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   Read more on Alton's History here





Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, November 29, [year unknown]

Notice. A meeting of the Alton Lyceum, will be held this evening, Friday, November 29th, at the Old Court Room over Bowman, Neef & Co's. Store; at which place the meetings of the Society will be held this winter. The public are respectfully invited to attend. By order of the Society.




Source: The Evening Journal, Albany, New York,  July 9, 1833     (Extract of a letter from a merchant at Alton, Illinois, dated June 21rst, 1833.)

"The first case of cholera that occurred here was one quarry man, a moderate drinker. He died in 12 hours. Second case, a quarry man, intemperate, died in a few hours. 3rd, Mrs. Elijah Haydon, after premonitory symptoms, take at noon, died at night.   4th, Mrs. Pierre, wife of the Representative for Greene co., taken at noon, died in four hours. Mr. Wilson, a temperate man, lingered several days and then died. A German, intemperate, remained two days in collapse, and died.  Child of J. Thomas, and Mrs. David Miller, died in a few hours. The last death was our highly esteemed friend, Dr. Barrett, formerly of Massachusetts. His was the most violent case I have seen. In three quarters of an hour after he was attacked, he was speechless - and died in three or four hours. In all these cases a diarrhea preceded the attack. Doctor Barrett, though not well, had been out all night with the sick, fatiguing himself very much. We have had several cases which have been found manageable. There are now three or four cases on the recovery. So we think the worst is passed. Confidence is now partially restored."




Source: The Evening Journal, Albany, New York, June 30, 1835

The Alton (Illinois) Spectator says upwards of 20 deaths have taken place in that town within two weeks. The disease, however, was taking a milder form, and hopes were entertained that it would soon take its departure. The Spectator adds that Cholera prevails to a greater or lesser extent in Edwardsville, the American Bottom, through the towns on the Illinois river, and various other places in the State.




Source: The Daily Evening Herald, Missouri, September 18, 1835

St. Louis & Alton Packet.  The steam boat Tiskilwa will commence her daily trips between this place and Alton on Tuesday next. She will start from the foot of Oak Street, opposite Vatrin & Reel's store, at 9 o'clock A. M. precisely. Leave Alton daily at half past 3 o'clock P.M. All freight must be delivered on board at least half an hour before starting, as the time of departure will be strictly adhered to. For freight or passage apply on board or to Bray & Baily, Agents at St. Louis.    Townsend & Co. - Agents at Alton.




Source: Alton Telegraph, April 20, 1836

Just received per steamers Boonslick and Far West, an addition to my stock of goods, which with those before on hand, gives me the largest assortment of wooden ware and chairs ever offered in this place, consisting of 113 doz. painted pails, 28 doz waggon pails, 10 doz superior painted tubs, 30 doz. superior unpainted tubs, 11 doz. small painted oval tubs or keelers, 6 doz. turned maple tubs, 15 doz can puits, 30 doz. sugar boxes, 8 doz chaires, 250 nests measures, 5 doz baskets, 5 doz barrel covers, 20 doz common wood seat chairs, 10 doz imitation wood seat chairs, 5 doz flagg seat wood chairs, 4 doz cane seat Grocian chairs, 3 doz low and high children's chairs, 1 doz willow waggons and oradies(sp?).  Dippers, frays, washboards, taps and faucits, wooden bowls, clothes pins, rolling pins, ____ starts, axe halves, fancy and common bellows; 11 dozen scythes, hoes and handles, 5 doz scythe, scathes, 8 doz hay rakes, and a general assortment of groceries, which will be sold at wholesale or retail, at as low prices as can be purchased at any place in this section of the country. Country traders are invited to call and examine for themselves at the store formerly occupied by Aldrich & Buffum, two doors west of the bridge. Alton, April 6.    S. A. Aplin Jr.




Source: Alton Telegraph, July 13, 1836

Sec. 1.  Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That Benjamin Godfrey, Calvin Riley, J. A. Townsend, W. S. Gilman, S. Ryder, Jonathan T. Hudson, Mark Pierson, Isaac Negus, Nathaniel Buckmaster, Stephen Griggs, A. O. Hankinson, Hezekiah Hawley, Sherman W. Robbins, Isaac I. Foster, and their associates, successors and assigns, be, and they are hereby incorporated into a body corporate and politic, by the name and style of "The Alton Marine and Fire Insurance Company," to have continuance for and during the term of twenty years from and after the passage of this act, ......




Source: Alton Telegraph, August 24, 1836

At a large and respectable meeting of the citizens of Alton, friendly to the election of Gen. William Henry Harrison of Ohio, convened, pursuant to public notice, at the Mansion House of Col. Botkin, on the 13th inst. On motion, Samuel L. Miller presided, and John R. Woods was appointed Secretary. On motion of John Hogan, Esq., Representative elect for Madison County. Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed to prepare resolutions for this meeting. Whereupon the Chair appointed William McBride, Col. A. Botkin and William K. Grimsley, who reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were read in a spirited and emphatic manner by Mr. McBride......


Resolved, That a Committee of five be appointed to hold correspondence with individuals and meetings throughout the State, friendly to the election of Gen. Harrison.  John Hogan, Esq.; F. B. Murdoch; Col. Alex Botkin; Col. John Bostwick; William McBride.....




Source: Rochester, New York Democrat Chronicle, March 22, 1890

A correspondent of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, in giving an account of the visit by Daniel Webster to the city of Alton, Ill. in 1837, says that there being no cannon in the place from which a salute could be fired, his father had a large hole drilled into the bluff on the bank of the Mississippi, into which four kegs of powder were poured and well tamped. When the steamboat with the great orator and a distinguished party on board arrived at the Alton wharf, a man stationed on the bluff fired the fuse and a tremendous explosion followed, making a noise that could be heard many miles, and dislodging many tons of rock and earth. This was the heaviest and biggest gun fired off in honor of Daniel Webster on his whole tour.




Source: Alton Observer, March 9, 1837

The Mansion House of the subscriber in Lower Alton is offered for sale, but if not sold soon, will be much improved and leased for a term of years. The situation presents a desirable point, as a business stand, being on the main street of the town, and at the corner where the road turns to Upper Alton. Terms will be liberal and possession given on the first day of April next. Apply to C. W. Hunter, Alton, March 9th, 1837.




Source: Alton Observer, July 27, 1837

Mr. Editor - I had occasion the other day to visit the "Mansion House," formerly kept by Col. Botkin, and was highly delighted, and indeed somewhat astonished, to find such a great change for the better, in the extensive enlargement and beautiful appearance of the building. The present proprietor and owner of this establishment, I humbly conceive sir, deserves great commendation, as well as a liberal share of patronage, for his unremitting exertions, and the great expense to which he has been at in erecting and completely furnishing such a commodious and convenient house for the comfortable accommodation of his friends and fellow citizens. Those, therefore, who may chance to visit the city of Alton, either on business or otherwise, will find it at present (the "Alton House" having been destroyed by fire) more agreeable to spend their time comfortably and quietly at the "Mansion House" on State street, at present kept by Mr. John Harnard, who is himself a temperance man, and who keeps to all intents and purposes a well-organized Temperance House. I have made these remarks without the knowledge of Mr. H., and hope that they will be received and considered as entirely disinterested, (except so far as the general good is concerned) and as coming from one who seldom speaks either for or against any person without just and plausible reasons for so doing.  W.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, December 20, 1838

Notice. A lecture will be delivered before the Alton Literary Society on Friday evening, December 21st by Alfred Stevens, Esq'r., on the fall of Poland. Citizens are invited to attend. N. G. Edwards, Sec. December 20, 1838.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, January 18, 1839

Notice. All Citizens who wish to sign the memorial to the State Legislature, to abolish the Municipal Court of this city, are requested to call at the Alton House, Piasa House or at the store of Messrs. Stevens & Trenchery, where the petition has been placed. Any person having signed the same, and wishing to have his name erased, can do so by calling at the Alton House, where the original has been left for that purpose.   Alton, January 18, 1839.




Source: Alton Telegraph, January 23, 1839

200 Cast Steel Rifles and Shotguns!!! A large assortment just received from the manufactory, of all lengths and sizes, from five to sixteen pounds weight, embossed with brass, silver and gold, both single and double barrel, with shot gun to fit on the same stock - some very fine, put up with apparatus complete, in mahogany and leather cases. Also, REPEATERS, which may be discharged eight times without reloading. They are all very superior to the common kind; carry a ball much more accurately, and to double the distance; they are more easily cleaned, and the locks very simple and of superior quality, the hammer being on the under side, prevents injury from the raps exploding. The United States and the Canadian Governments have them now in use, and consider them superior in every respect in all others. The subscriber having now received the agency for this State, is enabled to keep a much larger assortment, and to sell them at very low prices, and solicits an examination from those who wish to purchase for sporting, for the Army, or to fit out Rifle Companies. He will have them made to order, of any kind or dimensions. 

H. G. VanWagenen.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, August 3, 1839

To the people of the city of Alton: Since the report of the Select Committee of the Common Council, on the subject of the expenses and receipts of the Municipal Court was printed, an important error has been discovered in the amount stated to have been paid to Grand and Petit Jurors up to April 1, 1839; which amount, instead of $332.50 as stated, should have been set down at $1,502.75; being a difference against the Court of $1,170.25. The true balance against the Court, therefore, on the supposition that every dollar due the city for fees, fines, &c., has been actually collected and paid into the Treasury, amounts to $3,124.28; or, after deducting the entire receipts, together with the sums still in the hands of the Clerk and Sheriffs, $5,279.01: or, after deducting the actual receipts from the whole expenditures, $5,821.00.   Andrew Miller, Chairman Committee. August 3, 1839.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, December 16, 1839

The subscriber lost in the city of Alton, or on the road from thence by way of the river to Chippewa, on Saturday last, a dark blue Morocco pocket book, figured on the outside, containing about ten or twelve dollars in bank bills; and two notes of hand, one drawn by A. R. Skidmore for $43.52; and the other drawn by Silas Reed, for $35.00; bot made payable to the subscriber. Also, some other papers, of no value to any person but myself. Any person returning the same, or any information respecting it, to the subscriber at Chippewa, or to A. Botkin, Alton, shall be liberally rewarded for the same.   J. W. Call, December 16, 1839.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, January 6, 1840

To the public: Some time about the 1st or 2d of December last, a young man by the name of A. C. Manning left this city with a stock of goods for the purpose of peddling. About the 10th or 12th ult., he was at Greenville, Bond County, which place he left with a view of returning to Alton; since which he has not been heard from. Some anxiety being felt, lest all should not be right, any person will confer a great favor, and be liberally rewarded, who will inform his friends, through the Telegraph Office, where and when he was last seen. The young man was about 21 years of age, rather below the middling size, and feeble health. Drove a large gray mare, harness new, blue worsted lines, open wagon, not painted, with cast iron hubs.  Alton, January 6, 1840.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, February 8, 1840

10,000 Morus Multicaulis Trees at auction!! by Hawley & Dunlap. Will be sold in front of their store on Second Street, on Saturday, Feb. 15th, 1840, at 12 o'clock. A large lot of genuine Morus Multicaulis trees, of a good size, and in good order. Sale positive - terms cash. Alton, February 8, 1840.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, May 13, 1840

To the Public!! Strayed from the subscriber, on or about the first of May, a gray horse, about 15 1-2 or 16 hands high; dark legs, and white snip; about 8 or 9 years of age. Whoever will return said horse to the subscriber in Alton, or secure him so he can get him, will receive a liberal reward. Joseph Lappell, May 13, 1840.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, May 16, 1840

5 Dollars! Reward!! Broke out, on the night of the 15th instant, from the pasture of Major C. W. Hunter, Alton, 1 yoke of oxen! Yoked together. Both oxen are nearly white - one has a black head - the other has a black head except the face, which is white - both some black on the hips. The off ox had an iron bow-key. The above reward will be given to any one who will take them up and deliver them to A. C. Robinson, Upper Alton, or Absalom Baker, Pettingill's Mill. Nathan Shaw, May 16, 1840. Printed at the "Telegraph" Office - Alton.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, May 19, 1840

To the Log Cabin Boys: You are one and all invited to attend a meeting of the friends of Harrison & Reform, at the Old Court Room (Riley's Building), on Saturday evening next, at half past seven, to perfect the arrangements necessary for the Springfield Convention, and also to attend to other important business. Citizens of Upper Alton, of Madison county, and all other Log Cabin Boys are particularly invited to be present.  J. A. Noble, Sec'ry Com. of Arrange., Alton, May 19, 1840.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, May 26, 1840

A special meeting of the Tippecanoe Club of the city of Alton will be held at the counting room of B. Clifford, Jr. on Wednesday evening, May 27th, at half past 7 o'clock. By order of the President. J. Hall, Sec'y.    Alton, May 26, 1840




Source: Centennial history of Madison County, Illinois, and its people, 1812 to 1912, 1914, page 222
The most serious stirring-up the people of Madison county have experienced was occasioned not by an earthquake shock but by the explosion of the powder magazine at Alton, on the 20th of June, 1840. The explosion was described in the Alton Telegraph, by Judge Bailhache, as "incomparably louder and far more destructive than the discharge of a hundred pieces of the heaviest artillery." The powder magazine was situated on the bluffs, a few rods west of the penitentiary, and contained at the time six tons of powder. Judge Bailhache writes: "To describe with some degree of minuteness the damage done by this explosion would require columns of our journal; suffice it therefore to remark that scarcely one single building within the thickly settled part of our city remains uninjured, and that some of those nearest the site of the magazine have been literally reduced to heaps of ruins; chimneys demolished, roofs started and nearly blown off, windows and frames shivered to atoms are among the results of the explosion. But although fragments of stone of which the magazine was built were hurled with resistless force in every direction, some of them to the distance of nearly a mile, perforating houses and overthrowing everything in their way, no life has been lost so far as our information extends, nor any serious injury done to the person of anyone." The writer proceeds to narrate a series of hair-breadth escapes that were so remarkable as to be almost unbelievable. The belief was universal that the explosion was the work of some villain, but for what object could not be conjectured. The offender, or offenders, were never discovered although the common council offered $500 reward for their apprehension. The damage done to buildings was estimated at over $25,000.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, June 20, 1840

To the people of Madison County: The expected reply of Mr. G. T. M. Davis, author of the address to the people of Madison County, of the 23d of April, on the approaching elections of August and November, to Mr. Krum's attack upon that address, will be made this evening, at the Old Court Room (Riley's Building). An early attendance is requested. The citizens of Madison county generally are respectfully invited to attend. B. Clifford, Jr., Chairman Executive Committee. Alton, June 20, 1840.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, August 4, 1840

$10 reward! Lost, either in Alton city, or on the road between this place and Upper Alton, yesterday, a calf skin pocket book, containing a lot of notes and accounts. The notes were mostly drawn payable to myself. These papers are of no use to any but the owner. Any person having found the same by returning to me, or to William E. Cock, will receive the above reward. All persons are cautioned against trading for or purchasing the said notes; the payment thereof to any one but myself having been stopped. Lewis J. Clawson, Alton, August 4, 1840.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, October 22, 1840

Slaughtering - Samuel Work; on his own hook. Alton, Illinois. The subscriber has erected a large and convenient house and pens in the city of Alton near Shields' Branch, for the purpose of carrying on the slaughtering and dressing of beef, hogs, and other stock for packing. His pens are made of plank, high, and close, so as to render it impossible for any kind of stock to break out or escape; and are situated high, dry, and on better ground than any other establishment in the country. His houses are more spacious than any in the city, and from the fact of his being by profession a butcher, and having had an experience of many years in the city of Cincinnati, and the last four year in the city of Alton, engaged in the above business, he assures all those who may favor him with their killing and dressing, that it shall be done with dispatch and in the very best manner. He has also made arrangements, and will have at all times plenty of grain and provender to feed stock at the pens, at the market prices. Call and try work once, and your work shall be well done. Plenty of teams engaged to do the hauling, with dispatch, to any packing house in the city. Alton, October 22, 1840. Samuel Work, Proprietor.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, November 16, 1840

Lost! Strayed from the house of the subscriber, on Sunday evening, the 15th instant, a young Setter dog! He has on a chain collar, with the owners name thereon. The dog was about 4 months old; and was fawn coloured and white. A liberal reward will be given to any one who will return him to William F. D'Wolf.  Alton, November 16, 1840.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, December 12, 1840

Lost Money!! Lost, on Monday last, either in the city of Alton or on the road leading to Springfield, via Carlinville, a sum of money, consisting principally of bills of the State Bank of Illinois, of the denominations of $20 and $10 - the whole amounting to $202. Whoever may have found the same, and will leave it, or give such information as shall lead to its recovery, either to the undersigned at Chatham, Sangamon County, 10 miles south of Springfield; to Samuel Kellar, Esq., Carlinville; or to Messrs. Post & Wentworth, Alton, shall be liberally rewarded. Samuel M. Parsons, December 12, 1840.




Source: The Evening Journal, Albany, New York, 1841

The Cincinnati Republican states that a duel was fought at Alton, Illinois on the 4th inst. between Judge Smith of the Illinois Supreme Court, and Mr. McClernard late Secretary of State of Illinois. They fought with rifles, distance fifty paces. Judge Smith was the challenger, and was killed on the spot. The St. Louis Gazette contradicts the above statement, and says the parties were arrested before they reached the ground.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, February 12, 1841(?)

Alton Institute - A lecture will be delivered this evening, at the Baptist church, by the Rev. G. B. Perry. subject - "Elevated Intelligence Conducive to Pure Morality." The public are invited to attend. Per order, J. W. Lincoln, Sec'y. Feb. 12.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, March 27, 1841

A public meeting of the citizens of Alton will be held at the city hall on Monday next, at ten o'clock a.m. to hear the report of the Committee of Gentlemen appointed to confer with the Citizens of Springfield, and the State Bank of Illinois, as to the measures to be adopted to complete a railroad from Alton to Springfield. A general attendance is requested. Alton, March 27, 1841.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, June 12, 1841

Notice. The undersigned, having chartered the steamboat Eagle, for the purpose of accommodating all the citizens of Alton and the vicinity, who may wish to see the murderers hung at St. Louis, on the 9th day of July next, would inform the public that the boat will leave this place at seven o'clock, a.m., and leave St. Louis at about four, p.m., so as to reach home the same evening. The boat will be repaired and fitted up for the occasion; and every attention will be paid to the comfort of passengers. Fare for the trip to St. Louis and back will be $1.50.  W. A. Wentworth, and P. M. Pinckard.  N.B.  A band of music may be expected to accompany the boat.  Alton, June 12, 1841.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, June 26, 1841

The regular annual meeting of the members of the Alton Institute will be holden on Monday, June 28th, at 8 o'clock p.m. The Executive Committee take this occasion to invite a general attendance, inasmuch as, in connection with the choice of officers for the ensuing year, measures affecting the future prosperity of the Institute, will, of necessity, be considered. Per order: J. W. Lincoln, Rec. Sec., Alton, June 26, 1841.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, September 11, 1841

Ladies' Fair to be held in Alton, September 16, 17 & 18. The Ladies' Centenary Fair will open at the Old Court Room on Thursday & Friday next, at 4 o'clock p.m., and on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the whole day!   Alton, September 11, 1841




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, September 11, 1841

$25 Reward!! Stolen from the shop of the subscriber, in Alton, on Thursday, the 8th instant, some 80 or 100 finger rings! Of almost every quality, worth from $8, down as low as 50 cents each. There is a private mark on the principal part of the rings; and some of the letters in the words 'sell for gain' will be found on the inner side of the rings. The above reward will be paid for the recovery of the rings; or a proportionate part for any quantity of them.  John Hatch. Alton, September 11, 1841




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, September 13, 1841

New Cheap Store!! Boot, Shoe & Slipper Manufactory. The subscriber would inform the citizens of Alton, and vicinity, that he has taken the store under the "Telegraph" office, Second Street, where he has on hand a good assortment of groceries, boots & shoes, of all kinds and qualities; and will be receiving fresh goods from time to time; and manufacturing boots, shoes, and slippers daily: so that he will be able to keep a supply constantly on hand, to accommodate all those who may favor him with their patronage. Prices low, in accordance with the times. N. B. Those who wish to economize these hard times, will please to call at the sign of the "Golden Slipper" where I shall sell very low for cash or country produce; and all goods are warranted, and rips mended gratis. Alton, September 13, 1841.  Samuel Lesure.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, October 1841

J. L. Roberts - Merchant Tailor, has just returned from Philadelphia where he has purchased a stock of clothes, &c. at the present low prices; which he selected from recent importation, and of the most fashionable styles. He is prepared to furnish his customers with any article in his line, upon much more favorable terms than have ever before been offered in this place. Among his goods may be found the following: Beaver Cloths - black, blue, and invisible green. Among which are the new and fashionable styles of diamond, waved, and barred. Also -- Green and Waved.  Asphaltuno Cloth, a new article for overcoats.  Broadcloths: Superfine wool dyed blue black, blue, invisible green, and bronze olive broad cloths of every variety and quality. Cassimeres: Superfine blue, brown and green waved and diamond cassimeres; also, superfine wool-dyed black do.; with a variety of plain and fancy do.  Satinets: Black and dark mixed; together with a general variety of satinets. Vestings: Buff Cassimere; silk and woolen velvet, of various styles; also, plain and fancy figured satin vestings. A choice assortment of embroidered cashmere vestings. Globes, Crabats, Linens, &c. English silk handk'fs; a superior article; American Silk, White Linen Cambric Handk'fs, Fancy Linen Cambric, Cravata - Satin & Silk, various colors, Italian Silk, Irish Linens -- Fine and superfine. Gloves - Super black and fancy Hoskin; beaver, a great variety. Drawers & shirts - silk, a fine article, worsted and cotton. Suspenders - A large assortment; Hosiery - Woolen, worsted and cotton; Tailor's Tape Measures. Also, A large and excellent assortment of tailor's trimmings - all of which will be sold very low for cash! Stocks and gentlemen's linens, made to order.  Alton, October 1841.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, October 9, 1841

A regular meeting of the Washington Temperance Society will be held at the old Court Room, on Tuesday evening next, October 12th, 1841, at 7 o'clock. The members of the Washington Temperance Society of Upper Alton, of Middletown, and of the Young Men's Temp. Society of this city, will be in attendance, upon invitation. Several addresses may be expected. The ladies, and all others, who are friends of good order and morality, are respectfully invited to attend. Per order of the Society - J. W. Calvin, Rec. Secretary.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, November 17, 1841

Slaughtering of Beef and Pork at Alton, Illinois. The undersigned [late of Cincinnati, Ohio] respectfully inform the farmers & packers that they have established a slaughter house at Alton, and are well provided with good pens; and are ready to slaughter cattle & hogs in the very best manner. Having long experience in the slaughtering business, they pledge themselves to give satisfaction to those may favor them with their patronage. Their establishment is the one formerly occupied by Mr. Work, on Shields' Branch. Thornton & Kirby, Alton, November 17, 1841.




The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, November 22, 1841

$100 reward. The above reward will be given for the apprehension and conviction of the rascal or rascals, who entered the office of the undersigned on the night of Saturday, the 20th instant, and attempted to force open their iron safe.  Bullock & Keating. Alton, November 22, 1841.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, April 21, 1842

Public Meeting - The Whigs of Alton Precinct are requested to meet on Saturday evening next, at 7 o'clock, in the Old Court Room, (Riley's Building), for the purpose of choosing delegates to represent said Precinct in the County Convention to be held at Edwardsville on Wednesday, the 27th inst. A general attendance is solicited. Alton, April 21, 1842.




Source: Alton Telegraph, July 30, 1842

Thrashing Machines - The undersigned have established a shop in the city of Alton, one door east of the Baptist church, for the manufacture of Pitts' Machine for thrashing and winnowing grain; where they will at all times exhibit them to persons wishing to purchase machines of this kind. Either two or four horse powers can be furnished with the thrasher and winnower. These machines have been used and are now owned in several counties in this part of the State, and have given entire satisfaction to all wheat growers who have tried them. They need no other recommendation than their own performance, and the public are invited to examine and judge for themselves.  Libbey & Hanson.



Source: Alton Telegraph, April 22, 1843

The firm of Libbey & Hanson expired by limitation on the first day of February last, and whereby dissolved. All persons indebted to said firm, are requested to make payment to either of its ____members. The name of the firm will be used alone in liquidating the debts due from and ___ing to the late firm.  Nathaniel Hanson.



Source: Alton Telegraph, July 1, 1843

On Second street [Broadway] near the Baptist church - The subscribers would respectfully inform the public that they are now prepared to supply all orders for Pitts Separator, for threshing and cleaning grain, together with an improved horse power. We feel confident in recommending these machines as meeting the entire satisfaction of the community. Pitts Separator, attached to the common thrasher, and warranted. All kinds of farming implements made in order.  Also - Daniel's patent planing machines, which are very useful for all kinds of work; such as squaring out stuff for machinery, all kinds of mill work, timbers of all kinds, floors and all other kinds of boards, bedsteads, tables, bureau, and door stuff, &c.,  All orders thankfully received and promptly attended to.  N. B.  All kinds of jobbing, repairing machinery, &c., done at the shortest notice.  Hanson & Emerson.




Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, October 28, 1843

Cash will be paid by the undersigned for a few thousand head of corn fed hogs, if delivered early in the season, at their packing house in Alton. They also give notice that having provided themselves with the most extensive packing house in the place, they will be prepared to appropriate one half of the house for a commission business. They would farther remark, that one of the firm has been engaged in the packing business on the Ohio River, upwards of twenty years; which has established him a high reputation in the southern and eastern markets, and whose brand is extensively known, and in high repute. With these considerations, they flatter themselves that they can hold out inducements which will secure to them a liberal patronage. The house is also prepared to make liberal cash advances, to the farmers and drovers, for their pork, and will pack and ship the same on commission to their house in New Orleans, to be sold on account of the owners; only charging a reasonable commission for said advances.  Alton, October 28, 1843.  Hibbard, Echols, & Co.




Source: Religious Recorder, Syracuse, New York, 1845-1849

The free soil Van Buren ticket succeeded at the charter election in Alton, Illinois, yesterday by 284 majority.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph Centennial Edition, January 15, 1936

With Piasa street so well paved and so easily traveled today, it is hard to believe that it covers what in 1845 was an open creek. "In those days," according to accounts printed later in the Telegraph, "Piasa creek was an open stream, and at times of heavy floods would pour its floods bank full. There was a bridge crossing the creek at Second street (Broadway), but north it had to be forded."




Source: Syracuse, New York Onondaga Standard, October 1, 1845

At an election held in the city of Alton, Ill., on Monday the 7th, G. T. M. Davis, Whig, was elected Mayor by a majority, over T. M. Hope, late Tyler U. S. Marshal, and now one of the Loco Foco (sp?) editors of the papers in that city. This Davis was once a resident of this place, a flaming democrat, and receiver of salt duties when he but his pocket book, etc. Now he is full of whiggery as a dog is of fleas. So the world wags.




Source: Albany, New York Evening Journal, August 8, 1849

At Alton, Ill. there were but five deaths from cholera last week.




Source: Amenia, New York Times, 1852

A raft floated by Alton, Ill. a few days since, which contained 800,000 ft of lumber, besides 200,000 lathes, and 160,000 shingles. It was the largest raft that ever floated down the Mississippi.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, Friday, June 4, 1852

Few places possess advantages equal to this for a residence. The city is healthy, its citizens enterprising, and distinguished for the unanimity and zeal with which they engage in all enterprises calculated to promote the prosperity of the place, and the welfare of its inhabitants. Churches of all the leading denominations in the country are to be found here, well sustained; the public schools are in a flourishing condition, and the moral tone and sentiment of the people are not behind those of any place of its size in New England. Its location upon the banks of the Mississippi river, which is navigable to this point at all times when boats can reach St. Louis, in fact we may say at all seasons of the year, makes it comparatively easy of access even at this time; but so soon as the Alton and Sangamon, and the Alton and Terre Haute railroads are completed, it can be reached with the greatest facility from all parts of the country, and at all times. In the vicinity of Alton, about four miles distant, is the Monticello Female Seminary, one of the very best female institutions in the United States. It is delightfully situated in the midst of a most beautiful country, which is highly improved. The Seminary building, which was erected through the munificence of Captain Benjamin Godfrey, to whom the people of this section of country owe a vast debt of gratitude - is calculated to accommodate about one hundred young ladies, and is constantly filled to its utmost capacity. At Upper Alton, about two miles from the city, is Shurtleff college, an institution of very respectable standing, and at this time in a flourishing condition. The country in the immediate vicinity of Alton is broken, and the city itself is built in the midst of hills and hollows, so that the whole place cannot be seen from any one point. Hence persons passing on the river, or who only stop near the landing, are apt to, from very inadequate ideas of the business and extent of the city. No portion of either Middletown or Sempletown, the most delightful portions of the city for residences, and where many of the best improved places are situated, are to be seen from either of these points. To obtain anything like a correct view of the extent of the place, a person should ascend the bluff north of the city, or some other of the many elevated points around it, from which he can see a large portion of the city itself, and have a most magnificent view of the river for many miles. Hitherto there has been but few pleasant rides out of Alton, but now, by the construction of the plank road up the valley, leading back into the country and past Monticello, the people are being furnished with a pleasant and agreeable way of riding out of town. Indeed we scarcely know of a more beautiful and picturesque road for the same distance, than that over the plank road from the city to the Buck Inn. All things considered, we know of no place, east or west, to be preferred to Alton as a residence for families as well as for business men.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, Friday, June 4, 1852

We were very agreeably surprised, yesterday, on stepping into the establishment of Mr. George Thorp, on Third street, between State and Belle streets, to see a small but very finely constructed steam engine, in actual operation, he having received it but a couple of hours before from the boat. Its power is equal, it is said, to about six men, although when we saw it in place it appeared as if an able-bodied man might pick it up and carry it off. Mr. Thorp purchased it in New York, and intends to make use of it in charging the various soda fountains in the city.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, Friday, June 4, 1852

Franklin House, State St., Alton, Illinois. E. Bliss, Proprietor (formerly of American House, Springfield, Ill., would respectfully inform the citizens of Alton and vicinity, and the traveling community, that he has taken the above named House, which has recently undergone a thorough repair, and an extensive addition, and that he has furnished it entirely with new furniture suitable for the wants and comforts of his guests. The House is situated in the most central part of the city, and is now open for the accommodation of boarders and transient customers. The proprietor flatters himself from past experience in Hotel keeping, and from a strict personal attention to the wants and comfort of his guests, that he will be enabled to accommodate all who call upon him in a satisfactory manner. There is also in connection with the house, a large and commodious stable, where traveler's horses will receive proper attention; also, Carriages, Buggies, and Saddle Horses furnished at the shortest notice.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, June 4, 1852

As the Northern stage was leaving town yesterday, the driver carelessly run the stage against a wagon standing in Second street [Broadway], belonging to Mr. Hollowell, who lives a few miles from town, and injured his little son, who was taking care of the horse, very severely. Mr. Hollowell's horse then started and turned up State street and from thence to Third street, starting two other teams, one of which ran up Belle street, and the other was caught before it got under full headway. Many of the stage drivers have been in the habit of showing their skill to our citizens by their rapid driving through town, to the great danger of the teams traversing the street, as well as of human life; and it is high time a stop was put to all such practices. We hope our indefatigable City Marshal will look to the matter.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, August 13, 1852

Mr. Editor - I witnessed today on Second street a specimen of the effects of our license system, and such a scene I hope I shall never again be called to look upon. A man, his wife and little girl, the inmates of one of those filthy, low whisky shops that infest our city, and another person unknown, were engaged in one of the most disgraceful rows that ever tarnished the name of our city. When the two men had fairly come to blows, the woman and her little girl rushed into the street, with oaths too horrible to repeat, and mingled with the combatants. Then came "the tug of war." Pell mell, tumbling and plunging they went, through the mud, while oaths, loud and rapid filled the air. But worse than all, two of our council members (I refrain, though, with reluctance to give their names), stood by their sides almost splitting with laughter at the anything else but laughable scene. No doubt but they were enjoying with the greatest pleasure and satisfaction the fruits of their work! Sir, what else can we expect, when such men hold and rule the destinies of our prospering city? Can we look for anything else? Do we not daily see the most disgusting scenes of drunkenness in our streets? Are not respectable men and women, forced daily to step from the sidewalks into the muddy street, to give way to a reeling and staggering man, made drunk and senseless as a brute, by this infernal license system. And who does the blame rest upon? The liquor vender, the drinkers, or the Council? Yes the Council! and it alone is answerable for the drunkenness and crime of our city. These things should be seen to.   Juan.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, January 21, 1853

In accordance with the invitation of our city, Gov. Matteson, the members of the Legislature, and the Judges of the Supreme Court, came down yesterday, upon the [rail] cars. They turned out en masse, and notwithstanding the day was not of the finest, they had a very comfortable and pleasant ride. The cars were well filled, but not to excess. and the sage law-makers of Suckerdom unbent their brows a trifle, and indulged in the well told anecdote, the keen repartee, and the hearty laugh, like common folks. New beginners improvised new campaigns, while the older members "wept o'er their wounds," and "showed how fields were won." Arrived at Alton, our guests were escorted to the Franklin House, and set down to the groaning tables of Mr. Bliss, that were heaped with all the luxuries and delicacies of the season. We saw the tables, before the guests had taken their seats, and they presented a truly splendid appearance, and fully satisfied us that the worthy host was master of the art gastronomic, and has a fine eye in decorating and setting off a public table. His effort was creditable to himself and to the city. After having taken the "rough edge" off from hearty appetites, the following regular toasts were offered by H. S. Baker, Esq., of Alton, and were received with enthusiastic applause:  [Their toasts:]

  1. Our Guests - The pride and talent of our State - a cheerful welcome makes a hearty feast. Drank with applause.

  2. Illinois - The Prairie State of our Union - rich in soil, and rich in minerals - with steam, water, horse, and intellectual powers, may she never sell her birthright for a mess of pottage. Drank with applause.

  3. The Governor of Illinois - Chosen for his wisdom, and honored for his virtues - In his first official act there is seen the index of the giant map of things to come at large. Gov. Matteson responded, by offering, as a toast, the continued prosperity of our beloved State, &c.

  4. The Members of our Legislature - Administrators de bonus nom of 1836 - may they settle up the estate so as to leave something to their heirs. Applause.

  5. Ex-Gov. John Reynolds - Speaker of the House of Representatives - though often honored by his fellow-citizens, yet honored not enough with a hearty and a hale old age, he is not without that respect which should attend it. The "Old Ranger" responded in a happy off-hand style; stated that he had lived many years in Illinois, and in dark days, and times of but little seeming hope. But now he was witnessing the realization of all his hopes, and the fruition of good to his loved Prairie State.

  6. Illinois Railroads - With judgment, wisdom, and discrimination they are destined to place us in the vanguard of the commercial world. Mr. Egan, of Cook county, made some happy remarks, in which he complimented Alton, and was responded to by Mayor Hope.

  7. The Judiciary - The expounders of our Laws - upright, intelligent, and independent - the strongest bulwark of our liberties. Judge Caton being called upon, very cleverly "shifted the responsibility" upon Judge Trumbull, and the latter made such a handsome little speech, as we all know he can make, whenever called upon .

Several other toasts were offered, but which, owing to the "jam" of the occasion, and the lateness of the hour, we were unable to procure. Very happy remarks were made by Messrs. Denio, Snyder, and others, in response to toasts - and it is not out of place to state that Col. Buckmaster was loudly called upon, and brought down the house completely, by his original, off-hand sallies. The supper having passed off, another state of things came to pass. The fine band of Postelwaite, of St. Louis, struck up in the dancing hall, and erelong the "light fantastic toe" was tripping it in fine style. The ladies of Alton and vicinity were there, and were as charming and sociable as ever. The beaux had remarkably neat gloves and upright collars; all were in good estimation with themselves; the ball was light and roomy, and the music was fine - therefore what was to prevent enjoying one's self? At the time we write this - among the "small hours" - the music and tread of feet is still heard in the adjoining building (the Franklin House). Our pen can hardly preserve its equanimity the while, and we must bid our labors, and the subject, good morning. Our honored guests, we hope, have enjoyed their visit at least one half as well as have our citizens. If so, they are well repaid for the trip. They return to Springfield this morning, and will attend the levee of Senator Douglas, at that place, tonight. They hear the best wishes of the people of Alton




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, February 28, 1853

Franklin House - State street, Alton, Illinois - E. Bliss, Proprietor (formerly of the American House, Springfield, Ill.) would respectfully inform the citizens of Alton and vicinity, and the traveling community, that he has taken the above named house, which has recently undergone a thorough repair, and an extensive addition, and that he has furnished it entirely with new furniture, suitable for the wants and comforts of his guests. The House is situated in the most central part of the city, and is now open for the accommodation of boarders and transient customers. The Proprietor flatters himself, from past experience in hotel keeping, and from a strict personal attention to the wants and comfort of his guests, that he will be enabled to accommodate all who call upon him in a satisfactory manner. There is also in connection with the house a large and commodious stable, where travelers' horses will receive proper attention, also, carriages, buggies, and saddle horses furnished at the slightest notion.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, February 28, 1853

Alton House - Amos L. Corson, Proprietor. The undersigned, grateful for the very liberal patronage heretofore extended in the above well known and long established Hotel, respectfully informs the traveling public and the community in general, that he is still prepared to entertain them at all hours, in the very best manner, and on the most reasonable terms. His table will be constantly supplied with the choicest delicacies to be procured in the market; and no pains or attention, on the part of the proprietor, or his able assistant, Captain Pilts, will be omitted to give entire satisfaction to all who may favor him with a call. Connected with the establishment is a large and commodious stable, where a good stock of horses, carriages and buggies will always be kept in readiness for the accommodation of travelers and others. Funerals will also be attended to at short notice, and in the best and finest style.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, April 1, 1853

There are three large grain mills in this city, a full description of either of which would comprise a lengthy article. We have space for a brief notice of but one at this time, and some statistics with regard to it. The oldest of these mills, and the first ever built in Alton, is the one now owned by Messrs. Mitchell & Garnier. It was erected about the year 1830 by the Alton Manufacturing Company. It has changed hands several times since that period, and has made money and lost money, alternately, as is incident to that trade and the fluctuating prices of flour and grain. In 1839 this mill came into the possession of the Messrs. Wise, who run it three years. Other parties then run it, among whom were Messrs. McElroy & Atchinson. In 1849 this mill came into the possession of the present proprietors, and in 1850-51 it was fitted up in part as a distillery. It has a powerful steam engine, with three large boilers, and comprises four run of stones. The following is a correct statement of its capacities, and general business:


Amount of flour made per day

150 bbls

Amount of whisky made per day

40 bbls

Amount of wheat ground per day

700 bushels

Amount of corn made per day

400 bushels

Amount of coal burned per day

300 bushels

Number of hogs fattened per year


Number of steers fattened per year


Number of bales of hops used


Number of bushels of malt



To show more fully the extensive business of this mill, we estimate the yearly average work at 300 days, whereby we find that 45,000 bbls of flour are manufactured, and 12,000 bbls of whisky. This requires that number of new barrels, and consumes 210,000 bushels of wheat, 130,000 bushels of corn, and 60,000 bushels of coal. Messrs. Mitchell & Garnier are now driving their establishment to its full capacity, and are doubtless transacting a most profitable business. It runs night and day, and its rolling machinery ceases only from twelve o'clock on Saturday night to 12 o'clock on Sunday night. The profits of the distilling and slop feeding business are immense. The whisky produced from the corn pays all expenses, it is stated, and leaves an average profit of 2 cts. per gallon. The feeding of hogs and cattle is therefore so much clear gain. We will notice the other mills hereafter.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, April 8, 1853

A few days since we noticed the milling establishment of Messrs. Mitchell & Garnier. Today we give a few items respecting the mills now owned by the Messrs. Wise. Their "old mill" on the Levee, fronting the Penitentiary, was started in 1842. Previous to that time the building was occupied as a store, by Messrs. Godfrey, Gilman & Co. This mill is fitted up with four run of stones, a powerful steam engine, and two large boilers. It turns out 250 bbls. of superior flour per day, of twenty-four hours, and requiring 1200 bushels of wheat. 200 bushels of coal are consumed per day. This mill has been run constantly for years past, and its excellent flour has gained a wide-spread reputation. During the past year its supplies of wheat have come almost entirely from the Illinois river, owing to a failure of crops in this section.  The "Madison Mill" was established some five years since, by Messrs. Lea, Lamb & Co., and was purchased by Messrs. Wise and others last year. This fine mill has four run of stones and heavy steam works and machinery. It can turn out with ease 350 bbls. of flour per day, grinds 1575 bushels of wheat, and consuming 300 bushels of coal. This mill has been idle the past season because of the failure and scarcity of wheat during the winter. It will be fitted up in good repair, and run constantly this coming season by its present proprietors. It is needless to enter into calculations, respecting the amount of wheat thus ground, and flour turned out per year by the Alton mills. All can see that it is immense. The wheat market of Alton is extensive, owing to the fine range of wheat country in Illinois surrounding us, and these facts relative to our mills must be interesting. There has been much speculating and shaving in our wheat market, heretofore (and in what market has there not?), but now the commercial facilities are becoming so open as to bring capitalist buyers and speculators here to purchase. The railroads now contemplated and in progress once finished, Alton is destined to become one of the grain marts of the country. Get the grain here, and no danger of a want of capital or men to buy it, at the best going prices. It may be well, in closing this brief notice of the Alton mills, to pay our respects to the Messrs. Wise, who are doubtless the founders of this extensive business. By their skill and energy they have built up handsome fortunes for themselves, and for years conducted a business very honorable and beneficial to the city. They are strict and punctual business men, and may be seen daily super-intending their mills personally. A grip of their friendly hand is no less cordial though it be hardened by manual labor, and their white-dusted garments, as they pass through our streets, are an insignia of Democracy far more pleasing than the silk hats and kid gloves of a generation of distilled dandyism.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, April 29, 1853

The Messrs. Barey & Co. and Messrs. Lesure & Co., Druggists, commenced preparation for moving into other buildings, as "the old corner" is to be torn down the 1st of next May. Messrs. Lesure & Co. will occupy the building on State street next door to Messrs. Hoaglan, Wise & Co.'s Clothing Store, and Messrs. Barey & Co. the store under the Franklin House. They will be thus situated for about two months, when they will remove back to their old locations, but in fine brick buildings. We notice that our fellow citizen, D. E. Brown, Esq., Watch and Clock dealer and Jeweler, has removed to his new stand on Third street, immediately opposite the plank road. Mr. Brown has purchased the building he now occupies, of Mr. J. Quarton, and has fitted it up in excellent style. He has a very neat and tasty shop, and a good assortment of stock. Third street is "coming out."




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 6, 1853

It was announced some time ago that a Bookbindery and Blank Book Manufactory was about to be established in Alton. We are gratified to be able to say that it is now established and that bookbinding in all its varieties can now be had at home. The necessity of such an establishment in Alton has long been felt. Scarcely a citizen of the City and neighborhood but have some volumes to be bound, and for blank books, our citizens have been compelled to go out of the State, or travel far into the interior at an expense and inconvenience far beyond the value of the work to be done. The business in Alton is an experiment, it is true, but those interested feel sanguine that it will succeed and are confident that our citizens and those of the surrounding counties will do everything in their power to sustain it.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 20, 1853

May 13 - The want of a large and commodious hall, for the various Masonic bodies in this city, has been long felt, and the fraternity at one time intended putting up one of their own, the third and fourth stories of which were to be used for their meetings, but a proposition was eventually made to them by Messrs. E. & J. H. Hibbard, who proposed to so arrange the fourth story of their building, then erecting on Third street, as to give them a large and commodious hall, with all the ante-rooms necessary for the different bodies, and rent it to the fraternity for a term of years, at a fair rent. The proposition was accepted. The Hall and adjoining rooms have been furnished, and are now occupied. The Hall is without doubt the largest and best furnished in the State. It is about 68 feet in length, by 25 feet in width, and supplied from both sides with an abundance of light. The ceiling is an elliptic, about 16 feet high in the centre, and crowned with a very large and handsome pyramidal sky-light, about 8 feet in diameter at the base. The plastering and painting are of pure white, and the finish of the wood-work is plain, substantial, and neat. The furnishing of the Hall is elegant. The window-shades are of oil-cloth, representing various Masonic scones and emblems, while the coloring imparted through them to the room is rich and subdued. The entire floor is carpeted with a fine English three ply carpet, well put down. The officers' stands are raised by a succession of steps from the floor, according to their grades, the front of the stands being composed of well executed pillars, of the numbers three, two and one, according to the grade of the officers occupying them. They are also furnished with arm-chairs. Around upon the walls are hung side lamps, and from the centre of the pyramidal sky-light is suspended a splendid chandelier, of four burners, and the sides and ends of the Hall are furnished with arm-chairs for the members and visitors. The rooms adjoining are also well arranged for the purposes of the order, and present every imaginable convenience. Altogether, the hall is by far the largest and finest in the State, and reflects great credit upon Messrs. Hibbard, the builders, and upon the gentlemen who attended to its decoration and furnishing. The hall will comfortably seat 350 persons. It is proposed to have a public dedication of the hall at an early day. The exact time we are not informed. The following are different orders meet in the hall, together with their officers and the times of meeting. Piasa Lodge No. 27 meets every Tuesday evening. Officers: L. S. Metcalf, W. M.; W. H. Turner, S. W.; H. I. Hibbard, J. W.; R. H. Harrison, C.; P. Pickard, T.; H. G. McPike, S.; E. M. Hazzard, S. D.; T. Dimmock, J. D.; D. Simms, T.               Alton Royal Arch Chapter No. 8 meets every Friday evening. Officers: J. W. Schweppe II, P.; S. Y. McMaster, S.; J. Hunt, P. S.; R. H. Harrison, C.; W. H. Turner, S.; S. R. Dolbee, M.2dV.; G. W. Weigler, K.; J. H. Hibbard, C. H.; E. M. Hazzard, R.A.C.; P. Pickard, T.; J. R. Godfrey, M.3dV.; S. E. Lesure, M.1dV.; D. Simms, G.      Alton Council U. D. meets every Thursday evening. Officers: G. T. Brown, T.I.G.M.; P. W. Randle, P.C.O.W.; J. Bailhuche, T.; J. H. Hibbard, D.I.G.M.; G. H. Weigler, C.G.; W. H. Turner, R.            Belvidere Encampment No. 2 meets every Monday evening.  Officers: J. Hunt, M.E.G.C.; G. T. Brown, C.G.; W. P. Lamothe, S.W.; S. R. Dolbee, S.B.; J. R. Godfrey, S.B.; J. B. Kirkham, G.; J. W. Schweppe, P.; W. H. Turner, J. W.; B. F. Barry, W.; G. H. Weigler, S.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 27, 1853

The residents of the 4th Ward of this city [Alton] are circulating a petition, we learn, praying the City Council to order the opening of many streets in Middletown, which have been fenced up by adjoining land owners for pasture. It appears that the petitioners want the roads opened for pasture also.




Source: June 3, 1853

The lumber season has fairly commenced in this city, large quantities having arrived the past few days. About two million feet has already arrived in rafts from the Upper Mississippi, for our various lumber dealers. Their present intention is to bring into the Alton market, this season, five million feet of "lumber," (which term includes, in this region, everything except shingles and lath). Several million of shingles and lath will also be brought into the various yards. This is a larger amount of lumber than was ever before brought into this market in one season. And besides this, there is a new lumber firm established in the lower of the city whose of purchases or expected sales we are not advised, and there is a prospect of still another yard being established in this city, ere long. As regards prices, we learn that our lumber merchants are compelled to pay from $1.00 to $1.50 per thousand feet more, this season, than last year at this time. Common stuff, bought last year for $11 per thousand, new commands $12 to $13. This same difference will extend to purchasers at the yards. The fleet of lumber rafts now at our levee are what is called "the first run" from Black and Chippewa rivers near St. Anthony's Falls. The Upper Mississippi is now falling, but should it again arise or continue at the present fair stage, the "second run" of rafts will be enabled to get down and meet the demand of this lower country. In this connection we may be allowed to speak of "lumbering" in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Many young men came down on these rafts and from them we have picked up an item or two. In the summer time the sawmills of that northern region, situated on small, never failing streams, are running incessantly, cutting up the tall pines for the southern market. Many men are employed in the "pinery," in this business, the year through. In the fall and during the winter, the lumber is hauled to the Mississippi, a distance ranging from half a mile to three miles, and there made up into rafts. In mid winter the rafts are often constructed upon the ice, and are thus carried off by the spring freshet. At this time also, the teams are kept busy sledding the logs into the mill for next summer's sawing. Thus it is, in that far off wilderness, when winter seems to have wrapt all in its cold embrace, the lumbermen are wide awake and buffeting among the snowy drifts. So, at "freshet" time in the spring, the boss lumber man, and his gang of hands, mount their treasured rafts and push out for the South. They are from four to six weeks floating down to this point. This is to them a season alike of jolity, enjoyment, and hard times. They sing, fiddle, shoot and fish, and at times have to pull at their oars with all their might to keep clear of "tow heads," points and bars. A rain storm comes up - they are soaked; the sun is hot, and they fry under it. The wind blows hard, on to shore, and they have to paddle like mad. No wonder they, "the jolly raftsmen," arrive at our levee the toughest, merriest, and most sun-burnt and rugged set of fellows to be found. The boss owes many of these hands quite large sums - some $100, some $75, some $50, &c., for their past winter services. And so the boss must have his money instanter for his lumber. Therefore, so soon as his raft is tied, he "walks up to the captain's office to settle." Last Tuesday Messrs. Miller & Switzer bought an ordinary raft, paying its owner $4,500 in cash, as soon as it arrived, and was tied to shore, some $500 more remaining to be paid when the raft was taken out upon land, and accurately measured. (It is seen, hereby, that capital is required to carry on the lumber business.) The proprietor proceeds to settle with his hands and they scatter through our streets upon a land voyage among the stores. Soon we can observe them emerge from clothing stores, completely refitted "from top to toe" and as fine a looking set of young men as we generally see. It is hardly worth while to dilate, or prognosticate, upon the future lumber trade of this city. The subject will not suffer, if we simply dismiss it by stating that the agreeable odor of pine lumber will be more observable than ever in Alton this season.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, June 10, 1853

Several worthy farmers, residing in the country near Wood River, and therenbouts, who often haul wood to town, complain to us that they are compelled to have their wood measured by a city measurer, at a low grocery, or doggery, below the bridge in Hunterstown. They state that there is usually a drunken crowd about there, and drinking, fighting, and swearing constantly going on, which to them is very annoying. If this is the case, it should be remedied instanter. We do not know who the wood measurer or grocery keeper is, and we have no design to injure them, but such a state of case is disreputable to our city and should be looked to. Will the City Council inquire into this matter?




