- 
right secessionist organization, met 
openly, and were bold in their sympathy 
to the rebel cause; while those who 
believed in the Union spoke often in 
whispers on Pekin streets and were 
wary and often afraid. 

The German domination suffered some- 
thing of a blow in the face of the more 
aggressive and unprincipled policies 
of the secessionist group. They shied 
at first from violence and the threat 
of violence and gave way before the 
rebel sympathizers here at home. 

The condition was tolerated only for 
a short while, however. On June 25, 
1862, 11 men gathered secretly at 331 
Court street for the purpose of organ- 
izing a pro-Union campaign AT HOME. The 
leaders were mostly those few "original 
settlers" even at that time, but the 
naturally more hesitant German element 
soon took an active part. This organi- 
zation was called the Union League, and 
the idea behind it inspired a similar 
meeting a short time later at Blooming- 
ton, and later at Chicago, where John 
Medill founder and publisher of the 
Chicago Tribune took an active part, 
and soon the Union League, launched by 
11 men at Pekin on June 25, 1862, swept 
the entire North and became a great and 
powerful instrument for propaganda and 
finance in support of the War. 

In view of the great efforts to 
bring about a "negotiated peace", the 
Union League made a tremendous contri- 
bution to Lincoln's policy of continu- 
ing the war until the Union was secure. 
The men who gave birth to that idea, 
and held that first organization meet- 
ing of the Union League were: the Rev. 
James Vernon, Methodist minister at 
Pekin; Levi Garrett, a Pekin Merchant 
living at 335 Caroline street; Charles 
Turner, Tazewell county's states 
attorney, a Pekin lawyer; George Har- 
low, a city alderman who lived at the 
corner of Fourth and Prince streets; 
Dr. Daniel Cheever, who lived at Court 

and Capitol streets and had operated a 
"depot" on the underground railroad 
there; John W. Glasgow, a Justice of 
the Peace, who lived at Third and Mar- 
garet streets: Henrv Pratt, supervisor 
from Delavan; Jonathan Merriam, Arming- 
ton stock farmer; Alexander Small of 
Deer Creek, and Major Richard Cullom 
of Deer Creek. 

The importance of their action, and 
the prestige it gave them is reflected 
in the future of the founders them- 
selves. Turner became a Civil War 
general; Harlow, secretary of State of 
Illinois; Merriam, a Union Colonel and 
a candidate for governor; and Cullom 
was the father of Illinois Governor 
Shelby Cullom. 

It was also reflec-ted in the endur- 
ance of the Union League long after the 
Civil War, although its character 
changed considerably. The Union League 
persists in larger cities like Chicago, 
New York and Boston, even today, al- 
though these leagues are now largely 
social organizations - wealthy, ex- 
clusive, and with strong Republican 
political sympathies. 

In spite of the division in loyalty 
reflected in Pekin during the war, 
particularly in its earlier stages, the 
city made a great contribution on the 
battlefield as well. Hundreds of her 
citizens were among the 3,000 soldiers 
from Tazewell county, and at least two 
companies were actually formed directly 
at Pekin. 

The 108th Regiment of Infantry. 
Illinois volunteers, was commanded by 
Col. (later General) Charles Turner of 
Pekin. the same Charles Turner who was 
a founder of the Union League. Company 
B of that organization was formed at 
Pekin under Capt. Richard B. Howell and 
later Capt. Wilbur F. Henry. They ser- 
ved under General Sherman, did heroic 
work at Vicksburg, and suffered 
terrific casualties both from disease 
and the enemy. Their long confinement 
on transports during the Mississippi 
river campaign by which Grant first cut 
the Confederacy in two caused the heavy 
disease casualties. 

First Lt. Philo W. Hill of Pekin was 
among those who died. Other company 
officers were Garrett G. Ruhaak and 
Wilbur Franks and John J. Kellogg. 
Kellogg was wounded in action. 

Here is a roster of that company: S. 
J. Bumstead; Benjamin Swayze (later be- 
came a lieutenant); Edward J. Davis: 
John Ledterman (later became an officer 
commanding colored troops); Harlan 
Gridley; Reuben W. Heyers (became 
prisoner of war); Stephen B. Sallee; J. 
W. Timbrell (drowned in service): M. B. 
Williams; I.R. Brown; Samuel Rankin 
(died in service); J.G. Stauffer; W. T. 
Masters; E.L. Brown (died in service); 
P.O. Bowers, (died); S.K. Bowers; 





lutlding filaUrtalB 



In the spring of 1922 a Mr. Maus 
residing in the Tremont house, 
northeast corner of Court and Sixth 
Streets, told Donald F. Velde at our 
office that when he was nine years 
old (1851) and living on a farm near 
Tremont, he 'came to this corner with 
his father to purchase lumber and it 
has been a lumber yard ever since." 

In the early days, we have been 
told, this site was a lumber yard 
operated by a Mr. Seeyle. 

In 1890, D.F. Velde purchased the 
interest of Mr. Henry Peltman which 
changed the firm name of Velde & 
Peltman (C.L. Velde and Mr. Feltman), 
to C.L. Velde & Company. (The deed 
dated October 6, 1890 conveying 
Henry Peltman' s one-half interest to 

D.F. Velde was notarized by the Hon. 
Joseph V. Graff, Notary Public, and 
recorded by John Fitzgerald, Clerk 
of the Circuit Court.) 

The firm was operated by C.L. 
Velde and D.F. Velde under the name 
of C.L. Velde & Company until April 
of 1922 when D.F. Velde purchased 
all the interest and the firm name 
was changed to Velde Lumber Company. 
D.F. Velde died in 1924 and since 
then the ownership of the Velde 
Lumber Company has been his widow, 
Emma S. Velde, and sons, Donald F. 
and H. R. Velde. • 

On April 2, 1928, a fire com- 
pletely destroyed the lumber yard, 
but it was immediately rebuilt as 
it stands today. 



William Bloom; H.C. Barnes; Thomas 
Champion; Joseph Cockrell; Granville 
Collins; Samuel Campman (prisoner); H. 
L. Coggins; Leander Clark (died): Lean- 
der Pish; J. A. Goodwin (died); W.P. 
Goodwin (died); Jacob Holsopple; Edward 
Holsopple (died); William Heilraan; 
George Heilraan (died); J.R. Howell; 
John Hubbard; Samuel Iwig; John Jones 
(died in rebel prison camp); J.C. Jones 
(died); Henry Kohler; Chris Kress 
(died); John Kress (died); H. Ledterman 
(killed at Tusello, Miss.): Thomas Mc- 
Bride; G. W. McGinnis; Louis B. Mussel- 
man; Jonathan Neavar (died); Jacob 
Neavar (prisoner); Isaac Perkin; Thomas 
Potter W.F. Perdue; John Rausch (died); 
Samuel 'Rausch (died); W.H. Rich (died); 
G.A. Rausch (died); J.R. Riblet; T.B. 
Stewart (died); D.M. Stewart (died); 
Henry Sanders; J.J. Sallee; Isaac 
Stettler; W.H. Sipe; Wil 1 iaro Strlck- 
faden; Joseph Shelton (died); C. T. 
Sloat; H. S. Tobey; Vitruvius Trew; J.G. 
Turner (died); C. S. Westerman; P.W. 
Wehrle; Levi Wilcox; J.W. Webb; Adam 
Bengal; J.H. Charles J.H. Castle; 
William Colburn (died); George Cott- 
rell; J.W. Damon; J.W. Draper; Alpheus 
Dunnigan; Barnett Hoff; H.C. Kellogg; 
H.J. McGrew; Robert McQuality; J.H. 
Trumbull; Michael Wicks; and William 
Watson (killed at Guntown, Miss.). 

Pekinltes, in addition, were scat- 
tered through more than 20 regiments of 
Illinois volunteers. They served for 
the most part under Generals Grant, 
Sherman, and Sheridan, and helped give 
the Union that series of victories in 
the West which so much off-set the 
repeated defeats in the East, until 
these troops and their generals were 
taken East where they brought the war 
to a close. 

The list of the battles of these 
units includes Fort Donelson; Shiloh; 
Pittsburgh Landing; Corinth; Vicksburg; 
Chickamauga; Atlanta; Mission Ridge; 
Missionary Ridge; Lookout Mountain; 
Belmont; Mur f reesboro; Nashville; 
Kenesaw Mountain; Jonesboro; and 
various guerilla campaigns. 

Several units containing large num- 
bers of Pekin men marched with Sherman 
from "Atlanta to the Sea" , the second 
great maneuver cutting the Confederacy 
in two from North to South as they had 
earlier helped cut it in two from East 
to West along the Mississippi. 

Picked at random from these volum- 
inous records are these names of Pekin 

William Bogardus, died of wounds, 
serving with the 86th Infantry. 

K.S. Conklin, an officer with the 
Eighth Infantry, which fought clear 
through five major battles of the Miss- 
issippi campaign. 

Henry Pratt and John Reardon, 
captains in the 115th Infantry. 

Jonathan Merriam, another of the 
founders of the Union League, a Lt. 
Col. commanding the 117th Infantry, and 
among his officers was Benjamin Hier- 
onymus, and there was also a private 
named David Dempsey. 

Dietrich Smith, brother of Teis 
Smith and co-founder of the Wagon shop, 
was a Caotain in the 139th Infantry. 

Joseph S. Maus, Captain, 155th In- 
fantry, with Lieutenants J.B. Ketchum 
and Samuel Shellenberger. In that same 
company there was a bugler Frank Smith, 
who died of wounds, and a Fred Erlicher 
who was killed at Pea Ridge, and a 
private named L.L. Manker. 

In the nth Cavalry, which rode with 
Sheridan, fought at Shiloh and Corinth 
in the West, conducted a campaign 
against guerillas in the border states, 
and finally rode with Sherman on his 
march to the sea, there was a Pekin 
company captained by William Olmstead 
and Bernard Wagner. Lt. Richard Bums 
was killed at Shiloh, and other 
officers included David Cummings, John 
Backus, Charles T. Maus, and David 

There was a Sgt. Sam Dusenberry, and 
Pat and Elwood Hapenney served with 
this company. 

Other familiar names, enlisted from 
Pekin, serving in the 11th Cavalry, 
were Jonathan Boyer, Jonathan Sommers, 
Jacob Graf, Adam Nievar, James Watson, 
John Metz, David Edds, A.C. Powers, 
William Cohenour, Patrick Curran, 
Joshua Davis (died), Jacob Hays, 
Nathaniel Hudson, D. H. Harmon (died), 
John Kemp (died), George Miller, J.C. 
Myers (died), Daniel Nelson (died), 
Jonathan Slawbaw, L. A. Town, Joseph 
Wagner, Charles Cunningham, William T. 
Johnson, Edward McParland, Thomas 
Powers (died), and George Hainline. 

In addition to serving in the early 
battles of the war in the West and 
through the great campaigns that ended 
in Lee' s surrender, Pekin troops were 
among the handful who fought in the 
last battle of the war. A group of 
Pekin volunteers fought the battle of 
Spanish Port in Texas, the last battle 
of the Civil War, which took place long 
after Lee's surrender at Appomattox and 
considerably after Lincoln's assassi- 
nation. Inasmuch as the Confederate 
cause was a rebellion, there was no 
treaty or formal peace made at the 
Close of the Civil War. 

Curiously, the Union troops were 
beaten at the Spanish Port! 

The Civil War, together with the 
immigration which had preceded it, 
changed the character of the city of 
Pekin considerably. 

Pekin had long been a Democratic 
stronghold before the war. The Knights 
of the Golden Circle had been powerful. 



The Chicago & Illinois Midland 
Railway Company's present line 
through Pekin was originally con- 
structed in two sections; One lead- 
ing from the south, having been 
built from Virginia, Illinois (via 
Havana) in 1853 by the Illinois 
River Railroad, and the other from 
Peoria on the north, having been 
constructed about 1855 by the Peoria 
& Hannibal Railroad. In 1864-1868 
both of these roads were acquired by 
the Peoria, Pekin and Jacksonville 
Railroad which extended the south 
line into Jacksonville, Illinois. 

In 1881 and 1882 a road known as 
the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific ac- 
quired the Peoria, Pekin and Jack- 
sonville, as well as a line from 
Havana southward into Springfield 
that had been constructed between 
1873 and 1878 by the Springfield & 
Northwestern Railway. Just prior to 
the purchase by the Wabash, St. 
Louis & Pacific, the ten mile con- 
nection leading from Pekin to Peoria 
on the west side of the river, was 
released to the Peoria & Pekin 

The well-known Chicago, Peoria 
and St. Louis Railroad entered the 
picture in 1888, when it acquired 
the property. This road expanded its 
operations until it had connections 
into Alton and St. Louis. 

For ten years, 1926 to 1936, the 
Pekin-Springf ield line was owned by 
the Springfield, Havana & Peoria 
Railroad and leased to the Chicago & 
Illinois Midland Railway. Finally in 
1936, the Chicago & Illinois Mid- 
land Railway took over ownership and 
has owned and operated it since that 

During the operation of the 
property by the present owner, the 
Chicago & Illinois Midland Railway, 
the property in the Pekin area has 
undergone a complete modernization 
of its plant until it now is fully 
equipped to handle all local and 
through business in a speedy and 
efficient manner. 

Among the facilities provided in 
the city of Pekin are: 

Main track 3. 20 miles 

Sidings (43) 8.34 miles 

Buildings: Passenger and freight 
depot, water and coaling sta- 
tion including concrete engine 
inspection pit, and dispatching 
office at Crescent Wye. 
Among the industries served are; 
Standard Brands, Quaker Oats, 
Powerton Generating Station, Corn 
Products Refining Co., Pekin Ware- 
housing Co., as well as a number 
of gasoline and fuel oil dis- 
tributing companies, Phillip Rein- 
hard & Son. and Velde Lumber Col- 
material yards. 
In the Pekin area the Chicago & 
Illinois Midland Railway employs 
locally more than 50 men, with an 
annual payroll exceeding $156,000. 

The Chicago & Illinois Midland 
Railway originates approximately 
120,000 tons of freight in the Pekin 
area and delivers, including coal to 
the Powerton Plant, some 1,750,000 
tons. It operates 2 passenger trains 
each way daily in and out of Pekin 
and an average of 10 freight trains 
in and out daily. 

Being cne of the proprietary 
lines of the Peoria & Pekin Union, 
the Chicago & Illinois Midland Rail- 
way has many outlets for through 
traffic via the Peoria gateway; and, 
with its Springfield, Illinois - 
Taylorville, Illinois, trunk line 
connections, the Chicago & Illinois 
Midland Railway is in an advan- 
tageous position for handling 
through traffic destined to any 
part of the nation. 


In spite of its growth, development, 
and the influx of steady, hard-working, 
thrifty German immigrants, it had kept 
many of the raarhs of the frontier town. 
Something of the change was reflect- 
ed in its political life in 1865, the 
year the war ended, when William W. 
Sellers, one of the founders of the 
infant Republican party, was elected 
mayor, and his council included as 
Alderman, Peter Shaumleffel, Ties 
Smith, W. Von Maus, and J. P. Tucker. 


After the Civil War, there came a 
new German immigration, greater even 
than the first, and Pekin began to take 
on more and more signs of civilization 
after its primitive beginnings. 

Just before the war closed, in 1864. 
the Schipper and Block company was 
established at 304 Margaret street, 
also the Ehrlicher brothers drug store 
at 324 Court street, and after peace 
came there was a rush of new business 
and other development. 

Gas lights were installed on Pekin' s 
streets in 1866, bringing the plank 
walks and mud streets out of the 
complete darkness at night for the 
first time. That year the Smith bank 
was established at 331 Court street, 
the First National bank at 304 Court 
street, and at Fifth and Court was 
established the Foundry and Machine 
shop which was later moved and is now 
the Pekin Foundry at Third and Sabella. 

The following year a Brewery and 
malt house was built at Broadway and 
Front streets, and the Pekin, Lincoln 
and Decatur railroad was built. It 
later became part of the present Illi- 
nois Central railroad system. 

In 1870. the Herget building at 
Court and Fourth streets was built, and 
a race track was constructed on Broad- 
way at the eastern city limits. 

It was during this same .period that 
Henry Westerman started the Crown dis- 
tillery, aad Daniel Reisinger also 
started a distillery. James Doheny^and 
William Spellman built the Enterprise 
distillery, and Phil Herget built a 
malt house at the foot of Broadway, the 
start of expanded Herget enterprises 
which was to come. 

During this period, starting in 
1867, the Ladies auxiliary Library 
association was founded and the first 
steps taken toward the establishment of 
the present city library, and in 1866. 
the^ first Pekin high school had been 
built and put into operation at the 
corner of Washington and Sixth streets, 
where the Washington Junior high now 

These were signs of civilization, 
but only signs. Signs of the primitive 
nature of the still-new city, and of 

the primitive passions of its people 
were still much in evidence, too. 

For one thing, Pekin still seemed to 
be plagued by fire. The city jail burn- 
ed In 1868, the Methodist church was 
destroyed by fire in 1870, and there 
was a rash of destructive industrial 
fires to follow soon after this 
period's rash of distillery building. 

PEKIN'S FIRST HIGH school, built 
in 1866. 

But the facts of life in Pekin of 
that period are not pictured accurately 
by recounting the growing business and 
industrial activity alone, or the 
record of natural misfortunes. There 
was also a great deal of lawlessness 
still in the area, and bandit gangs, 
operated almost without hindrance and' 
apparently without fear in the area, 
with headquarters generally near 
Circleville. south of Pekin. 

In 1869. a sheriff's posse attempted 
to serve a warrant on a member of the 
so-called Berry gang, an exceptionally 
bold undertaking as things went in 
those days. The party was ambushed by 
the Berry gang, and returned to Pekin 
badly shot up. 

Sheriff Henry Pratt, a Civil War 
hero, was dead; George Hinman. the 
jailer, was badly wounded; and a con- 
stable named Copes had a bullet through 
his coat; in fact, the Pekin marshal, a 
man named Hinman. was about the only 
one of the group to escape completely. 
Their arrival caused a sensation on the 
streets of Pekin. and the news spread 
like wild-fire over the county. Immedi- 
ately, people began to gather. That was 
Friday night, July 30th, 1869. 

As evidence o* the boldness with 
which this outlaw band had been 
accustomed to operate, the very next 
day, Saturday. Bill Berry, the bandit 
chief, appeared on the streets of Pekin 
with his customary swagger. He made a 
fatal mistake, however, that has often 
been repeated, and failed to learn a 
lesson that has often been taught. Men, 
organizations, and nations have pro- 
ceeded on the principle that people who 
will take a lot of abuse will always 




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take a little more, only to discover 
that in America there always comes a 
point at which people seem to suddenly 
change, decide a limit has been reach- 
ed and explode. Great leaders of great 
nations have failed to heed that pe- 
culiar American trait, so perhaps it 
isn't too strange that Bill Berry made 
the fatal mistake of appearing in Pekin 
that Saturday. 

His gang had committed other crimes, 
other murders, some more barbarous in 
that they included helpless children. 
and the townspeople had simply appeared 
more frightened each time he made his 

But a limit had been reached, and as 
if by plan. Pekin citizens reacted to 
his appearance this Saturday. Where he 
had walked before and men had vacated 
the sidewalk, he was suddenly covered 
by a dozen guns in the hands of men he 
always thought were afraid to lift a 
finger against him. The surprised Berry 
was hustled into the county jail, and 
the spirit of the townsfolk was the 
spirit of the entire area. The time had 
come to bring an end to Berry and his 

Posses sprang up without notice, 
knowledge or plan all over the area. 
Hundreds of men began scouring the 
countryside in Tazewell, Mason and 
Woodford counties. 

Meanwhile, as the news of Berry's 
capture spread, victims of his raids, 
the families of victims, and the 
friends of victims began pouring into 
Pekin. One hundred men were called out 
to protect the county Jail and fore- 
stall any lynching or lynch attempt. 

But that Saturday night, the people 
came, and this was no drunken mob. A 
dozen men marched on the jail, and 
suddenly without warning hundreds 
appeared from the darkness where they 
had been stationed on every side and 

completely overwhelmed the guards. They 
crashed into the jail, smashed down a 
series of iron doors and came to Bill 
Berry's cell and smashed it open. 

But al 1 of the attackers were not 
Bill Berry's enemies, for from some- 
where in the crowd a knife flashed 
through the air. Berry caught it. and 
slashed out. He wounded several men be- 
fore he himself was shot and wounded, 
and he was then dragged out of the jail 
and promptly strung up to a tree at the 
corner of Court and Fourth streets. 

Bill Berry was hanged, and Bill 
Berry died, but that did not make an 
end. The various posses throughout the 
area persisted in their separate hunts 
for weeks. Ike Berry was captured in 
Mason county near Bath; Robert Britton 
at San Jose; Emanuel Berry. Matthew Mc- 
Farland, Cornelius Daily. --one by one, 
the members of the Berry gang were 
captured in that man-hunt. Ike Berry 
was sentenced to life imprisonment, and 
other members of the gang got lesser 
terms of from 15 to 25 years. 

This explosion of public violence, 
in the midst of all the peacable signs 
of civilization, demonstrated that 
Pekin still carried something of the 
flavor of its primitive and violent 
origins into the post-Civil War period, 
and yet the lynching of Bill Berry was. 
in a way. a sign of civilization, too. 
It dramatically served notice, a notice 
served directly by the citizenry them- 
selves, that the era of bold and open 
lawlessness was over, and that the rule 
of force by organized gangs preying on 
the public would not be tolerated. 

The hanging of Bill Berry marked the 
end of the frontier atmosphere in which 
men made their own laws, according to 
their ability to shoot a gun. 

It wasn't legal in itself- -but it, 
too, was a sign of progress. 


It was curious that a half dozen 
distilleries should make their appear- 
ance immediately after the Civil War. 
especially curious since Pekin had sus- 
tained only the Hamburg distillery in 
the days before the war when whiskey 
was 25 cents a gallon. 

In those days there were not only 
some 25 saloons in the city but it was 
a common practice to reverse the later 
"free lunch" system, and grocery stores 
often had a keg at the door so thfct 
customers buying groceries could have 
a "free drink". The war had changed all 



312 Margaret Street 
Chartered July 6, 1900 

(Peoria Sunday Star - July 8, 1900) 

Permanent organization was 
effected by union carpenters in 
Pekin Friday evening. Fifteen were 
initiated. Officers were elected and 
installed and matters of interest 
and importance presented and dis- 

The present is considered a most 
favorable opportunity to advance the 
interests of journeymen and con- 
tractors. It is proposed to es- 
tablish trade rules in harmony with 
the Peoria Local as much construc- 
tion of factories and eventually 
dwellings will be done between the 
two cities along the line of the 
Terminal railway. 

Much benefit should be realized 
from the action taken and the out- 
look is very bright for a union of 
strength and activity. Quite as many 
more have given their names for 
membership and the charter will re- 
main open for a few weeks at a very 
low fee for membership. 

Meetings will be held weekly and 
the place announced when agreed 

upon. Within a short time it is 
proposed to hold a public meeting 
which will be of interest to all. 
Addresses by men of national repute 
and knowledge should bring out those 
interested, either journeymen or 
contractors, for all may learn some- 
thing, particularly that organi- 
zations of labor are not formed to 
distress the employers but to 
elevate the workingman, which is the 
result when the hours of labor are 

It is realized that the craft of 
carpentry in particular is under- 
paid. Good results are hoped for 
from renewed efforts and for the 
permanency of the union. 

May 27, 1949 Local 644, after 49 
years of progress, dedicated their 
new building at 312 Margaret St., 
built by Ed Lampitt & Sons one of 
the oldest contracting firms in 

This building stands today as a 
memorial to those 15 courageous men. 

Ehrlicher Brothers Cd. 



, (ytT9aynn^ 



Jir ^n*id£t*HU J9a*«/ 

This is an exact reproduction of PRESCRIP- 
TION No. ONE filled July 7, 1865, one year 
after the founding of our establishment. It was 
written by Dr. Samuel T. Maus for Mrs. James 
Haines Sr. , two of Pekin' s earliest pioneers. 

We have just completed 85 years of continu- 
ous drug business in the same room. We feel we 
have a right to be proud of our record. 

All prescriptions entrusted to our care are 
filled as written - no substitution - which has 
gained us the confidence of the physicians who 
wrote them. All ingredients used are pure and 
fresh, of the highest standard, compounded only 
by qualified full -registered pharmacists who 
know how. 

To the people of Pekin and vicinity, for 
your confidence we say -- 


Ethical Prescription Service 

1864 - 1949 

328 Court St. 
Pekin, 111. 


that. A neavy tax was levied on liquor 
and it remained in effect after the 
war, so that the tax alone was $2 a 
gallon, eight times as much as the 
former retail cost of Whiskey. The 
multiplication of the cost of whiskey 
by tax hardly seemed like a signal for 
the big building boom in distilleries. 

Some of the sudden popularity of the 
distillery business became a little 
more understandable in the 1870' s, when 
the existence of a vast "whiskey ring" 
conducting bootleg operations to bypass 
the heavy taxes came more and more to 
the public consciousness. The power of 
the ring was said to be tremendous in 
a wide area with headquarters at St. 
Louis, and something of its potency 
he're in Pekin is indicated by the 
incident In which a revenue man was 
reportedly arrested by local authori- 
ties and held in custody on a trumped 
up charge while a boat- load of whiskey 
was cleared off the dock and hidden 

Officials were party to the secret 
alliances which made it possible for 
some whiskey makers to present false 
reports, with the effect of paying 
taxes on as little as one-third of 
their actual whiskey shipments. In 1870 
the vast bootleg conspiracy received 
some attention, although it continued 
until 1874. using less bold methods. 

On the other hand there was nothing 
bashful about the business of emptying 
the vast city cisterns built for fire 
protection here in Pekin, and filling 
them with highly inflammable bootleg 
whiskey instead of water. Liquor was 
also cached in corn shocks, and kegs 
were- sealed and sunk in the Illinois 
river, here and at Peoria and other 
locations. Hundreds of those invaluable 
kegs were recovered by federal agents 
dragging the river later. 

In 1874 and 1875 public indignation 
reached such a pitch that the break-up 
finally came with wholesale arrests all 
over the state. It is recorded that 
Pekin people at that time saw whole 
carloads of prisoners hauled through to 
St. Louis to face a Federal court. 
Actually, however, no one of importance 
was ever sent to jail, as only a few 
"mediocrities" took the punishment and 
the whole thing passed over; but at any 
rate the "whiskey ring" was broken and 
the millions of dollars being side- 
tracked from the U.S. treasury into 
private hands, while never recovered, 
was at least discontinued. 

And so we find that while the lynch- 
ing of Bill Berry in 1869 might be 
considered as the close of the era in 
which Bill Berry's kind of lawlessness 
was tolerated, another kind of lawless- 
ness persisted, the big time lawless- 
ness of the "Whiskey ring" with all its 
political alliances and profits. And 

while Pekin persisted in having its 
progress flavored with violence or law- 
lessness, while it continued to have 
its underworld as well as real business 
progress (sometimes the two overlapped) 
still progress did continue. 

During the period of the whiskey 
ring' s exposure and final overthrow, 
the Germans came to a position of 
almost complete dominance of the po- 
litical and commercial life of the 
city. Their dominance was reflected in 
the city council where the aldermen in 

1871, for example, were William Blenk- 
iron, D. W. Umdenstock, George J.Webber, 
Habbe Velde, and John Wagenseller. All 
but William Blenkiron were Germans. In 

1872, the mayor was John Stoltz. In 

1873, it was John Herget. 

During that same five year period 
between the discovery and the end of 
the so-called whiskey ring (roughly 
from 1870 to 1875) there was also an 
era of church building, forecasting a 
better city to follow. 

In those five years were built the 
St. John's Lutheran church at Fourth 
and Ann Eliza; the Reformed church, 
which later became the Presbyterian 
church, was built at 305 South Fourth 
street; the German Methodist, later 
Grace Methodist church, at Fourth and 
State streets; St. Paul's Episcopal 
church, at Washington and Buena Vista 
avenue;, and just two years later, the 
St. Paul's Evangelical church, at 
Seventh and Ann Eliza streets. 

The 14-year-old depot, standing on 
"Stilts" over what had been Bitzer's 
lake, was replaced by a new Union depot 
at Third and Broadway. 

Lakeside cemetry was laid out in 

1874, and that year J.B. Irwin founded 
the Pekin Times, a weekly paper follow- 
ing the Tazewell Register. William 
Bates published the Tazewell Republican 
and the German language "Freie Presse" 
was to come two years later. 

The Illinois Hotel, then called the 
Sherman House, was built at Second and 
St. Mary streets. The Parmer' s National 
bank was founded. The Winkel Brewery 
was established. 

The Smith Wagon company burned to 
the ground in 1874, but the enterpris- 
ing Smith brothers not only rebuilt it 
at once but a year later formed also 
the Smith Plow company which did a 
thriving business producing and selling 
an improved plow invented by Luppe 

The Weyhrich Header Works at Broad- 
way and Fourteenth streets became the 
second reaper factory in the city, and 
a fire station was built at Five 
points, which building is still stand- 
ing, now known as the Old Library 
building and used primarily as a poll- 
ing place. 


Henry Birkenbusch & Son 

"The Reliable Jeweler Since 1867" 

Two years after the civil war, on 
May 23, 1867, Mr. Henry Birkenbusch 
became an apprentice jeweler to John 
J. Woelfle, from whom he learned the 
jeweler's trade, then continued as 
an employee until 1887. when he pur- 
chased the business. 

Later, Mr. Birkenbusch' s son, 
Louis, preparing to enter his 
father's business, attended Bradley 
Horological School in Peoria, and 
the Kandler School of Engraving in 
Chicago. He entered the business in 
18 98 and served as one of his 
father's jewelers and engravers 

In 1929 the firm became Henry 
Birkenbusch & Son. Mr. Henry Birken- 
busch continued to take an active 
interest in the business until his 
death at the age of 95, which gave 
him the distinction of being, by 
far, the oldest active businessman 
in Pekin. After the death of Henry 
Birkenbusch, his son Louis became 
the sole owner. 

Changes in Court street during 
the past century have been numerous 
but for 82 years the address of 
Henry Birkenbusch & Son at 420 Court 

street has never changed. 

Railroads have always demanded 
accurate time and require their 
engineers and other personnel to 
have their watches checked at regu- 
lar monthly intervals by a reliable 
jeweler whom they appoint. 

Henry Birkenbusch & Son has been 
the appointed jewelers for seven 
railroads in the Pekin area for many 
years. They have the distinct honor 
of being the oldest authorized watch 
inspectors for the entire Santa Fe 
Railroad system. 

The large regulator, located in 
the west window of the store has 
served well to keep Pekin on time 
these past 82 years. 

In addition to excellent watch 
inspection and repairs, you will 
find world famous precision tested 
watches. You will also find silver, 
china, and crystalware to compliment 
every distinctive taste; diamonds 
and precious stones to satisfy your 
every desire. Several generations of 
Pekinites have made Henry Birken- 
busch & Son their headquarters for 
reliable jewelry. 




S.S. KRESGE CO. 335 court st. 


Thus, during the period of the 
whiskey ring, Pekin also suw the 
development and growth of its churches 
and its legitimate business community. 
Like the Berry lynching, the break-up 
of the whiskey ring, when coupled with 
the growing moral and social conscious- 
ness reflected in increased church life 
indicated that an era of careless 
consciences was coming to an end, pav- 
ing the way for real progress. 

So Pekin came to the close of its 
first 25 years of incorporation. 

P£Hiri ILL' 

As the city of Pekin passed the 
milestone of its first 25 years, it 
found itself in a period of virtual 
stagnation in many ways.- There was an 
end of the Bill Berry and Whiskey Ring 
brands of "free enterprize", and there 
was continued business development, but 
for a long time there was little 
PHYSICAL change in the city itself. 

After its first flood. German immi- 
gration settled to a trickle. In the 
70" s, and particularly the late 70' s, 
German was taught in public schools, 
and most city and legal publication was 
carried on in German in the Preie 
Presse. Persons, particularly trades 
men, without a knowledge of German 
found life difficult in Pekin, and some 
left the city for that reason. In 1870, 
the population of Pekin was 5,676: 10 
years later in 1880, it was only 5,993. 
The German flood which had contributed 
so much to Pekin' s sudden gro?*th in the 
middle of the century was now to pre- 
vent its growth and freeze its de- 
velopment population-wise for decades 
to come. 

Similarly, the Old World crafts and 
trades that the Germans brought, at 
first a tremendous stimulus to business 
activity, also exercised a conservatism 
that had its effects. 

So there was little change in the 
city physically, as far as public im- 
provements were, concerned. The streets 
were just open areas of earth, inches 

deep in dust during dry weather, deeper 
yet in mud when it was wet. Court 
street sidewalks were made of two- inch 
lumber, side streets of one-inch. 

Apparently there was a sidewalk tax, 
because records reveal that in 1875, 
Fred Schaefer was granted exemption 
from the sidewalk tax inasmuch as his 
walk was examined and found suitable. 
Generally, the sidewalks were a source 
of constant trouble, and one of the 
principal occupations of the city 
council seemed to be approving claims 
against the city, many of them by 
persons injured on broken walks. Heavy 
rains frequently floated the plank 
sidewalks away just when they were 
needed the most, and there were no 
sewers and not much drainage of any 
kind. The sidewalks around the court 
house itself were at one time official- 
ly proclaimed unsafe. 

Only a handful of the railroad 
crossings were actually " crossings" : 
most of them simply blocked the street 
effectively, buttressed by six foot 
drainage ditches along the right-of- 
way. There were some street lights, of 
a sort. As late as 1880 records show 
that there were 97 gas lights and 55 
gasoline lamps on the streets of Pekin, 
but they did not throw enough light to 
keep the citizenry from falling over an 
occasional sleeping cow or horse--or 
what was worse, over something left 
behind by the cows and horses. 

The city government's principal 
contribution to progress had been the 
earlier subscription of $100,000 for 
the building of the original railroad 
into the city, and in the 70' s the debt 
in bonds had grown to $173,000, most of 
it at TEN PER CENT interest! The 
fashion seemed to be, for the most 
part, to let the bonds go until they 
became due, and then float a new bond 
issue with which to pay off the old 
one, this procedure being repeated many 
times. Sometimes special elections for 
this purpose were called twice in a 
single year. Each time there was a 
ceremonial burning of the old bonds as 
If the debt had really been liquidated 
instead of just postponed. City taxes 
then were double the school tax, a 
situation now reversed. 

Politics in city government was 
often the politics of privilege. When a 
new administration took office, it was 
customary for a complete turnover of 
city jobs to be made forthwith, and not 
only of city jobs but of all the city's 
business. This was generally trans- 
ferred to the business houses of the 
aldermen, and in some occasions when no 
alderman happened to be in the par- 
ticular business of which the city re- 
quired service, one of them got into 
that business temporarily. 






PHONE 746 



The Martin B. Lohmann & Co. In- 
surance & Real Estate is one of the 
oldest agencies in Pekin and Taze- 
well County. Martin Lohmann wrote 
his first insurance policy and 
opened his office in the Arcade 
Building in 1908- In 1914 he pur- 
chased the present location of the 
agency and as business grew, his 
brother Rudolph Lohmann, became a 
member of the firm. At the time of 
the death of Rudolph, or "Curly" 

as he was better known, Paul was 
taken into the partnership and he 
and Martin have successfully 
developed the agency into one of the 
largest agencies writing general 
insurance in the city of Pekin. They 
specialize in Fire, Automobile, and 
Bond insurance along with a success- 
ful Real Estate Agency, and have 
been in the same location for 
thirty-five years. 

Sommer Bros. Seed Co. 

H ;jE viqEQg^i r»'E!EiiJi ;s>3 1- 

"LOKolesala cliacL Tla to. lI 

Phone 2234 

Pekin, 1 11 

Sommer Bros. Seed Company of this 
city started in business in 1909. 
Incorporated as Sommer Bros. Seed 
Company in 1948. 

Active in producing and process- 
ing wholesale field seeds of highest 
quality. News of the excellent 
quality of the Tiger Brand is gett- 
ing around so that many truck and 
carload shipments of seed are being 
made to all parts of Central and 
Eastern United States. 

Latest modern cleaning equipment 
both at Pekin and at the Topeka, 
Kansas plant enables Sommer Brothers 
Seed Company to furnish field seeds 
of an unusual high purity and germi- 

Special emphasis is given to 
Alfalfa, Red Clover. Sweet Clover 
and other legume seed. 

Latest cleaning installations at 
Topeka enables the company to pro- 
cess Bromegrass which has become so 
popular throughout the cornbelt. 

Pasture and Lawn grasses have 
been given a lot of study. A pasture 
of lawn sown with Sommer Brothers 
Seed Company - Tiger Brand seed 
always stands out as superior. 

Punk's "G" Hybrid seed corn has 
also been distributed since 1936. 
The highest yields of good quality 
corn obtained during this time set 
these hybrids in a class by them- 
selves - away out in front. 

When Tiger Brand Seed is sown, you plant with confidence. 


"'"■'ll'JJi » ;i; :l I _. 





-, 1 — ■ -, 1 Mfl«M». 

^:. J-^^ 




The Farmers Automobile Insurance Association 

Pekin, Illinois 

The Association is referred to 
categorically in the Insurance In- 
dustry as "The Pekin Company." While 
our history does not date back as 
far as that of the City of Pekin, 
we are proud to have a growing 
organization in a growing city. 
While our income is derived from 
many communities in Central Illinois 
a substantial portion of our ex- 
penses are paid out within the City 
in the form of payroll, operating 
expenses, and loss settlements. 

The financial stability of the 
Association as shown by the annual 
statement as of December 31st, 1948, 
indicates total admitted assets of 
$1,781,296.58 liabilities of 
$1,257,157.81 and surplus to policy- 
holders of $524 , 138. 77 . Total 
premiums written for the year 194b 
of $1,831,335.00 made a favorable 
showing compared to the automobile 
premium written in the State of 
Illinois during that year. 

The Board of Directors of the 
Association are: Wm. Preitag, Pres- 
ident; B. L. Baird, Vice-President; 
Edw. Schrock, Treasurer; W.F.Donley, 
Thurman Scott, Fred Worner, *.W. 
Gingrich, Ivan H. Snow, and R.A. 
Hieser. Of these, Mr. Preitag and 
Mr. Donley were on the original 
Board when organized in 1921. 

The program of direction of this 
Board has kept pace with the ever- 
changing conditions of company 
management, public relations, and 
modern coverage, while adhering to 
the original motive of organization. 