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, June 17, 1853

We learn that it is the intention of the owner of the Alton House, or its leasee, Mr. Corson, to build a large brick addition, or wing, to the main building this season. The business of this hotel has been very heavy the past winter and spring, and fully justifies this enlargement. The Franklin House also has been doing a large business during the time mentioned, and, under the control of Mr. Bliss, and his right-hand man, Mr. Lestre (sp?), is conducted in excellent style. During several months past, many a night have we seen Mr. Bliss compelled to apologize to travelers for the want of the wherewith to accommodate them - his rooms, beds, sofas, blankets and buffalo robes being occupied by guests, many of whom were compelled to sleep on the floor. Were the Franklin House located differently, so as to admit of enlargement, its press business would imperatively demand it. The Piasa House is doing a good business, we should judge. Mr. Harry Hart, its landlord, is well versed in his duties, and has a host of friends. He has just erected a balcony around his hotel, which greatly adds to its appearance, and makes a cool and pleasant shade for the weary traveler. The City Hotel has its many patrons, and we believe is doing well, judging from appearances. There is a need for another and larger hotel, we believe. The Chicago and Mississippi road will be connected through to Chicago soon, and also cars [railroad] will be running to Hillsboro on the Terre Haute road, and the increase of travel through our city will be great. The present business overruns our hotels at times, and a new and large one is certainly very desirable, and would be a good investment. There are two fine locations for such a hotel now in our mind. One of them is the corner of State and Third streets, a large lot, cornering, and facing on both streets. It is owned by the Edwards estate, and is to be sold at public sale on the 15th of this month (next Wednesday). The other lot to which we refer is owned by O. M. Adams, Esq., and located opposite the Madison Mill. Mr. A. has long intended this spot for that purpose. Such a hotel as we have reference to would be a great benefit and credit to the city.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, June 24, 1853

We are pleased to learn that the Hibernian Benevolent Society [an Irish-Catholic fraternal organization] of Alton have determined to celebrate the coming National Anniversary in a very appropriate manner. They intend preparing an immense tent, or covering of tarpaulins, upon the high bluffs of our city (probably the high point above the Penitentiary), and will have a fine dinner. Good speakers have been invited, and Gen. Shields and Hon. D. L. Gregg are expected to be present. The Hibernian Societies of St. Louis have been invited, and will be up, and a band of music has been secured. This is a grand movement, and the Hibernians of our city will do the affair up right. They by no means intend to confine the celebration to themselves, but invite the other Benevolent Societies, and the people generally, to meet with them. We hope the Altonians will not be backward, but celebrate the Fourth in the joyous, good old-fashioned way. Let the stores, shops and warehouses be closed, and all determine to make it a holiday.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, August 12, 1853

We took a stroll about the lime works, under the bluffs, a day or two since, and collected some facts and figures that we think will be of interest to our readers. The lime business is thought to be considerable, but we are not prepared to find it carried on as extensively as appears by the following:  The principal lime manufacturers of Alton and Messrs. C.Trumbull, John Lock, and some gentlemen in Hunterstown, their agents being Messrs. Mitchell & Hollister. Mr. Trumbull takes out about 800 bbls., Mr. Lock 300, and Mitchell & Hollister about 300 per week - a total of 1400 bbls. of lime per week, during the season. Up to July 30th, Mr. Lock has taken out of his kilns 8,000 bbls, and has burnt 680 cords of wood. Mr. Trumbull has burned over 15,000 bbl.; other manufacturers in proportion. Lime barrels are required in large numbers and are furnished from Upper Alton, Jerseyville, Kane and Wood river. Mr. Lock has also a cooperage connected with his shop. Barrels are scarce, and rising in price. The manufacture of these barrels requires many workmen, and affords a sale for all the refuse stock of the cooperages, which would not answer for "tight work," as flour and pork barrels. The price of lime will average 95 cts. per barrel the year through. It is a cash business, and the capital employed very quickly tuned - at least once per month. The profits are very fair. In fact, at 80 cts per bbl., and at present prices for wood, empty barrels and labor, the business would be at least ordinarily profitable. The demand has so far, exceeded the supply this season by more than two thirds. The manufacturers have now orders in hand from Minnesota, New Orleans, Memphis, Vicksburg, and many towns on the Mississippi, Illinois and upper Mississippi rivers, more than they can fill this season. Low water has cut off the up-river trade, or at least delayed it, and the lime is now shipped as fast as burned by cars and by New Orleans and Missouri river boats; nearly 2,000 barrels having gone up by the latter route recently. The city and adjacent country demand is also very heavy at this time, and large quantities are retailed at the kilns daily. The limestone of our city is remarkably pure, and almost entirely free from flint and other extraneous combinations of rock. Geologists have so pronounced it, and the lime has acquired a high reputation for purity and excellence throughout the West. In fact, we know of no location in the Union where such large quantities of the pure article is manufactured, with such case, and afforded so cheaply. The rock lies in regular parallel layers in a bluff about 100 feet high, and the layers thickening towards the bottom until they seem to be lost, and large masses could be got out, like granite. The kilns are built immediately against the rock, and thus blasting, breaking up, pitching into the tops of the kilns, burning, hauling wood and draiyng [sic] barrels, both empty and full, is being done at the same time and presents at times a very busy scene in that locality. During this season there will be from 80 to 100,000 bbls. of lime burnt in and about Alton, requiring from 7 to 9,000 cords of wood, When we count up the cost of the latter, and reflect upon the number of hands employed in barrel making, blasting, hauling, and about the kilns, we can somewhat appreciate the extent of the business - and which is yet in its infancy. Another year greater exertions will be put forth, and new kilns are about being constructed, of a new plan, in which fires will be kept up constantly, drawing from them the lime as fast as burned, while in full heat. Thus a great waste of heat in cooling off is avoided.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, August 26, 1853

Yesterday a company of workmen commenced to tear down the old frame houses, and dig out the cellars for two fine brick stores, on this street, immediately opposite Mr. Dibbard's tall building, and adjoining the premises of Judge Martin. This makes seven new stores now in progress of erection in this street. One year hence this street will present a very handsome appearance. Business is gradually working into this and other streets, back from the river.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, October 7, 1853

In no other branch of business is the growth and prosperity of Alton more manifest than in the furniture trade. A few years ago a single establishment, with quite a small stock, supplied all the demand. Now we have several large furniture establishments, and they find it difficult to supply the great demand. We stepped into Matzy's Furniture Establishment yesterday, and were both surprised and pleased to see the very large stock of fine and costly furniture he had on hand. Everything in the furniture line from the finest parlor furniture, and running through the different grades, in style and price, can here be found, besides many articles usually found in the house furnishing line. With such stocks of furniture as may now be found in Alton, there is no occasion for going elsewhere to purchase. Give him a call.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, October 14, 1853

We were favored with a visit, yesterday, to the Car Building Establishment in Hunterstown, and found it in full tide of operation. The wood workers, machinists, blacksmiths, moulders and carpenters, were all busy in their respective apartments, and their operations, together with the rolling machinery, produced a compound of noises, and gave a busy look to the premises. The finishing touches are now being made to twenty burthen cars, some fifteen of which were mounted and outdoors, upon the railroad track, in running order. The proprietors of the establishment have contracted to build 150 of these cars, together with all the switches, and this contract will furnish employment for the next ten months. Sixty men are employed in and about the premises. Everything about the cars are manufactured there, except the axles of the cars, and the India rubber springs. Some of these cars now finished were being fitted up with sleeping bunks, and others with stoves, and other family conveniences - to be used as boarding houses by the workmen employed along the road. So pressed with business is the Car Establishment that the proprietors have been unable to do work offered them by the Chicago and Mississippi Railroad Company and by others. So soon as a portion of the Terre Haute is completed sufficient to demand it, passenger cars will be put on, made at this shop. This business will be extended, in time, by the present energetic proprietors, to become one of the most extensive branches of manufacture in the city. They can easily make additions to their buildings, and can obtain timber, lumber, fuel and workmen, with less trouble, and outlay, than elsewhere in this section of country. As it is, this car building has brought a large capital, and a round number of mechanics and laborers into our city.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, December 2, 1853

Early on Thursday morning a young man, a drayman [man who drives a cart], was stabbed during a drunken row by another man, supposed to be a drayman. The occurrence took place at the grocery on the corner of Third and Piasa streets. The wounded man lived about twelve hours after the affray. An examination was held on Thursday, before Justice Pinckard, and was continued over to yesterday, in order to await the verdict of the Coroner's jury; and which was, that the deceased was willfully murdered. The Coroner's jury also signed a document addressed to the City Council, petitioning that the grocery where the murder was committed should be shut up. The accused party was remanded to jail, to await trial. His name is Flannagan. The name of the deceased was Causley.




Source: The New York Times, November 29, 1859

The Alton (Ill.) Courier calls the attention of the authorities of that city to the shifting of the channel of the river, which is growing more serious every day, and threatens, if not checked, to make Alton an inland city. The Courier says that a stick of wood thrown into the stream, near Mitchel's mill, will drift rapidly almost directly across to the opposite shore, going down between the island and the Missouri shore. Besides this, the bar in front of the lower part of the city is constantly growing larger, and extending upwards, and if this process of accretion continues, there is a prospect that the channel will be thrown permanently to the opposite shore, leaving first a chute, then a slough, and finally a strip of dry land between the city and the distant bank of the river.




Source:  The Quincy Daily Whig, Illinois, December 9, 1852
From the most authentic information it seems that the explosion on this ill-fated boat was from powder and not the explosion of the boilers. The engineer and clerk both state that there was a large lot of powder stowed away in the hold of the boat, forward of the hatch; the planks forming the gangway to the shore being wet and slippery, large quantities of hot ashes, mingled with coals, were brought from the furnace and strewed upon them, to enable the men to keep their footing while ascending to the bank and descending with the wood. It is thought that some of the coals or sparks were blown by the wind into the hold, causing the powder to ignite and blow up the boat. Some of the surviving officers say that they saw the boilers after the explosion, and that the flues were not collapsed. The body of Capt. Deane was found on Saturday, on the wreck of the cabin, about eight miles below Alton, and taken to St. Louis for interment. It was greatly disfigured, but there was no difficulty in recognizing his face, and his watch and papers were found upon his person. His funeral took place on Monday. Capt. J. J. Perry, Master of the Geneva, died on Sunday morning, from the injuries he had received. His remains are to be taken to Pittsburgh, where his wife resides, for interment.



Source: Alton Weekly Courier, January 14, 1853

As we rarely have a fire in Alton, thanks to kind fortune, we must make the most out of the fire alarm, night before last. After running ourself clear out of breath, over Second street hill, in the wake of "der machine," to catch an item, fresh and warm, it shall go hard but that we make something out of it. The fire caught in a closet, under the stair way on the first floor. It was some time before its whereabouts could be ascertained. The "Sucker" engine boys were early on the ground - part of them mounted the house, part took possession of the fence, and the balance sealed the front door. An axe was made to ply among the shingles of the roof, and soon introduced star light among the rafters - but no fire was found. A ladder was placed against the outside, and some of the weather boarding removed, but the hunt after the "devouring element" was unsuccessful. The party inside the house cut open the floor, but no fire burst forth. They continued their peregrinations, however, convinced that where there was so much smoke there must be a little fire, and upon opening the closet, found it filled with flame. A few buckets of water quenched it. Before this, however, the "Sucker" boys had gathered around their "machine," quietly waiting to see whether there was going to be any fire, before they made any preparations. The damage to the building was inconsiderable. The neat rooms of the lady of the house were much soiled, by water, smoke, and muddy boots. The feminines of the neighborhood were considerably flattered, a damage however very easily repaired. The "Sucker" boys returned home, invincible, and we, in sure possession of our item.




Source: The New York Times, February 24, 1853

The Alton (Ill.) Telegraph gives the following account of Western travel, in these unfortunate localities not yet blessed with the Iron Horse: "The stage came in yesterday in a deplorable fix, from Jacksonville; the body and hind wheels were left behind, perhaps in some mud hole up the country, opposite an anti-railroad man's door. Upon the front axle tree was lashed a crockery crate, which contained the Jehu, his mails and three passengers. The whole concern looked as though it had searched the bottom of every quagmire in the country, and brought away a sample of its compost and fertilizing qualities."




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, July 15, 1853

Mr. Editor: It appears from a communication in yesterday's Telegraph that there is a slight prospect of a duel to come off some time between now and frost. Being a connoisseur in such matters, having been "second" a few times, and having held the handkerchief and bottle for pugilists, I propose to take charge of this "affair of Honor." I would, in that case, arrange that the Mayor take his "site" from the Bluffs, on this side the river, and that you select an easy crotch of a tall tree on the other side - each to be armed with superior dueling pistols, warranted to hold up to forty yards. There you can "pepper" each other to your heart's content, you "seconds" and attending friends being allowed to while away the time by swimming and fishing. Experienced surgeons and cooks will be on the ground. Also, an eminent legal gentleman, to investigate the validity of the Mayor's resignation. No spirits allowed on the ground, but coffee - except in case of accident. Should this honorable affair terminate fatally, the services of Col. Crane's St. Louis Battalion will be called upon to do the funeral honors. In short, Mr. Editor, if this affair is committed to my charge, I promise you it shall go off like hot cakes, and greatly to the renown and glory of all concerned.  Yours, Undertaker. Alton, July 8, 1853.




Source: Oswego, New York Daily Times, November 7, 1853

The public will rejoice at the announcement that a continuous railway track is now open from this city [New York] to Alton, Illinois, on the Mississippi, twenty miles above St. Louis. These two great cities are thus brought within about forty-eight hours of each other, traveling time, and passengers are ticketed through from New York to Alton and St. Louis, at the Michigan Southern Railroad office in this city. We congratulate our friends at the that the "close of navigation" will no obstruction this winter, to travel.



Source: Alton Weekly Courier, April 27, 1854

Judge Niles, editor of the Belleville Advocate, was here a few days ago, and in his paper of Wednesday last, speaks in very encouraging and flattering terms of the improvements and prospects of our city. We ought to say that the statements are nearly correct - our city schools not yet being free, although rapidly approaching to that state, and the position of the Courier on the Nebraska Question has been positive neutrality, and not positive and downright opposition. We copy the editor's remarks:


Alton and Her Progress - A recent visit to the city of Alton and a sojourn of two days among her enterprising and public spirited citizens, has left a strong impression on our mind of her present prosperity and future growth. The city proper, or Lower Alton, with her suburbs, Hunter's Town, Upper Alton, Middle Alton and Semple Town, making one extensive city, are all advancing with wonderful progress. We were astonished to see the houses built and building in all directions on the hills which form the site of this really promising city. The railroads have done much to raise her to the commanding position which she is now rapidly assuming. One railroad, connecting with Chicago, has been in operation about two years; another, the Alton and Terre Haute, is completed for eighteen miles out from Alton, and is in process of rapid completion throughout. Three other roads are projected - one from Alton to Illinoistown, connecting with the Belleville road, and now building; one from Jacksonville to Alton, and a continuation of this last to Illinoistown, which will make two parallel roads between the two last-named points. Alton is secure in three railroads, pointing North, East and South, in less than a year, and connecting her within a brief period with all the Eastern and Southern cities. The appreciation of property, and rapid increase of her population and wealth, are explained by these facts. All branches of business appear to be thriving. There is one, however, the success of which is highly creditable to Alton, viz: her newspaper publications. As nearly connected with this branch, it is most proper to state, to the high praise of Alton, that she has established free public schools in every quarter of her city, so that every child can be educated at the cost of the city and State. What the State Fund does not furnish for this patriotic purpose is contributed freely by the tax-payers. There are two daily papers, the Courier and Telegraph, which issue weekly editions. The latter issues a tri-weekly, also. These papers are conducted with marked ability and talent. The Courier (Dem.) is edited by George T. Brown, and the Telegraph, of opposite politics, by Messrs. Bailhache and Edward Baker. The printing office of the Courier has cost its proprietor $40,000. He has one of the largest sized steam presses, of Hoe's patent, which cost $3,700, and which turns off thirty-two impressions per minute, or 1,800 per hour. The bold enterprise shown in the establishment of the Alton Courier deserves success, and we have no doubt, will attain it. We add with pleasure that both of these papers are against the Nebraska Bill of Mr. Douglas, though the Whig is more positive and downright in his opposition than the Democrat. These facilities for education and public mental improvement are most worthy accompaniments of the increasing prosperity of this thriving city. In these particulars our own city, with an equal or a more numerous population, and not inferior in wealth, if far behind our neighbor. In schools and journals we compare most unfavorably with Alton. We hope that a new spirit will arise here, and that this contrast, so much to our disadvantage, may be made to disappear or be reversed. The tax which is now proposed will do much toward this object. The efforts of Alton in behalf of education, and in support of her newspapers, are the best return she can make for the legislative favors which she has enjoyed. We sincerely rejoice in her prosperity, and wish its continuance step by step with the grand progress which the State of Illinois is now making.




Source: Evening Chronicle, Syracuse, New York, June 16, 1854

We copy the following notice of an Anti-Nebraska meeting held at Alton, Illinois, on the 2d inst., from the Telegraph, a leading paper published in that city :
"The mass meeting of the citizens of Alton and the vicinity, on last Friday evening, to express their sentiments against the recent passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, was one of the largest and most enthusiastic which has been held in this city for many a day. The meeting was composed of all classes: and Democrats, Whigs and Free Soilers, Germans, Irish and Americans, met together with one common impulse, and, forgetting all other considerations, seemed to be moved only by a strong and deep-seated indignation against the authors of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. The utmost unanimity prevailed throughout; and if we may judge with any accuracy of the sentiment upon that subject, from what was said and done on the occasion, four-fifths of our entire community are opposed to Judge Douglas and his bill.



Source: Alton Weekly Courier, July 13, 1854

Mr. Wills, one of the largest lumber manufacturers of the North, and who has supplied our lumber merchants with a large part of their lumber for several years, has rented a part of Block 53, between Piasa and Market streets, for the purpose of opening a lumber yard. Mr. Wills has been engaged in the lumber business for many years, and looks upon Alton as the best point on the river for a yard. He will have a million of feet piled on the ground within a few days. Success to him.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, July 13, 1854

The bridge constructed across Wood river, about four miles from this city, by the Alton and Terre Haute Railroad Company, was burned down on Tuesday night. It is supposed to be the work of an incendiary. Some of the timbers remain, and it will be rebuilt as speedily as possible, but the road will be delayed considerably, as the Company were transporting iron for laying the track across this bridge, and that work will necessarily be suspended until it is replaced. The cost of the bridge was something over $3,000.




Source: The Daily Standard, Syracuse, New York, August 18, 1854

One of the greatest triumphs of the invention for cutting staves out of solid, blocks of timber that could be split, is the use of cotton wood - hitherto considered one of the most worthless, yet most common tree of the west, and one that grows more rapidly than any other. The wood is sweet and sufficiently strong for flour barrels and all dry casks. It is considerably used in the neighborhood of Alton, Illinois.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, August 24, 1854

The new buildings in process of erection on Third, Second and Piasa streets are progressing as fast as could be expected, and some of them are rapidly approaching completion. Cook's building on the south side of Third street is a very commodious structure, with an iron front, manufactured by Stigleman & Johnson. The building is eighty-five feet long, and twenty-five feet wide. The first story is twelve feet high. The entire story will be occupied as a book store. The second story is eleven feet high, and is to be used as a furniture store. The third story is eleven feet high, has two sky lights, one near each end, and is designed for a Daguerrean gallery. The building will be ready for occupants in a few weeks. The masonry was executed by Messrs. Veitch & Gray, of this city. Z. Lowe, Esq., of Upper Alton, executed the carpentry. The building of U. Baker, Esq., on the corner of Third and Belle streets, is approaching completion and is a very fine building. Its dimensions are as follows: length, ninety feet; width, twenty-five feet. It has an iron front, manufactured by N. Hanson, Esq. The first story is twelve feet eight inches high and is divided into two rooms. The room fronting on Third street will be sixty-four feet deep and will be occupied, we understand, as a drug store. The second story is eleven feet ten inches high. The front extending sixty-four feet will be divided into offices. The third story is ten feet high, and is designed as a composing room for our neighbors of the Telegraph, who will also occupy the north end of the second and first stories and cellar, as a printing establishment. The masonry was executed by Mr. Braznell, and the carpentry by G. Evans, Esq., of our city. On the corner of Second and Piasa streets, T. L. Waples, Esq., is erecting a substantial three story building, fifty feet in length and thirty feet wide. The first story is to be twelve feet six inches high. Both will be occupied as a clothing store. The third story will be nine feet six inches high. We have not learned the purpose for which it will be occupied. There are several other valuable buildings going up on Third street and in that vicinity, which we will notice hereafter. Messrs. Vale & Paul are erecting a fine two story building on State street, on the west side, on the lot next north of the store of J. Lock & Bro. It is seventy-five feet long and twenty-five feet wide. The first story is designed for sheltering carriages, and will be twelve feet high. The second story will be ten feet high and will be rented to mechanics. The basement will be ten feet deep and finished off as a saloon. Besides the buildings particularly noticed today and yesterday, Messrs. Platt & Keating are erecting a fine three story brick building on the north side of Third street. Messrs. J. H. & A. G. Smith are about to erect a three story building on Piasa street, between Second and Third, and T. L. Waples, Esq., has the foundations ready to erect three more buildings on the same block, fronting on Piasa street. We understand that Judge Martin is about to erect a fine dwelling house on the north side of Second street, east of the Baptist Church. Sundry other improvements are in process in the central part of the city, which we will notice as the plans and purposes for erection are made apparent.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, September 14, 1854

It appears from an advertisement in our columns this morning that some person or persons entered the graveyard near Upper Alton on the night of the 5th inst., and attempted the diabolical outrage of exhuming the body of Mrs. Dunlap, whose death was announced in our paper a few weeks since. Those whose souls are so callous as (for any purpose except what the affection of relatives may dictate) to disturb the remains of the honored dead, and open afresh and mercilessly the aching wounds of hearts already grief-stricken, deserve neither the rites of burial or the tears of affliction at their decease. We sincerely hope the perpetrators of this cruelty will be brought to justice and so punished that if the world holds others so heartless, they may be deterred by the example made.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, April 12, 1855

A shock of an earthquake was perceptible in this city between eight and nine o'clock on Wednesday night. It was of very short continuance, but was very sensibly felt in several parts of the city. One man, living in Sempletown, states that his house rocked with a motion like that of a ship on the waves.




Source: Syracuse, New York Evening Chronicle, March 28, 1855

Last week, 500 Kansas emigrants reached Alton, Ill. An equal number were expected at the same point on Saturday last. Last Thursday, 130 Germans marched through the streets of Cincinnati, headed by a band of music, and took passage, with their families, for the same destination. 600 others in the same city were waiting for a boat. A Kentucky party (200) had chartered a boat, and were to have left on Friday. Others of the same associations, would soon follow. Five hundred families are enrolled in Indiana, and thousands are preparing, on their own boat, to leave during the summer. There is a movement for Kansas also in this city. One or two meetings have already been held, and a company is being formed for emigration. To balance these northern movement we have word that ten thousand emigrants will go from Missouri and stay long enough to settle the coming election in favor of Slavery. The election takes place on Friday of this week.



Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 17, 1855

The house of Patrick Develin, situated on Henry st., near the Lutheran Church, was entered on the night of the 7th inst., between 1 and 2 o'clock a.m. The thief entered the house through a window, and, notwithstanding the repeated efforts of Mrs. Develin to awaken her husband, the thief escaped with seventy dollars in money, and two silver watches valued at thirty-five dollars. The moon shone brightly into the room, so that Mrs. D. could distinctly see the features of the man; so strongly were they impressed upon her mind, that on walking through Second st. the day following, in company with her husband, she recognized the fellow while passing them. An officer was called, who arrested him and took him before Justices Pinckard and McPike. The evidence being conclusive, he was held to bail in the sum of three hundred dollars. His name is James T. Fulton. He is a native of England, and has been in this city but a short time.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier May 24, 1855

On Thursday afternoon, at 3 o'clock, two men named Patrick Hennessey and John Tierney were seriously injured by the giving way of about 50 tons of overhanging rock on the bluffs, adjoining Russell & Shelley's Lime Kiln. It was considered unsafe by Mr. Russell, the superintendent of the work, who had sent the men to prepare for blasting off the dangerous portion of the rock, and while so engaged, it suddenly gave way, precipitating the men to a depth of about forty feet. Doctor Post arrived immediately on the spot, and finding their injuries to be severe, had them removed to their residences. Mr. Russell rendering every assistance to mitigate their sufferings. To what extent they are injured, we are unable to learn; but Dr. Post thought, from the examination he had made, Hennessey cannot live. The other man, Tierny, although badly hurt internally from the concussion, it is likely will recover. Hennessey has a wife and two children in St. Louis. He is a steady, sober, and industrious man.  P.S. - Shortly after the above was written, Hennessey died. Tierney is so badly injured that no hopes are entertained of his recovery.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, June 14, 1855

To the Editor of the Courier: For some months past, I have intended to call the attention of our citizens to the importance of having a ferry, in regular and constant operation, across the Mississippi river between Alton and the Missouri shore. All former attempts to establish a ferry across the river at this point have been prompted by individual enterprise; but, proving unprofitable as a business speculation, have been abandoned. There are some kinds of business that, if properly conducted, would be a source of great convenience to the public, and of profit too, in the aggregate, but which would not justify an individual in prosecuting as a means of emolument to himself. This is the fact in relation to the establishment of a ferry across the river from this city. It is not probable that a ferry could be sustained here without a loss to the proprietor - at least for the first year or two - yet the experiment may be worth the sacrifice it would require, if that sacrifice were made by those who would share the general benefit. That a very desirable and constantly increasing trade with our neighbors across the river might be made available, if reliable facilities were offered them for visiting the city, will not be doubted, and that this route might soon be made a thoroughfare for travelers, is scarcely less probably. If, then, a ferry cannot be sustained by individual enterprise, how shall it be done? I will make a suggestion: Let the citizens of Alton, by petition, or in public assembly, solicit the City Council for a sufficient appropriation to purchase a good steam ferry boat, not larger than is required for the purpose, and an annual appropriation thereafter, to keep it in operation, and I am satisfied that in less than a year from the commencement of the ferry privileges, the advantages resulting from the enterprise would be too palpable to admit of its discontinuance. It is not improbable that its maintenance a single year would make it a source of revenue to the city, in addition to the advantages the public would derive from it. I am informed that Mr. John Mullady, one of our most industrious, energetic and enterprising citizens, stands ready to take an interest in the project, and incur a share of the risk by an investment, if the city authorities, or our business men, or both, shall render the required assistance to insure its successful prosecution. No man who knows Mr. Mullady will doubt his qualifications for the business; and it is hoped that our City Council, or some of our prominent citizens, will take the incipient steps to ascertain the feasibility of any plan that he or any other enterprising and competent man may propose, to carry into effect the views herein suggested. Respectfully yours, Free Trade.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, July 12, 1855

The National Anniversary passed of pleasantly and joyfully, and without an accident of any kind in this city or neighborhood, to detract from the festivities of the occasion. A more quiet and orderly holiday we never saw in town, and in whatever direction our citizens went, all agree in saying that the day was spent pleasantly, and much more rationally in many cases, than heretofore. There was little or no drunkenness, no fighting or quarrelling that we heard of. Our citizens having some sad experience of the use of cannon by inexperienced persons on like occasions, wisely refrained from any such dangerous demonstrations, and the money thus heretofore expended in a few discharges of artillery was spent in a series of beautiful fireworks in the evenings, delighting the young and gratifying the old, by the most brilliant display we have witnessed for many years. Between 8 and 10 o'clock, a large number of family parties could be seen wending their way to some cool and shady grove a few miles off, previously selected, with well filled baskets of "that which nourisheth," and as the day was cool and a fine breeze sprung up in the morning, it seemed to us that no fitter celebration could be had, and that there, while the father of the family recounted to his children the history of the birth of our nation, the trials and sufferings of our revolutionary fathers, and contrasted the then problem with the present, the fruition of their hopes, how the young heart must have swelled with gratitude to God and fervent prayer ascended for the continuance of this glorious union. The German Yagers, under the command of that excellent officer, Capt. G. H. Weigler, had determined on a celebration and picnic in the beautiful grove north of Cave Spring. They appeared on Third street about 10 o'clock, in full dress, preceded by their splendid Brass Band, and made an exceedingly handsome and soldier-like appearance. During their march through the principal streets, they performed some very difficult evolutions, showing them to be in a high state of training, and reflecting great credit on their officers. Shortly after 11 o'clock the company, preceded by their pioneers, some thirty or forty German boys carrying flags, and a large number of our citizens, proceeded to the grove, where they were addressed by Capt. Weigler in a patriotic speech, and by several others, after which the company sat down to a splendid dinner, where speeches, song and sentiment abounded. After the dinner, the dance commenced and continued with but little intermission till near midnight, all appearing to enjoy themselves in the greatest degree, and everywhere good order and peace predominating. It was expected by many that the Mayflower would be here and make a pleasure trip to the mouth of the Illinois, but she did not arrive till 3 o'clock, and did not intend to proceed further. In the evening there were beautiful and brilliant displays of fireworks, one from near the residence of A. S. Barry, Esq., on Semple's Hill, and the other near the residence of J. E. Starr, on the Middletown Hill. It was intended, we understood, to represent the bombardment of Sebastopol, and the way the white, red, blue and green rockets rushed up in the air and across the valley, showed great energy on the part of the Allies, and a very determined resistance on the part of the Russians. Rockets were not the only weapons used by the armies. Every few minutes some "infernal machine" would be exhibited in a blaze, throwing its projectiles far into the air, and descending into the valley in beautiful colored globes of fire, which would be answered from the other hill with some new and startling device. We ___ ___ ___ near enough to the scene of conflict to ascertain what hill the Allies were in possession of and what hill represented Sebastopol, but we judged the Russians occupied Semple's hill, for the fire appeared to slacken and grow fitful, while Middletown hill continued in a blaze, and ever and anon came along the night air the sound as of victory. We will only add that Pelissier Starr, Raglan Caldwell, and Canrobert Kellenberger commanded the Allies, while Mentschikoff Barry, Tombnoffstonekoff Beaumont and Gortschakoff Platt commanded the Russians!! The trip to Hillsboro was a pleasant one in all respects, but as our Assistant represented us there, we will let him speak for himself.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, September 13, 1855

We take pleasure in announcing that we have at last a regularly organized fire company in our city, fully equipped and ready "on call" to protect our property from the devouring element. It has been long needed and loudly called for, and some of our citizens have suffered materially within the past three or four years for the want of it. The organization is as follows: Henry Platt, Captain; J. P. Ash, Secretary; Samuel Pitts, 1st Engineer; William Pitts, 2d Engineer; M. Brooks, Captain of hose; W. H. Turner, Treasurer. The fire engine and equipments have been placed in their hands by vote of the Council. The company contains 56 members. They meet every Thursday evening at the Council room. We can assure the company that our citizens appreciate their public spirit. We can now look with hope to a new and more reliable source for protection, when the fiery element gleams on the midnight air and envelopes our dwellings or places of business in its destructive folds. We hope the members of the company may enjoy many long years of peace and prosperity in the midst of a grateful people, and never have occasion to appear in the active discharge of their duty as firemen.




Source: The New York Times, September 15, 1855

Alton, Ill., Friday, Sept. 14.  The Charter election here, yesterday, resulted in the choice of Samuel Wades, Whig, without opposition.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, November 21, 1855

Mr. William Gray has opened a carpenter shop on Front street, corner of Alby, and respectfully solicits orders for work of every description in his line. We can vouch for him as a skillful workman, whose work and promises can be relied on. In times like the present, when workmen are so scarce, and demands for them are loud, it gives us pleasure to be able to make the above statement. Mr. Gray has recently located in our city, and we hope he may find such encouragement as will induce him to remain.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, December 6, 1855

A new manufactory of tallow candles has lately been started at Upper Alton by Mr. Alexander Pringle, who manufactures a splendid article, upon a new plan. While the wick is in the mould, it is kept strained, thereby securing it always in the centre of the candle, and the wick itself is counter twisted, while at the same time it is kept soft and pliable. The candles has been tested and pronounced superior to any in the market.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, December 6, 1855

On Monday night the horse belonging to Monticello Seminary was stolen from the stable and has not yet been recovered. On Tuesday evening the horse of Cashier Caldwell was stolen from his stable in Middletown. Mr. Caldwell started for St. Louis yesterday morning, found the horse, and telegraphed back in the afternoon to that effect. On the same night, a dwelling house was entered and a watch and some jewelry stolen. The particulars we could not learn. Quite a number of Penitentiary birds have lately been let loose, their sentences having expired. This may account for the frequent robberies lately. However, our citizens cannot be too guarded in securing their dwellings.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, January 17, 1856

Jan. 11 -- On yesterday morning, as the A.M. freight train, coming to this city [Alton] on the Terre Haute and Alton Railroad, had nearly arrived at Dorsey's Station, about fifteen miles from here, it met with a terrible accident, by the breaking of one of the wheels of the track supporting the locomotive, by whic the engine was thrown from the track, the tender turned upside down on the other side of the track, and five men killed by one of the freight cars running up on the engine. Those on the engine at the time of the accident were Conductor Wyman of this city; Mr. King, the engineer; Wesley Davis, the fireman, also of this city; John Morrison, an engineer from Dunkirk, New York who had been employed by the Company and was going over the road for the first time; and R. Bales and ______ Doak, both from Decatur, Macon county, the owners of the hogs which composed the freight of the train. Just previous to the smash, Mr. Wyman, the Conductor, observed the engine leaning to one side, and jumped off just in time to save himself. He received no injury whatever. The other five remained on the engine, four of whom were instantly killed, and the other, Mr. King, the engineer, lived three or four hours. As soon as the accident was known here, Superintendent Sargent took out a special train, accompanied by Drs. Williams, Metcalf and Allen, Messrs. Warren and Corson, of this city, but it arrived too late to render any aid to the engineer. He had passed to another world. Mr. St. John, the President of the Company, also arrived at the scene of the disaster a short time after it occurred. The relief train brought in the bodies in the afternoon, upon whom coroner Pinckard proceeded to hold an inquest, which he adjourned until this afternoon. The officers of the Company have also ordered a searching enquiry into the causes which produced the accident. Although not upon the ground, we made diligent inquiry and could not find that anybody was to blame. It seems to be one of these accidents which baffle all human foresight.




Source: The New York Times, January 24, 1856

We learn from the Alton (Ill.) Courier, that at a meeting of the Alton Horticultural Society on Saturday last, it was stated by Dr. Hall, others confirming the statement, that on examination of the fruit buds of peach trees, in that vicinity, it had been found that the recent severe cold weather has destroyed the promise of a yield of luscious fruit the coming season.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, January 24, 1856

The above Institute, we are pleased to hear, have rented the second and third stories of the building on the corner of Third and Piasa streets. The designs of this organization can be better understood from its Constitution. The necessity and utility of free instruction to our young men and mechanics must be apparent to every mind. We understand Mechanical drawing, Architecture, Mathematics, Bookkeeping, Penmanship, Elocution, and Rhetoric will, on successive evenings during the week, be taught; the recitation room being the third story of the above building. There will be a reading room in the second story of same building, where all the newspapers, magazines, &c., of the country will be kept for the use of the public. A large collection of geological and other specimens, and such other things as can be obtained, birds, beasts and reptiles, will be added to the museum department.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, March 13, 1856

We spent yesterday in looking through the principal flouring mills of our city, which form an important feature in the business of the place. We called first at the large frame mill at the north end of Second street, now owned and operated by Messrs. J. J. & W. Mitchell; this is the oldest steam-flouring mill in Illinois which is yet in operation. It was erected about the year 1831 by a company of Boston capitalists, who were incorporated by an act of the State Legislature, under the name of the "Alton Manufacturing Company." While owned by that company it was, at different times, in charge of and operated by themselves, S. & P. Wise, McElroy, Libby & Co., J. Brown & Co., and others. The present proprietors took charge of it and began to buy in the shares of the different stockholders as much as ten years ago, and for the last five years have owned it all. It is one of the most convenient and desirable locations for a business of this kind we have ever seen, and is a very valuable piece of property. The building is about eighty feet square, and five stories high. The engine is about two hundred horsepower, and is supplied with steam from three boilers, each twenty-eight feet long, and there are five run of stones. The mill runs day and night all the year round, and is capable of manufacturing two hundred and fifty barrels of flour every twenty-four hours. The company employs constantly about fourteen hands, to whom they pay aggregate wages of one hundred dollars per week. Since last harvest they have had on hand all the time from thirty to sixty thousand bushels of wheat. The active capital necessary in the management of their business is between thirty and forty thousand dollars. Our next visit was to the "Madison Mills," situated on Piasa street, and extending from Front to Second. The building is of stone, is one hundred and thirteen feet long, fifty-five feet wide, and four stories high. This mill was first put in operation by Joseph Brown, Henry Lea and J. G. Lamb, in the year 1848. Since then there has been a change in the firm, and it is now owned and managed by Lea, Weaver & Co. They have two good steam engines, with fourteen inch cylinders having four feet stroke; there are three boilers, each forty-two inches in diameter and thirty-six feet long. They run five pair of burrs and can manufacture from two hundred and seventy-five to three hundred barrels of flour in twenty-four hours. They have twelve hands regularly employed, to whom they pay about one hundred dollars a week. They use about twelve thousand dollars of active capital, and do a business amounting to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. We next proceeded to call at Mr. J. D. Bruner's mill on Second street. This establishment is not so large as some of the others, but is kept in excellent order and is doing a very good business. It was first established in 1847 by J. A. & J. D. Bruner, expressly for the manufacture of corn meal, rye and buck wheat flour, and feed; it succeeded very well, and in 1849 Mr. W. H. Bruner became associated in the business, and a new boiler and engine was procured. In the Fall of 1849 they purchased the lot they had before occupied, removed the frame building that was on it and in seventy days they had erected and finished a fine three story building, with iron front and iron doors. Sixty feet of the first story was finished up for a retail grocery store, and the balance of the building was used for the mill. In 1854, they put in machinery for manufacturing an extra article of family flour for home use, which some stood high in this as also in the southern market; the demand for home consumption, however, was such that they could fill no orders from abroad. In the Fall of 1854, they purchased the patent right for a hominy mill, and immediately built one; they found it to work to their entire satisfaction. It makes excellent hominy, and when clean and sound corn is used, the hominy will keep in any climate as long as the corn will. In March of 1855, J. D. Bruner bought J. A. Bruner's interest in the business, and in August following, he made a further purchase of the interest of W. H. Bruner, since which, he has been sole owner and proprietor. The mill has two three foot burrs; one for corn and one for wheat; is capable of making twenty barrels of extra flour in twelve hours, or two hundred bushels of corn meal in the same time. It has one boiler, double flued, twenty-two feet long, and forty inches in diameter; engine is eight inch bore, twenty-eight inch stroke, and is fourteen horse power; it requires three men to run it. He has an extensive corn sheller, which shells with ease one thousand bushels of corn per day. It is run by steam, is fed by two men with scoop shovels, and shells and cleans the corn at the same time. The hominy mill turns out twenty-five bushels of hominy every twelve hours. When grinding wheat, it takes about two hundred dollars a day to keep the mill in motion, and when grinding corn about one hundred dollars. There is another mill on Second street, above State, belonging to the Messrs. Wise, who have long been engaged in the milling business in our city. We called there for the purpose of sketching its history and condition, but Mr. Wise begged us not to say anything until he gets his new mill - which he is preparing to build this season, and of which we gave an advance sketch a few days ago - in operation; he thinks the less that is said about his old mill the better. It is true the mill is in a very old and shabby looking one stone building, but it manufactures a great deal of very good flour. Their brand has always stood No. 1 in the market.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, March 13, 1856

Yesterday afternoon we visited this large establishment, and were shown through it by the gentlemanly proprietors with every mark of respect and attention. We found them engaged in the business on a much larger scale than we expected; their establishment is a credit to their own enterprise, and an honor to the city. Their manufactory is in a large three story building on Second street, the lower floor of which is used for a sale room; the two floors above, with three floors in adjoining buildings are used for manufacturing and storing their goods. This business was first established here in 1847 by Mr. G. D. Sidway; in 1853 Mr. Sidway's son became associated in the business, and the firm was entitled G. D. & L. B. Sidway; in December of 1855 Capt. William H. Turner purchased the father's interest, and the business has been since, and still is, conducted by Messrs. Turner & Sidway. They manufacture every variety of saddles, harness, horse collars, and trunks. Their horse collars took the first premium at the State Fair in Springfield in 1854. They use an active capital of seventeen thousand dollars, and do a yearly business of about one hundred thousand dollars. They employ between thirty-five and forty hands, to whom they pay about three hundred and fifty dollars a week. They manufacture and sell each year about two thousand dozen horse collars; about one thousand sets of harness; eight hundred saddles, and one hundred and twenty-five dozen trunks. They will make this year one hundred and fifty dozens steel spring trunks. They do a general retail and jobbing business. They sell a large quantity of goods at their store, but by far the largest share of their manufactures - at least four-fifths - are shipped in various directions to their wholesale customers up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, and out on the different railroads. They supply retail dealers as far up the Mississippi as St. Paul. The manufacturing department of the business is, we believe, under the care of Mr. Sidway, who is a practical mechanic, and who worked many years at the bench, who gives it his constant personal attention, which is an ample guarantee that none but the very best quality of work will be turned out. Capt. Turner is always at his desk or behind the counter, but we need say nothing about him, for everybody knows him as well as we do.



This is a new establishment, also on Second street, and having been but recently started, it as yet does a light business. It was established in NOvember of 1855 by the present proprietor, Mr. J. H. Welch. Mr. Welch showed us some specimens of his work, and as far as we are capable of judging, it will compare favorably with any other in the same line. He confines himself to the manufacture of saddles and harness, a stock of which he keeps on hand, as well as being prepared to make and repair to order.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, March 20, 1856

The packing of beef and pork has always been and is still a very important feature in the business of our city. The location of Alton is such as to make it the most convenient point for the packing of meats and the shipping of produce for a very large and very productive portion of our State. We have every reason to believe that there always will be a large amount of beef and pork packed here. We spent a part of a day in visiting the different packing houses in Alton, and gathering statistical information in relation to the business done by each. Our first call was at the large beef and pork packing establishment of Messrs. H. Fay & Co., which is situated on Front street, a little below the Alton House. This is much the largest packing house in Alton, and is a branch of the celebrated Harrison Fay & Co.'s packing house and provision store of Boston; the members of the firm having control of both houses are Harrison Fay, S. P. Greenwood and Edward Read. We were received by Mr. Greenwood, the resident partner here, who, with the strictest and most systematic business habits, combines the amiable deportment of a perfect gentleman; he led us through the different departments of their large establishment, and furnished us with all the information we desired. The main building is of brick, one hundred feet long, eighty feet wide, and two stories high; the lard house is the same height, and is forty feet long and twenty-six feet wide. The buildings and lot are worth about ten thousand dollars. This establishment was erected, and the business commenced here in 1850 by Mr. Aaron Corey, and was occupied by him for four years, when it fell into the hands of its present proprietors. Mr. Greenwood informs us that they have packed, this season, twelve hundred beeves, and nine thousand hogs. Since the first of October they have paid out one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which is about the amount of active capital they have in use in this branch of their business. They pack almost exclusively for their Boston house. The average number of their employees is about thirty. During the busy season they pay out about five hundred dollars a week to their hands. This year they have done their own slaughtering. Their slaughter house has been managed by Mr. John Challacombe, a gentleman of experience in the business. In consequence of the suspension of navigation, they have an immense quantity of pork, beef, lard, tallow, &c., &c., on hand, which will be shipped to Boston in a few days. Our next visit was to the old and extensive establishment of Messrs. S. Wade & Co., next door below. This house has been doing business here about fifteen years; its shipments are made to New Orleans, New York and Boston. The building occupied is one hundred by one hundred and twenty feet in size, and is well arranged for the business. They have packed here this season about nine thousand five hundred hogs, mostly on commission. This is the oldest packing house in our city, and we would be glad to give a history of its origin and progress, and a full sketch of its present condition, but the proprietor declined giving us the necessary statistical information. Still farther down on Front street there is another packing house which was put in operation some ten years ago by Mr. William McBride. It now belongs to Messrs. George Hagan & Co., of St. Louis, who packed here, this season, five thousand four hundred hogs. Messrs. J. J. & W. H. Mitchell, who own the large frame mill at the head of Second street, packed four thousand five hundred hogs this season. These hogs averaged two hundred and twenty pounds each. They have about $38,000 now invested in pork, ready to be shipped.




Source: Albany, New York Evening Journal, April 9, 1856

A committee from Kansas is in St. Louis, delegated by a number of the businessmen of that Territory to take steps for the establishment of a line of steamers from Alton, Ill. to Kansas for the transportation of northern emigrants and merchandise. The committee will proceed to Chicago, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh for the purpose of perfecting the arrangements.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, April 17, 1856

Yesterday morning we paid a visit to Mr. John B. Beaumont's Marble Yard on the north side of Belle street, between Third and Fourth, and examined some specimens of his superior work. Mr. Beaumont established himself here in his present vocation in the year 1849. His business was very light at first - almost nothing at all. He received very few orders for marble, and nearly all he did was a little work in common native stone. Mr. B.'s energy and exceeding good taste in the execution of his work soon brought it into popular favor, and changed the nature of his business so as to give sale to his fine marble work. He has recently associated with him in business Mr. Alex Milne, a gentleman of long experience in the business and as skillful a letterer and carver he can be found in the United States. We examined some of his work, and are free to admit that it is about the best we ever saw in this country. Mr. Beaumont's business has been steadily increasing ever since he began, and is now more prosperous than ever before. He now sells about seven thousand dollars worth of marble, and about two thousand barrels of cement and plaster each year. We are glad to see these evidences of his prosperity, for he is an energetic and public spirited man, and deserves to prosper.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, April 24, 1856

The drug business is a very important branch of the trade of Alton, and there are several houses largely engaged in it, both wholesale and retail. We made the circuit of some of these houses yesterday, and found all of them in a very prosperous condition. The first at which we called was that of Messrs. D. C. Martin & Co., on Second street. This house was established in the year 1852 by Messrs. Murphys & Martin, and was managed by them until February of the present year, when the change was made that gave to the firm its present title. Their stock comprises every possible variety and quality of such articles as are usually kept in wholesale and retail drug stores. Their retail trade is very large and very profitable, but their principal business is in the jobbing line. They expect to sell about forty thousand dollars worth during the present year. They are sole agents for the sale of Dr. Leeds' celebrated Quinine Substitute, of which they sold about twenty-five hundred dollars worth last year. This medicine, as its name indicates, is intended to supersede the use of quinine, as it is designed to be used in all cases where quinine has heretofore been considered the only reliable remedy. Dr. Martin, the business partner in this house, is a gentleman who has had many years experience, and has a thorough knowledge of the business in which he is engaged. The other members of the firm are gentlemen of energy and capital. We next came round to the drug store of D. Simms & Co., on Third street, second door from the corner of Piasa. This house was established by the present proprietors in the year 1853, since which its business has been steadily increasing at the rate of about twenty-five per cent a year. They are just now receiving a very large stock for their spring and summer trade, and the variety and excellence of their assortment is well worthy the attention of purchasers. They keep a full supply of drugs, medicines, and everything that goes to constitute the stock of a well appointed drug store. They claim to have the largest and best assorted stock of perfumery, combs, brushes &c., that can be found in Alton. Of cigars, they have a very large and fine assortment, and they sell a great many. They showed us some of as fine flavored Havanas as we ever saw. This house does quite a large wholesale business, but devotes a great deal of attention to its very extensive retail custom. It is a very popular house, and its popularity is constantly on the increase. Our next call was at the old established drug store of Messrs. A. S. Barry & Co., on the corner of Second and State streets. In 1842 this firm bought out Messrs. Marsh, Hankinson & Co., and have ever since continued the business without any change in the style of their firm. At first their sales were very small, amounting to only three thousand dollars for the first year. The increase has been gradual, steady, and with an advancing ratio. Their sales for the present year will amount to about sixty thousand dollars. This house does a very large wholesale business, but does not neglect the retail department, in which it has a full share of custom. Their stock, which their large cash capital enables them to keep at all times full and complete, comprises every kind and variety of drugs, medicines, paints, oils, gas, perfumery and fancy goods, cigars, with everything necessary to make full and complete the stock of a wholesale and retail drug store. They are agents for the sale of all the popular patent medicines, which they sell at manufacturers' prices. They called our especial attention to Shallenberger's Fever and Ague Antidote, which is warranted to cure in all cases. This is the oldest drug store in Alton, and it has established a reputation which rivalry cannot impair. Its proprietors are well known for their business energy and integrity. They have recently diverted a part of their large capital into other avenues of trade, to which they are giving their personal attention. In the meantime, our old friend, Captain James E. Starr, who is well known not only here, but all over the State, occupies the counting room and manages the business in the drug store.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 1, 1856

Yesterday evening we went round on Second street and paid a visit to Mr. E. Trenchery's Piano Forte and Music Rooms, over A. T. Hawley's store. Mr. Trenchery established himself in business here something over five years since, since which his trade has been gradually but steadily increasing. He keeps a general assortment of organs, piano fortes, melodeons, &c., for sale or to rent. He is also agent for some of the best piano and melodeon manufactories in the United States. Among these I must mention Lamuel Gilbert's celebrated Boudoir piano, for the sale of which Mr. Trenchery is agent. These pianos are much shorter and narrower than the old style, and possess a power and richness of tone that is truly wonderful. They occupy but little space, and can be taken apart and removed with great facility. Mr. Trenchery has, at present, a number of second hand instruments for sale; he also keeps a general assortment of the popular sheet music of the day. He gives lessons in music, both vocal and instrumental, in which branch of his business he has about as much as he can attend to. We heard him perform several very difficult pieces on the piano in a style that we have seldom heard equaled.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 29, 1856

A man named Dennison was arrested on Sunday last, in the American Bottom, about eight miles below this city for horse stealing. He had taken one horse from near Jerseyville, and one from the stable at the Franklin House, in this city, and a saddle and bridle from Mather's livery stable. He went to a house in the Bottom and stole a coat, provisions for himself, and corn for his horses.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, July 17, 1856

Jul. 7, 1856, Alton -- To the Editor of the Alton Courier:  When Alton was yet a village, by common content and for the time being, a temporary Market house was thrown up on Market street, between Second and Third streets, and in front of and immediately in the neighborhood of some of the best residence and building sites in Alton. This was permitted by the property holders in the neighborhood (though the City Council had no more right to obstruct the street at this place than the humblest citizen of the place) for the time being, with the understanding that it was only temporary. And what has been the result: Still it is there, though it has been remonstrated against by the citizens in the neighborhood time and again. A miserable looking affair, at first - now more hideous than ever; temporary at first - now rotten, filthy, stinking, smeared a little with whitewash, but a great deal more with blood, guts and filth, strewn all over the neighborhood; yes, literally paved with beef bones, hogs and sheeps feet and the like. The programme of the evening begins with the angry howling of dogs, as they contend for choice of bones, until near midnight, when the clatter of the wheels of the butchers' wagons scares them from their feast. The noise of the saw and meat axe begin about 11 o'clock - as they grind and crush among the bodies and meat, where life is scarcely yet extinct, mingled with the boisterous laugh, or more frequently, the horrid oaths of some of the butchers - the rehearsal of whose obscene jests would defile the paper on which it was written. In this way is spent the night, till break of day, when the noise of buyer and seller grows fast and furious. What chance for sleep amid such scenes as these; and, as has been the case, the sick and dying have lain and been compelled to listen to all, and much more than this. This is not all. Was there comfort in the day, the night might be borne. Our houses in the heat of summer have to be shut up well night air tight, else the swarms of green flies that are bred in, and infest the market, adjourn at 9 o'clock to our parlors and sitting rooms, and make them uninhabitable. How long is this state of things to last? How long is our property (that is taxed to all it will bear) to be made and kept uninhabitable? Will not the Council take some steps in the matter! A former Council declared this same hideous collection of boards - saturated with filth - a nuisance. Why is it not removed! Some of us have offered one hundred dollars each to have it removed - still it is there. We have petitioned, begged, plead, offered to pay, done everything, said everything - still it is there, a mass of corruption. It has no right there. It is an outrage to the neighborhood.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, September 11, 1856

If our citizens will just step into the large store of our friend George S. Ferguson, Esq., on Second street, and look at his splendid stock of clothing and furnishing goods, they will satisfy themselves that it is not only one of the largest, but the finest stock of that description of goods ever brought West. If you want a loose beaver, a military overcoat, a Raglan or a splendid Kaffetan, there they are in endless variety of style and price. You will also find the regular black dress and frock, and a great variety of match suits. For the chamber, you will find several varieties of dressing gowns and of hats and caps, the styles are too numerous to be mentioned. Of shirts and other underclothing, he has a large stock, and of gloves, &c., you can find every thing in great variety, including the heavy gauntlet, finished with the finest fur. The fact that such fine goods are brought here for sale in such large quantities by one of Mr. Ferguson's experience, is evidence of a great change in the character of the demand. Those who would realize the change have only to give Mr. Ferguson a call, examine his stock and test his prices.