In April, 1921, more ttian a 
quarter of a century ago The Farmers 
Automobile Insurance Association was 
organized in Pekin, Illinois. 

During that quarter of a century 
the organization has grown and 
changed in many respects, however 
the orimary motive for its existence 
has remained unchanged. 

The organization came into being 
as a means of providing automobile 
insurance for a preferred group of 
policyholders at a preferred rate. 
Originally designed to cover the 
requirements of farm people it now 
includes service to city dwellers as 

The business of the Association 
was originally conducted with the 
help of one part time employee and 
had its office in the basement of 
the Court House Building. At a later 
date offices were maintained in the 
Arcade Building and later moved to 
the Farm Bureau Building. The activ- 
ities of the Association are now 
carried on in its own modern four 
story office building located at 
34 South Capitol Street in Pekin. 

Activities of the Association are 
chiefly limited to Central Illinois 
with a great bulk of its operations 
in the close proximity of Pekin. 
These activities require the 
services of 72 employees in addition 
to a Board of Directors consisting 
of 9 men and an agency force con- 
sisting of 165 licensed agents 
throughout Central Illinois. 

John Fischer 
Wm. Preitag 
E. P. Paine 
Geo. B. Storey 
Bert L. Urish 

W. P. Donley 
Edw. Heubach 
Relda Rankin 
John M. Goar 
Getz & Swisher 

Schurman Agency 








For safety's sake check these items 
today and at regular intervals . . . 

The most important safety device 
in a car is a safe driver. 

□ BRAKES • . ; po they t.ike hold prompih |. p^ j,„„^. ^^e .raffic laws? 

and evenly? will the hand brake hold the car.' 

□ HEAD LIGHTS ... Do both upper and lower 
beams burn? Are (hey aimed to avoid glare? 

□ REAR AND STOP LIGHTS ... Do all bulbs 
work? Does the stop light go on wich '^c 


Q TIRES . . . Are they properh inflated? Do 
\ou wacth for worn out treads, cuts and fabric 

□ WINDSHIELD WIPERS ... Do they wipe 
ihe glass clean? Do blades need replacing? 

Q ML'FFLER ... Is it tight so that ny exhaust 
gas conies into the 

[~] STEERING . . . Docs ihe steering wheel have 
coo much pl.i> .-' Are the wheel bearings light? 
How about ihf alignment ? 

r~] GLASS ... Is it clear and clean? Are cracks 
or stickers obstructing yout vision? 

[~] HORN . . . Does it work, in case you need it? 

□ REAR VIEW MIRROR . . . Does it give the 
driv.:r a clear view of the road behind? 


2. Do you observe all trallic signals, signs and lJ 
pavement markings? 

3. Do you use the proper hand and methanital □ 
signals for turns and stops? 

4. Do you drive in and turn from the proper [~\ 

5. Do you give the pedestrian a break? Q 
O. Do you watch for children? Q 

7. Do you drive within legal and common sense QJ 
speed limits? 

8. Do you drive with extra caution in fog, rain JH 
or snow and on slippery pavement? 

9. Do you refuse to drive aiier drinking? C] 
10. Do >ou slow down at sundown? Q 


//check acci^ehU 


Ekin. ill- 

//check accidents // 

The Farmers Automobile Insurance Association 

Pekin, Illinois 



Q^,li^ TWANG- ROOT BEER A Grapefruit 

Beverages Save Bottle Caps for Free Premiums Driiik 

Pekin Bottling Works 

Telephone 545 

- SINCE 1864 - 

Pekin, Illinois 

114 Court Street 



317-19 Elizabeth St. 

Phone 134 


PEKIN Refrigerator Company 

Home Appliances 
Commercial Units 
Walk-in Coolers 


Sales and Service 


Stokers - Oil Burners 

Gas Space Heaters 




Direct Drow Coolers 
Dry Bottle Coolers 
Home Freezers 



21 1 St. Mary 

Telephone 2242 


The mayor traditionally controlled 
the location of the police headquar- 
ters and other city offices, there 
being no city hall, and this was 
customarily on property owned by the 
mayor for which he proceeded to collect 
rents from the city. 

At times, the city business appears 
to have been pretty much of a closed 
proposition with the aldermen and mayor 
doing business almost solely among 
themselves. It is interesting, too. 
that each new administration was 
promptly greeted with a series of re- 
quests for tax rebates, generally from 
their supporters in the past election, 
and these usually received consider- 

There was one breath of possible 
progress in 1874. when the council 
provided that all moneys from saloon 
licenses would be paid into a special 
fund to be used only for the "purchase 
or erection of a city hall, calaboose 
and engine house. " 

The juvenile problem of that time 
consisted largely in the fears of the 
elders that the new "dime novels" were 
corrupting the youth, much as the comic 
books are accused today. Pekin citizens 
frowned on the ridiculous fiction which 
their children avidly read concerning 
such outlandish things as "flying 
machines", boats that would go UNDER 
the water, horseless carriages, and 
other fantasies bound to have an ill 
effect on impressionable youth. The 
elders DID believe in progress as long 
as it remained in what they considered 
the realm of common sense. 

The council at one time formally 
admitted that "the only excuse for the 
dilapidated condition of the sidewalks 
is the dilapidated condition of the 
treasury". On the other hand, in 1879. 
when a group of Court street merchants 
petitioned for a cobblestone paving, 
the council rejected the petition. The 
council was "pleased to learn that the 
business men were willing to contribute 
for a pavement"; however, in view of 
the fact that Court street was in a bad 
condition " only a, few months of each 
year", it seemed hardly necessary. 

And as for the business nf horses 
and cows running loose on the streets 
of the city day and night, after two 
years of badgering, the council decided 
in 1877 that action should be taken 
and passed a law that henceforth "horse 
and other cattle" would not be allowed 
at large on the streets AFTER NINE 
O'CLOCK AT NIGHT and until five in the 

It was during this period that Pekin 
lost one of its most successful citi- 
zens, a loss still felt today. Columbus 
R. Cummings. heir to David Mark (who 
built the town's first brick building) 
was a wealthy land-owner and business 

man who was twice elected mayor of the 
city of Pekin in the 70's. With due 
credit, during his administrations. 
Pekin paid off all bonds on the due 
date- -a rare achievement in those days. 

However, when Mr. Cummings sought 
election to the third term (they were 
of one year each) he was defeated by 
A.B. Sawyer by the narrow margin of 33 

Cummings was bitterly wounded by the 
defeat. The record shows that while he 
never had been absent from council 
meetings prior to that time, he never 
again appeared at the city hall as 
mayor. He did not preside at the vote 
canvass, nor any subsequent meetings 
of the council between the time of the 
election 'and the actual expiration of 
his term. It is said that he even felt 
so bitterly about the election loss 
that he shortly thereafter shook the 
dust of Pekin from his boots and moved 
to Chicago. 

An Englishman in the more and more 
German community. Cummings may have had 
other reasons for his dissatisfaction. 
He was immensely wealthy, and became 
more so. The "Cummings estate" still 
maintains a regular office and staff in 
Pekin. administering holdings, and a 
large part of the growth of Pekin over 
the past 20 years has been from the 
subdivision of Cummings lands. 

The Cummings people have been phil- 
anthropic through the years, and have 
made sizable endowments to many insti- 
tutions--but Pekin institutions have 
not been the recipients of this phil- 
anthropy for it long since ceased to be 
the "home town" of the Cummings family. 

Let it be said of the 70" s, too. 
that the Hinners Organ company was 
founded here during that period--in 
1879, to be exact, and the Celestial 
Guards; the first National Guard 
company, was formed in 1877. And let 
the record be complete: 

The city council considered an 
ordinance to "restrain, suppress, and 
prohibit bawdy houses, houses of ill- 
fame and houses of assignation" in 1875. 

The court dockets indicate that the 
most frequent charges in that period 
were "selling liquor to minors" and 
"riot", although Thomas Conaghan was 
charged with illegal voting in 1875, 
and Henry Hoerr accused of embezzlement 
by the grand jury in 1878. It should be 
added that a comparison of court 
dockets and city records indicate that 
it depended on which side was winning 
the election as to who were the police 
and who were in jail, and they fre- 
quently traded places. 

Thus, the post-war period found 
Pekin changed from a typical American 
frontier town to a virtual German 
colony whose only growth was from its 
new-born citizens and whose adherence. 



■ 432 Court Street 

July 2U, 1931, the McClintlck 
Jewelry opened for business in Pekin 
with one display case of merchandise 
and one watch repair bench. Since 
then the store has grown to its 
present size with a large stock of 
nationally known brands of diamonds, 
watches, jewelry and silver. 

The business is completely owned 
by Mr. McClintick and the employees 
are all members of his family. 
Through the years shoppers have 
learned that they are always re- 
ceived in the same courteous and 
considerate manner, whether they are 
in need of quality merchandise, or 
guaranteed repair service for 
jewelry and watches. 

An old Pekin High School "Pekin- 
ian" of 1915-16 vintage says that 
"John Goar wants to sell real 
estate" . 

That prophesy came true. After 
spending some time in the U. S. 
Marine Corps in World War I the JOHN 
M. GOAR AGENCY was started on March 
1, 1923 and has been in continuous 
operation and is now in its 27th 
year. To estimate in dollars and 
cents the value of the real estate 
sold thru this office in that period 
would be impossible. Nor is it poss- 
ible to estimate the tremendous 
amount of monies paid thru this 
Agency in Insurance premiums in 
almost 27 years. 

Too many times the owner of a 
business thinks he has made a 
success of his business without 
ether help. However, the JOHN M. 
GOAR AGENCY takes this means of 
thanking its many friends in the 
fine City of Pekin for making our 
AGENCY the success it is today. 


427 '/2 Court Street 







Si Reed - Tony Simoncini 



PHONE 2420 


321 Court 
In 1926, Morris Severe became 

associated with the "Economy Shoe 

Store" and purchased the business in 


In the nearly two decades of 
service to the Pekin Community, we 
have proved that we are, indeed, the 
"store of economy". 

"Poll Parrot" shoes for children, 
"Rand's" for men, and "Trim-Tred' s" 
for women are just a few of the 
brand names that are found at the 
"Economy" . 

The Economy Shoe Store joins with 
all in wishing for the City of Pekin 
many more years of successful and 
prosperous growth. 


to the German tongue kept it static. 
While surrounding cities entered on 
their periods of greatest growth, Pekin 
remained a city without a cobble-stone, 
with dilapidated plank sidewalks, with 
loose cows and horses wandering at will 
in the dimly lit dirt streets, and with 

"bawdy houses" and saloon "riots" still 
common occurrences. But there were 
changes coming, and the same qualities 
which' slowed Pekin' s growth gave solid 
foundations to some of the development 
to follow. 


The 1880' s brought ten years of 
great change to Pekin, although it 
remained a strong Germanic city and 
again for another 10 year period the 
population showed an increase of only 
about 400 persons, apparently just the 
increase accounted for in the birth 
rate itself, almost. However, the ad- 
ministration of Thomas Cooper, a fire- 
eating Democratic politician in Pekin, 
heralded the new spirit, and he was 
returned to office several times in the 
80' s and again in the 90' s. Under 
Cooper, the first sewer was installed, 
the first curbs and gutters built, the 
present city hall constructed, street 
signs erected, and brick sidewalks 
introduced. On the heels of his admin- 
istration came the first Illinois river 
bridge at Pekin, the first electric 
lights, the waterworks, mail delivery, 
and the public library. And during this 
same period Mineral Springs park was 
laid out, new schools were built, the 
telephone introduced, and the German- 
American bank, now the American 
National, was founded. 

Pekin began to come up out of the 
mud right at the turn of the 80' s when 
Cooper's street committee went $5,000 
into the red to build $13,416 worth of 
curb and gutter on Court street from 
the river to Sixth street, and another 
$5,976 was spent for a sewer from Third 
street to the river on Court. Exten- 
sions of the curbing and of sewers 
continued all through the period, as it 
has ever since, and the plank sidewalks 
were replaced with brick. Cobblestone 
crossings were later added at main 
intersections. Street signs were erect- 
ed and for the first time the city 
undertook to number the houses and 
building establishments on the various 
streets. Telephone poles went up, with 

only occasional objection, like that of 
Wendell Lautz, who just did not want 
one in front of his place. 

The crowning achievement of the 
Cooper administration was the con- 
struction of the city's first and only 
city hall. That structure, which still 
stands at the corner of Margaret and 
Fourth streets and still houses, after 
a fashion, the city offices, council 
chambers, fire department and police, 
was built by Weiss and company at a 
total cost of $6,500 in the year of 
1884. No bonds were issued; apparently 
the saloon license fund set aside for 
that purpose built Pekin" s present city 
hall. Surprisingly, it was during this 
same period of heavy expenditures and 
public improvement that the first big 
inroads, about $50,000, were made 
toward paying off the city's bonded 
indebtedness. Most progress was made 
during the recurring years when Alder- 
man John F. Schipper headed the finance 
committee. Others who served several 
terms during this period and contribut- 
ed largely to the changing face of 
Pekin were Otto Wieburg, John R. 
Seibert, and Urban J. Albertsen. 

Cooper was succeeded in 1885 by Mayor 
John L. Smith, during whose first term 
the first plank bridge was built across 
the river here at a cost of $17,500, 
and at that the council passed over a 
lower bid of $14,500 for a pontoon 
bridge. Electric lights were installed 
in pekin, the city paying $5,000 a year 
for street lights on the original 
contract, and a dual celebration was 
held for the bridge opening and 
electric lighting system. 

Mayor Smith, himself, rode the first 
rig across the new bridge, in im- 
pressive ceremonies, but his triumphant 
opening was somewhat marred by the fact 





The history of the Pekin Shoe 
Store located at 421 Court. St., 
dates back to the year 1929 when W. 
J. Eden became the owner in associ- 
ation with his son Vardner. Mr. Eden 
has had 46 years of experience in 
selling shoes. He first worked for 
the Weyrich Shoe Store in 1903 and 
for P.W. Stoltz from 1904 to 1922. 
He then became manager, taking over 
the ownership in 1929. He has seen 
style changes from high buttoned 
shoes to the present day toeless 
and heeless and even shoeless 
creations now in vogue. Eden's have 
always sold shoes of quality, carry- 
ing such well-known lines as Nunn 
Bush & Edgerton shoes for men; 
Tweedies, Vitality and Treadeasy 
shoes for women. Popular lines for 
children include Acrobat Simplex 
Flexies, Child Life & Trimfoot. 



§ SON 

Phone 364J 
Sheet Metal Work Wise Furnaces 

The firm of Charles Splittgerber 
and Son was established in 1906 by 
Charles Splittgerber Sr. and his son 
Charles D. Splittgerber Jr. The 
first shop was located in the rear 
of 420 Ann Eliza St. in a small 
building 30 by 35 ft. Their mode of 
transportation in those days was by 
horse and wagon. The business grew, 
and in 1914 they built a new modern 
building at 419 Margaret St. In 1938 
Charles Spl i tfffeerber Sr. died and 
the firm was continued by Charles 
Jr. In 1948 he erected a new build- 
ing at 417 Margaret St. the present 
location of the firm. The shop is 
equipped with the newest of equip- 
ment and they specialize in all 
types of sheet metal work, heating 
and ventilating. 









920 S. SECOND ST. 



Second at Broadway Phone 425 





that much of the populace knew and the 
rest soon learned that Charles Holland 
had actually been first to cross the 
new bridge, thanks to a conspiracy with 
the workmen. The last of the planking 
was not to be completed until just 
before the mayor was to cross, but 
workmen labored through the night to 
lay the planking so that Holland could 
drive a carriage over the bridge at the 
crack of dawn, and then they hastily 
took up the planking again to be re- 
laid for the mayor. 

The water works followed, built by 
a Chicago concern represented here by 
a Charles A. Lamb and Henry S. Raymond, 
and the city contracted to pay $4,000 
A year for 100 fire hydrants. Curiously 
on each of these three big trans- 
actions, bids were received and then 
all rejected, after which a contract 
was made by resolution. After all these 
public improvements, there finally came 
regular mail delivery. Meanwhile, con- 
struction of the city hall made it 
possible to turn over the engine house 
at Five points to the Library Associa- 
tion and it became the public library 
and reading room, and is still known as 
the Old Library building. 

The Artesian Well company drilled a' 
well in 1880, obtained sulphur water, 
and laid out Mineral Springs park which 
was then operated as a private concern. 
Three times during the 80' s the city 
council voted to buy the park for 
$6,000, and each time rescinded their 
action. The Cathedral Grammar school 
was built at Capitol and Park avenue 
(now the Jefferson school) and the East 
Side school (now Douglas) was erected 
at the present Douglas location, after 
the old Tharp cemetery there was par- 
tially removed. The city arranged for 
removal of the cemetery by contract 
with John E. Reed and T. J. Davis who 
charged $4.48 cents each for 80 bodies, 
and for some reason only $2-44 for 20 
other bodies, making the total cost of 
the removal $413.20. Alderman H. Zuck- 
weiler supervised the operation. 

It should be recorded that this was 
also an era of distillery fires. During 
this period the Enterprise distillery 
burned twice, and the Crown distillery 
and John Herget" s new Star distillery 
were destroyed by fire. At least one of 
the fires was apparently of incendiary 
origin because the council urged the 
mayor to make a_ thorough investigation 
in an effort to learn who had set the 
Enterprise on fire the second time. 

Thus, while Pekin stood comparative- 
ly still population-wise, it had begun 
to build its institutions on solid 
foundations, and during the 80' s began 
the work of sanitation, schools, a 
library, a park, and many of the 
facilities in which special pride are 
taken now. It will be noted that the 
boom in churches preceded by a few 
years the sudden swelling of civic 
consciousness, cleanliness, and" 
progress. While Pekin showed no more 
startling growth, it was beginning to 
show signs of becoming a good place to 
live, although there were still some 
"bawdy houses" calling forth occasional 
resolutions by the council, which at 
one point in the 80' s took cognizance 
of the uselessness of legislating 
against "human nature" by turning down 
a petition to enforce a "Sunday law" on 
the sale of liquor on Sundays. 

The decade ended with a rousing 
political campaign on "free bridge and 
free cows", remembered by many resi- 
dents today. The issue of whether the 
new bridge was to remain a toll bridge 
or be made free to the public was 
placed on the regular election ballot 
along with the question of whether cows 
and other livestock were to be per- 
mitted to run free on the streets. Some 
working people got quite excited, 
charging that fees for use of the 
bridge, and denying the use of the 
streets to their animals, amounted to 
legislating "the poor people" out of 
existence, but the "free bridge" 
carried while free cows were forbidden. 


Perhaps the days of one' s youth are 
always looked back upon as the "gay 
whatever-it-was", but the record bears 
out the claims of the older generation 
of Pekinites in regard to the "Gay 
Nineties". For it was in the nineties 
that the Santa Fe railroad ran shuttle 
trains all afternoon to Pekin' s race 
track, the finest one-mile track in 
Illinois, where the greatest harness- 
racing horses of the era competed. And 
it was in the nineties that the big 

Tazewell club building was built, and 
there the big event of the year was the 
Thanksgiving dance, after which the 
young men would take their ladies home 
and then catch a midnight excursion 
train to Chicago for the Big Ten foot- 
ball game that featured each Thanks- 
giving (at a $2 rate for a three-day 
trip). There were boat excursions on 
the river, and there was Gehrig's band 
(although the city refused to pay them 
for band concerts as proposed). There 



363 COURT ST. 



George Herget & Sons, a private 
bank, was opened on April 17, 1905. 
On June 4, 1910, this bank was 
changed to a National Bank under the 
name of The Herget National Bank of 
Pekin. The Officers at that time 
were; George Herget, President, *.P. 
Herget, Vice President, H. G. Herget. 
Vice President, C.H. Turner, Cashier, 
and W.A. Stockert, Assistant Cashier. 
Directors were: George Herget, W.P. 
Herget, H.G. Herget, George Ehrlich- 
er, Henry Birkenbusch, and Flavel 

On May 6. 1943, after over one 
year of remodeling, open house was 
held so the public could view the 
complete change to an all new modern 
bank, enlarged officer' s quarters, 
low type teller's cages, director's 
room, and private office on the main 
floor, and a new safe deposit vault 
with over three thousand bo.xes, 
customer's booths, record vault, and 
bookkeeping department all in the 
basement. The building was complete- 
ly air-conditioned. 

On June 30, 1943. after the above 
changes were made, the deposits were 
$5,301,462.12 and on June 30, 1949, 
they had increased to $11, 192, 366. 94. 
Because of this increase in business. 

it became necessary to move the book- 
keeping department to the second 
floor, install an elevator, move the 
teller' s cages back to increase the 
size of the lobby and the officer's 
quarters and install more booths for 
the safekeeping department. 

Officers at the present time are: 
Mrs. W.P. Herget, President; E.M. 
Kumpf, Executive Vice President, 
George H. Ehrlicher, Vice President; 
C. V. Frings, Vice President; R.W. 
Heim, Cashier; E.W. Prey. Assistant 
Cashier; and A.M. Berner, Assistant 

Directors are: Mrs. W.P. Herget, 
C.V. Frings, George H. Ehrlicher, 
E. P. Reinhard, Theo. H. Ubben, E.M. 
Kumpf, and A.W. Ehrlicher. 

Employees are: Tellers; Robert 
Stallings. John McGinty, Gaylord 
Shannabarger, Melvin Burling, Wil- 
bert Boeck, Vera Crawford, Ella 
Becker, Frederick Timian. Book- 
keepers, Maxine Parkin. Louise 
Berner, John Rinaldi, Doris Heitz- 
man, Lois Ritthaler, Doris Romans, 
Merle Eskrich. Grace Renfro, Doris 
Russell. Vault Custodian; Mildred 
Mullins. Secretary; Verna Harms. 
Building Custodian, Emil Pask. 


was the new Turner Opera house at 
Capitol and Elizabeth streets, later to 
become the Standard, then the Capitol, 
and finally the present Pekin theater. 
And there was the first Pekin high 
school football team with Fred Stoltz, 
Henry Schantz. Oscar Albertson, Ulrich 
Adams. Fred Bergstrasser. Abe Schaefer, 
and others. 

There was excitement, too. There 
were spectacular fires that razed the 
high school building, the Hamburg' 
distillery, Schipper and Block's, the 
Pekin Times, the Enterprise distillery 
(again!) and the Woodward hotel. And 
there was the Spanish-American War, and 
the "Little Mine" riots, and the 
Wallace hanging. 

Thomas Cooper, mayor when the city 
hall was built and so many other im- 
provements made, returned to the 
mayor's chair and started action which 
was picked up. resulting in the first 
brick street- -Court street from Fifth 
to the River front. Extensions of brick 
paving continued all through the 
period. The Union Mission was founded 
in '95. and the high school had been 
rebuilt at a cost of $25,200. There 
vaR a new county jail. The Franklin 

and Garfield schools were built, and 
the Citizen's Improvement Association, 
fore-runner of the Association of 
Commerce was founded with Everett W. 
Wilson at its head. Before the era 
ended, in ' 98, came the first in a 
series of spectacular street fairs in 
downtown Pekin. 

New buildings were the American, 
Crescent, Globe and Hamburg distiller- 
ies, the Independent Cracker and 
Biscuit company, the Windsor hotel. 


the Duisdicker foundry, and the Zerwekh 

The gayety of the nineties was dis- 
turbed a bit in '94. when miners near 
Wesley city rioted over the introduc- 
tion of electric drills, burned the 
mine plant and wounded two of the 
Little brothers who owned it. Two men 
were killed in the ruckus, and when 
leaders were jailed the rioters 
threatened to march on Pekin. Citizens 
volunteered as deputy sheriffs (among 
the leaders being Herman Prings, later 
a prominent attorney) and several 
National Guard companies marched to 
Pekin and stood guard. 

Nine Pekinites died in '92 when the 
Frankie Folsom, an excursion steamer, 
sank in a storm in Peoria lake. Many 
others were aboard but escaped. 

In ' 96 came the Spanish American War 
when Company "G" was mustered and 
organized with Capt. E. L. Conklin, and 
Lieutenants D.H. Jansen, E.H. Mullen 
and W.W. Sellers as officers, but 
Company G never saw action, although 
some Pekinites serving in other units 
did get overseas during the war with 
Spain. The story is told that Franklin 

in the mid 8<^ ' s . 


1933 FARLIN BUICK Co. 1949 

31? Elizabeth Street 


Incorporated August 1, 1945 

\^ V/ie/i better aiitoffiobi/es 


■^ s\ 

are built 



Service on All 
Makes of Cars 

Smooth as a Bird's Flight 

Pekin Prescription Laboratory 

In the Tazewell Hotel Bldg. 

Phone 234-J 
After Hours 

Established during the centennial 
year of the founding of Pekin. 
The traditional points of service 
of an apothecary. 


Pekin' s only exclusive Prescription 


American College Apothecaries 

American Pharmaceutical Association 


J. F. Sams, R Ph 

V. B. Sams, RR Ph 


WASHINGTON SCHOOL built in 1890 for High School and grades. 

Velde, who still practices law in Pekin. 
was one of the best shots in the Pekin 
company. However, he was left-handed. 
When this defect was called to his 
attention by army authorities, he pro- 
tested that he was, nevertheless, one 
of the best shots in the company. " We 
have enough men here to lick the 
Spaniards RIGHT-HANDED", was the reply, 
and he was mustered out. As It turned 
out, there were enough men to lick the 
Spaniards without Co. C, and the sur- 
render cancelled their sailing orders. 

The last hanging in Pekin, which 
took place in '96, was almost a festive 
occasion, but a model of good order 
compared to the Ott and Berry affairs. 
People jammed roof-tops to look down 
inside the stockade, but otherwise 
things were orderly. The Post Tribune 
of that day gives an account of this 
affair under a head-line "Wallace Dies 
Game!" which reads, in part, as follows: 

"Albert Wallace expiated his crime 
of murder on the gallows this morning. 
The trap was sprung at exactly eight 
minutes past 11 o'clock and at 11; 22, 
fourteen minutes later, he was cut 
down, being pronounced dead by Coroner 
H.V. Bailey. The trap was sprung by 
Sheriff J.E. Stout, and the execution 
was a most successful one. The fall of 
five feet failed to break Wallace's 
neck and he died of strangulation." 

The body was turned over to Kuecks, 
Wubben and company. Wallace had given 
himself up after the shotgun killing 

of his sister Mrs. Belle Bowlby at 

His was the last hanging to take 
place in the city of Pekin. 

And so, after only a few compara- 
tively minor disorders in the ' 90' s, 
the city of Pekin turned the corner 
into the Twentieth Century showing the 
world a far different town than that 
of the 70' s and earlier. 

Her 8,400 citizens now were mostly 
native Pekinites, born in the city, 
taught in its schools and in its 
churches. Many were now high school 
graduates. They walked on brick side- 
walks, and rode (sometimes) on brick 
streets under electric lights, went to 
the Turner Opera house, danced at the 
Tazewell club, plcniced at the park, 
and went to the harness races, and on 
excursions to Chicago, and they had 
discovered the sports of football and 
baseball, too. The store windows still 
had signs assuring potential customers, 
"German Spoken Here", and there were 
still "riots" in saloons at times, and 
arrests for "gaming" and "prize-fight- 
ing", and a good many for carrying 
concealed weapons--but the change was 
there and it stands out In the old 
records clearly and boldly. 

Pekin was ready for the Twentieth 

In a book whose publishing is 
sponsored by the Association of Com- 
merce, it is still necessary to confess 
that these most significant changes 



The 22 years that Cohen Furniture Company has 
been in Pekin, has seen the greatest period of 
expansion in the city' s history. Our store has 
kept abreast of that expansion. Starting in 1927 
in this same location with only 8 employees, 
there are now 31 in Cohen's Pekin store. 

Through tlie co-operation and confidence of 
our many customers in this area, our business 
annually has increased to over four times the 
amount done in the first year. 

In the years to come, we assure you that our 
efforts will be for the advancement of Pekin and 
toward better and happier living for the citizens 
of this community. 



PEKiN - 424 COURT 


toward progress in Pekin came just be- 
fore NOT AFTER the organization of the 
citizen's Improvement association- -but 
those same progressive steps did not 

come until after schools and churches 
had established firm foundations in the 


In the pre-war years of the new 
Twentieth Century, Pekin people learned 
a lot about living. In addition to the 
dances and excursions (both boat and 
rail) of the ' 90' s, there came the era 
of sports, ice cream socials, the 
horseless carriage, the household 
gadget, and the nickleodeon. 

Tom Cooper, the progressive former 
mayor, had taken over management of 
Mineral Springs park, developed it 
further, and that area, which had been 
turned down repeatedly at a $6,000 
price tag, finally became public 
property at a figure of $22, 500 with 
referendum approval, and a year later 

the $15,000 pavilion was built. A whole 
era of park recreation got started 
then. And at the other end of the 
entertainment picture, came the nickle- 
odeons with their collapsible chairs 
and mechanical interruptions, starting 
all at once with the Dreamland at 302 
Court street under *.E. Snodgrass, and 
the Unique and the Vaudette (where 
Lohnes Print Shop now does business). 
At still a third extreme, there came 
the establishment of the Pekin Country 
club at the end of this period. 

The introduction of ice cream was 
somehow symbolic of this era, and it 
is said when it was once served at 

THE COUNCIL CHAMBEfi 1905-1906: Mayor Dan Sapp, Chief of Police Chas. 
Flening, Fire Chief Julius Jaeckel, City Engineer Ben F. Smth, City 
Clerk Jack Soldaedel, Aldermen Oscar Fogelmark, Henry fieuling, Creno 
Jansen, Heilo Rust. Dede Velde, Chas. Gehrig, Henry Schwartz Jacob 
TerVeen. BenH. Smith. JohnAmshurg. FritiSchaefer. Ceo. Taubert. Re- 
porters Chas Skaggs, *. G. Fair, fi. E. Bollins. 



Scrap Iron - Metals - Paper - R.ag3 

PHONE 194 

In October. 1917, Ted and Sam 
Kahn came to Pekin and leased the 
Illinois Hotel and grounds for a 
scrap ,vard. The brothers retained 
the first word on the hotel sign and 
thus established the ILLINOIS IRON 
6i VIETAL COMPANY. This was the be- 
ginning of Tazewell County's only 
exclusive scrap dealer. 

In order to be near a railroad 
siding for carload shipments, the 
company moved three years later to 
the present site on the corner of 
Third and St. Mary Streets. A large 
and complete warehouse and offices 
were erected by Ed P. Lampitt & 
Sons, for the handling of waste 

During the ensuing years, the 
company expanded the yard facilities 
in order to handle used structural 
steel, pipe, and other building 

Ted Kahn purchased his brother' s 
interest in the business in ly46. 
One year later additional yards were 
bought on the opposite side of the 
street. Surplus materials and used 
auto parts are housed on this 

has conducted business in Pekin for 
over 32 years, and takes pride in 
servicing citizens, farmers, and 
factories in this area. 


Sargent Sheet Metal Shop 

Heating AND Ventilating 

PHONE 732 

Sheet Metal Work 

619 COURT ST. 

The Sargent Sheet Metal Shop was 
established by Walter A. Sargent in 
January 1926. 

The first location was at 500 
Court Street. A few months later the 
business was moved to 701 Broadway, 
operating there until April 1929 
when it was moved to the present 
location at 619 Court Street. 

Mr. Sargent had worked at the 
trade for twenty-eight years and had 
been in charge of sheet metal and 
heating business for some years 
before venturing in business for 
himsel f . 

With this thorough knowledge of 
the trade and his managing experi- 
ence he had built up a business that 
had enabled him to erect a new 
building and equip a new shop and 
office which conformed to his ideas 
of what a modern sheet metal and 

warm air heating business should be. 

The sheet metal industry has 
broadened in scope from installing 
gravity furnaces, gutters, spouting 
and tin roofs to include ventilat- 
ing, forced air heating for coal, 
oil and gas as fuels, and air con- 

New materials have also made an 
appearance in sheet metal work. From 
tin, galvanized iron and copper - 
aluminum and stainless steel in dull 
and polished finishes are being 
worked in various phases of the 

Since Mr. Sargent's death in 
1942, Mrs. Sargent has continued to 
operate the business with the capa- 
ble assistance of former employees, 
one of whom has been in their employ 
twenty-six years. 


Mayor Conzelman" s home to a group of 
city officials, one alderman turned to 
another and said in German, "This is 
damned cold butter!" At the same time, 
there came the Stanley Steamers and 
other versions of the "horseless 
carriage", and court records show that 
youn? bloods here were occasionally 
fined for speeding at 20 miles an hour. 
The first gas heating company was 
founded then, and the gas stove was one 
of the first items besides piped water, 
in the kitchen revolution getting 
underway, on the threshold of an era 
of kitchen gadgets. 

It was. above all. a golden era in 
sports. The Rainbows, with Jack Epkins 
and Harry White ushered in a great 
baseball period. The White Sox (foot- 
ball and baseball) with George Ehni. 
Elmer Neff. Deacon Miller and others 
carried on the tradition, and then came 
Pekin's own professional ball team in 
the Illinois-Missouri league, and the 
days when such luminaries as the great 
Grover Cleveland Alexander and Ray 
Schalk played in Pekin. As a matter of 
fact Alexander was "beaned" running for 
first base here at Pekin by a ball 
thrown by Chief Edwards and badly hurt- 
on the very threshold of his great 
major league career. "Spider" Diehl 
played with the Pekin club. Joe 
Jenkins, and Si Forsythe went up to 
the New York Giants, and Ray Chapman, 
Al O-Hare, Windy Lottshaw, Bob 0' Parrel 
and Jim Bluejacket, all had their major 
league flings. Many of the great ball 
players of the period lived in the 
"Bachelor Flats" over the present West- 
brook restaurant at Fourth and Eliza- 
beth streets. 

Pekin competitors also claimed, 
national recognition in the prize ring 
of the period when Herman "Weenie" Loh- 
mann (Pekin Kid Herman) was a constant 
challenger to the bantam-weight crown, 
who fought three times against reign- 
ing champions, twice to "no decision" 
finishes. Stanley Everetts also faced 
championship competition at the lighter 
weights, and in the light-weight ranks. 
Harry Donahue climbed to the top ranks 
and faced the late great Packy McPar- 
land. rated by many as the best of all 
time in that division. 

Football also began to come Into its 
own with the high school team playing 
at the old race track and using a 
coffin box borrowed from the Noel 
funeral home for their equipment. Ray- 
burn Russell, later mayor and states 
attorney, was the team manager for a 
time. Among the players were Guy 
Donahue (laterpolice chief and 
sheriff). Wilbur Bush, Walt Conover, 
Gene Hoff (now circuit clerk) Elbert 
Nolte, Roy Meisinger, Lee and Fred 
Eyrse and Roy King. 

P.H.S. 1909 - t'nbeaten and neSjer scored 
on. Hack Pov - lee Eyrse, Guy Donahue, 
Bert Kincaid, Elbert Nolte, John 
Strathman, George Ehrlicher , Leo Otho 
McCoy, Elmer Derrick, James Ross, Euge- 
ne V. Hoff, yialton Conover. Front Bom - 
Wilbur Bush, Roy \teisinger, Fred Eyrse, 
Roy L. King. 

Civic advancement in more conven- 
tional activities was also on the up- 
grade, for in this period were built 
the present Pekin library building, the 
Pekin post office building, the Pekin 
Public hospital, and the present Taze- 
well county court house at Pekin. The 
main wing of the Pekin Community high 
school by James field was built then 
and the Lincoln and Jefferson grade 
schools as they stand today. The old 
wooden bridge was replaced with an 
iron bridge as Qarly as 1904, and 
before the era ended electric street 
cars were operating and had been taken 
under city ownership. Mayors of the 
period included E.W. Wilson. William J. 
Conzelman. Daniel Sapp. and Henry 
Schnellbacher. Charles Schaefer was 
city attorney for much of the time. 

Private interests meanwhile had 
erected the Illinois Box Board and 
Paper company (now Quaker Oats), the 
Arcade building, the Times building, 
and had founded the Herget National 
Bank. The Corn Products Refining 
company bought the old beet "sugar 
house" of the Hergets. 

It was then, too. that union labor 
began to play a major role in the life 
of the community, and Pekin early 
established itself as a pioneer city in 
recognition of organized labor. The 
city's unions had already begun to be 
among the leading agencies urging these 
various public improvements, and fre- 
quently at that time worked in concert 
with the Citizens Improvement Associ- 
ation. The Trades and Labor assembly 
staged great Labor Day celebrations on 
the downtown streets of Pekin which 
rivalled the equally famous street 
fairs staged by the Street Fair Associ- 
ation. As early as 1902, one of the 
first such pieces of legislation 
written anywhere, was an ordinance 


Law Offices of 


The Times Bldg. 



Pek 1 N FINANCE Bldg. 


Attorney at Law ■ 
Arcade Bl dg. 

Law Offices of 

Barney Kahn 


Alfred W. Black 


Pek IN Finance Building 


Attorney at Law 
Marshall Bldg. 







FRINGS Bldg . 


Lawyers and their offices come and go. 
The history of them is mostly unrecorded and 
fades with the passage of time. But much of 
their work is done in courts and in the court 
records, in the official tones of legal 
language not unlike that now used, we can get 
a glimpse of the activities of the lawyers of 
100 years ago, which then, as now, reflect the 
times and the struggles of the people. These 
records also reveal the names of some of the 
lawyers practicing at that time. 

In lb49, the Courts of this County were held 
in Tremont. 

The Circuit Court held two terms, the April 
term and September term. Judge David Davis, who 
was later appointed to the .Supreme Court of the 
United States by Abraham Lincoln, held both 
terms. Richard Gill was sheriff, David 3. Cairp- 
bell, prosecuting attorney, and John A. Jones 
clerk. The cases handled consisted principally 
of actions on contracts and obligations, i.e. 
assumpsit, debt, foreclosure, and judgments by 
confession, and cases affecting real estate 
titles, such as partition, ejectment, petitions 
to sell real estate to pay debts, bills to 
quiet title, etc. Only two divorces were grant- 
ed during the year, one on the grounds of 
adultery, the other on the grounds of desertion. 
At the September term, 11 indictments were re- 
turned, 8 of which were for selling liquor with- 
out a license, 1 for gambling, 1 for larceny, 
and 1 for keeping a disorderly house. 

The County Court first convened on December 
17, 1849 with Judge Benjamin F. James presid- 
ing. Previously a Probate Justice of the Peace 
handled all probate work. In the ensuing year 
less than 35 estates were filed. In 1849 four 
wills were probated. The size of administrator' s 
and executor' s bonds, being twice the amount of 
personal property in the estates ranged from 


attorneys at law 
Marshall Bldg. 



Attorney at Law 
Marshall Bldg. 

Velde &. Prettyman 


I VAN Yon tz Assoc i ate 
Tames Bldg. 

$100 to S2,000. ^ule 1 of the County Court 
entered February 8, 1850, required for the 
the first time that Petitions for Letters of 
Administration be in writing. 

In 1849 there were 771 instruments relating 
to real estate filed for record in the record- 
er's office, of which 108 were mortgages. 

By comparison, from July 1. 1948, to July i, 
1949. 438 cases were filed in the Circuit 
Court. 270 were divorce or other matrimonial 
cases. Apprcximately 60 arose from auto acci- 
dents. 1 grew out of an airplane accident. 
Others principally involved property. In the 
County Court 375 estates were filed for probate. 
9015 instruments relating to real estate were 
filed in the recorder' s office. Also consider- 
•able administrative law is now being practiced 
before federal and state administrative 
agenc i es. 

Names of lawyers appearing in the court 
records 100 years ago, though undoubtedly not a 
complete record of those practicing here at 
that time, include the following: Halsey Merri- 
raan. William D. Briggs, B.S. Prettyman, John M. 
Bush, William B. Parker, George L. Parker, 
Samuel P. Bailey, M. Tackaberry. Holmes & 
Haines, and A.H. Saltonstall. 

Lawyers whose offices are presently located 
in Pekin include: Franklin L. Velde who has 
practiced here more than 60 years: William S. 
Prettyman, John T. Elliff, Ralph Dempsey 
Charles Schaefer, C. L. Conder, George Brecher, 
r N. Smith, Ben L. Smith, J.M. Powers, James P. 
St. Cerney. Frank Wilkins, Robert H. Allison, 
Harold J. Rust, Louis P. Dunkelberg. P.A. 
D'Arcy. C.I. Martin, R.L. Russell, WalterG. 
Cunningham, Alfred W. Black, Nathan T. Elliff, 
C.V. Frings, George Donaldson, Barney Kahn, 
Clifford C. Schmidtgall, Harold H. Kuhfuss, 
Roth S. Smith. Bernard F. Hoffman, Dale E. 
Sutton, R.A. Milford, E.B. Groen. W.J. Reardon, 
Robert V. Clevenger, Irving Rosenberg.I van 
Yontz, and Harold H. Velde, now a Member 
of Congress. 


Attorneys at Law 
Arcade Bl do. 




attobncv at law? 

403 Margaret 



Attorney at Law 

340 El I ZA BETH 



Pekin Finance Bldg. 





Attorneys at Law 
326 El I z abeth 


A L T >l A N S 

310 COURT 

Altman's Jewelry. Gift and Lug- 
gage store, although but eight years 
old at the turn of Pekin' s century, 
has grown from a small store at its 
beginning to an establishment of size 
comparable to others in the Pekin 
business district. 

Altman's observes the one-hund- 
redth anniversary of Pekin' s incor- 
poration with a profound senseof 
gratitude to the residents of this 
and nearby communities for the 
patronage which made its rapid growth 

Mr. Al Altman, owner, expresses a 
sincere hope that Altman's may con- 
tinue to serve the city as it embarks 
upon its second century of growth. 



The name Unland has been identi- 
fied with the business life of Pekin 
for practically one hundred years. 

E.F. Unland, uncle of J. Logan 
Unland was mayor of Pekin, and first 
president of the Tazewell Club. He 
was president of Smith-Hippen Grain 
Company and active in business. 

J. Logan Unland entered the in- 
surance business in Pekin in 1930 as 
district agent for the Aetna Life 
Insurance Company. 

In 1941 he opened his present 
office at i#12 South 4th Street en- 
larging his activities to include 
all forms of insurance. 

In 1945 he was joined by his son. 
Captain James V:. Unland, commanding 
officer of Company L, Illinois 
National Guard, as junior member of 
the firm. 

The J. Logan Unland Insurance 
Agency is one of the leading in- 
surance agencies of Pekin. 


407 COURT ST. 

Left: He inhardt Neddermnnn 
Right: John ^eHHermann 

Half a century ago, two brothers, 
John E. and Reinhardt J. Neddermann, 
began selling bakery goods to Pekin- 
ites and neighboring farmers. 

On March 22, 1899, the Nedder- 
manns started in business at 407 
Court. It was formerly owned by Mr. 
*. Wiemers. Their only machine was 
one used in making cookies, and the 
ovens were fired with coke. Nedder- 

mann' s bakery is still in the same 
location, and bake from some of the 
same recipes used before the turn of 
the century. The Pumpernickle bread 
which is a favorite of customers is 
prepared from the recipe that de- 
lighted purchasers in 1S99. 

In the days of the horse and 
buggy. Neddormann' s was a favorite 
gathering place of farmers who came 
to Pekin t" shop. Many customers of 
today are the third generation of 
their families to enjoy "Nedder- 
mann' s" delicacies. 

Reinhardt J. Neddermann passed 
away in September. 1939, and the 
business has been carried on by 
John and his sister Emma. 

The Golden Anniversary of Nedder- 
mann' s Bakery marks the progress of 
a successful business in Pekin, and 
they wish to assure their patrons 
that they will continue to serve the 
Pekin area residents with only the 
finest quality baked breads, rolls, 
pics and cakes. 

POLICE DEPARTMENT 1905-1906: Henry Rehren, Ceo. Pfeiffer, Jack Sold- 
wedel, Ren F. Smith, Henry Taubert, Janes McCoy, Squire Jake Bapp, Louis 
Reutler, John Oldman, One Arm Howard MacKee, Chas. FlcKing, chief, Jerome 
Fisher, John Ree 1 1 e r . 

adopted by the city of Pekin on the 
motion of Alderman W.F. Mefford. which 
fixed nine hours as the legal work day 
in the city of Pekin. 

It was also during this period that 
the location of railroad shops on what 
had been farmland south of Pekin re- 
sulted in the development of the com- 
munity of South Pekin, which was 
promptly laid out to attract the rail- 
road men to be employed at this key 

Then, too, Pekin voted to abandon 
the aldermanic system of city govern- 
ment, turned its back on the "war of 
the wards", and installed the present 
commission form, which has now been 
operating since 1911. The last aider- 
manic mayor was W.J. Conzelman, and the 
list of aldermen read: Albertsen, 
Pogelmark, Graff, Hornish, Lohmann. 
.Michael, Slebens, Smith, Van Horn, 
Pluegel, Johns, and Secrest. After the 
.commission form was adopted by a vote 
of 817 to 619, Charles Duisdicker was 
elected mayor (over W.H. Bates) and 
elected as first commissioners were 
C.P, Gehrig, J.W. Zuckweiler, H.J. 
Rust, and Ben H. Smith. 

It was also during this period that 
the sizable Italian colony began to 
develop here in Pekin, with heaviest 
increases in the East Bluff area. 

Pekin's first street car,shoan on 
Derby St., ran from the industries to 
the Park. It was powered by batteries 
and had to be charged every night. 


Ed. F. Lampitt & Sons 

Phone 82 

General Contractors 

dealers m building Materials 

For sixty years the name of 
Lampitt has been connected with the 
construction of Pekin buildings, 
both public and private. 

Pounded in 1888 by Ed F. Lampitt 
who is still a member of the firm, 
they have built four of the nine 
grade schools in the Pekin Public 
School System. An achievement in 
which the firm of Ed F. Lampitt & 
Sons takes great pride is the con- 
struction of the original Pekin 
Community High School Building. 

The Pekin Public Hospital is 
another prominent structure in the 
long list of buildings erected by 
Lampitts and used each day by 
residents of this community. 

Other local buildings housing 
business, religious and fraternal 
enterprises and built by the Lampitt 
Firm are The American National Bank, 
Bristow Motor Company, Carpenters 
Union Hall, Farmer's Automobile In- 
surance Association Building, Pekin 
Finance Company Building, Pekin 
Loan & Homestead Association 

217 Court Street 

Building, Pekin Water Works Office, 
The J.C. Penney Company, St. Paul's 
Evangelical Church Parish House, 
Schipper & Block Company and Vogel' s 
packing plant. 

The Lampitt builders have made 
additions and alterations at the 
following establishments; Altman's 
Jewelery Store, A Nu Beauty Salon, 
Arterberry Motor Sales, Bird Pro- 
vision Company, Cohen Furniture 
Company, Ehrlicher Brothers Company. 
Jones Brothers Jewelers, Pekin Daily 
Times. The Toggery, and others. 

Also contributing to Pekin' s 
industrial development, the Lampitts 
have been contractors for building 
expansion at the American Distill- 
ing Company, Commonwealth Edison 
Company. Del's Dairy, Excel Brass 
& Aluminum Foundry, Pekin Foundry, 
Standard Brands Inc. and Quaker Oats 

Ed F. Lampitt & Sons consider it 
a privilege to have participated in 
the growth and development of Pekin 
during its first one hundred years. 


Expressive of the times was the 
famous Jesse Black Flambeau club which 
marched in behalf of his political 
candidacy. The flambeau was a large 
brass object with a mouthpiece not 
unlike that of a musical instrument. At 
the top was a torch affair with a 
burning wick, and in the body of the 
machine was coal oil or kerosene to 
keep the flame, and also a Quantity of 
powdered resin. Black's Flambeau club, 
dressed in colorful uniforms with 
special oil cloth protection, would 
stage an impressive marching perform- 
ance topped by members blowing on the 
mouthpieces of the flambeaus. This 
action, blasting the powdered resin 
upward through the flame, would shoot 

a sheet of fire 15 to 20 feet skyward 
from the top of each flambeau. Executed 
on signal, the effect of a block-long 
formation shooting out these tremendous 
flames was terrific. This improvement 
on the traditional torch-light parade 
marked a high in political enthusiasm 
and political showmanship in Pekin, and 
the leaping flames of the flambeaus 
helped mark this period of 16 years of 
uninterrupted progress in sports, rec- 
reation, transportation, business life 
and civic institutions -- all without 
a single outbreak of the old familiar 
violence or a single disaster of more 
than family scope -- until the advent 
of the first World War. 


With the outbreak of World War I, 
there came a tremendous change in the 
city of Pekin. As in the Civil War, 
Pekin was in the early days a divided 
city. With its big population of German 
extraction, and it's long maintenance 
of the German language and other old 
world associations, there was naturally 
a considerable sympathy for the cause 
of Germany in the European War amongst 
many Pekin citizens, and some of the 
Irish still hated England worse than 
anyone else. However, by this time most 
of the Pekin people had roots 50 years 
deep and deeper in America and their 
own community, and their first loyalty 
was unquestionably to the United 
States. Pekin responded to the 

challenge with hundreds of men, who 
served scattered through the U.S. 
forces. Many of them served with the 
A.E.P. on the fields of France where 
Roy King, the former Pekin high school 
football player, was the first to fall. 
(The local v.F. W. post is named in his 
memory) . 

Here at home, the war also had a 
profound effect. Down came the signs 
"German Spoken Here" that had stood in 
store windows for 50 years. The Preie 
Presse, operated by the late Jacob 
Schmidt, became the Free Press, and the 
German type was thrown out and English 
type was purchased. The German-American 
bank became the American National, the 
Ge rman - Method ist church became the 


1917-1918-- A Tazwell lounty group leaving for service 
*orid Itar /. ■ r b j 


333 Margaret 


"The OriRina/ Central House" 

Establisbed on thp principle that 
the laboring class in Pekin should 
be served with the best in quality 
at the lowest prices, the Central 
House at Margaret and Capitnl 
streets was purchased in 1932 by 
Nello Rossi. 

In a building 100 years old - as 
old as Pekin itself - the Central 
House soon established a reputation 
for excellent food, superior service 
and honest deal ing. 

Since the Central House was 
established by Mr. Rossi as the 
finest Italian restaurant in the 
cominun i ty , his family has main- 
tained it in the traditions in which 
early business was transacted. 

Under the supervision of Nello 
Rossi, with Mrs. Rossi preparing the 
food, the Central house became the 
unofficial meeting place for the 
laboring men of Pekin as well as the 
farmers who had regarded the Central 
House as a gathering place even 
before it was taken over by the 

After the death of Mr. Rossi in 
1943 his wife and three sons, 
Lawrence, Al and Italo, continued 
operation of the Central House. 
Today, however. Italo and Al are 
engaged in the management of the 

hotel, having taken the reins upon 
their return from military service, 
lioth of them were in the uniform of 
the United States navy. 

During recent years the Central 
House has grown in size as well as 
clientele. In 194 a new dining 
room. The Blue Room, was added to 
the original structure and rapidly 
earned a reputation for its excellent 
Italian and American Cuisine. 
Specialties, of course, are the 
Italian dis'ies - spaghetti, raviola, 
salads and anti pastos. Also on the 
menu are fried milk-fed chicken, 
steaks and fish. 

Popularity of Ross i- prepared 
foods has resulted in the establish- 
ment 3f Rossi Food Products, Inc.. 
which went into business on January 
1, 1949. The new company has con- 
structed a processing and canning 
plant adjacent to the Central House 
on N. Capitol street and the Rossi 
Pood Products label is already 
visible in most of the grocery 
stores in Central Illinois. 

On the growing list of Rossi Food 
Products are canned chili, spaghetti 
sauce, beef barbecue, beef stew, and 
the only green salad dressing on the 
market today. 

Actual ownership of the Central 
House is still in the hands of Mrs. 
Rossi who actively supervises the 
preparation of its tasty dishes and, 
as has been her practice for many 
years, she examines each day' s menu 
for, "Quality, price and appearance. " 
Concerning the future, the Rossis 
are looking forward to continued 
expansion of their Central House 
services and their Rossi Food 
Products production. They plan to 
do so by maintaining, to the best of 
their ability, their present high 
standards of food production and 
dining room management. 


Grace Methodist church, and German 
ceased to he the language spoken from 
most of the pulpits in Pekin. The 
German language, still taught in some 
of the church grade schools, was 
abandoned as were the schools them- 
selves soon after. 

The months of *orld War I brought 
about the final cutting of the last 
ties between Pekin and the old countr.v. 
more especia' ly. the patherland. Since 
that time, children of all faiths and 
national extractions have gone through 
the same schools, played the same games 
and sports, and used the same public 
institutions, a practice which wiped 
out effectively .iny division along 
lines of national or religious preju- 

Pekin. for years unique because of 
its clinging to the old German ways, 
had so changed that it was soon to be 
unique in that no firm line was to 
exist between its people on any ground. 
It was and remains unique, too. in the 
fact that there are no members of the 
colored race living in the city. 
Apparently, the militance of the early 
secessionist Knights of the Golden 
Circle, together with the long period 
when at least an understanding of 
German was essential to r-ven moderate 
success in the community, combined to 
discourage any early settlement by 
colored people, and they have simply 
never become established here. 

At any rate, the war with Germany 
brought a clean break from much of the 
German tradition, from which the newer 
generations were already pulling slowly 
away, and laid the foundations for the 
present homogeneous community. 

All during the war. in contrast with 
World War II, the soldiers-to-be were 
mustered at the court house in groups 
of 30 or more, and these were escorted 
to the train bound for camp by a band. 
However, from that point on. Pekin men 
were scattered to various army units 
and not organized into separate Pekin 
companies as had so long been the 

Records at Springfield were destroy- 
ed by fire, unfortunately, but among 
those known to have died in service 
during World War I were Pekinites Roy 
King. William Schaefer. Harry Houston, 
John Duncan, Pearl Doren. George Grant, 
and Wil 1 iam Ful ler. 

During the war years, specifically 
on July 5, 1918. Pekin was visited by 
the greatest single tragedy in its 
history, with the possible exception 
of the early epidemics. Eighty five 
persons, men. women and children, were 
drowned with the "Columbia", when the 
excursion steamer heading back down- 
stream toward Pekin, struck a sub- 
merged log and sank in the Illinois 
river just off Wesley city. For more 
than a week, the entire city was 
absorbed in the tragic task of re- 
covering the bodies of the dead, 
identifying them, and arranging for 
burial. The home guard unit took charge 
in this emergency and other relief 
agencies joined them, as impromptu 
morgues, identification rooms, and 
other facilities were commandeered, the 
Wesley city road was shut off to other 
than official traffic, and the grisly 
work went on. 

The sinking of the Columbia, as much 
as the war itself, marked the end of 
the pleasant pre-war period of life in 
Pekin in the 1900' s as the city rounded 
the corner and entered the "roaring 
twent ies" . 



Peoria newspapers have given 
uninterrupted service to Pekin and 
the Pekin area for more than 70 
years, a part of that time offering 
the only daily news service. 

Pekin, in turn, has given to the 
area and to Peoria newspapers, some 
of the most distinguished newspaper 
men, and some of the most reliable 
newspaper service in the state. Any 
history of Pekin should certainly 
include a brief tribute, at least, 
to a few of these men. 

Today, the dean of newsmen in 
Central Illinois are Louis B.Watson, 
formerly of the Peoria Transcript 
and for many years with the Pekin 
Times, and William G. Pair, formerly 
of the Peoria Star. 

Still serving, after 43 years, 
and the dean of active newspaper men 
is Paul Massey. Pekin office manager 

for Peoria Newspapers Inc., whose 
newspaper experience includes the 
Columbia disaster, the Corn Products 
explosion, the South Pekin tornado, 
and other stories of national scope. 

Peoria's Brooks Watson, formerly 
of the Peoria Star, and now with 
Radio Station WMBD began his news- 
paper experience in Pekin, and is a 
son of Louis B. Watson. 

Peoria area newspaper world is 
indebted to Pekin for the late 
Charles B. Smith, Abe Schaefer, 
Prank McGrew, R.E. Rollins and 
Charles Skaggs, veterans of the 
Peoria Journal staff for many years. 

Principal newspaper historians 
for the entire area in later years 
have been two Pekin men, Louis B. 
Watson of the Pekin Times, and the 
late Charles B. Smith of the Peoria 
Journal and Transcript. 



New Hoate of 

Motor Sales 

Established in 1946, one of 
Pekin' s newest and fastest growing 
businesses, began operations at 900 
South Second Street. Today, as Pekin 
closes its first century of growth, 
Hymbaugh Motor Sales is now con- 
ducting its business at the original 
location, but has expanded to include 
a new building under construction at 
50 1 South Second Street. Jack 
Hymbaugh is presently the dealer for 
several lines of trailers including 
American, Travelo, Kozy Coach, New 
Moon, Vagabond. . Schultz, Zimmer, 
Superior, Sparton, Ironwood, Pace- 
maker and Peerless. Since 1948 Mr. 

Hymbaugh has been the authorized 
dealer for Willys Automobiles and 
the Willys Sales Service garage is 
to be housed at the new location at 
501 South Second Street. 

Hymbaugh Motor Sales also deals 
in quality used cars at 900 South 
Second Street and finances all lower 
priced autos. 

Used parts have become a commodity 
of the Hymbaugh firm in connection 
with the operation of the Hymbaugh 
Junk Yard located on Prince Street 
where. Jack says, "We use the best 
and junk the rest. " 



The 1920' s looked troublesome right 
from the start, as they brought a mixed 
period of both progress and thwarted 
progress, all of which was colored by 
the lawlessness and changing social 
scheme of the prohibition era. 

Pekin, like the rest of the nation, 
saw Ford's famous "Tin Lizzie" make us 
a people on wheels, and Pekin also saw 
the first widespread use of the cigar- 
ette, the appearance of candy bars, and 
the appearance of lipstick and rouge on 
women other than "entertainers" - using 
the word in its broadest sense. For- 
tunately, it was also to be the era of 
the airplane and the radio. 

W.E. Schurman was mayor when the 
roaring Twenties began, and councilmen 
were C.G. Gehrig, H.J. Rust, M.B. Loh- 
mann and J.G. Nedderman. Harm Smith was 
chief of police. The period started 
with a time of post-war inflation. 
Prices were ruinous, but silk shirts 
were more plentiful on Court street 
than ever before. Perhaps, the first 
sign of what kind of decade was to come 
was in the formation of Pekin Community 
high school district 303- In 1920, the 
courts declared the district had been 
illegally formed, dissolved it, ousted 
board members Charles Hilst, H.J. Rust, 
P.C. Gale, W.G. Pair, D.F. Velde and 
Ben L. Smith, and fined each of them $1 
for "pretending" to be a high school 
board. Jesse slack and Franklin Velde 
had defended the district officers or 
"pretended officers" and states Attorney 
E.E. Black launched the quo warranto 
proceeding that ousted them. The 
district had been thrown out because 
Pekin had been enjoying the benefits 
of a special school charter voted into 
existence exclusively for Pekin by the 

state legislature in 1869, and this 
charter forbade taking in territory 
beyond the city Hmits. A year later 
the charter was abandoned and the 
present high school district and 
separate grade districts were organized 
much as they exist today. 

In 1921 came the second sign of what 
the decade was to bring. The period of 
inflation passed and there came a de- 
pression or "panic". It hit Pekin like 
the rest of the nation, and among its 
by-products here was a run on the 
Farmer's National bank. The bank sur- 
vived that run, partly because Mayor 
Schurman and the city council continued 
to deposit city funds there and made 
this fact public, along with urging the 
solidity of the banking house. The run 
was slowed to a walk and finally halted 
without breaking the bank, and the city 
officials were formally thanked for 
their assistance during the "bank 
alarm". This year, also, the iron 
bridge was closed to traffic as it was 
to be repeatedly, off and on, through- 
out that 10 year period. 

In 1922, there was a small-pox 
epidemic and the city of Pekin stepped 
in to close schools and create the 
first vaccination ordinance making 
vaccination a requirement for school 
attendance. Also, in 1922, came one of 
the biggest "prohibition" stories, when 
a group of hijackers picked the day 
after Emil Neuhaus was sworn in as 
sheriff to blast their way right thru 
the main gate of the distillery here 
and escape with a carload of alcohol. 

During this period, too, the Ku Klax 
Klan was strong in Pekin. It's meet- 
ings, policies and plans were front 
page news in the Pekin Times, where its 
"good works" were much praised, and 
Pekin was for some time district head- 
quarters for the Klan. 

By the mid-twenties the Klan had 
declined rapidly, and the Pekin Times, 
which had been controlled by the Klan 
organization, changed hands, eventually 
ending under the ownership of P.P. Mc- 
Naughton, its present owner. 

This period introduced for the first 
time the recurrent headlines of death 
and injury in motorcar wrecks (and 
Pekin hired the first "motor cop"), in 
addition to still frequent railroad and 
even street car fatalities. The old 
street cars apparently caused more 


H.R.Mc Garvey 






BOOM 1928 - 29 

30--BUST 1931 






1934 -35-36-37-38-39-40-41 ESTABLISHED 

WAR - 1941 - 42 - 43 - 44 - 45 no appliances to 

restrictions on truck LOADS - TIRES - GASOLINE - DE- 








4?3 COURT ST. 





Pt.kl\ Hli;H .^ChinnL built m 191G. 

serious injuries and deaths in a .single 
year in the m id - twenti es than have 
resulted during operation of the bus 
system in almost 15 years. In addition 
there came news of "poison whiskey" 
brewed as close as Creve Coeur, causing 
death and blindness to users, and there 
were a series of gun killings, and 
armed robberies in downtown Pekin. as 
well as elsewhere. There were recurrent 
"raids" on "speak- easies" . recurrent 
charges of bribery against state and 
national "dry agents" several of whom 
were held in the county jail here for a 
time. There were hijackings of various 
kinds. In addition to the distillery 
hijack case, authorities at one time 
fought a pitched battle across Mineral 
Springs park from Court street to the 
railroad tracks north of the park, 
against a hijack gang raiding a train. 
In 19:^4. the Times announced that 
Sheriff Neuhaus had an airplane stand- 
ing by and was going to try tracing 
bootleggers and hijacker's autos from 
the air and was even considering the 
use of bombs in taking action against 

In 1924. shots were fired into the 
homes of attorneys W.J. Reardon and 
Jesse Black, both of whom were promi- 
nent in the prosecution of liquor law 
violators. The city council spread on 
its records at the time. January 7. 
1924. this resolution: 

"Whereas certain dastardly acts of 
lawlessness were committed in our city 
when unknown parties maliciously with 
murderous intent fired numerous shots 
into the houses of two of our respected 
citizens, and, whereas this council 
feels the city should do all in its 
power to prevent repitition of such 
occurrences and to assist in the appre- 
hension and conviction of the parties 
guilty of the offense, therefore, be it 
resolved that the city of Pekin offer 
the sum of $1,000 for the arrest and 
conviction of the party or parties 
guilty of firing shots into the homes 
of W.J. Reardon and Jesse Black on 
January 1 and 2. 1924. " 

The party or parties were never 
arrested or convicted, although many 
thousands including some $5,000 for 

special detectives was spent in an 
effort to run down the gunmen. Later, 
Justice of the Peace Walter Schaefer, 
(now a local reporter), was fired on 
from an auto on the highway. In 1928. 
hijackers raiding a freight car of 
liquor at South Pekin shot watchman 
Michael Murphy "to pieces" there. May 
22, 1929. Police Officer Jack DeFrates 
shot and killed t.B. "Red" ''Storer at 
Storer's home here in Pekin, and 
a few weeks later. Deputy 

Sheriff Fred Gleich shot and killed 
Alvin Westrope under similar circum- 
stances of resisting arrest. In 1929. 
Fred Spencer hung himself in the cell 
in the county iail, where he was wait- 
ing trial on charges that he cut the 
throat of Fred Wasmer at Washington, 
Illinois and So, the bloody record 

Trouble came in other forms. The 
Corn Products Refining company plant 
was ripped by a series of dust ex- 
plosions followed by roaring flames in 
1924, and 42 workers died in the in- 
ferno while hundreds of others suffered 
burns and other injuries. A worker was 
killed and several injured when a 
bridge span slipped here during con- 
struction. A worker was killed and two 
hurt in a dust explosion at the Super- 
Power plant here. In 1924, the Hummer 
Saddlery burned with a loss estimated 
by plant manager E.W. Aufderheide as 
$300,000. In 1928. the Velde Lumber 
Company suffered a $200,000 fire, and 
there were a number of blazes doing 
$60,000 damages and less. In 1929, a 
record flood closed down Pekin' s indus- 
tries and isolated many hores and 
business houses, doing tremendous 
damage. And from a business approach 
the decade ended with an almost over- 
night collapse of the stock market and 
the start of the Great Depression. 

But there was still another side to 
the history of Pekin during the 1920' s, 
and while the trouble of the times has 
passed, the progressive things endure. 
It was a great era for school building, 
for one thing. The McKinley, Roosevelt. 
Douglas and Washington Junior High 
schools were all built during this span 
of years, and the newly organized high 
school district not only purchased the 
existing high school building from the 
old grade board but by the end of the 
decade were building the "new wing" 
onto that structure. In this period, 
too, the Super Power company plant, now 
operated by the Commonwealth Edison 
company, was erectel at Powerton. The 
present large and attractive Pekin 
theater building was built in 1928. and 
"talkies" were first introduced a year 
later. The present Elks club building 
was erected then, and Jansen and 
Schaefer paved a huge area of Pekin' s 



Pekin Branch 

Standard Brands Inc. when it 
came to Pekin in 1926. was another 
factory on Pekin' s famed "Industry 
Row" which linked the farmer and 
manufacturer by utilizing farm 
products for the manufacture of 
other commodities useful to the 
farmer and public. The "yeast 
plant," from its founding in Pekin, 
has converted grain into foodstuffs 
for both man and livestock. Yeast 
products were exclusively produced 
in 1926. The following year, 1927, 
the aggressiveness of the midwest 
brought about the expansion of 
Fleishraann's and a new yeast and 
diamalt plant was erected where the 
shambled buildings of a former 
factory stood only a year before. 

Since 1927, the Pekin division 
of Standard Brands has continued to 
swell in size until today the plant 
is one of the most modern and best 
productive plants in this area. The 
factory operating normally today 
employs more than 300 persons, com- 
pared to the 100 employees ofa 
decade ago. 

Of the original buildings that 
were a part of the primary history 
of the Pekin division, only the feed 
house remains today. The Pleischmann 
Division at present boasts a group 
of up-to-date structures including a 
yeast, diamalt, and boiler plant, a 
store house and a modem boiler room. 

Standard Brands also has contributed 
a complete and modern sewage dis- 
posal plant to the equipment of the 
steadfast Pekin Plant. 

The principal raw materials used 
to produce the 35 or 40 malt and 
yeast products manufactured in the 
Pekin Plant include corn, malt, beet 
and cane molasses. The products are 
shipped throughout the United States 
to the West Coast, south into Texas, 
north into Minnesota and Wisconsin, 
and east to the east coast. The Pekin 
Plant also exports some products. 

Standard Brands sponsors a basket- 
ball team in the industrial league 
of Pekin which brings honors to the 
plant. The local plant has organized 
a "Twenty-Year Club" which at present 
boasts a membership of sixty. Also 
Standard Brands has a "Quarter 
Century Club" with a membership of 
1,000 employees with 25 years service 
or more. Each member receives a watch 
upon completion of 25 years' service. 

The Pekin factory is one of many 
Standard Brands Plants in the United 
States, and there are also factories 
in South America and Canada. 

Officials of the Pekin Pleisch- 
mann Division of Standard Brands 
Inc. are A.C. Litchfield, General 
Manager: E.J. Heim, Superintendent; 
and M.S. Prickett, Diamalt Superin- 


north side In the first extensive use 
of cement for streets, at a total cost 
of $264,531.20. 

The Pekin Country Club acquired 50 
acres of ground for future expansion of 
the present Country Club golf course. 
Finally, after 10 years of troubles 
with the Iron bridge, after the 
troubles with the old hand ferry and 
starting before the Civil War when the 
city first tried to build a bridge only 
to have the contractor back down after 
work was started - the bridge problem 
was solved. Martin B. Lohmann, who 
wrestled with the bridge problem as 
city commissioner in the early twenties 
had been sent to the state house of 
representatives where he introduced a 
bill calling for construction of a 
bridge at Pekin. In 1929. this bill 
which he guided through the house and 
on which he was aided by Ben L. Smith 
in the Senate, was signed into law and 
$400,000 in state funds were made 
available. Both Tazewell county and a 
host of Pekin. business people guaran- 
teed payment of funds over $400, 000 and 
a contract was made for construction of 
the present bridge, with construction 
underway in 1929. The bridge job not 
only marked the end of almost a century 
of problems there, but marked the 
biggest financial assist ever given 
Pekin by any outside agency, and still 
does. During this period. Pekin' s popu- 
lation took its greatest leap, from 
12,086 persons to 16,129. 

There is also the record of thwarted 
attempts made in this period. The high 
school district, after initial failure, 
finally came into being. The bridge 
problem, after Initial failures, 
finally came to a successful conclusion. 
In 1924, the city submitted to a 
general election a proposal for a citv- 
wide year-round recreation program 

which was turned down by a close vote 
of 545 "yes" to 613 "no", and such a 
program did not come into being until 
1946. In 1922. the council first tried 
to install a building ordinance, and 
about five years later. Commissioner 
Everett Dirksen tried again with a 
zoning and building ordinance which 
survived less than a month at which 
time the council unanimously rescinded 
it. The city is still struggling with 
that problem and a proposed zoning 
ordinance is now under study . In 1929. 
Commissioner Everett Dirksen proposed 
that the old city hall be replaced with 
a new city building at a proposed cost 
of $140,000, and such replacement has 
come up repeatedly since, and is slated 
to be before the people again before 
the end of 1949. 

The city was guided during this 
period, in addition to the council 
already named,- by Mayor Ben Michael and 
commissioners Roy Preston (who later 
resigned and was replaced by A.N. Black, 
when Preston became Pekin' s postmaster), 
Gerhardt Janssen, Louis Hoff, and 
Edward Messmer, who were in turn re- 
placed in the late twenties by Mayor 
L.B. Kinsey and commissioners Everett 
M. Dirksen, Dr. P.J. Tobin, Oscar J. 
Hill and Edward A. Messmer. 

Finally, the Twenties saw basketball 
come into prominence and football reach 
a "golden era" in Pekin. as the 1926 
football team of Pekin Community high 
school roared through an undefeated 
season to win its first Big Twelve 
crown, led by Hank Bruder. Bruder later 
was a star at Northwestern university 
(and later with the World's Champion 
Green Bay Packers where he played eight 
years), and Nov. 24, 1928, marked a 
high point in Pekin sports achievement 
when Northwestern met Dartmouth. Dart- 
mouth's Captain was Dick Black of Pekin. 

WASHINGTON JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL completed in 1930 to replace old Washington 
Schoo I . 


359 COURT 

lieu I ing ' s m 
the IXHO's 

The year 1949 marks the 50th 
Anniversary of the incorporation of 
N. Reuling Company. The original 
store, which was operated for a good 
many years by Nicholas Reuling, 
occupied the west room of the 
property known as the Herget Build- 
ing. Previous to that time, Mr. 
Reuling had been in partnership with 
a VIr. Becker, in the first 300 block 
Court Street. 

In the year 1899, the company was 
incorporated and enlarged to include 
an adjoining room, which had formerly 
housed a wholesale grocery. The 
dividing partition was removed, and 
a new front, modern for the times, 

In 1925, the building was 
purchased from the Herget Estate, 
and since that time, the business 
has expanded to occupy the second 
floor and basement, in addition to 
the spacious main floor. 

In 1941 a modernization program 
was started and completed on the 
main floor, and the resulting in- 
crease in business proved very 

N. Reuling Company has endeavored 
through the years to provide quality 
merchandise in leading name brands 
at moderate prices, and to live up 
to its motto, "The Store of Satis- 
faction" . 

Game Bird Calls 



Philip S. Olt, who resides five 
miles south of Pekin, has been manu- 
facturing various types of hard 
rubber Game Calls for the past 45 
years and has developed a business 
which is world-wide. In so doing, 
the Olt' s have helped to make Pekin 
known throughout the length and 
breadth of the land. Mr. Olt and 
his three sons, Philip Jr., Richard, 
and Arthur, operate the business 
together with three employees. They 
are kept busy the year round supply- 
ing the demand for game bird calls. 

One necessary part of the hunter's 
equipment, as indispensable as his 
gun, is a Game Call to be used for 
the particular type game he wishes 




to hunt. While every hunter has one 
or more calls in his pocket during 
the hunting seasons, not many of 
them know that most of the Duck, 
Goose, Crow, Hawk, Turkey, and 
Squirrel Calls are made here in our 
own locality. 

This business has grown steadily 
in years past until now thousands of 
iobbers and dealers in the United 
States and various parts of the 
world sell OLT' S GAME BIRD CALLS. 


and N.U.'s sophomore sensation was Hank 
Bruder of Pekin (to be Captain there 
also). Black, suffering a knee injury, 
made only a token appearance in the 
game attended by hundreds of Pekin 
fans, but Bruder ripped to two touch- 
downs, both from outside the 20 yard 
line. Pekin' s great 1926 team had also 
included Harry McClarence, later 
captain of the Bradley team, and was 
the first team to be coached by A.G. 
(Frenchy) Haussler, ushering in a 
period when he established the Pekin 
high athletic association and the great 
sports program that was recently 
brought to new heights under Athletic 
Director James Warren Lewis. 

Besides seeing Pekin men skyrocket 
to national attention in football, the 
period saw the development of one of 
the most popular participation as well 
as spectator sports in the city today, 
as the Elks league introduced the game 
of "soft-ball" at Mineral Springs park, 
playing with a 16-inch ball under 
lights with dish-pans as reflectors. 
They laid the foundations for the 
present soft-ball diamonds and leagues 
here, as well as the night- 1 i ghting 
system for such sports. The soft-ball 
then was designed to restrict the game 
to the small area that could be lighted 
with the "dishpan lights". Postmaster 
Roy "Peach" Preston testifies that it 
was hard to get distance out of the 
16-inch ball, "but if you got it past 
second base, nobody could see it, then." 

Thus, in spite of the background of 
violence and lawlessness, so often a 
part of Pekin' s history, the Twenties 
saw the bulk of our present system of 


the twenties, 

schools built, our north side paved, 
and our industrial and business com- 
munity grow, as the city' s reputation 
in athletics, founded early in the 
century, also grew. 

Having turned its back on the German 
language, after more than 50 years of 
clinging to that language, Pekin's 
population leaped by more than 4,000, 
the biggest gain in history. 

Thus, the city turned it's back on 
the roaring twenties and entered what 
might be called the Roosevelt Era. 


The Photoggery 

51? Court Street 


Two veterans of World War II, 
renewing a lifetime friendship over 
a cup of coffee had an idea. Bernard 
W. Heberer and Egbert B. Groen, both 
born and raised in Pekin, put their 
hobby, ambition, energies and money 
together and on November 12, 1946, 
gave Pekin its first and pnly store 
devoted exclusively to the sale of 
photographic equipment and supplies. 
With quality merchandise and fair 
customer treatment as its standard. 
The Photoggery has grown. Here, the 
expert and the beginner meet to talk 
over their photographic problems. 
All major lines are handled includ- 
ing complete stocks of Eastman Kodak, 
Ansco, Bell & Howell, Revere, Ampro, 
and many others. If it is used in 
photography, be it a roll of film or 
a sound movie projector. The Photog- 
gery has it. 


524 Court Street 


Vice President 



In June 1945 this wholesale firm 
opened for business to give to 
Pekin' s auto repair garages a 
complete machine shop service and 
to make available to Pekin' s ga- 
rages, service stations and fleet 
owners a stock of the finest auto 
replacement parts. On January 1, 
1947 it changed from a partnership 
to a corporation and named N.L. 
Heitzman as its president. During 
four years of rapid growth its stock 
has increased and today it includes 
such nationally-known products as 
Thompson Engine parts, Ramco Piston 
Rings, Pram Oil Filters, AC Fuel 
Pumps, Dupont Paints, Raybestos 
Brake Lining, Dayton Pan Belts and 
Radiator Hose, Zerone & Zerex anti- 
freeze, Moog Springs and Front End 
parts, and many others. 



Clean Towel Service 

W.F. Albertsen Since April 1, 1947 



The period of the 1930' s could 
hardly be called a calm before the 
storm of World War II. It was not calm. 
Stormy activities' throughout the world 
were matched by turbulent times here in 
Pekin, and much of what happened then 
was almost contradictory. 