Source: The Evening Journal, Albany, New York, October 9, 1856

Douglas was brought out to speak recently at Alton, Illinois, after much parade, preparation and drumming up recruits. He spoke adjacent to the Fair Ground, - in the best possible situation to draw a crowd - to a little squad of people, variously estimated at 300 to 600 persons. The "Little Giant" has lost his power in Illinois.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, November 20, 1856

William Brudon - Undertaker, at his old stand on the northwest corner of Market and Second streets, coffin manufacturer and funeral undertaker. N. B. - I also have a vault in Alton Cemetery and will accommodate any person who wish to deposite their deceased friends, on reasonable terms. Also patent metallic burial cases.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, December 25, 1856

An Irishman named McAffee or McVey, was stabbed on Wednesday night at the grocery known as the Light House on the Northwest corner of State and Front streets. He was taken to the hospital. We have not learned the extent of his injury, or his prospects of recovery. It is difficult to ascertain who gave the wound, as several were engaged in the quarrel.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, January 22, 1857

We learn that Dr. E. S. Hull, the President of the Illinois Horticultural Society, has purchased a tract of land known as the Hunter tract, adjoining, on the north, that part of our city called Hunterstown, and is preparing the ground with a view to open a grand horticultural farm. The tract consists of a hundred and one acres, and includes hillside exposures, sloping in every direction. The greater portion of this land can be cultivated without difficulty, and all of it can be so cultivated as to produce fruit. Dr. Hull has a great variety and splendid supply of shrubbery, fruit trees, evergreens, &c., which will be transplanted in the grounds of the Horticultural farm as soon as spring opens. This plan, in extent of design, is the embryo of what will be in Dr. Hull's hands, the most magnificent enterprise of the kind in this part of the country.




Source: The New York Times, March 9, 1857

From the Alton Democrat.  Our readers will be surprised, perhaps, to hear that there are 150 Mormons in Alton; that they own a small church building and hold regular Sunday exercises, and that they have their elders and other usual church leaders. The number is constantly increasing by foreigners arriving, and were it not that a body of them leaves every Spring, this sect would surpass any other in Alton. We are informed that some thirty or forty families will leave Alton thus in April next. Of the personal character of these Mormons we cannot speak from very intimate acquaintance. But so far as we have seen or heard, they are honest, sober, and quite industrious people. They are from nearly every European country, and not an American born is to be found among them. They are mostly very illiterate - drawn from the lowest degree of humanity, as regards wealth and social position.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, March 26, 1857

N. Hanson & Co.'s Machine Shop - To the gentlemanly junior partner, Mr. John M. Pearson, by whom we were escorted through this extensive establishment, we are indebted for many items - so intimately connected with, and so strikingly demonstrative of the steady advancement of the city towards that absolute supremacy, in point of superiority in manufactures, over any other city in the State, and perhaps we might say in the West, which the favorable location of the city, and her facilities for communication, afforded either by railroad or water, towards almost every point of the compass, warrant her citizens in anticipating - that they cannot fail to be of interest to all persons interested in the growth of Alton. The buildings occupied by Messrs. Hanson & Co., front two hundred and forty feet on Front street, two hundred feet on George street, and one hundred and eighty feet on Second street. This machine shop was first established in 1842, and is probably of as old, if not older standing than any other shop for the manufacture of agricultural machines and implements in the State. Since its first establishment up to the present time, its business has been steadily increasing until it has a reputation wider, and more flattering to the enterprise of its present proprietors than any other establishment of its class in the West. The proprietors employ in their finishing department - the ground floor of the main building, one hundred feet long by fifty feet wide - thirty-five men, who are constantly employed at lathes, planers, drills, punches, &c., &c., in preparing rough castings for the threshing machines, which are the principle article of manufacture by this establishment. The immediate superintendent of this department is Mr. Lewis B. Hubbell. The engine by which the machinery in this establishment is run is of eighty horse power, and is a very superior piece of machinery, of regular and noiseless motion, having been manufactured expressly for this shop at Lawrence, Massachusetts. The foundry is sixty-five feet long by forty-five feet wide, is furnished with a furnace, running three tons of iron per day. Mr. William Denny, who is the immediate superintendent of this department, employs eleven moulders and eight helpers. In the blacksmith shop, which is under the superintendence of Mr. S. Force, there are six forges, occupied by twelve workman. After leaving this department, we were conducted to the wood department which is superintended by Mr. Joseph Gottlob. This department embraces the second and third stories of the main building, and is furnished with all the implements necessary for planing, morticing, sawing, boring, and fitting all the wood work of the machines manufactured in the shop, which gives constant employment to fifty experienced workmen. Mr. Pearson called our attention to a dry house, which, he informs us, is heated by steam and is capable of seasoning lumber as perfectly in six weeks as it could be done by the sun in one year. It will hold from ten to fifteen thousand feet of lumber. The proprietors of this establishment inform us that they expect to turn out this year five hundred of their superior Threshing Machines, to do which they will have to make an addition of from fifteen to twenty workmen to their present number, which is one hundred and fifteen. Their expenses during the present year, for labor alone, will probably reach $50,000, in addition to which they will use about one hundred and twenty-five thousand feet of pine and two hundred and fifty thousand feet of oak lumber. By Mr. S. M. Connor, the gentlemanly and obliging clerk, who has been connected with the establishment for some time, we are informed that Messrs. Hanson & Co.'s facilities for shipping are very extensive, as they have arrangements, not only with the railroads and steamers from this point, but also with Missouri river steamers to receive their Machines at this port and discharge them at any point on their route of travel.




Source: Syracuse, New York Daily Courier, April 19, 1857

A fire occurred at Alton, Ill., on the night of the 15th, which destroyed the planning mill of Messrs. Morrison, Beale & Co., the adjoining Methodist Church and three dwellings. Loss twenty-five to forty thousand dollars. - Insurance small.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 7, 1857

We called on yesterday and examined Messrs. Beaumont & Milne's large stock of American and Foreign Marble, Marble Dust, White Sand, Cement, Plaster Paris, and Plastering Hair, than which we venture to say there is none superior in beauty and excellence in this or any other Western city. This Marble Yard was first established in 1849 by Mr. John Beaumont, who in 1856 associated with himself, Mr. Alex Milne, a thorough-going business man, and as skillful a letterer and carver as can be found in the United States. Under the energetic control of these two gentlemen, their business, which at first was very small, has increased until it has become not only a most important, but also a very profitable branch of business. The Sculpture, Statuary and Monumental work turned out by Messrs. Beaumont & Milne, for beauty and taste in design and execution, is not surpassed by any like house in the West. These gentlemen are always prepared to fill all orders for work to the entire satisfaction of their patrons, and to furnish other articles of their trade, of as fine quality, at as liberal prices as they can be procured elsewhere.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, June 4, 1857

A man who had been going round this town, evidently crazy, having attacked several of the citizens with stones, clubs, &c., was finally locked up in jail on Monday night last. Next morning the jailer found him dead on the floor. The deceased had torn off a strip of plank, and having tied his handkerchief round his neck, had, by means of this stick, twisted his handkerchief till he had literally choked himself to death. This was certainly a strange way of committing suicide, and only worthy the ingenuity of a crazy man. An inquest was held on the body, and a verdict rendered in accordance with the above facts. Name of deceased unknown.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, August 27, 1857

A fire occurred last night about twelve o'clock in the kitchen of the building on Third street, near Henry, occupied by the Rev. R. R. Coon, which soon communicated to the adjoining tenement occupied by R. Packard, Esq., both of which were entirely consumed in a short time. For a while the residences of Mrs. Hood and D. D. Ryrie, Esq., were in considerable danger, but were saved. The Rev. Mr. Coon saved the most of his furniture, library, &c., and Mr. Packard saved the most of his furniture, but both were in a damaged condition. The building was owned by Mrs. Hood, and was worth about $3,500. There was an insurance upon it for $1,700 in the Illinois Mutual Office. The heavy grade of the streets in that neighborhood prevented the Engines reaching there in time to save the building. Both the Sucker and Pioneer were on the ground as soon as possible, and did all which was in the power of any engines to accomplish. They worked with a hearty good will and showed themselves both ready and willing at the call of duty. The Chief Engineer was promptly on the ground and took the general direction.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, September 17, 1857

Every city has its dens of infamy and its hot beds of crime where the hardened sinner is continued in his evil ways and the young and growing trained up to follow in the footsteps of their fathers. We have many such in our midst, but none so deserving of notice and condemnation as the miserable row of drinking houses that flank the west side of State street, between Short street and the Levee. In the course of our daily rounds, we often pass them, always unwillingly, and there we invariably see things that almost make us doubt whether man is not indeed a higher type of some brute, whether the progressive theory is not the true one. Constantly lounging around are seen the battered hulks of humanity, that started smilingly on the voyage of life, and not yet having reached their port, are drifting hither and thither without compass, helm or chart. Not in the storms inevitable to a life of sober honesty have they thus been wrecked, but in the eddies and whirlpools, whither none but fool-hardy voyagers would venture. But these wrecks are not the only objects of commiseration mingled with a feeling of loathsome disgust that meet our eyes there. Young and beardless boys, over whom the watchful care of a mother ought yet to be extended, are seen just wetting their feet in this pool of vice and crime, or boldly plunging into its midst. And why should they not with the unceasing example before them? The very atmosphere of the place is redolent of vileness, ever burdened with the scent of villianous compounds, mockingly called liquors, always bearing on it the echoes of curses and blasphemies, unfit for the ear of decency and morality. No one can pass by without having his moral asture shocked and outraged, unless he himself be part and parcel of the place, and the community that dwells therein. Now we have one simple question to ask. Why should these things be? Good natured, care-nothing people may shake their heads and tell us they are the inevitable concomitants of a large community dwelling together in one place. What? - drunkenness, disgusting language, and brutal conduct necessary evils, which we must endure and cannot cure or restrain? We are not so credulous. We believe that something can be done if the will be not wanting. And should not something be done? Go ye doubting ones take there your stand, and for one short hour listen to all that is said and see all that is done and if you are not then convinced, no words, no new arguments can convince you; nothing but the coming home of the arrow to your own breast. No longer ago than last evening, two of our worthy citizens, Messrs. John Lock and Harvey Burnett, complained to us of the disgusting state of things around that locality. Within a distance of fifty feet they counted four men laying on or near the sidewalk, beastly drunk, and another lying inside a cellar way covered with blood. Where is the City Marshall?




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, September 24, 1857

It always affords us unqualified pleasure to chronicle the business success of those of our businessmen who located here long years ago, when our city was in its infancy; who started with it in its struggle for prosperity, and have remained faithful to its interests, striving to promote its growth in the dark hours of its adversity as perseveringly as in the sunshine of its prosperity. In this class, most of our readers will at once recognize the justice of ranking Messrs. J. W. & H. Schweppe, dealers in ready made clothing and all kinds of furnishing goods, foreign and domestic dry goods, hats and caps, boots and shoes, &c., &c., who have been engaged in the same business at the same stand in our city for more than seventeen years last past without change of any kind except a steady, rapid, wholesome growth and expansion of business, as year followed year, consequent upon the fair, liberal and honorable course of dealing which has ever characterized their business transactions. No firm in our city is more generally known or more highly respected than the Messrs. Schweppe. And such is their popularity, their sales have steadily increased until they now do as large a retail trade as, perhaps, any other house in the West. We yesterday took a look through their store on Second street (running clear through in Front) and were astonished at seeing the immense stock of goods they have just opened for the fall and winter trade, and could scarcely credit the assurance that it would all be sold by retail, and the most of it to regular customers. We have been in many jobbing houses that could not boast a larger or better stock of goods than that recently opened by the Messrs. Schweppe for their retail trade. It is not worth while for us to undertake to toll our readers what they have, for their assortment comprises everything that can be called for in the way of clothing or furnishing goods, from the coarsest to the finest fabrics, and at any price desired, from five dollars to fifty for a full suit. Their stock of dry goods, hats and caps, boots and shoes, trunks &c., also, is perfect and complete. Persons desiring anything in their line will do well to call on the Messrs. Schweppe, who can suit them in goods and prices, if it can be done at all. See their advertisement in another part of this paper.




Source: The Daily Palladium, Oswego, New York, November 13, 1857

The slaughter and packing establishment of John Smith, of Alton, Illinois, was completely destroyed on the 3d instant, by the explosion of a tank of lard! Steam being let' into it by the engineer, it exploded with such force as to throw it up perpendicularly, through two floors and the roof to a considerable height above the building, whence it fell again, nearly as perpendicularly as it rose and struck the ground not more than ten feet from the place originally occupied by it. Of the bricks composing the walls, not five hundred were left one upon another; the roof was broken into innumerable pieces; the stone foundation was so racked that it was rendered totally useless, in short the whole building was an entire ruin. What won't explode, now?




Source: St. Louis Christian Advocate, November 19, 1857

Friday, 13th - On last evening the steamboat "Reindeer," used for some years past as a regular packet between this and Alton, struck a snag and sunk, about five miles this side of Alton. It is said the boat will be a total loss. She was valued at fifteen thousand dollars. No insurance. No lives were lost, and the freight and furniture saved.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, December 10, 1857

The improvement of the streets suspended by the cold weather, is being rapidly resumed. A large force of workmen were yesterday engaged on Henry street, digging down and carting away the hill. When the grading of this street is finished, it will be one of the best in the city.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, January 7, 1858

We learn that a company is now being formed under the charter granted by the last Legislature for the purpose of erecting Water Works to supply the city with an abundance of pure water. Propositions to supply the pipe, of the most favorable character, have been received, and a member of the company is now engaged in selecting a suitable location for the reservoir, which will be placed so high that the upper stories of the highest dwelling in Middle Alton can be supplied. It is intended to commence operations in the spring, and to have the machinery and reservoir finished, and also the main pipe laid in the principal streets, by the 1st of October next. At the elevation at which it is proposed to place the reservoir, by merely attaching a pipe to a street hydrant, the water would force itself over the roof of the highest house in the business part of the city, making property far more secure than it is now, and greatly reducing the present tax for insurance. Aside from the extra insurance thus saved, the luxury and convenience of constantly having a full supply of pure water in every house cannot be over estimated. Over one half of the families in Alton have no regular supply of water. The other half are dependent on cisterns and wells, which are frequently empty. Then comes an appeal to the water cart, which is both expensive and unsatisfactory. With Water Works there is some expense also, but it is very trifling and the convenience cannot be computed in dollars and cents.



Source: Alton Weekly Courier, March 11, 1858

Feeling confident that the "ups and downs" of our city must possess a peculiar ______ to her people, we took a miscellaneous journey, on yesterday, over the picturesque hills and through the romantic vales with which the beautiful hand of Nature has so lavishly endowed us - the object of our voyage being to ascertain the extent of the improvements which have been so industriously pushed forward during the past year. Alton, despite the ruggedness of her appearance, possesses attractions which the eye of a native or an old resident perhaps can alone appreciate. Her rock-based hills, which to strangers seem to be so many repelling and discouraging frowns from Nature, to us possess all that charm which ever attaches to the surroundings of home, and when they finally fall, as fall they must, before the steady march of progress, the void created by their overthrow, though its slow but sure approach may have rendered its appearance familiar to those who have grown with its growth, will be one which older citizens will regard with mingled feelings of pride and regret, as memory recalls the ancient and much-loved hills, which once rose in its place. However, our tramp yesterday was not made for the purpose of gathering material for an elegy on these troublesome hills; dear as they are, we desire to chronicle their partial downfall. In every direction, from east to west, from north to south, they are out through and through by the busy hand of man. Henry street, which was once "somewhere out east," has been carried right through a constant succession of hills, and now forms an uninterrupted though somewhat indirect connection between Middletown and the business parts of the city. The next street west of Henry is Langdon, which has been "dug out" from Front to Third streets. From Third to Fifth occurs what in history would be called an interregnum, in which the most remarkable objects are a hill, a pond, and another hill. At fifth street the thread is again resumed, and takes passengers by a good road to Middle Alton. George and Alton streets have both been excavated as far back as Fifth, and Easton street is in passable order to Fourth. Alby street has been cut clear through to Twelfth, and Market is navigable as far as Sixth. Third street, which from its width and position, will probably become in time the principal thoroughfare of the city, has absorbed a great deal of labor, and the grading upon it is almost wholly complete from Easton street to its junction with Second street, below Henry. Fourth street presents a very respectable appearance from Langdon street to Easton; from Piasa to Easton, however, there is an elevation which any one desirous of emulating Napoleon's ascent of the Alps, would do well to select as a suitable subject for the experiment. It should be graded as soon as practicable, as it is essential to the safety of passengers along Market street either on horseback or in vehicle. Notwithstanding some slight deficiencies, however, which it has been impossible to obviate in the brief time during which the work has been so vigorously carried forward, the condition of most of our principal streets at this time is a wonderful improvement on what it was twelve months ago, and, while it reflects abundant credit on the energy and skill of those who have had control of our public improvements, gives substantial promise of what they will yet do to increase the wealth and prosperity of our city. Alton never had more reason to be proud of the present, and sanguine of the future, than she has now.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 6, 1858

Last night about ten o'clock, a light in the upper end of the city raised an alarm of fire; when, proceeding in that direction, it was discovered that the steamboat, Jacob D. Early, which has been laid up for several weeks, a short distance above town, was on fire. By the time the firemen reached the ground she was too far gone to permit a hope of saving her. They, however, did good service by driving the fire back from her lines, and thus preventing her burning loose from the shore and floating past the city, by which much damage might have been done, as the wind set to the Illinois shore, and there were several boats at the levee. The flames spread rapidly at first, and in a short time the hurricane roof fell in and the boat was completely enveloped in flames. Although it was impossible to extinguish the fire, yet the firemen were able to keep it subdued and prevent its communication with the timber on shore. She burned rather slowly, but the fire did not cease until it had reached the water's edge. Jacob D. Early was five years old, valued at eight thousand dollars, was owned by Captain Hollister and others, and was insured in Cincinnati for five thousand dollars. The origin of the fire is not known. It was first discovered in the roof of the chambermaid's room, and it is thought it may have caught from the sparks from some passing boat. The boat had just been undergoing repairs at St. Louis at an expense of two thousand dollars. The books, papers, and everything of a combustible nature on board of her was lost. It is thought that the hull will be saved though in a damaged condition. The Pioneer Company are entitled to much credit for their promptness, and the untiring energy with which they labored to check the flames. They were the only company of the ground, and were instrumental in preventing much damage. The Washington Company, owing to the great distance at which their engine house is located from the scene of the conflagration, were late in reaching the scene. The Hook and Ladder Company, though out with their usual promptness, were unable to pass through a narrow passage in the road with their carriage, and had to leave it behind. The company went on however, and did efficient service.   Additional in Regard to the Burning of the "Jacob D. Early:"  We are happy to learn that the hull of this ill-fated boat was but little, if at all, damaged; the deck being burned through in one or two places only, and the boilers and shafts are still standing. This result - a very rare occurrence in steamboat fires - is owing entirely to the steady efforts and hard work of our Fire Department, the member of which, for four hours, fought the flames inch by inch, and finally conquered them. Had the burning boat escaped from its fastenings and drifted past our levee, the damage which would have been done can scarcely be estimated.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 27, 1858

We are pained to have to record the occurrence yesterday of another of those disgraceful scenes known as "Prize Fights," on an island a short distance above our city. The parties were from St. Louis, and came up on the steamer Equinox, which they had chartered for that purpose, and which was filled with a crowd of just such men as one would expect to see on such an occasion. Towards evening the boat returned on its way back to St. Louis, and we heard that the brutal contest had actually taken place, but we obtained no particulars, and if we had we would not disgust our readers with a repetition of them. Nearly a year has elapsed since the last prize fight occurred in this vicinity, and we hope the time is not far distant when such debasing and degrading exhibitions will be unknown.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, July 15, 1858

About twelve o'clock last night fire was discovered bursting through the front of Mr. Brudon's Coffin Manufactory on market street, a few doors north of Second street. It was some time before any of the engines reached the ground, and in the meantime the building, which was of wood and filled with the most combustible materials, was completely enveloped in flames. The fire then spread to the dwelling house next north of the manufactory, and to the store room and residence of Mr. Brudon, south of the manufactory, and thence to the frame adjoining, all of which were entirely consumed. Mr. Brudon owned the manufactory and the two story frame buildings south of it, and were occupied by him. His stock in the manufactory was entirely consumed. His household furniture and stock in the corner frame building were saved in a damaged condition. Mr. Wolford, since the high water, has occupied one of the stores. His goods were saved, but somewhat damaged. Mr. McArdle occupied the next store west, on Second street, as a tailor shop. His stock was removed with but little loss. Adjoining and west of him was occupied by Mr. Senior, as a shoe and boot shop. His stock and household furniture were removed in a damaged condition. Next west of him, the adjoining tenement was occupied by Mr. Casey as a bakery. His stock was principally saved. Next adjoining and west, were the stores of Messrs. Adams and King. Their stocks were removed and suffered some damage. On Market street, the back dwelling house next north of the Coffin Manufactory was occupied by Mr. Wilson, who saved his furniture, although somewhat damaged. The building was owned by Mr. J. P. Ash, Esq., who had insurance for $400 in the Illinois Mutual. Mr. Brudon had an insurance for $1,260 in the same office on his building and stock. We could not hear of any other insurance. There is no doubt the coffin manufactory was set on fire. At three o'clock this morning there were rumors of several robberies, but we could not trace them to any reliable source. Great exertions were made to save Wilson's stable, not so much on account of its intrinsic worth, as of its serving for a protection to the buildings of the Illinois Iron Works. The efforts made were successful. The Fire Department were on hand, and rendered efficient service. The want of more good hose was painfully apparent. The Lafayette Hook and Ladder Company, under the command of Captain Carpenter, were present and performed effective duty.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, August 5, 1858

The work on this fine city building is progressing steadily. Yesterday we observed that the brick work of the third story - the second above the stone basement - is entirely completed and the joists placed upon it. The brick work of the fourth, or last story, will be commenced in a day or two, and pushed forward with all possible dispatch. As this story is the one to be used as a public hall, it will be the highest one in the building. Mr. Carter informs us that it will be twenty feet between timbers. We observed that the lathe and other lumber for the inside work are already on the ground, ready to be used as soon as the roof is put on.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, August 5, 1858

Our young friend, William G. Pinckard, Jr., has removed his Family Grocery Store from his old stand on Third street to the Messrs. Harts' new brick building on the corner of Fourth and Belle, where he opened yesterday....The building is entirely new, the ground story - which, with the cellar, is all occupied by Mr. Pinckard - is high, airy and beautifully lighted; his counters and shelving are tastefully arranged, and his goods so disposed as to present a more attractive appearance than we thought possible in a grocery store....His customer will, at all times find in his store, a full and general supply of everything that can with propriety be classed under the head of Family Groceries and Provisions; also cigars and tobacco of every brand and variety; confectioneries and tropical fruits; all kinds of domestic fruits and vegetables in their season, &c.......Mr. Pinckard has also made an arrangement with the United States Express Company by which he receives twice a week a shipment of White Fish and Trout from Lake Michigan. These come packed in ice, through from Chicago in twelve hours, arriving here by the 10:30 A.M. train every Tuesday and Friday, and are opened and for sale in his store by eleven o'clock on those days.....Although Mr. Pickard is yet quite a young man and has been in business for himself but a few months, the business is one in which he had had much previous experience, and one for which he seems to be eminently fitted.....




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, August 12, 1858

About eleven o'clock of Tuesday night, the steamboat Pembinaw landed at our wharf, and acting Coroner W. G. Pinckard, Esq., was sent for to hold an inquest upon the body of a man who had been killed on the boat after it had left St. Louis. Summoning a jury, 'Squire Pinkard proceeded immediately to the boat and found the body of the murdered man lying upon the after part of the deck, where the hands and deck passengers lodge. A rigid investigation was immediately entered into, and continued about two hours, during which nearly twenty witnesses were sworn and examined. The witnesses were the watchman, carpenter, and a number of the hands belonging to the boat, and one cabin and several deck passengers. An examination of the body showed a ghastly wound in the stomach just above and to the left of the naval evidently made by a long dirk or knife, from which the unfortunate man's intestines had protruded in a most horrible manner; a severe bruise on the back of the head, made by a blow from a billet of wood or capstan bar; two or three slight wounds about the throat and breast, one of which indicated, beyond a doubt, that an attempt had been made to cut his throat; a severe bruise or cut in the lower lip, and two or three other slight bruises and cuts about the face. His intestines had been restored to their place, and the wound had been sewed up by an old lady who was a cabin passenger. The testimony of the witnesses, which was not very connected nor lucid, showed that the deceased was a raftsman; that his name was William Fitzpatrick; that he had gone from Quincy to St. Louis on a raft about three weeks ago; that he had been on a drunken spree in St. Louis, and that he had been engaged in at least one murderous fight while there; that he was often drunk, and when so, very quarrelsome; that he had taken deck passage on the Pembinaw for the upper Mississippi on the afternoon of Tuesday, before which time only one witness - a raftsman, who testified to the above facts in relation to his character and previous history - knew him. It appeared, further, that the deceased was about "half drunk" when he came onboard the boat just before she left St. Louis, and that very soon after the boat started, he picked a quarrel with two other raftsmen (of which class of men there were twenty or thirty on board as deck passengers), who were eating their suppers, and presently struck one of them. A general promiscuous fight then ensued, without, however, much damage being done, as no weapons were used. After fight some time with his fists, the deceased went to his carpetbag and took from thence a large and broad hunting knife or dirk, swearing that he would kill somebody if not everybody. One of the boat hands stepped up behind him, caught him round the body and arms, and held him, calling to the bystanders to take the knife away from him. Just then some man - none of the witnesses seemed to know who - struck the deceased on the back of the head with a stick of wood or a capatan bar. The blow knocked him loose from the grasp of the man who was holding him, he fell forward into one of the "hunke," from which he rolled down upon the floor or deck beneath the "hunks." From this incident until the watchman found him about half an hour afterwards, lying in a pool of his own blood in a dying condition, none of the witnesses seemed to know anything about him; soon after which he breathed his last. He talked some before he died to two or three of the witnesses, but his mind seemed to be wandering and he gave no connected account of anything. From the mass of testimony taken, the jury sifted enough to satisfy themselves that the man was killed by one or more of the raftsmen who were his fellow passengers, and with whom he had been quarreling; but it was found to be impossible to obtain any testimony that would justify an arrest. The body was brought on shore, and yesterday morning was buried by order of the Acting Coroner. Much praise is due to Captain Griffith and the other officers of the Pembinaw for the prompt and prudent course they pursued. Before the boat landed, guards of trust-worthy men were stationed around the deck with strict orders to allow no one to leave the boat until the inquest was concluded. The jury were fully satisfied that no one in any way connected with the boat had anything to do with the commission of the crime, or knew anything about it further than what they stated in their testimony. No money was found about the person of the deceased, and he left no effects of any material value. In his pockets were found the scabbard of the dirk with which it is supposed he was killed (the dirk itself could no where be found, and no one seemed to know anything at all about it); a common pocketknife, a comb, and two or three pieces of tobacco. He had a carpetbag which contained a quantity of clothing, such as raftsmen generally have, a knife, a pair of scissors, and several other unimportant articles of no value whatever. In the carpetbag was found a daguerreotype likeness of a young, rather good looking and well-dressed woman. It could not be ascertained whether he had any family or friends, or not.


Another incident:  Active Coroner Pinckard held an inquest yesterday morning upon the dead body of a man exhibited to him on the levee at the foot of State street. The testimony given before the jury exhibited the following facts:  The name of the deceased is Thomas Hetherington; he has recently lived somewhere in the neighborhood of Buck Inn on the Plank Road between Alton and Monticello. He has been addicted to intemperate habits, and has lately been on a spree which ended in an attack of the delirium tremens, up in Calhoun county. Two of his friends up there started to bring him home in a skiff; but he grew rapidly worse and he died on the way down in all the horrible agonies of that dreadful disease. Verdict in accordance with the above facts.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, October 14, 1858

City Hall - The work on this splendid building is progressing with great rapidity. About half the floors are down and half the roof covered with tin. The main stairway to the second story is up, and gas pipe is being laid to all parts of the house. For rent, beside the rooms in the basement, there will be two stores on Second street, front of first story, and five offices in the second story, all of which will be supplied with independent gas pipes for the use of those occupying. In looking over this really fine building, it appeared to us that the very large and fine room on the first floor, occupying about two-thirds of the entire floor, would make an excellent Court Room. In the second story, just north of the Council chamber, will be a large and fine room, which we trust will be given to the Library Association. It would be central and convenient, and would be encouraging an institution second only to our public schools, in its influence upon the citizens. Although controlled by a private association, all can avail themselves of its advantages, and the city should give it a helping hand.


In noticing improvements about the city, we are called upon to mention that Messrs. A. & F. X. Joerger of the Kossuth House are excavating a cellar upon the north side of Second street, between George and Langdon streets. They intend erecting a two story brick building, 60 feet front and 34 feet deep - the lower story of which will be divided into two store rooms. Several hands are at work and the job will be pushed forward as rapidly as possible. Mr. Leopold Helmle is the Architect. Directly opposite this, Mr. Busch has almost completed a fine two story brick building of about 30 feet front, the lower room of which will also be occupied as a store. A little further down the street, upon the north side, Mr. J. A. Miller finished, some time ago, two cellars, but was compelled to suspend further operations for a time. We are glad to notice that work upon them is now resumed; and we may expect to see a couple of fine buildings there before long.




Source:  Vincent's Semi-annual U. S. Register, Jan-Jun 1860, pages 486-489

This day, a dreadful storm broke out over the town of Alton, Ill. The Alton "Courier," describing it, says - The most destructive storm in this section of the country that has occurred within the memory of anyone, broke upon our city Saturday evening and in a matter of minutes destroyed property to the amount of scores of thousands of dollars. The track of the storm through the business part of the city lies between Belle and Henry streets. On and west of State street the damage done to building is very slight, confined to the throwing down of two or three chimneys and one or two stables. Here as well as elsewhere the shrubbery, fruit-trees, shade trees, etc. suffered to a considerable extent. The "Courier" office, for which so much apprehension was felt, escaped uninjured. Our loss is confined to the bindery, and is but slight, occasioned by the tearing open of a trap-door in the roof. Farther up the street, beyond the Piasa Foundry, was the principal scene of disaster on Belle street. Here, in the creek-bottom, are about twenty small houses, occupied by twenty-five or thirty families, mostly Irish. At sunset there was scarcely enough water in the creek to make a current; when the storm was at it's height the water must have been at least ten to twelve feet deep, tearing on with almost resistless force. Some three or four of these houses were torn in pieces, three or four more swept from their foundations, and all of them filled with water and mud. The affrighted families fled with what they could carry, in very few cases saving more than three-quarters of their household effects, and in some instances hardly escaping with their lives. Still farther up the road in the neighborhood of the toll gate, some damage was done by water, but very little done by hail or wind. The road is very much washed in all places, all the way to the Buck Inn. In the insurance office neighborhood, the traces of hail first began to be much apparent, the insurance office having very many panes of glass broken out, and other houses having suffered in this respect to some extent. We remarked two or three chimneys down, also a stable near the house of Dr. Wood. The main damage hereabouts is upon the shrubbery and fruit and other trees, and it is very severe, not to be estimated in dollars and cents. Dr. Wood, Mr. Kellenberger, Mr. Moses Atwood, Robert Smith, John Atwood, Judge Billings, Capt. Adams, H. I. Baker, Mr. Wade, Dr. Marsh, Mr. Metcalf - all these, and, in fact, everybody in this neighborhood, have lost much in this respect. Mr. Smith's yard and garden particularly are very much damaged. The house building for cashier Caldwell lost it's chimney and part of its roofing.  In Hunterstown, the German Catholic Church, corner of Third and Henry streets, built last year at an expense of about $6000, is almost a complete wreck, the basement and part of the front wall alone standing. From the two story brick building standing directly opposite, belonging to Mr. Coppiner, the roof was partially lifted, and a small frame building near it was damaged by a falling tree. Farther up Henry Street, opposite the German Protestant Church, a frame story-and-a-half house, about finished, for John Callacombe, was torn completely to pieces. Lower Middleton suffered considerably, both by hail and by wind.  Captain James Starr's house lost a couple of chimneys. James Newman lost a chimney and a stable. J.C. Underwood lost a stable, and had both gables of his house blown out, damage say $800. A new story-and-a-half frame house opposite Mr. Dimmock's was badly wrenched, but not blown down. A story brick house, also opposite, occupied by Mr. Spreen, is a wreck: loss $1000. Seth T. Sawyer's house lost it's roof and part of the back side-wall: $500. Mr. Johnson's house lost a couple of chimneys. Joseph Spray, porter of De Bow & Son, living back of the African church, had the upper story of his house taken off, and a part of it carried two hundred and fifty or three hundred feet: loss $350. A small stable near by was wrecked. A small frame house in front of, and a short distance from, the church building for Mr. Waples by Mr. McCorcle, was blown from it's foundation and badly sprung. Thomas S. Coffey's house suffers, by loss of it roof and other wise to the amount of $500. Mr. Coon's house has damage, $150. Mr. Waple's home has a chimney and one corner down. Dr. Hope's stable was scattered over an acre of ground. All through this section of the city there is no small loss of trees and shrubbery, very few property owners escaping. There are also several houses damaged to the amount of from $20 to $50 or $60, by falling limbs or parts of other houses.  In Second Street, the residence of Dr. De Leuw, a short distance above Henry Street, has a chimney down and also the front of a one-story wing. Arnes's new brick store and residence has the lower gable-end out. Kohler's seed-store has part of its front down. One of the old shells in Cary's Row is demolished. The lower gable-end of Joerges's fine brick house is out. One of the back gable-ends of the Alton house is out. The Baptist Society were burned out but a short time ago, and now are out again. Ryder's three-story building lost its upper story, in which the society have been worshipping for several weeks. It is said that this building was struck by lighting.  The city building lost more than half of it's tin roof. The front firewall of the building occupied by Blair, Ballinger & Co., Adams & Collett, and Ferguson & Gawley, was partly blown off. The river gable-end of the store formerly occupied by Adams & Collett was blown out. Part of the river front of Pickard's store is down, as is also, one gable of Malachi Holland's Liquor Store. The steeple was blown off of the Episcopal Church. It is said that the church is almost a total loss, the walls being very much sprung and cracked. The church cost about $12,000. The organ is ruined. The steeple was also blown from the Methodist Church. The roof was considerably hurt by it's fall, and the interior is also somewhat damaged. The loss cannot be less that $3000. The house of D. Simms was also completely crushed by the falling steeple of the Methodist Church. It was worth $1800. The back end of the Depot is blown in. The destruction of awnings, signs, &c., in the entire business part of the city is very great. A dozen houses or more in this part of the city, the names of whose owners we did not learn, lost chimneys. The front gable-end of the Illinois Iron-works is blown out, and the building is slightly damaged otherwise.  No loss in the city is commented upon with more and warmer expressions of sympathy than that of "The Democrat" office. The building was new, yet hardly finished, and Mr. Fitch moved into it only a week ago, just a week ago on Saturday evening, opening it with a gathering of his friends. And it is now all gone, the most complete wreck we ever saw. We know how Mr. Fitch has labored early and late in his profession here and elsewhere for many years, through what discouragements he had attained his position as head of the leading Democratic paper in this section of the state; and, knowing all this, and appreciating the public spirit which led him to put up so fine a building in these times, we share the general sympathy felt for him. The building, presses, engine, and stock, and all is completely wrecked: the entire loss must be at least $8000. The Geo Bachter Office was moved into the building on Saturday, as was also the German Bindery; and of course the entire stock of these establishments is a complete loss.




Source: Alton Telegraph, July 4, 1862

The front of the building known as the old Post office building on Belle street, has been removed and there is to be an additional story added, and a new brick front. The lower story will contain two business rooms, and the two upper stories will be fitted up amiably for dwellings.




Source: Alton Telegraph, July 11, 1862

We learn there was a very pleasant picnic at the "old Stone Spring," between Middletown and Upper Alton yesterday. There can be found no more pleasant place in our vicinity; and we are informed that the day was spent most pleasantly and delightfully in dancing, strolling, singing and other pastimes, by those so fortunate as to be in attendance.




Source: Alton Telegraph, July 11, 1862

For a number of years for some reason, our citizens have had no general celebration on the Fourth of July. Why this was the case we shall not attempt to state. Yesterday we had a general celebration which was participated in by a great majority of our citizens. About sunrise a salute of thirty-four guns was fired, awaking many from sound slumbers, to view the bright sunshine of the eight-sixth anniversary of our national birthday. The steamer Runyan, clean and neat as a pin, with flags and streamers flying, about nine pushed out from the levee for Portage with the excursion for the benefit of the Ursuline Convent; crowded with both ladies and gentlemen; having with them all the necessary items to make themselves comfortable, and insure a pleasant and profitable trip. The bells of the churches were rung some fifteen minutes, which added much to the excitement in the city. The streets were crowded with people, wagons, horses, &c., long before the hour appointed for the procession to move, and many grew very impatient of the delay, much of which was absolutely necessary, owing to the numberless items of arrangement which the managers had to attend to, and of which the people and citizens generally, are ignorant on such occasions. The procession was at length formed in the following order, as per programme: Martial Band, 13th Regiment U. S. Infantry, Bass and Tenor Drum, Lafayette Hook and Ladder Company, Washington Engine Company, Jerseyville Band, Carriage containing the Orator and others, Masons, Car containing 18 little girls, Odd Fellows, Car containing 34 young misses, Citizens in carriages, Citizens on horseback, Citizens on foot.  The military under command of Captain Washington, made a very fine appearance, being handsomely equipped. Brightly burnished muskets and glistening bayonets, in the hands of well-dressed and soldierly men, always proves an attractive feature; and on this occasion was no exception in the general rule. We cannot but congratulate the officers of this excellent regiment upon the fine state of discipline, and the perfection of drill, to which they have brought the soldiers under their ..... [unreadable]. The car containing thirteen little girls, representing the original thirteen colonies, was superintended by Miss Ellen Funte; and to her patriotic and ca??, as well as excellent insto, is chiefly due the success of this feature. Having several patriotic songs to sing, during the exercises at the grove, the greater part of a week past was spent in rehearsing and practicing the several places. The car containing the Goddess of Liberty, Miss Emma Webb, and thirty-four young misses, representing the thirty-four States of the Union, was superintended by M. J. Lee, Esq., in a highly credible manner; and was a very attractive feature of this procession. In fact, the two cars were, aside from the military, the attractive feature of the day. We were sorry to see our Fire Department make such a poor display; the Lafayette Hook and Ladder Company, and the Washington Engine Company, being the only ones in the procession. The appearance of the Lafayette was fine, being gaily trimmed with flags, etc.  The hose carriage of the Washington company was also very neat and pretty, trimmed with ribbons, flowers, etc.  The Jerseyville Band added greatly to the pleasure and enjoyment of the day, and the members are good muscians. The Masons and Odd Fellows turned out quite strong, and made an imposing appearance, dressed in the appropriate regalias of those orders. The citizens in carriages comprised a large portion of the procession; but the intense heat, the dust and the long walk compelled most of those on foot to leave the procession and take the short cuts and by-ways; and the road was absolutely lined with people from the country, people from the city, and people from St. Louis, and other places. From every direction came a perfect stronin(?) of human beings. On reaching the grove, the following programme was filled: Singing "Independence Day," by the little "Thirteen." Prayer by Rev. Mr. Jameson. Music by the Jerseyville Band. Singing "Hail Columbia" by the thirty-four young misses. Reading Declaration of Independence by Levi Davis, Esq. Music. Address by Rev. Mr. C. H. Taylor, orator of the day. Music. Singing "Christian Hero," by the thirty-four young misses. Music. Lunch......The afternoon was spent in sauntering over the hills, loitering in shady nooks, all making merry and enjoying themselves as best suited each. At night an immense crowd was in attendance on "Church Hill," to witness the fireworks. The first and largest, unfortunately, caught fire and was consumed before it reached any considerable height; but the next and all the rest, some four or five, ascended beautifully. The beautiful moonlight night destroyed much of the brilliancy of the fireworks, but nevertheless, the display was magnificent. We do not think the committee could have found a more central location, or better place for the display than that selected.....




Source: Poughkeepsie, New York Daily Eagle, April 8, 1863

A fire occurred at Alton, Ill. on Wednesday night, consuming a warehouse on the levee occupied by Simpson & Ketchum, filled with hay and other produce, besides besides the adjoining buildings occupied by Wipping Bros & Co., hardware dealers, and Calvin & Rissale, auction store. Loss about $100,000. Insured for $60,000.




Source: Alton Telegraph, March 17, 1865

F. Shelly - This gentleman is the new proprietor of the lime works in this city [Alton], lately owned by D. Martin & Co. Having been a member of the firm for several years, he will be recognized at once by all of the old customers. Mr. Shelly informs us that he manufactured in his kilns during the past year over 100,000 bushels of lime, and paid as high as $170 per month Government tax on the manufacture of lime alone. He has in operation three of Page's Patent Kilns capable of turning out $2,000 worth of lime per week, and can make 300 bushels per day, and has loaded 14 cars in one week. Employs, at times, as high as 50 hands, and constantly about 20. The lime of his manufacture is used extensively in Springfield, Bloomington, Peoria, Terre Haute, St. Louis, and in fact at all points in the Valley of the Mississippi. Customers can be assured of liberal dealing at the hands of Mr. Shelly. Give him a call.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 23, 1866

Mr. F. Shelly also has a cooper shop in connection with his lime kilns, and during the year, 10,133 lime barrels were made at his factory, though these were but a small proportion of the number used in his business.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 8, 1868

During several years past, Mr. F. Shelly has been one of the best known lime dealers in the city, and by his business tact and skill and his facilities for manufacturing and shipping, has built up a very extensive and prosperous trade. His leading rival has been the firm of J. Lock & Bro., and these firms have for some time past been the heaviest dealers in the vicinity. We learn, however, that negotiations have been closed between the two firms, which have been some time in progress, by which Mr. Shelly has purchased the entire interest of Lock & Bro. in the business, for $30,000, and will hereafter carry on the trade of both firms. The purchase embraces six large kilns, with a large amount of other property, fixtures and appurtenances. Mr. Shelly has now facilities for burning 2,000 bushels of lime per day, which is double the amount of any other manufacturer in the West. He also intends to erect additional kilns immediately, which will increase his facilities for manufacturing to three thousand bushels per day, or three times the amount of any other western dealer. His advantages for shipping are superior to those of any dealer in other cities. His kilns are located immediately upon the river bank, under the limestone bluffs, from whence his material is derived. He can, therefore, ship directly upon the steamers to any point upon the Mississippi or its tributaries. In addition to this advantage, the levee track extends to his kilns, by which means he can load directly into the cars, in bulk or otherwise, and ship to any place upon the Chicago, the Jacksonville, or the Terre Haute railroad. Thus his shipment both by river and rail are made without expense for cartage; and of this saving his customers get the benefit. Mr. Shelly has now some $80,000 invested in the business, and as we have stated, intends to largely increase the amount. The great skill and energy which he has manifested in its conduct are of great benefit to the city, and must lead to large returns to himself.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 15, 1871

Mr. F. Shelly has purchased of Maj. George S. Roper and Mr. J. W. McMillan, the fine residence and grounds on State street known as the Keating property. The price paid was $7,500. This property is very desirable, both as regards location and intrinsic value. Mr. Shelly intends occupying it himself.


Alton Daily Telegraph, April 18, 1890

Mr. F. Shelly, now of St. Louis, has purchased Mr. John Armstrong's lime kiln under the bluffs and took possession of the property today. Mr. Shelly is a practical and experienced lime burner, having formerly been engaged in that business in this city, and afterwards in Quincy. He will remove his family here. The Telegraph welcomes Mr. S. back to his old home.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 4, 1896

Mr. F. Shelly, a former resident of Alton but now of St. Louis, is visiting friends in this city.




Source: Alton Weekly Telegraph, June 23, 1865

Colonel Solomon Pruitt, now in his 74th year, called upon us a day or two since, from whom we gathered the following information: He came from Tennessee to this State in the year 1807, and settled near the junction of the Alton and Terre Haute Railroad, in the neighborhood of which he still resides. He has walked all over the site where Alton now stands, long before there was a house erected, or the slightest sign of human habitation visible. Wild game of every kind was at that time, very abundant, and he sustained his family for two years after settling there almost exclusively upon it. He took an active part as a soldier in the War of 1812, and also in the war with Black Hawk. He was chosen Colonel by a regiment which went from this part of the State to take part in the latter war. He raised a large family and although becoming quite feeble physically, he yet retains in vigorous exercise all of his mental faculties and has taken an active interest in behalf of his country during the last conflict for its life and against the traitors who were trying to destroy its true institutions. He voted against the introduction of slavery into this State when it was first organized and he still abhors the system of human slavery with all its attendant _______ and _________ influences.




Source: The Evening Courier and Republic, Buffalo, New York, February 21, 1866

The tobacco factory of Meyers & Drummond, Alton, Illinois, and one or two adjoining buildings were burned last Saturday. Loss about $30,000. Insurance $14,000.




Source: Buffalo, New York Evening Courier, September 8, 1866
ALTON, Ill., Sept. 8. The party were received here by a dense mass of persons, many of whom were from the surrounding country and from St. Louis and other cities. Salutes were fired and the greatest possible excitement prevailed. The excursionists were conducted to a stand previously erected, where the President. Gen. Grant, Admiral Farragut, Secretary Seward, Secretary Welles were introduced. The Mayor of Alton extended a cordial welcome to the President and the statesmen, and he accompanied him, in a neat speech. The President responded briefly. He was frequently interrupted by applause. Mr. Seward was then vociferously called. The party was then squeezed through a dense mass of human beings to the deck of the steamers Andy Johnson. Cheers were frequently repeated by the excited multitude. The President was formally introduced to Mayor Thomas and escorted to the steamer Ruth, when the bells commenced ringing for the fleet to turn their heads homeward. The steamers Andy Johnson, Ruth and Olive Branch, lashed together, made the first move forward, closely followed by as many other boats us there were original States in the Union. As soon as the fleet of steamers was under wav, the Presidential party crossed over from the Andy Johnson to the Ruth, and passed up to the cabin escorted by a detachment of Knights Templars, At this point Captain Bart Abel suggested that as the boats were about to pass the Missouri River the party should be escorted to the upper deck. The President and party were then escorted to the hurricane deck of the Ruth where they passed an hour in a most agreeable manner. Gen. Grant was kept busy in acknowledging the congratulations that were heaped upon him.




Source: Utica, New York Daily Observer, September 28, 1866

The charter election of the city of Alton was held September 13. Notwithstanding the fierce resolution of the Radicals, and their efforts to rule and ruin, the Democratic Conservative ticket was triumphantly elected. It was a perfect Waterloo victory. The Mayor and Common Council are Democratic; the register, collector, treasurer, attorney, marshal, harbor master, commissioner, and assessor, are all Democrats.



Source:  New York Times, New York, March 19, 1867
The flouring mill of Church & Coffey, at Alton, Ill., was burned Saturday morning. Loss, $12,000. Insurance, $8,000.



Source: New York, NY Clipper, June 29, 1867

The steamer Robert E. Lee, running on the lower Mississippi trade, which recently made the trip from Memphis to Cairo in the unequalled time of 17 hours and 12 minutes, has just eclipsed this performance, making the run between those points in nearly two hours less time than any other boat. She left Memphis on Saturday, June 15th, at 10 o'clock A. M., arriving at Cairo on Sunday at 2.43 AM. The quickest run ever made by any steamer between the two points before the Lee made her first quick trip was made by the City of Alton in seventeen hours and fifty minutes, winning the horns from the Mollie Able, which made the run in 19 hours 10 minutes. The horns are a large pair of elk horns, finely gilt, supporting a Union shield, bearing the inscription "Time from Memphis  to Cairo 19 hours 40 min." Bearing this message upon the horns, "Steamer Mollie Able" on the other side, "Time from Memphis to Cairo, 17h. 50m. Beat this and take back the horns,  Steamer City of Alton."  The Lee sports the antlers.