The stock market had fallen apart in 
1929, and the Great Depression was 
underway in 1930, and yet the .record 
shows that in this year the new half- 
million dollar Pekin bridge was com- 
pleted, there was a $150,000 subscrip- 
tion drive for the newhospita] 

addition, and the long fight over a 
major north side paving project finally 
was ended with supreme court approval 
for the $400,000 job. Three years later, 
incidentally, the hospital received 
another assist when a referendum gave 
approval by a vote of 1,111 to 630 for 
a one mill hospital tax. Completion of 
that bridge marked one of the biggest 
celebrations in Pekin history. Rep. 
Martin B. Lohmann. (now Senator) who 
led the fight for state funds, drove 
the first car across. It was Fred Moen- 
kemoeller's car, and this time they 

fi * 

OPENING THE NE» BIUDGE, 193r>--left to right--Jack Patterson, 
Ed MesSKer, A. E. iievere, L. B. Kinsey, W. 6. Lohman, Construction 
Engineer (unidentified) , H. E. Schurnan. 





We deliver anything but babies. 
Bob Brown Bob Oavis 





Nievar Drive Inn 

1514 N. 8th 

Complete Fountain Service 

Hamburgers -Tender loins- French Fries 

OPEN 5: 00 pm 'til 12: 00 M 

Since 1946 
Bob Nievar - Prop. 


323 Court 

Crawford Family Shoe Store was 
established September, 1919. Our 
policy all these years has been to 
give more for the shoe dollar. Huge 
buying power and low overhead does 
that trick. 

Until 1937, W.J. Crawford was 
full owner but at that time John 
Crawford, Tresa Crawford and W.J. 
Crawford incorporated the business 
known now as Crawford Brothers' Shoe 

We have always stocked nationally 
known name brands for the entire 
family such as Jolene, Life Stride, 
Teenage, Buster Brown, Robin Hood, 
Roblee, Pedwin and Freeman. 

We have been in the same loca- 
tion for thirty years and have 
enjoyed a thriving business be- 
cause we strive to give our custom- 
ers service, quality, and price. 


Auto Supply & Service 


Distributor for 



• T • r. J -. • Spicer and Detroit 

• Tnco Products — ,, . , i - . 

Universal Joints — 

• American-Brakeblok Linings — 




We Make 

Car Keys 

Carburetor — Electrical Service 

Battery Service — Generators 



Phone 189 

200 N. 5+h 



forestalled any double-shuffle such as 
had taken place at the opening of the 
old bridge by having Charles Holland, 
now getting along in years, ride across 
with the others in the first car. It 
was Holland, the reader will remember, 
who had driven over Pekin' s old bridge 
ahead of the mayor to be the first to 
cross, and make a joke of the opening 

On the basis of these events, the 
early start of the 30' s would seem to 
have been promising, and yet we had the 
collapse of the grain market, ^nd grow- 
ing unemployment too. Five cent corn 
was a reality at the elevators here. 
The unemployed caused a crisis in local 
government affairs with inadequate funds 
for-relief purposes, and there were 
regular meetings of farmers, unemployed, 
and regularly organized groups to cope 
with the severe economic problem, ^s 
the period of depression deepened it 
brought a record high in cooperation 
between the association of commerce and 
organized labor. Building trade unions 
slashed their hourly wage to a new low 
in a bid for work as the association of 
commerce launched a door to door cam- 
paign for "home improvement and build- 
ing modernization" in an effort to find 
work for the union men. This program 
did result in a considerable amount of 
work and brief relief to those trades. 

In 1932, the Farmers National bank 
closed its doors, not because of special 
crisis or shortage but because "it 
wasn' t making any money", and the 
closure smashed at public morale, tied 

up needed moneys, and took cash out of 
circulation for years although de- 
positors did get back almost the full 
amount eventually. As a by-product, 
frightened depositors of other banks in 
many cases withdrew their savings and 
hid it elsewhere, thus taking addi- 
tional moneys out of circulation. 

And at the same time as all these 
things were going on, there remained 
the recurring thread of violence which 
refused to disappear from Pekin' s daily 
life altogether. There were a wavS of 
street hold-ups in the early thirties. 
Sammy Wade, notorious underworld figure 
from Pekin, was killed in a gunfight 
near Highland, in May of 1930. In 
January of the year, Pekin police 
officer George Ziebold shot and killed 
burglar John Miller of Canton after a 
chase across the Court street roof tops. 
There were a string of murder and man- 
slaughter cases, several involving 
motor-car deaths and three convictions 
are recorded for manslaughter, while 
two people were given life sentences 
here for murder. 

The discovery of the body of Martin 
Virant, a material witness, in the 
Tazewell county jail caused a storm 
which lasted for months. After the in- 
quest there was a near lynching of 
accused deputies, who were later tried 
on manslaughter charges that Virant 
died under the "third degree". Even 
after their acquittal, there was an 
effort to impeach the entire sheriff's 
office on the part of the Tazewell 
county board of supervisors. 

PEKI^ PUBLIC HOSPITAL built m 1913 enlarged m 1931 and 19i,0 


We, of the Massachusetts Mutual, 
congratulate the city of Pekin on 
its Century of Progress. This Company 
was organized in 1851. and has con- 
tinuously served the people almost a 
100 years. During that time it has 
paid over one billion dollars to its 
policyholders and their beneficiaries 
of which Pekin residents were the 
recipients of substantial amounts. 
It is our desire to further Pekin' s 
development over the next 100 years. 
District Agent 
Fred R Soldwedel, 
1701 N. Eighth St. 
Pekin, 1 1 linois 

Reuling Si Wllliafflson, Gen. Agts. 
Massachusetts Mutual Life Ins Co. 

Peoria. Illinois 

Seymour Rosenberg takes pride in 
any part he and his father, the late 
Edward Rosenberg, have played in the 
growth of Pekin. The name has been 
connected with local merchandizing 
and real estate since 1899. 

In addition to his dealings in 
the retail furniture business, at 
208-210 Court Street, Edward Rosen- 
berg built beautiful Rosenberg Court 
in 1925. His son, Seymour, joined 
his father at an early age in 
business, and is now proprietor of 
Seymour's Store, a combined sport- 
ing goods- clothing store. He has 
long been an avid sports booster 
and sponsor for local teams. 

This store wishes to acknowledge 
the efforts of all Pekinites in 
molding a great little city -- one 
of which we can be justifiably proud. 

Seymour's Store 




On June 9, 1933, machine-gun-carry- 
ing bandits robbed a Herget bank messen- 
ger of $10,000 in broad daylight in 
downtown Pekin - on Elizabeth street 
just opposite the post office. A month 
later bank robbers broke into Reulings 
store, bored through a wall to the side 
of the Herget bank vault and finally 
abandoned their attempt there. In July 
of the following year. Pekin police 
acting on orders of Mayor Rayburn 
Russell and with the full approval of 
the council, chased a group of Communist 
organizers out of the city. 

And there was still another kind of 
violence. Many Pekin workers were con- 
cerned in a state-wide war between the 
United Mine Workers and the Progressive 
Miners of America. There were even more 
serious events in some places, but the 
record shows that here in Pekin two 
pickets were shot when they appeared in 
front of a Fifth Street home Oct. 11, 
1932; 450 miners at one time literally 
invaded the city; a home at 1308 
Charlotte street was penetrated by gun- 
fire Oct. 24, 1932; and almost a year 
later the home at 353 Ann Eliza street 
was bombed. 

Meanwhile, after the period had 
gotten pretty well underway, there came 
the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt 
and the New Deal, with immediate effects 
here in Pekin. 

The Bank holiday was declared, and 
all banks were closed, while their 
solvency was checked and a system for 
guaranteeing deposits was planned. When 
they re-opened, many hoarders filled 
with new confidence deposited moneys 
they had been afraid to put in the 
banks before. There came the NRA codes 
for Pekin factories which were credited 
with boosting payrolls at once by 
$34,244.24 and creating 321 new jobs in 
Pekin. There came repeal of the prohi- 
bition laws and amendment and with it 
the start of a tremendous bui Iding 
program at the American distillery. The 
distillery started operation in whiskey 
production Dec. 4, 1933. The city 
council proceeded to license taverns 
and at the same time outlawed the use 
of the word "saloon". There came also 
the first corn loans for farmers paid 
at Pekin' s banks, and other props for 
agriculture. The first time in the 
Thirties that wheat hit $1. 00 it brought 
a big black banner headline in the Times. 

Depression or no depression, the 
Masonic temple had been erected in 1931, 
and the park board had completed and 
opened the Park View golf course. The 
Farm Bureau building was built in 1932, 
also. But with the New Deal also came 
PWA, and with its help in some cases, 
Pekin proceeded to build the new Frank- 
lin school, a series of sewer and paving 



sjP ;' 3BByj^^v.'«^ 

->*■-- ■^- 


The new Mineral Springs Pool and Bathhouse . 


Since 1874 

Open Everyday 
Dining Room 

201 St. Mary 

Cocktail Lounge 




Bill & Bernice Rogers 

March 1, 1922 


Cut Flowers 

and Potted Plants 

For All Occasions 

^ppfJ/ u^M^Bu^eri^ 

N. 8ih and Amaoda Su. 

Telephone 108 


Frank Geisert Charles Geisert 
San Benjamin, Jr. 

J. C. PE]^]\EY Co, 

322 Court Street 

The J.C. Penney Company opened its first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming 
in 1902. Today it has 1603 stores, in every state in the Union. The 
local Penney store was opened in Pekin in February 1931. 



29 South Fourth Street 

PHONE 271 

Since 1939 


improvements, the beautiful new Mineral 
Springs park swimming pnnl completed in 
1935. followed by the bath house two 
years later, and the Pekin high school 
gymnasium building. The pool remains 
the best in central Illinois and now 
handles as many as 20,000 swimmers a 
month, while the beautiful modernistic 
bath house operates the year round. G. 
Graf Watson, then president of the park 
board, was publicly credited with the 
hard work and leadership which brought 
this project to a reality. 

Meanwhile, the period proved es- 
pecially stormy for city government. 
Even promising young Everett Dirksen 
stubbed his toe in the early thirties 
when the building code program which 
had been his special project was first 
voted into law and then rescinded a few 
weeks later in such a storm of protest 
that the council was unanimous in with- 
drawing it. Iij 1931, Ben Michael became 
mayor, and commissioners were Paul 
Soldwedel. Ed Messmer. Rayburn Russell, 
and A.B. Shacklette. Mayor Michael died 
a year later and Rayburn Russell became 
mayor while Jonas Larsen was appointed 
to the commissioner post. It was this 
group that faced the tremendous problems 
of depression and tremendous local 
organizational task brought by the New 

However, it was the succeeding coun- 
cil vlich had an even more troublesome 
administration. In 1935. Mayor W.E. 
Schurman was elected and the commission- 
ers became Thomas Dirksen. Charles 
Skaggs, Fred Diesing, and Henry Kluever, 
One of their earliest actions was to 
halt the street car operation and launch 
the new bus system. Within three months 
of their assuming office they had a 
bitter 3-2 split on the vote on new 
buses, the mayor and Commissioner 
Kluever opposing the acceptance of the 
bid of Johnson-Moody of Peoria at $4,500 
each for five buses. The mayor even re- 
fused to sign the contract after the 
bid was accepted over his opposition. 
The local press hammered at the "bus 
deal" week after week, when this hap- 
pened, until finally at a meeting at- 
tended by the council, a special 
committee of the association of com- 
merce, and the Johnson- Moody representa- 
tives, the company slashed $1,000 from 
the price of each bus or a total of 
$5,000. and the purchase was completed. 
In spite of which disturbing start, and 
early revenue losses in operation, the 
municipal bus system proved to be an 
outstanding success which piled up more 
then $100,000 in the sinking fund 10 
years later. It is interesting that at 
the time, former commissioner C.F. 

In the heart of the Pekin business district , looking east or Court 
Street from Capital Street at a tine when traffic was very light. 
In the twen ties 


V O G E L- S 


©Watermelon Sfand 1934 
Shed/housing" Service GroMri] 1935 
Nm modern Self Service Groceri) SuperMarkel 1939 
Locker Plant 1940 
S?lf Service Meab I94Z 
r^ Manito Locker Plan! 1945 

lr\\ Additioniil Convcnieni SupereHc localioti 1946 
New Spee-dcCli«ckOiil lanes 1948 


Qj Orel's Luill continue h give 'pcKJJl^ 
modern and hiv cost food rnQKhand'nin^ 



Gehrig appeared before the council and 
urged that Court street not be paved 
down the center but the street car 
tracks should remain undisturbed be- 
cause "we might want the street cars 
back. " 

A year later, the same council was 
squarely in the middle of another 
critical situation. On Jan. 19, 1936, a 
Sunday, 100 pickets appeared at the 
American Distillery gate on route 24 
and built bonfires to protect them- 
selves against the weather. Both they 
and the company were awaiting a decision 
by the National Labor Relations board 
on a matter in dispute, and after six 
weeks without action by the board the 
union men wanted action. They protested 
that workers were carried on a call list 
and were losing seniority while waiting 
for the NLRB decision. The pickets re- 
portedly asked city busses to haul no 
more workers to the plant, and this 
message was given to the bus department 
head. He went to the scene in company 
of Chief of Police Harry Donahue and 
others, and police, after advising 
pickets to disperse, employed tear gas 
to cause them to disperse. Newspaper 
accounts of the time report that police 
broke up two other gatherings after 
advising men that peaceful picketing 
was legal but interference with traffic 
and massing on roads was unlawful. 

There were a series of meetings be- 
tween Sheriff Ralph Goar, Mayor W. E. 
Schurman, other officials, and union 
leaders Louis Cltman, Fred Hamann and 
Charles Copeland and others. At one 
point pickets were called off on one 
agreement, and then as disagreement 
followed, picketing was resumed. 

On Jan. 23, newspapers reported a 
"mass meeting" and "back to work " 
movement on the part of a large group 
of workers. Sunday, Jan. 27, 1936, a 
National Guard observer was sent to the 
scene. Wednesday, Jan. 29, special 
deputies, county deputies and police 
joined forces and cleared the road 
using nausea gas. The following Monday 
six arrests of pickets were made on 
charges of throwing stones at busses 
entering the distillery. 

Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Trades and Labor 
Assembly declared an all-union "holiday" 
to last until the city council dis- 
missed Chief of Police Harry Donahue 
whom they charged with releasing nausea 
gas on unarmed men and women. The 
"holiday" brought nation-wide atten- 
tion to Pekln as the nation's press 
dubbed it a "general strike", one of 
the first ever held in the U.S. The 
following day delegates went up and 
down Court street urging business houses 
and professional offices to join in the 
"holiday", and with the notable excep- 
tion of the Nedderman bakery, Pekin was 
closed up tight by Wednesday night. 

However, at noon, Thursday, the assembly 
called off the "holiday", and the 
taverns were the first to open their 
doors as the city bounced back to 
normal. Meanwhile, the council stood 
behind the police chief, but had agreed 
to withdraw Pekin police from use as 
deputy sheriffs. This ended the civic 
upset, and on Feb. 7. Friday, the issue 
at the distillery was also settled. 

That same year a proposal to organize 
a Pekln sanitary district, which would 
have backed sewer improvement with the 
taxing power, was defeated in a special 
election, 668 for and 1,914 against. 
That same year parking meters were first 
proposed, although they were not to 
come for another 12 years. The council 
ended the year deep in the red and 
borrowing from the Pekin banks. A Times 
article remarks, "All want economy with 
the most cuts in the other fellows 
departments. " Troubles continued. Al- 
though the council and mayor had stood 
behind Chief Donahue in the "holiday" 
period, when re -appointment time came, 
the 3-2 split again appeared, this time 
Commissioners Dirksen and Diesing voted 
against his appointment. The others 
carried his appointment successfully, 
and three weeks later petitions were 
actually circulated demanding a recall 
election for the entire council, but it 
never reached the voting stage . Later, 
when Donahue did resign after a dispute 
with Daniel J. Mahoney, the council 
unanimously appointed Guy E. Donahue as 
the new chief. This was in 1937. 

The council was still getting a "bad 
press" in 1937, with headlines referring 
to the Derby street sewer as the "long- 
est sewer in the world" (because it had 
no end). The uncompleted sewer was 
finally finished after the assessment 
was slashed in half in the county court 
July 30th, 1937. 

In 1937, also, the new Hackler Bro- 
thers Drug store was opened at the cor- of Court and Fourth streets, and 
following a fire at his market place, 
Virgil Vogel is quoted in the press 
March 13, 1937, as promising the market 
would be "bigger and better". Other 
side-lights on the period can be read 
into the news-story of the man who 
hauled a Carnival man into court here, 
not for putting on a lewd show, but on 
charges that the carnival girl show did 
NOT go "all the way" as promised without 
an extra charge. The accuser had asked 
for his original dime back and got a 
slap in the face. The carnival man got 
a $0 fine for the slap. No reference 
was made to the show. 

A few months earlier, it deserves to 
be recorded, that a 70 year old watch- 
man for Texaco oil station in Pekin 
named George Slone Jr., opened fire on 
two bandits after they left the place. 
He shot four times. Two shots hit one 


• To you, Pekin, a salute from your neighbor, Caterpillar 
Tractor Co. — on your Century of Progress. You can look 
back with pride — forward with confidence. 

Today, 1332 Pekinites are valued employees of "Cater- 
pillar" — and this company looks forward to having a 
real interest in our neighbor to the south, through the 
century ahead! 




bandit, a third hit the other, and both 
were captured. 

But alread.v in 1938, Adolph Hitler's 
march across the map of Europe began to 
overshadow events at home, except such 
events as the South Pekin tornado, 
March 30, 1938, which virtually levelled 
the entire village, killing a dozen 
people and injuring hundreds. In that 
year also the PWA approved a $139,500 
grant for a sewage disposal plant at 
Pekin and the city voted another 
$180,000 in bonds, and the plant was 
erected and put into operation. The 
Parmer's Automobile Insurance building 
{the first two stories) went up that 
year. too. 

Seaage Disposal Plant on South Hiver 
Road Built in the Late Thirties. 

In 1939, J. Norman Shade was elected 
mayor, and commissioners were 'Villiam 
Fair, Ed Egger. Fred Moenkemoeller and 
Paul Schermer. Shade was the first mayor 
who had actually been born in the city 
of Pekin. The council early voted for a 
six months trial on parking meters, but 
opposing petitions prompted them to 
rescind that action, which had been 
taken on a 3-2 vote in the first place. 
And. of course, Sept. 1, 1939, marked 
the assault on Poland and Sept. 3, a 
general European war broke out. 

The principal events here at home 
after the war began and before America's 
entry, was the first adoption of Day- 
light Savings time in 1940, the draft 
registration beginning with 2.715 
signers that fall, and the beginning of 
draft operations by unpaid ex-service- 
men R. J. Mattheessen. Jonas Larson, 
and George Ehrlicher. 

Commissioner Ed Egger died and Walter 
McClain was appointed to the vacancy. 

In 1940. Communist party men seeking 
to give out literature were mobbed here 
in Pekin. two of their automobiles were 
turned over and burned and they finally 

took refuge in the county jail. Ironi- 
cally, a short time later they filed 
suit against Sheriff Guy E. Donahue who 
had actually saved them from serious 
injury or worse at the hands of aroused 

Through all this confused period in 
Pekin" s history, the one most consistent 
thing proved to be the city's general 
enthusiasm for sports. High school foot- 
ball and basketball attracted capacity 
crowds consistently. Literally thousands 
took part in bowling at various clubs 
and public alleys and in a dozen leagues 
The city soft- ball league reached full 
bloom, and a series of youngster leagues 
operated in the summer periods. Swimming 
had become almost a universal sport in 
Pekin with only the smallest percentage 
of young people not taught to swim. Top 
performance of the period was that of 
the 1936 high school football team which 
again scored another unbeaten and untied 
record and emerged as Big Twelve champ- 
ions. Ralph Ehni quarterbacked that 
ball club and went on to quarterback 
the Fighting 1 1 lini of Coach Bob Zuppke. 
Rex Sherman started his great athletic 
career then, too, and Tom Maloney and 
Italo Rossi. It was then that Pekin 
started its habit of participating in 
the Sweet Sixteen in basketball, led 
there first by Chet Marshall, the great 
guard of the early thirties, and later 
by Rex Sherman. It was then that Tom 
Maloney set a new high in "money play- 
ing" when on two successive nights in 
state tourney play he bucketed winning 
baskets in closing seconds. Guy Ricci 
started his athletic career in 1939, 
and. of course, later went on to an out- 
standing three- sport performance at 
Bradley University. Carl Switzer was a 
football star in 1938 with Jim Von 
Boeckman the great line bucker. Dean 
McNaughton quarterbacked in 1940. with 
Johnny Rebuffoni starring on a Big 
Twelve and 1,1 lini conference champion- 
ship team. Rebuffoni, too, became a 
college star at Bradley. 

And so, the restless pre-war period 
came to a close, after a series of con- 
tradictory events, and a confused 
mixture of civic progress and civic 
difficulty, of depression and of growth, 
of sports achievement, an emphasis on 
youth, and yet closing with increasing 
numbers of young men leaving the city 
for the armed services either by enl ist- 
ment or by induction, until finally the 
center of interest and life for Pekin 
switched from the city itself to the 
hundreds of places where these young 
men served after Dec. 7. 1941. 




Reading left to right across both pages 

1st row - \^ . tL . Schur man , 1916 

* James M.tiahn, 1917, 1918. 1922 
Franklin L.Velde, 1919, 1920. 192^ 

* M.J.Heardon. 1921 

* Elmore G. Heisel. 1923 

* James J.Crosby. 1925 

111 His M. Beards ley. 1926. 1927 

Louis A.Birkenbusch, 1928 
2nd row-* Arthur E. Severe. 1929,1930 

Paul H.Massey. 1931 

Henry B.Koch. 1932 
3rd row - George B.Stolley, 1933, 193^ 

Irving M.Vteimer. 1935, 1936 

E.M.Marshall. 1937 

Charles V.Frings, 1938 

Robert E.Bryan, 1939 
4th row - Albert La Frenz. 19W 

A.B.Foster, 19^1, 19k2 

George D.Holiman. I9h3 
5th row - Leslie L. Jones. I9iik 

Arthur L.Grob, 19^5 

E.Oscar IMnkel, 19^6 

Eugene P..Muurer, 19^7 

* Karl E. Stall. 19^8 
Dr. D. W.Turner. 19U9 



;4^ idea 


When Peter Sommer was a tenant farmer near Tremont. 
Illinois, it took almost a week to split rails and build 4(1 
rods of fence. It was hard work. But the cattle had to he 
fenced in . . . 

"There nmst be a more efficient fence," tliought Peter 
Sommer, "one that could be built easily, taken down 
((uickly, and moved where needed." In 1889 he wove wires 
in the form of a "keystone". This made a satisfactory fence. 
To manufacture enough for his farm, he built a hand- 
powered machine. He and his sons put it together in the 
farm blacksmith shop using scrap steel, wood, and bolts. 
Its output was 10 rods of fence in 10 hours. 
Wire fencing was almost unknown. Farmers came from 
miles around to see this "keystone" fence. They liked it 
wanted some for their farms. So Peter Sommer and his 
sons started making "keystone" fence for their neighbors 
on a hand-made machine in the farm yard tool shed. 
That'.s how the Keystone Steel & Wire Company was born. 


tod^ cd 




There was no war when Jap planes 
suddenly swooped out of the sun over 
Pearl Harbor. Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 
the peaceful Sunday morning of Dec. 7. 
1941. yet in a matter of minutes they 
left behind thousands of murdered 
American boys, huge fires, and a junk 
heap of what had been the Pacific 
fleet's main battle line, five battle- 
ships. They also left behind the body 
of P.P.C. Philip Tobin. U.S. Marine 
corps, from Pekin. 111. 

There was no war when the Jap planes 
on the other side of the International 
date line first swept down on Wake 
island and its tiny garrison of 400 
Marines. It was their business to be 
ready, in peace or war, and the Marines 
were not so surprised and not so badly 
hurt in that first assault as was the 
naval base, but among the first mur- 
dered by ;.n act of war in time of peace 
was Henry D. Nanninga. U.S. Marine, 
from Pekin. 111. 

Pekin was in the war from the first 
moment, from that time BEFORE it started 
when the sneak raids were struck, and 
after those attacks Pekin went into the 
war 100 per cent as it had never gone 
into either the Civil War or World War 
I. There was no noticeable division 
this time. There were a few who felt 
the whole thing might have been avoided 
somehow, that it might not have hap- 
if we had not tried to prepare for it. 
Most people, however, cursed that we 
had not prepared ourselves better and 
addressed themselves to the task of 
winning it. 

There were some, of course, who 
cheated on gasoline or sugar, or other 
rations designed to hasten the placing 
of adequate weapons in the hands of 
fighting men. and who violated price 
regulations designed to maintain some 
control on the cost of war overall, just 
as there were some in the service who 
dodged their duty and some. even, who 
were dishonorably discharged. 

But the record as a whole, at home 
and abroad, is one of exceptional unity 
and effort. Before the war's close, 
literally thousands of Pekin boys (and 
girls) served in the actual armed 
forces. They were in every branch of 
the Army. Navy. Marines. Air Corps and 
Coast Guard. They fought in every major 
battle, and Pekin boys fell in action 
in North Africa. Italy. France, and 
Germany on one side of the world, and 
across the Pacific from Okinawa to 
Hawaii, as well as on the oceans of the 

world and in the skies over Germany and 

There is no way to accurately measure 
the contributions and sacrifices made by 
Pekin people in World War II. It can't 
be measured by the clothes people wore. 
Some serving at home in civil ian clothes 
gave all they had to the task, and some 
serving abroad in uniform proved more 
hindrance than help in the war effort. 
There is no sure, uncont radi ctable 
testimony except this one -- those who 
were killed inaction against the enemy. 
Their' s is the roster of supreme sacri- 
fice, and the length of the list is a 
clear indication of the numbers of 
Pekin men engaged in actual fighting. 

Tom Maloney. the basketball great, 
is on the list. Walt Maurer, former 
PCHS fullback, then a Marine lieutenant, 
was killed on the beach at Tarawa in 
the Gilbert islands of the Pacific. Carl 
Switzer, former quarterback, dropped to 
his death with the paratroops in Italy. 
Max Conn was killed piloting a fighter 
plane. Don Harris was killed in a bomber 
crash. So. the record reads. Pekin boys 
fell on the beaches bordering both 
oceans, in the skies over four contin- 
ents, on a dozen far-off islands, and 
across the map of Europe. 

No complete and accurate roster of 
those who died is immediately available, 
but among those who died are these Pekin 
boys whose deaths were reported in the 
files of the local newspaper during the 
war years: Henry J. Augsburger. Theo- 
dore Butts. Stephen Brown. George Owen 
Burroughs, Frederick Broers. John D. 
Beever. Edward L. Braasch, Dale Bonham, 
Andrew Bentz, Loren Buchanan, Bruce P. 
Brisendine. Joseph P. Binter. Ernest 
Bingham. James E. Bush. Leonard Co- 
henour, Max Conn, Edison Wayne Crull, 
Donald W. Conley, Francis W. Campbell. 
James Downer. Benjamin DannanJr. . Fred- 
erick Madison Denning. Richard W. Ehlers 
Paul V. Evans. Roger W. Fuller, Walter 
0. Fritz. Lloyd Elmer Plathers. Warren 
Fox. Carl Peely. Turner Graham. Robert 
Gum. Fred Guile, James Robert Harmon. 
George LeRoy Harrberts. Raymond F. 
Harris. Don Harris. James Hill. Elmer 
Hastings. Howard Hainline. Floyd W. 
Hurley. Robert C. Hofreiter. John Jans- 
sen. Doede Janssen. Elvin Jennings. 
Marlowe Kaufman. Robert J. Keefe. James 
W. Knowles. Rudy Klaasen. Robert C. 
Hochendorfer. Robert Klepfer. George 
Kettell. LeRoy Look. Clifford Lasley. 
Lawrence E. Lichtenberger. Robert Wayne 
Miener. Walter L. Maurer, Howard L. 
M'lrphy. Joe Meskimen, Jr., Ernest C. 
Miller. Leo P. Maston, Tom Maloney. 
Howard V. Martin. James T. McLeod, 
Henry D. Nanninga. Kenneth Notzke, 
Joseph Stanley O'Donnell, Harvey Gene 
Petri, Doyle Potts. Charles Arthur 
Patten, Arnold A. Rhoades. Richard L. 
Ripper. Edward Rentsch. James E. Roll, 



%le Maiute 
Ok 9U 

Our company, which carries PEKIN in its 
corporate name, commenced operation 
February 1, 1881, over 68 years ago. 
Therefore, we, naturally have always 
been closely associated with PEKIN 
and have prospered with PEKIN. We 
hope PEKIN'S growth and prosperity 
will continue and we salute this fine 
city on its centennial. 


James K. Risen, Blaine Raab. Carl 
Milton Switzer, Albert Strange, Robert 
L. Smith, Ralph W. Saunders, Stephen 
Sangalli, Donald Matt Stumph, Robert D. 
Sprau, Earl Shaffer, Richard R. Sayers, 
Raymond Schoonaert, Homer A. Schaefer, 
Philip Tobin, Jack Orville Traiib, 
William Homer Turner, Paul Towne, 
James Tammeus, Earl L. Taylor, Charles 
Vaupel, Ralph Veerman, Mollis Williams, 
Harold Weithe, Harold T. Wright, John 
W. Zimmerman, Edward C. Ziegenbein. 

This incomplete listing yields up 
the names ofggPekin dead in the fight- 
ing of World War II. The decorations, 
the honors, the wounded, list into 
hundreds just from our own community. 

The record is clear that the city 
was absorbed in the task of bringing 
victory in war from 194I until the war 
ended at the close of 1945, and ushered 
in the post-war period during which 
this book is written. 

THE VlATERFRONT 191,9- -In the foreground the loading dork of the Pekm Far- 
mers Grain Co., The Dewey and Norris el evator s . In the back ground beyond 
the bridge, the Murphy S \talsh buildings, Kriegsman building and Conklin 
Lumber Co. 


The AmekicaxNatiotvai. Ba^k 




Building With Pekin 

On August 10, 1949, sixty-two 
years had rolled around since 
this bank was founded. In those 
passing years many world-mould- 
ing events have taken place. 
Social and economic upheavals 
have changed the very character 
of our civilization. 

The American National Bank is 
a veteran of three wars and no 
less than ten depressions. It is 
impressive to realize that the 
life span of this institution 
reaches back into an age which 
was entirely different from ours 
of today. 

When this bank was organized, 
the population of Pekin was 
6000; there were thirty-eight 
states in the Union with a total 
population of sixty million. 
'Big Business" had not been 
born. Public Utilities were in 
their swaddling clothes. Eigh- 
teen eighty-seven was the age of 
the horse and buggy, cigar-store 
Indians, high wheeled bicycles, 
and fire engines drawn by gal- 
loping horses. The automobile 
and airplane were still dreams 
of the visionaries. The tele- 
phone was just coming into use. 
Radio, moving pictures, talking 

pictures, television, and atomic 


power were yet unheard of mira- 

The building of such a large 
financial structure as this in- 
stitution today represents was 
not the task of a day nor the 
labor of a few, but it is the 
result of the long hours of many 
years, spent in an honest en- 
deavor to aid progress. 

This bank has always enjoyed 
the confidence of the public-- 
the one absolute essential in 
the successful operation of any 
financial institution. A com- 
plete cooperation on the part of 
each stock holder, director, 
officer, and employee, working 
in thorough accord with one 
ideal, and that ideal was and is 
to provide for Pekin and vicin- 
ity an efficient and modern 
banking service backed by re- 
sources sufficient to meet the 
most exacting needs of a growing 

The good name established by 
this bank during its sixty-seven 
years of outstandingly success- 
ful banking places us under an 
everlasting responsibility. 

We must not--*e will not-- 
forget this. 



Since the close of World War II. 
Pekin has seen a period of unparalled 
growth. In 1860 when the city itself 
was 11 years old and the community 36 
years old, there were 749 homes here, 
but in the four years since the end of 
World War II. more than bOO new homes 
have been built, more than the entire 
city held in that first official census. 
As a matter of record, the assessor's 
report for Pekin township (which 
includes also North Pekin) records 450 
new homes in 1948 alone. 

Dozens of new business buildings 
have been erected both in the downtown 
area and in developing business areas 
along North Fifth street and Derby 

Industrial expansion was reflected 
in a huge new office building at the 
American distilling company along with 
other construction and modernization; 
a $750,000 construction and moderniza- 
tion program at the Quaker Oats company 
plant: four solid years of construction 
work underway at the Corn Products 
Refining Company, and similar activity 
after the war at Standard Brands 
Pleischman Yeast plant. In addition. 
Murphy and Walsh completed major re- 
building of their metal tank factory; 
F.H. Soldwedel and son added a big 
addition as they have continued growing 
into the largest independent dairy in 
Central Illinois; and Virgil Vogel' s 
enterprises have developed into a string 
of markets throughout the area, and the 
new huge Bird Provision company, for 
slaughtering, deep freezing, and storing 
of meats. 

A dozen light industries have sprung 
up in connection with the major factor- 
ies of the city. 

There has not been a major crime or 
disturbance in the city since 1940. and 
in spite of the increased number of 
autos. now more than 3500 along with 
1300 children's bicycles, traffi'- deaths 
during recent years have been fewer 
than at any time since the streets were 
paved and autos made their appearance. 

The former Parmer' s Bank building 
(now the Pekin Finance building) at 
Capitol and Court streets, was badly 
damaged by fire which swept the entire 
second floor of that structure and the 
adjoining Hackler building in 1948. but 
in spite of higher building values, 
this fire did not reach the scale of 
damage that has warranted reporting 
throughout this volume in past history. 

Three Pekin men. pioneer radio tech- 
nicians, have built and are operating 
Pekin' s only radio station, WSIV. They 
are Kenneth Patterson. George Udry. and 
Emil Prandoni. 

And in the field of public building, 
the high school has completed its new 
huge 10. 000 seat Memorial stadium, a 
big new cafeteria and class-room build- 
ing, plus additions to the shop facili- 
ties in the gjTnnasium building. And the 
grade school system has just added the 
new S600.000 Fearn Wilson school off 
Koch street at Messmer street. 

A major portion of Willow park has 
been paved, and the Blenklron Tot lot 
put into use since the war, along with 
the inaugration of a city-wide recrea- 
tion program under the direction of the 
Playground and Recreation board, which 
now operates on half a dozen playgrounds 
and parks scattered through the city, 
provided free swimming lessons for 
about 400 youngsters each summer, and 
operates a series of contests, games. 

M* ttAH.\ niLHON S( HOOL coKpl- 

Pru (fiooits unit (Clotl|tng 



Phone 44 

The Southwest corner of 
Capitol and Court Streets 

A Friend of the Family For Over 85 Years 

In the year 1864. about the time 
Lincoln was being re-elected, and 
Sherman was starting his famous 
march to the sea, the Schipper & 
Block Co. first started supplying 
dry-goods and clothing to fill the 
needs of the families in this com- 

Their first store was located on 
Margaret St., in 'Smith Row', on 
the land now occupied by Velde- 
Roelfs Co. In 1875 a move was made 
to 302 Court St. , 'one door west of 
the post office' , as was advertised 
in the newspapers of that day. 

Later the store was moved to its 
present location at Court & Capitol 
Sts. It was wiped out by fire in 
1898 and again in February 1922. 
The present building was completed 
and ready for occupancy by December 
of the same year. 

Yes, since the days of the Civil 
War the Schipper & Block Co. has 
been acting as purchasing agents 
for their customers, foreseeing 
their wants and needs in clothing, 

dry goods and household items 

being a friend of the families in 
this community. 


Geo. H. Ehrlicher, President 
Arthur W. Ehrlicher, Vice-Pres. 

& Treas. 
Melvin D. Leach, Secretary 


I.John Schipper 
Mrs. Louise Himmelheber 
Mrs. Walter H. Meyer 
Arthur W. Ehrlicher 
Geo. H. Ehrlicher 


various sports leagues, square dances, 
handicrafts and other activities the 
year round. 

There are half a dozen television 
sets in the city now, but they are 
troubled by "snow" and other problems 
because as yet we are beyond the 
practical range of the nearest tele- 
vision stations at Chicago and St. 

Pekin is still a rabid sports city, 
the new stadium was jammed to over- 
flowing three times in its first five 
football games last year, and each year 
twice as many fans seek seats as can 
get them for the basketball games. 

The year 1948, incidentally, was the 
all time tops in Pekin sports history. 
The basketball team in the 1948 season 
was rated by sportswri ters as the best 
in the state for most of the season. 
They made a clean sweep of the Big 
Twelve, Illini and Greater Peoria con- 
ferences, grabbed district and sectional 
titles, and went to Third place in the 
state tourney at Champaign - bowing 
only to the winning team, Pinckney- 
ville. Herb Gerecke, Chuck Busby, Bob 
Watson, Jay Nelson, Pete Vetter and 
Howie Harris were the kingpins of that 
ball club. And then came the Pall of 
1948. and Pekin' s football team came 
through with a clean sweep of the Big 
Twelve. Illini and Greater Peoria con- 
ferences, led by Quarterback Bobby 

Watson. The teams were both coached by 
Athletic Director James Warren Lewis, 
who this year also saw his basketball 
team journey to the state tournament 
for the fifth time in his five years at 
the helm. 

The future prospects so far as pro- 
jects now underway, include possible 
addition to the Pekin Public hospital, 
for which the state has just set aside 
moneys, providing Pekin raises half the 
cost. And the city council is having 
plans prepared for a new city hall to 
replace the $6,500 structure erected in 
1884. A major program of street resur- 
facing and paving has been launched, 
expected to cost $500,000 in all. It 
has begun with paving on North Second, 
blacktop resurfacing of South Fourth, 
and projects are underway to pave a 
large section along Fifteenth and 
Eighteenth streets from Sheridan road 
to Broadway, blacktop Park avenue's 
boulevard, and widen and resurface a 
state route from the bridge to beyond 
the East bluff. A South Side trunk line 
sewer project, designed to makeasewage 
outlet available for 3,000 more pieces 
of property is scheduled for another 
attempt, after earlier trys failed to 
find contractors willing to bid. 

J. Norman Shade is serving his third 
term as mayor, and Fred Moenkemoel ler 
and Walter McClain are still com- 
missioners. New commissioners since the 


CITY COUNCIL - 19li9. Mayor J. Nornan Shade, Cokki ss loners CharUs 
L. Dancey, John McGmty, Fred Mocnh emoel ler , Salter J. McClain 
City Clerk Mm. Jansen Behind McGinty. 



Member Million Dollar Round Table 







TELEPHONE 4 S 1 3 4 

The New York Life Insurance Company 
opened a branch office in central Illinois 
in 1849 and started doing business in 
this area. In that same year Abraham 
Lincoln is defeated in his campaign for 
Commissioner for the General Land office 
and returned to Springfield to practice 
Law. Zachary Taylor is inaugurated as 
the 12th President. The gold rush to 
California is in full swing. Amelia Jenks 
Bloomer starts her paper, the Lily; she 
introduces the Bloomer costume for 
women - open-fronted jacket and loose 
full trousers gathered at the ankles. 

Today, 100 years later, the New York 
Life Insurance Company has become 
one of the largest and strongest financial 

institutions in the world with nearly 10 
Billions of Life Insurance in force. Serv- 
ing on its Board of Directors have been 
such famous names as Calvin Coolidge, 
Herbert Hoover, Nicholas Murray Butler, 
Al Smith and many others. 

"The Corner-stone of man's financial 
security is Life Insurance." 

The New York Life is represented in 
this area by 

Harry J. IHcClarence 

160? N. 8th Street 

Phone ?137 


14 11 N O R T 




PHONE 1 O 1 

An infant in the Pekin family of 
industries, but a fast growing one, 
the Tazwell Machine Works was found- 
ed only four years ago on July 15th, 


Originally established by Henry F 
Cakora as the Excel Machine Shop for 
the Excel Brass and Aluminum Foundry 
in 1938. the Tazewell Machine Works 
became an independent institution 
when it was moved to its present lo- 
cation at 1411 N. Second St, from 
the corner of Fourteenth and Ann 
Eliza sts. 

The Cakoras, there are five of 
them - - Mr. & Mrs. Cakora and 
daughters Oralle and Marilyn and 
son Henry Jr. -- came to Pekin from 

At the present time, the plant 
has a working space of 12,000 sq. 
feet, and is equipped to manufacture 
parts or castings, completely machi- 
ned or rough, on a jobbing or pro- 
duction basis. It has its own non- 
ferrous foundry, which supplies 

bronze or aluminum castings. 

Looking to the future, however, 
the Cakoras are now completing addi- 
tional construction to expand work- 
ing space in the foundry. 

Currently employed in the machine 
shop are: William Roberson, Geo San- 
galli, Harold W. Barney, Edward 
Augsburger, Clarence Davis, Oliver 
Wittfoht, Lloyd A. Thomas, Henry 
C. Strubhar, Gene M. Doan. and 
Richard L. Fisher. 

In the foundry are; Nelson Lord, 
Guy G. Farrow, Fred Hackney, Harold 
Stockert, Pascal J. Batavia. Ed. 
Davis Harry S. Robertson and 
Richard Tindall. 

Office workers are Misses Oralle 
and Marilyn Cakora, and Mrs. Blanche 

Tazewell Machine Works is proud 
to have been a part of Pekin' s in- 
dustrial growth, and will strive to 
contribute to Pekin' s future devel- 
opment as a great city in which to 
work and live. 

war are John McGinty and Charles Dancey. cipal of the Pekin Community high 

C.B. Smith is starting his 27th year school. 
as superintendent of the Pekin grade Pekin statistics are listed indetail 

schools, and P.M. Peterson is now prin- elsewhere in this volume. 

Nevt Business Section on Derby Street 


Dewey grain elevators have been a 
familiar part of the Illinois scene 
since 1880, a span of sixty-nine 
years that have brought experience 
and know-how that enable us to serve 
our patrons for their best possible 

Our Pekin plant, purchased in the 
middle 1930' s, was formerly the 
Smith, Hippen Co. elevator, which 
had served this area since the early 

Then shipping was mostly by rail, 
but today you see huge grain barges 
loading at our river dock in addi- 

tion to our facilities for rail 

We believe in, and are an example 
of, "The Independent Free Enterprise 
American System". We take pride in 
being the home-operated, independ- 
ent, complete Grain and Peed Com- 
pany. You will find our knowledge 
and experience always available to 
serve you in a prompt and efficient 




PEKIN '49 

Another year. 1950, will produce 
accurate census statistics on Pekin's 
population, business life, and many 
other things. A cross section of its 
business and industry and other activi- 
ties at the present time is available 
in the contributions scattered through 
this book, just as are some of the vital- 
statistics, but what makes up the NATURE 
of a city? How is that determined? What 
sort of a city is Pekin today? 

Over 100 years ago, Pekin community 
was Anglo-Saxon and Indian, dirty, but 
roomy and new, living in the rough 
tradition of the frontier. Later it be- 
came a new kind of frontier town - 
peopled more than two-thirds by 
foreign-bom who mostly came from Ger- 
many. Then came the second (and third) 
generations of those original immi- 
grants and gradually became a strange 
mixture - a German-Irish-American com- 
munity with each old country tie 
imparting a special flavor to the 
American city, and with a certain 
amount of pushing and pulling among 
the different groups. Finally came 
immigrants from Italy with their bocci- 
ball, spaghetti, ravioli and another 
whole nation's habits and tastes to add 
to the blending of present-day Pekin. 

The Everett M. Dirksens at home. 

There is no longer any sharp division 
between peoples of different nationali- 
ties in Pekin, as is still found in many 
cities. There is no sharp social or 

economic division in Pekin, either. No 
impregnable aristocracy exists, such as 
is found in many places, and there is 
no automatic special privilege or 
favoritism attached to any group. 
Politically, there are no separately 
represented wards under the commission 
form of government, and no political 
division by wards exists. There is no 
"rich district" school in the system, 
and no private school, and in fact, the 
finest and most expensive school in 
Pekin is located on its southern 
boundary in a newly developed area. 

Wr. Peterson presents the sectional 
trophy to the 'Chinks'. 


American Distilling Co. 


-^r — r 

In the year 1858, Col. William 
Callendar built the Hamburg, Pekin' s 
first distillery. Next came the 
Westerman distillery, and after the 
Civil War came the Enterprise, 
Starr, Crescent and Globe distill- 
eries, in 1892, the plant of the 
American Distilling company was 
erected, and it has become the dis- 
tilling industry of Pekin. 

For more than half Pekin' s 100- 
year- span, the American has contri- 
buted to its growth and prosperity. 
When the first plant was built, the 
city was about one- third its present 
size. Streets were mostly dirt, in- 
stitutions undeveloped. As a major 
industry, the American played its 
part in the improvements that have 
come, modern schools. Mineral 
Springs park, and the public hos- 

The American converted to making 
industrial alcohol for world War I, 
and then came prohibition, but the 
American preserved its plant at 
Pekin distilling industrial and med- 
ical alcohols. Thus it was possible 
upon repeal to lead Pekin back to 

On Dec. 4, 1933. the American 
resumed whiskey production, after 
starting a building program. The 
record reveals that during the cri- 
tical mid-thirties, this return to 
production created more jobs and 
payroll moneys than did the NRA code 
and provided more local construction 
than did the PWA. 

The American is proud of that 
contribution, and proud of its place 
as a key war industry during World 
War II, again making industrial 
alcohol and other vital war mater- 
ials. And, the American is proud, 
today, of its place as one of the 
back-bone industries in Pekin' s 
economic life. Besides the jobs 
created, American swells the grain 
market by processing as much as 
12,000 bushels of grain a day (on 
occasion 16,000), and besides dis- 
tilled products, this grain produces 
each DAY almost 100 tons of feed 
especially suited for dairy cattle. 
The American pays 48 millions of 
dollars in taxes each year. 

The American Distilling company 
has a big stake in the community of 
Pekin and a corresponding interest 
in the city's continued prosperity 
and progress. 





oc=3o<=>o (zFekins ^nlodem cfuneral cHome o<=^oc=d 

li^FTH AT I*ABtt AvB. 

Pbone 42 


Fifteen years ago John and Gladys 
Abts came to Pekin after 11 years in 
Chicago as licensed embalmers and 
funeral directors. From a modest be- 
ginning in the old Schenk home at 
Sixth street and Broadway, the Abts 
Mortuary has grown to its present 
prominence in the Pekin community. 

Today in the comfortably quiet 
and dignified atmosphere of the con- 
verted E. W. Wilson residence on S. 
Fifth at Park avenue away from the 
congestion of the business district 
Abts Mortuary offers the best in 
funeral service. It's high ethical 
standards, modern equipment and dig- 
nified handling of final rites, 
maintained since the inception of 
the business here, has earned the 
confidence of the community and 
firmly intrenched the establishment 
in the pekin business family. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Abts give per- 
sonal attention to those whom they 
serve, and supervise the conduct of 
each funeral themselves. To enhance 
the quality of their services they 
maintain the finest in equipment--a 
hearse, an invalid coach, limousine, 
air conditioning of the funeral home 
and a recently purchased Baldwin or- 
gan. A preparation room, modern in 
every respect, is open for inspec- 
tion at all times. 

Concerning the future, the Abts 
mortuary proposes to continue its 
policy of dedication to greater ser- 
vice in all details of its opera- 
tion. Mr. and Mrs. Abts extend their 
congratulations -to the community on 
its centennial anniversary and hope 
for the privilege of serving and 
growing with Pekin. 


Pekin's expensive homes are not lined 
up side by side, but are scattered from 
Park avenue to North Eighth street. You 
cannot tell by merely looking at an 
address whether the resident at that 
address is rich or poor, German or 
Italian, Protestant or Catholic. There 
are no special neighborhoods in Pekin, 
either social, economic, religious or 
racial . 

It is this Democracy or Near-Equality 
which frequently first impresses 
strangers in our fity. 

The pioneering spirit also survives, 
and if anything, is greater. A simple 
example lies in the fact that hundreds 
Oi Pekin homes were built by the owner 
and occupant himself, a feat inci- 
dentally, which requires a great deal 
more of skill, ingenuity, work and 
effort than is required in the con- 
struction of an old-time log cabin. 
While conservative and skeptical of 

hi gh- pressure promotions and "boom" 
projects, Pekin has developed its normal 
facilities and continues to develop 
them to an exceptionally high degree, 
and that includes its parks, schools, 
churches, and sports and recreational 
facil ities. 

Pekin. today, we believe, is prin- 
cipally distinguished by the quality of 
moderation. There are no extremes econ- 
omically or socially. There are no "blue 
laws" and yet Pekin's mild liberalism 
is more restrained than have been sur- 
rounding communities over the past IC 
years. There is constant progress, but 
the progressiveness is marked with a 
skeptical bo th-feet-on- the- ground 
at t i tude. 

Pekin, toaay, is a peaceful, prosper- 
ous, progressive, democratic community. 
The rest of its story will have to be 
left to the future. 




The Company started in business 
in 1914 with a 25,000 bushel eleva- 
tor. In 1929 new storage tanks were 
added which held an additional 20,000 
bushels. In 1934 the wooden elevator 
was destroyed by fire, and a new 
concrete structure was built on the 
old site. This structure held 70,000 

About 1938 a new loading dock to 
the river was erected, giving the 
Company a river outlet. We are now 
building a new storage annex that 
will hold 50,000 bushels more - to- 
gether with a new drier. 

The first year the Company handled 
180,000 bushels of grain. They now 
handle over 2,000,000 bushels per 

There are over two hundred stock- 
holders. The business is handled by 
nine directors who hire a manager to 
run it for them. The present di- 
rectors are Edward Schrock, Presi- 
dent, John Rothisberger, Fred Heisel, 
W.E. Naffziger, P.J. Bailey, Adam 
Weyhrich, Ernest Shopp, P.J. Rahn, 
and Edward Strickfaden. Mr. Schrock 
is the only living member of the 
original Board of Directors. Carl 
Porter is the manager, assisted by 
Floyd Sours and August Stoltz in the 
office, Louis priedinger, Louis 
Woodworth and Gerald Pfeiffer in the 
elevator. Grain sales for the year 
ending September 30, 1S48, were 
$3,559. 667. 98. 



The Second Hundred Years 
By F. F. McNaughton 

Pekln, Illinois, in its first century 
as an Incorporated city, has done far 
better than the average city. 

What of the next century? 

There seems to be sound reason to 
expect vigor in the second century. 
Pekln has been (trowing at a rate of 
some 20% each census. Another 20% in- 
crease would give Pekin a population 
of 23,288 in the 1950 count, and Polk's 
city directory counts since 1940 in- 
dicate the 23,288 figure will be 
reached or surpassed in 1950. Should 
the rate of growth drop to only 10%, 
Pekin would be a city of some 60,000 
at the end of its second century. 

Why should Pekin continue to prosper? 

Two factors make a city grow. 

One is economics; the other is the 
will of the city' s leaders. 

Pekin has many economic advantages. 
It is In the middle of one of the 
nation' s richest states. It has a sound 
agricultural foundation. The whole area 
abounds in farms that produce abundantly 
of grain, meat, and dairy products, 
with important undertones of melon, 
fowl, fruit and canned goods production. 
No city that has such riches in the 
soil can be poor. 

But Pekin has other natural advan- 
tages. It has, for one thing, a layer 
of unusually cold water close to the 
earth' s surface which affords important 
economies to certain types of industry. 
Pekin has layers of coal over wide 
nearby areas. And Pekin is on the Inland 
Waterway System. This latter situation 
added to the Important fact that Pekin 
Is either on or has switching connec- 
tions with 14 railroads, gives it a 
tremendous shipping advantage. Agri- 
cultural or manufactured products can 
leave Pekin by rail or water for all 
Great Lakes or down river or Gulf 
points, and by fast freight into the 
East or West. And up or down stream 
into tills area come bargeloads of oil, 
coal, and other bulky products. This 
all has resulted in making Tazewell 
county one of the top manufacturing 
counties of America. 

All this means growth for Pekin. 

And growth commands "keeping up with 
the population. " 

Churchwlse, present plans indicate 
the churches will keep stride. 

Schoolwlse, Pekin has always done 
well. The grade school board, having 
recently bought 10 acres, changed its 
mind and bought 10 more. Many more 

areas will have to be bought, and wise 
school boards will look forward and 
acquire title to key blocks and plots. 
The new stadium will fill Pekin' s needs 
for a generation; but demands for a 
new gymnasium are already pressing. 
Pekin' s Mineral Springs park, now one 
of the busiest (and loveliest) in 
America, will have to be enlarged in 
some manner; and the Park Board not 
only will have to enlarge its present 
golf course onto the already purchased 
acres for another nine holes; but it 
will have to provide a second municipal 
course, and should be watching for a 
bargain in nearby picturesque acreage. 

A project that won't be delayed too 
long is a junior college for Pekin. 

Improvements in city buildings are 
being accomplished. No. 1 on the list 
is a new city hall, with new fire 
stations and equipment to match; and 
surely the new century of Pekin' s life 
will not be too far along before some 
kind of auditorium is erected here. 
An adequate auditorium can add much to 
both the civic and cultural life of the 

If Pekin. is to grow only half as 
swiftly in the second century as in the 
first (and thus become a city of 60,000) 
there must be a place for the new 37,000 
to live. WHERE will they live? This is 
no insurmountable problem. For one 
thing, Pekin surely will have some 
modern apartment houses as soon as 
building costs make the venture profit- 
able. But there are acres of room to 
the south (all the way to South Pekin) 
for expansion, and there is uncrowded 
and almost unlimited high ground to the 

Pekin, as it starts its second 
century does well to be thinking in 
terms of planning. The city council is 
thinking in terms of a building and 
zoning ordinance that will give fore- 
thought to the city's growth in the 
second century. The school boards are 
"counting babies" and projecting popula- 
tion trends to guide them in planning 
future schools. The park board Is think- 
ing in terms of "Where will they swim?" 
and "Where will they play?" and "Where, 
under cover, can they picnic when there 
are twice as many?" And churches, social 
and civic groups are thinking in terms 
of greater social and cultural oppor- 
tunities for the "Pekin of the Second 
Century. " 



Front row, left to right- - John C. Kri egsman, Ronald Schilling, WelJon, 
Meyer, Russell Sorenson, Merel Hammond, Philip F. Kriegsman, Albert Jarett, 
Marvin Brown, Arthur T- Kriegsman. 

Back rorc, left to r ight- -Phyllis Frampton, Florence Kriegsman, Charles 
Hinkle. Philip J. Kriegsman, flilliam Meyer. John Meyer, Floyd Quick, Arthur 
Lichtenberger, Charles Fahnders, Thomas Frampton, Philip Schwinn, Roy Thomas, 
Barbara Kitchell, Zillah Kriegsman. 

Pounded in September 1913 by P. 
J. Kriegsman with 32 horses and a- 
bout 20 wagons located in a large 
red barn at the corner of Henrietta 
and North Capitol Streets. The 
horses delighted in getting out at 
night and eating up the neighbors 

Furniture was stored in the 100 
block Court Street until 1921 when 
the two story warehouse located at 
109-11 North Third Street was con- 

The First World War saw the be- 
ginning of the use of trucks and 
gradually since that time the truck 
has taken over the duties of the 
horses. In 1926 the barn was moved 
to the old Brewei y building and the 
big red barn was torn down. This 
building is still used as a garage 
for the trucks and is located at 
309-13 North Second Street. 

In 1927 the present office was 
built which is located at 231 Marg- 
aret Street. 

Then came the complete transition 
from horses to trucks and in 1946 
the old Pekin Leather Products Com- 
pany building at 1101 Margaret 
Street was purchased for the ware- 
housing of merchandise. 

In 1948 the warehouse at 278 Koch 
Street was constructed, during the 
35th anniversary year of the firm. 

Also in 1948 the business was in- 
corporated and following are the 
officers of the corporation: Arthur 
T. Kriegsman, President; Philip J. 
Kriegsman, Vice President; Florence 
Kriegsman, Vice President; John C. 
Kriegsman, Secretary; Zillah C. 
Kriegsman, Treasurer. 

The employees of the corporation 
are: Phil Schwin, Charles Hinkle, 
William Meyer, John Meyer, Roy 
Thomas, Weldon Meyer, Merel Hammond, 
Arthur Lichtenberger, Albert Jarr- 
ett, Floyd Quick, Ronald Schilling, 
Thomas Frampton, Marvin Brown, Arth- 
ur Snyder, Charles Fahnders, Philip 
F. Kriegsman, Barbara Kitchell, 
Russell Sorenson, Phyllis Frampton. 


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Forward March 

In 1890 an industry was born in Pelcin — an industry 
that was to place the name PEKIH before the people in 
many States of the Union. That was the year Miles Hurphy 
started the Pelcin Boiler Works. This firm manufactured 
steam boilers and contracted for boiler repair worl<. 

In 1900, ten years later in the Forward March of Pro- 
gress of our Company, Robert Walsh joined Miles Murphy 
as a partner. Boiler manufacture and repair was still 
the business of the Company and we became l(nown among 
the residents as "the boiler worl<s", a name still ap- 
plied by some of the older citizens. 

\QQ\^ — the start of a new product. Miles Murphy and 
Robert Walsh forsaw a field that had unlimited possibil- 
ities. A tank designed to supply fresh water to farms. 
The firm name was changed to Murphy & Walsh and the PEKIN 
pneumatic tank was on the market. The PEKIN pneumatic 
tank is still a product of this Company. 

1909 — a tank to store hot water for homes and indus- 
trial use. Again, Murphy & Walsh marched forward with the 
PEKIN hot water storage tank. 

1923 — A new process of fabrication was becoming pop- 
ular throughout the country. Forward again with PEKIN 
welded tanks. 

1 925" 1 926— 1927 — Oil tanks for the storage of home 
heating oil and underground gasoline storage, steel bur- 
ial vaults, steel septic tanks for sewage disposal — — 
Always forward for Murphy & Walsh and the trade name 

From Maine to California, from Canada to Mexico and 

over-seas through Exporting Companies Murphy & Walsh 

and PEKIN products always Marching Forward. 


100 Caroline St. 

Pekin, III. 



Federal GovernmR n f. Corporation Counsel. ... Alfred W. Black. 

Congressman from I8th U. S. district Treasurer. ............. Claude Smitb. 

Hon- Harold H. Velde, Pekin. City Engineer. ........ Jack Crenshaw. 

Pi re Chief... ....Roy Weinheimer. 

State of Illinois Police Chief. .......... .1 . Roy Brees. 

Senator from 30th state senatorial dis- 
trict Senator M. B. Lohmann, Pekin. 

State representative. 30th district Pekin Towish ip 

Robert H.' Allison, Pekin. Supervisor, A. H. Casper. Assistant 

Supervisors, Vardner Eden, George Saal, 

Tazewell County Edwin J. IMcClarence, Al Schilling, 

Chalrnan, Tazewell county board Edgar Hild, Nelson Sheppert Sr. , Arthur 

....Edwin J. McClarence, Pekin. Kriegsman. Town Clerk, Henry Heiken. 

Circuit Clerk, Eugene V. Hoff, Pekin. ^"*" Highway Commissioner, Carl Noard. 

County Clerk pro ten 

WilllaxD Beardsley, Pekin. Pekin Com munity High School District 

President, I. E. Wilson. Members, Louis 
Hackler, Paul Massey. Al Martens, Lewis 
City of Pekin Doren . Principal, F. M. Peterson. 

Mayor J. Norman Shade, Streets and 

Public Improvements. Pekin Grade School District 

Commissi Her John McGinty, Public President, Fearn Wilson sr. Members, 

Property. "elvin Leach, Bernard Hoffman, George 
Commissioner Charles Dancey, Public Bishop, William York, Morris Severe, 

Affairs. J"''" Abts. Superintendant, C. B. Smith. 
Commissioner Fred Moenkemoel ler. Fi- 
nance. Pekin Park District 
Commissioner Valter McClain, Public President, Tim Soldwedel. Members, 
Health and Safety. Charles crosswei ler Sr. , William Knier- 
Clerk .William Jansen. i^""' Edward Oberle, Charles Kelly. Sec- 
retary, Henry Ailts. 

Tazewell County Court House built in 191i. 


Interior scene of Pekin traffic office 25 years ago. All of 
this equipment has been replaced and more than $150,000 viorth 
added since 1939, $65,000 of it in 19i9 alone. 

Pekin is one of approximately 
12,000 communities in the united 
States served by independent tele- 
phone, companies. 

In 1901, the Citizens Telephone 
Company was organized with James W. 
Barrett, President, to compete with 
the Central Union Telephone Company. 

The Citizens Company also estab- 
lished an exchange at East Peoria 
and had exchanges at Havana, Manito, 
Green Valley, Delavan and Lacon, 
connected by a system of company 
owned toll lines. 

The history of the Citizens Comp- 
any provides one perfect example of 
what larger scale operation can 
accomplish over what is generally 
possible for local groups to accom- 
plish alone in furnishing such a 
highly complicated and capital con- 
suming community service. 

Tne continuous growth of the 
community necessitated expansion of 
service - meaning more management, 
more legal, engineering and account- 
ing help and most important -- much 
additional capital. 

When the expansion following the 
first World War started, the situa- 
tion was discouraging for the Citi- 
zens Compaay, as there were two sets 
of telephone lines in town, and 
many people were wanting service 
with no chance of receiving it un- 
til most of the old plant could be 

The Citizens Company was sold to 
W.S. Green and associates who had 

formed a new company, traded East 
Peoria and Delevan to Central Union 
Company for the "long distance phone 
system" in Pekin and brought in 
hundreds of thousands of dollars of 
new capital, to replace the mass of 
bare wires in town with one of the 
most extensive underground cable 
systems to be found in a similar 
sized community in the world. 

The depression years of the early 
thirties, however, provided a serious 
blow to the new company. Since 
January, 1938, the Central Telephone 
Company has had the responsibility 
for operating the Middle States 
Company property and raising the 
ever increasing amount of capital 
needed for the fast growing com- 
munities being served. 

The amount of new capital re- 
quired to extend the plant since 
1941 has exceeded the value of the 
plant then in service. Now, a ten 
year program of conversion to dial 
is underway which will require 
capital totalling several times the 
value of plant in service in 1940. 

Max McGraw of Chicago, Chairman 
of the Board of the Central Tele- 
phone Company, is also head of Mc- 
Graw Electric Company and the record 
of his work in the enterprises with 
which he has been identified is such 
as to inspire confidence of the sub- 
scribers in Middle States Telephone 
exchanges who want this essential 
service to continue to keep pace 
with comrounitv demands and needs 



The history of a city is the story of the efforts and accomplishments of its 
citizens in establishing homes, churches, Schools, growing industries and organi- 
zations, and other activities. From its beginning, lOO years ago, Pekin has had 
civic and cultural-minded citizens of vision who have built within its confines 
beautiful churches and schools, substantial homes, and prosperous business estab- 
lishments; and who have provided opportunities for cultural advantages and whole- 
some recreation. 

And Pekin citizens today, proud of their heritage, are continuing to carry on 
the tradition, building for an ever greater tomorrow. 

lived, closing its doors in 1842. There- 


Form of government -- Commission 
Population -- about 22,500 
Population totals from earliest census: 

1949 (est. ) 


Area --7.5 
Altitude - 
Trade Area 

1 at ion of 



16, 129 









square miles 

482 feet above sea level. 
■- 25 mile radius with popu- 


seven. Santa Pe; Big Pour; 
Chicago and Midland; Peoria and Pekin 
Union; Illinois Central; Peoria Rail- 
way Terminal; Gulf, Mobile and Ohio. 
Highways -- on State routes 9 and 29 
and connecting with U.S. 24 across 
111 Inois River. 
Bus Lines -- six. Jacksonville Trail- 
ways; Continental Trailways; Illini 
Coach Lines; Bartonville Bus Lines, 
Inc.; Illinois Highway Transportation 
Company; Greyhound Lines. 

River Traffic -- Barge Service operated 
on schedule by government and private 

Financial Data -- Three loan companies - 
Pekin Loan and Homestead Association 
established In 1882; American Saving 
and Loan Association in 1883; and 
Pekin Mutual Building and Loan Asso- 
ciation in 1893. Two Banks - The 
American National Bank, and the Her- 
get National Bank. 


The first bank in Tazewell County 
opened in Pekin under the name of the 
Shawneetown Bank in 1839, was short- 

fore, the first firm to do regular 
banking business in the city was that 
of G.H. Rupert and Company who estab- 
lished in 1852 the Piatt Valley Bank 
which existed under one firm or another 
until it was sold to the organizers of 
The First National Bank of Pekin in 
1866. Also in that year was organized 
the banking firm of Tels Smith and 
Company, popularly known as Smith's 
Bank, which did business until the 
early 1900' s. 

After the liquidation of the First 
National in 1875. the private banking 
firm of Leonard and Blossom took over 
and for a number of years ran a banking 
business in Pekin. Also in 1875. The 
Farmers Bank was incorporated, doing 
business in the building at the corner 
of Capitol and Court streets until the 
early 1930' s. 

Today Pekin has two banks -- The 
American, organized as the German 
American Bank in 1887; and the Herget 
National Bank, founded by George Herget 
and Son in 1905. 


It "'as not until May i860, after a 
disastrous fire had swept the business 
district, destroying over 30 buildings, 
almost paralyzing business, and in- 
volving a loss of over $150,000, that 
a city fire department was created. 
This consisted of four cisterns with a 
capacity of 300 barrels each - located 
at Margaret and Third; the Court House; 
St. Mary and Fourth; and at the German 
Methodist Church, Fifth and Caroline - 
two fire engines of the crane-neck 
style, and 1,000 feet of hose and 
ladders with carriages for each. 

The following November saw the for- 
mation of Pekin' s first fire companies: 
Rescue Fire Company No. 1, with 16 men; 
Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, with 23 
men; and in December the Defiance Fire 
Company with 20 officers and members. 
The latter name was changed after 


Mr. John H. Shade 

It was way back in the fall of 
1890 on an extremely cold and dis- 
agreeable day, that John H. shade 
came to Pekin after a colorful ca- 
reer in Oklahoma and Kansas. It was 
those early experiences in life such 
as taking part in the land rush in 
the opening of the Oklahoma terri- 
tory; the settling of the Cherokee 
Strip; the publishing of a newspaper 
in Wellington Kansas; the teaching 
of a rural school; the hardships of 
making his own way, that built up in 
Mr. Shade a character of friendli- 
ness and sympathy which made him 
beloved by those who knew him. 

In pekin, Mr. Shade edited the 
"Post Tribune" later sold to the 
"Pekin Daily Times"; and for several 
years published a magazine filled 
with kindly philosophies, which was 
known as "Shade's Monthly". 

In the year 1912, a friend called 
upon Mr. shade to handle the new 
Garber' s Addition which was being 
platted in the new community of 
South Pekin, and this experience 
brought out a strong desire to see 
everyone own a home; and revealed 
Mr. Shade's ingenuity in devising 
plans and ways whereby a person 
could own a home of his own. 

So John H. Shade became a pioneer 
Pekin realtor; dedicated to the " old 
school" -- belief in doing one thing 
and doing it well! por that reason 
his agency never took on any side- 
lines and handled real estate exclu- 

sively, por that reason, too; al- 
though interested and active in 
politics, Mr. shade on two occasions 
refused preferred nominations for 
Congress, as well as offers of the 
Postmastership and nominations for 
County Superintendent of Schools. 

In 1920 he was joined in the real 
estate business by his son, J. Nor- 
man Shade (the present Mayor of the 
city of Pekin) who, at that time, 
was employed by the P. Stelnmetz 
and Son Habberdashery. It was then 
that the trade name, under which the 
firm still operates, was adopted -- 

Mr. Shade had a genius for de- 
vising means of making it possible 
for folks to secure homes, and it 
was through his agency that addi- 
tions were successfully platted and 
lots placed on the market for sale 
as low as $1 down and $1 per week -- 
with permission given people to 
build thereon before the lot was 
fully paid for. This type of selling 
was especially appreciated by pur- 
chasers during the depression years 
of 1930-1934. Many, deprived of 
homes through foreclosure, were able 
to buy a lot, build a shelter for 
their loved ones; and, thus, be- 
come an asset to the community, in- 
stead of a liability. 

Some Additions which were han- 
dled in their entirety or a large 
portion are the Edds, Taaks, Rose- 
dale, Alfs, Pekin Gardens, Rees, 
Lick Creek Lane, Buff, Brlggs 
Heights, Lakeview, Linkville, Nor- 
mandale, S. Normandale, Midway and 
N. Midway Additions. 

Mr. Shade, Sr. always contended 
that no individual's problem was too 
— all to give patient adherence; 
f-d during the many years of his 
active life, his kind philosophy, 
and his willingness to assist others, 
showed the way of securing a home to 

many many who are respected and 

substantial Pekin citizens of today. 

On June 5, 1948, at the age of 82 
John H. Shade passed away. His busi- 
ness is being continued by his son, 
and operating under the same trade 
name so familiarly known throughout 
Pekin and Tazewell county as the 



several years to Young America. No. 2. 
In 1868, a new steam fire engine, 
Young America , was purchased and the 
old hand fire engine sold to the town 
of Canton. 

In his first annual report in Febru- 
ary 1869, Chief Engineer John Berry 
revealed that the Pekin Fire Department 
consisted of "one steam fire engine 
company - Young America, with hose-reel 
and hose attached; one hand fire engine 
company with hose-reel and hose 
attached; and one hook and ladder 
Company with truck wagon, axes, and 
ladders complete" . 

The department was motorized in 1916 
when the city bought a Seagrove Truck. 
Later in 1928, a second truck, an 
American Le France was purchased. Pekin 
now has adequate fire protection with 
two American Le France trucks, one 1000 
gallon capacity and the other 500 
gallon, manned by a force of 12 reg- 
ulars, under Fire Chief Roy Weinheimer. 
The first elected city policeman in 
Pekin was Thomas Cloudas, who served in 
the dual capacity of "City Marshall and 
Street Commissioner". The job must have 
been a difficult or an extremely un- 
popular one, for records show that it 
changed hands yearly for the first few 
years in the city' s history. John Dur- 
ham, Marshal in 1850. had the addition- 
al job of taking the first census of 

In 1855, two night watchmen--Thomas 
Shepherd and N.C. Flood--were added to 
the police force for night duty during 
the months of January and February 
only; and in March of that year, the 
city Marshal's office being declared 
vacant, Samuel P. Higginson was elected 
at a salary of "$313 per year, and the 
privilege of an auction license free of 
charge." In 1856, the marshal was 
authorized to appoint a deputy. 

And as Pekin grew, the police force 
grew also until at present it consists 
of 15 men, 3 pieces of motor equipment, 
and 3 police radios. Roy Brees is the 
present chief of police. 


Situated as it is, with the Illinois 
River for its western boundary, Pekin 
early faced the problem of a river 
crossing. The earliest accounts date 
back to 1829, when a ferry "made and 
operated by William Clarke to carry 
pedestrians and rigs" plied back and 
forth from the foot of Harriet Street. 
Made of logs and puncheons, the ferry 
was propelled, frequently assisted by 
the passengers themselves, with long 
poles during low water and with oars 
during high stages. 

The ferry was privately owned by one 
person or another, until April 1839, 

when one Lucretia Mount, widow of a 
recent ferry owner "released to the 
town of Pekin all her right and 
interest in the ferry across the Illi- 
nois River", and this important fran- 
chise became town property. Seven years 
later, June 1847, the Board passed an 
ordinance to keep a free ferry and to 
defray expenses by public subscription. 
By the 28th of August, however, the 
free project was deemed impractical and 
ferriage was again charged: "Twenty 
cents for two- horse wagon for trip; man 
and horse, ten cents each way; footmen, 
five cents each way. etc." Before the 
end of the year, the ferry appearing to 
be an expense to the city rather than a 
benefit, was sold to B.S. Prettyman for 
$1, 575. 

In 1840, the town contracted with a 
Mr. John Sleeth to build an "up-to-date" 
ferry boat which was to be rented to 
the highest bidder; and in March 1842, 
the ferry was rented to Whitlow and 
Durnell "for the term of one year for 
the sum of $50. 00. " 

In the meantime, a committee had 
been appointed to solicit subscrip- 
tions for "building a road across the 
Illinois River bottom" from "the river 
bank to the bluff on the west side of 
the Illinois River opposite Pekin; that 
said road to be opened 20 feet wide by 
cutting down and removing trees and 
other obstruction and an elevated plank 
road constructed" - -a road so defective 
that it was abandoned as a thoroughfare 
shortly after being completed. 

On June 1. 1885, the city finally 
contracted for a pontoon wagon bridge 
costing $17,500, to span the river. 
This was a toll bridge until 1889. In 
1904, the pontoon bridge was torn down 
for an iron structure which served 
until 1930, when it was declared unsafe 
and replaced by the present bridge, 
built at a cost of $533,823 and formal- 
ly dedicated and opened in May of that 


The many beautiful churches in Pekin 
today indicate a religious interest 
which manifested itself early, for 
religion came to Town-Site with the 
first settlers. The first preaching 
service in the new community was a 
sermon by the Rev. Jesse Walker, an 
itinerant Methodist frontier mission- 
ary, in the log cabin home of Jacob 
Tharp in 1826. 

Soon after this was organized a 
congregation, which about in 1830, 
erected a "little brick church" known 
later as the "Foundry Church", located 
near the present site of Franklin 
School, and installed as their first 
minister the Rev. John T. Mitchel, a 



THE FASHION STORE opened in Pekin 
in September, 1934. With the passing 
years it expanded to meet the de- 
mands of an ever-growing number of 
satisfied customers. 

In the Fall of 1948 the new 
store, pictured above, was complet- 
ed - a modern store throughout - 
completely air conditioned. 

THE FASHION STORE has built up 
its enviable reputation by featuring 
nationally advertised fashions and 
accessories for the entire family, 
plus the convenience of their ex- 
tended charge account, plan. 

Today,' thousands of the thrifty- 
minded people of Pekin are enjoying 
the many and modern shopping con- 
veniences Ihat THE FASHION STORE 



For a quarter of a century the 
ROHRS INSURANCE office has served 
Pekin under its own firm name. To- 
gether with its predecessors, the 
Geo. Lucas and Lena Schaefer-Hinners 
Agencies, they have served Pekin 
since 1870 with complete kinds of 
insurance from the horse and buggy 
days to the automobile and jet plane 
age. From hand written policies t o 
the typed policy of today, the 
ROHRS INSURANCE office has continu- 
ously improved its facilities to 
handle your insurance requirements. 
We cordially invite you to visit 
our office. See our FIREPROOF SAFE 
for safe keeping of duplicate copies 
of your policies and our system of 
records for the safeguard and 
efficient handling of your in- 

Rohrs Insurance 

George and Howard 
520 Court Pekin 




4?0 Walnut St. 
Owned and operated by William L. Welmer 

The Noel Funeral Home was estab- 
lished in Pekin, 111. in the year 
1900 by the late Orville W. Noel. 

In the year of 1923 the partner- 
ship of Orville W. Noel and William 
L. Weimer who was in his employ for 
many years was formed and was oper- 
ated under the name of Noel Funeral 
Home until the death of Mr. Noel in 
1946. At this time the interest of 
Mr. Noel in the firm was purchased 

by William L. Welmer who Is carrying 
on the business under the first 
name. Noel' s has served the citizens 
of Pekin and surrounding territory 
for 50 years. In 1937 we deemed it 
wise to move the business location 
to 420 Walnut St. so that its pat- 
rons would be better served In the 
quiet, homelike atmosphere and 
beautiful surrounding of its present 


^JjiCONJ rtC^ 




fiery, plain-spoken man. Presumably it 
was in this church that Pekin' s first 
church choir, consisting of seven male 
voices, was organized. 

In the winter of 1843-4 nearly half 
the village population died from an 
epidemic of " black- tongue" sore throat. 
This tragedy resulted in a revival 
known as the " sore- throat" revival 
during which practically all the sur- 
vivors joined the church. The congre- 
gation having outgrown the old brick 
building, constructed in 1847 a new 
frame church on the corner of Capitol 
and Margaret Streets and the old brick 
building became a foundry. In 1867 the 
congregation erected the present edi- 
fice at the corner of Fourth and Broad- 
way. Thus came into existence the First 
Methodist Church. 

The German Methodist Church, today's 
Grace Methodist, seems to be next in 
time of organization - in 1842 with 
meetings held for the first few years 
in homes of members. It was not untij 
1850 that a building was erected, "with 
the help of the original English 
Methodist Church, which donated old 
church seats to the new frame build- 
ing," and the pulpit was filled by 
missionary preachers from St. Louis. 