Source: Alton Telegraph, December 13, 1867

The supper and festival at the Alton House last evening in honor of the completion of the Alton & Upper Alton Horse Railroad, was largely attended by citizens of both places, and a most delightful season was enjoyed. The gathering was select. Many ladies, especially from Upper Alton, graced the occasion by their presence. Hon. Cyrus Edwards presided with his usual suavity, and Judge Billings acted as vice President. The banquet is spoken of in enthusiastic terms. It comprised every delicacy, in season and out of season, and was served in admirable style. The host of the Alton House certainly added to his laurels as a public caterer, on this occasion. The toasts proposed at the table and the responses thereto were equally felicitous, and added in no small degree to the pleasures and sociability of the evening. The following is a list of the toasts offered, as furnished us by the committee:

1. Motive and Locomotive Power: In celebrating the event that calls us together, let due credit be given to the gentlemen who exerted the motive power that caused the Alton & Upper Alton Horse Railway to be built - Messrs. Edwards and Clawson.

2. Horse Railway Carriages: Coaches for the people - in which the poor as well as the rich can ride at the same cost.

3. The Altons: May the union by bands of iron lend to a more perfect union under one city charter.

4. The Alton Sisters: Now unified by a cord of iron; may it be bound as impolitic to sever this union as it would the cord that connects the Siam brothers.

5. Railing Between the Altons: May it be so profitable to both places as to end all other unprofitable railing.

6. Our Stockholders: May the upper and nether Alton railway - like the upper and nether millstones - grind them out a good grist of dividends.

7. Railroads and the Magnetic Telegraph: The two greatest inventions for the increase of comfort and wealthy in this century.

8. The New Viaduct Between the Altons: The natural chasm having been spanned may the social one no longer exist.

9. Alton and Upper Alton: Now that they are united by a two-horse railway, let them no longer be named as one-horse places.

10. To the Board of Directors of A. & U. A. H. R. R.: The citizens of both places tender their most grateful thanks.

11. The Horse Railway Charter: Let the "sp____" [unreadable] clause, which provides for extending the web of rails over both Alton's not be forgotten.




Source:  The New York Times, New York, February 19, 1868

Feb. 18. Flackenecker's grocery-store, and three or four adjoining buildings in Alton, Ill., were burned on Sunday night. The loss is about $15,000. The insurance has not been ascertained.


[This was probably Leonard Flackenecker, who also owned an Upholstery Store on "Third Street, opposite Belle Street", in Alton, in 1852. He was also listed as an "old settler" of Alton in 1874, and was born August 29, 1804 in Germany.]



Source:  Alton Weekly Telegraph, Alton, IL, May 1, 1868

About half-past five o'clock yesterday afternoon the brick "drying house" of the Wooden Ware Works was discovered to be on fire. The alarm was at once sounded, and in a few moments the Alton engine was on the ground, and was vigorously at work. A large number of men were, also, engaged in deluging the house with water from buckets, but no amount of water seemed to have the slightest influence on the flames.  The house contained six separate compartments, or kilns (each of which was filled with staves and headings) and the walls were with out windows, hence it was found almost impossible to get at the fire, so as to play upon it effectually. In about an hour from the time of the first alarm the Washington engine arrived on the ground, and was station at the pond near the Methodist Church, where it rendered efficient service. But although three streams of fire were kept playing upon the fire constantly, still the dense volumes of smoke and steam issuing from the building showed that the flames were but little effected by the deluge of water. At nine o'clock the roof of the building fell in, after which time the firemen were able to play with more effect upon the dense mass of fire within. But it was not until after twelve o'clock that the flames were so far subdued as to render it same for the engines to leave their posts.  At one time it was feared that the fire would be communicated to the main building, but owing to the wind's being from the south and to the great exertions of the firemen and citizens, this great calamity was obviated. Too much praise cannot be awarded to the firemen, and the citizens who assisted them, for the perseverance and energy they manifested throughout. Hour after hour the brakes went steadily up and down without a moments cessation, until the labor was no longer necessary. And there was no excitement about this "manning of the brakes," but it was hard, monotonous work, where grip and grit were alike needed. We take pleasure, also, in testifying to the efficiency and zeal of Chief Engineer Pfeiffenberger and his assistants in directing the operations of the firemen and citizens. It is a difficult matter to ascertain exactly the amount of the loss, as it will be mostly, indirect. The building was divided into six kilns, and in each kiln were 2,000 feet of prepared, or 12,000 staves in all, almost ready for use. The value of this material was about $1,200. The building cannot be replaced for less than $2,500. There was no insurance. The great loss, however, is in the suspension of business which will be necessary on account of the disaster. Very nearly all the dry material that the factory had on hand was consumed, and consequently no work can be done until a new "drying house" can be built and new material prepared. This will require at least a month, all of which is a dead loss of time. The company have the sympathy of the community in their loss, especially as it is the third time the have suffered in a similar manner. They have won the reputation of making the best wooden ware in the west, and the entire trade will regret to learn of their misfortune.


[The Wooden Ware Works was established by Althoff and Stigleman at 7th and Piasa Streets, in a building 112x80 feet, three stories, two of stone and one of brick. It had one tub and one bucket lathe, and other corresponding machinery, with forty to fifty workmen employed. Located at Seventh and Piasa Streets in Alton, IL. Later, in 1873, this building housed the Hughes and White Roofing Tile Factory.]




Source: Courier and Union, Syracuse, New York, October 14, 1868

A comb factory, said to be the finest in the West, has just been started at Alton, Illinois.




Source: The New York Times, November 2, 1868

From St. Louis, Mo., Saturday, Oct. 31.   Five men attempted to rob the First National Bank at Alton, Ill., early this morning. While they were at work drilling the vault, Mr. H. Fuller, a private watchman, arrested one of the parties, who was outside watching, when the remainder of them attacked the officer, cut his head dreadfully with a steel bar and shot him through the heart, causing instant death. The robbers then escaped, leaving behind them all their tools. One thousand dollars reward is offered for the arrest of the murderers.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, November 5, 1868

Last evening a woman arrived in this city from Springfield, on the Chicago train, and put up at the Alton House. She registered her name as Mrs. Frazer. This morning she did not make her appearance at breakfast, and an attachee of the hotel was sent to call her. As she did not respond to the call, the door was opened and she was found lying dead in her bed. A jury was summoned by Justice Quarton, consisting of Messrs. A Breath (foreman), A. L. Chouteau, H. C. Sweetser, James Barr, James Meachen, M. P. Caldwell, Albert Wade, M. P. Breckinridge, Richard Flagg, T. M. Boyle, I. E. Hardy, M. D., and John W. Hart, who returned a verdict that the deceased came to her death by convulsions, the immediate cause of which was unknown to the jury. It appears from evidence furnished by a young man who was in her company, which was confirmed by a Springfield gentleman, that she had been spending the last few days in Springfield; that she represented herself as the wife of a rebel General Frazer of Louisiana, now in Europe. These representations, it is judged, are correct. It was found, through documents in the possession of the deceased, that she had two children at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, St. Louis. Justice Quarton has telegraphed to that institution of the event. The deceased was a woman of about thirty-five years of age; she was small of stature, but it was difficult to tell much of her personal appearance on account of her face being distorted by her struggles in the convulsions. The remains were taken in charge of by William Brudon, undertaker, and placed temporarily in the Cemetery vault.


Source: Library of Congress; Nashville Union and American, Nashville, TN, November 10, 1868

From the St. Louis Republican, Nov. 6 - On Wednesday evening last, a lady, apparently thirty-five or forty years of age, left the southward bound Chicago train at this point [St. Louis] and went to the Alton House. She had no baggage, except a small handbag, and was accompanied by a man of respectable appearance, who seemed to be acting as her escort. After some conversation with him in the parlor, she was shown to her room on the second floor of the hotel, and is supposed to have retired at an early hour. One of the boarders stated that in passing the door of the apartment which she occupied, about 9 o'clock, he saw a light burning and heard voices inside. But beyond this nothing is definitely known of what transpired within. Yesterday morning the servant knocked at the door several times, but elicited no reply, and on trying it found that it was locked or bolted. Calling the proprietor, an examination was made by looking through the transom light, when the woman was discovered in bed and so wrapped up in the clothes as to hide her face completely. Obtaining no answer to his questions, and fearing that something was wrong, Mr. Siemens then procured a ladder and entered the room from the outer court through a rear window. The unfortunate inmate was found dead, and from indications must have been so several hours. Her body was drawn up, the features horribly distorted, the hands partially clenched, and she appeared to have died in the midst of a sudden and violent convulsion, produced by some unknown cause. Justice Quarton was immediately notified, and summoning a coroner's jury, an inquest was held upon the remains. The companion of the deceased, a Mr. Roberts, was sworn, and testified substantially that he had met the lady in Springfield, Illinois at the St. Nicholas Hotel a few days before, and there for the first time made her acquaintance; that she represented herself to him as the wife of General Frazier of the Confederate army; that her husband was in Europe, and that she had two daughters in the Convent of the Sacred Heart in St. Louis. He stated that she had procured money from the Catholic clergy in Quincy as well as in Springfield, to pay her expenses to St. Louis; also that he took a walk with her to Oak Ridge Cemetery and elsewhere, during their sojourn at the St. Nicholas. According to his account he left Springfield on the same train with her, but did not know she was onboard until his arrival at Carlinville, when she spoke to him on the platform, and expressed her pleasure at meeting him again. He says that she urged him to stop off at Alton and continue his journey with her to St. Louis in the morning, and that he finally consented to do so. Previous to retiring for the night, she complained to him of feeling ill, but that he saw nothing more of her from the time she left the parlor until he was informed of her death next morning.  Roberts gave the jury most accurate information in regard to the effects of Mrs. Frazier, money, jewelry, etc., etc., which subsequent investigation proved to be correct. Nor was anything brought forward to invalidate the remainder of the testimony or to connect him in any way with her decease. There were no traces of violence on the body, and no signs of poison having been administered, and Dr. Hardy, City Physician, gave his opinion that she died of convulsions. The jury rendered a similar verdict, and the corpse was conveyed to the receiving vault of the city cemetery to await further developments. One hundred and one dollars in currency, a number of railway passes, a quantity of Catholic relics, crosses, etc., etc., were found among her clothing, but nothing which could lead to a complete identification. A telegram has been sent to the ladies of the Sacred Heart, asking that the children might be brought here; and should they arrive, it is to be hoped some clue may be found to unravel this melancholy and mysterious case.




Source: The New York Times, November 20, 1868

From the Missouri Democrat, Nov. 16.  Marshal Keck of Kansas City, and Detective Wright reached Alton with their prisoners, St. Clair and Kelley, on Saturday evening, lodging them in jail without trouble, although St. Clair himself was much exercised for fear Judge Lynch would get hold of him. It is not claimed that Kelley had a hand in this bank robbery and the murder of the private watchman, but he is known to have been cognizant of the circumstances, and it was surmised either a confederate or friend of the parties implicated, consequently his arrest. St. Clair made a confession after his arrival in Alton, to the effect that four men were engaged in the robbery; three were at work inside the bank proper, on the safe, while one was standing guard or watching outside; the private watchman came along, and a struggle ensued, during which he was shot. St. Clair asserts that Bill Ayres fired the fatal shot. Had the watchman not appeared on the scene, in a few minutes the safe would have been opened and all its valuable contents secured; they had done such jobs before, and knew how to go to work. As already known, the four only secured some $800 in stamps and nickels before making their escape. From Alton they came down the river in a skiff to St. Louis, and from thence proceeded to Kansas City, where they had a "job already put up," but they were afraid to attempt it at once, and the arrest of St. Clair cut short his career in the burglar line. From Kansas City the quartette were to have gone to Atlanta, Ga., where another "job" awaited their execution. On Saturday, as stated in our Alton letter, St. Clair was arraigned for preliminary examination, but entered a waiver, which virtually means, in this instance, a plea of guilty as a participant in the burglary, but, as stated, he stoutly denies any hand in the murder. The man Kelley was held as a witness in the sum of $2,000, and in default of bail was committed to jail. Marshal Keck received a receipt from the Mayor of Alton to the effect that he had delivered to the authorities St. Clair, known to be and properly identified as one of the men wanted and for whom the $1,000 reward was offered, but the reward was not paid, though it probably will be. As he has spent considerable time and money in the affair, it would certainly be an act of injustice not to pay him the promised reward.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, November 28, 1868

Yesterday afternoon as a lady was walking along Second street, she stepped upon the iron covering of a cistern under the pavement, which had been carelessly left unfastened. The covering gave way beneath her, and she slipped into the opening as far as her waist. Help was at hand, and she quickly succeeded in extricating herself from her perilous position. Although not seriously injured, she received some severe bruises. The cistern was very deep and contained several feet of water, and had she not succeeded in arresting her fall, the consequences would have been serious. Had a child stepped upon the covering, it would almost inevitably have fallen clear through and been drowned. The carelessness which would leave such a place exposed should be severely punished. About half-past four o'clock, a sad accident took place on the corner of Second and Market streets. Four ladies from Monticello were driving down Market street in the Seminary carriage, when the horse took fright and ran away, overturning the carriage at the place mentioned, and throwing the inmates out. All the ladies were severely hurt, but none seriously. They were promptly taken to Dr. Williams' office, where every attention was paid them. A similar accident occurred to three other ladies from Monticello, yesterday, in Upper Alton. They were out driving in a private conveyance, and in their case, also, the horse took fright, ran away, and threw them all out, but they also escaped without serious injury, although greatly unnerved.




Source: Edwardsville Intelligencer, Thursday, January 20, 1870

From the Alton Telegraph, Jan. 14 - - One of the most disastrous conflagrations which ever visited this city took place this morning in the destruction of the Alton House, one of the largest, oldest and most popular hotels in the Western country. The fire broke out about eight o'clock and was first discovered on the roof of the east wing, at a chimney, near the cupola [dome], and undoubtedly, originated from some defect in the flue. When first seen, the flames had already made considerable progress and were sweeping rapidly over the dry shingles of the roof. Attempts were at first made to extinguish the flames with buckets of water, but it was soon found that this method would be of no avail. The alarm was promptly sounded all over the city, and as the report spread from one to another, "the Alton House is on fire!" multitudes hastened to the scene. The engines and the Hook and Ladder were promptly on the ground, but the morning was bitterly cold and some delay was occasional from that cause, in getting the engines in operation. Still, it was apparent, from the first, that it would be impossible to save the building, and the work of removing the furniture, fixtures, etc., was soon commenced. A large number of citizens entered the burning building and commenced the removal of all that was movable. The furniture of the office, parlors, dining room, kitchen, and of nearly all the apartments on the first and second floors was removed out doors, though much of it was in a damaged condition. A part, also, of the furniture was removed from the third and fourth floors - some carried down, some lowered, or thrown, from the windows. More of the furniture of these upper stories could have been saved had not the main stairways soon taken fire and cut off access thereto. Meanwhile, the engines were playing full streams wherever they could do so most effectively, and firemen and citizens were exerting themselves to the utmost in noble efforts to stay the course of the conflagration, or to save valuable property. The Washington engine was stationed on Alby street at a cistern on Capt. Ryder's premises, and the Altona at the cistern in Jarrett's stables. So cold was the atmosphere that the water turned to ice whenever it struck outside the burning building. Many of the firemen were completely coated with ice from the spray freezing on their clothing. The wind was blowing at the time from the northwest, carrying the greater part of the sparks and cinders towards the river. This was a fortunate circumstance, for the residences north of the hotel would otherwise have been much endangered. In spite of all efforts, however, the fire slowly and surely fought its way downwards, from story to story. The flames made slow progress from the fact that they burned downwards and against the wind, and it was not until about eleven o'clock that they reached the basement floor, having destroyed every vestige of woodwork in their progress. The livery stables of William Jarrett adjoining the Alton House on the east, were in imminent danger during the entire progress of the fire, but the main portion of them were saved by tearing away the stable adjoining the House. This was thoroughly and effectually accomplished by the Hook & Ladder Company, aided by citizens. The roofs of the stables, also, were kept well saturated with water. Mr. Jarrett's horses were all promptly removed to a place of safety, and his rolling stock taken into the street. Of the Hotel, nothing was saved but one or two out-buildings. The fire demon made the work of destruction complete. On the north, a dwelling house, belonging to Mrs. John Mullady, had a narrow escape. It was saved by being kept deluged with water. It was occupied by a man named Hogan. All the furniture was removed from it, with but little damage. The Alton House was a spacious and convenient edifice, with ample and comfortable accommodations for two hundred guests, and has, in times past, accommodated three hundred. Under the able management of Mr. Siemens, the host and lessee, it had acquired a wide spread and enviable reputation for the excellence of its accommodations. It was owned by Hon. B. T. Burke, of Carlinville, who valued it at $40,000 [note: in 2008 this would be $673,080.90]; some place the value at $50,000. The loss on the building is total. Insured for $16,000. Mr. Siemens states that the furniture he had in the house cost him between $13,000 and 16,000. Insured for $7,000.




Source: Liberty Weekly Tribune, April 1, 1870

A large cave has been discovered underneath the city of Alton, Illinois. It is in places seven feet high, and has the usual characteristics of caves. It has already been traversed some hundreds of feet, and a full exploration has not yet been made.




Source:  Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL, May 14, 1871

The Alton Telegraph of the 10th says:
"The tornado that desolated East St. Louis on Wednesday, swept northward through the county, inflicting immense damage on the farming community. Everything in its path was swept away, or destroyed. The main track of the tornado was about midway between here and Edwardsville. The house of Mr. John W. Kendall was struck by the tornado, the roof blown off and carried a distance of 300 yards, and the whole building completely wrecked. The furniture was broken to pieces: clothing and bed coverings were blown away and lost. A pocketbook containing $100, which was in a wardrobe, was blown away and lost. All the outbuildings on the farm were torn to pieces and the fences carried off: a valuable peach orchard was reduced to a pile of brush. The residences of Mr. Cox, Mr. Roesch, and Mr. Morrison were all unroofed and badly damaged, and their stables, outbuildings, fences, granaries, hay-stacks, stock, etc., utterly destroyed. The loss is extremely heavy. Where the tornado struck, nothing was spared. Strange to say, none of the inmates of residences named were seriously injured. About the most startling statement is yet to come: Mr. Kendall informs us that his premises are strewn with fragments of steamboats, strips of tin roofing, and pieces of boards torn from buildings, which had evidently been blown from East St. Louis. As Mr. Kendall's house is no less than eighteen miles north of St. Louis in an air-line, the fact seems almost incredible, but is none the less true. These fragments of buildings were found by Mr. K, three miles north of his farm."



Source: The New York Times, February 11, 1872

The Rockford, Rock Island, and St. Louis Railroad Company have offered a reward of $500 for the apprehension of Fred Baker and Pat Halpin, the conductor and engineer of the freight train which collided with the passenger train near Alton on Wednesday last.




Source: The New York Times, February 13, 1872

The St. Louis Democrat of Friday publishes the testimony taken at the Coroner's inquest at Alton, Ill., on the day before, in the case of the persons who lost their lives by the collision between a passenger and a freight train, on the Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis Railroad. The Democrat says: At a few minutes past six o'clock, Tuesday morning, the north bound freight train of the Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis Railroad entered the cut which is situated about half way between Upper Alton and Alton Junction (which they had just left), and the next moment struck the locomotive of passenger train No. 4, coming to St. Louis, consisting of two sleeping cars, one coach and one baggage car. There was a crash. The engines reared in air, settled and struck again. By the first crash the baggage car was telescoped through the coach a distance of ten feet, by the second a further distance of fifteen feet. Seats and passengers were crushed by the avalanche into the rear of the car, which was overturned, and soon ignited from the stove, which had also been sent whirling into the midst of the scattered fragments. There were, it is believed, fifteen persons in the car. Of these, it is thought, four were either killed instantly or scorched to death, and nine were injured, the rest escaping with their lives. Notwithstanding the darkness and the shrieks of the wounded and dying, officers and passengers united in extricating the victims. The remains of two individuals only were recognizable - Joseph Tweissel, a man about forty-five years of age, a citizen of Leclaire, Iowa, and Susan Elizabeth Rains, aged eighteen, who was traveling in company with her husband and a baby about eighteen months old. In addition were found a charred bone, which the physicians thought from its size belonged to a woman, and a blackened mass which has not yet, and probably never will be, identified. The few battered and scorched victims remaining were taken to Brighton. After a brief parley with the conductor of the passenger train, Conductor Baker, in command of the freight, left hurriedly for Alton Junction, where he dispatched the following telegram to the Assistant Superintendent, which throws a flood of light upon the cause of the accident, and fixes its responsibility beyond a doubt:


Alton Junction, 7 a.m.:

H. Loosely: I collided with Number Four, 6 a.m. at one mile north of here. I was mistaken in time card. I thought their time was 6 1/4 at Upper Alton, instead of 6:09.   Baker.


The movements of Baker from that time are only partially known. Leaving Alton Junction, he fled to St. Louis, where he has been seen and spoken to, but has since, probably, sought safety in flight from the verdict of the coroner's inquest hanging over him.


The wounded, as before stated, were transported as soon as possible to the town of Brighton, about eleven miles from the scene of the accident, and were lodged in boarding houses, where they were attended by physicians and nurses, who were employed by the railroad company for that purpose. Their names were M. Canmann, St. Louis, his leg twice broken; Reuben Rains, bruised about the head and shoulders; Isaac Barnhart, baggage master, injured internally; August Mowby, train boy, left leg broken; Fred Booker, hurt in the leg; Mrs. Mina Booker, ankle sprained; Franklin Groves, slightly injured in the jaw, not fatally; Charles Foss, right leg broken and contusions about the head. Most of these lay in agony upon the little cots that were prepared for them throughout the night. In the morning, Mr. Canmann, who is a prominent wholesale liquor dealer on South Main street, was brought to the depot and transported to St. Louis by the 11 o'clock train. Mr. Foss was sent early in the morning to his home in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The wounded are for the most part expected to recover, and will be removed as soon as it can be safely done. The charred remains were brought to Alton, and the preparations made to consign them to their last resting place. The bodies were deposited in a little room over Hart's stable; four rough board coffins constructed, in which the remains will lay until recognized by friends, or "unwept, unhonored and unsung," will be consigned to an unknown grave.


Meanwhile, in an adjoining building, an inquest was held. The first witness was Dr. Etz Williams, who testified to finding, soon after the accident, the remains of four persons, two of them males; what the other two had been he could not say; of these latter one was a charred bunch, about the size of two fists, and the other a long bone, which, from its small size, he supposed to be the femur of a female. Dr. W. A. Hazlitt, of Alton, a partner of Dr. Williams, testified to the same general effect. Henry W. Hart testified to the general appearance of the wreck. He assisted in getting the bodies out of the debris. The conductor poked them out with a long piece of iron; he took out the remains of a woman with a shovel. The next witness was Mr. E. J. Fitzgerald, conductor of the passenger train, who testified substantially as follows:


My train was due at Alton at twenty minutes past six; left Upper Alton at eleven minutes past six; the train consisted of one baggage car, one coach and one sleeping car; at the time of the accident, I was in the front end of the sleeping car; the distance from Upper Alton to the Junction was one and three quarter miles; I had thirty-five passengers on the train, of whom fifteen were in the front coach, immediately behind the baggage car; there is no telegraph office between Brighton and Alton Junction; the collision occurred at twelve or thirteen minutes after six; I was in the front end of the sleeping car at the time, and went to work to extinguish the fire and help the passengers escape. The number of passengers who escaped from the wreck was seven; there were three I know of who were not got out, one a middle-aged man, a German, from Iowa, and a lady about twenty or over; I do not remember the appearance of the others; I passed in and out of the cars three or four times before they were destroyed; they were splintered up considerably; the coach caught fire from the stove which was placed in the forward end of the car; when I first saw it the fire was about fifteen feet from the rear of the coach; the cars were telescoped twice, the first time about ten feet, the last time about fifteen feet; that is the baggage car telescoped about fifteen feet through the coach; I first observed the fire about four minutes after the collision occurred; there were two collisions, and I saw the fire after the second crash; the reason I was not able to rescue all the passengers was owing to their being caught in the timbers by the telescopic action of the collision, which knocked the baggage car stove to about the centre of the coach following it; the stove was full of wood; it opened and scattered the fire all around; the fire broke out almost immediately after the collision; it appeared to be small at first, and then broke out over the whole car at once. The passengers were fastened in the seats by the telescopic action of the car; I had to climb over the seats to get into the car. The reputation of the freight conductor was good, and he was said to be competent; don't know what the reputation of the engineer and others on the freight train was. It is the duty of the freight train, when behind-hand, to wait indefinitely for the passenger train, so it is on its own time; I was running on the time card. The rails were frosted. The accident occurred in a cut about twelve feet deep, on a curve; he could see ahead for a distance not exceeding two hundred yards; the grade runs up to about the centre of the curve where the ground was even and where the accident occurred. The engineer of the passenger train whistled down breaks, and in a few seconds afterward we struck. The freight engine was also found reversed. This lady that was burned was on the other seat from the front; two men were in the seat facing her, and some others on the opposite side of the car. The conductor and engineer of the freight went to St. Louis on my train; they left for there at 1:40 in the afternoon. If all the men on my train had been at their posts they could not have stopped my train. Baker said to me he had made a mistake in the time card; that he thought the passenger train was 6:15 instead of 6:09 at Upper Alton. Baker had his watch at the time of the collision, and we compared watches together. Four physicians were sent for by the Company immediately after the accident. Andrew Cessford, engineer on the passenger train, was next examined, and testified corroboratively as to the time and incidents of the accident. Other witnesses were called, and the jury in about half an hour returned the following verdict:


We, the jurors summoned, sworn and impaneled by Patrick F. Regan, Justice of the Peace of Madison County and State of Illinois, to diligently inquire into and true presentment make, how, or in what manner or by whom the dead bodies of Joseph Tweisel and Susan Elizabeth Rains, and two other, names unknown to us, came to their deaths, do find, from all the evidence adduced before us, that they came to their deaths by a collision on the Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis Railroad, near the Alton Junction, County of Madison and State of Illinois, by a passenger train going South and a freight train going North, on the morning of Feb. 7, 1872, and the above named persons came to their death by said collision, through the criminal negligence of Frederick Baker, conductor of said freight train, and Patrick Halpine, the engineer of the same train, as accessory thereto.




Source: Waterville, New York Times, February 20, 1873

The Missouri Republican is responsible for the following:

"Once on a time there dwelt in our sister city of Alton a worthy but rather irritable gentleman, who was the host of a famous hotel there, known as the Franklin House. Numerous citizens daily drew their rations from his liberally furnished table, and not a few visitors from the rural districts preferred the substantial fare of the Franklin House to the more pretentious board of the Alton House. One d a y, in addition to all the good things with which the dinner table was loaded, there was at the lower end a nice roast pig that would have tickled the palate of the gentle "Elia," who discourses so eloquently of that savory visited. At the conclusion of the meal, this roast pig remained intact, when along came a belated drover, who sat down beside it, and having a good, wholesome appetite, soon devoured the whole of it. The landlord looked on amazed, and was puzzled to see where his profit was to come in after deducting a dollar and-a-half-pig from a fifty cent dinner ticket. Giving vent to his disgust, he said very sarcastically to the drover, "Isn't there something else you would like to be helped to?" "Wal - yes" drawled out the drover, "I don't care if I take another of them little hogs.'' This was too much for the equanimity of the landlord, and to keep himself from "spontaneously combusting," like Dorothea, he was compelled to rush out in the open air, where he could give vent to a few unorthodox expressions without being overheard by the elect, of which he was one.




Source:  New York Times, New York, February 28, 1873

A fire at Alton, Ill., on Tuesday night, destroyed the shoe-store of Smiley brothers, the dry-goods store of Richard Flagg, and the drug-store of H. W. Chamberlain. The loss is from $40,000 to $50,000, and the property is mostly covered by insurance.



Source: The Deseret News, November 12, 1873

An Alton, Illinois woman recently threw a brick at a dog and hit her husband, who stood fifty feet behind her.




Source: Utica, New York Daily Observer, 1874

About 6 o'clock the sky was half obscured by the dense mass of clouds; then, what seemed to be lighter clouds were detached from the upper mass and swept through the air with inconceivable rapidity, while the atmosphere on the surface of the ground was almost perfectly still.  At 6:10 a heavy cloud, in the shape of a funnel, fell, apparently from the great mass, swept across the river as quick as a flash of lightning, the small end of the funnel dragging along the surface of the water. In a second the cloud struck the river front, swept by in  flash, bounded like a ball, passed over the hills, toward the northeast, rose again, and broke into fragments. When it struck the buildings, a terrible rambling; crash resounded, which was distinctly heard a mile distant, then came the rush and roar, of the tempest, blinding rain and rattling hail; the air seemed ail in a swirl, almost total darkness closed in and hid the scene of destruction. The time occupied by the passage of the whirlwind from the river through the valley was not over two seconds, and all the damage was done within that time. The only part of the town touched by the tornado was the main business part, directly in the valley. The coarse of the storm-cloud was most erratic. It was, as we have said, funnel-shaped, small end down. Whatever object that small end touched was smashed to atoms. It rose, fell, darted here and there, and finally rose up and broke into fragments. The diameter of the small end of the funnel was only a few feet. The storm cloud, as it swept over the river, was of a greenish-white tinge, but when it rose again into the air it was densely black, like a column of ink.




Source:  The Daily Observer, Utica, New York, September 14, 1874

Boys will be boys - at Alton, Illinois, a teacher asked Sunday School scholars to stand up who intended to visit the wicked, soul-destroying circus. All but a lame girl stood up.




Source: Alton Telegraph, February 25, 1875

On Tuesday, the 16th instant, Captain Lamothe drove into town in a buggy bed mounted on runners. While he was standing on Second street, a few feet from his sleigh, his horse, a fast mare, took fright and ran away before the Capt. could catch the reins. On Short street the animal collided with a pile of lumber and left the buggy bed. She then ran up the hill by the penitentiary and fell off an embankment nearly thirty feet high; but picked herself up and rushed ahead up the road towards the saw mills, with the shafts and runners still attached. She crossed the river on the ice, opposite the upper sawmill, and ran along on the ice near the Missouri shore until near Portage, when her mad career was stayed by her falling into an air-hole where the water was twenty feet deep. Some men saw the occurrence and succeeded in pulling the frightened animal out, with the shafts and runners still attached. Strange to say, the horse was not injured by her mad spree. The Captain says she must have run nearly eight miles before stopping.




Source: The Phelps County New Era, [Rolla, Missouri] December 4, 1875

Rolla, Mo., Nov. 29th, 1875. Editor New Era: Having recently arrived from a trip through Illinois and a portion of this State, and thinking that a few items concerning the people, crops, etc., might be of interest to your readers, here goes: Alton, a city of between 14 and 15 thousand inhabitants was our starting place. It is situated on the Mississippi River, about 25 miles from St. Louis, and is surrounded by some of the finest farming lands in the "Prairie State." Its educational facilities are unsurpassed, it having two colleges for the instruction of young men, two academies for the education of young ladies, two Primary Schools (Public), two intermediate and one High School, besides numerous private schools. The Catholics also have recently erected a magnificent building for the instruction of the youth of that denomination. There are three papers published here representing both political parties, and one, a German paper remaining neutral. There are several mills, flouring, woolen and planing. Here, also, is located the large plow manufactory of Hapgood & Co., and the threshing machine manufactory of Hanson & Co. The citizens have recently improved their city by the acquisition of Water Works. Its citizens are sociable and charitable and are essentially a working people. The only drawback to the rapid growth of the city is that it is burdened by a set of moneyed fogies, who make it their especial business to cry down every projected improvement and by reason of their wealth and influence are enabled to greatly retard the advancements of the interests of the people. The crops, with the exception of wheat, were unusually good, and consequently the Grangers are all happy. Alton furnishes them a market place for their produce at St. Louis prices, which is attested by the fact that farmers from Jersey, Calhoun and other surrounding counties bring their grain and much of their stock to this place. The crumbling walls of the old State Prison may be seen looking like the remains of some ancient feudal castle. A trip through the cells above and beneath the ground will well repay one's trouble. Taking the train at Alton, our road led through immense fields of corn, with here and there large fields of wheat just emerging from the ground. When near Chicago no grain of any importance was to be seen, that portion of the State being confined chiefly to the production of cheese. The country for miles around Chicago is studded with palatial residences around which were grounds resembling miniature paradises. Throughout the course of our travels we found the people sociable, well education and refined; all the farmers rejoicing over the good crops of this year, and making preparations for sowing larger crops in the Spring. We left Chicago and Illinois with the impression that she is indeed a happy State. Fearing to tire your readers, we will close for the present with the intention of continuing if this prove acceptable.  Lorme.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 10, 1877

This establishment, which makes a specialty of the manufacture of horse powers and separators, is one of the oldest in the city, and one that many years ago did the largest business in this line of any in the United States. It has entered upon a new era of prosperity and promises to achieve results of which the successes of the past were but a precursor. The "Works" are situated on George street, with the main front of about 300 feet on Front street, and extending through the block to Second [Broadway] street. The business was first started about thirty-six years ago, by the late Nathaniel Hanson, Esq., in a one-story building back of the old Baptist church, which was located on Second street, on the ground now occupied by the Kendall cracker factory. After a few years the present brick buildings, consisting of four stories, were erected, and later the frame addition, with stone basement, extending to Second street.


When one enters the machine shop on the ground floor, he is confused by the sight of turning wheels, rolling bands, the clank and whirr of machinery in rapid motion, while a number of workmen are engaged in their various duties, making a very interesting picture. East of this is the blacksmith shop, in which the firm manufactures the iron teeth of the cylinders of the separators, and all the other iron work used about the establishment. They also have facilities for making their own wagon work for the separators; also the brass castings, frame work, &c., required by the various parts of the machines. A shed to the east of the blacksmith shop is used for the storage of horse powers and steam engines. The latter are imported from eastern establishments, and are the only things used by the firm in connection with their machines that are not manufactured by themselves.


They have great quantities of lumber on hand, which is ordered one or two years in advance, in order that it may be thoroughly seasoned, and in order to facilitate this process they have a drying room in a rear building. Although the greater part of the lumber is very dry, they use a portion in some parts of the machine while green, in order that as it shrinks it may rust the nails, and thus confine them securely.


In the foundry, the firm make their own castings, taking off an average of about two heats a week. In this department they use, in connection with the patterns, a mixture of coal dust and sand, resembling fine gunpowder, for making castings. The iron work is all done on the ground floor. The second story is used for the wood workers, while the slats and belts are put up in the third story. There is a small room in this story used for storing belting, while the fourth floor is used as a store room for material that may be needed from time to time.


The Company have just finished four of Pitts' Improved "Champion" Separators for W. N. Ayers & Co., of Fort Smith, Arkansas. They have one machine on hand, with an improved stacker attached, that has been tested with splendid effect, and which promises to be an improvement, especially in transportation, over any yet invented.


The room fronting on Second street is crowded with the finished Separators, and in this place the finishing touches are put on by means of paint of various rich colors, and elegant pictures consisting of the beauties of the stage, fine landscapes, and other works of art. Mr. R. M. Mather is foreman of this department, and his taste and skill are such that he renders the finished machine "a thing of beauty," such as would serve as an article of ornament as well as utility.


The proprietors of the Alton Agricultural Works are favored with an able and skillful corps of workmen throughout all the departments. The foreman of the machine shop, Mr. Charles P. Rader, is a thoroughly competent mechanic, who learned his trade in the establishment, and is qualified by ability and long experience to do first class work. Mr. Frank Pelot is overseer of the woodwork department, and contributes greatly to the success of the undertaking. The foundry has for foreman Mr. John Lawless, than whom no better could be found, while Mr. F. Manning, an English mechanic, has added some improvements to the horse powers that greatly facilitate the ease with which they can be operated.


In addition to the departments we have mentioned, the building on the west side of George street is stored, full of finished machinery of various kinds. The firm have orders on hand, one hundred per cent in excess of any they have had, at this season, for the past five years, or since the concern has been under its present management. The proprietors are energetic enterprising, working men, and intend to win success if it can be done by faithful persistent effort, and a due regard for the best interests of their patrons. To this end they will spare no pains to make their machines the best in construction and the most attractive in appearance of any that can be procured, and will also afford them at the most reasonable rates. The establishment has the capacity to turn out from two hundred and fifty to three hundred complete machines in a season.




Source: Alton Telegraph, July 12, 1877

On the Fourth, as Mr. A. W. Hardy, accompanied by his wife and three children, was driving down the hill at the junction of Seventeenth and Piasa streets, the wagon tilted so much that he fell out. His wife, in attempting to catch him, was dragged out also, with the oldest daughter. Mr. Hardy fell in such a position that a wheel of the wagon stopped directly on his neck, and he raised the wheel with his own hands and thus became free. No one was particularly injured, which was a very fortunate circumstance.




Source:  The New York Times, New York, NY, January 23, 1880
Alton, Ill., Jan. 22.-Flames were seen issuing, about 2:30 a.m. to-day, from the cellar of the wholesale drug store of Robert E. Smith, on Second-street. The store was a large double brick structure. The east half and the third floor of the west half were occupied by Mr. Smith, and the second and third stories of the west half by Holden & Morten, proprietors of the Alton Telegraph, and Beall & Denvers, job printers. Owing to the oils and large amount of inflammable material stored in the building, the flames spread with great rapidity, and soon the entire interior was burning. The fire department was on the ground promptly, and after several hours' hard work subdues the flames. The walls only are standing. Nothing of any value was saved from the stock. Mr. Smith's store was the handsomest and most spacious drug-house in the West. The total loss is about $110,000. The total insurance is $89,000. R. B. Smith is insured as follows: Imperial, of London, $5,000; London Assurance, $2,500; London and Lancashire, $5,000; Manufacturer's, Boston, $2,000; Amazon, Cincinnati, $2,500; Farmers', York, Penn., $1,000; North British, $2,500; Commercial Union, $2,500; Glens Falls, N. Y., $2,500; Franklin, Philadelphia, $2,500; Phoenix, Hartford, $1,000; American Central, St. Louis, $1,500; British American, Canada, $1,000; St. Paul, $1,000; German American, $1,000; North American, Philadelphia, $2,500; Hartford, $2,000; Western Assurance, Toronto, $2,000; Scottish Commercial, $1,500; National, Hartford, $2,000; Springfield, Mass., $2,000; Phoenix, Brooklyn, $5,000; Pennsylvania, $2,000; Meriden, $500. In addition Mr. SMITH had $30,500 insurance divided among the following companies: Fire Association of Philadelphia, Lamar, North German, Orient, Connecticut, La Caisse Generale, Westchester, Board of Underwriters, People's of Trenton. Holden and Morten, of the Telegraph, had $13,000 in the Springfield, Mass., and $13,000 in the Hartford. Their loss is total and not half covered by insurance. Beall & Denvers had $10,000 insurance in the Continental, $1,000 in the North American, Philadelphia, and $1,000 in the Girard of Philadelphia, which will not cover their loss. The Telegraph appeared as usual this evening. In reduced form, printed on the type obtained at Malcolm & McIneay's job office. The files of the Telegraph for over 25 years were destroyed.



Source: Alton Telegraph, February 26, 1880

The Alton Telegraph, one of the best papers in the State, was burned out entirely last week, losing all the type, presses and printing material, and among other things, the entire file of the paper for twenty-five years. We sympathize with Messrs. Holden & Norton, but we know the stuff they are made of, and it will be but a short time until they will be putting out a better sheet, if possible, than ever. We hope so at all events, for we have no exchange we value more highly than the Alton Telegraph.  From Mason City.


From Carlinville - One night last week the entire establishment of the Alton Telegraph was destroyed by fire, together with the job office of Beall & Danvers. With true journalistic grit, the Telegraph folks issued their daily the same evening and have been doing so since - although, of course, on a small scale. We sympathize with them in their loss.


From the Madison County Sentinel - On last Wednesday night the large drug store of R. B. Smith, on Second and Piasa streets, and the Alton Telegraph, were destroyed by fire. The Telegraph, however, immediately made arrangements at this office for the publication of a small daily sheet, and was on the street the same evening at its usual time.




Source: Liberty Weekly Tribune, June 25, 1880

Alton, Ill., June 19 - Twelve tramps were arrested on Thursday night for violently taking possession of a freight train on the Chicago & Alton road and threatening the employees. They were tried this morning in the Police Court, and ten of them were fined $20 each and committed to the county jail.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, September 8, 1880

Mr. A. Clifford, the live grocer, advertises Northern oats, potatoes and onions. Large consignments just received and for sale cheap.




Source: Alton Telegraph, November 11, 1880

(From Daily of Friday, Nov.6)  At an early hour last evening the hosts began gathering from near and from far, intent on joining in the parade and carnival of fun and jollity. The line of march was formed on State street at 7:30 o'clock. In the advance was Dr. Haskell's calcium light, engineered by R. Johnson & Son, shedding a brilliant effulgence over the muddy thoroughfare for a long distance in advance. The two chief Marshals of the previous Republican and Democratic parades, Dr. Haskell and Mr. F. H. Ferguson, according to previous arrangement, were mounted on a fine black charger, decorated with a large flag, the Republican Marshal in front. Near the head of the procession was Gosarau's band. In line were the Alton Cornet band, Hunter's band and a number of martial bands. In addition to these were "329" bands of various sizes and various degrees of excellence. Owing to the multiplicity of instruments and the short time allowed for practice, an occasional false note was heard, but this was overlooked in the general good feeling that prevailed. The outriders and scouts skirmished in the advance and on the flanks with miscellaneous noises appropriate to the occasion. The principal features in the procession were Barnum's mule; transparencies representing Garfield mounted on an elephant bound for the White House; "After the election;" "Democratic Nightmare, ______, ______;" a tombstone, with the inscription, "The Democracy died November 2d, 1880." In a large Glass Works wagon was an immense quantity of fireworks, which were let off continuously during the march, forming the grandest and most imposing pyrotechnic display ever witnessed in Alton. On the sides of the wagon were "United North. 329. Solid South." There were a number of vehicles with bands of all kinds. The one that capped the climax however was Jarrett's band wagon in which was a band of Chinese musicians. They were led by Prof. Hop Lee Bealsing, and conducted by High Panjundrum, Prince John Gee Chungstrong. They greatly distinguished themselves, and when they struck the loud cymbal, the gong, the tom tom, the howgag, the triangle, rang the bell, blew the clarionet and the horn, the whole town was electrified and all others in their vicinity were silent from sheer amazement except an occasional sickly toot from some presumptuous rival. This band was composed only of "genuine" heathen Chinese and as a proof they wore blouses and queues procured expressly for the occasion. The illuminations were splendid, embracing about the same residences of which we have heretofore published a list after former parades, and hundreds of others. The line of march was changed at some points on account of the muddy streets. Owing to the fearful state of the weather, there was but a small turnout from the surrounding towns. Upper Alton, Wood River, North Alton, Rocky Fork and other places were represented by small delegations, and 30 Republicans from Portage braved the storm and came down and joined in the jollification. After arriving at Market street on the return, the companies were halted between Second and Third streets, and, afte4r quelling the "music," by a great effort, Marshal Haskell proposed "Three cheers for Frank Ferguson." These were given with a will. Then Marshal Ferguson called for "Three cheers for the next President of the United States." This of course was followed by a great outburst from the hundreds in the vicinity. The best of feeling prevailed amongst the crowd, all were good natured and ready to laugh at the various amusing scenes and incidents that were witnessed. The heavens were red during the entire evening with the fireworks and bonfires all over the city. Red lights were burned at a number of places, giving a strange, weird character to the advancing throng as they tramped steadily through the mud. The illuminations were brilliant and beautiful beyond description. We shall not attempt to give a complete list for the reason that we have neither the space nor the facilities for doing it. When the fact is taken into consideration that the house of nearly every Republican in town, rich or poor, was illuminated, it will be realized that it would require the facilities of the Globe-Democrat to give a fitting report. Suffice it to say that those who had illuminated on previous occasions surpassed their former efforts, while hundred of others, including some prominent Democrats, added gorgeous illuminations and brilliant decorations, to the general splendor. State street hill was ablaze with lights from the lowest slope to the crowing height; while from Piasa street to Middletown, the effect of thousand of gleaming lights was dazzling. We never expect to witness a scene more like an immense kaleidoscope of light and color than that Alton presented to the spectators on the corner of Main and State streets. There were many elegant displays; windows were draped with flags; some decorated with red, white and blue paper; other windows had an appearance, though the glass was frosted with variegated hues; immense bonfires on State street, Hope's hill and in Middletown, lit up the city; red lights glowed from various quarters, while from the abundance of rockets and Roman candles, it appeared as though the air was full of meteors. Never was public joy and satisfaction more generally displayed or in a more enthusiastic manner.




Source: Alton Telegraph, November 25, 1880

This establishment, one of the oldest in the city and one widely and favorably known, has been in operation more than forty years, though with several changes of proprietors. The Works were first started on a comparatively small scale by the late Mr. Nathaniel Hanson, in a building yet standing, adjoining Daniels, Bayle & Co.'s Cracker Factory on the east. He commenced the manufacture of threshers and separators, the same class of agricultural machinery since made famous by the establishment. Mr. Hanson was an energetic, enterprising man, and after running his business where it was first started for four or five years, built a shop on the levee, near the foot of George street. This was burned in 1851, after which Mr. H. commenced work on the present establishment, which is located on George street, and now occupies the whole of the western portion of the block from Front to Second [Broadway] streets, fronting 50 feet on Second and including Foundry, Blacksmith shop and storehouse, extending 200 feet on Front street, considerable additions having been made as the increase of business required. Mr. Hanson died in 1864, and after his death the business was conducted until 1871 under the same firm name, by Mr. S. F. Connor. The establishment was purchased in December 1874 by Charles G. Lea, J. B. Lathy, R. W. Atwood and A. T. Hawley, by whom it has been successfully conducted until December 1879 when Mr. Lea retired. 


The various departments connected with the Works are: the Foundry, Machine shop, Blacksmith shop, Woodwork room, and Paint shop, the entire work on the Threshers and Separators, brass fixtures, casting, cleaning, etc., being done on the premises; the leather belts only being purchased in a finished state. The demand for the implements manufactured by the firm has generally exceeded the supply. The present year, for instance, the stock was entirely cleaned out; people called who were anxious to buy, and were willing to take unpainted machines, yet could not be accommodated. The orders from one agent alone, in this immediate vicinity, could only be partially met. In face, the trade in the "Champion Threshing Machine," extends from Texas to Dacotah, as many as 500 Separators and Horse Powers having been manufactured in one year, the average value of each being $600. From fifty to one hundred men are employed during the busy season, the demand for the machines varying according to the state of the wheat crop. Nineteen engines were disposed of by the firm the present season; the most of them traction engines, that is self propellers, only needing horses to guide them in their course. The Champion Thresher and Separator, threshes the grain and cleans it from chaff, dust, straw and all extraneous substances, only requiring some person to throw in the bundles. Some years ago, within the lifetime of the present generation, wheat was threshed with flails, after which it was taken where a strong breeze was blowing and tossed into the air, a man using a light wooden self, suspended from his shoulders to catch the grain as it descended, the chaff, being blown to the four winds. The next improvement was in using "horse power" for threshing, the sheaves being spread in a circle on the ground or on a barn floor, while horses were ridden over it until the wheat was all dislodged, the straw being thrown aside with pitch forks. Hand fanning mills were used for cleaning. From these comparatively rude methods to the finished machines turned out by the Alton Agricultural Works, the improvements have been many and great. Messrs. Lathy, Hawley and Atwood are enterprising gentlemen of the varied business tact and ability, necessary to conduct the establishment, Mr. Lathy being a practical machinist, consequently their customers can rely on having machines manufactured of the best material in the most substantial manner and finely finished. The indications already are that the trade in agricultural implements for the next season will be unusually large, although this, of course, is dependent on a number of future contingencies. The average production of the establishment of late years has been from $250,000 to $300,000.




Source: Alton Telegraph, March 3, 1881/Submitted by Marsha Ensminger

Attention Farmers: For the benefit of those contemplating purchasing a Self Binding Harvester and who possibly have not the time to spare to look into the merits of the various manufactures which are in the market, we present below the names of one hundred well known parties living near Alton, who purchased, used, kept and paid for Walter A. Wood's New Twine Binding Harvesters in 1880. Perhaps you may know some of these parties and would prefer to trust their judgment and experience rather than your own judgment alone. Wood's Twine Binding Harvesters have valuable improvements for the coming harvest. Don't delay ordering, as early orders are sure to be filled.      Signed Drury, Mead & Co., General Agents, Alton.


Peter Hackethal

George Huebner

Charles Hess

J. K. Booskey

William Hughes

George Wilkhardt

George Voigdt

Joseph Burghardt

Henry Hoehn

Jacob Seering

Amos Squires

Albert Ringering

George Adams

Earnest Ringering

Joe Klebolt

Henry Reuiter

J. H. Tobias

J. M. Aljetz

Henry Miller

Ed Kenedy

George R. Herron

William Head

F. H. Herron

John Verhousen

John Wiemus

Alonzo Floriday

J. D. Wilson

Thomas Stratton

Henry Maxey

Mattock & Kates

John Kelley

Tim Meehan

James Reader

H. N. Barton

Tim O'Neil

Joseph Traverse

Josiah Butler

John Herron

Gerd Renker

William Wurtz

E. C. Balster

H. E. Herron

Louis Hill

J. Cain Lurton

J. O. Reed

William Rhoads

Nat Greene

Reuben House

Joseph Lurton

William Robertson

John W. Clark

William Mackeiden

Gotlieb Weller

Robert F. Benson

Martin Pruitt

Nathaniel Roady

W. W. Smith

Mathias Schleeper

J. O. Rishey

C. W. Squires

Jacob Wergee

J. E. Wagoner

Col. J. R. Miles

James Huff

John Rhoades

John Baker

William Pruitt

J. Sneeringer

Louis Pape

Isaac S. Snedeker

David Dadson

John L. Brown

John G. Pronger

James Ogle

E. B. Merriwether

Henry & Charles Eaton

Philip Schneider

F. O. Merriwether

F. Colean

J. B. Andrews

Owen & D. O'Neil

Jonas Gurrick

William Armour

Joseph Armour

Benjamin Moore

J. L. Armour

John W. Smith

Perry Schaffer

Elisha Eldred

Henry Deustman

John Smith

Larkin Williams

F. W. Zimmerman

Jacob G. Poor

William Meehan

Alfred Morgan

John A. Wright

W. F. Boal

Krist Eckler

John Sulltouse






Source: Alton Telegraph, Thursday, September 8, 1881

The building now being repaired and added to, by Dr. Gibson, near the corner of Third and Market streets, was used as a bank in 1835, and for several succeeding years, a branch of the State Bank of Illinois, being conducted at that place. Mr. James H. Lea, now of Atchison, Kansas, who arrived here about the date mentioned above, was one of the first, if not the first, Cashier of the bank, Mr. S. Griggs being President. The building in question was erected in 1832, by Mr. L. J. Clawson (who then resided at Upper Alton, at the place he still occupies) who built the house for Albert Coles, and was by him rented to the banking company.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, December 19, 1881

Ed White has opened a new, first class restaurant on State street, just above Third, where he will furnish meals at all hours at 35 cents, with reductions to regular customers. Oysters served in every style. Board furnished at $4 per week. Everything first class.