With the influx of many Germans 
about 1850, the membership outgrew its 
quarters and erected in 1854 a new 
church which in later years was used as 

a warehouse for the Pekin Plow Shop 
after a new church was erected at State 
and Fourth in 1873- This was burned in 
1911 and replaced with the present edi- 
fice in 1912. 

In the meantime, a First Reformed 
Church was begun in 1843 with a nucleus 
of ten members in a "little building 
down by the river" and for the first 
several years thereafter meetings were 
held in homes of members while a build- 
ing was in process of construction. 
This was completed in 1847 at a cost of 
$6,000. In 1873 was erected at 307 
South Fourth Street, the original part 
of the present building which was 
modernized and enlarged in 1939. About 
1910, a group of members from this 
church founded the Congregational 
Church in Pekin and soon thereafter 
erected the present building at Eliza- 
beth and Broadway. On April 29, 1914, 
it was voted at a congregation meeting 
to change the First Reforme'd Church to 
the First Presbyterian Church of Pekin 
and thus it exists today. 

During the next few years, from 
1850 on, many churches were founded- - 
among them the St. Paul's Episcopal, 
admitted as a parish in the diocese of 
Illinois in 1851, although Episcopal 
services were held in Pekin as early 
as 1837. The foundation of the present 
St. Paul's Church was laid in 1870 and 
completed in 1874. Recently it has been 


ii A U R ER >ND HA R R I S 

■mnxiai % 


Home ownership is one of man's first considerations 
for the protection, happiness and contentment of his 
family, Because of the early establishment of savings 
and loan associations and frugal characteristics of Ger- 
man families who first settled in Pekin, we have today 
an unusually high per centage of families who now own 
their homes. In the year 1937 an up-to-date home financ- 
ing plan known as the direct-reduction plan was intro- 
duced to Pekin with the opening of an office at 408 Court 
Street by Eugene P. Maurer, who for thirteen years pre- 
vious to this had been employed by a local bank. Immed- 
iately, this type of home financing was accepted by the 
people of this city, and as a result, many millions of 
dollars have been loaned to Pekin people to help them own 
thei r own homes. 

As an additional service, and a natural growth, a 
complete insurance and real estate brokerage business was 
added to home financing, making a complete one-stop pack- 
age in home ownership service. 

In I9i;6 Thomas H. Harris returned to his native Taze- 
well County after four years of service in World War II, 
and assumed complete charge of home loans and insurance 
and along with Mr. Maurer expanded the real estate de- 
partment. The firm name was changed to MAURER AND HARRIS 
under which management the general public of this city 
C6n attest to fair and honest dealings. Many homes have 
been built and two subdivisions developed, making it pos- 
sible for several hundred families to be started on the 
road to home ownership in Pekin, A GOOD PLACE TO LIVEI 


modernized and improved mainly through 
the legacy of the late Miss Anna Blen- 
ki r o n . 

St. Johannes Evangelical Lutheran 
(now St. John's) built a church at 
North Fourth and Ann Eliza in 1854, 
later replaced by a new building in 
1871. In 1902 the congregation erected 
a parochial grade school adjacent to 
the church, a school attended by many 
Pekin Luther-an young people, until it 
was discontinued in June 1942 and the 
building later sold to and now occupied 
by the Pekin Trades and Labor Assembly. 

The First Baptist Church was founded 
about 1851. Their original building, 
completed in 1855, since enlarged and 
remodeled, has the distinction of being 
the oldest brick church building in 
Tazewel 1 County still occupied by the 
congregation which erected it. W.H. 
Bates in an appendix to the 1916 Pekin 
Directory tells an interesting story in 
connection with the building of this 
church. It seems that Elder Gilbert S. 
Bailey, on a visit to Springfield, met 
his old neighbor Abraham Lincoln, who 
"on learning that Bailey was soliciting 
funds to complete the Pekin church, 
cheerfully subscribed $10." 

A Universalist Church, too, was 
organized in 1851, but about 23 years 
later was disbanded and the building 
sold later to the Free Methodist 

Then came St. Paul's Evangelical, 
organized by 12 men, with 30 original 
members in 1858, at the corner of 
Seventh and Ann Eliza. In its early 
year, a school was connected with the 

The first authentic record of Ca- 
tholicism in Pekin tells of a baptism 
on November 11, i860. In 1863 was built 
a Catholic Church on the corner of 
Second and Susannah, the beginning of 
the present St. Joseph's. In 1904 was 
dedicated the present edifice at the 
corner of Seventh and Broadway. The 
story is told that the old bell, now 
no longer in use, was captured from a 
convent in Mexico by two of Pekin' s 
soldiers in the Mexican War and sent 
to the church here. A second Catholic 
Church, the Sacred Heart, organized for 
German Catholics in 1872. was later 
absorbed by the St. Joseph's Church. 

In 1876 was organized the First 
Christian Church when one, William 
Hiett, a student at Eureka College was 
called here to preach at a Saturday 
service near Leslie Station, a Sunday 
service at the Town House, and another 
service on Monday at the county home. 
During these services five converts 
were baptized in Dillon Creek, and from 
this began the Church. In 1883 the 
present building was erected at Broad- 
way and Elizabeth. 

The German Baptist, now Calvary 
Baptist is another church organized in 
early Pekin with preaching services 
held as early as 1870, although the 
congregation was not formally organized 
until 1877 with 16 members. The present 
building at Tenth and Caroline was 
erected in 1892. 

Thus were founded Pekin' s pioneer 
churches. And with the growth of the 
city has come an ever increasing number 
of churches, until today there are 26 
Protestant and one Catholic, many of 
which have recently carried on or are 
planning extensive building programs. 
A Union Mission established in 1895 
and a Salvation Army also aid in minis- 
tering to the religious needs of the 
community. A list of present Pekin 
churches and their location follows: 

First Baptist 

...Fifth and Elizabeth Streets 

Calvary Baptist 

. ..Caroline and North Tenth Streets 

First Congregational 

...Elizabeth at Broadway 


...Broadway and Elizabeth Streets 

St. Joseph' s Catholic 

. . . 300 South Seventh 

First Presbyterian 

. . . Broadway and Fourth 

Grace Methodist 

... 601 North Fourth 

First Methodist 

. . . Fourth and Broadway 

Free Methodist 

. ..412 St. Mary 

Second Reformed 

. . .Sixth and State 

St. Paul' s Episcopal 

...Washington and Buena Vista 

St. Paul' s Evangelical and Reformed. . . . 

...Seventh and Ann Eliza 

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran 

. . . Court and Eighth 

Seventh St. Gospel Tabernacle 

. . . South Seventh and Derby 

Church of the Nazarene 

. . .Third and Franklin 
Assembly of God, Pekin Full Gospel 


. . . 1215 South 13th 

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran 

. . . 702 South Fourth 

Normandale Reformed 

. . . 2001 South Second 

Pentecostal Church of God 

. . . 1448 South Second 

Apostolic Gospel Tabernacle 

. . .325 South Sixth 

Seventh Day Advent ist 

. . . 1305 Messmer 

First Baptist Chapel 

. . . Derby and South 14th 

Church of Christ 

. . .229 Court 


Rus+ttD TO YOUR Gnocm 


330 Court St. 



■^^^B V '^^sdl^^^^^^ 

Phone ?8? 

The Weyrich Hardware store was 
established in 1864, just 15 years 
after the incorporation of Pekin as 
a City, in the same building in 
which it is presently functioning. 

The original owner was John Wey- 
rich, who with his son August 
Weyrich enjoyed a successful busi- 
ness during their life times. The 
business is now operated by Nelson 
A. Weyrich, grandson of the founder. 

This store has served the commun- 
ity for 85 years and the success of 
the business is due to the satis- 
faction of the customers. 

Our booth at the First Street Fair in 1898 


Jehovah' s Witnesses 

. . .322 Court 

Bethel Tabernacle Assembly of God 

. . . 1208 Maple Street 

Southern Baptist 

. . . Normandale 
Re-Organlzed Church of Jesus Christ 

of Latter Day Saints 

. . .Court and Broadway 

Salvtftlon Army 

. . .239 Derby 

Pekin Union Mission 

. . . 203 Court 


Pekin citizens have always taken a 
keen interest and pride in their 
excellent schools, and today both grade 
and high school systems are among the 
finest to be found in the state. 

The first school in Pekin' s history 
dates back to 1831, 18 years before 
the city was organized. This was a one 
story building erected on the west side 
of Second Street, between Elizabeth and 
St. Mary, by Thomas Snell and taught 
by his son, John. Then followed within 
a few years what was known as the 
Cincinnati school on Broadway, across 
the street from the old Dutch Reformed 

Sometime in 1840, according to the 
Bates 1887 Directory , the basement of 
the Methodist Church was "leased by the 
Board and put in repair for a school 
room for the benefit of the corporation 
of Pekin". Sometime, too, between 1840 
and 1850. a two story brick building 
was erected on Margaret Street, between 
Third and Capitol, by the "Sons of 
Temperance", the upper floor being used 
for the lodge meetings and the lower 
occupied for many years as a "pay 
school". After the adoption of the 
state free school system, the entire 
building was occupied by the free 
schools of Pekin. For many years older 
residents of the community referred 
affectionately to "the old Brick". 

Meantime it is recorded in 1852, 
Elder Gilbert S. Bailey, assisted by 
his wife, took charge of a newly 
organized Pekin Academy "for young 
ladies and gentlemen"; and that for 
several years this was acknowledged as 
one of the leading educational in- 
stitutions in the state. Bailey, by the 
way, was later transferred to Chicago 
where he became one of the prominent 
workers in inaugurating the University 
of Chicago. Five years later, William 
Blenklron established a school in the 
old Episcopal Church, then located west 
of the Tazewell Hotel. There were other 
schools established, too, for the 
census of 1860 reports for Pekin "12 
school houseswith a total of 503 
pu p i 1 s " . 

In 1865 was begun a large brick 
building on Washington between Buena 
Vista and Sixth Streets (the site of 
the present junior high school) to cost 
about $20,000. When this was completed 
in 1867, all the various buildings 
which had been used for school 
purposes, with the exception of the 
Sons of Temperance building, were 
vacated; and the school system of Pekin 
was reorganized with William Blenkiron 
as superintendent. 

The first Pekin High School gradu- 
ation occurred in 1873 with six gradu- 
ates: Josephine Goodheart, Caesar 
Roberts, Eunice Sage, Addie L. Turner, 
Hannah Turner, and Sarah Turner. 

An interesting story goes that some 
time about 1880, at the insistence of 
several members of the city board, a 
resolution was made to teach German in 
the Pekin schools. Thereupon the Irish 
members of the community rose to arms 
and circulated a petition that the 
Irish language also be taught. This 
however, was finally deemed inexpedient 
and the matter was dropped. 

On the night of December 2. 1890, 
Tragedy struck; and the large brick 
school of which Pekin was so proud was 
completely destroyed by fire. The story 
goes that during the conflagration many 
spectators gathered bits of metal from 
the melting bell and wore these as 
watch fobs for years thereafter. 

The School Board immediately launch- 
ed a program for rebuilding on a "much 
larger and more modern plan" resulting 
in what became known for many years as 
Washington School. Completed the 
following year at a cost of some 
$28,000, this modern brick structure 
contained 18 rooms in addition to high 
school recitation rooms and the super- 
intendent's office. It was this build- 
ing which became the old Washington 
Junior High School when the Community 
High School district was organized and 
the new high school building completed 
in 1916. 


In the meantime the East Bluff 
building, known then as Allen School, 
was erected in 1869, and before long 
increased population of the city 
necessitated the erection of two other 
buildings- -Lincoln School in 1876, 
later remodeled and enlarged, and 
Douglas in 1882 on the site of the old 
Tharp burial ground. Douglas, earlier 
known as the Old East Side School, was 
later razed to make room for the 
splendid modern structure which now 
occupies the old site. There was some 
time before 1880. too, on the corner 
of Buena Vista and Broadway, the Feger 
House, more commonly known as the "Baby 



341 Court Street 


The Pekin Hardware Co. has been 
serving Pekin and the surrounding 
community for nearly 51 years. In 
December 1898 Mr. Phillip M. Hoffman 
and Mr. Ernest R. Peyton purchased 
the business from Henry Roos and 
from that date it has been known as 
the Pekin Hardware Co. 

The store is now being operated 
by Ernest P. Hoffman and William J. 
Hoffman, sons of Phillip M. Hoffman. 

Identified in the picture of the 
early days of Pekin Hardware Co. are 
left to right: Ernest R. Peyton; 
Martin Larkin Sr. ; Prank Weber; a 
salesman; Phillip M. Hoffman. 




ullicken s Inc 


As Near As Your Telephone — Phone 48 


Lutticken' s Inc., was started in 
1919 after World War I. Upon arrival 
home from overseas, Robert J. Lutt- 
icken, the founder, started this 
venture with the P. A. eergner & Co. 
of Peoria, 111., Furniture Dept. In 
1924 along with his regular Home 
Furnishing Merchandising, a complete 
Interior Decorating Service was add- 
ed. In recognition of the quality of 
Merchandise and Services being ren- 
dered, he was appointed the exclu- 
sive Grand Rapids Furniture Makers 
Guild Dealer for the Central Illi- 
nois area in 1926; also our present 
Pekin Store was opened then as a 

After start of World War II. the 
Peoria Branch was sold, and our com- 
plete service is now being given 
from the Pekin location until larger 
quarters are completed. Also after 
discharge from services Robert W. 
Lutticken, son of the founder, com- 
pleted his courses in interior de- 

sign and art, also special courses 
in Grand Rapids Guild school of In- 
terior Decorating. He has now been 
actively engaged in this enterprize 
since May 1948 — 

The Grand Rapids Guild Decorating 
Service insures the finest in qual- 
ity and design. The special Guild 
colors give perfect harmony, and are 
available in Drapery Materials, Up- 
holstery Fabrics, Carpets, Lamps, 
Mirrors, Pictures, Art Objects- -also 
Paints and Wall Paper. 

Finest quality merchandise and 
skilled mechanics are assurance of 
that desired result. 
Furniture Art Objects 

Carpets "Norge" 

Linoleum Refrigerators 

Rubber Tile Gas Ranges 

Asphalt Tile Electric Ranges 

Lamps Washers 

Pictures Freezers 

Domestic Sewing Machines 




School" . However, this was short-lived. 
There followed, in turn. Garfield, 
Franklin, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and 
finally, to be occupied for the first 
time this fall, Pekin's newest half- 
million dollar ultra modern Fearn 
Wilson School, a one-story 12 room 
structure of steel and concrete 
containing a fine auditorium, an up- 
to-date gymnasium and excellent kinder- 
garten facilities. 


In September, 1930. the beautiful 
new $350,000 Washington Junior High 
School was completed on the site of 
the Old Washington Junior High which 
had been razed to make room for the new 
building. This contains besides 35 
class rooms, a modern office room for 
the city superintendent of schools, an 
auditorium, and a gymnasium. 

And thus has the Pekin grade school 
system grown to include 8 modern grade 
school buildings and the Washington 
Junior High School, representing a 
total investment of some $3,500,000 and 
an enrollment of approximately 3,000 
pupils. Mr. C.8. Smith is city school 

"The New' 

superintendent, and members of the 
Board are President Fearn Wilson, John 
Abts, George Bishop, Bernard Hoffman, 
Melvin Leach, Morris Severe and William 



710-716 Court Street 

Mr. L.R. Bristow and Mr. V.A. 
Grandia acquired the business August 
3, 1934, from James and Gerald 
Conaghan, when it was located at 
the corner of Court and Sixth 
St reets . 

In the fall of 1936, ground was 
broken, on land acquired from the 
Haas estate, for the new lOO' x 160' 
Bristow Motor Company building at 
714-16 Court Street. It was the most 
modern garage building in the Pekin 
area at that time, and on May 10, 
1937, the grand opening was held. 

The senior partner, L.R. Bristow, 

passed away on November 4. 1937. and 
on January 1, 1938, V.A. Grandia 
became sole owner of the business. 

In July of 1938, the lot adjacent 
to 714 Court was acquired by V.A. 
Grandia, which now makes the estab- 
lishment 160' X 150' . 

Mr. Grandia was 32 years old when 
he became sole owner, is married and 
has two children, Gloria and Luther. 
Luther is learning the business and 
eventually will become a partner. 

Bristow Motor company has one of 
the most modern and complete service 
departments in Central Illinois. 

During thij pa»; century, many advancements 
have been made in the Funeral Director's 

Today, the memorial service is regarded not 
only OS a tribute to the departed, but a> a 
source of comfort to the living. 

The public will find every convenience for its 

comfort in our Funeral Home. Appointments 
her* are modem and in keeping with solemnity, 
but never depressing. 


Dec. 31. 


24 HOUR 


Sehv I CE 


Pekin's MfHorial stadium saa an added touch as the 19ii9 football season 
opened, with the erection of a 20- foot- long Dragon, symbol of Celestial City 
athletic provress, atop the big scoreboard. The beast aas created at the high 
school and outlined in neon light for gridiron patrons. It made its first 
appearance, with darting red neon tongue, as Pekin beat C ar Imville 28 to in 
the season's opener, the occasion of the picture shown here. 



k new cafeteria for the Pekin high school vas completed in 19i9, and as 
school got underway began feeding an average of 1,000 students each noon- day . 
One of the first "line-ups" inside the new structure was snapped by the Pekin 
Times, and is reprinted here. 



James J. Viviano, Owner 


Among the outstanding business 
firms of Pekin today is the Pekin 
Distributing Company, distributors 
of Old Style, Stag and Hyde Park, 
"The tastiest beer we know". 

We believe that by handling good 
products and giving good service a 
firm can become successful and we 
have followed that program ever 
since being in business. 

Along with Old Style, Stag and 
Hyde Park beers, the Pekin Dis- 
tributing Company also handles 
Nesbitt's Orange, O-So-Grape, 
Cliquot Club and high quality sodas 
in all flavors. 

The operators of the Pekin Dis- 
tributing Company have always been 
ready and willing to aid any project 
that was for the public betterment. 


Auto Electric 


Brake Service 

225 Elizabeth St. 


Truck s 


Farm Machinery 

Ref ri gerat ion 





16 So. 4th St. 
Pekin, Illinois 
A convenient place, efficiently operated. 

"Our desire has been and will continue to be to give the best in 
food and service in quiet and refined surroundings. " 







South of Pekin on route ?9 


Cbicken in tbe basket 
See television 

Fish dinners 

Hear Clyde Bryant 
The Blind Organist 



Pekin- Community High School repre- 
sents an investment of approximately 
$1,225,000 not including a $540,000 
bond issue for a new building program 
at present under construction. 

To the original main building facing 
Broadway between Eighth and Ninth 
Streets, completed in 1916, have been 
added In 1926, a west wing containing 
additional class rooms; in 1929, an 
east wing with more class rooms and a 
modern auditorium with a seating 
capacity of approximately 1.000; and 
just being completed this fall, a 
cafeteria with a maximum capacity of 
1.800 in shifts of 600 each. In 1936 a 
new gymnasium building, containing also 
facilities for shop classes, band, and 
other classrooms, was constructed on 
Ann Eliza Street just across from the 
Main Building. To this has been added, 
ready also for use this fall, a west 
wing annex for additional shop facili- 
ties, including a farm shop. Also part 
of the school plant, in keeping with 
Pekin High's expanding athletic program 
is the half-million dollar Memorial 
Stadium, dedicated in 1948, with a 
seating capacity of 10.000. This is 
located just east of Mineral Springs 
Park and is one of the finest high 
school stadiums to be found anywhere. 

Pekin Community High School is 

accredited by the North Central Associ- 
ation and the University of Illinois; 
and is recognized by the State Depart- 
ment of Education. It holds membership 
in the Big Twelve Conference of Central 
Illinois High Schools, the Illini 
Conference, and the Greater Peoria Area 
Conference. The estimated enrollment 
for this fall is 1,300 or more. Mr. F. 
M. Peterson is superintendent, and 
Community High School Board Members are 
President I.E. Wilson. Lewis Doren. 
Louis Hackler, Al Martens. Paul Massey 
and Allen Parmer, secretary. 


A group of twenty-three Pekin' women 
on November 24, 1866. feeling the need 
for a library in the growing city, 
formed "The Ladies' Library Association" 
and appointed William S. Prince as the 
first librarian. A city council grant 
of $100. along with citizen donations 
and subscriptions, provided backing for 
the project which was first housed in 
one room of the Frederick Building with 
library hours Tuesday evenings from 7-9 
and Saturdays from 2-5 and from 7-9. 
Patrons paid 25it for six weeks' library 
privileges, 50$ for six months, or 
$1.00 per year. Shortly after this, 
Mrs. Eva Hammond was appointed librari- 
an at the magnificent salary of $8.00 

Pekin's Carnegie Library Built in 1903 

The Friendly FREDMAN BROS. 


Harry Abel, manager of the Pekin 
store, has been with the Predman Broth- 
ers since 1935, and is exceptionally 
well qualified to give customers the 
benefit of his furniture ejcperience. 


Strictly adhering to their policies 
of friendly service, the Fredmans have 
thousands of friends. Dave and Harry 
Fredman opened their first store in 
Collinsville, Illinois, in 1914. Back 
in 1934, they came to the Peoria-Pekln 
area, with twenty years of furniture 
experience. At that time they were op- 
erating six stores. Today the firm, 
"Fredman Brothers", has expanded to in- 
clude twenty-three widely-scattered 
furniture stores in Illinois. 

They employ approximately ?70 per- 
sons; have 58 vans on the highway, be- 
sides small service cars and trucks; 
and they have two major warehousing 
points.. .in Peoria and Granite City. 

Pekinites can find what they want 
at lowest prices at Fredman' s, for 
Fredman' s benefits from manufacturers 
by buying in carload lots for the ?3 
stores. Fredmans' buyers are constantly 
in the markets, seeking to make best 
selections at low prices, which are im- 
mediately offered to their customers. 





Theaters have played a part in the 
life of Pekin since 1850' s when the 
original Empire theater (second floor 
over a dry goods store) opened at the 
Court street location of tlie present 
Empire. It was almost 50 years before 
the old Turner "Opera House" became 
converted into the Standard theater in 
competition with the Empire. Later, 
Chris Dittmer operated both for a "time. 
The Standard later became the Capitol 
theater, which came to be operated, 
along with the Empire, by Mrs. Anna 

The first moving pictures, the 
nickleodeons, came in 1906, the Vaud- 
ette, the Unique and the Dreamland, of 
which only the Dreamland survives as 
the present day Rialto. The Vaudette 

was first, located where the Lohnes 

Print Shop now operates. 

In addition, during the earlier 
days of the century, there was the 
Court Theater at Court and Fifth 
streets and the Idle Hour where the 
Telephone Company is now. 

In 19?8, Mrs. Fluegel caused the 
Capitol theater (the old opera house 
building, to be razed and she erected 
the present $?50,000 Pekin theater 
building, constructed in the Chinese 

PUBLIX-GREAT STATES theater corpor- 
ation assumed management of the Pekin 
theater and of the Empire in 1937, and 
in 1949 re-opened the Rialto. 

Today, PUBLIX-GREAT STATES is carry- 
ing on the great theater tradition in 
Pekin, and has become an active and in- 
terested part of the comanmlty. 


per month, and in 1887 she was succeed- 
ed by Mrs. Kate Skelly, who served for 
the next 12 or 13 years. 

In 1889 the library was moved to the 
old city Firehouse, still standing at 
Seventh and Court Streets. Ten years 
later, having again outgrown its 
quarters, it was moved to the second 
floor of the Steinmetz Building and was 
open every week day afternoon and 

Not until 1896 did it become city 
property. About this time Miss Mary E. 
Gaither, member of the Library Board, 
succeeded in interesting Mr. Andrew 
Carnegie, who promised $15,000 for the 
erection of a permanent building pro- 
vided that the city give a satisfactory 
site. Mr. George Herget donated the 
present site at Broadway and Fourth 

Mr. Carl Herget, in the meantime, 
gave $1,000 for the purchase of books 
on condition that citizens raise a like 
sum. Later, Mr. Carnegie increased his 
original offer to $25,000; and thus 
were laid the foundations for the Pekin 
Public Library which today has over 
33,000 volumes with a yearly record of 
some 9,000 borrowers. An excellent 
children' s department was added about 
1930, and the most recent project is a 
record lending department containing 
at present some 35 albums. 

The library is governed by a board 
of directors, currently headed by Mr. 
Ralph Dempsey and has a staff of five 
persons with Miss Jane Coons, acting 


The story of Pekin newspapers goes 
back to 1839 when The Tazewell Re- 
porter , the first weekly, supplied news 
for the county. Then followed during 
the years The Pek in Weekly Visitor 
established about 1845; The Tazewell 
Whig and Pekin Commercial Advertiser , 
1848; and The Tazewell Mirror , which in 
1860 became the Tazewell County Repub- 
lican , then The Pekin Post, which 
finally died as The Pekin Post-Tribune . 
The II linois Reveil le , about 1850, 
apparently was the first Democratic 
paper to be published in Pekin. 

The Pekin Plaindealer , established 
in 1856, was later succeeded by The 
Tazewel 1 Register , which about 1880 
changed its name to The Pekin Times, 
which is the only surviving Pekin 

The Tazewell Register , The Pekin 
Bui let in , and The Legal Tender , a 
greenback weekly, also were published 
during the middle '80's. 

In 1852, the first German newspaper, 
Per Wachteram Illinois was started but 
ceased publication after a few months. 

Then in 1875 or 1876 John Hoffman 
established The Pekin Freie Press , a 
German weekly catering to the many 
German citizens. This was later sold to 
Albert Weiss, and again in 1914 to 
Jacob Schmidt who, with the war! 
changed it to the English language. 
Free Press , and published it until his 
death in 1934 when it ceased publi- 

The Pekin Daily Times is today a 
growing publication of which Pekin is 
justly proud, having served Pekin and 
surrounding communities for almost 70 
years. P. F. MacNaughtoa is the present 
publisher and owner. 


The first city jail, listed as the 
Calaboose , was contracted for in 1849 
at a cost limited to $48.00, and re- 
mained the city lock-up until the 
summer of 1868 (when it was destroyed 
by fire). Although, according to the 
W. H . Bates History , " it was long 
considered, especially by evil doers, 
a noisesome pestilential nuisance!" 

Just what was done with such evil 
doers within the city's confines in the 
meantime, no one seems to have taken 
the trouble to record, for there is no 
account of another jail built in Pekin 
until 1876, when Heren Brothers were 
awarded the contract "of building a 
brick calaboose on Capitol Street." 

In 1858 the city voted against the 
erection of a City Hall, apparently 
feeling that Council meetings could 
continue in homes and offices of 
members and that other city business 
could be transacted without benefit of 
a special building. The city did pur- 
chase however, in 1866 an old brick 
warehouse on Second Street to be used 
as a fire-engine house. 

However, by 1884 the citizens had 
changed their collective minds, and 
plans for a City Hall and engine house 
were approved. This project completed 
in 1886 at a cost of $6,000 is the 
present City Hall, fire engine house, 
and city jail, at the corner of North 
Fourth and Margaret Streets. 


Soon after the county seat was moved 
back to Pekin from Tremont in 1848, a 
local committee appointed by the Legis- 
lature made plans for the erection of a 
court house which was immediately begun 
and finished that same year at a cost 
of $8,000, funds having been con- 
tributed almost entirely by Pekin 
Citizens. Many materials in the new 




The present firm of Jansen & Schaefer 
was incorporated in 1915 when D.H. Jan- 
sen and Fred Schaefer, Jr. bought out 
the old building firm of Jansen & Zoeller 
which had been in the building con- 
struction business under various 
names since 1889. 

For many years the office and shop 
were located at 212 N. Capitol St. but 
with a gradually expanding business, it 
was found necessary to acquire more 
working space. Land was purchased on 
East Broadway in 1933 and the final 
move into the new office was made in 
1946. A modern ready-mix concrete plant 
was erected at the new location in 1947. 

Jansen & Schaefer have always been 
interested primarily in street and high- 
way construction and built their first 
state highway in 1919. This was follow- 
ed by many projects located in practically 
every part of the State of Illinois. 

Although primarily interested in high- 
way work, the firm has done a consider- 
able amount of building work, including 
such local projects as the Pekin Park 
Swimming Pool, Pekin High School 
Memorial Stadium and the Kriegsman 
Transfer Co. Warehouse. 

The present, officers of the firm 
are Fred Schaefer, Jr. , President; 
Norman R. Jansen, Vice President; 
James N. Jansen, Treasurer, and H. 
R. McNally, Secretary. 




PEKIN NEWS AGENCY is an authorized 
agent for magazine and newspaper 
subscriptions. We offer a complete 
mail subscription department for all 
types of magazines in order to give 
Pekinites the advantages of buying 



f". 1Q3 

in one's own community where you are 
assured of safe, ethical and reliable 
mailing service. 

Mr. Maurice B. Smith, the manager, 
is the wholesale distributor of 
magazines, newspapers and merchandise 
for the entire Pekin Area. 

522 Court Street 

Karamel Korn Blades 
Pop Corn Supplies 
Novelties Greeting Cards 

522 Court Street 
PHONE 2016 


Pektn Post Office and Federal Building 

building were local products -- sand- 
stone for the foundation having been 
quarried about five miles northeast of 
Pekin; and brick made on East Bluff. 

Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, 
John A. Logan, and Robert G. Ingersoll 
were among the famous persons who 
practiced law within its walls during 
its 60 or more years, until the early 
1900' s. 

County offices, "large, convenient, 
and fire proof throughout" were built 
in 1856-7 opposite the present Tazewell 
Hotel. These were torn down at the time 
the present court house was built. 

A new county jail was built in Court 
House Square replacing one erected ten 
years previously. This was a two story 
brick structure, containing offices and 
stone cells capable of holding 15-20 
prisoners, with sheriff's family 
quarters located above them, and cost 
5.7,000. It remained until 1S92 when the 
present county jail and sheriff's 
residence was erected. 

In 1913 Tazewell County needed a new 
court house, and a resolution was in- 
troduced at a meeting of the County 
Board of Supervisors providing for 
such, and a bond issue of $250,000 to 
defray the cost. Having received the 
unanimous approval of the Board, the 
issue was voted upon and carried at a 
special county election called for 
October 20, 1913. 

Corner stone ceremonies were held 

November 14, 1914; and two years later, 
in 1916 was completed Pekin' s beautiful 
new County Court House at an entire 
cost of $212,964, including walks and 
grading of the grounds. 


The location of the Pekin post 
office during the early years seems to 
have had nothing on the rroverbial 
rolling stone, for one early chronicle 
tells us that "it is impossible to name 
all the locations". We do know that 
about 1866, it was located on the south 
side of the 300 block on Court Street 
about three doors from the railroad. 

Then after being moved to the middle 
of the Mark' s block west of the rail- 
road, it remained there until 1897; 
when it was again moved to the Flynn 
Building -- in the new Boston block. 
The first postmaster appointed in 1832, 
was Robert Alexander. First city free 
delivery of mail was made in 1886. 

In 1892 an appropriation of $70,000 
was made "with additional appropri- 
ations up to $80,000 for a Federal 
building for Pekin." Finally, after 
much heated controversy, the site of 
the former Prettyman Homestead at 
Elizabeth and South Capitol was chosen 
and purchased for $15,000. 

But when local bids, based on plans 
and specifications submitted by the 






Mr. Elmer Saylor opened the Pekin 
Auto Body Co. at the corner of Fifth 
and Ann Eliza streets in 1930. This 
business of repairing wrecked auto- 
mobiles and twenty-four-hour wrecker 
service expanded so quickly in the 
next six years that a new location 
became necessary. 

In 1937 the business was incor- 

PHONE 7 3 

porated. Present stockholders are 
Elmer Saylor, Harold Saylor and Ber- 
nice Saylor. 

This reputable company, that 
gives reliable service, has grown 
from a one-man shop to a business 
employing twenty people. 

As Pekin reaches the completion 
of its first century the Saylors of- 
fer heartiest congratulations. 



Q. C. WEGHORST, owner 





Pekin, III. 



Daily Service Between Pekin & Peoria 


Ph. Pekin 449 Ph. Peoria 43171 

Since Jan . 1 . 1945 


402 S. Third St. Phone 818 


One of Pekin' s early homes, the log cabin still stanaing at the corner 
oJ S. Third and Fayette streets, was discovered inside a frame residence 
that was torn down a few years ago at this location. As far as known it is 
the only one left in Pekin. Before long it will be razed to make room for a 
modern J. P. Office. 


supervising architect of the Treasury 
Department in 1904, were forwarded to 
Washington, they were all rejected be- 
cause they were not within the limits 
of the contract price; and new bids had 
to be submitted. Consequently, it was 
not until several years later that the 
splendid Pekin post office building was 

Besides the post office, the build- 
ing houses, on the second floor Pekin' s 
Home Bureau, the Army recruiting 
offices, and the offices of the 
Treasury Department. 

The Pekin office at present employs 
34 regulars and 8 substitutes under Roy 
S. Preston, postmaster. Postal receipts 
for the fiscal year 1948 were 
$139.908. 24. 


To Gideon H. Hawley goes the credit 
for starting the first hotel in the 
village in 1830. shortly after Townsite 
had been renamed Pekin. How long this 
hotel operated or how well apparently 
was not recorded. But we do know that 
1839 saw the establishment of the 
Columbia Hotel, which so far as can be 
ascertained, was the forerunner of the 
present Windsor Hotel on Margaret and 

The year 1848 witnessed the estab- 
lishment of two so-called "first-class" 
hotels -- the Eagle, kept by Mr. Seth 
Kinman and the Taylor House, run by 
William A. Tinney. This afterwards be- 
came the Mansion House. 

However, according to the Bates 
history, the two most prominent hotels 
of early Pekin were the American, torn 
down in 1874 and rebuilt as the 
Planters House; and the Tazewell 
House, which in 1859 was purchased and 
operated by William A. Tinney and had 
the reputation of being "the most com- 
modious and best- kept house in the 
city", catering to such guests as 
Abraham Lincoln. Stephan A. Douglas, 
and other notables of the time. It re- 
tained its name until it was purchased 
by Mr. T.K. Bemis, who renamed it the 
Bemis House, the name by which it was 
known until it was abandoned and torn 
down in the early 1900' s and the site 
converted into the present Bemis Park 
at the west end of Court Street. 

In the summer of 1879, a Mrs. E. 
Barber added a third story to t>he 
building "south of the county build- 
ings," converting it into a hotel, 
which later became the Woodard House. 
This was destroyed by fire in 1899. 

Reference is made, too, in the Bates 
188 7 Directory and History , of the 
erection in 1881 of the Union House at 
Court and Second by Leonhard Dietrich, 
and of the Sherman House by John Weber 

in 1874 at the corner of Second and St. 
Mary Streets: and the same directory 
lists seven hotels operating in Pekin 
at the time of its publication; Bemis 
House, 101 Court; Central House, 401 
Margaret; Planters House, 423 Court; 
Sherman House. 201 St. Mary; Tremont 
House, 501 Court; Union House, 130 
Court; and Woodard' s Hotel. 424 Eliza- 
beth. We next hear that it was destroyed 
by fire in 1899, at that site, on which 
later was built the present Tazewell 
Hotel. The address is now 350 Elizabeth 
due to the fact that at that time we 
had only one 300 block. 

When the Tazewell was erected, we 
are told that it was extremely popular 
and was usually crowded, especially on 
Sundays, by traveling men, who pre- 
ferred it's accommodations to those 
offered in Peoria and other neighboring 

Today there are four hotels in 
Pekin: The Tazewell at 350 Elizabeth 
Street, with 42 rooms, being the 
largest; The Illinois, 210 St. Mary; 
The Windsor, 101 North Fourth; and 
Central Hotel. 333 Margaret. 


Older Pekin residents recall with 
pride the days of Gehrig' s Famous 7th 
Regiment Band, an organization which 
became known throughout Illinois in the 
late 19th and early 20th centuries. But 
starting at the beginning, the first 
Pekin band was organized in 1865 by 
Edward Gehrig, Sr. . a civil war veteran 
cigar maker. 

Before moving to Pekin, Mr. Gehrig 
had organized a band and an orchestra 
in Peoria. At that time, there being no 
orchestra in Pekin, the Peoria music 
makers were often hired to come down 
the river to play at dances and other 
functions. Finally, liking both Leader 
Gehrig and his enthusiastic interest in 
music. Pekin lured him, away from Peoria 
to establish his cigar factory here in 
1865 -- and. incidentally or otherwise, 
to organize a community band. In 1880 
this became known as Gehrig's 7th 
Regiment Band, and continued as such 
until 1925. In 1901. at Leader Gehrig' s 
death, his son, Charles P. Gehrig, took 
over and continued as leader for 20 
years. Thus, for 56 years. Pekin' s city 
band was under the direction of a 
Geh rig. 

In the meantime, in 1870, Roehrs and 
Dietrich Union Band also furnished 
music for city and other affairs; in 
1885 was organized the Pekin Opera 
House Band; in 1925, Bauer's Military 
Band; and in 1925, the Pekin Municipal 
Band, which was Incorporated in 1929 
by Karl A. Zerwekh. L.C. Toel, and Dr. 
G.C. Cleveland. This band today serves 






Manufacturers of 

r. n. Soldwedel & Son* 


301 Elizabeth Street 
Phone 28 

Timm Soldwedel - 1880 

Over eighty years ago Timm Sold- 
wedel moved with his wife and four 
daughters from Germany to a farm 
near Manito. With hogs selling at 2* 
a pound and corn at 184 a bushel, 
farming was unprofitable, so, with 
the offer of some financial backing 
and the cooperation and help of his 
family, in 1880 he bought the herd 
and dairy business from the Zimmer- 
man estate of Pekin and moved to the 
farm on east Broadway road. 

Four sons, all born in .America, 
were too young to help much, so the 
chores fell to the girls, with Dora 
taking the milk route, making the 
daily deliveries for eight years, 
rain or shine, sleet or snow. In the 
winter the milk froze in the cans 
and in the summer two deliveries a 
day were necessary to deliver the 
milk sweet. It was hauled in large 
cans and the customers, on hearing 
the milkman's bell, brought pit- 
chers, pans or pails to be filled at 
the wagon for 7$ a quart. 

Herd oil Soldwedel Dairy Farm 
36 years ago 

The Soldwedel milk wagon in those 
days was as popular and well known 
on the streets of Pekin as are the 
modern Del' s trucks today. Many of 
Pekin' s older residents who were 
customers in the early days are 
still having Soldwedel milk and 
products delivered to their doors 

The Soldwedel dairy herds were 
blue ribbon winners many times at 
the Illinois State Fair, often being 
driven there on foot. In 1893 they 
were entered in the Missouri State 
Fair in St. Louis and practically 
"won everything" as Hine wired 
ho me. 

The first auto truck delivery 


The Modern Plant 

After the death of the father, 
Timm, it was Fred (now president of 
the firm) who carried on. He moved 
the business to a farm on the north 
edge of Pekin at the end of Capitol 
street. There with the help of his 
wife and family, five were boys, 
Paul, Carl, Fred Jr., and twins Tim 
and Henry, the business was devel- 
oped and expanded from the early 
type of dairy to a modern dairy, 

The next move was to a plant at 
No. 9 N. Fifth St. , where pasteur- 
izing equipment was added. As they 
outgrew that plant the present loca- 
tion on Elizabeth Street was pur- 
chased and the manufacture of butter 
and icecream was added. 

FredH. Soldwedel, President 
of F. H. Soldwedel Co. i9i9 

Deliveries have oeen going to this 
home since the days when Miss Dora 
drove the nilk aagon. 

As constant growth demanded more 
and more working space, more build- 
ings and ground were purchased and 
improved to handle the increased 
manufacturing and as garages for the 
many Del's trucks that may be seen 
on the streets of Pekin, on the 
highways and in surrounding towns. 

During World War II Del's milk 
and cheese and other products were 
shipped to army camps near and far. 

Today Fred H. Soldwedel is pres- 
ident of the company, with sons Tim 
and Henry in active management. 
Growth and progress still go on, new 
ideas and products are developed and 
the P. H. Soldwedel Co. keeps pace 
with the times and grows with Pekin. 



104 N. Seventh St. Phone 743 

Domestic, Conmiercial & Industrial Wiring 
50 Years Electrical Experience in Pekin 

!^ SvendscD 

• General Contractor 

Office and Shop 712 Derby St. Phone 14D2-J 




» ►All Work Covered by Workmen's Compensation and Public Liability Insurance 




62/ S. Third 

Phone 207 0.J 

Colonial Ice Cream is so named 
because of the old fashioned method 
of manufacturing process used. It' s 
being frozen in an old fashioned tub 
with salt and ice. Just the way 
gramma used to make it years ago. 

Started by Mr. and Mrs. Ross E. 
Dickson in September 1947, after Mr. 
Dickson' s release from the Army Air 
Corps. It is located in a residen- 
tial district one block south of 
Washington on Third. A little hard 
to find but well worth the effort. 


Johnny Monge, Prop. 
6?3 So. Second - Pekin, 111. 
Phones - 655 - 1758- W - 9? 


the community at public concerts and 
parades and is directed at present by 
Harold Beach. 

Pioneer band members still living in 
the community include: Karl A. Zerwekh, 
Rudy Haake. Ed Joerger, and August W. 
Lauterbach. Mr. Lauterbach at one time 
was organizer and director also of an 
old German Band, "The Hayseed Band" 
which used to play for Turner dances in 
the old Standard Theater mentioned 
elsewhere . 


Also in Pekin today are three ex- 
cellent school bands. D.L. Costa 
directs the Pekin Community High School 
group; and James A. Keith is director 
of two grade school groups -- the first 
band composed of approximately 90 grade 
and junior high members who have had 
some musical training and the second 

band composed of about 100 members, 
which acts as a feeder for the First 
Band group. 


/^ project of Pekin' s more recent 
years, the Pekin Public Hospital, at 
14th Street and Park Avenue, has a 
capacity of 90 beds and 20 basinettes 
and is equipped to handle all types of 
medical, surgical, pediatric, and 
obstetrical cases -- a single exception 
being communicable diseases: and thus 
is qualified to give a well-rounded 
health service to citizens of Pekin and 
its environs. A non-profit community 
institution, it is staffed by phy- 
sicians resident in the community. 
Equipment includes a blood bank, 
laboratory. X-ray, incubator bed, iron 
lung, and other special services. 

To the original 18-bed capacity 



The beautiful , modernistic structure above represents the plans submitted 
by George Poppo Hearda, Pekin architect, for the proposed addition to be built 
onto the vest end of Pekin public hospital on the Park avenue side, at an es- 
timated cost of one and a quarter to one and one-half million dollars. The netc 
addition, uhich will move the hospital entrance from Fourteenth street to Park 
avenue, vill increase facilities from the now-present 92 bed capacity to 150 
bed capacity. It also will provide a completely - equipped, top-floor surgical 
department, and the cost will cover all equip^nt, including the dishes. Of 
the estimated cost, $750,000 must be raised locally, with the larger area 
industries being counted upon to assume the bulk of the load. With Pekin being 
given an A-11 priority for hospital expansion in the state, at least 18 per- 
cent of the amount has been guaranteed by the State of Illinois, to be made 
available sometime between three months and a year and one- half , depending 
upon how soon Pekin will be determined next in line. The new addition will 
require 15 months to two years to be completed. The original Pekin public 
hospital was erected m 1913, and the first annex was built in 1930. 


PcKin Foundry £c Manufacturing Co. 



Gray Iron 
, Alloy 


Do you remember way back when the foundry was located on 
the corner of Court & Fifth Sts, , the present site of the 
Arlington? It was then the Duisdieker foundry owned by 
Mr. Duisdieker who moved it to our present location in 
1893. Since 1926 it has been known as PEKIN FOUNDRY & 


It Lasts a "HOUSETIME" 

Yes, an Eagle-Piclier Certifird Insulation 
Job actually lasts a "housetime"'. Water 
repellent and chemically and physically 
stable, Eaple-Picher Mineral Wool Insu- 
lation will not settle or break down when 
installed in your house. 
Get the comfort and fuel economy that 
every house needs. 


Call us /or a Free Estimate 




brick building, completed and equipped 
in 1913 at a cost of $50,000, was 
added in 1931 a $90,000 four story 
brick south wing annex. Again, in 1940, 
it was expanded to its present capacity 
through the addition of a fourth floor 
to the original building and other im- 
provements; and at present further 
expansion plans are in the making. 

The hospital is a member of the 
American Hospital Association, the 
Illinois Hospital Association, the Blue 
Cross Plan for Hospital Care, and is 
registered with the American Medical 
Association. It is governed by a board 
of nine members and the city mayor, 
ex-officio member. Bernard Hoffman is 
president of the Board. 


Cooperating with the executive board 
in securing help and money for hospital 
needs is the Pekin Hospital Auxiliary, 
organized in 1941. This group of some 
1,000 women, with Mrs. Vernon Heckman, 
president, pay membership dues of $1.00 
each and carry out two annual pro- 
jects -- a card party and a bazaar, 
with bulk profits going to the hospital 
for special equipment and other needs. 


One of the commendable community 
enterprises of Pekin today is its 

splendid summer recreational program. 
Carried on in the several city parks 
whose size and location are ideal for 
such activity are projects including 
free swimming lessons, supervised games 
and hobby classes, and fishing derbies 
for youngsters; an open a-ir nursery for 
the tiniest members of the family; 
square dancing for Pa, Ma, and even 
Grandma; and swimming and boating for 

The Pekin Park District was organ- 
ized in 1902. However, a Pekin park 
goes back 20 years previous to the 
spring of 1882, when a citizens' meet- 
ing was held to organize a company, 
purchase ground, lay out a park, and 
drill an artesian well. A charter was 
procured from the Secretary of State, a 
company organized, and $5,000 worth of 
stock issued and sold. 

Then a 990 foot well was bored to 
provide mineral water for Park use and 
from that the park received its name. 
In the report of an analysis made by 
Dr. Emil Pfeifer. head of the Wies.baden 
(Germany) Sanitorium, we find that he 
•compared the water to that produced by 
the spring of Baden-Baden and added: 
"it will produce the same effects of 
Baden-Baden or Wiesbaden, especially in 
gout, rheumatism, stomach troubles or 
sick headache." A chemical analysis 
made April 1896 by the University of 
Illinois showed the water to contain 
a total of 179.44 grains of mineral 

Three thousand trees were soon set 

pf- -r i 






The 1880's, left to right: Gus John, 
Bart Jost, Jr., Bookkeeper (un- 
identified). Wn. J. Lohnes, Bart 
Jost, Sr., John G. Heisel. 

Th e s ane location 19^9 , left to 
right: Henry Penno, Dick Ball, Ed 
B own an, Mart Bowman. 

320 Court St. has been a shoe 
store location for almost sixty- five 
years. The original store was known 
as Ehrlicher's Shoe Store and in the 
1880' s was operated by Fred W. Ehr- 
licher (an yncle to George and 
Arthur Ehrlicher of Schipper & Block 
Co.) and John J. Fink, partners. A 
picture of the original store ap- 
pears on this page. 

It was later sold to John G. 
Heisel and Wm. J. Lohnes and the 
name changed to Heisel & Lohnes. It 
remained under their management for 
fifteen or twenty years when Mr. 
Heisel bought his partner's share 
and dropped the name Lohnes from the 
firm name. (Mr. Lohnes subsequently 
joined with two business men from 
Peoria and bought the P. Steinmetz 
Dry Goods Store which became Lohnes, 
Merkle & Renfer, where he estab- 
lished a shoe department.) 

In its early years, when the re- 
pair department was part of the shoe 
store, Bart Jost, Sr. was the shoe 
maker and his teenage son Bartlin 
Jr. , who through the span of his 
life spent over fifty years as a 
shoe salesman in the 300 block on 

Court St. , was also an employee of 
Ehrlicher. To this day old customers 
reminisce about "good old Bart" when 
they shop at the B & H where he 
spent the last active years of his 

The John G. Heisel Co. continued 
and after World War I it was re- 
modeled and the present attractive 
front installed. (Juality shoes were 
featured then as today. 

About 1924 it was sold to Sam 
Sandler, an old shoe merchant from 
Peoria, who shortly after sold it to 
two brothers-in-law, Ed EBowman and 
Sid Herman, who changed the name to 
the B & H Shoe Store, the name it 
has carried for the past twenty- 
three years. 

Ed Bowman bought out Herman a few 
years later. _A short time after, his 
son Mort joined the firm and took 
over active management. The store 
has tried to establish a reputation 
for honest dealings in business and 
a quality line of merchandise at all 
times, while keeping pace with the 
times in modern conveniences and 
methods . 


A Good Place to Buy Good Shoes 
3?0 Court Street Phone 831 


out in the newly purchased 40 acre 
tract, a lagoon scraped out, and in 
1883 a bath house was erected. During 
the next years were constructed a 
swimming pool, a pagoda , and roads and 
fountains; and the people of Pekin were 
happy to have a fine park without cost 
to the citizens. But a cyclone blew 
down the bath house, the pagoda, and a 
band stand; the company found itself in 
arrears, and finally Thomas Cooper, 
president, paid the bills himself, 
bought up the stock, put up a new 
modern building east of the lake, and 
repaired the bath house. Before this 
he had offered the park to the city for 
$6,000, but his offer was rejected. 
Some time later he sold the park to 
Pred and Henry Schnellbacher and Henry 
Saal for $9,000. Soon afterward a fire 
destroyed the club house and the owners 
again offered the park to the city, 
this time for ^13,000 -- and again were 
rejected by a vote of the citizens, 
showing that the people of Pekin ap- 
parently did not want a park. However, 
in 1902, it was voted to purchase 
Mineral Springs Park for $22,500 and 
thus it became city property. Plans 
were immediately made and a contract 
let in 1903 for the erection of a 
pavilion and a palm house costing ap- 
proximately $15,000. The next spring 
the lake was deepened and improved for 
use of pleasure boating. 

In the summer of 1935, after a 
second sulphur well had been sunk to a 
depth of 1,080 feet to establish an 
adequate water supply, a new 532,000 
gallon capacity outdoor pool was con- 
structed, the second largest in the 
state and one of the finest in the 
Middle West. In May 1937, the pool 
project was completed with the opening 
of a splendid new bath house at a total 
cost of $150,000 including the pool. 
The new bath house has 15, 000 square 
feet of floor. space, 12 individual tub 
rooms, 13 private dressing rooms for 
women swimmers and hot and cold mineral 
water for tubs and shower baths. 

Besides the pool. Mineral Springs 
Park, with its 92 acres, contains base- 
ball and soft ball diamonds, 3 concrete 
tennis courts, a dancing pavilion, out- 
door ovens, bench and picnic tables and 
a lagoon for boating and fishing in 
summer and ice skating in winter. Pekin 
also owns 4 other parks: Willow, 2 
acres at Willow and North Fifth; Bemis, 
1 acre at Front and Court; the Blen- 
kiron Tot-Lot, 1 acre at Park and South 
Sixth, bequeathed to the Pekin Park 
district in the will of MissAnna Blen- 
kiron. May 1945, as a playground for 
chilaren from 2-6 years of age; and the 
Park View 9 hole Municipal Golf course 
of 118 acres adjoining Mineral springs 
to the north and east. 


Indoor public recreation in the 
"good old days" of Pekin' s history 
seems to have been centered mainly 
around Opera Houses or halls, one of 
the earliest and most popular having 
been the Old Empire Hall located on the 
second floor of a building in the 200 
block Court Street. Although the exact 
date is indefinite, the Old Empire 
seems to have come into existence some 
time in the early 1850' s, and to have 
been used for dances, shows, entertain- 
ments, graduation exercises, and what 

The Turner Society, a German organi- 
zation in Pekin' s earlier days, also 
opened a hall for social recreational 
purposes about 1867, when they pur- 
chased the Old Cincinnati School build- 
ing on the south west corner of Third 
and Franklin. In 1890 the Turners built 
a "grand new Opera House" on the corner 
of Capitol and Elizabeth, and the 
popularity of the Old Empire declined 
in favor of the newer, more commodious 

But about the turn of the century, 
with the organization in Pekin of a 
Y.M.C.A. (said to be an Americanization 
of the German Society), the Turners 
gradually passed out of existence and 
the once popular Opera House was con- 
verted into the Standard Theater. This 
was later remodeled into a motion 
picture theater and renamed the Capitol 
Theater, which it remained until 1928 
when it was razed to make room for the 
present beautiful $250,000 Pekin 
Theater building, erected by Mrs. Anna 

But before the time of motion 
picture theaters, an interesting tran- 
sition from Opera House days was taking 
place. The first motion picture thea- 
ters, called electric theaters, opened 
in Pekin in 1906', three of them at 
approximately the same time, all with 
most interesting names -- The Dre am- 
land at 302 Court, later changed to the 
Rialto, which by the way, is the only 
one of the original three still in 
operation: the Unique at 9 South 
Capitol in the Arcade Building: and the 
Vaudette at 24 South Fourth. The title 
"electric theater" was soon changed to 
"Nickelodeon." Others were the Court at 
431 Court and the Idlehour where the 
Telephone Company is now. 

Apparently attendance at these early 
"movies" in Pekin, as well as else- 
where, offered some interesting exper- 
iences for the "nickel" fee. Patrons 
sat on collapsible chairs, facing a 
sheet draped at one end of the room 
opposite a projecting machine with the 
operator mounted on a box. Early 
patrons here recall with amusement that 
it was a common practice for the 







=". TIRES .^ 


521 Court Street Phone 13 

The Roy T. Rau Tire & Appliance 
Company was formed just five years 
ago. In those five years, this firm 
has lightened the burdens of Pekin' s 
housewives who have purchased West- 
inghouse Appliances, and has given 
Pekin car owners many thousarids of 
carefree driving on Good Year Tires 

and Tubes. 

Besides the famous Westinghouse 
and Goodyear name, Rau's sells 
lighting fixtures, a complete line 
of electrical supplies used in all 
home building, Ironrite Ironers, 
"The World's Finest Ironers," and 
complete service on all Westinghouse 


Four teenfh and Ann Eliza Streets 

Charles E. Robison started the the pattern shop 
Excel Brass and Aluminum Foundry 
from scratch about seventeen years 
ago. At that time there was one 
small building and just one em- 
ployee. Since its beginning there 
have been eight additions to the 
Foundry and besides keeping a dozen 
men busy in two machine shops and 

"good cast ings- ' -good service---honest prices. 

the business em- 
ploys about forty workers. 

Excel made castings are shipped 
around the world in the great mach- 
ines built by Caterpillar Tractor 
Co. and at the present time they are 
making parts in all types of non- 
ferrous metals. 



Corner Ninth & Derby Streets 

PHONE 1805 

Joe Ozella has been a groceryman 
for just ten years, but in those few 
years his gross yearly business has 
increased more than ten times. This 
has been due to diligent work, an 
amiable personality and fine foods 
and service. 

After working as a coal miner, 
Mr. Ozella opened his first grocery 
store in 1939 at the corner of 
Seventh and Derby Streets, and later 
built the modern market which now 
serves hundreds of families in Pekin. 

Ten years ago, when we were look- 
ing for a permanent home for our 
Rex Insured Gas and Oil System, we 
chose Pekin. We liked its friendly 
people, its cooperative business, 
its community spirit. 

We have been happy to work and 
grow with this good community, from 
which we operate our friendly and 
progressive system of Rex Insured 
service stations. 

And, just as we're proud of our 
city, we're proud of the fine quali- 
ty of our products and our service. 

-Rex Kluitip- 





machine to break down several times 
during a show and time taken out for 
repairs while spectators waited. 

At present there are several modern 
auditoriums and places for dancing 
available in Pekin schools and other 
buildings, as well as three motion 
picture theaters -- The Pekin at 
Capitol and Elizabeth Streets; The 
Empire, 327 Court: and the Rialto, 302 

Also there is at work currently a 
planning committee of teen agers with 
two adult advisers, attempting to 
formulate plans for the establishment 
of a Teen Age Center where Pekin' s 
young people may congregate for rec- 
reation purposes. 


The first group burial ground in 
Pekin was Haines Graveyard, given by 
Joseph Haines prior to 1830. His 
daughter-in-law. Jane Adams Haines, was 
the first tenant of this cemetery. 

This was followed, about 1830, by 
City Cemetery, on the approximate site 
of the present Quaker Oats Company 
plant. Here were buried some of the 
oldest and most prominent citizens of 
earlier times. However, later it was 
abandoned as a burial ground except for 
paupers who were interred there at the 
expense of the town. 

Because of the cholera and malignant 
typhoid epidemics in the fall of 1834, 
need for more burial space became im- 
perative and Tharp Cemetery, the 
present site of Douglas School, came 
into existence. Later this, too, was 
abandoned; and when the school was 
contracted for, the bodies were moved 
to present Lakeside Cemetery. 

We find no more records of ceme- 
teries in the city until 1857, when the 
Sons of Temperance Order purchased land 
for burial purposes near the Bluff 
school. Shortly thereafter the trustees 
of that order also plotted a cemetery 
north of town and named it Oak Grove. 

To D. Oilman Bailey and his wife is 
given the credit for platting the 
original Lakeside Cemetery about 1873. 
This and Oak Grove and Schillings 
addition were incorporated in 1901 as 
the present Lakeside Cemetery, follow- 
ing the formation of a cemetery associ- 
ation in 1898. 

A beautiful mausoleum, built at the 
south end of the cemetery, was dedicat- 
ed Sunday, June 23, 1929. This is a 
$252,000 structure, perpetually endowed 
containing 11 private family rooms, 944 
single crypts, and 90 niches for cre- 
mation urns. In December 1948. an elec- 
tric phonograph system was built for 
the mausoleum and installed as a memor- 
ial to Mrs. P.J. Kriegsman by her 


While Lakeside Cemetery was being 
developed, a Catholic cemetery was 
being laid out adjoining it to the 
north; and within the last decade 
another Catholic Cemetery, St. Joseph's 
has been established south of Pekin on 
the South Fifth Street road, outside of 
the city limits. 

As increased population created a 
need for more space for burials, the 
new Lakeview Cemetery was laid out on 
North Eighth Street across from Lake- 
side, with Frank Rosenberg, Inc. hold- 
ing the controlling stock interest. To 
this were transferred the bodies from 
the abandoned City Cemetery. 

The last cemetery to be established 
in Pekin was the veteran Memorial, also 
on North Eighth Street, south of Lake- 
view, a one and one fourth acre plot 
centered around a memorial shaft dedi- 
cated to Pekin' s World War II dead. 
Congressman Dirksen dedicated the 
Memorial on Sunday, May 18, 1947. 

Serving also as a burial ground for 
Pekin, but outside of city limits, are 
the recently established Glendale 
Memorial Gardens, located east of town 
on the Tremont road. 


The Pekin Association of Commerce 
had its origin in The Citizens Improve- 
ment Association, almost 60 years ago 
when a group of civic-minded men banded 
together to go about a systematic ac- 
tivity to secure new industries for 
Pekin. Everett W. Wilson was president 
of the group. 

Ten years later, in 1900. The Pekin 
Retail Merchants Association was or- 
ganized with Ferd Pauley, president, 
and Fred Helm, Secretary. The purpose 
of this organization was to promote 
better business practices and systems. 
In 1904. the previously organized 
Citizens Improvement Association, with 
E. L. Conklin, president at the time, 
changed its name to the Pekin Com- 
mercial Club, and later in 1911 merged 
with the Retail Merchants Association, 
retaining the name of the Pekin Com- 
mercial Club. 

The Pekin Association of Commerce as 
it is today was reorganized under its 
present name in April 1916, with 
William E. Schurman, President; Phil H. 
Sipfle, association secretary; and Miss 
Maude M. Smith, assistant secretary, a 
position in which she is still serving. 

Through the years, the organization 
has grown with the community which it 
serves, numbering among its members the 
leading business, industrial, and pro- 
fessional men of Pekin. It is an active 
organization through which business 
units cooperate and coordinate their 






415 S. Second St. 

The Pekin Dairy, located at 415 S. 
Second St., was 10 years old when it 
was purchased in 1945 by J. Carl and 
Frieda Law. Their partnership during 
the past four years has been eminently 

Indicative of the growth of The Pekin 
Dairy are certain startling statistics 
both in increased production and sales 
of which Mr. and Mrs. Law are justifi- 
ably proud. 

For instance in 1945 there were four 
home delivery routes operated from the 
Dairy. Today there are seven routes in 
all. The route salesmen include John 
Cash, Edwin Lewis, Harold Bastian, 
Harold Hoyle, Harry Allard, George Ep- 
kins, George Deppert and Alma Noard. 
One relief driver is employed - Norman 
Morrison. Presley Bastian is employed 
as the sales manager. 

Within the past two years Pekin Dairy 
has installed its own homogenizing 
equipment and is now furnishing residents 

Phone ?78 

of this community with Vitamin D hom- 
ogenized milk containing 400 U.S. P. 
units per quart of Vitex Natural Vitamin 

Pekin Dairy is now a "Grade A" plant 
having met with the rules and specifica- 
tions set up by the State of Illinois. 

Installation of new refrigeration equip- 
ment and a larger ice cream freezer has 
increased the ice cream production to 
four times what it was when purchased by 
the present owners. 

Today plans, are being drawn for ex- 
tensive additions and remodeling, to 
include a new store front and greater 
working space to accommodate the wide- 
spread acceptance of Pekin Dairy's pro- 
ducts-butter, cottage cheese, milk, 
chocolate milk, ice cream and orange 

Pekin Dairy is adding to the progress 
of this community both with its building 
program and with the employment of 
thirty of its residents. 


SOO South 

Joe Hines 

Mines Brothers Farm Chemical 
Store is not only one of the newest 
enterprises in the Pekin area, but 
is also one of the most unique. It 
was begun in February 1949, and is 
the only exclusive farm chemical 
store in Central Illinois. 


Roy Hines 

Chemicals to kill weeds, hoppers, 
stock insects, household bugs and 
chicken mites are sold by Hines 
Brothers, and a complete spraying 
service is offered. 

This new service for Pekin and 
the surrounding country wishes to 
congratulate the city on its 100th 


800 South Second 

PHONE 824 

Ten years ago, in February 1939, 
the Hines Oil company was founded 
by Joe Hines, and in those ten 
years, the company has expanded 
with Pekin. 

Wholesale and retail gasoline 

and oil are dispensed from the 
station at 800 South Second Street, 
where the slogan is; "I have no 
quarrel with the fellow who sells 
for less -- he knows what it is 
worth . " 


efforts toward community improvement 
and prosperity; and as an organization 
it has been a large contributing factor 
to the progress of Pekin. The program 
of the organization covers a wide scope 
of community activities including the 
Melon Festival, 4-H Club Show, Santa 
Claus Parade. Fourth of July Cele- 
bration, etc. 

Dr. D.W. Turner is current president 
of the group with Britt B. Blair, 
association secretary. 


Pairs and festivals are not new to 
Pekin. for records show a county fair 

Pekin's First St. Fair, 1898 

held here as early as 1870. However, 
the city street fairs, held first in 
1898 and for several subsequent years 
were highlights in entertainment with 
elaborate booths, erected by Pekin 
merchants to advertise their wares, 
down the middle of Court Street. A 
program advertising the second annual 
Pekin Street fair for October 11-14, 
1899, describes the first fair in these 
glowing terms: 

"The first Street Pair in Pekin was 
witnessed by thousands who went away 
charmed and delighted. Booths with 
rich, elaborate, and bright colored 
decorations were as a feature from 
Fairyland, and the flower parade was a 
dream of beauty. " 

The 18 page program then goes on to 
advertise the second fair, mentioning 
singers, dancers, acrobats, bands, and 
free shows from 16 or more elevated 
platforms. Wm. J. Conzelman was presi- 
dent of the planning committee; John 
Shade. Secretary; and Henry Birkenbush. 

Included in the program is a list of 
places of interest to visitors, includ- 
ing Kuhl's Green House, "among the 
largest and best equipped in the 
state;" the new Tazewell Club house, 
and Mineral Springs Park. Railroads 
offered lowered rates to fair visitors 
who came from miles around to join in 
the fun and festivities. 





Melon Festival Croad 1968 


Second Best Place to Eat 
11 North Fourth St. 

I came and Pekin took me in. I closed my place of business in 

Peoria, 111., during World War II when I joined the United States Navy. 
Upon my return to the U. S. A. at the conclusion of hostilities, I came to 
Pekin and started anew. 

The reception I have had here makes me realize that the things I had to 
do in time of war were worth while! 

Therefore, I wish to say to the people of Pekin 


Harry Sarnes 

Automatic Heating Equipment Co, 

The Automatic Heating Equipment 
Company became a part of Pekin' s 
business life in 1937, when Alva H, 
Nash, Ray stranz and Orval H. Nash 
began, handling Iron Fireman stokers. 
Seven years later, the company ex- 
panded to include heating equipment 
of all kinds, and the present office 
was opened, Ray Stranz, who was 
formerly in the installation and 
service department, is now the sole 

Phonet 126 and 1935-W 
owner of the business, having pur- 
chased it on July 1, 1949 

Zero water softeners, Bryant gas 
stoves and electric water heaters, 
Coleman gas and oil furnaces, Mon- 
arch ranges, Jacuzzi water systems, 
and rock wool or blanket insulation 
are also sold by the Automatic Heat- 
ing Equipment Company and they offer 
day or night service on any type 
heating equipment. 

Norris Grain Company 



Pekin brancli 


elevators in 

Pekin - Mani 

to - Chi 1 1 i CO the 



13th and Derby DALE B • 


Dale B. Cornick, concrete block 
manufacturer, is interested not only 
in Pekin' s past but also in Pekin' s 
future as a city, housed and doing 
business in well-built, long-lasting 

Cornick concrete blocks and 
bricks, now made in any color or 
size, are pianufartured to last. They 
are as strong as Gibraltar, and will 
endure as long. The finest of insul- 

CORNICK Phone 1564-M 


ation is assured by use of the new 
light-weight pumice blocks. 

Since 1938, when Mr. Cornick 
established his factory in Pekin, 
2,000,000 durable blocks have been 
manufactured, but he is constantly 
seeking, testing and experimenting 
with the newest designs and mater- 
ials in order to supply Pekin with 
the best concrete products obtain- 
able anywhere at any price. 



Tazewell County i-H Club Show 19/,9 in Mineral Sprinf^s Park 

Of special Interest to Pekinites 
today are names of present day business 
firms found among the pages of adver- 
tising -- such names as Weyrich and 
Velde & Roelf, hardware stores. Birken- 
bush Jewelry, Ehrlicher Brothers' Drugs 

and N. Reuling and Schipper and Block, 
department stores. 

The street fairs were discontinued 
sometime during the early 1900' s, to be 
replaced in later years by homecoming 
festivals and, beginning with 1947, the 
annual Watermelon Festival. 




cational, religious, govern- 
mental and social news. Infor- 
mation streams in, timed to the 
great moment--the climax of each 
day, GOING TO PRESS. Then out it 
flows thru hundreds of newsboys to 
■ tens of thousands of readers. 


Probably because of the tendency of newspapermen to regard yesterday' s 
events much in the same light as yesterday' s oatmeal, nobody has kept a 
history of The Pekin Daily Times. Started Jan. 1 1881, by Joe Irwin, some 
fine men have had their hands at the helm and have contributed of their 
wit to the Daily Times during these 69 years. 

There came, however, unhappy days in the first quarter of this century 
when the Times passed from this hand to that, and became an organ, first 
for Tom, then for Dick, then for Harry. Files and records were lost. Pin- 
ally the skilled and strong hand of McGiffin of Iowa got it. He quickly 
turned it to Gundersen of New Jersey: and with equal alacrity Gundersen 
peddled it to McNaughton of Indiana. Having taken it "for better or for 
worse," McNaughton stuck with it; and altho at first it was "worse," it took 
a turn for "better" and in the 22 years since, the Times circulation has 
doubled and doubled and doubled until now it has become one of the strong 
papers of Illinois and a powerful factor in the life and growth of Pekin 
and three mid-Illinois counties. The Times is keeping "one jump ahead " of 
Pekin. and looks forward to greater expansion. 


Tazewell Club 


One of the landmarks of Pekin is the 
Tazewell Club house, corner of South 
Fourth and St. Mary's Streets, built at 
an expenditure of approximately $12,000 
and dedicated February 12. 1896. 
Records tell us that the dedicatory 
gathering "probably marks the most 
notable social event in the history of 
the city." That the dedicatory program 
was an elaborate one is attested to by 
the fact that it included, besides 
President Henry Herget's address of 
welcome, two other addresses, a long 
recitation, and several musical 
numbers, including selections by 
Gehrig' s Band. 

The Tazewell Club was organized in 
1893 with Judge George C. Rider, presi- 
dent, and O.F. Weber, secretary of the 
organizing committee, to "promote the 
business interests of the city of Pekin 
and for the social enjoyment of its 
members," with headquarters where "the 
professional man, the business man, and 
the clerk may congregate, during 
leisure time, to enjoy a few hours in 
wholesome recreation." 

Christened "The Tazewell Club of 
Pekin", the new organization estab- 
lished headquarters on the second floor 
of the Priederich Bldg. at the corner 
of South Fourth and Elizabeth Streets. 
Here, according to early reports, 
members "enjoyed the pleasure of a cozy 
parlor and pleasant reading room, an 
attractive billiard hall and card 
room -- all of which were furnished 
with a taste that was highly commend- 

able." And here the club remained until 
the new club house was completed. 

The principal source of revenue 
then, as now, was a membership fee and 
annual dues --at that time $20 fee and 
$18 dues. Soon after organization, the 
group extended to members of the Pekin 
Woman's Club and the "Litta" Society 
the use of club rooms for their semi- 
monthly afternoon meetings, and the 
club auditorium still remains the meet- 
ing place of the Pekin Woman' s Club. 

Currently there are some 200 members 
including both senior and junior mem- 
berships, with John Velde, president, 
and William Conkel, Secretary. 


One of the early woman's cultural 
organizations which flourished in Pekin 
during the late ' 90' s was the "Litta" 
Society, organized in January 1892 at 
the home of Miss Martha Herget, later 
Mrs. George Steinmetz. Twenty young 
ladies formed the organization, "for 
musical and literary instruction, and 
entertainment for the benefit of 
friends and members." 

In 1898, the "Litta" group joined 
the 14th District Federation of Woman's 
Clubs and was active in Pekin' s Club 
history until the early 1900' s when it 
was disbanded. 


HR^nto • PEyjiuotdA 

Telephone 1850 

1300-6 Court St. 


E. E. Arterberry, President 
M. J. Arterberry, Vice-President 
W. A. Metcalf, Treasurer 
Juanita Early, Secretary 

Arterberry Motor Sales is pic- 
tured above as it appeared on Feb- 
ruary 23. 1939, when we began 
supplying DeSoto and Plymouth auto- 
mobiles to Pekinites. 

Arterberry' s was like any other 
small business-- it had a struggle 
to survive. This was accomplished 
through the confidence of the 
people of this community and the 
fine products of Chrysler Corpora- 
tion. Not only have we survived, but 
we have grown. Today the most modern 
equipment, larger facilities and a 
group of skilled mechanics and 
personnel are offered. 

Each one of our mechanics is a 
trained technician, and most of them 
have completed the three-year mech- 
anic G. I. training course. This 

schooling has enabled our men to do 
a "big job for less money," as they 
know where to look for trouble and 
and how to find it quickly. 

We are appreciative of having 
gained the confidence of many fine 
people in Pekin and Tazewell County. 
We like to serve you and your comm- 
unity, and we hope that we may 
continue to enjoy the same friendly 
relationship in the future as we 
have in the past. We still have the 
Chrysler products. Remember us when 
you think of DeSoto or Plymouth. 

As pictorial proof that we have 
grown, and will continue to do so 
with our community's support, here 
is Arterberry Motor Sales, Inc. , as 
it appears today. 





One of the oldest community organi- 
zations, the Pekin Woman's Club, began 
as the Columbian Club, organized "to 
study objects and countries in connec- 
tion with the 1893 Chicago World's 
Pair." However, in October 1893, the 
group decided to make their purpose a 
literary one and changed the name to 
The Pekin Woman' s Club , with Mrs. W.G. 
Bailey, first president. The group to- 
day has on its roster three charter 
members of the original twenty- three: 
Mrs. Franklin Velde, Mrs. Ernest 
Peyton, and Mrs. Henry Herget. 

One of the maj or- projects under- 
taken by the club during World War I, 
was the production of "The District 
School" under the presidency of Mrs. 
John Shade. This netted a sum of over 
$400 which was donated to the Red 
Cross. Also at this time was organized 
The Tazewell County Federation of 
Woman' s Clubs. 

Membership has grown to about 20O, 
with Mrs. Harry Apfel current presi- 
dent. Bimonthly programs are organized 
around four topics: The American Home; 
Art, Drama, Literature and Music, 
Civics; and Science and Education. The 
local club is affiliated with the 
General Federation of Woman's Clubs. 


Organized in 1935 with 26 charter 
members, the Junior Woman's Club, young 
Pekin women whose ages range from 18 to 
30, has grown to include 85 members. 
Mrs. John Yock is now president of the 
group, one of whose purposes is com- 
munity betterment. All profits from 
club activities are donated to local 
charity projects. 

The club's most ambitious project to 
date was last year's "Follies" produc- 
tion which netted a profit of $1,700, 
set aside by the club for the estab- 
lishment of a Pekin Teen-Age Center. 


Starting with 98 members, the Pekin 
Country Club was organized on March 24, 
1916, at its present site on East 
Bluff, on land purchased from the 
Lemuel Allen estate. William S, Pretty- 
man was its first president. 

The farm house which occupied the 
site at the time of purchase was re- 
modeled into the attractive modern 
club house In use today. About ten 
years ago, the club purchased an 
additional 50 acres, making an approxi- 
mate total of 95 acres on which it 
maintains a nine hole golf course for 

use of its some 300 members from Pekin 
and surrounding Tazewell County towns. 
Myers Mayberry is the 1949 president. 


Women of Pekin are justly proud of 
their efforts in founding and direct- 
ing a community Y.W.C.A., which came 
into existence in 1929. To Mrs. 
Martha Steinmetz belongs much of the 
credit for its organization. 

Always interested in young people, 
Mrs. Steinmetz had, a number of years 
prior to 1929, organized and sponsored 
a Girl Reserve group which held regular 
meetings in the old barn at the Stein- 
metz home on Washington Street. Out of 
this grew the organization of the 
Y.W.C.A. when a group of Pekin citizens 
met, formed the preliminary organi- 
zation, and purchased the John Stoltz 
property on Broadway to house the newly 
formed association. Mrs. Mary Holmes 
Watt was chosen to serve as secretary. 
Soon, having outgrown its original 
quarters, the organization purchased 
the Otto Koch residence at 310 South 
Fourth Street, where it now actively 
serves the community. 

Shortly after organizing, the local 
group became affiliated with the 
National Association of the Y.W.C.A. 
The Pekin Y.W.C.A. is governed by a 
board of women directors, headed at 
present by Mrs. S.O. Cox, and is 
financed largely by member fees and 
annual subscription drives and other 
donations. It carries on an extensive 
program, sponsoring a number of clubs 
meeting regularly at the Y for women 
and girls; directing activities of 
junior and senior high school Y Teen 
group, including the sponsoring of 
summer camp activities; and each winter 
sponsoring an extensive educational 
program of classes in various subjects 
and activities open to Pekin citizens. 
Miss Rose Mary Ebrie is at present 
the executive director; Mrs. Maude 
Rupert is house matron, and Miss Pat 
Stranz is office girl. 


The newest organization to bring 
cultural enjoyment to Pekin music 
lovers is the Pekin Community Concert 
Association, organized in the spring 
of 1947. for the purpose of securing 
outstanding talented artists to present 
a series of winter programs. Any member 
of the community may belong by paying 
the membership fee, which in turn, 
admits him to the winter concert 
series, the first of which was held 
during the winter of 1947-48. 

Mrs. O.W. Johnson is now president. 







Service Clubs 

Pekin's seven service clubs all with 
national affiliations, are concerned 
primarily with promoting city better- 
ment. The two oldest are the Rotary and 
Kiwanis organized in 1920. Louis C. 
Moschel was first president of Rotary , 
which is now headed by Clarence 
Preston. Current president of Kiwanis , 
organized later in the same year, is 
R.A. Milford. Judge Jesse Black was its 
first president. Al trusa Club, a 
woman's service organization with 
classification similar to that of 
Rotary, began in 1929. Miss Fern Haning 
is president now. 

The five youngest of the group so 
far as organization in Pekin is con- 
cerned are Cosmopolitan , organized in 
1930 and presided over at present by 
Robert Planck; Exchange Club, 1937, 
with Walter Schlagel current president; 
Lions Club , 1940, Mort Bowman, presi- 
dent; and Optimists , 1946, with Ed 
McClarence now presiding officer. 