Source: Oswego, New York Daily Times, May 5, 1884

The coal famine has reached this city. The flour mills and glass factory may be compelled to shut down.




Source: Oswego, New York Daily Times, June 20, 1884

ALTON, Ill., June 20. - Factories Nos. 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 of the Illinois Glass company have resumed operations. A good supply of coal has been secured, and will be pushed to catch up in orders. It has also been decided to operate one-half of the factories all summer in order to make up for the frequent stoppages caused by the strike. This will be the first time in the history of the Illinois Glass company when any of its factories have been operated in the summer.



Source: Auburn, New York Daily Bulletin, September 19, 1888

The barrel factory of H. Schapperkotter was burned yesterday. Loss $25,000.




Source: Watertown, New York Daily Times, August 16, 1890

A wreck occurred last evening on the St. Louis, Alton and Springfield railroad, near Clifton Terrace. The company is building an extension from a point seven miles above Alton to the village of Elsah, on the Mississippi. The men working on this extension go out from here on a construction train every morning and return in the evening. It has been the rule to leave a man stationed at the switch when the construction train goes up in the evening, to watch for the passenger train which is due to pass there at six o clock. This precaution was forgotten, and when the work train returned, as it was past time for the passenger, the men supposed it had passed, and the work train started toward Alton. The passenger train was half an hour late, and the two trains, running at the rate of twenty miles an hour, collided on a curve on the bluff. It is miraculous that both trains did not go over into the river. Both engines were completely wrecked, as was also the car on the wreck train and mail car of the passenger train. The passengers all escaped with nothing more than bruises, but others fared worse; both engineers jumped and saved themselves.

The following were killed: Peter Smith of Springfield; Charles McGee of Alton, (water carrier of construction train.); James Murry of St. Louis, laborer.

Wounded: Frank Lee. Springfield, engineer on passenger train, leg badly crushed; Joseph Daly. Alton, conductor, hips dislocated and back sprained, can not recover; M. S. Seymour, Alton, superintendent of St. Louis, Alton & Springfield railroad, face badly cut and left leg injured;  H. W. Cassady, Alton, legs badly cut, back sprained and internal injuries;  Patrick McCullagan, Alton, leg and ribs broken.


Serious: John King, Jerseyville, newsboy on passenger train, contusion of left hip and right temple;  B. Powell, severe internal injuries, may die; C. J. Owens, mail messenger, internal injuries; Henry Unterbrink. Alton, fireman on construction train, foot badly hurt, and legs cut; Michael Cantrill Alton, foreman hurt very badly, may die; John McCuffery, head and legs cut and shoulder dislocated; George German, Delhi, shoulder dislocated; Richard J. Lessin, leg bruised and spine injured; Charles Foss, leg cut and internal injuries.



Source: The Daily Journal, Syracuse, New York, August 16, 1890

A wreck occurred last evening on the St. Louis, Alton & Springfield railroad near Clifton Terrace. The company is building an extension from a point seven miles above Alton to the village of Elsah, on the Mississippi river. The men working on this extension go out from here on a construction train every morning and return in the evening. It has been the rule to have the men stationed at the switch when the construction train goes up at night, to watch for the passenger train which is due to pass there at 6 p. m. This precaution was forgotten, and when the work train returned, as it was past time for the passenger, the men started toward Alton. The passenger train was half an hour late, and the two trains, moving at the rate of twenty miles per hour, collided on a curve on the bluff. It is miraculous that both trains did not go over the embankment into the ruin. Both engines were completely wrecked, as was also the car on the work train and the mail car of the passenger train. The passengers all escaped with nothing more than bruises. Others fared worse. Both engineers jumped and saved themselves. The list of killed and wounded is as follows:

Killed - Peter Smith of Springfield; Charles McGee of Alton, water carrier on construction train; James Murray of St. Louis, a laborer.
Wounded - Frank Lee, Springfield, engineer on the passenger train, leg badly crushed; Joseph Daly, Alton, conductor, hips dislocated and back sprained, may not recover; M.S. Seymour, Alton, Superintendent St. Louis, Alton & Springfield railroad, face badly cut and left leg injured; H. W. Cassody, Alton, legs badly cut back sprained and internal injuries; Patrick McCullagan, Alton, leg and ribs, broken, serious; John King, Jerseyville. newsboy on the passenger train, contusion of left hip and right temple; B. Powell, severe internal injuries, may die; C. J. Owens, mail passenger, internal injuries in right side; Henry Unterbrink, Alton, fireman on the construction train, foot badly hurt and legs cut; Michael Cantril, Alton, foreman, hurt very badly, may die; John McCaffeny, head and legs out and shoulder dislocated; George German, Delhi, shoulder dislocated; Richard J. Lesson, leg bruised and spine injured; Charles Foss, leg cut and internal injuries



Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, May 7, 1891

The "Middleton homestead" on the corner of Second and Alby streets is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It has the honor of being the place where one of our bank presidents, now living, was born. There are but few of the old time houses now standing, and this one has been kept in such excellent repair that it is now a comfortable and pleasant home. The old house where the Odd Fellows' organization saw the light of day, was just across the street, but has long since disappeared. Another venerable row of buildings is that fronting on Third street, just east of the Episcopal church. Many of the most prominent families in the city were occupants of these houses in their time. How many annals of the early days of Alton could be gathered from the walls of these houses if they could but speak?




Source: Auburn, New York Daily Bulletin, November 25, 1892

An old grudge and family feud terminated fatally here yesterday afternoon. Lawrence Farley shot and killed his brother-in-law, Mitchell Mimnaugh. Both are glass blowers. There were formerly in the saloon business together. About a year ago, they became enemies and yesterday Farley went into Mimnaugh's saloon and began shooting at him. Mimnaugh fired one shot in return. The murderer was arrested.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, February 28, 1893

Jesse James was shot and killed several years ago in St. Joseph, Missouri, yet a gentleman registered at the Hotel Madison by that name last night.




Source: Syracuse, New York Evening Herald, March 15, 1893

Miss Lucy Cleveland died here suddenly yesterday afternoon at the home of her sister, Mrs. A. C. Britton. She was a cousin of President Cleveland.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, April 4, 1893

Mr. William Henry's store at Alton Junction was ransacked last night by professional thieves and safe-crackers and $400 in money stolen. Mr. Henry, upon arising this morning, was astonished to find the things scattered over the store, the doors wide open and his safe missing. An investigation revealed the fact that his store had been entered by thieves. The safe stood in a corner of the store room, some distance from the door. The burglars took a pile of jeans pants from a shelf and carefully laid them on the floor from the safe to the door. Ropes were attached to the safe and it was drawn to the entrance. So carefully was this done that the family overhead was not aroused. The safe was a very small one and weighed but a hundred pounds. It was but little trouble to drag it a distance of a hundred feet to the rear of the stable, drill a hole near the lock and blow it up with dynamite. The money was mostly paper, there being about $330, the balance being in silver. The books, insurance policies, and other papers belonging to Mr. Henry were strewn about the ground. A dog belonging to Marian Chirak, living on the opposite side of the street made an uproar during the night. A member of the family got up and looked about, but was unable to see anything unusual. Shortly after a shot was fired which must have been the blowing of the safe. This occurred at 2 a.m. Mr. Henry has wired the surrounding towns to be on the lookout. He thinks that a pair of suspicious looking characters who watched him open the safe the morning before, after purchasing several articles, are the ones responsible for the robbery.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, May 2, 1893

The Chicago and Alton northbound train, due here at 9:55 a.m. struck an unknown man at the foot of Henry street this morning, mangling him so that he lived but a short time. The train was in charge of Conductor Fox and was going at a rather slow rate. The engineer reversed the brakes as soon as he saw the man, but it was too late. The train came to a standstill and the unfortunate man was picked up in a dying condition and brought to Union Depot. Dr. Fisher was summoned and arrived as he was spasmodically breathing his last. He died a few minutes later. He was a large man with sandy hair and mustache and shabbily dressed. His injuries consisted of a fracture of the skull and mangled lower limbs. Coroner Kinder was notified and will arrive tonight to hold the inquest. He was identified this afternoon by William Dabona, a companion, as Patrick Gavin. Gavin had been ordered out of town by City Marshal Sworts several hours before and was evidently returning when struck.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, May 16, 1893

The Weem's Laundry Base Ball Club was organized last evening, and the St. Louis Browns will now have all they can do to hold their prestige. Following are the names of the players: Fred Fox, c.; Johnnie Horn, p.; Dick McGrath, 1st b.; Lee Brenner, 2d b.; Will Coyne, 3d b.; Jim Goudie, s.s.; Will Culp, 1. f.; Mike Dwyer, r. f.; Mike Monaghan, c. f..  The Weem's Laundry folks will furnish uniforms for the club.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, May 16, 1893

Misses Mary and Sarah Hall, living at 204 East Fourth street, attended the theatre last evening and shortly after they returned home, or about 11:30 o'clock, they heard a noise in the yard that caused them to look out of a window. They saw two men below, and one was busily engaged in trying to fit the key hole of the back door with some keys. The ladies asked what they wanted and the men slunk behind some bushes in the yard and remained concealed for some time and finally went away. The men were white, and pretty well dressed.  About 2 o'clock this morning a burglar effected an entrance into Capt. Fred. Rudershausen's home on Eighth street by prying a parlor window. The window had been left unlocked and easily raised as was the wire screen. The burglar rummaged the room on the upper floor. Capt. Rudershausen was aroused by a noise near his bed and saw a man at his bedside in the act of searching his pantaloons. The burglar saw that he was awake and grabbing Mr. Rudershausen's clothes rushed out of the door slamming it after him. The clothes caught in the door and the man was cheated out of a little addition to his plunder. The man in his flight down stairs kicked a lighted lamp, which was standing on the stairway in the hall, to the foot of the stairs. Luckily it went out and nothing was set on fire. An investigation showed that the thief had appropriated $21 in paper money, $2.30 in silver and a $75 diamond stud, all the property of Mr. Rudershausen, Jr.  This is the second time Mr. Rudershausen has lost a goodly amount, and is $170 out by the two raids. This morning he tracked the thief a short distance and calculated his rate of speed after leaving the window as 90 miles per hour. Some of the fellow's bounds measured fifteen feet (?) plainly marked by checked tennis shoes.  Mr. H. J. Bowman was aroused early this morning by burglars trying to effect an entrance into his house. The men were on the porch at the rear of the house and were trying to unlock the door. Mr. Bowman arose and shot a revolver out of the window which had the desired effect of scaring the thieves. A night policeman put in an appearance promptly and in company with Mr. Bowman made a search of the premises, but the burglars had disappeared.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, September 11, 1893

In digging the trench in front of the woolen mill on Belle street for the sewer, the workmen came in contact with the old plank road. The road was uncovered at the depth of about four feet and the section cut out is apparently in as good condition as when it was covered up. The old plank road was built before the time of macadam streets by a company who charged a toll for the use of it. It was built of oak and this probably accounts for the state of preservation in which the planks were found. The pieces are being hauled off for firewood. Some of the older residents of Belle street say that the road has been covered up for thirty-five years.




Source:  The New York Auburn Bulletin, December 2, 1893
A Consultation Over the Postmastership of Alton, Ill., End Disastrously
Dec. 2. - While Congressman W. S, Forman, of this district; John H. Coppinger, consul to Toronto, and Col. A. F. Rodgers, president of the Piasa Bluff association, - the Western Chautauqua - were in consultation yesterday over the postmastership, an old feud between the consul and Rodgers broke out. The consul struck Rodgers in the head and Rodgers floored the consul with a cane. The consul, in spite of Forman's efforts to restrain him, shot Rodgers in the thigh. The wound is serious. The belligerents were arrested.




Source: Poughkeepsie, New York Daily Eagle, February 23, 1894

Formal opening of the big railroad bridges at Alton, Ill., and Bellefontaine, Mo., took place today.




Source:  The News Frederick Maryland, April 6, 1895
Four Killed in a Freight Wreck.
In a freight wreck on the Chicago and Alton cut off at Wood River bridge, half a mile north of East Alton, four men were killed outright and two were fatally injured. A long and heavy train was coming down the grade when the middle of the tain bulged out and fifteen cars were piled on top of each other.
The men killed were: DAVID HAFFLEY, of Watertown, Wis.; FRANK HAREMAN, of Philadelphia.; CHARLES BELL, of Springfield, Ills.; HENRY BLITZ, of New Orleans. Fourteen men were injured more or less seriously. All who were killed or injured were tramps.

The Hamilton Daily Republican Ohio 1895-04-06

A Freight Train on the Chicago and Alton Road Wrecked.
Four tramps were almost instantly killed and fifteen others badly injured in a freight wreck on the Chicago & Alton railroad, near here, Friday morning. It is believed the wreck was caused by a broken truck, which allowed a dozen cars to pile up in a heap. It is estimated that over seventy-five tramps were stealing a ride on the train. When taken out four of them were dead. The injured men were brought to the hospital in this city, and the inquest held at East Alton. At the inquest Friday afternoon the names of two of the men killed were found to be David Haffley, of Watertown, Wis., and Frank Hariman, Philadelphia, Pa., Charles Bell, Springfield, Ill., Henry Blihts, Kansas City. Fourteen of the tramps were injured. Their names are Charles Custard, Lima, O.; Otto Schroeder, Argentine, Kan.; Theodore Hunt, St. Paul, Minn.; Thomas Cope, St. Louis; Harry Williams, Toledo; M. Hickens, Chicago; W. Willets, Dallas, Tex.; Ed Aulbeisht, Albany, N. Y.; Harry Glass, Chicago; James Hart, no residence; James Martin, Fall River, Mass.; John Howard, Cincinnati, O.; Robert Sell, New York; Winifred Garrison, Martinsville, O. Several of the injured are not expected to live.



Source: The Alton Evening Telegraph, December 2, 1896

President Cleveland yesterday announced that he had appointed Miss Julia Buckmaster to succeed her brother as Postmaster in this city. Miss Buckmaster applied early to Senator Palmer. Her father, the late Col. Samuel A. Buckmaster, was an old time friend of Senator Palmer's and now when he had an opportunity, he remembered his old friend, and endorsed the appointment of his daughter. A reporter of the Telegraph called at Miss Buckmaster's residence early this morning. When informed of it by the reporter, she showed unmistakable signs of pleasure. The Telegraph extends congratulations to Miss Buckmaster on her good fortune. For more than a month, it has almost been positively known by the best posted people in Alton that Mr. Milnor would not get the office, and that it was more than likely that Miss Buckmaster would be the fortunate individual. Miss Buckmaster will probably not be able to take possession of the office until after her confirmation by the Senate, which convenes next Monday. All appointments made during the session of Congress must be confirmed prior to the person becoming invested with the office, and as Congress meets in a few days, Miss B.'s appointment will undoubtedly be promptly confirmed. Charley Milnor, Miss B.'s chief opponent, is a good fellow and deserves almost any appointment he might aspire to. He was endorsed by the Democratic clubs in 1885 for postmaster, but another got it. He was a candidate and very popular four years ago, but failed again. Mr. Milnor did not have official influence on his side. This time a few of his backers were Republicans, some of whom went on a mission to Springfield, to Senator Palmer, for Mr. Milnor, but evidently they had no more influence than his former Democratic "pushers."




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 8, 1896

Captain Huntington Smith, owner of the new post office building, has decided to name it the "Laura Building" in honor of his noble wife, Mrs. Laura Griswold Smith, who is a lady of high musical talents, a celebrity in those circles in St. Louis. Contractor Weld went to St. Louis yesterday to procure the joists for the third story of the building, which will now be pushed to comopletion as rapidly as possible.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 20, 1897

The Board of Directors of the Y.M.C.A. hold a special meeting tonight to complete arrangements for the removal of the Association rooms to the third story of the new Laura building.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 4, 1898

David Ryan was awarded the contract for lowering sidewalks on the north side of Second street from Alby to Henry streets today. Bids were advertised for to be opened at 10 o'clock this morning in the office of the City Clerk, and there was one bidder, Mr. Ryan. It was thought there would be several bids, but the hostile attitude of property owners along the streets frightened contractors so that they were afraid to bid for the work. The contract calls for the removal of the high sidewalks and steps and lowering of curbing wherever property owners have not done so. It is stated that some property owners will sue the city for damages to their property.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 11, 1899

Riley Thorpe, one of the unfortunates who live down on the sandbar, died this morning in a wretched hovel from the effects of hunger and exposure. In the tent where Thorpe died, and on the bed beside his dead body, lay his wife weakened by sickness, cold and hunger, until she was not able to help herself or send for the assistance of her rough neighbors. Thorpe had been ill for some time and application for assistance for the family had been made to the Supervisor, but was refused. Left to care for themselves, there was nothing for the couple to do but die there in their dirt and poverty. A Telegraph reporter visited today the place that the Thorpe's called home. It was a wretched tent, full of holes and ample openings for the entrance of cold river winds. The body of the dead man was stretched out in a box outside, while inside was a scene of squalor and dirt that could not be worse. A small stove in the front by the open tent flaps where light entered was supplying heat, and the tent was filled with a half dozen neighbors. Thomas McNutt, who had discovered the plight of the family, told how the couple were dying from cold and starvation when he entered. The people on the bar have no money, and coal for a fire must be stolen to keep the sick people alive. All night McNutt did what he could, and the neighbors contributed of their scanty food supply to prevent the death of the couple. The old lady was, at the time of the reporter's visit, greedily gulping down some soup a neighbor had contributed. She ate as though she had not tasted food for days, and her condition was pitiable. Everything in the tent was filthy and even a dog would disdain to drink from a cup which the old woman took her soup in. Cold, starving, and with no friends unless the county helps her, there is nothing for her but to follow her husband. The other inhabitants of the bar are free-hearted, but they have nothing to spare beyond their own needs, and still they have denied themselves necessaries of life for the poor couple. In the midst of all this squalor and poverty, it was pleasant to find that humanity had not entirely deserted the breasts of the poor people down there, and that out of their scanty means they had done what they could for two of their unfortunate number.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Wednesday, February 7, 1899

Fire caused the death of two young children this morning. Singularly enough the accidents happened in different parts of the city. About 9:30 o'clock a.m. flames were seen issuing from a shanty boat on the river front just below the Union depot. In the boat was a sick child, Eva, the four year old daughter of a family named Beebe. The mother had gone out to a neighbor's to get someone to go with her for a physician to attend the sick child, and when the fire was first noticed it was too late to rescue the little girl. The shanty boat was soon consumed, and the body of the victim was almost cremated. Her face, hands, and legs were burned completely away, and the body was unrecognizable. The child was lying on a low pallet, and the supposition is a spark of fire ignited the clothes and started the flames. The family came to Alton in their shanty boat on Christmas day from Peoria, and have been here since that time. The father has been working on the ice across the river, and did not learn of the accident until five or six hours after it occurred. William Rush, better known as "Curly," made a brave effort at rescue. He broke in the door, but met with a sheet of flames, and was compelled to run out. His whiskers were almost burned off in the attempt. Beebe and his wife have seen better circumstances. The husband has been sick and the first work he has had since coming to Alton was the last three days. Supervisor Elbie will send the couple to Peoria tonight, where they have relatives. Beebe could not bear to look at his child, and it was buried without him seeing it. Coroner Bailey held an inquest and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death from burning.


The three years old son of Tim Hartigan, night watchman on the bridge, died at 3 o'clock this morning, at the home, Seventeenth and Belle streets, from injuries received Tuesday afternoon caused by its clothes catching on fire. The boy, in company with other children, was playing in the yard, where they had a fire. While standing near the fire, the child's clothes were ignited. Rushing into the house, the little fellow jumped into a bed, where Mr. George Timmermeier tore the burning clothes from its body. It was thought at first the burns were not serious, but after suffering great pain the victim died early this morning. The accident is a very sad one, and the parents have much sympathy in the terrible bereavement that has come upon them. Coroner Bailey held an inquest, with a verdict similar to the first mentioned accident. The funeral will be tomorrow at 2 p.m. from the Cathedral.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Tuesday, February 21, 1899

Dan Kennedy, a young man only 19 years old, committed a daring robbery at 6 o'clock Monday evening in true wild western bandit fashion. His victim is John Merkle, who keeps a shoe store at 322 Ridge street, and the hold up took place in Merkle's store. Kennedy is the son of a neighbor of Mr. Merkle, and it was a customary thing for the boy to drop into the shoe store in the evenings and talk with Merkle, often spending an evening in this manner. He learned by observation and from conversation with his friend, Mr. Merkle, that often times large sums of money were taken in during the day in the little store and that the cash drawer would be an easy mark for any one left alone in the store. Kennedy was waiting in the store for an opportunity when the proprietor might leave the room or be engaged with a customer, and then he would have stolen whatever the cash drawer contained. Mr. Merkle gave him no opportunity as the time passed, so the young amateur bandit was forced to go about his work in true bandit fashion. After long conversation, rising to his feet as though he was about to leave, Kennedy suddenly pulled a revolver from his pocket, and leveling it at Merkle's face ordered him to throw up his hands and be quiet. Merkle was astounded and at first supposed the boy was in play. "You don't mean it, do you?" he asked. "Of course I do; throw up your hands," was Kennedy's second command. Merkle's hands hurriedly described semi-circles in the air, and in a second were in the most approved hold-up position. Kennedy went behind the counter, opened the cash drawer, and took its entire contents, $70 in cash. The young bandit then backed to the store door and bolted down the street. Merkle called police so soon as he recovered his senses and could command himself. The police made a careful search for young Kennedy, but the lad had planned his course well and no doubt was well on his way out of the city when the police started the search. After committing the robbery, Kennedy hurried to East Alton, riding part of the way with a young man named Scovell, and was in a great hurry. He arrived at East Alton in time to catch the Big Four train going east, at 8:30 p.m.  Chief of Police Starr telegraphed instructions along the road to officers to search the train and arrest the boy. The young man is the son of Mr. Dan Kennedy, who lives on Fourth street, near Henry street. The parents of the boy ascribe his deed to insanity, but others say it was the effect of reading too much cheap literature. Some time ago he bought a badge and commission from a fake detective agency and presented himself to Chief of Police Kuhn, asking that he be sworn in as a detective.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Tuesday, March 7, 1899

An elevator in which corn, wheat and all other farm commodities may be stored is to be erected at once by a company of Alton men. The elevator is to follow a suggestion made in the Telegraph some time ago that a market where farmers might sell anything they might have to sell would be a very good thing for merchants and the city of Alton in general. The elevator is to be built by Peter Reyland and Joseph Luly and is to be located on Second street on a vacant lot next to the shop of the George D. Hayden Machine Company. For many years farmers who have brought produce or agricultural products to Alton for sale have had great difficulty in disposing of them and have been obliged often to wait on the public square all day long and then sell their loads at whatever price could be obtained. When the new elevator is opened it will be a market for everything the farmer has to sell. It will create competition for the farm products brought to Alton and will attract here much country trade that has gone elsewhere to better markets. The elevator can not but be an advantage to business men of Alton and a profitable venture for the company which is backing it. The merchants of Alton have long felt the country trade that might be in Alton was not coming here. The reason for the slipping away of the country trade was only too apparent when teams with wagon loads of produce could be seen standing on the public square all day. Many farmers east of Alton would go to Bunker Hill or Edwardsville and those north of Alton would go to Jerseyville. Thousands of dollars were thus spent away from Alton in towns that have not half the advantages of Alton. The elevator is a good thing.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Tuesday, March 7, 1899

Mr. James C. Armstrong, who is interested in the organizing of a company for the purpose of running a paper mill in Alton, states that he has at last obtained an option on 15 acres of ground, belonging to Col. Fulkerson, of Jerseyville. The land lies just east of the Curdie & Maupin addition to Alton, and is favorably situated for the purpose of manufacturing. Mr. Armstrong now has assurances from eastern capitalists that all the money needed will be subscribed. The eastern capitalists are eager to become interested in the enterprise. The prospects now are that a fine plant will be erected, and possibly a larger one than was at first intended.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Monday, March 13, 1899

A wedding with a tinge of delightful romance was solemnized by Justice Brandewiede in the City Courtroom at 3:30 p.m. today. The groom was Herman Lippoldt of Torrington, Laramie county, Wyoming, and the bride was Miss Clara Ebbler, of Brighton. To a representative of the Telegraph, the groom told the story of his courtship and the long interval between the time when he first found favor and the day he was married. He was a young fellow 20 years ago who lived at Brighton and was well known there. He had played with Clara Ebbler as a child, and had good reason to think he was looked upon with favor. Fifteen years ago he left for the west to make a fortune or a comfortable living so he could claim his chosen bride. He returned a few days ago, owner of thousands of heads of cattle and a big stock farm in Wyoming, Laramie county. He found his young sweetheart a woman grown to maturity and still waiting the return of her lover. They agreed to be married and came to Alton. They hunted up 'Squire Brandewiede after securing a license, and were made man and wife. Mr. and Mrs. Lippoldt will leave for Laramie this evening to make their home there.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Monday, March 13, 1899

In the yards of the Illinois Glass Co., work is now being pushed rapidly on the new warehouse and shipping department that was begun several weeks ago. The new building is to be a substantial one built mainly of stone and iron and is to be larger than the one now used alone. It is to be 92x400 feet, while the present one measures but 300x92. The foundations for the new structure are almost complete and the setting of the iron work will be begun at once. Some important improvements are to be made at the glass works during the coming summer. Changes similar to those made last year in No. 5 will be made in at least one of the green glass factories, transforming it into what is known as a Dutch flint. In the new factory coal is to be used instead of oil as fuel. The Illinois Glass Co. is confronted with a demand of the coal operators for a rise in the price of coal. Since the agreement between the operators and miners for a wage scale, the operators who had a contract with the glass company to supply them with coal have decided that the price must go up and are insisting on a rise. The payroll of the glass works foots up $1,500,000 per year.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 15, 1899

About 7:30 o'clock this morning, two boys, Joe Toole and William Brady, were caught in a fall of earth from a bank on the Seventh street side of the residence of A. J. Howell on the corner of State. There were some seven or eight boys playing under the bank at the time. They heard a noise and ran, all escaping except the two named. The alarm was given and soon a crowd of men were at work digging for the boys. After several minutes work, the head of one of the boys, William Brady, was uncovered, then all went to work again to discover the other. As soon as he was found, both were taken out. Neither were seriously injured, although they appeared dazed and somewhat suffocated. Joe Toole's tongue was cut and bleeding, evidently caused by his teeth biting the tongue when caught by the earth. Physicians were sent for at once, and boys were taken to their homes nearby and received whatever medical attention their condition needed. Mr. and Mrs. Howell have been greatly annoyed by the persistency with which the boys continued to play at the bank, digging in it. They have been warned away, threatened by the police, but the temptation was too strong for the little fellows to keep away. The owners of the property several months ago had contracted with Mr. E. J. Lockyer to remove the earth and build a stone wall, but the weather was such, and the frost so far in the ground, that the contractor found it necessary to cease work until the frost was gone. The bank was ten or twelve feet high, and only about six feet of it slid down. It was owing to this that the boys lives were saved. Had the entire ten or twelve feet of earth come down, the lads would have probably been killed outright. All parties are to be congratulated on the fortunate escape of the boys. It ought to be a warning to others to keep away from banks of earth when the frost is coming out of the ground.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 18, 1899

Harry Clarke and Ed Scroggins, two characters of note in the police court, were arrested last night after robbing the grocery store of William Gerhardt at Seventh and Henry streets. Clarke has confessed his guilt and by his direction the police were able to locate the plunder which he had concealed. Scroggins still stoutly denies his guilt, not withstanding the fact that he was caught with a large bundle of plunder in his hands. He declares it was given to him by another man. Scroggins was the first man caught and nothing was known of the burglary until Officer Coleman hailed him on Ridge street near the Manhattan club building. The officer noticed a man walking briskly ahead of him who seemed to be carrying a bundle on his shoulders. In response to the officer's hail, the thief started to run and was followed by the officer. The thief was overtaken and it was found that the bundle he was carrying consisted of a quantity of cigars, tobacco and canned goods. At the police station Scroggins was searched and he was found to be loaded down with plunder. He had in his pockets knives, scissors, tobacco, and in his bundle a quantity of canned goods. Capt. Allen demanded of Scroggins who his accomplice was and he finally informed him it was his brother-in-law, Harry Clarke. A search for Clarke was at once begun, but while the police were looking for him, Clarke walked into the police station and asked for Scroggins. The bold burglar was placed under arrest in solitary confinement, and this morning he confessed to Officer Long that he was guilty and told where the remaining plunder was hidden. Officer Long found the stuff in a sack where he had been directed by Clarke in an alley between Walnut and Cherry streets, between Third and Fourth streets. When Scroggins was arrested the police began an investigation to discover the place where the robbery was committed. The door of William Gerhardt's store was found broken open and the investigation revealed that it was the place where the burglary had been committed. No one had heard the burglars, although the house is occupied as a dwelling by Mr. F. A. Bierbaum. Clarke and Scroggins bear bad characters and have before been suspected with committing like offenses. The police think they have the men who robbed Strittmatter's store one week ago Sunday and may be able to substantiate their suspicions. The value of the goods stolen from the Gerhardt store is about $35.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 18, 1899

The election Tuesday was a glorious triumph in favor of good government. Henry Brueggemann, the head of the corrupt city government for four years past, was repudiated by the people with an overwhelming defeat. Anthony W. Young, one of the anti-Brueggemann candidates, was successful, being elected mayor by a plurality of 382 votes in the city and carrying every ward excepting the Fifth. Mayor Brueggemann stated and reiterated publicly, through his combined press and on the platform, that he was running on his own record. His defeat may be taken by him as an emphatic repudiation of his official policy and his record. The people were down on the policy he has followed and his record too.....When the news began to come in shortly after 5 p.m., the streets were filled with a wildly rejoicing crowd, who made the air resound with their shouts and huzzas. About 8:30 o'clock last night an immense crowd formed, accompanied by the White Hussar and Juvenile bands, and marched to Mayor-elect Young's residence on West Fourth street. There, after several pieces were played by the bands, Mr. Young delivered a stirring address, followed by several other gentlemen. From Mr. Young's residence the procession headed for the Telegraph office and serenaded it. Not finding its editor there, they turned their march to his residence, on the corner of Sixth and Alby streets, where he was serenaded. The bands mingled in a few strains of "Sweet Marie." The editor was introduced to the crowd, which he thanked for the call. From there it went to Mr. Curdie's residence, on the corner of Fifth and Alby streets. Mr. Curdie was introduced to the assembly and made a neat and graceful speech, complimenting his successful rival, and thanking all for the call at his home. The procession then marched to Judge Hope's residence where the Judge spoke with his usual vim and pointedness. The march was then resumed down Second street to Washington street. It was a triumphal march. Men, women and children lined the streets. "Tony" Young was the hero of the hour and all wanted to grasp his hand. It was 12 o'clock before the marching ceased. The enthusiasm was intense and vast crowds were on the streets cheering for the successful mayoralty candidate. The usual variety of instruments of "music" were on hand, their shrill tones mingling with the cries of the excited populace. Also elected:  City Clerk, Patrick Ward; City Treasurer, Herman Dettmers; City Attorney, William Wilson; Police Magistrate, Ben. C. Few.



ALTON - TURKISH MUSEUM "BUSTED" ... Manager John Daniels Skips Out with a Coochy Dancer and Salaries of the Company

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 10, 1899

The Turkish theatre which has been doing business on Second street since last Saturday, has gone to the wall. It suspended business last night and the treasurer, John Daniels, suspended payment and took one of the girls with him to parts unknown. A mournful situation confronted the attaches of the show this morning - no breakfast, no money, no treasurer. One of the dancers complained to the police last night that when she asked the treasurer for her money, Daniels' wife struck her on the neck. She wanted a warrant issued for the arrest of the couple. No warrant could be issued and this morning Daniels and the other dancer had left town. Daniels had everything of value with him and left all of his employees creditors to the amount of a week's salary. Madame Prence Sultana, as the star is known - her right name is unknown and one member of the company said she is rich in names - was creditor to the extent of $7 for seven days work. William Flemme and two daughters, S. Ezekiel, John Philip and George Managg, all attaches, were out hunting Daniels today. The departed treasurer took with him the bag pipes and reed pipes and all the gaudy finery of the show, leaving nothing as a remnant to buy a lunch for his deserted troupe.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Wednesday, May 31, 1899

Memorial Day was observed Tuesday with appropriate exercises at the city cemetery and the decoration of graves of Union dead. The line of march was from the City Hall on Second street to Ridge street, Ridge street to Fifth, and Fifth street to the cemetery. A party of the Naval Militia boys with their Hotchkiss gun and the Western Military Academy cadets with field artillery were in line with the old soldiers in the march to the burial ground of the soldier dead. The principal address at the cemetery was by Rev. Catt, of Jerseyville. Capt. D. R. Sparks also made an address and Mr. W. H. Catts of Granbury, Texas, read an original poem appropriate to the day and to the occasion of his return to visit Alton, his boyhood home. The addresses were listened to by a very large number of people. Rev. M. N. Powers offered opening prayer which was followed by the regular G. A. R. services for the dead. Flowers were scattered over the graves in the soldiers burying ground by children, assisted by the members of Alton Post, G. A. R.  Rev. H. M. Chittenden pronounced the benediction. After the decoratin of the soldiers graves, the salute was fired over the graves by the Naval Militia and the W. M. A. cadets.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Saturday, June 3, 1899

About 2:30 o'clock today three men, Jake Schreiber, foreman, Pat Gerlack and Owen Callahan, were quite severely injured at Job's quarry by a belated blast. They had prepared a blast which did not go off, and while trying to get the powder out of the holes, it was ignited and the explosion took place. The crowbar they were working with was blown a long distance. Jake Schreiber, the foreman, was nearest the blast. His face, hands and arms were badly burned with powder. His skin was filled with small particles of stone, dust and powder. His eyes are badly singed, both with powder and particles of stone and dust. Peter Gerlach was seriously injured, being badly hurt about the face and hands. His skin was filled with stone and dust. Owen Callahan was slightly burned, and his flesh cut with stone, and his skin filled with the flying particles. While Schreiber is the most severely injured, it is hoped that his eyes will be saved.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Saturday, June 3, 1899

That Alton burglar is a fastidious fellow in his tastes. He wants nothing but the finest goods when he goes out stealing. He broke into the shoe store of J. W. Schmoeller in Hotel Madison building some time before midnight last night and stole eight pairs of the finest enameled leather shoes from the stock. Mr. Schmoeller entered the store last night about midnight and found empty shoe boxes strewn over the floor and knew at once he had been favored with a visit by the midnight visitor of Strittmatter's, Doering's, and other stores in the east end. Eight pairs of shoes of assorted sizes were missing. Investigation showed that the burglars had entered the store by prying open a window in the rear. The print of a burglar's jimmy was found on the window where the pry had been inserted. Neighbors say they heard a noise in the alley at 9:30 o'clock and it is supposed the burglar made his visit at that time. The shoes were stolen no doubt to sell in some "fence" in St. Louis. Chief of Police Volbracht is working on the case and will devote all his energies to the capture of the bold burglar.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Wednesday, June 14, 1899

A burglar who had planned to rob the house of Mayor Young on Mill street had a run for his life last night, and a narrow escape from capture. He escaped by climbing down Lover's Leap while a posse of armed men were camping around him waiting for morning to come. When Mayor Young returned from the council meeting, he wanted a light lunch and Mrs. Young went to the pantry to get it. As she opened the pantry door, a man took her by the arm, she screamed for her husband. The Mayor hurried to her assistance but the burglar had left the pantry and was trying to make his escape from the house. He was heard going through a window downstairs, and was seen crossing back lots to Summit Street. Capt. Coleman saw the burglar there and fired two shots at him. In the meantime, half the police force and a posse of citizens were out hunting the man with shotguns and revolvers. The burglar skirted along the brow of the bluffs to Lover's Leap and there he was seen by Officer Welch and fired at twice. The posse of citizens and police drew up in line around the place where the burglar was last seen and watched there until 5 o'clock. When day dawned, search through the weeds and ravines near Lover's Leap was made, but the burglar had escaped by climbing down the perilous path over the face of the bluff at the "leap." The posse dissolved then and hunted their beds disgusted with the burglar who had the nerve to make a trip over the edge of the bluff at that point.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Friday, June 16, 1899

A thief who stole a clothes-basket full of silverware 27 years ago in Alton came back the other day to visit the place, the first time since he committed the offense. He was a grisly old bum, but he had been somewhat of a thief in his younger days and was proud of it. An Alton man who was driving from Edwardsville to Alton met the bum traveling with two others, hard looking characters, at Edwardsville Crossing, and invited the tourists to drink. The grisly old bum became talkative after a glass and told of his last visit to this part of the country. It was almost thirty years since he had been here, he said, and the last time he was in Alton he stole a clothes basket full of silver "at a big house on a hill." He had a skiff down at the riverbank and he carried his plunder to the skiff and rowed across the river. When he examined his plunder he found every piece engraved with the name "Hayden," so the silver was no good to him in that form. He built a big fire and melted down the silver to one chunk. He sold the chunk in St. Louis and never came back to Alton until the other day. Mr. George D. Hayden supplied the remaining part of the story. He said his place was destroyed by fire in 1872. A quantity of silverware was saved from the fire and Mrs. Hayden packed it in a basket and secreted it under the trees in an unfrequented spot on the place, while the fire was in progress. When she went to look for the silver, it had disappeared. Mr. Hayden offered at the time to pay full value for the silverware and to ask no questions, as the silver was a family heirloom and invaluable because of association. Nothing was ever heard from it until the thief turned up here the other day and explained the mystery. The time has long since passed when the thief could be prosecuted, so he was perfectly safe in telling his story.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Monday, June 19, 1899

The body of Albert Gray, a well known brick layer, was found near the lower end of Bayliss Island Sunday morning by a fisherman, who at once reported to Chief of Police Volbracht. The findings of the body confirmed a rumor that had reached the chief that Gray had been drowned, and suspicion was that the three men who were arrested later knew more than they cared to tell. About 5 o'clock Friday afternoon, Gray, with Ventress, Johnson and Keyte, started from near the old vinegar factory in a skiff to go across the river. They had a jug of whisky with them, and Gray had money, having just received his week's pay, which furnishes a motive for the murder, if such it was. The crowd was going off on a drunken frolic across the river to last as long as Gray's money held out. People along the river bank say there were four man in the skiff and some say the whole party would take a drink of whisky about every hundred yards. The three men arrested returned Saturday, but Gray did not come home. When the rumor reached the police that Gray was drowned, Chief Volbracht started to investigate. Ventress said there were but three in the skiff, and so did Johnson, but they finally admitted there were four. Then they began to tell different stories. Ventress said Gray had been with them and was drowned. The whole party was put under arrest to await developments. When the finding of the body was reported, Officers Welch and Parker were sent in a skiff to identify it and bring it home. The body arrived at dusk and was taken in charge by Undertaker Bauer, while Dr. Fisher made an examination. On the head were marks apparently made by a blow from an oar and these marks are taken as conclusive evidence that Gray was murdered. Coroner Bailey held an inquest last night, and the three men with Gray in the skiff were allowed to tell their stories. Keyte was the first man examined. He said Johnson, Ventress and Gray met him Friday afternoon and he invited them to go across the river to his home with him. They took whisky with them and drank frequently. Below the bridge and near Bayliss Island, he said, Gray fell out and was drowned. He wanted to save him, but Johnson would not allow it. Ventress was called to the stand and was asked what he knew. He pretended at first to know nothing of Gray's fate. He fell out of the skiff, himself, he said, near Bayliss Island. The waves from the Spread Eagle, then passing the draw, rocked the skiff so he could not stay in. He swam to Bayliss Island and there laid down to sleep until Saturday morning. When asked if he had not first told of Gray's drowning to his brother, Ventress denied it, but the brother testified that he did. Johnson and the boat was swamped by the Spread Eagle and all were thrown into the water. He did not know what happened after that. He claimed that the three found themselves in the boat at Garrabee Island, near Chain of Rocks, yesterday. The inquest was adjourned Sunday night to 10 o'clock this morning and Dr. Fisher was directed by the Coroner, to make an examination of the body. A wound over the right temple of Gray was found where he had evidently received a violent blow which rendered him unconscious and knocked him into the water. Dr. Fisher thinks Gray was not killed by the blow, but was drowned after falling overboard. Wash Johnson says that he was so drunk when he told his first story to the police he did not know what he was saying. He sticks to his statement that Gray and Ventress were washed out of the boat by waves from a passing boat, but he and Keyte remained in the skiff in a drunken stupor. The four men had disposed of a gallon of whiskey and were so drunk they did not know what was going on. The coroner's jury rendered a verdict shortly after 11 o'clock which was in effect that James A. Gray came to his death by drowning June 16, and that a violent blow had been dealt him on the head which rendered him unconscious. One of the members of the jury was Louis Utt, a relative of Wash Johnson, but his relationship was not known when the jury was made up. Chief of Police Volbracht found additional evidence today that shows Gray to have been murdered. Ed Scheibe, Thomas Bates and a man named Holmes were standing on the shore near where Gray fell from the skiff and they say they saw Johnson strike him on the head with an oar and saw Gray fall into the water. A warrant charging Johnson with murder and Ventress and Keyte with being accessories was issued by Police Magistrate Few and the three men were held in custody.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Wednesday, June 21, 1899

There was a fierce fight in the city cemetery this morning, which resulted in the sexton, Joseph Klasner, being severely beaten by William Bray, the east Second street grocer. Mr. Bray was one of the attendants at the funeral of Thomas Luttrell, the boy who was drowned at Riverside Park Sunday. Mr. Bray was in a buggy and attempted to drive into the cemetery, but was opposed by the sexton, who ordered him out, as vehicles are not allowed in the cemetery. Bray said he would not go out and the fight began. The sexton being older than his opponent was badly beaten. He declared he would have Bray arrested for assault and battery. It is a standing rule of the cemetery that buggies or carriages, other than those of the immediate family, shall not be allowed to enter the cemetery.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Thursday, June 22, 1899

One of the attractions at Rock Spring Park on July 4th may be a skirmish drill or sham battle if the Naval Militia accept the invitation of President Porter of the electric lines. The boys will meet on Tuesday evening next when the invitation will be considered. There are about 80 members in the division at present. If they accept the invitation they will appear at the park in their new white duck uniforms, with Lee rifles, the Hotchkiss gun [cannon] and other paraphernalia. The battle line will be formed in the afternoon with part of the naval boys as Spaniards, Tagals or Mugwumps, along the hillsides, with the valley between. The guns, while only loaded with blank cartridges, will be fired with all the earnestness that could be inspired if real Tagals were on hand. The only Hotchkiss will be in the hands of the party assaulting the stronghold of the Tagals, and the way it will make the welkin [sky or heaven] ring will be frightful to the natives. It will be almost real, and will be a grand fight. President Porter will stand all expenses and will treat the boys right royally, as he is so capable of doing. In the evening there will be a grand fireworks exhibition, of which the navy boys will be in charge. It is hoped that the navy boys will accept, as everybody wants to see them in their new uniforms, and at least smell the powder and hear the noises of battle.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 1899

Last evening, at Rock Spring Park, a very large crowd of people was present to enjoy the fine music rendered by the White Hussar Band, and the beautiful scenery which nature and the proprietors of the park have united in making. The music of the White Hussars is always superior, and last night it was more than enjoyable. A gentleman was in the park last evening who is familiar with the smaller parks in Chicago, and he says he knows of none of them that will compare in beauty with Rock Spring, and as to the music, Alton's band was far ahead of anything he heard there. President Porter is entitled to credit for the excellent taste displayed in beautifying the park, until he has made a resort that is really delightful. He has now a lake, about 1000 feet long and of varying width, which he will stock with game fish, and which will no doubt be a pleasant place not only for boating but also fishing in another season. Mr. Porter has steadily set his face against allowing anything in the nature of intoxicating drink to be sold in the park, or permit questionable amusements. He determined at the outset that Rock Spring Park should be a place where he could invite the citizens of Alton to go without meeting unpleasant sights and placing before the young people temptations that would be injurious. Mr. Porter has firmly kept this determination when possibly a little laxity would have netted more revenue for his cars. He is entitled to sincere thanks for Rock Spring Park and the music.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Friday, June 30, 1899

The six green glass furnaces at the Illinois Glass works closed down tonight, shortly after five o'clock, for the regular summer stop. The furnaces that shut down tonight are pot furnaces Nos. 2 and 3, oil tank furnace No. 5 and continuous tank furnaces Nos. 8, 9 and 10. The time for resuming work is not known, as it depends altogether on the result of the conferences on the wage question, which will be held this summer after the national convention. Apprentices to the trade were selected this afternoon, but their names were withheld until the time for them to blow their first bottles, and could not be obtained this afternoon. No. 2 furnace will be entirely remodeled this summer, and when it starts up in the fall, it will do so as a tank furnace. This will leave but one green pot furnace, No. 3, and its future as a pot furnace depends entirely on the success of No. 2.  No. 2 will be turned into an oil consuming furnace. Workmen began to tear down the outbuildings of No. 2 this morning, preparatory to beginning work of remodeling it just as soon as the fires go out and the brick piles cool. The flint houses will continue to run for two weeks at least, possibly four weeks, and perhaps longer. The men have agreed to forego two weeks of the regular vacation but will likely make up in the fall for any longer summer run than the two weeks allowed. It is now thought they will resume September 15, as the wage scale is settled. The Illinois Glass Works will be a busy place this summer with its flint houses running part of the time and the work of improvement going on on all sides. The Pittsburg Bridge Co. has completed the steel work of the new Illinois Terminal warehouse and the workmen will leave for their eastern homes this evening. The foreman, W. M. Addy, will be married in a few days to an Illinois girl, and will take her to Savannah, Ga.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 3, 1900

In this issue will be found the notice of Architect Pfeiffenberger calling for bids up to January 10 for the erection of a new warehouse and office for Beall Bros., for their new plant at the Garstang foundry location. The new building will be erected on the east side of the present structure. It will be of frame, and will be 60x120 feet. It will contain a handsome office for the firm. A roadway 12 feet wide will separate the new from the present buildings. On this roadway will be a railway switch for loading and unloading cards. The warehouse will be most conveniently arranged not only for storing goods, but for shipping purposes. The Beall's will put in an electric light plant for their own use, which will generate electricity by power from the engines running the machinery. The machinery from the old shops is being rapidly removed to the new. By February 1 the Beall Bros. plant will be in full operation again, with greatly enlarged facilities and improvements generally.




Source: Alton Telegraph, January 4, 1900

Frozen water plugs caused the destruction of the seven-room frame dwelling of James Coleman on Summit street Tuesday a.m. A fire alarm was turned in at 10 o'clock and the firemen made good time to the fire, but the water plugs were frozen and it was fifty minutes before a feeble stream was procured from the plug at State and Prospect street, 1600 feet distant. When the plug at Summit and Prospect was found to be frozen, the hose was taken to Bond and Prospect. This plug was frozen also and both were broken in attempts of the firemen to secure a stream.....In the meantime the building was being destroyed, and but one article of furniture was saved.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 8, 1900

The Sisters in charge of St. Joseph's Hospital will probably present a communication to the City Council this evening informing the Council that they are conducting the hospital at a great loss, and unless something is done to assist them in keeping up the institution, they will be obliged to close it. The Mother Superior made a call on Mayor Young today to inform him as to the situation. She said the hospital is poorly supported by private patronage, and public patronage is unprofitable. For caring for patients sent by county officers, the hospital receives only 40 cents a day, and in many cases the cost of medicines and dressings alone exceed the amount allowed by the County Board. For city patients, the Sisters say, they receive nothing in most cases, but they never refuse to accept any patient sent them. The Sisters will ask the City Council to allow St. Joseph's Hospital a sum of money to assist in defraying the current expenses of the hospital and to make repairs on the building. Unless the Sisters who have charge of the hospital receive assistance, they say, they must close up the institution. But under the law, the city cannot aid such an institution, as there is no provision for it. Help must come from private, not municipal sources.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 11, 1900

The people of Alton are promised a war between rival biscuit companies, and the probably result will be a reign of low prices in bakery goods. The Dozier Bakery Co. of St. Louis, one of the National Trust bakeries, will open a branch office in Alton within a few weeks and will employ agents to distribute its goods. The room at 132 West Second [Broadway] street in the building owned by C. F. Yeakel has been rented by the Dozier company, and arrangements are being made for beginning an interesting fight for the business of Alton and adjacent towns. The trust bakeries have decided on a fight with some of the non-trust bakeries, notably a Peoria firm which has been cutting deeply into the trust business. Trusts plan is to crush or force competitors to sell out their business. The Dozier company now controls a large share of the Alton business, but it is understood that grocers have given the preference to the goods not made by the trust. The name of the agent of the Dozier company will be announced in a few days, and it is reported it will be a well-known grocery man of Alton.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 13, 1900

In strange contrast with the bleak, windy afternoon was the scene within the home of Capt. G. W. Hill on Thursday, when Mrs. Hill, assisted by her four daughters, Mesdames Gregory, McKinney, Hearne and Cunningham, received their friends from 2 until 5 o'clock. The elegant home with the broad halls, spacious rooms, handsome furnishings, where the soft light filtered through tinted globes, the heavy perfume of hot-house flowers, banked on mantles and tables, the warmth and color of the whole, rendered the occasion one to always dwell in the memory. The receiving party stood just within the front drawing room where the stately mother and her daughters gave a cordial welcome to each guest. Mrs. Carl Wuerker was stationed at the foot of the grand staircase to greet the ladies as they arrived. Mrs. Daniels and Miss Duncan led the way into the dining room, where one was fairly enchanted by the vision of beauty that met the eye. Around the snowy table, in whose center towered a vast shower pyramid of La France roses with ropes of Southern smilax, twined here and there, bon bons in cut glass, glistening under the glow of the mellow light shed through pink shaded candelabras, flitted about in their dainty robes were Misses Kellenberger, Long, Burbridge, Watson, Inglis and Montgomery, dispensing delicious refreshments consisting of ices in marvelous forms and various flavor, delicate cake and confections, supplemented by steaming chocolate served with salted almonds. Across directly from this charming vision, one entered another room of equal interest, where sat Misses Hearne and Pickard, behind a huge frappe bowl, constructed of ice and prettily decorated, containing coffee frappe, which these two young ladies in their snowy gowns made a fitting finish to the purity of the white table and its snowy contests. Hidden behind a floral drapery in a rear hall, the orchestra, adding greatly to the festive occasion by the subdued sweet strains that fell upon the ear, only rendering conversation the more enjoyable. It is safe to assert there were no regrets sent in answer to this hospitable invitation, the good old home being literally filled with Alton's best society.