Latest to have been organized is the 
Junior Chamber of Comm erce , begun in 
1946 under the direction of Willard 
Thompson. Urban Albertsen, Jr. , is now 
president of the some 30 members. All 
of these groups, composed of business 
and professional people, carry on 
yearly projects of civic and philan- 
thropic nature. 

Patriotic Organizations 

G. A. R . whose auxiliary Is the 
Women's Relief Corps -- organized after 
the civil war; now extinct in Pekin. 

Spanish American War Veterans and 
its ladies' auxiliary -- begun after 
Spanish-American War. 

American Legion , William Scha efer 
Post No_. 44. -- organized in 1919 and 
named after first Pekin service man 
killed in World War I. Oscar Kaufman 
was first commander of the Post, which 
now includes veterans of World War I 
and II. A number of organizations have 
grown out of the Legion, including 40 
and 8, which by the way, has recently 
erected a beautiful chateau on Bastile 
Lake, North Pekin; a woman's auxiliary, 
and two junior organizations. The 
Legion is at present constructing an 
American Legion Home at 718 Court 

Veterans of Foreign wars -- Roy L. 
King Post -- another veteran's group 
organized after World War I exclusively 
for men who served on foreign soil. 
There is also a woman's auxiliary. 

Clubs that grew out of World War II 

The Tobin-Nanninga Detachment of 
Marine Corps League -- named after the 
two Pekin boys who lost their lives at 
Pearl Harbor. There is also a ladies' 

Pekin Navy Club -- and its Ladies' 

Other Clubs and Organizations 

There are at present in Pekin some 
200 other clubs and organizations -- 
social, semi-social, philanthropic and 
professional in character which lack of 
space prohibits listing. Pekin also has 
local chapters of American Red Cross, 
Tazewell County Tuberculosis Associ- 
ation, and American Cancer Society, as 
well as active groups of Boy and Girl 
Scouts, affiliated clubs of the Farm 
Bureau, and various fraternal organi- 

Many other clubs and organizations. 

The Chateau, home nf the I'ekin iO & 8 





303-31! Margaret St. 

Pekin, Mi. 




In 1865 Ties Smith and John Velde formed Smith and Velde, which was 
the fore runner of the present company. In 1894 John Velde, Jacob 
Roelfs & Dietrich Velde incorporated as Velde, Roelfs & Co. In 1909 
Dietrich Velde purchased the business from his partners. 

During these early days of the company, the principal sales effort 
was directed to supplying the blacksmiths and carriage makers. Felloes, 
rims, hawns, fifth wheels were among the large selling items that would 
be unfamiliar to the present generation. The salesmen used horse and 
buggy to call on accounts in a hundred mile radius of Pekin. 

Today the company is actively supplying industrials, mines, util- 
ities and contractors with steel, bolts, chain, wire rope, mechanical 
rubber products, grinding wheels, electric tools, precision instru- 
ments, hand tools and many other allied products. 

The corporation officers at present are J. Ernest Velde, President 
and Treasurer, who has been with the company for 49 years. John E. 
Velde, Jr. Vice President and Karl U. Velde, Secretary. 

We salute Pekin on its steady growth and are proud to have been part 
of that growth. 


then as now, sprang up, flourished for 
awhile, then gradually died out. It is 
impossible to mention all these, even 
to find records of many; but perhaps 
two of the more influential should be 
noted -- The Turners, a German social 
organization which was in its heyday 
during the latter half of the 19th 
Century and the Union Club, the story 
of which is given in the historical 
account earlier in this publication. 


when older life- long residents begin 
reminiscing on the "Pekin that was", 
they invariably recall the ice indus- 
try, a giant one in "those days." In 
fact, Pekin used to be one of the major 
supply sources for southern markets, 
especially St. Louis; the ice being 
shipped on large barges down the river. 

Pekin Lake shore, oldsters recall, 
was practically lined with ice houses, 
built along Gravel Ridge -- huge 
affairs, we are told, capable of hold- 
ing some 20,000 tons each -- owned by 
the W.A. Boley, Inc. Company who had 
purchased the business from John Lowny 
in 1866. In 1873, the Boley Company 
bought the lake for $5,000 and still 
retains exclusive rights. Most of the 
lake now belongs to the Otto Koch 
estate, except the upper part, which 
is the property, along with Worley 
Lake, of Pekin Rod and Gun Club. All of 
these ice houses have since been 
destroyed by fire. 

On Bailey's Lake was the Grant 
Brothers ice house, with a switch track 
leading from the lake to the New York 
Central line. During the height of the 
season, it is said that the Grant 
Company sometimes employed from 200 to 
300 men to harvest and load the ice. 

Coal mining, too, was an extensive 
industry, which helped develop Pekin, 
some seven or eight mines having been 
in operation at one time or another. 
Although these mines are now closed, 
such names as Old Hope Mine, north of 
the present County Club grounds; 
Champion Mine on Broadway; Bohlander 
Mine on Court Street near the Country 
Club entrance; and Ledterman Mine near 
Bailey's Lake, are still familiar to 
older Pekinites. A more recently closed 
mine - in 1938 - belonged to the Ubben 
Coal Company. Situated near Bailey's 
Lake, it had been formerly owned by 
Grant Brothers. 

Today, Pekin Mining Company on 
Broadway, and Lakeside Mine, northeast 
of Pekin on the Morton Road are the 
only two in the immediate vicinity 
still operating. 

Until the early fifties, Pekin was 
known as the "largest and best grain 
and hog market on the river north and 

above Beardstown; " and in a record 
written years later by Mr. James 
Haines, one of Tazewell County's 
earliest pioneers, he recalls that 
from 30,000 to 36,000 head of hogs were 
bought and butchered here annually 
during the thirties and forties; and 
that "large river boats from New 
Orleans and the Ohio River came each 
spring in high water time and lay for 
days together near the pork and grain 
houses, bearing away from them, to 
southern markets mostly, the large 
accumulated stocks of fall and winter." 
Mr. Haines tells too of selling his 
corn in Pekin for twelve cents a bushel 
and his hogs at $1,50 per hundred 
pounds, dressed and delivered at the 
pork house here. As a by-product of 
this early grain business, Pekin built 
large flour mills, another important 
early industry. 

Earlier among prominent grain and 
produce buyers in pioneer days were 
Crain, Kellogg and Co., established in 
the early thirties and generally known 
as Pekin' s first large traders and 
dealers in "all kinds of merchandise." 
At their store, located on the north 
side of court Street, one "could buy, 
sell, swap, barter, or transfer." 

The distillery trade, too, brought 
much prosperity to the city. References 
are made to a distillery established 
several years prior to 1849, and again 
to "the well-known Mclntyre Distillery 
purchased in 1867 by the Hon. David T. 
Thompson and destroyed by fire in 
1871." There is on record, too, a 
notation that in 1886, "the Enterprise 
Distillery was destroyed by fire but 
the work of re-building was begun while 
smoke yet issued from the remains. " 

From 1870 through the nineties a 
number of distilleries and breweries 
were opened -- in 1870 the Phillip 
Herget Malt House, and in 1871 the 
Pekin Distilling Company. The Star and 
the Cresent in 1891 and the Globe 
(later the Standard Distilling and 
Distributing Company) in 1892 were 
founded by George and John Herget; and 
The American Distilling Company, 1892. 
by John Wilson and Son, the only one 
still operating today. 

There was also the Winkel Brewing 
Company established about 1870 at the 
foot of Caroline Street. In connection 
with this was a large storage cellar 
located at the foot of the Country Club 
hill. To this was taken in barrels, 
from the brewery, beer which was run by 
hose into large hogshead for aging. 
This was later abondoned when a spring 
broke through and flooded the cellar. 

Another thriving business, now non- 
existent, was the livery stable trade- - 
Stickley's, Kelly's, De Vore's, Critt- 
enden's, and the Palace having been 
among the popular ones in Pekin' s pre- 


I ,,-^J 

1 W 1^ F 


Jil m 3n M. 








ViEworJ.WAGENSELLER a SON* BLOCtt48AtiEl50 Court Street 
P E tt I rg I L L 5. 

OrriCEO _ 1 LK.IJ DliriLLINC , . )J . 1 ,.ou., , ji.,u 

WHlTFIELD"i.BiLLi«Ru Paruor )(!5 v.oum oibeet 
PErtlM riLS, 


auto days. All of these included as a 
large item in their services the 
furnishing of funeral coaches and 
horses to pull the hearses. 

Also outstanding among pioneer in- 
dustries were the "Smith Shops, " the 
first being the T. and H. Smith 
Company, manufacturers of plows and 
wagons, founded in 1849 by the Brothers 
Smith -- Teis, Henry, and Frederick, 
and a brother-in-law, Luppe Luppen. By 
these original partners, together with 
others, followed the organization ' of 
these firms: Smith, Velde & Company, 
hardware, in li>58; Smith, Hippen & 
Company, grain, in 1862; Smith Feltman 
i: Company, lumber, 1866; Teis Smith & 
Company, banking house, 1866; and the 

Smith Plow Company, 1876. These in- 
dustries also made a large contribution 
to the prosperity of Pekin. 

For years, too, the Hinners Organ 
Company, founded in 1879. was one of 
Pekin' s leading factories, producing 
thousands of Hinners Reed and pipe 
organs, sold to all parts of the United 
States, Europe, and other parts of the 
world . 

The Cooper Shops, a natural companion 
of the distilling industry, were a block 
of buildings between Margaret and the 
railroad from nth to 12th and employed 
many men until prohibition put them out 
of business. In 1919 Montgomery Ward 
bought the block and opened the Hummer 
Saddlery which burned out in 1924 and a 




- O 

^ ^^ 

The Cooper Shop and its employees - operated by Ton tdds and Son. 
Corner Margaret and 12th Sts. 






Capitol § Margaret Sts. 

Phone 168 

Tom 0. Cas sidy 

Your Dodge and Plymouth Dealer 

Since 1939 

Serving Pekin the Last Twenty of 
Its First 100 Years 

Complete Car and Truck Service, including 
Body Repair and Painting 

The Dodge franchise for selling 
Dodge cars, Dodge trucks and Plymouth 
cars has operated under the name of 
Court Garage and Court Motors, Inc., 
for approximately 27 years, first at 
500 Court Street and then at Capitol 
and Margaret, its present spacious 

On July 22, 1939, Tom 0. Cassidy, 
became the owner and has carried on 
through the years. Quoting from a 
statement made at the time of its 
acquisition, Tom 0. Cassidy said: 
"I have chosen Dodge- PI yroouth and 
Pekin as permanent connections, be- 
cause mutually they offer me the 

The Service and Parts Departments on the Margaret Street Side. 


The Sales Department On the Capitol Street Side. 

greatest opportunity to successfully 
serve the motorist.' Dodge and Ply- 
mouth cars and Dodge trucks are, 
without doubt, the best values in 
today's automotive market, and I feel 
fortunate indeed, to secure this 
distributorship. Moreover, the ex- 
cellent and unsurpassed facilities 
of Court Motors make it a pleasure 
to invite the motorists to avail 
themselves of our service. I am 
deeply gratified with the opportunity 
to own and operate this business in 
Pekin, which I believe is the finest 
city in the United States." 

During the war it became necessary 
for Court Motors, in lieu of no car 
production, to reduce the organiza- 
tion to a service set-up, which was 
under the fine and capable management 
of Cecil Burling. Also, because it 
was necessary to heed the call of 
duty, Tom 0. Cassidy served in the 
armed forces in the air corps for 
four years and eight months and re- 
turned to his dealership as Colonel 
Tom 0. Cassidy. 

At the same time tha< Dodge anc) 
Plymouth owners were being serviced 
through Court Motors, the following 
men served their country during the 
war: Clement J. Cassidy, five years. 

Naval Aviation Lieutenent Commander; 
Robert F. Cassidy, three and a half 
years. Flight Officer; Leo Matthews, 
three and a half years. Technical 
Corporal; Charles Aby, three years, 
eight months. Corporal; Clifford 
Graffis, three months. Seaman first 
class; Elmer Bastonero, two years 
eleven months. Private first class. 

At the conclusion of the war, in 
March, 1945, Court Motors, inc. moved 
to a much larger and more suitable 
building at Capitol and Margaret 
streets, and increased the organiza- 
tion from one of service only, to 
one of sales and service. In conse- 
quence, Tom 0. Cassidy proudly pre- 
sents to motorists of Pekin and 
vicinity, an organization dedicated 
to the highest ideals in selling and 

It is our opinion that the organ- 
ization is highly versatile because 
of the fine new personalities we have 
added and the fact that we are em- 
ploying a high percentage of ex- 
serv ice men. 

We feel that the history of Court 
Motors is above reproach and that 
the present organization has a record 
of service to Dodge and Plymouth 
owners second to none. 



W I E B U R G'S 



In 1901 Mr. Louis Wieburg opened a 
harness shop in the 200 block Court 
Street. As time progressed and as 
the auto replaced the horse Mr. Wie- 
burg foresaw the need of a tire shop 
and moved to the 300 block Court 
Street and from there to the 400 
block Court, branching out to auto- 
motive accessories. Expanding with 
each move, he purchased the building 
at 5th & Margaret and added an auto- 
motive repair shop to his already 
established business, which has 
served car owners of Pekin and vic- 
inity for over 48 years. Mr. Wie- 
burg died in 1946 leaving the busi- 
ness to his son Wilbur L. Wieburg 
who now owns and operates the busi- 
ness at this same location. 






431 Court St. 

For 12 Years 







Giftware- Home Furnishings -Linens 
Broadway at 10th Pekin, 111. 


Harold & Elaine Ledrich 

Phone 252 513 Court Street 

Auto Upholstering - Seat Covers 

Glass Cut & Installed 


Since 1945 

Bus. Phone ?1?8 305 N. Fifth St. 
Res. Phone 1574-M Pekin, Illinois 

Congratulations to Pekin 
Dress Shop 313 Court Street 


Delicious Sandwiches 

Homemade Ice Cream 

900 Court Street Phone 1829 


Heating Electrical Materials 

Phone ??96 
?06 Court St. Pekin, Illinois 

P.O. Box 548 Phone SP 58 
Pekin, Illinois 

Plumbing Materials Phone ??96 
?06 Court St. Pekin, Illinois 


Engineering & Architecture 

512 Court St. Pekin, 111- 




year later it was bought and rebuilt by 
the Pekin Leather Products Co. , a local 
corporation headed by Ed. Aufderheide. 
It operated until harness making de- 
clined with the motorized age and the 
buildings are now used by kriegsman as 
a warehouse. 

The Hodges Header Works which later 
became the Acme Harvester Co. , occupied 
the area between Broadway and Court 
Streets from 8th to lOth, now the James 
Athletic Field and a large residential 
area. In the early lyOO' s the Acme 
moved to Bartonville. 

Two brick yards, several foundries, 
a gun-stock factory, and a furniture 
factory are also listed among promi- 
nent industries operating in Pekin in 
by-gone days. Interesting is the fact 
that early furniture dealers did under- 
taking on the side, and Mr. Adolph 
Pehrman, long time Pekin resident, re- 
calls the days when he, as a boy, 
trimmed coffins made in Pekin' s three 
story furniture factory. 

So much for early industries, all of 
which have paved the way for industrial 
Pekin today with its some 50 manufac- 
turing and service establishments, 
employing over 4,500 workers. Its ample 

water supply, and the aval labl lity .of 
raw materials, including coal, gravel, 
sand, and grain have attracted many 
industries, manufacturing diversified 
products including starch, sugar, corn 
oil, yeast and malt products, liquors, 
chipboards, grey iron castings, brass, 
copper and aluminum castings, steel 
tanks and burial vaults, structural 
iron, electricity, artificial ice, 
washed gravel and sand, cement blocks, 
ice cream, butter and other dairy 
products, greenhouse products, cabinet 
and woodwork, and other various 
products. Pekin is still a leading 
grain market, having three elevator 
warehouses, with a total capacity of 
385, 000 bushels. 

Because of lack of space, no attempt 
has been made to list specific indus- 
tries and services in this section; 
however, most of these are included, 
in individual advertisements, in this 

As one compares the classified list- 
ings in the 1948 City Directory with 
those in the Bates 1887 Directory , he 
is interested, not only in changes in 
terminology such as undertakers for 
funeral directors: maltsters, saloons, 


405 Flizabeth 

Season' s newest styles first 
Lofthouse Hress Shop 
436 Court Street 


804 Derby Street 

Phone 2262-J 

Supplier of component machine parts 
I4tb & Broadway 

Pick up & delivery service 
Jim Hill Leo Bennett 

ROXY' S - a good place to eat 
304 Margaret St. Phone 961- J 
Farischon Bros. Proprietors 

335 Court Street 


Cleaners & Dyers 

Since 1Q12 Ph 350 


B.C. Payne, Prop. 

412 Court Street 

For over 22 years 

345 Court St. Opposite Court House 

350 Elizabeth Street 

Streamline Bar - Dine & Dance 
Trefflont Road, Rt. 9 - Ph. 1703 

GEBHARDT BROS. Maurice & Andy 
Poultry- Eggs-Hides-Dressed Poultry 
Since 1915 Phone 1080 

Electrical Contractors Since 193? 

366 S. Capitol St. 
Telephone 306 

Serving Home Cooked Food 
New in ' 49 Velraa Albertsen. Prop. 


1300 North ?nd. 

Phone 934 

In 193?, Arthur I. and Edna M. Greg- 
ersen purchased the Haase Bros. 
Greenhouse. Mr. Gregersen has since 
then originated a geranium known as 
"Gregersen* s White" which received 
favorable mention in the National 
Florist Magazine. 

613 Court 

OLr S Poultry Market 
Geo. 01 t - Since 1947 - Len. 01 t 
4?? Margaret Phone ?38 

Since 193? 


wood turners, etc., but also in the 
present day products and services not 
listed 60 years ago -- radio, air 
conditioning equipment, airplane school 
and airport: ambulance service, auto- 
mobile agencies, beauty shops, cleaning 
establishments, diaper supply service, 
electrical appliances, etc., and he 
wonders what interesting changes the 
2049 directory will show! 

Many other points of interest could 
and should be elaborated upon, were 
space not limited -- attractive well- 
kept homes and public buildings, thriv- 
ing industries, well-kept streets, 
splendid recreational facilities in- 

cluding city soft ball leagues, horse- 
back riding, skeet shooting, bowling 
(Pekin is noted for the fact that it 
has the highest per cent per capita of 
bowlers for its population of any town 
in the United States) and a variety of 
others mentioned previously in con- 
nection with city parks -- these and 
the ones already discussed in this 
section along with a strong sense of 
community interest and pride on the 
part of Pekin citizenry point back to a 
100 years of splendid achievement and 
predict a future of unlimited possi- 
bilities built on the heritage of 

This Edition of the Centenary, as 
published, is actually a "first draft" 
of such history. Time has not permitted 
the usual checking, editing, correc- 
tions, additions and deletions or any 
professional polishing of the material 
after it was somewhat hastily asscra- 

Undoubtedly, as a result, there will 
appear some errors and oversights. 
Nevertheless, it is felt that this re- 
presents the most complete overall 
assemblage of history and information 
on the city of Pekin available, and is 
unlike any other approach to the city's 

An endeavor was made to prepare an 
"honest" history without any attempt to 
color or glorify the city, but just to 
tell its story as accurately as it can 
be pieced together from records, pre- 
sented by existing firms and agencies, 
and depicted in pictures suitable for 

It represents a heavy burden of work 
crowded into a comparatively short 
time, and the Association of Commerce 
is indebted not only to the workers 
formally credited herein but to the 
host of advertisers and friends who 
volunteered pictures, information and 



in the heart of Illinois 



?18 Arcade Bldg. Pekin, 111. 
Bonded National Affiliations 

350 Buena Vista Ave. Since 1948 

Gertrude Skaggs Floral Arrangements 

Webb & Louise Monroe 

1891 1949 

In the "Cay Ninties" Mr. Wm. 
Kuecks purchased the Charles Stick- 
ley Harness Shop at 345 Court St. 
and in 1899 moved to 411 Court, 
where he continued selling and re- 
pairing harness for forty years. Now 
located at 611 Ann Eliza, Mr. Kuecks 
has the only harness repair shop in 
Pekin or Peoria. His wife, Matilda, 
still assists in the long estab- 
lished business. 

Insurance in all branches 
406 Court St. Telephone 161 

Serving the public for more than 50 Vrs. 


Beer & Liquors 300 Margaret 
"Amos" L. Stolin 

neKEUSTER-l? N. Capitol. .. Since 193? 

for 38 years a shoe repair man 
Shoe Repair Dry Cleaning 


Washington Junior High School 





IT is just after the turn of the 
century. It is 1906. Pekin is 57 
years old. Teddy Roosevelt is in the 
White House. One of the most popu- 
lar automobiles is the Maxwell, 
probably the same model as Jack 
Benny' s. 

The Chicago White Sox on August 
1 were at the top of the heap. Mar- 
shall Field and Company in Chicago 
were advertising women' s corsets for 
38<t each. A French Table d'Hote 
dinner at a fashionable restaurant 
was 50(t. 

And the price of corn was 50$ a 

In that year Corn Products Refin- 
ing Company was formed and the Pekin 
plant became one of CPR' s proper- 

Back In those days -- sometimes 
erroneously called "the good old 
days" -- there were about 350 Pekin 
plant employees. The minimum rate 
was 16 2/3 cents an hour. 

In 1906 all employees worked 12- 
hour shifts and when the shifts 
changed it was customary to work 18 
hours. And at straight-time pay. 

Today, approximately 1250 em- 
ployees - 900 new jobs for Pekin 
area men - operate our plant. The 
minimum rate is $1.20 an hour. Eight 
hours is a standard day and forty 
hours a standard week and overtime 
is paid for hours worked over the 
eight and the forty. 

In 1906 the Pekin plant ground 
13,000 bushels of corn a day. 

Today. Pekin plant is the second, 
largest corn grinding plant in the 
world. We" have the capacity to grind 
65,000 bushels of shelled corn in a 
24-hour period. In other words, it 
takes about 2,000 acres of farm land 
to supply our daily need. 

Behind the Pekin plant's tre- 
mendous strides in 43 years is a 
story. And it began the year Corn 



Products took over the plant. The 
story is told in the words "modern- 
ization" and "expansion". Each 
modernization project brought better 
working conditions and increased 
production which in turn meant more 
jobs and higher wages and greater 
job security. 

Down through the years CPR has 
added to the security of its em- 
ployees by offering many benefits 
beside their pay; Group Life in- 
surance, sickness and accident bene- 
fits, hospitalization insurance, 
retirement payments, paid vacations, 
up-to-date medical and first aid 
service, and canteen service. In 
addition, the company sponsors and 
contributes to recreational activi- 

ties for employees. 

And what has made this possible'' 
Corn Products' decision to plougn 
back into the business a portion of 
each year's earnings is one f;ictor. 
The other factors are the growth of 
the community and the type of 
people - many of them future CPR men 
and women - attracted to Pekin. 

Also, feeling it has a responsi- 
bility to the community in which it 
is located. Corn Products con- 
tributes to localcivic and welfare 

Growing right along with the 
city. Corn Products is pleased to be 
a business resident and to pay its 
respects-on the 100th -birthday of 


\1 12> 14 !-■ 


P E K I N 









Q^SJid] a c:3 



" [ 



\o n 



E. L- Conklin 


From 1858 to 1949. 91 years, the name Conklin has 
been identified with the corner of Second and Ann 
Eliza streets. 

Major Ketcham S. Conklin came to Pekin in 1858 
from Greenpoint, Long Island, now Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Pour years later he joined Co. F, 8th 111. Volunteer 
Infantry, Lincoln's first call for 90-day men to put 
down the Rebellion of the South. Civil war was not 
to be ended so soon. He then enlisted for three 
years or term of war. He served as Orderly Sergeant 
and then Lieutenant. Could have been captain of a 
colored company but preferred to stay with the Pekin 

In 1864 while on furlough, he married his sweetheart of before 
Civil War. She was Martha Doolittle who was born in Waynesville, 
111., near Atlanta. Benj. Doolittle, her grandfather, lived in a 
log cabin at Second & Court streets. One block south was a stock- 
ade, named Fort Doolittle after him, dating from the reriod of 1832 
during the Black Hawk War, when Abe Lincoln was Captain of a com- 
pany in that war. 

Mrs. K.S. Conklin' s father was Rawley Doolittle. He bought cat - 
tie in central Illinois and was very well known. He was a good man 
and admonished his two daughters to speak evil of no one and while 
on witness stand he answered "That Man" and said no more. 

Major Conklin at 12 years worked in a grocery run by Mr. Holmes. 
Later he went to Vermont and worked two years for Mr. Rankin and 
his sister on their farmwhich produced the year around. Turkeys 
were raised and bought far and near for holidays. Maple sugar was 
made and razorback hogs raised. Going home he got homesick to see 
his brother Asa, in business in Chicago, so there he went at 16 
years old. He had a good father and mother and respected highly the 
grocer Hojmes and Mr. Rankin the farmer. 

Major Conklin was a very public-spirited man in many ways. He 
was a strong Republican, with very little schooling but a great 
reader of the Chicago papers. He learned much of political history 
and was ever able to champion Republican cause from Lincoln down to 
his death in 1918. Mr. and Mrs. Conklin celebrated their golden 
wedding in 1914. 

E. L. Conklin in boyhood days, was with his father after school 
and during vacation days. It was a pleasure to heur him talk of 
business, politics, economics and of his war days. E.L. Conklin 
being crazy to earn his own living, lost three years of High School 
by going to Chicago at 16. Went to Bryant & Stratton business col - 
lege. It cost my father $250. This I paid back at age 30 with com- 
pound interest on Thanksgiving Day with Bldg & Loan stock of $462 
value. He was offended but soon got over it. 

My first job on finishing six months college was Wabash R. R. at 
$30 per inonth. Not liking being a mere cog in a big machine, went 
into a large Real Estate Co. at $6.92 per week, which is $30 per 
month. Was offered a job at $10 per week which W. A. Merigold & Co. 
wouldn' t meet, so went to Edison General Ele^^tric Co. Thi.s was one 
of eight districts. Worked up to $70 per nonth and again realized I 
was a part of a big machine, and decided to learn hardware busi- 
ness. Met Mr. Hibbard of Hibbard, Spencer & Bartlett who told me 
they started boys in at $3 per week, they lived at home, and that I 



Corner Second and Ann Eliza Streets 

couldn' t live on that. I did admire his attitude and kindness. 

Finally I went into the lumber firm of Crandall, schultz & Co., 
Wholesalers, at ^50 I'er month, after 30 days hunt for a lumber job. 
Mr. Crandall after my being with them two years, had a nephew who 
came from Montana to room with me. Mistaking his bright gabby 
nephew for ability I felt I had no future there, so Informed both 
members of the firm I was going home. They begged me to stay at $70 
a month. I couldn't say why I was leaving as they were fine people. 

It was a coincidence that father and son both went to Chicago at 
age 16. In Chicago I learned much and read Chicago papers and li- 
brary books, so had no difficulty in earning my own living and 
never asked for a pennv from home. 

It was my privilege and honor to have been associated with my 
father in business from 1893 until his death in 1918. 

Conklin Lumber Co. built many residences and public buildings 
and have always enjoyed good trade. To mention some still existent, 
are: the City Hall, Tazewell Hotel. Tazewell Club-for $10,000, 
Franklin School, Old Opera House, Park Pavilion and Palm-house, 
American Distilling Co. large barrel rack warehouse. Remodeled the 
Lemuel Allen farmhouse for Pekin Country Club. Architects were 
called to plan how to remodel, without result. Finally Conklin Lum- 
ber Co. showed the way and did the job as it is now. The half-pitch 
roof was not disturbed. 

The old original school was built long, long ago. E. L. Conklin 
at seven years old attended it. It was of old architecture and 
quite large. It was the school I left in 1886 to go to Chicago. It 
served as the only school from about 1865 till it was destroyed by 
fire in 1890. 

The new High School was built shortly after at $25,000, by this 
firm. Plans were received from architects from many towns, Lincoln, 
Decatur. Bloomington, Peoria and others. My uncle John D. Handbury, 
draftsman and foreman of this concern, submitted plans which were 
accepted. It was built in shape of a St. Andrew's Cross. This 
large 8-room structure gave the daylight at side and back of 
pupils and served around forty years, until Junior High School re- 
placed it. 

Coming back to Pekin in World Pair year, 1893, I brought along 
Chicago ways. Feeling that one laudable thing a year would be good 
for town and business, I collected $400 and secured the famous 
Gehrig' s Band for 13 Saturday afternoon concerts to bring the farm- 
ers to town. We were in the Grover Cleveland times of free trade by 
too low a tariff law. It allowed manufactured goods and agricul- 
tural products to flood the country. And did we go to the bow-wows? 
Our country sunk to its lowest level since Lincoln's administra- 
tion. As it was, the tariff wasn't low enough for Cleveland. He 
wouldn't sign it and declared it an Act of Perfidy and Dishonor. 
It became law without his signature. 

1895--Joined the Citizens Improvement Association, composed of 
leading citizens. Its purpose was to secure factories for Pekin. 
Most of the ones we have now are due to Henry G- Herget, E- W- Wil- 
son and V. P. Turner. I later became president and changed the 
name to Commercial club, the dues to six times the old rate and 
secretary to 23 times the salary. Several years later the name was 
changed to Association of Commerce with plural memberships, the 
largest institution taking eight and Conklin Lumber Co. four. 

, We Aun ia Saiii^i^ , 



Organized Co. G, 5th 111. Nat. Guards. Mustered in Feb. 1896. In 
1897, thru Co. G committee, had every organization in town to name 
a committee to participate for a 4th of July celebration. Calling a 
meeting in April or May at Turn Verein Opera House, we had nearly 
200 present. Organization was effected; Conklin made president; 
W. J. conzelman, Finance; Lieut. Sellers, Amusement; Col. J. M. 
James, Treas. ; V. P. Turner, railroads. Submitting long hand let - 
ters to Mr. Turner for railroads, stating what we were going to have 
as a celebration etc., and asked for a $1 round-trip passenger 
rate from Springfield, Decatur and other towns, which we got. 
A committee for funds consisted of conzelman, Franklin L. Velde 
and Conklin. Mr. Conzelman was busy so much, it devolved on Velde 
and Conklin. Highest amount given was $20, but few of them $10 and 
$5s. It was a big job to get $1500 and took lots of time going 
again and again to secure what we felt should be given. Those days 
were ones of little business and people were hard up. 

Under the arrangement we had six companies of militia for parade 
and competitive drill: bicycle races; balloon ascensions and many 
other attractions. The immensely large crowds from many towns were 
very pleasing to pekinites. 

As president of the Retail Merchants Association, much was done 
by many leading merchants to correct the loose credit situation and 
very much time and thought was devoted to a rating book. 

Was charter member of Tazewell Club, 1893, and served as presi- 
dent some years after. Still a member. 

President McKinley declared war on Spain Apr. 25, 1898. Spain 
had a war vessel in New York harbor which wasn' t molested. The 
battle ship Maine was blown up in February in Cuban harbor. April 
15th Conklin got a letter from Col. j. S. Culver of 5th 111. Nat. 
Guards, to recruit Co. G up to 100 men with little noise. Monday 
night the 16th, we had 74 volunteers and went into camp at spring- 
field Anr. 27 with 103 men. Mustered into U. S. service for 2 years 
or term of war. From there we moved to Chicamauga Park, Tenn. , 
thence to Ringgold, Ga. , and up to Newport News, Va. Our commander. 
Gen. Fred Grant, Son of President Grant, left for Porto Rico on 
Yale transport. James Boling was our Co. bugler and detailed to 
Gen. Grant so he went to Porto Rico. We were to follow on the Obdam 
which was dirty and foul smelling. Our Major and Co. G were the 
only ones who didn't sleep on it. We slept on concrete in ware- 
house. Next p-orning, in Aug. Peace Protocol had been signed. 

Admiral Dewey fought the Spanish fleet and had won Manilla, P.I. 
and Cevera's fleet at Santiago Harbor was licked by Admirals Samp- 
sin and Schley. It was a bitter disappointment to 5th Regiment boys 
not to get away. But it was for the best. Yellow Fever was in Cuba, 
which Gen. Wood cleaned up. Our chief trouble was dysentery and 
typhoid fever. Our regiment moved from Newport News to Lexington. 
Ky. , and to Springfield. Mustered out of U.S. Service Oct. 16, 
1898. Arriving home we marched to court yard where many tables were 
set for eats. Welcome home speeches were made, followed by Gehrig's 
Concert while we ate. 

The two-mile grade road, across the river a long time ago, was 
built with tarvia surface by we Pekinites money. Later on it became 
so vile with ruts and holes five miles per hour was best speed ob- 
tainable. The present concrete road is the result of raising 
$15,000 before the state would do anything. Thirty business men met 



Corner Second and Ann Eliza Streets 

and each signed a note for $500.. Conklin was handed the job to 
collect by subscription to reimburse the thirty signers. I asked 
Carl G. Herget and Phil A. Sipfle to help me. We secured close to 
$15,000. McElwee & Rogge, after two years delay by them, built the 
present road. The city donated $5000 and Pekin township $5000. 

Uncertain as to how much could be collected after such a delay, 
we colleced the list as it was, two years old. Notes at bank of 
thirty signers were paid and cancelled. We closed this chapter by 
issuing dividend to donators of ^2%. Conklin Lumber Co. gave $150. 
Also gave roney for old tarvia road, bluff road and Second St. 

Pekin had '"any Street Fairs and I was a worker in a large way. 
They brought lots of people from a large area, conklin Lumber Co. 
always had a very creditable booth. 

Member of German Maenerchor. Sang in concerts at Opera. At St. 
Paul the Northwest Sangerbund had four concerts. Peoria Concordia 
and Pekin went there for $5 ,a round trip. Pour practice mornings 
gave us $4. Lodging and meals were furnished. 300U singers sang to 
audiences of 15,000 each concert. 

My father was a member of Empire Masonic Lodge. I joined fifty 
years ago. The former was a Knight Templar, the latter a 32nd 
degree Mason. We both became members of M (hammed Shrine. I am a 
charter member of Pekin Country Club and Pekin Rotary Club. 

My father passed thru four depressions. I passed thru six. 
Chronologically, they were: 1873, 1893 to 1897. 1907, 1914 to 1916. 
These four my father experienced. My six were: 1893 to 1897. 1907, 
1914 to 1916. 1932, 1937, 1949 now uider some apprehension. 

Our country should come back if we do not give all our taxation 
money away. Ciit out a lot of needless expense and also the wanton 
waste. Thereby we can assure ourselves of keeping it a republic. 

Conk' in Lumber co.'s policies are a reflection of the character 
of the individuals who run the business. Reputation is well defined 
by recent president of Packard Motor Co., who said "Reputation 
achieved is a tyrant. It whips you on to retain it." 

Our motto of 45 years "We aim to Satisfy" is explanatory in rrany 

ways. It is so worthy there have been many imitations in Peoria and 

elsewhere, we have always tried to give good grades at reasonable 

Our service has been of tne highest and free from ulterior mo- 
tives and the desire of mere greed. 

The outstanding members of this concern were: Wm. Weiss, K. S. 
Conklin, Ernest schurman, Robert Schurman, Albert Hippen, \'y. A. 
Reuling, Robert Hornish, Roscoe Hill and Fred Meyer. 

Our present organization consists of Mrs. Clara Cranwill. Til- 
ford A. Olsen, Mrs. E. L. Conklin, Martha Olsen and 

Yours Sincerely 
E. L. Conklin 


Cor. Second and Ann Eliza 

^e Aim ia Satiijiif. . 



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Eugene F. lohnes 
Paul P. Schermer 


24 S. Fourth Street 

Selling needles to the neighbors 
When a very young boy , earned for 
Eugene F. Lohnes the reward of a 
very small hand printing press 
with which he started "learning the 
trade" as a hobby. As his interest 
and experience grew with the years, 
larger hand presses were acquired. 
After finishing high school, working 
several years in factory offices, 
a period of war service and the es- 
tablishment of a family, he finally 
set up the Lohnes Print Shop in the 
Arcade Bui Id ing in 1923. 

Business prospered and help was 
soon needed. It was then that Paul 
P. Schermer, who was an apprentice 
at the Free Press, was hired and 
being a good workman was soon given 
an opportunity to become a partner 
in the business as he has been ever 
since. Today you will find him in 
the shop turning out quality work, 

Telephjne 5 57 

1923- 1949 

both letterpress and offset, with 
the help of another experienced 
printer, Walter F. Petzing who 
commutes from Peoria, 111. In the 
office can be found Olive M. Lohnes 
(Mrs. E. F.). 

In 1925 the Lohnes Print Shop 
bought the job printing department 
of the Pekin Daily Times and moved 
in with the newspaper at 26 S. 
Fourth Street. After Mr. McNaughton 
bought the newspaper in 1926, in 
spite of the crowded conditions for 
both growing organizations, we 
continued in that location until 
1941 when the newspaper bought and 
moved to its present corner locationj 
and rented to us the connectingi 
building, which was part of the 
Zerwekh building and during its| 
history has housed Pekin's first 
movie, an undertaker, a garage, al 
tavern, and for the past eight years | 
the Lohnes Print Shop. 




MARGE BRENNEMAN, 320 South Fourth 

JUNE WIEBURG, 1500 S. Capitol 


For the first time in Pekin's century of growth, 
newcomers to the Pekin trade area, are Aielcomed to the 
'"Celestial City." This we Icomi ng' serv ice was inaugu- 
rated in October 1948 by Marge Brenneman and June 
wieburg, two native Pekinites. 

Recognizing the need for acquainting new residents 
in this area with Pekin's shopping facilities and the 
advantages of trading with its merchants, Marge and 
June organized "Speakin' for Pekin." 

Through the cooperation and enthusiastic support 
of Pekin's business men. each newcomer receives 
pertinent information about the community and a basket 
of gifts. 

AlthDugh "Speakin' for Pekin" is a small enter- 
prise, 'its founders believe that during its brief 
history it has served the community well by offering a 
.velcoming hand for Pekin's businessmen to 400 families 
in the past eleven months. However, their efforts can 
be effective only when the community cooperates by 
advising them of the arrival of newcomers. 

Plans for the future envision Pekin's continued 
growth and prosperity in which "Speakin" for Pekin" 
hopes to play an important role in extending to our 
new neighbors the hospitality of Pekin's business, 
social and professional population. 








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