[Note:  This event was held at the home of Capt. Granderson Winfrey Hill, located at 320 Easton street in Alton. He died in 1911, and was a Riverboat Captain and one of the founders of the Eagle Packet Company. A steamer, the "G. W. Hill," was named after him. He moved to Alton from Hannibal, Missouri in 1885, first living in the home formerly occupied by A. T. Hawley at the corner of Henry and Union streets.  In January of 1907 the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of General Robert E. Lee was celebrated by the Daughter of the Confederacy, and held at the home of Capt. G. W. Hill.  The home no longer exists.]


To read more on his life and read his letters to his son, see this website at UMSL.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 17, 1900

The cottage and one greenhouse at Rock Spring Park are complete, and the second greenhouse will be furnished within a few days.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 17, 1900

The Bluff Line has completed laying rails on the embankment built along the river from Watson's quarry to the Water Works, and when the connection with the old main line is made at the two ends of the new main line track, trains will begin to use the new shortcut. All the space between the old track and the new embankment has been leveled off for use as yards, and the place is no longer recognizable. It is stated that 25,000 yards of earth was used in making this embankment, which is one-half a mile in length. The steam shovel is now being used to remove the earth from the ground where the county road is to be laid out, between the bluff and the new track. When the improvements now underway are completed, the road bed of the Bluff Line will have lost some of its sinuous character and a heavy grade between the Watson quarries and the Water Works, which prevented the hauling of heavy loads, will be avoided. It is said the Bluff Line will make the crossing over the county road within a few days, and will then change its main line to the track on the new embankment. The steam shovel will then be put to work making a bed for the track around the old vinegar factory building.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 20, 1900

The old vinegar factory is almost a thing of the past. The last bricks in the walls that have been a landmark for many years are being taken down, and another day will find the walls razed. D. Ryan, who had the contract for tearing down the old building and putting up the new one, has done quick work, and now the old building is almost leveled to the ground.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 24, 1900

East Las Vegas, N. M., Feb. 21, 1900 - To the Citizens of Alton:  I have been notified by my bookkeeper that Adolph Metter had been notified by the Glassblowers Union, that if union labels were not on our bread by Sunday I would be boycotted. I wish to say that I object to labels on the bread, not because I am against organized labor, but I do not think the bread to be the proper article to be labeled. I am for organized labor and always have been, because I think prosperity in labor is prosperity to small business men. I have indeed never questioned a man whether he belonged to the union or not, but always paid him according to his work, and I would like very much to see that all of my bakers join the union as requested. But I should beg the union to exempt me from putting labels on the bread. As much as I can observe, there are a great many of my customers objecting to labels on bread, in which I think they are justified. I will, however, have large cards printed, which I will distribute among dealers of our goods, where customers can readily ascertain that our goods are made by union labor. When I was employed in St. Louis, I put labels on bread, and when we cut a loaf warm, it had a bitter taste where the label had been pasted. Will explain how labels are treated placing them on bread: They are placed on as soon as the dough is moulded into a loaf; while the loaf rises, from 60 to 90 minutes, there is a certain amount of moisture which will more or less saturate the labels. Then the bread is put into the oven which will bake it in plenty of steam. Bread going through this process will more or less taste like the labels where they are pasted, as some of the labels will certainly soak into the bread. Large advertising cards will do the same as labels, and will not affect the goods. Waiters and cooks have organized unions; would it be asking any more to have a label put in the soup, tea, coffee or milk, or on the beef or potatoes to show that one was waited on or his meal cooked by union labor? In my estimation it would be the same as putting labels on bread. Bread is consumed the same as a meal in the hotel or restaurant, with crust and all, and nothing is left of it, and I think it should be manufactured and kept clean as much as possible. We are in the business to please everybody as much as possible and produce goods so as they will be bought and relished by the consumer. I therefore beg again to exempt me from putting labels on bread. I will do anything the labor organizations may ask of me within reason, and wish very much that my bakers join the union. If I could have been at home and were not kept here by sickness, I would certainly have come to a satisfactory agreement with the unions long before this. Hoping that I have been informed correctly and that the matter may be settled satisfactory, I am yours truly, George Noll.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 26, 1900

To the labor unions, and anyone else whom it may concern in regard of the union labels on my bread:  (1st) Mr. George Noll is against union labor because he does not want to employ good, first-class bakers, as you see by his letter. "He pays a man according his work."  (2nd) He says "the labels are put on when the dough is moulded into a loaf," is all bosh. The label is a clean piece of white paper, tasteless, and put on the bread when baked.  (3rd) There are large bakeries that use from 30,000 to 40,000 a day. There is no harm in the label. The only harm there is in any bakery to the public health is the inferior articles in bread and cakes. I invite the public to call any time and examine my bakery.  C. F. Schnell




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 1, 1900

Chicago sewage must be a healthy drink and food. Since it was turned into the Mississippi, the reports of the official analysis show the river water is purer than before, and the health report of the city of St. Louis shows the number of typhoid cases in the city to have dwindled from 482 before the sewage was turned in, to 38 cases now. The figures are based on official reports, and St. Louis people admit their reliability. The death rate from typhoid fever in St. Louis has diminished until it is one-fifteenth what it was fifty years ago. If Chicago had known her sewage was so healthful, she would have kept it for home use. Alton, too, is unusually healthy this winter, and doctors are surprised after having been promised such an abundance of typhoid fever.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 8, 1900

A vast floe of ice, many acres in extent, came down the river in the dark last night at 10 o'clock and caused much damage to boat houses on the riverfront where it struck the Illinois shore. The floe was the biggest ever seen by Alton river men, and they cannot tell what was its starting place unless it was a field of ice that was floated off some dike above Alton by the rising water. On the Missouri shore great heaps of ice on the land show where the floe struck, and opposite, the boat houses along the river show its effect here. All the inhabitants of the boats were sleeping when the floe began grinding in the darkness and crushing the boats. The sleepers jumped from their beds and in their night clothes escaped to the shore. Some of them stood on the bank screaming for fear their homes would be destroyed, but most of them were fortunate. Some of the boats were lifted to the top of the dike and stranded there. William Fluent's dock was sunk where it was fastened, and his houseboat was crowded to shore and sunk with a hole six feet long in its gunwale. One of his skiffs was carried off, but was recovered, and the loss will be comparatively light. Mrs. Fluent was in the houseboat at the time and escaped when the ice struck. All the boats along the levee were pushed to land, but no other damage was done.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 9, 1900

Beall Bros. have ordered the immense billboard on Piasa street taken down. It is their intention to at once begin the erection of a mammoth warehouse for steel and other material, which they manufacture into mining tools, etc.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 9, 1900

A suit to foreclose a mortgage for $10,000 and interest amounting to nearly $3,000 on the Alton Piasa Woolen Mill Company was instituted in the Circuit Court today by William Sountag, trustee. The suit was filed by the attorney for the trustee, J. F. McGinnis. It is understood there will be no contest, and that the foreclosure is merely a step taken by the persons holding stock in the company to cause the property to be sold in order that they may realize something on their investment. The property will be sold and owners of woolen mills from all parts of the country will be invited to come here to bid on the property. It is hoped some outsiders will get the plant as in that event it might be set in operation and its wonted industry revived. The property has been inoperative since the Wilson tariff law went into effect, cutting down the profits on woolen goods so that the mill became unprofitable. It is a valuable piece of property, being built of Alton limestone, and one of the most substantial buildings that can be built. It is filled with valuable machinery, and Mr. A. Neermann, who is a chief stockholder, estimates the value of the property at $75,900. There will probably be no objection to the sale of the property and the sale will be set for the latter part of April.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 16, 1900

The stock in Giberson's general merchandise store was badly damaged by fire this morning. The fire was discovered by Charles Miller, who lives across the street, at 2 o'clock, and an alarm was sent to the fire department. When the firemen arrived they found the cellar a furnace of roaring flames, which were threatening every moment to burn through the floor and set fire to the room upstairs. The firemen at first could not enter the cellar because of the fierce heat and smoke, but Chief Hunt effected entrance at the levee side of the building. The whole cellar was filled with flames, and the firemen poured water on them for two hours. The flames burned through the floor and damaged seriously the stock on the first floor. Mr. Giberson today said his loss is about $7,000, with $5,000 insurance. The cellar was used as a storeroom for goods, but nothing highly combustible was kept there, and Mr. Giberson says the origin of the fire is a mystery to him, as no fire was kept there. The stock of groceries, ladies shoes and notions in the main store room was drenched with water and badly damaged. The damage to the building is not great, and can be repaired at a cost of less than $2,000. The building is owned by H. G. McPike. The firemen did good work to save the building and adjacent property, and they were covered with ice as the cold air struck them. The insurance was held by Frank Fisher, Palatine, England, $1,000; George H. Smiley, Phoenix of Hartford, $1,500; McKinney & Son, American, of Philadelphia, $1,00; R. M. Stamper, Orient of Hartford, $1,000; Sun of England, $500.  Total, $5,000.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 20, 1900

The union passenger station, for which Alton people have been so long hoping may be had in the very near future, according to a report that was set afloat today. It has been learned that through the efforts of the Illinois Terminal, the Chicago and Alton railroad has consented to the transforming of the present passenger station of the Alton and Big Four into a union passenger station, which all the railroads in the city may use if they desire. It is proposed to have the Bluff Line abandon its intention of building a new station for itself, and the Burlington, and to pay its share toward remodeling Union Station for the use of all the railroads. The Terminal desires to enter at Union Station, and General Manager H. H. Ferguson has been working up the matter with all the interested railroads. He was out of the city today and could not be seen, but it is said, without confirmation, that he has received no definite reply from the Big Four. The city council committee has not accepted the plans submitted by the Bluff Line as the ones to be used for the new passenger station for Bluff Line and Burlington trains, and, it is thought, consent will not be given for building another depot on the levee when the present so-called union depot may be had for the joint use of all the railroads in Alton. The consent of the Bluff Line to enter a union station might be difficult to secure, but it is probably the matter can be arranged.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 27, 1900

Justice Barnett Nathan, who takes no little pride in the integrity of his decisions and feels that he is alone the model justice of the city, has determined upon having a model courtroom where the majesty of the law may hold full sway and the grand surroundings may inspire awe in the most irreverent.  A new building is to be erected north of the Nisbett building by John Bauer and Mrs. Nisbett jointly, and in there will be installed the model court. Mr. Nathan says he will build a bench with a desk before and a rail behind, where he may sit elevated above his fellow mortals as he tries a case. Justice and wisdom will beam from a face surmounted by a cap of justice and bearing a long white beard that will scarcely show above the desk. The Squire may don a trial robe to lend an added dignity to the court, and he may have allegorical mural painting made showing blind justice bearing the features of the Judge, whiskers and all, a veritable bearded lady, as she weighs out equal justice to all. It will be an up-to-date and model court, and special attention will be given to marriages.




Source: Oswego Commercial Times, January 7, 1901

A fire at Alton, Illinois Friday night destroyed the liquor store of Kent & Carr, destroying that and nine adjoining buildings, embracing the whole block bounded by Short, Stato and Levee Streets. Loss $50,000; insurance $25,000. A German, whose name is unknown, was burned to death.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 24, 1901

Engineer T. M. Long put in the day surveying the "made" land or accretions belonging to Z. B. Job, south of Front street and east of Henry between Henry and Spring streets. It is that section known as "the willows," and found to comprise about 200 acres with river frontage and in the city limits. Mr. Job lost about 1,000 acres through the encroachments of the river years ago near the mouth of Wood river, including the town of old Chippewa, and he says the river is only doing the square thing by paying some of this back.




Source: Alton Weekly Telegraph, February 14, 1901/Submitted by Marsha Ensminger

Contractor Lancaster has a force of men at work today wrecking the building at the corner of Third and Langdon streets, the property of Patrick Kane the grocer. The lot upon which it stands will be graded and a fine double brick residence built thereon. It is said that no one in Alton can remember when the house that is being torn down was built. It came into the possession of Mr. Kane in 1865, he purchasing it from John R. Wood, a justice of the peace and banker, who used it as a residence for many years. A woman named Bradley used it as a hotel or boarding- house in 1830, and it then was far from being a new house. The lower story (or basement) is of rock, and the masonry still gives evidence of the master hand of its builder. All of the wood part of the building is of oak and is yet sound. It is believed to be the oldest building in the city.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 2, 1901

That energetic and enterprising firm, Beall Bros., have determined to enlarge their business and will go extensively into the manufacture of shovels of all kinds, including hollow-back and plain-back. The Beall Bros. have for many years, purchased all the shovels sold by them [sic], and they are possibly the largest dealers in shovels in the United States. The new corporation will be known as "The Alton Shovel Company," and will be entirely separate from the mining tool corporation known as "The Beall Bros."  The share holders will be Charles Beal Sr., Edmond Beall, J. Wesley Beall and Charles L. Beall. The capital stock of the new corporation will be ample for the purpose, and the number of men employed will be large. Beall Bros have awarded the contract for the making of the machines needed, amounting to twenty large machines to manufacture the shovels and the handles. The wood is run through nine different machines and comes out complete handles. The capacity of the new machines will be 200 dozen shovels per day. Architect Pfeiffenberger is now at work on the plans of a building, 105 by 60 feet; it will be of wood. The contract will be let next Saturday and the building and machinery will be ready for operation in sixty days. The Beall Bros. have been contemplating this extension of their business for some years, but the fire of a year ago last winter retarded the plans of the company. The new building will take up all the unoccupied ground in the block now used by the firm, and as it will be necessary to store a large amount of lumber, the Beall Bros will ask permission of the City Council to use the south side of Fifth street, adjoining their property, for the storage of lumber. As this part of the street has never been used for public traffic, and is not likely to be, there is little doubt but the council will readily grant the request. The Bealls, of course, guarantee to remove their material at any time the city may desire to improve and use the street. This improvement will make a large addition to Alton's manufacturing industries, and will give employment to a large number of men. The new venture will be a success, for the Bealls have had for years a most profitable business in the sale of shovels all over the west and south.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 16, 1901

The caves along the bluffs are reported to be a bum's paradise, and the population of the caves at present is large. Hundreds of tramps have been hanging out in these caves all winter, and the number is increasing as the warm weather comes and loosens up the joints of the travelers so that they can make haste to their favorite place of abode to avoid the shivering blasts of March.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 18, 1901

It is announced by members of the Alton Baseball Association, which was disbanded a few months ago, that the association will be reorganized, and that the Alton Blues Baseball team will have another season at Sportsman's Park in Alton. It was announced at the time of the disbandment that the club would probably not be reorganized, owing to lack of interest on the part of Alton fans the latter part of the season, which made the Blues a failure as a financial investment during 1900. The Alton fans have been so urgent in their requests that another season be tried that a meeting will be called. Charley Wilson, who has been manager of the Blues since the team was organized, will not be with the Alton Blues during the season. His place will be filled by the appointment of another manager, probably James J. Mullen, who was a prominent stockholder in the Alton Baseball Association, and an old baseball player. It is stated that the team will be strengthened by some new players, and most of the best players of last season who were with the team, and are still available, will be engaged for the coming season. Some of the best semiprofessional players in St. Louis will be taken into the team, and the Blues will be made as strong as it is possible to make them. The management has the reputation of paying good salaries, and good men are assured. It will probably be part of the new policy of the association to take the Blues away from Alton to play more frequently, in order to insure the appearance of better teams to play return games.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 22, 1901

A new shoe company will be organized in Alton, to be backed by Alton capital. Mr. Frank G'Sell, who has been assistant superintendent for the Illinois Shoe Company since the company started in business in the woolen mill, stated today that he will organize a company and will start a factory in Alton that will employ 150 hands, and will turn out 300 pairs of shoes a day. Mr. G'Sell resigned his position as assistant superintendent of the Illinois Shoe Company Tuesday, and since then he has been planning to start a new factory. He has secured promises of subscriptions from a number of people in Alton who would like to go into the scheme, and says he has the best of prospects in his new enterprise. It is proposed to organize a company with $15,000 capital stock, and Alton people will be given an opportunity to subscribe all if they desire to do so. Mr. G'Sell is an experienced shoe man who has done the greater part of the buying and much of the work of making the shoes that have been turned out by the company. Mr. G'Sell said that a building will be erected for the new company in Alton, and he is planning to have a very prosperous plant in a short time. He has made arrangements to dispose of his product and can keep his plant running steadily from the first. This he can do without interfering with the Illinois Shoe Company.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 9, 1901

Workmen who were digging foundations for an oil tank at the Beall Bros. plant this morning uncovered an old neck yoke that had been used many years ago for working oxen. The place where the excavation was being made was in the bottom of the old Piasa Creek, and is probably a yoke of a farmer's team that stopped at the old Piasa house grounds long ago.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 13, 1901

Probably the most prosperous infant industry in Alton is the new Illinois Shoe Company's factory on Belle street, which is putting on strength in a most un-infant like manner, and will soon be able to hold its head up as high as any other full-grown man, so to speak, in the shoe manufacturing business. The growth of the concern has been healthy, and it is sure to be rapid and strong in the hereafter. Mr. O'Connell, the superintendent, is a believer in the old Davy Crockett maxim, and he makes sure he is in the right method and then he makes haste to go on with his undertaking. The result is that the line of samples turned out by the new factory created surprise in St. Louis among shoe men, and orders have been pouring in thick and fast from dealers who like our work here and think Alton a remarkably smart town when a new shoe factory started by us can make shoes that are good as those made in the cast where they have been fashioning shoes since the Pilgrims landed. A visitor at the shoe factory yesterday found the place humming with busy machinery and a force of men, boys and girls working away on fine new shoes. Alton people should interest themselves in the new industry and make a visit there. The shoes turned out are of the finest quality of enamel and patent leather down to the best quality of cheap shoes. Nothing but good stock is used, as Mr. O'Connell says he wants nothing to look back upon with regret nor anything to apologize for. Fifty hands are now employed and are making good wages. Mr. O'Connell says he wants Alton people to wear the shoes he is making, and will make it their advantage to do so. Special orders for shoes may be sent through dealers and shoes will be made that fit the wearer exactly. Mr. O'Connell is planning for a reception some day at the factory for the boys of Alton, and he will have every boy in the city there and will show him how to make some money by talking up Alton shoes. People should patronize a home industry, the superintendent thinks, when the goods are well worth the confidence. Orders have been received from some of the big shoe houses of St. Louis for special lines of shoes, and on these orders the factory is now working.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 6, 1901

The Pawnee Bill Wild West show arrived in Alton yesterday, and is holding forth today in the rear of the baseball park. The show is accompanied by innumerable side shows that have been doing a big business all day near the circus grounds. Everything in the side show line that helps to make a big show popular is on exhibition. In the main part of the show there is a big display that is very interesting to all. Good horses and good riders are a principal feature, and well known marksmen are there in abundance. The street parade in the morning made a fine impression. The main show is surrounded by a wall of canvas, the seats being ranged around the walls and they are covered by a canopy of canvas to protect the spectators from the elements. Pawnee Bill carries a good show with him, and there will be a big crowd tonight. A large number of people saw the afternoon performance.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 3, 1901

Today is the 41st anniversary of the greatest storm which ever visited Alton. Saturday evening, June 3, 1860, about 7:30 o'clock, was the date. The new office of the Alton Democrat was demolished with its contents. The top story of the building in which the Telegraph is now located was blown off. St. Mary's German Catholic church was blown down, and the rector buried in the ruins, although he was taken out without a scratch. The steeples of the Methodist and Episcopal churches were blown down. The top story of the Ryder building was blown off. Many other buildings were more or less wrecked. The storm was accompanied by heavy hail, which demolished every window on the north side of all houses where the shutters were not closed. Singular to say, no one was injured.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 30, 1901

One half the block bounded by Piasa, Third, Market and Fourth streets were destroyed by fire beginning shortly before noon today. After an hour of fighting the fiercest fire that occurred in many years, the firemen and many scores of hardworking volunteer assistants who sprung into service from the ranks of the onlookers, the fire was subdued and all danger of it spreading to the valuable property in the neighborhood was over. The losses were as follows:


John Snyder, $23,000;  insurance $11,000

Charles Seibold, $8,000; insurance $4,500

Kirsch Company, $1,600; insurance $1,600

Mrs. Ellen Dwyer, $500; covered

George Ginter, $250; covered

T. N. Bechtold, $400; insurance $100

Millers Mutual Insurance Company, $200; covered

Fager estate, $500; total loss


The origin of the fire is not known definitely, but it is said to have been started by a boy smoking cigarettes in the back part of the Seibold stable and dropping sparks on a pile of hay and shavings. Before the fire was discovered the Seibold building was doomed, and in the subsequent hurry to get out the horses, no one at first thought of turning in a fire alarm. By great exertion and prompt action all but one of the horses in the stable, 22 belonging to Seibold and 30 boarders, were rescued and were taken outside. In the back of the stable was a valuable horse belonging to Mr. Seibold, registered stock and standard bred, valued at $400, which was burned. When the fire department arrived a second alarm was turned in, and the reserve company hurried to the fire. Notwithstanding the good work of the firemen, the flames spread because of the big start they had gained, and it appeared for a half hour that the whole block would be burned and the fire would spread to the first block south. Several thousand people were soon gathered at the place watching the firemen and rendered all assistance necessary. The Telegraph building across the street was threatened. From the Seibold building the flames went to that of John Snyder on one side and there from buildings on the other, occupied by Theodore Bechtold, Dr. J. C. Booker, and the stable of the Kirsch Company. It was feared the fire would leap Fourth street and destroy the Beall shops, but streams of water stopped them. Leaping the alley east of the Seibold and Snyder property, the fire caught in the office building of the Millers' Mutual Fire Insurance Co., and from there to the property next door owned by the Flachenecker estate. In neither building was much damage done because of the protective work done by the firefighters. The principal part of the conflagration was in the Seibold and Snyder buildings. In the Seibold stables was a large quantity of hay and shavings and other highly inflammable material. The building was soon a seething furnace, and the heat was so intense the firefighters were nearly overcome many times. All the buggies in the Seibold stable but four were saved by bystanders and the stable force. Mr. Seibold's office fixtures were destroyed. At the Snyder building the flames soon worked through the thin brick wall and by way of the roof, and it was evident that nothing could be saved. Not one piece of goods nor any of the firm's books were saved. The safe fell through into the cellar and at the same time the two story brick wall fell with a crash, many firemen narrowly escaping injury. Mr. Snyder said after the fire that he canceled several insurance policies a few days ago because he was carrying a comparatively light stock in the store. He had $18,000 stock and his building being an old one, was worth about $5,000, including a stone building east of the store. The Bechtold dairy was burned slightly in one end, and the Kirsch building back of it was destroyed with some hogs that were kept in it. The Fager estate building occupied by Dr. J. C. Booker was a veterinary hospital was destroyed with Dr. Booker's private property, consisting of office fixtures and medicines. The house belonging to Mrs. E. Dwyer in the rear and on the opposite side of the alley was damaged on one end, but the firemen saved it from destruction. Louis Ginter's shop, the brick building next to the Seibold stable and in the vicinity where the fire started was comparatively slightly damaged. At 1 o'clock, about 80 minutes after the fire started, the firemen were playing on a heap of ruins, the flames having consumed everything inflammable. When the walls fell at the Snyder building, the firemen soon had the fire under control, as the fire in the stock was smothered by the bricks and plaster. It was a day of great danger for Alton's downtown district, as every building was dry and warped with the heat of the sun, and furnished swift food for the flames. New buildings will rise where the old ones were burned down, and they will be better ones than ever occupied either site. The fire is a heavy loss to the owners of the property, but it made room for improvements.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 1, 1901

John Snyder will erect a three story modern business building with elevators, steam heat, etc., on his property, and will begin the work as soon as the insurance adjusters get through with their work. He will occupy two stories himself with a stock of goods, and will make offices of the third story. It will be a handsome and creditable building.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 5, 1901

Tong Hong, the Celestial laundryman, had the best and biggest display of fireworks in the city Thursday. Tong's Americanism may be measured by the cost of his purchases to celebrate the advent of the anniversary of our national birthday, and he certainly did cover himself with glory. His fireworks cost over $400.  Many new and beautiful pieces were imported from China for the occasion by Tong Hong, and there was a large crowd to see the display. The roar and flash was terrific. Tong had three strings of firecrackers of 10,000 each, and each made a noise like a cannon. In addition to the 30,000 distinct cannon crackers, there were pretty American flags in fireworks, pretty mines and sky rockets that kept the big crowd amused all evening. Tong Hong was very proud of his display, and so excited he almost forgot to express his delight in English but lapsed into his native Chinese language. Tong Hong's and Pang Sue's fireworks will be a feature of all Fourth of Julys hereafter.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 7, 1901

Four little negroes, "Yaller" Waters, Julius Kyles, "Rabbit" Sims, and James Douglas, were arrested today on a warrant charging them with committing a burglary at the Hoppe Toy Store Sunday morning. The boys are newsboys and bootblacks, and all are scarcely old enough to be held accountable for their offense. The police have suspected the boys of being the guilty ones, and Waters was arrested on suspicion. He told the story of the robbery after being sweated by Chief of Police Volbracht, and informed on his confederates in crime. In a short time, all but two of the boys were under arrest, and they broke down. Chief of Police Volbracht went to St. Louis this morning with Waters to look through the pawnshops where Waters sold the stolen goods. These boys are suspected of having committed many petty thefts and burglaries around the city, and they will be sent to the reform school. Rabbit Sims and Julius Kyle were put through a sweating process this afternoon in the police station, and they frankly admitted all that was charged against them and much more. They were shown some new revolvers, razors, knives and the Winchester rifle that were recovered in a store at 1412 Market street in St. Louis, and then they told all about their work in Alton. Rabbit Sims, who is 17, said the boys had robbed nearly every store in town. Every two weeks they made trips to St. Louis and sold their plunder to a man on Market street. The boys say he encouraged them to bring property to him. The store of Hermon Cole was robbed one week ago last Sunday, and the young burglars took six revolvers, ten knives, and a quantity of razors. They robbed Pitts & Hamill a short time ago and took a large quantity of cutlery, hair clippers, etc.  The boys were adept in burglary. Kyle admitted being the smoothest in the bunch, and the boys say that he did all the planning. He is 13. His confederates say he will be the best burglar in the country before he is much older. Yaller Waters, they said, was not in the burglary and was not identified by the St. Louis man as one who sold goods to him. He was discharged. Other boys were in the burglary business and had been making a good living. Sims says they have been doing thieving since they were little boys, and always made a living at it in the summer when they were not working at the glassworks. They were implicated in some watch stealing last June, and several of them were sent to the reform school. The worst of the crowd was young Kyle, and he is accused of having planned and assisted in executing some of the most daring robberies the juvenile band of robbers committed. Sims says that Kyle has over $200 buried in his cellar, and that he made it all by stealing. Kyle, he said, always received the largest share as he was captain, although the smallest and youngest of the band.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 17, 1901

The new Beall Shovel factory is now running full blast, with every machine working to its utmost capacity. Several carloads of additional machinery for the factory have been ordered, duplicating some of the machines now running. The wood work department contains nine machines for transforming the lumber into shovel and pick handles. The Messrs. Beall have ordered the unsawed logs for sawing in their own works from which the handles will be made. In the iron department there are nearly a dozen machines for transferring the sheet iron into the complete and highly polished shovel. One machine cuts out a piece of iron for one shovel. This piece is then put into an oil furnace and heated to red heat, placed in another machine where it is again stamped by a 120,000 ton pressure and pressed in the exact shape of the shovel desired. From this machine the shovel is turned over to another for further shaping and fitting on the handle, and then to another for finishing touches such as grinding on the emery wheel, etc. The Beall's are rushed with orders, and it will take the entire capacity of the plant to turn out sufficient shovels to fill the orders. There is something like $30,000 now invested in the plant, with additions yet to be made. when it is remembered how the Beall's started some eighteen years ago on Belle street in one small shop with one small trip hammer, and the gigantic proportions of their present plant, a good idea of the business energy, enterprise and successful financiering manifested by the firm can be obtained. Another feature of the Beall's factory is that not a single article manufactured by them is sold in Alton, and every dollar of their net earnings is put into Alton either in the shape of machinery, enlarging their plant, or in-dwelling houses to accommodate the rapidly growing population of this city.





Carnival Spirit Rampant/Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 20, 1901

The Alton people entered with spirit into the carnival festivities, and the old town is being roused into the carnival fever with rollicking festivities. The first night was a great success. Thousands of people were downtown surging to and fro in great throngs, and everyone was entering into the season with a spirit that promises to make Alton hum before the end of the week. Everyone is mixing up with everyone else, elbowing each other through the crowds and having a good time. As the evening wore away, the crowd, impatient at the delay in the beginning of the attractions caused by the failure in making electric light connections, began to give full sway to the dominating carnival spirit, and there was a wild time until midnight. Everything done was given and taken in good part and there was none who did not enjoy himself. Some rode the camels and others threw confetti. The rubber ball merchant did a thriving business and there was a continual bombardment with the little carnival favorites on all sides. The din and uproar was deafening until a late hour. Occasionally the crowd that thronged the square gave way to a street car and then closed in again. The main shows and the free attractions were ready for business late in the evening. When the shows opened, there was a general rush for them, and the rush kept up until after 11 o'clock. The spiral tower act on Market street before the post office was a pretty one, and the display of fireworks was very entertaining. At Second and Spring streets the Frees Bros. will give a free trapeze performance at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily. At Washington street the Rozart Bros. and Frees barrel performance will take place at 2:30 and 9 p.m. daily. At Henry street the electric fountain gives a display in the evening at 8 p.m., which is free and last evening proved very popular. Tomorrow will be Macoupin county day, and the program will consist of the band concert by the White Hussars in the afternoon and the opening of the Midway at 1:30 p.m.  The Phillion tower performance will be given in the afternoon also. In the evening the band will give a concert at 7 p.m., and the electric fountain will play at 8 p.m.


Edwardsville Coming to Jubilee/Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 21, 1901

Preparations for the presence at the carnival of a large number from the county seat are well under way. Friday afternoon, which has been set aside for Edwardsvillians, will see a great delegation of the latter as guests of their west side neighbors. The miners' union, it is understood, has decided to attend, some 150 men; the tire company is going; the members of the Edwardsville Club, who were invited to be present on Club Day, will instead join the other townsmen on Edwardsville Day. A list has been circulated for signatures of merchants who would close their places of business for one afternoon, and all but one or two subscribed to the plan and will close up shop after noon on Friday. Tickets are being sold by several business men who have consented to help push the matter. They will be good on any train on Friday and cost 40 cents for the round trip, a great reduction from the regular rate. It is expected, however, that the great majority from the county seat will go over on the special train, which will leave the uptown depot at 1:45. Get a ticket and go over to see the show, thus giving yourself a good time and evincing a timely interest in our neighbor. Edwardsville should and will make a good showing at the Alton carnival. There will be no difficulty in returning, as that has been attended to, a special train leaving Alton at 10 o'clock at night. ~Edwardsville Intelligencer.


A Meritorious Entertainment/Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 21, 1901

The Canton Carnival Company has come to Alton, the people have had an opportunity to pass upon the merits of the entertainment afforded and the unanimous verdict is that the street fair attractions are almost uniformly first class, and that a class of entertainment is afforded that is really worth many times the price of admission charged. The stories circulated against the company in Alton before its advent have been thoroughly disproved. The Streets of India is an entertainment that no one should miss. The features are all strong and the acrobatic specialties shown there have pleased and puzzled everyone who has seen them. Seemingly impossible feats were performed last evening before a large crowd of spectators, and every person there was well pleased with the entertainment. It is worth many times the price of admission. The wild animal show is an excellent attraction and vies with the midgets, the two little people who do wonderful things, as centers of attractions for the children and the old folks who take the children. The animals are well trained and are handsome specimens of their races. The electric theater, the flying lady, the stone lady and many others that are on exhibition behind the doors are very pleasing. The spiral tower act is very pretty and at the same time a hazardous exhibition. It attracts large crowds every time Phyllion makes his perilous trip up and down the tower. With perhaps one exception, there is none of the shows that cannot be seen by mixed audiences, and everyone is pleased by them. The visitors in town go away strong boosters for the street fair when they see the good attractions we have furnished, and Alton people are doing their best to boost. The streets last evening were again packed with people downtown and everyone abandoned himself to the wild carnival spirit. Alton people and their guests are having a good time at their street fair and everyone is becoming an earnest booster.


Alton Jubilee Continues to Increase Its Success and Crowds Growing/Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 22, 1901

As the days of the Alton jubilee slip by, the popularity of the festivities is waxing. The attendance increases each day over the attendance of the day before. The crowds on the streets in the afternoons and evenings are larger and more hilarious. The people have a better time, notwithstanding the fact that they are being tired out. Last night, the streets were thronged with a gay multitude until nearly midnight. Everyone was in fine humor and confetti throwing, the rubber ball and noise-making apparatus were at the height of their glory. The streets of India continue to be very popular and entertain large crowds twice a day. The performers in the company are high grade artists and have pleased everyone. The animal show and the midgets vie in popularity, and both are favorite places. The crowds on the streets today were the largest since the jubilee began. The Big Four, Alton, Burlington, Bluff Line and the Illinois Terminal [railroads] brought thousands of people to town. The visitors began arriving early in the day, and before 9 o'clock the streets were thronged with people who were having a good time and were seeing the sights. The street fair attractions opened early and did a rushing business. Everyone was well patronized and the lunch counter men prospered. It was a great day for Alton. An estimate of the number of visitors in town today would be difficult to make as every wagon road was lined with vehicles coming in and all the public conveyances had more than they could conveniently attend to. The crowds were the greatest ever gathered at any time in Madison county. A meeting of citizens was called this morning to make final arrangements for meeting the St. Louis guests of honor at noon. The members of the committee appointed were: J. A. Cousley, J. J. McInerney, J. J. Brenholt, J. H. Raible, Will Joesting, George Colonius, C. A. Caldwell, Dr. G. Taphorn, H. K. Johnston, G. M. Levis, Ed Beall, J. D. McAdams, J. M. Rhoads, T. H. Kauffman, L. Pfeiffenberger, Judge A. W. Hope, A. Schlafly, O. S. Stowell, J. F. Porter, L. F. Schussler, John Dawson, D. R. Sparks. A sub-committee was appointed to meet the members of the South Broadway Merchants Association who arrived on the Burlington at noon. Hon. Henry G. McPike was appointed chairman of the Reception committee and had charge of the reception. The City of Providence with 3,500 people on board and the members of the board of directors of the World's Fair stuck hard on a sandbar at the Chain of Rocks and could not be taken off. The St. Louis harbor boat and another boat were dispatched to assist, but at late hour it seemed probable that the boat would not arrive. It was a great disappointment to the crowd gathered to help celebrate the day.


Keep Your Guns Loaded and Your Dogs Unmuzzled Tonight/Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 24, 1901

Tonight being the last night of the Carnival, the danger of a general assault by thieves, house breakers, etc. becomes intensified, and Chief Volbracht desires to give special warning to our people and to urge them to use extra vigilance tonight. Bar doors and windows, he says, and keep lights burning all night. Thieves hate and fear the light. Leave someone at home if you come downtown. If you have no member of the family you can leave, hire somebody. You will be richer when you return home probably than you will be by doing some other way. "Nobody ever robbed me" is an all right assertion as far as it goes. You have been lucky, that's all, and there is a first time you know. Your first time may come tonight.


The Fools' Carnival - Thousands on the Streets Reveling in Carnival Sports/Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 24, 1901

Of all the nights of the Twentieth Century Jubilee, last night was the wildest. The evening was supposed to be devoted to a fool's carnival, and the people were permitted to mask, but few did so. Most of the revelers preferred to go it without masks, the heat being too oppressive for disguises. Many thousands of people roamed the streets downtown and made the town uproarious. Everything but rubber balls was tolerated, and the new fad of powder throwing was carried to the extreme. All kinds of white powder was used, including flower, corn starch and borated talcum. Powder was thrown into the faces and eyes of the carnival revelers, and the only thing to be done was to retaliate. White stuff was in great demand, and the dealers' supply was exhausted. Until near midnight the streets were crowded and the revelers seemed loath to go home. Everyone was in the best of humor and even the most staid and dignified citizen invested in confetti and threw it in self-defense. Parties of young people paraded the streets deluging everyone in their path with the bits of paper and white stuff. Clothes were ruined for hundreds of people, and the cleaners will have more than they can attend to. The visitors had just as much fun as the home people, and everyone seemed to be pleased. The shows were well patronized all evening.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 27, 1901

John Culp & Son of Fosterburg have opened a wholesale store for the sale of straw, hay and grain, at Second and George streets.



105 DAYS ON THE ROCK PILE FOR WISHING PRESIDENT McKINLEY DEAD [McKinley had been shot by an assassin September 6, and was clinging to life. He died September 14.]

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 11, 1901

Police Magistrate Few and City Attorney Lynn concluded this morning that 105 days on the rock pile is deserved punishment for a man who would say that he wished the President would die from the assassin's bullet. David Shields is the man who was fined this morning in the police court for this offense. The fine is $50 and costs, and the sentence imposed by the Police Magistrate is 105 days on the rock pile. Shields says his father was a soldier, and that his home is St. Louis. He was begging on the streets, using the pretext that he was crippled and unable to earn a living. Last night he insulted two ladies near Third and Piasa streets, and Officer Thomas, witnessing the offense, promptly placed Shields under arrest and was compelled to use physical punishment to force the man to go to the police station. On the way, Officer Thomas says, Shields became very abusive and expressed the wish that President McKinley would die from the effects of the wound he received at the hands of Czolgosz. The officer became so enraged at this offense that he added a few additional taps to the punishment he had administered, and then locked Shields in jail. This morning Shields begged piteously for mercy, but his record was looked up and it was found that he had been shown clemency before when accused of begging in the city. Police Magistrate Few said that he would fine the man $25 and costs for begging, and $25 for making the remark about the President. Shields begged again to be allowed to go free, but the heart of the Police Magistrate was steeled against him and he informed the culprit that he would have a boarding place until the frosts of winter come. Shields is a hearty looking individual, and excepting a slightly contorted hand, is able-bodied and will make a good workman on the city's rock pile gang.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 18, 1901

Alton will honor the memory of William McKinley tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock, in a meeting to be held in the public ground in the rear of the Madison Hotel. Everyone in all the Altons is invited to join in the meeting, and it is a special request that every person attending the services wear an emblem of mourning for the dead President. It was requested at a meeting of citizens held last evening in the Council Chamber that all business men be respectfully requested to close their places of business the entire day, and that everyone participate in the memorial. Hon. Henry G. McPike was chosen chairman of the meeting, and by virtue of his position of chairman he has been chosen by the speakers committee to preside at the meeting tomorrow and introduce the speakers. On request of the citizen's meeting, all the bells in the city on the various churches, school houses and the fire houses will be tolled during the time beginning about fifteen minutes before the hour for the memorial services. It is suggested that the bells be tolled 59 strokes for the 59 years of McKinley's age......




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 20, 1901

Chris Ulrich, night watchman at Beall Bros., discovered flames issuing from the Kremer buildings on Belle street between Fourth and Fifth streets at 3:20 o'clock this morning, and at once gave the alarm. All the fire companies responded, and by hard work prevented the destruction of the entire block. As it is, the bowling alleys and building, the Kremer saloon and the restaurant which has been conducted by Richard Eck, are in ruins, and the rear end of the Alton saloon, whose entrance is on Fourth street, is badly damaged, and the contents of the building, the upstairs part of which is occupied by the proprietor, Ben Miles, are practically ruined by dirt and water. the fire started in the rear part of the Kremer saloon it is said, and Mr. Kremer says was caused by a live wire, in all probability. Others say the fire started in the kitchen of the restaurant. This is denied by Mr. Eck, who says there was absolutely no fire left in the kitchen. He at first said he thought the fire was of incendiary origin, but later inclined to the live wire theory. He and his wife and four year old child were asleep upstairs at the time of the fire, and barely escaped with their lives and in their night clothes. He says he had $240 in cash under his pillow, which together with everything else in the rooms was destroyed. The Kremer saloon was one of the finest in the city, and its fixtures, etc., were of the most costly kind. Mr. Kremer owned the three buildings destroyed, and the damage will amount to $12,000 or $13,000 he says. The Miles property is damaged to the extent of $1,500. Mr. Kremer says he is carrying about $4,500 insurance, while Mr. Miles is carrying only about $700, it is said. Mayor Young was present all through the fire and made one of the best firefighters. Gus Miller was back in his fire fighting clothes, and did excellent service. Hundreds of citizens were present also. The walls of all the Kremer buildings are left standing and in a good condition, and it is Mr. Kremer's intention to rebuild as soon as the adjusters finish their work. Considerable money was in the saloon part, but it was saved together with most of the contents. It was a bad fire, but it could have been very much worse, and for a time Morgenroth's place, Noll's Bakery, Raible's liquor house and the Seibold Bros.' stables appeared doomed. McKinney's agency had $500 loss in the fire. The adjuster of the company arrived in town this morning and adjusted the loss at once, and Mr. Kremer received a check for the loss in McKinney's agency before noon.  [Note:  The Kremer Bowling Alley was located at 409 Belle Street, near the current Hayner Library location.]




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 21, 1901

The Board of Directors of the Spalding Club building on Belle street are more than pleased with the financial success that has attended the erection of that building from the start, and the managers are forced by progressing prosperity and the demands of the persistent would-be-patrons to enlarge the edifice, or erect a new one. They cannot enlarge the ground floor part, as the ground is not just now obtainable, and it has been decided practically to add another story, modernize it in every way, equip it with all accessories to comfort, including elevators, and make of the Spalding building one of the finest in the city. The Knights of Columbus, an organization which is growing rapidly, will occupy much, if not all of the third floor, and it will be modeled to suit their wants - with lodge halls, banquet rooms, ante chambers, cloak rooms, etc. Other organizations may use it, but it will belong to the Knights who are willing, it is said, to enter into a long lease contract. The addition of another story to the building will make the Spalding easily the most conspicuous building on Belle street, as well as the most profitable. The success of the directorate with the financial end of the proposition cannot but please Altonians generally, as it is confirmation strong that good, conveniently arranged buildings in Alton are paying investments, even though they are - like the Spalding - a little removed from the business center.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 26, 1901

The Kinloch telephone company had a force of men at work last night again, setting poles by moonlight. So much opposition has been made to the setting of poles in certain parts of the city [Alton], that it was found necessary to go about the work secretly. Last night a hole was dug on city hall square near the watering trough, and it was intended to raise a pole there. The night police notified the Chief of Police, and he ordered the work stopped. A watchman to prevent the placing of the pole on the square was stationed. Many poles were erected last night where property owners were opposed to them. The Kinloch company is acting in bad faith with both the city and the citizens. The franchise granted the company stipulated that the poles should be set under the direction of the city engineer. Now the employees of the company are going around at midnight and are putting their poles in places where they have no right, in hopes that when the poles are once in the city, the citizens will submit to their illegal work. The city council should see to it that its stipulations are carried out, or revoke the company's franchise. The Kinloch corporation should be willing to be decent, provided such a characteristic is in their makeup.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 26, 1901

The Kinloch Telephone Company, last night, sometime after midnight Mr. McPike says, erected a pole in front of the McPike building on Second, near Piasa street. They had been forbidden to do so by Mr. McPike, and once before he began legal proceedings against the company but dropped them after satisfactory assurances were given him that the obstructions should not be placed in front of his premises. Today he entered suit against the Kinloch Long Distance Company in Justice Nathan's court for $200 damages. He says he will also get out an injunction against the company. The trial is set for October 3, at 2 o'clock.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 28, 1901

A train crew on the Alton had a perilous ride last night on a train of loaded coal cars that were running away with the engine. It was a hair-raising experience, and the men had a close call for death, but they stuck to their posts, and after doing all in their power to stop the runaway, they bravely stayed with their train, ready to jump if anything went wrong. The train consisted of seven coal cars, most of them the large, heavy ones of steel, and all of them heavily loaded. On the steep grade near the Summit, the train got away from the engine, that is the engine which was in front was unable to hold them back, and the mad ride started. Working in the reverse motion, the engine could not stay the great weight of the heavy cars on the incline, and in a few seconds it had become a lottery in which the chances of life for the crew were less than equal with those of death. Down Piasa street the shrieking locomotive came, pushed onward by the momentum of the weight of coal and cars. The engineer and fireman stuck to the cab and the remainder of the crew, after trying to set the brakes, gathered at the back of the train ready to jump in case the cars should leave the tracks. Down Piasa street at midnight, running fully sixty miles an hour, the runaway dashed and rounded the curve, the whistle shrieking the signal to the man at the signal tower to line up the track. It was an awful moment of suspense for the crew until they saw as they approached near the inter-locking plant at Langdon street, that the switch had been thrown and the track lined up for the runaway. Had there been failure on the part of the tower man to be quick enough, or had he misunderstood the shrieks of alarm, it would have been all over with the train crew. Over the switches of the interlocker the train sped in safety, and after a long run the engine in the breeching succeeded in stopping the train. It was 45 minutes before the train could be brought back from the end of its wild run.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 2, 1901

The hungry fire-fiend devoured almost the entire block of milling property and business houses bounded by Second [Broadway], State, Piasa streets and the levee this morning. The fire originated in the top floor of the Stanard mill, and is supposed to have been caused by the ignition of mill dust or by an electric wire. Within a few minutes after the fire was discovered at 10:20 o'clock, the mill was doomed and the entire block of valuable business property was threatened with destruction. A hundred volunteer firemen sprang from the numbers of onlookers and helped the firefighters effectively. Men climbed to the roof of the barrel house of the Stanard elevator, and with a hose disputed the progress of the flames until the firemen were driven down by the heat and smoke. From the Stanard mill the flames spread to the barrel house and from there to the big elevator. Within the elevator was stored 100,000 bushels of wheat. When the fire took the elevator, it was evident that the block of property could be saved only by heroic work and by the cessation of the fierce gale which was blowing out of the northwest. The firemen on the levee side of the block were driven from their posts of duty repeatedly by the onslaughts of smoke, flame and heat, but they returned as many times and renewed the fight. The building adjoining the Standard property on the west, owned by the Rider estate, was saved in a damaged condition by the wind and the work of the helpers of the firemen, together with assistance given by Mr. W. B. Pierce and his men. The buildings on the north side of Second street took fire repeatedly during the mill fire, but were saved with but little water damage. From the Stanard elevator the fire caught on the Hayden Machine Company's shops and the building adjoining it on the east, the Alton Electric Elevator & Milling Co.  The flames fed on this building greedily, and soon the hope of saving it was abandoned and efforts to stay the fire were concentrated on the Meehan building next door. The top and back end of the building were destroyed and the front was saved, the stock of goods inside being almost a complete loss. On the south side of the block the high wind carried the fire to the double store building of M. Wilkinson and the rear end of the building occupied by Miessner's saloon was almost consumed. Here the firefighters made a new stand and concentrated their efforts anew to stopping the fire there. It was feared that nothing could be done to save the building of H. G. McPike, occupied by the Sentinel-Democrat, the Boston Store and J. H. McPike's corrugated paper plant. All the property in the building was removed in wagons, and while the loss on stock will be heavy, it will not be total. The sufferers by today's fire are the E. O. Stanard Milling Company, G. D. Hayden Machine Company, Alton Electric Roller Milling Company, J. Mechan, Emil Miessner, Stiritz & Rudershauson, Dennis Noonan, I. H. Kelly, Boston Store, J. H. McPike, and the Sentinel-Democrat. The losses to some will be slight, but all lost in their stock, and the insurance will be comparatively light. It is said by Mr. T. H. Kaffman that the Standard elevator contained fully 100,000 bushels of wheat, which is nearly covered by insurance. The elevator was worth about $40,000, and the milling property, consisting of a double mill, was worth about $100,000.


When word came that the St. Louis fire department would come to give help, the situation was almost hopeless. The high wind blowing from the northwest had carried the fire on the roofs of the buildings on the east side of the block, and the McPike building had begun to show smoke. The efforts of the firemen were not required to prevent the spread of the fire to the west side of the block, as the wind had done the work of protection, and not a particle of burning wood nor any water had done damage in the Alton Roller Mill and the Bowman building adjoining it on the west. It was a very fortunate escape for the two buildings and also for the H. K. Johnston Hardware Company's stores, which was in imminent danger of destruction for fully an hour. While the fire was at its height, the business men on Third street, fearing that the entire business part of the city would be destroyed, began carrying out portions of their stock and placing valuable papers in places of safety. Great vans of goods rushed to and fro among the onlookers, trying to carry off the property being taken from the buildings. Thousands of people stood on the streets and questioned as to what would happen within the next hour, and the suspense was dreadful. Firemen escaped from falling walls as if by miracle. One big section of the smoke stack on the Stanard mill fell shortly after the fire started, and dropped where a group of firemen had been standing when it started to fall. The men escaped by leaving the hose. Freight cars on the levee tracks were destroyed and their contents were burned. Switch engines saved many cars by pulling them to places of safety. The fire department left St. Louis at 11:50 and made the run to Alton in 27 minutes, coming by way of Eads bridge. The special train brought companies 18 and 39, in charge of Assistant Chief Busch and Ben Swingley, secretary of Chief Swingley. Two engines, two hose trucks and twenty men were in the two companies. The men had the fastest ride of their lives coming to Alton, as it was reported that the whole city was burning and the need was urgent. The St. Louis companies on their arrival here were taken to the river and Assistant Chief Busch soon had four powerful streams playing on the flames. By that time the fire was under control. The firemen at 1 o'clock had subdued the fire sufficiently to make all danger a thing of the past. It was found that the buildings of M. Wilkinson were not badly damaged, and that of J. Meehan not entirely destroyed. The wheat in the Stanard elevator still burned fiercely all afternoon, and Ben Swingley said that the wheat will probably burn a month. Owing to the compactness of the mass and its combustibility, the water has little effect.


The losses cannot be exactly ascertained, but as near as it is possible to estimate, the damage done will exceed $325,000. The following is a statement of the respective losses of the victims of the fire:


E. O. Stanard Milling Company


Alton Electric Elevator Company (including loss on building and stock)


J. C. Meehan


George D. Hayden Machine Company


M. Wilkinson


E. Miessner, saloon


Stiritz & Company, bowling alleys



In addition to these losses by fire directly, the loss to some of the people who removed their goods from the store and who suffered from water and smoke will be very heavy.


After playing on the flames until 3 o'clock, the St. Louis companies left the fire to the care of the Alton men and returned to their places in St. Louis.


An interesting incident of the fire was enacted in the engine room of the Stanard mill, where the flames were hottest and there was danger every minute that the walls would fall in. The engineer of the mill, John Edgar, after it was evident that nothing could save the mill, stuck by his engine in the basement and kept it running until he had filled the boilers with water, so that they might not be damaged by the heat and fire. The firemen called to him to come out, but he refused to do so, staying at his post of duty until his work was completed. In the meantime, the fire had taken possession and Mr. Edgar had a close call.


Captain Largent's packet shed and freight house on the levee caught fire and burned rapidly. Capt. Largent, who has been very ill in his room there, was lone and too weak to move or assist himself. He was thought of, however, and saved just in the nick of time. Several boxcars on the levee were destroyed and ties and other railroad property burned. The entire City Hall square was covered with goods of all description, taken from threatened buildings.  Again and again the cry of "more pressure" was heard from the firemen. Men went white faced with fear that the entire business part of the city would be destroyed, and only that the wind did not veer is due the fact that Third street business houses are not now in ashes. It was an awful fire, and Alton fire department and the citizens who assisted deserve the greatest credit for having put it under control. It seemed an impossible thing to do.  The loss of the Boston Store is about $8,000.  Covered by insurance. Marshall Scovill brought down the Upper Alton fire department with fire-fighting apparatus, and the boys did a great deal of effective work. A great many of the merchants of Third street, fearing the fire would spread in that direction, secured all available teams and moved much of their stock to a place of safety. Fortunately it was the "ounce of prevention" that was not needed. Alton is full of volunteer firemen just as the country is full of volunteer soldiers when they are needed.


The Stanard mills were built in 1866 by Silas W. Farber, and were conducted by Mr. Farber until his death.  J. Q. Hurbridge purchased the mills from the Farber estate, and after a few years sold the plant to Gov. E. O. Stanard of St. Louis, who refitted, remodeled and placed in it the most approved machinery. He also a few years later erected an elevator with the capacity of 250,000 bushels of wheat. It was a fine warehouse, for the storage of flour was built between the mill and the elevator. This was well filled with flour which was awaiting shipment. Two years ago the mill machinery was changed and machinery for manufacturing spring (or hard) wheat was put in. The capacity of the mill was1,500 barrels per day. A new and more powerful engine from the Eagle mill in St. Louis was put into the mill here last spring, and the machinery was all in first class condition and orders for flour were piling up in the office. The plant employed some fifty men, and the Alton people regret the misfortune which has befallen Gov. Stanard, whom they have always considered one of our people. The destruction of this fine property will be taken as personal loss by Altonians generally.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 3, 1901

The E. O. Stanard Milling company's property may be rebuilt, Gov. Stanard said yesterday in reply to an inquiry as to the intention of his company, that it was then too soon to make positive statement, and he declined to make any statement until a decision had been reached to rebuild the burned mill. Mr. W. K. Stanard was in Alton yesterday and said that the mill would probably be rebuilt. It has been one of the best paying pieces of mill property the company owned, and it has been kept running steadily while other mills belonging to the same company were closed. For this reason it is believed the mill will be again erected and will be built on more modern plans than the burned property was. The Stanard mills are one of the best industries in the city, and Alton people will be interested to learn when a decision regarding rebuilding has been reached. Mr. H. M. Schweppe said that his building, occupied by the Hayden Machine company, will be rebuilt and work will be started in a short time. Mr. Hayden's loss is almost total, as he carried about $8,000 worth of machinery and stock and only $800 insurance. The owners of the Electric Roller Mill Company are undecided what course to pursue. The plant was about to change owners, Mrs. Margaret Luly having all but closed a deal for the sale of the interest of her deceased husband, and the deal was to have been consummated yesterday. The loss is very heavy, as the insurance was comparatively light. Mr. Reyland was informed during the progress of the fire that several policies held by him had been canceled, but he had not bee notified, and it is probable that the insurance companies may be held responsible.


Today the victims of the big fire were preparing to make their claims against the various insurance companies. The heaviest loser is the McKinney agency. Dr. McKinney said today that the losses of companies represented by him will aggregate $400,000.  The G. H. Smiley agency will be next, with $40,000 on the Stanard mill and $8,000 on the remaining property. The Stamper agency lost $26,00; the Blair agency $20,500; S. F. Connor agency $5,000; Sonntag $7,500; Frank Fisher $5,500. The Mahoney agency represented losses amounting to $40,000; C. A. Schlueter $2,000; F. S. Dodge $8,500.  Mr. John Meehan will rebuild at once. His loss was $8,000 and his insurance was $4,000.


The Stanard damages total and the losses will be hardly covered by insurance. The insurance policies were collected today, and the total of insurance is $204,000. The milling company's net loss will be nearly $220,000, unless the hopes of some of the insurance men are realized. It is said by some of the men interested in the fire that one third of the wheat in the elevator can be saved. If this can be done, the net loss will be wiped out and the actual damages will be covered by insurance. Mr. E. O. Stanard was in Alton today, and he said that the wreck was the most complete he ever saw. He still declined to say whether the mill will be rebuilt, and reserved his decision until the loses by fire are adjusted by the insurance company. All the losses are so divided among the various companies that none will lose very heavily, fully seventy-five companies being interested in the fire. The adjusters began arriving in town today and began settling up the claims for small amounts. The owners of buildings on the north side of Second street have been settled with, and the larger claims will be adjusted within a few days.


All day today streams of water were kept playing on the still smoking ruins. Nothing has been done to clear the wreck. Some of the old walls are standing in a perilous condition, and will be pulled down, but people are barred from going on the street except at their own risk.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 3, 1901

An attempt to set fire to the Ryder building adjoining the Alton Roller Mill on the east side, and which marks the extreme western limits of the fire line, was made this morning at 1 o'clock. George Redmond is in jail charged with being responsible for the attempt, and is being held until tomorrow, when the witnesses against him will have been secured. Redmond and Thomas Knight, a colored man, were employed during the fire yesterday, and last night were hired by the Alton Roller Milling company and Ira Garstang to watch the property and give notice of any further outbreaks of fire. Early in the evening fire broke out along the timbers on the first floor in the Ryder building, which had been occupied by the Alton Novelty Co.  On this account it was feared fire might break out again, and the two watchmen were engaged to spend the night. Thomas Knight, the colored man, says that George Redmond ignited a pile of papers on the second floor of the Ryder estate building by using his lantern. Redmond says the lantern exploded, but this seems hardly probably as the globe was found entire in one place, the bowl in another, undamaged, and the wick of the lantern was in the burning pile of papers and straw. All the hose companies responded to the alarm of fire, and after the excitement had passed and the building was drenched with water, Knight's story was heard and Redmond was placed under arrest. Knight also is being detained as a witness. Mr. H. J. Bowman, trustee of the Ryder estate, and Mr. W. B. Pierce of the Alton Roller MIll, are indignant at the attempt to burn them out after they had escaped destruction during the big fire yesterday. Redmond will probably be prosecuted. The only reason to be assigned is that Redmond was very drunk or insane. Redmond was arrested by Officer Utt. He denied setting the building afire, but he told so many conflicting stories when taken in custody that Capt. Young of the night police decided to hold him. The burner of the lamp was found at the south end of the building, lying on the sidewalk, where it had been thrown, and the remainder of the lamp was found at the north end of the building.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 5, 1901

It is probable that Alton will again have the Stanard mills. It is said on good authority the new mill will be erected on the site of the old mill, but some concessions will be asked from the city of Alton, which will in all probability be granted. The plans for a new mill have been prepared, and it is intended to make the new property much larger than the old. The mill will have a capacity of 1,800 to 2,000 barrels a day, and will be constructed on most modern plans. The steel grain tanks that it is proposed to erect on the levee will greatly lessen the probable damage of a fire, and also will diminish the danger of a conflagration. The old mill will be much improved upon, and the new Stanard mills will be the finest in this part of the country. It is said that definite announcement of the plans of the Stanard Milling Company will be made this week. The city Council will, no doubt, grant to the Stanard Milling Company any reasonable concessions that may be asked in the way of privileges on the levee. Alton's levee is for the use of her manufacturing industries, and anything that will benefit them will be granted, if within the power of the City Council.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 7, 1901

The Stanard Milling Company has decided to rebuild in Alton if it can obtain the following, which it will ask for at the next meeting of the city council: An extension of the Smith track on the levee past the mill, so as to give them another switch track; the privilege of erecting two steel grain tanks on the levee; and the privilege of running a water pipe across the levee from the mills to the river. All of these requests are easy and will be granted, excepting the Smith track extension, which will require some engineering and the consent of the Chicago & Alton. But this latter can be gained, it is thought.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 8, 1901

It is stated that the new Stanard Mill will be five stories high and most complete and up-to-date in every particular. The warehouse will be three stories in height. It is the intention to have the engine and boiler on the ground floor, practically without a basement, as there is always danger when the river is high that water will damage everything in the cellar. It is proposed to erect, (if permission is given by the City Council, and indeed, the re-location of the mill here is based upon what the Council will do) a tank elevator on the levee for the storage of wheat. This will permit the delivery of wheat from steamboats on the south side, and from cars on the north side. As is said above, the re-location of the mill is largely dependent upon the public spirit manifested by the Council. The concessions asked by the owners of the Stanard Mill are conservative. There is nothing the city cannot readily grant. The two items of granting permission to locate the elevator on the levee and to run a water pipe to the river are very reasonable indeed. The levee is now practically a switching yard for the railroads. The extension of the "Smith track" to the mills is practically in the hands of the C. & A. railway, and as that road is now engaged in securing manufacturing institutions along its line, it will no doubt be ready to do its part towards extending the track, if the Council gives its permission. The Telegraph believes that the Council will be in line with public policy, and its act will be heartily approved by the people, to grant the requests of the Stanard Milling Co. That company in the past has paid from $500 to $700 per week wages. The new mill will have nearly double the capacity of the old, and no doubt its payroll will be almost doubled, to say nothing of the large sums paid out to farmers for wheat.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 13, 1901

Hon. E. O. Stanard conferred with the Levee and Railroad committees of the City Council and Mayor Young, regarding the facilities on the levee and concessions, and at the close of the conference it was announced by Gov. Stanard that the mills will certainly be built here. Work will be started within a week, possibly in four days. The committees granted to Gov. Stanard permission to erect grain tanks on the levee. He then said that he does not desire to erect the grain tanks on the levee, if he can avoid it. He prefers to erect his elevators in the old place, and to have the switch track re-arranged on the levee to be more convenient. Either the Smith track will be extended or the other tracks re-arranged. A meeting of the railroads owning the tracks on the levee will be called to be held in this city next Wednesday to consider re-arranging the tracks. All the railroads are willing to rearrangement of shipping facilities. Permission was also given to lay a water pipe to the river. Gov. Stanard then said that he thanked the committee more than he could express. He said that the readiness with which all his requests were granted clinched the decision to rebuild the mill in Alton. He said no time will be lost, as it is desired to have the new mill building up at the earliest date possible.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 20, 1901

The Stanard Milling Company began work today making excavations for the foundation for the mill and the piers to support the structure. Gov. Stanard says that he expects the laying of the foundation stones to be started by next Tuesday.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 9, 1901

An East St. Louis firm, the Southern Illinois Construction Company, captured the contract for erecting the building for the new Stanard mill, the accepted bid being $29,931. There were four bidders, James Stewart & Co., $32,600; C. F. Degenhardt, $32,000; E. J. Ash, $30,640.  Mr. Ash represented a pool of Alton contractors who tried for the contract. The new mill building must be completed by March 15, ready for the machinery. For every day after that time the mill is incomplete, the contractors must pay a penalty of $50 a day; and for every day under that time the contractor will receive a bonus of $25. It is said all the material will be furnished by outsiders, and it is probable that much of the work will be done by outsiders also.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 14, 1901

The success of the Federal Lead Company's deal for the purchase of a tract of 100 acres for a site for a smelter was assured this afternoon. The deal was being closed up at a late hour this afternoon by Messrs. G. M. Levis, J. F. Porter, James Duncan, and a representative of the Federal Lead Company, who met Mr. William Feldwisch today and made the bargain for the land. To put the deal through it was necessary to buy 124 acres of land, and this amount was taken. In the presence of J. F. Porter, James Duncan and G. M. Levis this afternoon, Mr. Feldwisch agreed to sell the 124 acres of land for $300 an acre. The accretions to the land also must be taken by the Federal Lead Co., and over these secretions there is a dispute as to title. It will be necessary to raise several thousands of dollars to buy these accretions, as they are claimed by two men, M. H. Boals and William Feldwisch, and they must be bought twice. Mr. Porter said this afternoon at 4:30 o'clock that he is certain the deal will go through. The Federal Lead Company will begin work at once on the buildings for its smelter, when the deeds are transferred.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 17, 1901

A daring robbery was committed at the Boston Store last evening, shortly after 9 o'clock. A gang of river pirates, probably part of a gang that has been plundering stores and towns up the river the last year, dropped into Alton and after picking up two boatloads of clothing went on their way. Officer Thomas saw the robbers in the store shortly after 9 o'clock, and thinking that they were clerks connected with the store working in the stock, passed on without disturbing them. Later in the evening Mr. J. H. McPike was passing the levee side of the store and noticed the door had been broken open. A part of the glass in the door was broken out, and the key on the inside was turned by the robbers inserting a hand through the hole in the glass. The alarm was given, and the police made a search through the store. The stock was found in a state of wild disorder. Mr. Rolb(?) was summoned, and he says that 210 suits of boy's and men's clothing was stolen, also shoes, ladies silk waists and many other articles of apparel. A search of the cellar revealed a man lying covered under a pile of paper, pretending to be asleep. The man said he had been there several hours sleeping, and feigned intoxication. He was arrested. William Saul and another man complained to the police that their skiffs were stolen during the night and it was supposed that the robbers took the skiffs to transport their booty. It is believed that the man under arrest was one of the gang of robbers and that when the gang was discovered at work by Mr. J. H. McPike they fled. The man, who is under arrest, probably fell into the cellar, and fearing discovery, crawled under a pile of loose paper to hide, where he was discovered by Officer Thomas and J. H. McPike. Whole piles of clothing were carried away and many piles were pushed off the tables by the robbers in their hasty flight with their plunder. Saul is suspected by the police with having been implicated in the robbery. He was very drunk this morning and is being held until he sobers up and can tell a straight story. The other man found in the cellar and arrested by Officer Thomas is also being held and will be given a hearing tomorrow in the police court. Chief of Police Volbracht said today that he will be held, as Officer Utt saw the man talking to the men supposed to have committed the robbery, a short time before the robbery occurred, and he was standing near the Boston Store. The prisoner in jail, who was found in the cellar of the store, gives his name John Felder of Excelsior Springs, Mo.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 1, 1901

Early risers this morning in the vicinity of Sixth and Ridge streets were horrified to see the form of a man lying on the sidewalk in a big pool of blood, and to see also a stream of carmine [Red color] extending from the body along the sidewalk down to and into the gutter. A foul murder had been committed. There was no doubt of that, and some of the bravest ones made a sneak for the nearest telephone to call up the police. Then it was discovered that the "dead man" was a fake - a well stuffed dummy, and that the blood was red paint. "Red paint" of other varieties is not an entire stranger to Ridge street people, and their nerves speedily settled themselves, while their owners remembered that last night was Halloween.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 2, 1901

Postmaster Norton today received notice from Washington "that the bid of R. H. Levis has been accepted, in accordance with the recommendation of Assistant Superintendent Gould." There were several bids, among others those of Mr. Levis, H. J. Bowman, city of Alton; and Huntington Smith, owner of the Laura building. Mr. Levis had been considering plans for the erection of a neat business block on the property at Second [Broadway] and Alby streets. The plans prepared by Architect Pfeiffenberger call for a two-story building, 48 feet 6 inches in width, and 70 depth. The plans for the original building must be changed to make them conform with the specifications of the post office department. The new building can be erected in three months, with favorable weather, but it is probable that it will not be ready in that time.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 21, 1901

The machinery of the old vinegar factory of W. Leo & Company has been taken out of the building in the old penitentiary plat. The building has been sold and the machinery is being shipped to Hamburg by W. Leo Jr., who will start in the cider and vinegar business at Hamburg. Mr. Leo was formerly a well known young man of this city.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 26, 1901

An officer of the Federal Lead Company said yesterday that the contract for the construction of the new lead smelter east of Alton on the Feldwisch tract has been let, and the cost of the new plant will exceed $450,000. The contract specifies that work on the smelter must be completed and the plant must be ready to begin operations by June 1, the time beginning December 1. A large force of men will be employed while the work of construction is in progress, and the site of the new plant of the Federal Lead Company east of Alton will be a busy place. Within ten days the preparations for starting the work of construction will be under way. The new smelter will be built on most modern plans and precaution will be taken to prevent the escape of the deadly fumes from the smokestacks, which have caused at other places great damage to vegetation in the adjacent fields. The smelter will be used to refine ore that has been partially refined, and consists of 75 percent of the pure lead.  "The bridge arbitrary" is given by the St. Louis papers as the reason for the abandonment of St. Louis by the Smelter Company, which has purchased the Feldwisch farm east of the glassworks. The same papers state that the four railways, via: the Alton, the Big Four, the Bluff Line and the Illinois Terminal, pass the new location. So does the great Burlington system and the Missouri, Kansas and Taxes also has access to the grounds of the Federal Lead Company. Here are four of the greatest railway systems in the country, and the Illinois Terminal connects with the Wabash and Clover Leaf at Edwardsville, which certainly makes a marvelous shipping point, "one of the best in the west," as General Manager Levis of the glassworks put it.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 3, 1901

Mr. John Snyder expects to be ready to occupy his new store building within two weeks. He will not engage in business alone, having taken in as equal partners Edward Kleinpeter and Joseph Snyder. Mr. Kleinpeter is a well known young business man of Third street and has many friends. Mr. Joseph Snyder is a glassblower.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 5, 1901

The Alton Coal Company will dissolve and go out of business. The members of the company are T. J. Terrell and Patrick Maguire of Alton, and ex-Senator Paisley of Montgomery county. It is one of the oldest coal companies in the city, and for years did a very large business. Their determination to quit business will be a surprise to many of their friends, while to many more it has been known that the Alton members were very much dissatisfied with the Montgomery county and of the concern, and might cease business altogether in order to settle up things satisfactorily.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 18, 1901

Their Last Sleigh Ride - For the first time in many years farmers brought hogs to market today in sleighs. That is big hog racks were placed on sled runners filled with porkers, and scooted to the slaughtering pens.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 20, 1901

[Note: The original store burned down June 30, 1901]  The magnificent new store of John Snyder & Co. will be open to the public on and after Saturday, Dec. 21st, with the greatest offering of bargains ever presented to the people of Alton. Clothing at less than cost, also shoes at a great sacrifice. We mean what we say. We have been delayed in getting into our new building, but the goods must move.  John Snyder & Co., Third and Piasa Streets




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 29, 1901

The nurses at St. Joseph's Hospital have been tenderly caring for a little frail piece of humanity since December 15, which first saw the light of day with its little eyes in St. Joseph's hospital. The hospital has been in existence over 35 years and never before was an infant born within its walls. The mother and child are doing well, and the mother, who is Mrs. U. G. Johnson of White Heath, Ill., will leave in a few days for her home in the northern part of the State. It is a matter of great interest in the hospital that the child was born there, as such a thing had never happened before. Mrs. Johnston came to the hospital for treatment, and while there the little son was born. He has not been named. The father was formerly stationed at Kane as pastor of the Methodist church, and was transferred to White Heath at the last session of the Southern Illinois conference in this city. The hospital nurses have become so interested in the little fellow they say they wish he could stay longer with them. The advent of the boy has settled one thing - he will not be the last stranger to see the light there.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 29, 1901

Fire did about $1,500 damage in the Schnell bakery on Second street [Broadway] Saturday at midnight. At no time was there danger that Hotel Madison would be burned, and there seemed to be no danger of the fire spreading to any of the buildings. When the hose companies arrived the fire was in the boiler room of the bakery, where it had started from some unknown cause, and it spread forward to the elevator shaft, where it burned briskly. It was a bad fire for the firemen to fight, as its exact location could not be discovered, and volumes of suffocating smoke made the access of human beings to the fire impossible. At 2 o'clock the fire was out. The Singer sewing machine agency was threatened and the goods in there were carried out. Upstairs lived Miss Elsie McBride with her aunt, Miss Annie Wallendorf. Miss Wallendorf and her niece were awakened when the smoke was almost overcoming them and hurried from their home in their nightgowns. They were taken into the Madison hotel by Mr. Daniels and provided with quarters for the night, and firemen assisted by others recovered their clothing and valuables from the building that seemed about to be burned. Mr. Schnell, with characteristic energy, posted a notice Sunday that he would have bread today for his customers and is serving them.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 7, 1902

Workmen at the gas works who have been engaged in putting in the foundation for a new bench of six retorts in the gas manufacturing department were greatly surprised yesterday when they uncovered a subterranean cavern, the existence of which was never known before. The men nearly fell into the hole that yawned at their feet, about ten feet below the surface of the ground, and they made their escape in a hurry. The brick arch over the cavern fell in, and the men were able to see that they had uncovered a room that was walled up neatly and arched over the top. The room could have had no use in the manufacture of gas, and men working at the gas works many years never knew of the room being there. The room extends transversely over the sewer, but is no part of the sewer. The cave-in of the arch did not make a hole sufficiently large to allow a person to go through, but a cursory examination revealed a large, deep room. A pole 15 feet in length was run down, but the bottom of the room was not touched. It is a dark, suspicious looking place - a place fit for "treason, stratagem and spoils," and speculation is rife as to what it was built for, who did the job and what does it contain? It may be that the Hop Hollow buried treasure is there, or perhaps all the mysterious disappearances that have occurred in Alton for years past had their Alpha and Omega within those dark, danksome depths. Perhaps Pete McMullen, who shot Captain William Sweeney there one night several years ago and disappeared off the face of the earth, knew the secret entrance to this place and went in. It may have been even his treasure cave. The "old plank road" made history in early days, and the question arises, will the cavern disclose some new chapters? A thorough examination will be made of the cavern, tunnel or whatever it is, before the top is again walled in and concreted over.


January 8, 1902

The underground chamber at the gas works discovered a few days ago has been walled up by the workmen so as to admit of the completion of the work on the new bench of retorts that is being put in place there. The arch that was broken open was repaired and the retorts will be placed on top of the chamber. The men who made the discovery did not make an exploring tour inside the chamber as they found it too filthy to admit of a man's health being preserved while he made the trip.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 19, 1902

An Alton man who was an inmate of the pest house kept by the city of Alton, and has been discharged from there, says that the conditions at the pest house are shameful. The place is filthy, there are no accommodations, and the social features are such that anyone would revolt at the suggestion of going there. The person interviewed voluntarily went to the pest house when he learned he had the smallpox, but he says that although he was willing to go, he would not have stayed there another day had the attending physician not discharged him. He says that the discharged patients are not fumigated or cleansed on leaving the place. This institution is costing the city enough to make it comfortable for the unfortunates who stay there. The inmates should be compelled to keep clean and the bedding should be properly attended to, which it is charged is not the case.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 18, 1902

Fire destroyed the large barn at the dairy of Leonard Luly on Alby street, this afternoon. The loss is very heavy. Appeals were sent to Alton for the assistance of the fire department, but the firemen were unable to give any help. Only company No. 1 responded to the call. The first alarm was sent in at 2:45 from a neighbor's telephone. It was said that the barn was doomed and the house threatened. Later advices received were that the barn had been destroyed and the house was threatened. The neighbors and members of the family stood by helplessly watching the fire consume the property. Leonard Luly, who was in a dangerous condition as the result of an accident and was undergoing a surgical operation, was carried from his home. None of the cattle in the barn were burned. The household goods of the Luly family were carried out by neighbors, but the house was only scorched and only the remoteness of other buildings prevented a greater destruction of property. The loss is estimated at $10,000. The fire was started by men who were trying to thaw out frozen water pipes in the barn. Luckily, the cattle and horses, numbering 67 head, had been turned out for the afternoon.




Source: Alton Telegraph, April 24, 1902

President August Schlafly of the Citizens National Bank said today that the Illinois Shoe Company has accepted a proposition from the Kelley Goodfellow Shoe Company of St. Louis, for combining the two shoe factories and establishing a big plant in Alton. The combine will be perfected if some important details can be re-arranged. The capital of the Illinois Shoe Company will be increased from $40,000 to $100,000 if possible, and subscriptions to the capital stock will be taken among Alton people and the present stockholders. The $200,000 capital stock of the Kelley-Goodfellow Co. will be added to this and a new factory site will be secured. It is desired to erect a factory on extensive grounds where all the factory can be on one floor, with four sides of the building having unobstructed light. It is proposed to manufacture two thousand pairs of shoes a day and to employ 400 hands. It the combination is effected, it will make an important addition to the manufacturing industries of Alton and will probably draw other shoe factories. The stockholders of the Alton shoe factory have found that the small factory here is not as profitable as it should be, and will expand. The official ratification of the proposed combine by the Kelly-Goodfellow Company is the only remaining detail to be accomplished.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 17, 1902

At 9 o'clock this morning the skies in the east were clear, the sun shining brightly; in the west, the skies were overcast and threatening. Suddenly from the clear sky came a vivid flash - two flashes in fact - of lightning, playing crisscross, and accompanied by a terrific crash. People on East Second street ran out of their houses and people on the streets ran panic-stricken in an endeavor to reach shelter. Some ran down into the cellars of stores, the doors of which were open. All were sure something nearly was demolished and they feared another bolt was due. Mrs. Fulton Seely was looking out of the window of an upstairs room of her dwelling at the corner of Alton and Second street, and saw the dirt fly in the vacant lot across the street as the lightning struck. Adjacent to the lot is the millinery store of Mrs. Peter Crolton, she with three girls were seated near the big glass window in the rear. Mrs. Crofton was knocked unconscious and the girls say it looked like a sheet of flames came through the window. All of the girls describing their sensations say that they felt terror-stricken and benumbed all over, except that it felt like coals of fire were rolling over their heads and through their hair. Mrs. Crolton was removed to Miss Lizzie O'Neill's boarding house next door, and Drs. L. F. Schussler and W. H. DAvis speedily responded to calls for medical assistance. The stricken woman recovered gradually, and while yet very weak and nervous is reported to be all right. Walter Welch of the Electric Light Company, with several others, went to the vacant lot and found a place where the surface of the earth was covered with a substance that looked like very finely crushed rock. It probably was a rock which the lightning struck and pulverized. He dug down and removed from the earth a substance resembling baked clay, bluish in color, about a foot in diameter and five or six inches long. A great many people secured small pieces of this and carried them away to be kept as souvenirs.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 29, 1902

Alton has now a woman physician and surgeon - Dr. Nina Palson-Merritt, at 456 East Second street. Her husband is also a doctor. Both will practice their profession in this city.




Source: Rochester, New York Democrat Chronicle, June 30, 1902

Nearly all in-bound trains were greatly delayed today as a result of the storm, arriving from forty minutes to five or six hours late. Several washouts were reported and telegraph wires were down, so that the trains could not be located. One of the most disastrous floods in the history of Alton, Ill., and vicinity, resulted today from the heavy rains of Friday and Saturday. At 4 o'clock this afternoon, it was estimated that 10,000 acres have been covered by the overflow of Wood river, which m three to six miles wide. Most of this land is either occupied by manufacturing interests or planted in crops. The greatest single disaster caused by the flood was the destruction of the plant of the Stoneware Pipe Company at East Alton. The loss is estimated at $40,000. In East Alton the residents were compelled to use skiffs to get about the principal streets today. The station of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad was carried away by the flood to a field a quarter of a mile distant. The flood produced the worst railroad tie-up in recent years in the vicinity of the Altons.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 5, 1902

Amid the deafening din of the cannon crackers, the explosions of the terrible toy cannon, the deadly revolver and the dangerous blank cartridge, carnage and destruction was waged in the path of the National birthday celebrants. The most serious accident of the day was the perhaps fatal injury of Arthur McDonald, who was shot by his playmate, Willie Bertier, Friday morning, and sustained a wound in the right breast. McDonald was showing a 32-calibre revolver to Bertier for the purpose of trying to make a sale. Bertier pointed it at McDonald's breast and snapped the trigger at a distance of two feet from his playmate. The bullet entered McDonald's breast between the first and second ribs, clipping the edge of the breastbone and lodging deep in the body of the boy. Drs. Taphorn and Shaff attended the wounded boy and pronounced his case so serious that probing for the ball was inadvisable. Little hope of the boy's recovery was held out to the parents. The Bertier boy was almost prostrated with grief at what he had accidentally done. The boys were 14 years old. McDonald is a son of former Fire Chief Andrew McDonald, and the family home is on Liberty, near Union street.  Surgeons did a rushing business Friday caring for victims of toy cannons and the deadly cannon cracker. John Nelson was a victim of a cannon at Third and Walnut street. It blew up in his face and he will be disfigured for life. Dr. Smith was called to attend James Harris of Semple street who suffered a similar accident, and will be likewise disfigured by powder burns for the remainder of his life. Dr. Taphorn was called to attend James Brock, who while standing on a ladder at his home tacking up flags to decorate his place, fell with the ladder when it broke and plunged through a plate glass window. One of his arms was almost severed by the broken glass. Mrs. E. Bishop, boarding at the Coleman house, was struck on the face Friday at noon by a stray bullet which caused a flesh wound. She could not tell where the bullet came from. It was a 38 calibre ball, and it is considered she had a narrow escape, the bullet being deflected from her head by striking a bone.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 15, 1902

Another old landmark that is being removed to make room for a modern building is Paul Robidou's old brick building just east of the Library on Fourth street, which was used as a horseshoeing shop for so many years that "the memory of man runneth not to the contrary."




Source: Alton Telegraph, October 8, 1902

The directors of the Illinois Shoe Company decided yesterday not to consolidate their factory with the Kelley-Goodfellow Shoe Company of St. Louis, at least for the present. Difficulty in securing a factory site determined the directors to postpone the consolidation and formation of a $200,000 shoe company to operate a plant in Alton. The Alton company has $40,000 capital stock, and it was proposed to secure $60,000 additional subscriptions to the stock in Alton. Of this amount, $35,000 had been secured, and it was thought there would be no difficulty in securing the remainder of the stock. The St. Louis shoe company which was desirous of coming to Alton, instead of moving the factory from its present location desired to have a factory building erected by private individuals to be leased to the consolidated companies. As no one would erect the building on the terms proposed, it was decided to abandon the scheme for the present. Mr. August Schlafly resigned as president of the Illinois Shoe Company yesterday, and also left the directory. W. H. Huffnagel, who has been business manager of the company, was elected president. Mr. Huffnagel is a practical shoe man and it was because Mr. Schlafly thought a practical shoe man should be at the head of the company that he resigned.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 18, 1902

Allen Keiser will, it is said, make a morgue of the basement of the Ryder building at the corner of Second and Alby streets, which is now being fitted up for Messrs. Keiser & Dunlop, who will conduct a carpet and furniture store as well as undertaking establishment. Alton has long needed a morgue, the only one in the city being at St. Joseph's hospital, and that is not always the most convenient or most desirable, and besides is for the use of the hospital principally. It is said Mr. Keiser will have a room in the building equipped with an altar, Bible and other church accessories so that funeral services may be conducted there if desirable because of the weather or for any other reason.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 21, 1902

An indoor baseball club is being organized in Alton among the young men who take active interest in athletic sports. The members of the indoor baseball club will probably be the members of the old Olympias, Imperials, Black Hawks and one other bowling club. The young men have secured permission to use the city hall, and last evening they held their first meeting in the hall to make preparations for beginning the games. The teams consist of eight players, there being no short-stop, but the teams will have a dozen players each in them from which to select men to make up the eight. There will be four clubs, and they will play a series of games for championship honors. Monday night the players had a practice game, and say they found the game a very good one. They have placed wire screens over the windows in the city hall to avoid breaking the glass, and they have laid out the floor for the games. The bases are 27 feet apart. The ball used is a large one, of soft material, and the game is played similarly to the national game of baseball. The young men who are interested in the formation of the indoor baseball league will hold a meeting next week to effect a permanent organization and to elect officers. The organizers of the indoor baseball league asked the permission of the City Council to use the city hall for the game this winter, and permission was given. Meetings will be held once a week, probably on Monday nights, and the only expense to the players will be the cost of replenishing the carbons in the electric lights.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 27, 1902

A masquerade frolic on McPike's Island, where a dancing pavilion is conducted by W. J. Fluent and J. Ernst, ended up in a wild riot Sunday morning shortly after midnight, and there are many sore heads and bruised bodies among the female frequenters of the resort. Capt. Fluent was obliged to draw his revolver and use the butt end of it on one woman who was fighting, and he also threatened their male friends to hold them at bay while he tried to settle the quarrel. It was necessary to land the boat and put some of the fighters off on the mudflat at the lower end of McPike Island to stop the trouble, and at that time the deck of the boat presented a bloody appearance. The trouble started on the dance floor between some of the female frequenters of the resort. Fiddler Pack stopped the music and took refuge in the pilot house of the Altonian when the dance began to have an ugly look. When the music stopped the fight became fast and furious. Women knocked each other down and tore hair. Capt. Fluent, to stop the fight, blew the whistle to summon the masqueraders to the boat for the last return trip. On the boat the fight was renewed and men who undertook to make peace were obliged to knock down the fighting women. It is said that few of the men were actually belligerents. When the boat arrived in Alton, the fighters became quarrelsome on the streets, and two of the women were arrested and placed in jail. One of the women bore a long gash in her shoulder, inflicted by another woman with a razor. Several of the fighters had long knives, and these were flourished in a threatening manner. There were on the boat at the time about 100 people, half of whom took refuge on the upper deck and in the cabin, leaving the lower deck to the rioters.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 28, 1902

Probably the oldest voter in Alton who registered himself personally was John B. Gould of Fifth and Alby streets. While hundreds of able-bodied voters in Alton do not take sufficient interest in the exercise of their franchise on election day to go to the polls and vote, Mr. Gould, 80 years of age, leaning on two canes and forced by weight of advancing years to slowly walk the distance from his home to the registration place, entered the place of registration this morning and asked if he was registered. Mr. Gould was 80 years old last Friday. His father and family, including Mr. Gould, came to Alton the night Lovejoy was assassinated in 1837. To a friend who remarked that one would not think Mr. Gould so old, judging from the interest in elections he takes, Mr. Gould replied that only his legs were 80 years old, the remainder of him being as good as ever.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 4, 1902

A lease by the city to J. H. McPike, of two blocks of land between Walnut and Cherry streets on the sand bar, was executed yesterday by city officials. Mr. McPike has procured the land as a site for a paper mill, which he hopes to have in Alton before long. Mr. McPike was approached by several institutions of the kind recently, but having no site that was satisfactory to offer to them, Alton did not get the industries. He now has a site well adapted to the needs of a paper factory, and he thinks that within a short time he will be shaping affairs so that this city will have a prosperous new industry. The proposed paper mill would furnish a market for all the straw grown in this vicinity, and it would be a great benefit to farmers near Alton and to businessmen. The product of the mill would find a ready sale in Alton and neighboring cities. The site leased to Mr. McPike is well located with reference to railroads and water could be had in unlimited quantities by sinking drive wells. Within the next generation Alton's waste of sand bar may be reclaimed and covered with thriving industries.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 12, 1902

William Herrin, who is employed at Dan Maher's quarries on McGuan street, while removing surface earth from the bedrock Tuesday afternoon, found a human skeleton at a depth of about ten feet from the top of the earth. He gathered the bones and took them to his home on Wharf street, where he expects to wire them together properly and let men learned in that way have a chance to determine whether the remains are those of a male or female, prehistoric personage or what is left of Ouatoga, the great Indian Chieftain who was the chief cause of the Piasa Bird being "killed dead." It is not likely, however, that the skeleton is that of an Indian, or more properly of a common, ordinary every day Indian, as the Indians do not place their dead that deep in the ground, if placed in the ground at all. Of course, in the case of a chieftain, they might have taken extra precautions in disposing of his remains. There never was a cemetery, so far as known, in the vicinity of Maher's quarry, and the chances are that what is known now is all that will ever be known of the skeleton.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 25, 1902

The Richardson horse shoeing shop has been in its present location on Belle street forty two years, and Dave Richardson, the present proprietor, is making some improvements to the shop. While engaged in removing a portion of the old floor near a bellows yesterday, he found a silver coin which had been dropped by his father presumably thirty five or forty years ago. It was a little black in the face, but otherwise good, and he will make a "good luck" piece out of it.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 26, 1902

Four strangers in the Alton jail indulged in a hard fought battle shortly after they were incarcerated. Officer Thomas had arrested the men and placed them in the calaboose, where a good fire was kept up. The fire and whisky had a bad effect, and the men began to fight. Chief of Police Young and Officers Thomas and Parker were obliged to beat the men almost to insensibility to force them to stop fighting. The four men were hanging together like fighting dogs and could not be torn apart. Officer Thomas broke a heavy cane over the head of one of the prisoners, and the other officers applied their clubs vigorously on their backs and heads before the men would desist. The four fighters were then locked up in the dungeon.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 9, 1903

Mr. O. G. Norris, agent for the Alton, has been giving out at his office some discolored 3 cent pieces, which are being put in circulation now after three decades and more of burial. Over one year ago George Finkenkiller of Upper Alton, while assisting in building the foundations of the new Bluff Line passenger station, found a heap of coins deep in the ground. They had apparently been dropped about 35 years ago [abt. 1868] by someone walking along the levee. The remains of an old sack were found around the heap of coins, and this confirmed the theory that a sack of money had been lost. All the coins were found to be 3 cent pieces, and most of them bore the date 1865. Finkenkiller thought the coins had some value aside from their face value, but found they had none. He put them in a bank, and a few days ago Mr. Norris was asked by the bank to help put the coins in circulation. They have proved a nuisance to him, however, as people ask questions and some do not seem willing to accept the discolored coins because of the similarity they bear to dimes. A suggestion is made that these coins were part of the booty stolen from the First National bank in November 1868, when that institution was robbed. M. H. Filley, who was then night watchman, was murdered by one of the robbers and they escaped taking with them a number of sacks of small coins. So heavy was the burden found, the robbers discarded some of the sacks while they were running to the levee to take a skiff to the other side of the river in making their escape. Some of the bags were found, and it is supposed these coins may have been in one of them dropped by the fleeing robbers.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 14, 1903

There were no absentees at the City Council meeting last night, and hitches in proceedings were pleasingly few.....For a salary of not less than $600 per annum to be paid Mrs. Sophia Demuth for her services, she to be appointed Police Matron. The petition was signed by a large number of citizens. Alderman Hoffmann moved the petition be granted.....A protest from ladies of the Jennie D. Hayner library to the starting of a saloon by David Searles at the corner of Fourth and State streets was placed on file. There was no way to prevent Searles from engaging in the saloon business, it was stated.....




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 25, 1903

Master in Chancery James A. Lynn today sold at public sale the remaining realty of the Godfrey estate, consisting of the old St. Charles Hotel property and one building on the north of the hotel proper. The property extended from State street to William street. There was sharp competition for the property. William Sonntag bid the property in for Theodore Cabrilliac for $6,450. The new owner will improve the property. The old St. Charles hotel was one of the first hotels in Alton, and its palmy days was known as the Franklin House. It was the resort of many of the prominent men of the day. Few old residents can remember when the property was much better than it is now, but old citizens say it was a grand hotel in its day.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 11, 1903

A skeleton of a dog, tied to a nail with a rope, was found in the cellar of the police station by Officer Pack this morning. The animal had died from disease or starvation while tied in the basement of the building and was forgotten there.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 3, 1903

The old Schulenburg group of ice houses on the lower Alton slough will be dismantled soon as they can be emptied of ice. The Huss & Loomis Company has decided to stop cutting ice on the lower slough because of the rapid filling in of the slough and the difficulty attending the getting of barges in to the ice houses in summer time to move the ice to market. There are eight large houses in the Schulenburg group, and they still have some ice in them. All the ice will be taken out during the hot weather, and the houses will be torn down and the lumber will be sent to St. Louis for use there. The houses immediately opposite Alton will be allowed to remain, and whenever it is possible to store a crop of ice they will be filled, the facilities for transportation from them being much better than at the Schulenburg group.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 11, 1903

Mr. E. H. Messiter, chief engineer of the Federal Lead Company for the Alton smelter, left this morning with his family for New York. With his wife and child he had made his home at Hotel Madison. The $700,000 plant of the Federal Lead Company at Alton is practically completed. Mr. Messiter came to Alton early in the year of 1902 to begin work of constructing the big smelter of the company, and it was under his supervision that all the plans of the work were carried out and the buildings erected. There remains a few things to be done in the way of construction work, but nearly everything is complete and the plant is now in successful operation. It is reported that Mr. Messiter will take up the duties of a better position with the same company. When the plans were made for the smelter, provision was made for duplicating the plant in size whenever necessity arose for turning out a greater supply of smelted metal. Room has been left for putting up twice as many buildings as are now on the ground, and this may be done later.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 11, 1903

The old Percival store building at the corner of State and Main streets is to be torn down, the work of wrecking to begin Monday, and Mrs. M. A. Percival will have erected on the site a handsome commodious and modern residence. The Percival store is an old landmark which must give way to modern conveniences.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 21, 1903

An interesting group of old people are pictured in the windows of the gallery of W. H. Wiseman on Belle street. Mr. Wiseman has collected photographs of some of Alton's oldest residents, and a glance over them recalls the fact that Alton has in it some of the oldest and most vigorous people to be found anywhere, and that some of them have led a very active life. Four of the persons who have been most prominent in the city are Mr. Charles Phinney, Mr. Z. B. Job Sr., Mr. John L. Blair and Patrick Ward. All of them are above 80 years of age, and at least three of them are still able to be around the streets, some of them actively engaged in business. Mr. Phinney has passed well beyond his four score and ten mark, but is still engaged in the wholesale grocery business and is probably the oldest business man in the state of Illinois who is able to give attention to minute details of his business affairs. Every day he is at his desk and is apparently good for many years more in the harness. Mr. Job is still able to attend to business, although well past eighty years of age. Anyone who would say Mr. Job is not able to attend to business would err indeed, and on that very point a few days ago the Circuit Court gave a decision that this old citizen of Alton was still of sound mind enough to make contracts and sign deeds. Mr. Job was one of the earliest residence of Madison county, and was at one time Sheriff. Mr. Blair was for many years a prominent business man in Alton, and was the father of Alton's public school system. He was a member and President of the Board of Education and has seen Alton's public school system become a thing of beauty and a pride to the city. Mr. Ward was best known for having held public office in Alton forty years. Pat is known to everybody who ever had business around the city hall in years gone by. In addition to the four men are Mrs. Frances L. Bevan of Upper Alton, well over the 90 year mark, who is still hale and much interested in the events of the day, and Mrs. Sarah Mahoney, an inmate of St. Joseph's hospital, who celebrated her century mark birthday last Christmas. Another picture is that of Mr. Henry Heide, a resident here for fifty years, who recently, wife his wife, celebrated his golden wedding anniversary in Alton.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 24, 1903

Five cars were wrecked on the Alton bridge approach this afternoon at about 1:30 o'clock at Henry street. The Alton bridge engine was pushing out on the approach of the bridge a string of 26 cars, most of them heavily loaded. The end car belonging to the Bluff Line left the rail and dragged off four other cars. The cars of coal and an empty rolled completely down the embankment, and two cars of glass bottles were turned over and left tottering on the edge of the embankment. The train was stopped before any more cars followed down the hill. The coal cars and empty box car were turned completely over in rolling down the hill. The train was a long one. The engine was far down east of the bridge approach and was behind the train. The cars were derailed just at the cross-over to the bridge tracks from Illinois Terminal.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 6, 1903

Samuel Wade today sold to a syndicate of East End business men, headed by August Luer, the old lumberyard property at Second and Weigler streets, consisting of six lots, for $16,500. The sale was consummated Wednesday evening. The syndicate of business men bought the property in order to best conserve the interests of the property they now own there. They have the utmost faith in the future of the East End as a business place, and think that property there is sure to be in great demand. They desire to have control over the property in order to put the right kind of business houses there. It is said that some good business institution will soon occupy the lumberyard site.  The sale of the lumberyard is an interesting event in that it marks the passing of one of the oldest business concerns in Alton. For more than sixty years that place was used as a lumberyard. It belonged to Sweetser & Priest for many years, then was the property of H. O. Priest, and at his death was bought by Samuel Wade. The firm of Sweetser & Wade will go out of business as the result of the fire, the property being too valuable for the purposes it was being used for.



SUGGESTIONS FOR ALTON'S DEVELOPMENT                      Park in the Location of the Former Penitentiary Suggested

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 18, 1903

Editor - Alton, in her gigantic strides toward being a city, has yet one thing to possess to place her on an equal footing with other cities of her size.  Mr. William Eliot Smith seemed to have recognized this fact in his travels, and in his great love for his native city has written back suggesting there be measures taken to beautify Alton by planting trees on her streets and giving her public parks. Upon this wise suggestion there has been a project, we understand, to convert the historical penitentiary plat into a city park. From its natural advantages there could be no point in or around Alton so susceptible for this purpose as this piece of ground, which is so prominent not only to the dwellers in the city, but to the vast throngs of sightseers and pleasure seekers who travel up and down the Father of Waters, whose waves almost lash the shores of this beautiful tract. Lying as it does at the foot of the bluffs, together with long stretches of level ground, one can easily imagine how pleasing to the eye it could be made with wide gravel walks and shade trees. Circuitous driveways and bridle paths would lead the tourists to Lovers Leap, that historical rock jutting out over the cliff on which the Piasa Bird of world renown was killed by the chief of his tribe many years ago. The greater part of this tract lies level, and dotted with shade trees laid off in winding walks, a rustic bridge here and there, beds of bright hued flowers would make this an ideal spot, allowing the one piece of masonry still standing marking the spot upon which the old Penitentiary stood, to remain as a monument to the tragic past. Our dear old town is full of historic interest, with its Lovejoy monument rearing its lofty figure from the summit of the East End, and with this beautiful city part at its West end, either of which could be seen for miles up and down and across the country. Could we not by public spirit in thus improving our city render it chief among the most attractive on the continent?  It has also been suggested that the contemplated Confederate monument be erected on the most prominent point on the site of the old penitentiary grounds, the higher ground being well adapted for this purpose, would it not be more appropriate than placing it in North Alton where, from its location, few would see it? The small triangle on Court street and the reservation ground back of Hotel Madison are the only spots in Alton a tourist may feel at liberty to rest when visiting Alton for the day. During the summer hundreds of pleasure seekers have stopped here from those boat excursions preferring to spend a few hours in Alton, they would welcome a cool, green park, always fresh and invigorating, stirred by the breezes from the river which blow over the old plat and which is close at hand when one lands from the great city below us. We think this project as feasible, as beneficial in every way to Alton, and with enterprise and energy could be successfully carried out at once. If Alton intends getting into holiday attire for the great World's Fair, now is her opportunity.  From C. T.



ANOTHER OLD LANDMARK DISAPPEARS                    Old Percival Store Torn Down

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 5, 1903

Another old landmark is being wrecked today. It is the old Percival store and residence building on State, near the junction with Main. For 60 years or more, it is said, it was a tavern or store, and when State street was the "State Road," it sheltered and refreshed and fed hundreds of travelers. The old building is to be replaced by a 7-room, modern residence to be occupied by Mrs. Mary Percival and family.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 17, 1903

L. A., I. M. and B. E. Dawson have secured incorporation papers from the secretary of state and have organized the Dawson Overall Manufacturing Company. The capital stock is $2,500, and preparations for a speedy start are being made. The company will occupy the upper portions of the building at the corner of Fourth and Piasa streets.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 24, 1903

Another old Alton landmark is to be given away to modern ideas, and 20th century progressiveness. The grand old forest trees under which perhaps the Indian Chief Ouatoga once ate his lunch of jerked venison and spring water, have been or will be uprooted, the ground upon which they grew for centuries graded and hauled away, the points and grades of modern engineers to tell when the work of despoiling has gone far enough. The place referred to is the former home of the late Judge Seth T. Sawyer, and now occupied by his sons, Ben. S. and Fred S. Sawyer, at 828 Alton street. The house was erected in the forties [1840s] by a Mrs. Podgen, and was for years a very stylish, up-to-date one, and the surroundings were most picturesque and attractive. The building will be wrecked at once and a modernly equipped edifice will take its place when the grading is finished. The Sawyer family will occupy Mrs. O'Haver's residence until the new one is ready.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 28, 1903

Fire destroyed Wheelock & Ginter's planing mill and part of their lumber yard Saturday night. The origin of the fire is a mystery. It was discovered by Nicholas Seibold about 7:30 in the evening, and an alarm was sent in by Officer E. Lyons. When the fire department arrived there was no chance to do anything but keep the fire from spreading to the adjoining houses in the block. A strong wind was blowing from the river, driving the flames and heat perilously near the dwellings on Second street. Large blazing brands were carried seven or eight blocks, and fell in showers in the vicinity of the fire. Men were on every roof putting out the brands, and the fire was confined to the lumber yard. The planing mill building was stocked with finished lumber, and also contained all the tools owned by the workmen in the mill, all of which were destroyed. The loss to the workmen will be heavy. Saturday evening the fires had been drawn from under the boiler, and there was none about the place. It was said that the fire was first seen in the opposite end of the building from the boiler house, and must have been due to other causes. The frightened people living in the neighboring houses were moving out their effects, fearing that the fire would spread, but the firemen, after a hard battle with fire and smoke, finally stopped the advance of the fire and about 11 had the last of it extinguished. The loss is estimated to be about $10,000, with $1,500 insurance. Wheelock & Ginter have not decided to resume business after the insurance companies have settled for their fire losses. Both men in the firm are old and reliable business men, and their reputation first-class, but on account of their age they are uncertain whether or not to make another start. They had been in business in the old planing mill thirty years. Mr. Ginter estimates their loss at $10,000 to $12,000. Owing to the high rate of premium asked by insurance companies, the company carried their own risk. While the fire was in progress, Charles Stalling, who boarded in a house on Second street across the street, was standing on the roof of the two-story house throwing water on burning brands that fell on the roof. He must have slipped on some ice on the roof, and in an instant shot down the steep declivity toward the cornice. There was nothing to stay his downward rust, and he shot over the cornice and down to the brick pavement 35 feet below, where he landed amid a crowd, striking on his left side and arm. One woman was standing near when Stalling struck the ground, his falling body just missing her. It was believed the man was killed, but he was picked up and carried to his room in the house from which he fell, and there he revived. Drs. Bowman and Shaff attended him and found that he had a fractured left elbow and compound fractures of his arm. He was moved to the hospital for treatment Saturday night.  [Later]  Stallings died in the hospital at 5 o'clock this morning from a ruptured blood vessel. He was 35 years old and leaves his wife and one son. The time of the funeral has not been set, as Mrs. Stallings is waiting to hear from her husband's relatives at Versailles, Ohio, where he formerly lived. The inquest will be held tonight or tomorrow by Deputy Coroner Streeper. Stallings had lived here since August.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 16, 1904

John Cassella and G. F. Roenicke have leased the Kirsch building at Third and Market streets for the purpose of starting up a carriage and wagon making and repair shop.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 19, 1904

The biggest taxpayer in Alton is the Alton Light and Traction Company, owning the street railway, electric lighting and gas and hot water heating systems in the city. The taxes of the company were paid today, and Collector Smith could smile a smile of satisfaction as he receipted for the check rendered him. The check called for a sum just a little short of $5,000. This tax will be a small part of the taxes to be paid by this company if the present plans for street improvement are carried out this year. The ordinances adopted by the city council call for paving on streets wherever the street car lines run - Market street from Third to Sixth; Sixth street from Market to Henry; Henry street from Second to Fifteenth; Fifteenth street from Henry to Liberty; Liberty street from Fifteenth to Grove; and Grove street from Liberty to Common; Alby street from Third to Twelfth; and Twelfth street from Alby to Henry. Nearly all this distance is along the street railway tracks, and the railway company must pay for paving its track.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 23, 1904

On exhibition in the show window of H. M. Schweppe on Third street is a painting which might attract only passing attention as a work of art, but when one knows from whence came this bright bit of color and the undeniable artistic taste of the picture, interest in it becomes alive. The picture is a painting made by William Lapan, who lives in a wretched hovel on the sandbar. He is part Mexican by birth and speaks Spanish fluently. Lapan's acquaintances never guessed that he was an artist, but such he is. He made a copy of a poster picture on a Bluff Line calendar issued last year, representing the two Indian lovers preparing to make the leap from Lover's Leap. The coloring is well done and the copy is a very exact one. Lapan is now engaged making another study in oil of the little girl and a robin redbreast, which will be the effort of his life. Lapan is an ordinary laborer.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 3, 1904

Bids were opened yesterday afternoon in the office of Pfeiffenberger & Son, and the contract for the erection of the new residence for John W. Koch was let to Tuller & Ruebel, their bid - the lowest - being $5,295.75. The plumbing was let to Curdie & Challacombe for $225.  Construction work will start as soon as the old building can be wrecked. The house that now stands on the premises upon which the new building will be erected was probably the first brick house built in Alton. It was built by Rev. Beall Howard, a very prominent man at the time. The present house is nearly 70 years old. It was originally a four room building with an attic. In this house all of the Howard children were born, except the oldest son, Charles, who still lives in Alton.  Mr. Howard was compelled to sell it on account of the great panic of 1837. In the early 1850s Utten Smith lived in the house for a number of years. It was afterwards purchased by Timothy L. Waples and was enlarged by him and beautified, where the family resided until all the children married, some years after Mr. Waples' death. Mr. Koch, the present owner, purchased the place from the Waples estate and still lives there.


[According to the Gazetteer of Madison County, the Beall Howard home was a frame building, built on the site of the Presbyterian Church on Market Street. It was two stories high, about thirty feet in length, and was occupied as early as November 1829, being the first frame dwelling on the site of Alton. This differs with the Telegraph statement that it was a brick home. It is possible that the frame dwelling was remodeled with brick. The title abstracts show that on September 4, 1829, Gershom Flagg made a deed of the east half of block 1 to Charles Howard (Beall Howard's son), who put up a small log dwelling just opposite the Alton House, which was located at the corner of Front and Alby Streets).]




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 25, 1904

Mr. Frank Davis of Worcester, Mass., brother of George H. Davis of Fourth street, this city [Alton], is now visiting here. The early years of his life were spent here, moving away in 1859. His father was connected with the old Cory packing house that used to stand on the river front in the early days. One day Mr. Davis Sr. to a 50 cent silver piece in change. It proved to be the product of a man named Dunn, who for some time carried on the business of making counterfeit coin. The older Davis gave it to his son, Frank, as a souvenir of an Alton crook's work. For fifty-one years the coin has been carried by Frank Davis, who sets such value upon it that he would not part with it for many times its real worth. Dunn, the counterfeiter, was well known at the time, and no one suspected him of connection with a counterfeiting. His home was one of the best in Alton. He was respected until discovered. He lived in a house now owned and occupied by Everett Clement on Grove street. Dunn had quite a plant in his cellar for the manufacture of spurious coin. Years ago the house was known as the "Dunn counterfeiting house."




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 1, 1904

River men said that Saturday night reminded them of days of old, when competition was strong between rival steamboat lines and big packets raced up and down the river with the roustabouts taking turns squatting on the safety valve to keep the steam supply up. The Diamond Jo line boat "Dubuque" for St. Paul, commanded by Captain Burke; the "Quincy" for Keokuk, commanded by Captain Murphy; the Eagle boat, "Grey Eagle," commanded by Captain Harry Leyhe; and the "Belle of Calhoun" commanded by Captain Ed Young, raced from St. Louis for Alton to get a position at the Alton wharf. The "Grey Eagle" slipped away from St. Louis first to get the start, and so anxious was Captain Harry Leyhe to reach Alton that he left with half a crew. Captain Burke lost no time in following with the "Dubuque," but he had not enough steam and could not pass the Grey Eagle, as he evidently tried to do several times. Captain Harry Leyhe had a full head of steam, and the "Grey Eagle" is a swift runner, so he had first choice at Alton. The "Quincy" came in third, and Captain Murphy had to nose in between the "Grey Eagle" and the "Spread Eagle" and unload his cargo across the bow of the "Spread Eagle," after hanging up out in the harbor for a half hour waiting for a chance to land. The "Belle of Calhoun" was unfortunate, coming in last, and it was over an hour before room could be made for her to touch the wharf boat and discharge her cargo. Over a thousand passengers were on the four boats and the excitement during the race was intense. They kept urging the Captains to crowd their boats a little, but every one of the packets was doing its level best as the racing blood of the Captains was up. It was great sport, and the finish was exciting, with the "Grey Eagle" a nose in the lead, and the "Dubuque" a close second, "Quincy" third, and "Belle of Calhoun" fourth. One of the passengers on the "Quincy" was Captain L. P. Lusk, general manager of the Diamond Jo fleet.




Source: Syracuse, New York Post Standard, August 6, 1904

While bathing in the Mississippi river tonight, Michael Riley, his daughter and six of the latter's little girl friends were drowned. One child was rescued. Riley lived near the river in the southern part of the city and was accustomed to bathe on the beach in front of his home after his return from work. Tonight his little daughter begged to go with him. and Riley took her and seven of her girl friends to the beach with him. When they entered the water, Riley bade the children join hands and they all waded Into the river and walked along a sandbar which stretches out into the stream at that point. They had gone some distance from the shore, when suddenly the whole party disappeared beneath the water, having in the darkness stepped from the sandbar, into the deep channel. The children struggled and screamed, fighting desperately to reach the sandbar, where the water was only a foot or so in depth. Riley who is said to have been a good swimmer. Is thought to have been made helpless by the girls clinging to him and hampering his efforts to save them. The only one in the party to regain the sandbar was Mary Timiny, 8 years old. The child is unable to tell how she saved herself. Riley was 32 years old, and the ages of the children drowned ranged from 8 to 14 years. Four of the bodies have been recovered.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 9, 1904

The once popular sport of bowling, which at one time occupied all the spare time of hundreds of young men in Alton, and gave support to half dozen bowling alleys, has fallen into such disuse that the last of the public alleys, the Kremer place on Belle street, will be dismantled. The pool room of Frank Boyle, which was in the third story of the Snyder building, will be moved to the room of the bowling alley on Belle street, and a business college will take place of the pool room.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 10, 1904

Many of the older citizens of Alton, in passing the building 224 East Second street, which is being repaired and improved by its owner, Louis Flach, the grocer, stop to look at the structure and to recall the days of 50 or more years ago when they assembled there either to worship, to study, or to eat, as the building in its time served as a church, a school, and boarding house. Few of the average passersby know that the structure is really a log cabin, a story and a half in height, as weather boards and the art of the modern painter hide that fact. But it is a log cabin erected some 80 years ago, it is said, and for very many years there was no other building near it. Travelers on the Springfield, Alton and St. Louis "old state road" stopped there for meals, and at that time the "hotel" was reached by a long flight of steps that ran up the bank from Second street. One time in 1831 or 1832 it bore the pretentious name of the "Alton Seminary," and was conducted by Mr. H. Davis, the pioneer teacher of this section, who died in 1834. The late Judge J. M. Krum of St. Louis was a teacher in the school, as was also a Mr. Bosworth, A. R. Cobbin, and Miss Relief V. Everett.  Many Altonians now past the half century mark in age attended school there, and at times paid as "much as $10 per quarter for tuition."  In 1852 ex-Chief of Police Volbracht says he was attending school there, and that year was known to all parents and pupils as "the castor bean epidemic year." "During the noon hour one day," says Mr. Volbracht, "we children, boys and girls, found a quantity of castor beans stored in the basement of the old log cabin (the basement being excavated a short time before and walled up) and we all ate heartily of them. A few hours afterwards we became deathly sick and remained sick all day and night, and it was several days before all the ill-effects of our castor bean banquet disappeared. It was known as an epidemic because the entire school was affected."  The building was used as a Methodist meeting house for some years also - most early day school houses were so used on Sundays, and many a pioneer or some member of his family professed religion after attending meeting there. For many years recently the basement has been used as a polling place for the residents of the old fourth ward - the new third - and taken altogether its history during the 80 years of its existence is a varied and interesting one.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 10, 1904

Fifty two years ago, September 9, the construction of the Chicago and Mississippi railroad, later the Alton and Sangamon, and still later the Chicago and Alton, was completed, and the first train went over the road. Mr. William Huskinson, who was actively engaged in the building operations of the road and who was for many years a roadmaster for the company, says the first train consisted of an engine and three coaches, and its arrival in Alton was welcomed most warmly by the people generally. The road terminated at the present freight depot, and passengers and freight were .....[unreadable]  .... completion of the C. & A. extension in 1864. Times were good in Alton, and some of the old time prosperity which existed previous to the financial crash of 1837 returned. Just before that crash, lots on the riverfront where the McPike building, the Boston store and all the buildings north to the old water works station sold for from $300 to $400 a front foot. Mr. Huskinson celebrated the anniversary quietly Friday, and in memory has gone back to those rushing, bustling, money-making days, when he was commanding men and building a road destined to become one of the greatest in the world. He came to Alton in 1847, and most of the years since then have been spent in Alton and in up-building and advancing the interests of Alton in every way he could. He frequently served the city in official capacities and always served it well. He is in good health, enjoys reading and likes to converse with his friends and of these he has a large host. Besides Mr. Huskinson, there is only one other person, so far as known, now living in the Altons who was engaged actively in the building of the road, and that is Mr. Thomas McGinnis Sr., of North Alton. The latter gentleman built the first house in almost all the towns between here and Springfield; the first house being a section house.  He also built bridges, culverts, etc., for the road, and after its completion had charge of the fence building gangs. Although well on in years, he too is in fairly good health, and his mental faculties are wonderfully alive and bright.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 12, 1904

The summer season of 1904 was not a red letter one for the ice man; it being cold enough most of the time to allow the housekeeper to economize greatly in the matter of ice consumption, and hundreds of families in Alton who own small or medium sized refrigerators did not ice them up at all, but kept meats, butter and perishable provender generally in most excellent condition, by placing in buckets or baskets, which were left suspended day and night in cisterns or wells. The cistern refrigerator requires far less work than the other kind, and the results are just as good.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 17, 1904

Mr. James Webster, the veteran sewer repairer and all round city man, was standing near the City Hall this morning and his thoughts were all in the past. "In there," he said, pointing to the basement of the city building, "is a machine in which I have a $25 cash interest, and with interest on that for more than 50 years. It is the old hook and ladder outfit, the first of its kind in Alton. It was secured by the old volunteer fire company, and there are only three of them left living, as far as I can recollect. These three are Ben Garde, Jake Maguire and myself. We bought that outfit from a St. Louis volunteer company, but when we went after it the city of St. Louis refused to give it up, as the municipality had paid for half or one-third of it, the firemen paying for the remainder. That is the way we paid for it also - Alton paying for one third, the boys donating the rest. That is how I happen to have $25 in it as my contribution amounted to that much cash. After St. Louis refused to give us the outfit, we came back to Alton to plan some way to secure the hook and ladder, and finally determined to go down and steal the apparatus bodily. Ten good men and true were selected to do the job, and we made arrangements with Captain George E. Hawley of the steamer Luella to have his boat handy at the St. Louis wharf and ready to pull out as soon as the outfit cleared the stage plank. The volunteer company in St. Louis were all right, as the boys had sold to us and thought we ought to have the goods, and they arranged to leave the doors unlocked and to absent themselves at the time designated. Out plans worked successfully; we got the apparatus, made a quick run to the levee, and the boat was half way to Alton before the St. Louis authorities discovered what had been done. Except for considerable rag chewing, nothing was done in the matter and we were never punished in any way. I am the only one now living of the ten who did the stealing more than a half-century ago, and I would like to get my $25 back again."




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 29, 1904

An interesting old structure - just how old is lost in the mists of tradition - is that on the old "Flag homestead" on Staunton street [Alton]. It is now the property of Mr. John Werts the grocer, but he does not know how old the building is. He knows it was occupied 50 years before he purchased it, and it was said to be an old building before that 50 years occupancy was begun. It must have been a high-toned residence, for in those days all houses not built exclusively of logs were for the bon tons, the plutocrats. The timbers in the Werts house are of oak and walnut and are sound as the gold standard, as are the rafters. The weatherboards are of oak and consist of what is called clapboards. Clapboards are hand made and were the shingles of the pioneers, and it took a great many of them to build this house of four rooms in the substantial manner in which it was constructed. There are two fireplaces in the house, or rather there is what is called a double fireplace there, and another bit of corroborative evidence that it was built for some wealthy or prominent person is the fact that the fireplace and chimneys were built of fine handmade brick. Something of the size of the fireplaces may be judged by the fact that ordinary sized beds will fit in them, and with curtains placed over the mantles give no evidence that a spare bedroom is on each side and just below the mantles in each room. Mr. Werts says there are bricks enough in the chimney to build a two room house, and he had more put in by walling up the fireplaces because a tenant wished it walled up. That the house was built before the days of machine-made nails is made certain by the fact that hand-fashioned nails were used, and these show no signs yet of letting go their grip on the timber.



SPARKING [Courting or kissing] IN PARK NOT ALLOWED!

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 15, 1904

People living in the neighborhood of the park back of the Madison hotel complained to Chief of Police Maxwell Friday and Saturday that several couples of boy and girls had been causing some annoyance by their ostentatious display of affection for each other in broad daylight in the park. Many passersby noticed the young people sitting there, and when the affair was renewed Saturday morning the chief of police made an investigation. He found two couples sitting there in full view of passersby on the street, apparently indifferent to the gaze of the interested people who chanced to go that way. The young men were told to go their way, and Chief Maxwell took charge of the girls and turned them over to Mrs. S. Demuth, police matron, who gave them a lecture and sent them home. The girls said they lived in North Alton on Alby street.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 21, 1904

Mrs. S. Demuth, health officer, has made a startling discovery that thieves will not even respect property infected with smallpox germs. Someone broke into the Alton pest house sometime recently, and stole twelve chairs, a bedstead and bedding, and some other articles. Mrs. Demuth does not know just how much was taken. The lock was broken off the door and the furniture was missing. Probably the remainder of the furniture will be taken later, unless there is need for it. The place has not been fumigated when Mrs. Demuth made the discovery and she is wondering whether or not someone in Alton will not be taken down with smallpox. Mrs. Demuth went to the pest house yesterday, fumigated the place thoroughly, scrubbed it out herself, because she could not hire a man to do it, and has left the place clean and absolutely free of all disease germs. She has undertaken the building of some out-buildings, as there were none on the place, and a supply of coal will be sent there and put under lock and key for use, if the thieves who stole the smallpox infested furniture do not steal the coal too. Mrs. Demuth also made up all the beds, tidied up the place and now the pest house is more habitable, if not really attractive and inviting.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 15, 1904

The Liberty Bell Special [railroad car] carrying the Liberty Bell from the World's Fair back to Philadelphia, will pass through Alton as second section of the Prairie State Express, Wednesday.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 16, 1904

According to druggists and doctors, users of morphine and opium are numerous in Alton, and the numbers are increasing alarmingly. Many of those using it are confirmed fiends, and will do almost anything in order to secure a supply of their favorite drug. Very many of the victims are women, who began using the drug first for headache or some other kind of ache, and who after a while found themselves possessed of an appetite for the stuff that could not be appeased except by more drug. "Many men," said a druggist, "have quit drinking whisky and have taken to morphine or opium with the ideas that a drug drunk is more "genteel" than a whisky one, and that they can quit it at any time. There is where they make a mistake. It has a grip of steel, and the victim soon finds himself a moral and physical wreck. I won't sell morphine or opium to beginners at any price, and always advise against its use but our refusal and advice generally do no good as the drug is secured somewhere else."  Another thing this druggist said was that if opium or morphine were sold to a customer on credit, it always remained "on credit," "dope fiends," he said, "never pay a bill of that kind." 




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 1, 1904

W. H. Wiseman today bought through the agency of Edward Yager, a piece of ground 30x90 feet off the southeast corner of block 9, city proper, from Dr. W. H. Enos for $2,000. Mr. Wiseman intends to erect on the property one of the finest photograph galleries in the state of Illinois. He has purchased some fine furnishings and fixtures at the World's Fair, and the gallery will be fixed up in a most artistic manner.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 7, 1905

Work on the construction of the elegant building, a portion of which is to be occupied by the Wiseman photograph gallery, at the corner of east Second [Broadway] and Easton streets will begin at once. The ground for the foundations was staked off this morning.


Source: November 27, 1905

Contractor E. G. Yungck is doing the wood work on the new Wiseman photograph building on east Second street, Alton.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 7, 1905

They call the fine new building erected by Photographer Wiseman on East Second street "Ft. Wiseman," because he will take so many shots in it when it is completed.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 16, 1905

The Wiseman building on east Second street is having the front placed in today - a front that attracts attention by its oddness. There is nothing like it in Alton, and it seems to be modeled after the Roycroft, Elbert Hubbard style of things. It is of wood, dark in color like walnut, and is carved and sculptured elaborately over the doors and windows are the words "Heart and Hand," and on the pillars of the doors and on the window jams are the words "Quaker Shops." For something new in architecture, Photographer Wiseman is certainly in the lead in Alton.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 21, 1906

W. H. Wiseman, Commander-in-Chief of "Fort Wiseman," the splendid new building erected by him on East Second street for a photograph gallery, was born in North Carolina and came by his proficiency and efficiency as a photographer naturally, as his father was one of the best artists in the southeast. He ....[unreadable] his father to Texas where he became a camera cowboy, and was constantly on the "shoot" with that weapon. As a result, he made many conquests, roped "many honors" and "branded" himself as one of the very best takers of other persons featured in the Lone Star state. He came to Alton in 1896 and his work attracted attention at once. He has grown and expanded until now he owns the finest photograph gallery in Illinois, and his reputation as being one of the best photographers in the state is growing constantly also. Some time ago the Daily Telegraph, in speaking of the new Wiseman building, called it "Ft. Wiseman," because there is so much shooting at peoples faces with the cameras there, and again because the building looks like a fort. "Mr. Wiseman has concluded to adopt the name given by the Telegraph, and "Ft. Wiseman" it will be in the future. The building itself is unique, but the furnishings are more so, and a trip through the building is a fairly good outing of itself. Mr. Wiseman will give a grand opening early in April.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 23, 1906

Mr. W. H. Wiseman of this city has arranged for an opening of his new studio and an art exhibition associated with which is Mr. Will Young of Upper Alton. To this exhibition Mr. Wiseman invites the local artists and local amateur photographers to contribute. All work will be exhibited and contributors will kindly have same at the studio, Second and George streets, not later than noon of Monday, Oct. 29th. Paintings and photographs will be on exhibition the entire week commencing Oct. 29th. The studio will be open every evening until 9 o'clock. This is something never before attempted in Alton, and the public is cordially invited to attend. Among the St. Louis artists who will exhibit works are Mr. Wurple and Dawson-Watson.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 14, 1904

Thirteen Alton saloon keepers will be required to pay heavy fines to the United States government because of some gross violations of the internal revenue laws in which they have been detected. Mr. Charles G. Rogers, an internal revenue officer representing the office of the internal revenue collector, Gen. W. H. Powell of East St. Louis, completed an inspection of the Alton saloons this morning and seized a large quantity of whisky which was being sold under false pretenses and in violation of the revenue laws of March 3, 1897. Mr. Rogers said to the Telegraph that the saloon keepers cannot plead innocent, as the violations were palpable and deliberate offenses, they having every means of knowing that the offenses were forbidden. The offense consists in refilling bottles with cheap whisky, which were originally filled with whisky of a much higher price that had been inspected, gauged and stamped in bond by the United States government. It has been a common practice, it seems, for saloon keepers to buy a few bottles of high-grade whisky and after the bottles had been emptied, to refill them. On every bottle appeared a government stamp, affixed at the bonded warehouses, and these bottles should not be used to contain any liquor after once emptied. The government stamp, which certifies that the contents of the bottles are 100 proof, are placed across the top of the bottles where they must be broken before the cork can be withdrawn from the neck of the bottle. On the side of the bottle printed in plain black type is a warning for which prohibits the use of the bottle a second time, and prescribes the penalty of the law for violations. The penalty is a fine from $100 to $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than two years, one or both. The law was enacted for the purpose of preventing swindling in the liquor business if possible. The government guarantees the goods thus stamped to be of a certain quality. The price of the goods originally in most of the bottles found by Mr. Rogers would be about $3.50, while the price of the stuff with which the bottles were refilled was about one half to one third that figure. The extend of the fraud which was perpetrated on the patrons of the saloons as well as on the government may be seen from this fact. Mr. Rogers arrived in Alton yesterday and started on a still hunt. He entered every saloon in Alton, demanded to see their bonded goods and as he found some of the stuff did not come up to the proof guaranteed by the stamp, he seized the bottles. He carried them to the Madison hotel where he had a big collection of bottles of various sizes and containing whisky of various quality, none of which was up to 100 proof. Every violator was told that he must appear before the United States commissioner at East St. Louis and make his plea of guilty there.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 27, 1904

A batch of warrants has been sworn out because of a saloon conducted by David Searles at Fourth and State street, opposite the Jennie D. Hayner library. It is said by the police that shooting affrays are of nightly occurrence there and that occasionally the proprietor, Searles, would draw a revolver and discharge it indiscriminately to inspire respect for his courage in the minds of his patrons. Sunday morning there was a shooting affray in the saloon, and Monday evening there was another. In the latter, George Builson is said to have shot James Searles, the bullet striking Searles on the side of the head and passing around the skull to the other side without causing any worse than a scalp wound. The police will ask the mayor to revoke Searles' license on the ground it is a dangerous and disorderly resort.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 27, 1905

The old-time pastime of roller skating will again be in vogue when W. M. Sauvage throws open the doors of the New Crescent Skating Rink at Pioneer Hall on next Monday evening. The rink is equipped throughout, with the Richardson's latest improved ball bearing skates. Doors will open at 7:30 Monday. Admission, 10 cents.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 24, 1905

Walter Riehl discovered almost the entire skeleton of an Indian in a caved in bank on his father's place, Evergreen Heights, Sunday. Indian skeletons are becoming very scarce and few of those found are in good condition. The skull of this warrior was cleft with a tomahawk, showing plainly how the original owner of the skeleton came to his death.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 3, 1905

J. E. Rodgers has bought of the McHugh-McGinnis heirs the old building just east of the Telegraph building on West Third street, and is having the edifice wrecked. It is one of the oldest buildings in Alton, and was quite a pretentious one in early times. It was a hotel, and was patronized by many men distinguished in the state and nation. It became a tenement house of late years. The timbers are of oak and are in good condition. The removal of the building is an improvement to the street.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 3, 1905

Officer Henry Tisius captured the clothes of a whole party of boys who were swimming in the river near Lover's Leap, Sunday afternoon, but to capture them he was compelled to adopt a clever ruse - he took their clothes - and the boys, being without garments to cover their nakedness so they could go home, were compelled to surrender, and standing on the burning railroad track without any clothing on them, they sued successfully for the return of the captured clothing. The clothes were returned on the agreement of the boys that they would stop bathing in the river in daytime without donning bathing suits. Especially on Sundays the river front is frequented by people, and the occupants of the pleasure boats passing up and down, as well as people standing on the banks, have been shocked by the nudity of most of the swimmers who were shameless in displaying themselves on the tops of the barges and boats tied up from State street to the water works. Chief of Police Maxwell has issued an order that all daylight swimmers must wear bathing suits, and the police have instructions to seize the clothes. Yesterday one of the swimmers surprised by Officer Tisius fled up the Bluff Line tracks a long distance, holding his clothes in his hands as he ran, and several others tried to scale Lover's Leap but were called back by the officer, who was more frightened than the climbers, as he feared they might fall and be hurt.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 7, 1905

The old St. Charles hotel building on State street will be remodeled within the next sixty days and made into a forty room hotel. The contracts for the work will be awarded at the office of Lucas Pfeiffenberger, Saturday morning. Sixteen rooms will be added in the back, a complete alarm system will be placed in the building, and water and baths will be placed on each floor. The property is owned by William Sonntag, and will after the improvements be rented for hotel purposes.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 1, 1905

In tearing down the old George Sidway building on west Second street to make room for the addition to the H. K. Johnston building, a second floor was found under the top floor. This floor marks the old level of Second street, and it is supposed by some of the older residents that the 1844 high water mark on the mill building should have been sighted from this floor instead of from the floor laid years later. The high water mark on the mill is said to be somewhat higher than the water really was, and Mr. Johnson, after talking to some of the old residents about it, thinks the '44 water mark was really at the first floor, or about four feet below the mark on the mill corner. If this be true, the high water mark of 1892 was even higher than it was in 1844. Second street in 1844 was about four feet lower than at the present .....  [unreadable].




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 16, 1905

According to statistics, the greatest number of glass bottles ever manufactured in Alton was manufactured last season by the Illinois Glass Co.  The total output aggregates over 145,524,928 bottles. Last year the output reached one million gross, and this year the production was vastly increased. The number of bottles made at Alton represents less than half the number sold by the Illinois Glass Co., as the company owns a plant at Chicago Heights, has an interest in several factories in Indiana, and purchases the output of many other factories throughout the country.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 18, 1905

The old Alton House site on Front and Alby streets has been purchased by Dr. G. Taphorn from the Burke estate heirs for $5,500. The property is 150x99 feet. Dr. Taphorn said today that he is undecided what he will do with the property, but that he intends to improve it and will erect a building upon it, the nature of which has not been determined. The Alton house was destroyed by fire thirty-five years ago. It was at one time the best hotel in the western country, but since its destruction the property has been vacant and nothing but tall weeds have occupied it. The place has been an offense to the eyes of the community and a burden to the owners. For many years the property was taxed at a valuation of $1,500, but a few years ago Mr. John Elble, who was a member of the board of review, had the valuation raised to $6,500.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 23, 1905

Capt. Frank Tesson and Capt. James Montgomery, two Alton citizens, are probably the best illustration of the fallacy of the Osler theory that men are useless after they reach the age of 60. The two old river men are the pilots on the steamer Belle of Calhoun and the steamer is probably the only boat on the river employing such aged men to handle the boat. Although both have well advanced in years, neither has lost any of his ability as a pilot. The two pilots are almost twins in age, being in the 73rd year each, Capt. Tesson claims to have been a year longer in the business than his "kid" partner, as he puts it. Capt. Tesson is in his 49th year at the helm, and Capt. Montgomery is in his 48th.  Capt. Tesson was asked if there was any truth in the story that both he and his wheel partner had become so used to running up and down the river that they could steer a boat with their eyes shut. "We have to keep our eyes open all the time," he said, "and that is one business at which a man must keep his eyes open when on duty." Capt. Tesson started with a relative in 1856 to learn the river.  Capt. Montgomery started a year or two later. Neither has to depend on eyeglasses to help his vision, and neither has had a bad accident in his career. Both can tell many interesting tales of the river and can recall many stories of the early days. When asked how they accounted for their state of good preservation although both have passed the three score years and ten, Capt. Montgomery said, "Neither of us has tried to drink up all of the booze made, although we are river men." No doubt the Belle of Calhoun is in the hands of safe helmsmen, as both are tried and have been found trusty.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 4, 1905

Killed:  Engineer George Smith, Springfield, Ill.  Leaves wife and family.

Injured: R. P. Foster, fireman, feet and legs badly scalded. Resides in Springfield;  George Robbins, brakeman, deep cut over right eye; William Sherrer, engineer, right leg badly sprained.


Freight train No. 53, running south, and a work train out of Alton crashed into each other in a head-on collision on the Bluff Line at 6:40 o'clock this morning. The wreck occurred at the big curve at Hop Hollow. Both trains were under speed, and on account of the heavy fog, ran within fifty feet of each other before the train crews detected each other. There was no time to jump, and the train crews were caught at their posts. Engineer George Smith was crushed up against the boiler head by the coal from the tender being pushed forward, and his death must have been instantaneous. His body was badly scalded by the time it was freed from the wreck. Smith resides in Springfield, and has a wife and several small children. He was forty years of age.  R. P. Foster, Smith's fireman, was caught in the wreckage, and his limbs from his hips down were terribly scalded and crushed. He was taken to his home in Springfield. George Robbins of Springfield, brakeman on train No. 53, received a deep gash over his right eye. His injuries are not serious. William Scherer, engineer of the work train, received a badly sprained right leg, and his fireman, Thomas Gildersleeve, was badly shaken up. John Cuthbertson, conductor on the work train, was uninjured.  Conductor John Fitzgerald of train No. 53 had a miraculous escape and cannot explain it. He was sitting on the seat with engineer George Smith in the engine cab. When the crash came, Fitzgerald says his body was shot through the cab window and into the air. He landed on both feet, and found that he was in the river in water knee deep. Beside a few scratches he is not injured. Conductor Fitzgerald cannot explain why he was thrown from the engine cab, and Smith, who sat beside him, was pinched in a death clasp by the sliding coal, which was thrown forward by the momentum.  The blame for the wreck has not been placed, but the trainmen say that they had no chance in the world, as the fog was so heavy you could not see fifty feet ahead of the engine. Conductor Cuthbertson, it is stated, said that he thought No. 53 had gone through. The train is due through Alton about 3 o'clock in the morning, and the conductor did not dream of its being so late. Mr. Cuthbertson refused to discuss the matter, and is deeply grieved over the death of Smith, as he was a warm friend of the engineer.  The body of Engineer George Smith was brought to Alton this morning, and an inquest will be held by Coroner C. N. Streeper Thursday. The remains will then be shipped to Springfield for interment. A telegram was dispatched to the man's family soon after the wreck, bearing the sad news of his death. The death of George Smith, or "Skyrocket" Smith as he was known and called, will be regretted by all of the trainmen on the Bluff Line. Smith had always a cheerful smile and a gladsome greeting for his fellows, and was liked for his good cheer. A trainman who worked with Smith remarked this morning, "Nothing but such as this could have knocked the good cheer out of George Smith."


[Note:  Hop Hollow was a heavily wooded area (which is now private property), which ran from the area of Blue Pool along the bluffs in Alton to North Alton (Confederate Cemetery area).  It once had a wagon-trail road, which during the Civil War was used to take the bodies of Confederate prisoners to the burying ground - now the Confederate Cemetery.  Today, the largest part of this road no longer exists. A faint trail is all that can be found leading away from the spot known as Blue Pool. It curves into a heavily wooded area and comes to an end at Holland Street. This was once a well-used road and beyond it, the remains of the road become Rozier Street, which passes by the Confederate Cemetery.  How this area was named Hop Hollow: In early times, before 1830, there resided in Upper Alton a man by the name of Henry Hopkinson, who purchased the land on which was held the State agricultural exposition some years since, and north of that tract to the Jerret tract, and south to the Smeltser tract of land. He removed on this tract of land, built his house in the hollow, fifteen or twenty rods bellow the stone quarry and on the east side of the branch. He went by the sobriquet of "Old Hop," before removing to his purchase, and from this the hollow took its name. "Old Hop" supposedly buried thousands of dollars on his land, but it was never found.]



"CHALKEY" FOOTE DISMISSED FROM RAILROAD SERVICE    Man Who Figured in Jesse James Blue-Cut Robberies as Engineer of Train is Laid Off

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 16, 1905

Leroy Foote, better know as "Chalky," an engineer well known in the days of the Jesse James robberies in the famous Blue-Cut, when a C. and A. train was held up and robbed, has been suspended by the Bluff Line because of an alleged defect in his eyesight. Foote was engineer on the local freight running between Alton and Springfield, and had a lay over in Alton. He has been in the railroad business for nearly fifty years. It is said that the Bluff Line general manager has slated about two dozen of the older men on the road for dismissal, and that the axe fell first on Chalky Foote. It is also said that the railway company may find a place for the old engineer, aside from one on the right side of the engine's cab.  W. M. Demombreum, who was engineer on the "hill engine" has been dismissed from service too.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 15, 1905

Many bundles of interesting old books and papers were being crated up and carted away today from the vaults in the McPike building at Second and Easton streets, which recorded the history of an old Alton institution that has passed away, but which survives still in the memory of many Alton people. The papers were all the books and papers of the old Illinois Mutual Fire Insurance building at Liberty and Grove started here by Hon. H. G. McPike. The company did a flourishing business in Alton and was in a condition that would have admitted of it growing to a large, healthy fire insurance company in the near future, but for an unfortunate questioning of its condition by the state auditor in 1891, which resulted in the company being wound up, at a time when it was doing well and paying salaries to many Alton people. The company was originally started in the early days of Alton by John Atwood, and the company had its offices in the building at Liberty and Grove streets. After the Chicago fire in 1871, the company went out of business, but its charter was still in existence. Hon. H. G. McPike obtained the charter, revived the company and was building up a flourishing business when the attack of the state auditor put it out of business. It was a remarkable commentary on the financial stability of the company that its affairs were wound up at heavy expense and the company paid dollar for dollar. After keeping the old documents for many years, Mr. McPike decided to get rid of them and men were put to work crating them up and hauling them to be disposed of to a paper factory. Among the relics was a picture on the back of which was the information that it had safely passed through the Chicago fire and was saved, intact, from the furnace that destroyed everything else around it. The picture was an early day advertisement of the old Illinois Mutual and was about all the company saved out of the wreck of the fire. Another relic is an old fashioned picture frame containing the pictures of the original board of directors of the Illinois Mutual. The frame is a large one, with gold leaf mountings and was a very costly piece of decorative work in its day. Some of these latter old relics will be spared, but the remainder will be shipped to a paper factory and but little will be left of the once well known fire insurance company.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 5, 1905

An ancient landmark was uncovered by workmen who were excavating in Market street, between Fifth and Fourth street today, laying a sewer to be connected from Miss Belle Mather's house to the Fifth street sewer. The workmen dug up a stone which was set there in the early days of Alton, doubtless, and has been buried out of sight for many a year. The stone was probably on the street level, but with the filling of the street it became covered and has been in disuse for a long time. The stone was marked "No. 12."  George H. Davis, who was looking after the work, had the stone set back in place again by the workmen in order that its location might not be disturbed.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 16, 1905

J. H. McPike, the purchaser of the old Alton house site at Front and Alby street, began work a few days ago clearing away the debris of the building which was destroyed by fire thirty-five years ago. Mr. McPike said today that according to the best information he could secure, the building was destroyed thirty-five years ago by fire on January 1, and he expects to have the building site cleared on the 35th anniversary. The entire site will be cleared down to the rock foundation. Mr. McPike expects to be able to use the foundations for a new building, as they are in good condition, so far as they have been uncovered. The workmen have been keeping a careful watch for interesting relics which may have survived the fire, but up to this afternoon none has been found. A bone was picked up which was believed to be the bone out of the arm of a child, but no one identified it fully as such. An old fashioned iron stove was found buried deep in the debris of the building, and some little iron trinkets were also found. Mr. McPike said that no attention would be paid to any objects found above the layer of bricks which formed the walls of the building, and which fell in, covering over the ruins. Mr. McPike has not definitely decided what use will be made of the property, but he intends to do something with it that will make a marked improvement in Alton and will be a benefit to the property in the neighborhood. The clearing of the old site has aroused much interest among the old inhabitants. Young people do not remember of anything on the site except a forest of weeds and piles of rubbish dumped there by people in the neighborhood. At one time the building was one of the stately hotels of southern Illinois and entertained many of the prominent men of the day. It was a good hotel in its day, and was widely known for its quality.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 27, 1905

The workmen who are cleaning away the ruins of the old Alton House, thirty-six years after the building was destroyed by fire, are coming upon some interesting relics which passed through the fire but have well night succumbed to the ravages of time and the elements. The men have been keeping a sharp lookout for any objects that might be of interest, and some interesting discoveries have been made. The building seemed to be a checkerboard of interesting stone walls, and there were numerous cisterns and sewers in the place. Three cisterns were dug into by the workmen, some of them being full of water and it being necessary to siphon them out with a hose to prevent the water flowing out and rendering the ground so muddy the men could not work. Yesterday the men came across an old sewer that must have drained the kitchen sink where dishes were washed. Shot seems to have been used by housekeepers in those days for cleaning bottles, as it is somewhat now used. The workmen found where a large quantity of shot had collected in one old sewer and had formed a solid mass that was very heavy. The shot must have fallen into the drain from the sink while being used for cleaning out bottles, and must have been collecting there during all the years the hotel sink was being used as a place for bottle washing. Some old spoons, a butter knife and a lot of broken crockery ware were picked up, and a pile of decayed coal, evidently what was on hand at the time of the fire in the hotel coal bins was found.




Source: Auburn, New York Citizen, January 20, 1906

A large wildcat that has been filling the night air with hair raising sounds and the people in the vicinity with terror on the bluffs between Hop Hollow and Alton, was killed early yesterday morning by Henry Schwallensticher, an Alton stone mason, whose dogs treed the cat on Haskel Hill. Schwallensticher had gone coon hunting Sunday night and was returning home when the dogs started the wild cat inside the northern limits of the city of Alton. After a sharp chase, the animal ran up a large tree on Haskel Hill and the dogs howled and barked furiously until their master came up. The figure of the animal was outlined against the limb of the tree upon which it crouched and the hunter, thinking it was a coon, fired at the dark object. The aim was true, and the animal, giving a scream of pain, came tumbling to the ground. Dying as it was, the trained dogs had a hard fight, and many bad wounds from the cat, which is said to be the largest specimen ever seen in the vicinity.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 9, 1906

Some twenty years ago Alton possessed a musical organization called the Gossrau brass band, after its organizer and director, R. Gossrau, and unlike the modern brass bandists, these old timers not only played some instruments, but each one was a special star in some form of amusement, and their entertainments were always occasions of great joy to their friends and the public generally. Recently the question of reorganizing the band came up, and the "Big Four" of the combination, Joe Holl, John Elblie, George Mold and H. A. Wutzler, saw as many of the surviving members as possible, and it was decided to reorganize and give one of their old time band concerts, including specialties of various kinds and to give the proceeds to charity. A meeting was held last evening, and the following officers were elected: John Elblie, president, H. A. Wutzler, vice-president; H. L. Winter, director; W. F. Hoppe, librarian; Jim Reilley, drum major.  It was learned that at least three survivors of the old Bluff City Band, which was at its Zenith 35 years ago, still lived in Alton, and it was decided to admit them to membership in the reorganized aggregation. The three are Edmond Beall, S. H. Malcolm and Rudolph Maerdian. A meeting will be held next Wednesday evening at Turner Hall, when all former members are expected to be present and help make arrangements for the concert amalgamated concoction of fun, which will be given as soon as possible thereafter in Turner Hall, and which is guaranteed will be the leading public entertainment event of the season or of many seasons past.



GYPSIES CARRY MUCH GOLD IN CARAVAN - Bankers Astonished by Foreigners' Display of Yellow Treasure

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 12, 1906

Alton bankers were astonished today by the showing of gold made by members of a band of gypsies traveling in a dozen wagons, who have been going through the country and are now encamped on the outskirts of Alton waiting for the roads to harden sufficiently for them to pursue their way. The party consists of Brazilian gypsies, who are very numerous in this country now, and only a few of them speak English well. Representatives of the caravan have been negotiating with Alton banks trying to discover which of them will offer the best terms for a large quantity of gold in British and French coins, which the members of the caravan doubtless brought with them from Brazil. There is a demand for French gold and also for British gold from tourists and traders, and banks are eager to get it. Knowing this, the gypsies solicited all of them and asked for quotations on foreign gold. The representatives smelled like the inmates of hyena cages at a circus, and at each bank it was necessary to open doors after their departure. The gypsies had been carrying the money in their caravan and would probably have gone on with a large sum of yellow metal in their wagons, with no one any the wiser, but muddy roads made it desirable to dispense with all the weight they could possibly get rid of. The women and children carrying as much of their plunder as they could, walked all the way from Granite City to Alton, while four horses attached to each wagon had all they could do to pull the wagons through the mud. The aggregate of wealth carried by the party is estimated to be large, judging from what the gypsies said.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 15, 1906

James Newman, the labor agent for the glass works, was taken to Edwardsville today and will be taken down to Chester in a few days by Sheriff Crowe to begin serving an indeterminate sentence imposed upon him in the city court by Judge Dunnegan today...He was found guilty of a charge of assault with intent to commit rape, and the penalty is from one to fourteen years in the penitentiary.....The girl against whom he committed the assault is Juanita Dowdell, a Carrolton girl of 17 years whom he induced to come to Alton under promise that he would give her a job. There was a strong array of witnesses in Newman's behalf, but the jury preferred to believe the few witnesses who testified in behalf of the girl.  According to Chief of Police Maxwell, James Newman is one of the famous Dalton gang. He received information to that effect some time ago, and he investigated Newman with the result that he found confirmation of his story. Newman always tried to make himself appear as young as possible, and he affected a style of dress that made him known throughout the city. He wore a Prince Albert coat and formerly always wore a mackintosh [waterproof raincoat], but in recent years discarded that. He wore a black wig and disguised himself or his age by dying his moustache black. He is said to have been a full cousin of the Daltons, who terrorized the country a number of years ago. Although Newman was 56 years of age, his attempts to disguise himself were so successful no one would take him for anything near that age.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 22, 1906

The end of this week will mark the end of the throne on which the baseball fan sat for many a day and many a year, passing judgment on the deeds of the heroes of the green diamond. The bleachers has furnished a seat for the real fans, those whose enthusiasm could not be burned out by an August sun, nor chilled by the early frosts of the Fall before the game was ended for the season. It was the place where the real critics and where the "sure things," the old true-penny of the managers sat, who could always be counted on to find money enough to see a game of baseball even if the pantry at home did suffer. The grandstand played a minor part, but was none the less a fixture of the old baseball park. Manager W. M. Sauvage, who has charge of the May festival to be given at Sportsman's park, said today that he would tear down the bleachers and the grandstand and clear the whole grounds to make room for the shows which will be put in there by the Gaskill Carnival Co.  The Illinois Glass company, having purchased the baseball park to be used as a site for a new office building, the grandstand and bleachers once taken down, will not be rebuilt. It will be the end of the baseball park as a ball park. If a new diamond is to be secured it must be found east of town, perhaps at the old Chessen race track.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 23, 1906

Annually each fall and spring for fifty years or more, Alton at this time of year and again later in the fall was visited by large numbers of movers going from the East to the West, or vice versa, in "prairie schooners," and Alton business men sold hundreds of dollars worth of supplies to these movers, who almost invariably stocked up here with food and clothing for themselves, and with feed, harness, etc. for their livestock, as they could obtain better bargains and better goods in Alton than in the small towns along their route. Of late years this travel has been growing less all the time for the reason that only unsatisfactory ferry service could be obtained. This year several movers, after reaching Alton, were compelled to drive to St. Louis to cross the river, although their objective points were in a direction north of Alton on the other side. Alton business men are suffering considerable loss because no ferryboat is plying the Mississippi river at this point this year. The farmers of Missouri Point can no longer bring their wagons loaded with produce into Alton and return to their homes with the wagons reloaded with Alton goods. It is said the ferry owners refuse to operate the boat unless a guarantee fund or bonus is pledged by the merchants and the matter was discussed last night at a meeting of the Retail Merchants' Association. It is being suggested that Alton businessmen buy the boat outright and conduct it themselves, or buy some other ferry boat, bring it here and put it to work. The idea of a bonus does not appeal to the members of the association as a body. Many are in favor of buying a boat and have it make ten round trips daily .... [unreadable].  This would give excellent service, it is claimed, and would tend to cause more and more people to come to Alton with their teams and wagons from Missouri Point.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 2, 1906

Today was the forty-sixth anniversary of the big cyclone that did great damage in Alton. Old residents will remember that on June 3, 1860, a storm swept over the city which destroyed a Catholic church, swept the downtown districts and did great destruction of property. Alton has not had such a storm since then, and the city has been supposed by the present generation to be protected from such visitations by the walls of stone in the Alton bluffs. The bluffs gave no such protection as it is supposed, then. An interesting coincidence today was that a miniature tornado swept over the city hall square at noon and carried a whirling cloud of dust and paper from Second and Market streets, around city hall toward the Bluff Line depot and then across the railroad tracks and the levee to the river.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 16, 1906

The wrecking of the Hewitt home on Liberty street will be begun Monday. In its place will be erected two residences, one for George R. Hewitt and the other for Harold H. Hewitt. The building to be wrecked was built in 1857 or 1857 by the late Judge W. H. Billings, and was one of the finest residences in Alton for many years. It has always been occupied by members of the Judge's family - Mrs. George R. Hewitt being his daughter.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 19, 1906

Complaints were made to the police today that a homeless girl was living in barns and stables in the west end of the city, in the past known as Skelladore, and that her conduct was such as to warrant an investigation. She would tell but little about herself, and said that she had been sleeping out in the open air in the pastures nearby, and when the weather was bad she would sleep in barns. She would not talk to anyone and seemed to desire to stay away from people of either sex. This afternoon Officer Burjes hunted over the territory she has been frequenting but could not find a trace of her. She was warned to stay away from some of the barns, but persisted in entering them and making her home there.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 2, 1906

President Edward Rodgers of the Alton Paving Building and Fire Brick Co. is authority for the statement that six million brick have been sold to the contractors and delivered in Alton for the various brick pavings. These brick are laid end to end would reach from Alton to Buffalo, and if loaded on cars would make a train of 600 cars. An idea of the magnitude of the Alton paving improvements can be gathered from these figures and facts.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 28, 1906

Many years ago Fourth street between Piasa and Belle streets must have been a dumping ground for the city, judging from the character of material the workmen digging trenches for laying water pipes in Fourth street had to go through. About two feet below the level of the street paving, the workmen began digging up sheet iron such as may have been used in making vessels of various kinds. The ground was also full of scraps of old leather as if thrown out of a shoemaker's shop in ages gone by. The workmen had much difficulty in cutting through the depths of old metal, as it was several feet in thickness.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 20, 1906

Many couples were seized last night by the police in Happy Hollow, a domain bounded by Piasa, Market, Eighth and Ninth streets, in what is known as the old bucket factory grounds. There had been too much economy in the matter of marriage licenses in Happy Hollow. On one seemed to care about getting out licenses and paying for a clergyman when going to housekeeping. Six couples were dragged from their homes last night, having been indicted by the grand jury. Nine couples in all were subjects of true bills. In consequence there has been a cloud over the former sunny skies of Happy Hollow. The inhabitants have been taken to jail to await trial in the City court. The frequent fights and other disorderly occurrences in that district was the cause of the patience of the police being exhausted and the drastic action taken by the grand jury.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 22, 1906

After a half century of continuous ownership by one family, the harness store of A. H. Wuerker at State and Third streets has been sold by Mr. Wuerker to Frank Pickard, who was until recently in Kansas City. Mr. A. H. Wuerker said today he would retire from business in the hope of benefitting his health, which has not been good for some time. The business house was founded fifty years ago by Mr. Wuerker's father, C. Wuerker, who is still living in this city and is one of the most respected residents of the city. The reputation of the firm has always been above reproach, and the Wuerker's were characterized for fair dealing. A. H. Wuerker took the business from his father eighteen years ago. Mr. Pickard will take possession on Monday.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 16, 1906

The wrecking of the old Empire house on Third street to make place for a modern business block marks the passing of one of the oldest boarding houses in the city of Alton, which has a remarkable history in that during the entire time that the property was rented by its owner, J. F. Hoffmeister, and later by his estate, a period of fifty-three years, the property never lost the owner but one month's rent. The building was erected by J. F. Hoffmeister, and completed in 1848. Mr. Hoffmeister came to Alton in 1835, and he first started a baker shop in the little building on State street adjoining Sugar alley, now used as a pawn shop. Later he bought for #3,000 the two lots on which the Empire house was to stand, and he erected a building three stories high in the west end, of which he had his bakery, and the remainder of the first floor he rented out for stores. The second floor was for living apartments for the families of the store keepers, and the third floor was the old Kossuth hall, which was for many years the only entertainment hall in the city and all public meetings were held there. Mr. Hoffmeister was given the contract for feeding the troops which were mobilized at Alton for the Mexican War, and he made enough profit out of his contract to complete payments on the buildings he erected and which were completed just about the time the Mexican War closed. Mr. Hoffmeister left Alton in 1853, having bought a nursery in the country and he rented out the property in town for a boarding house. The Empire house was never a high priced hotel, but was for many years a third-class boarding house, charging about $1 a day. F. W. Hoffmeister says that the place was very profitable, and that rents were always paid by the tenants with the exception of one month in the more than half century it was rented out.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 26, 1906

One eyed men seem to be getting into trouble in Alton, and they also seem to be so embarrassed financially that they cannot pay their fines, so they are compelled to go on the street sweeping gang. For a while today, Col. Pack had three one-eyed men on the gang of street cleaners. James W. Delay, the first one, has been discharged however, and allowed to depart from Alton, being ushered out of town by a police officer, but the other two are staying and will be engaged in the city's service indefinitely. One is a negro and the other a white man. The one-eyed men make good street sweepers, notwithstanding their affliction. Custodian James Patterson Pack, of the street cleaning prisoners gang, has been doing some very "bum" work lately, the paved streets after being swept up and raked off showing several large and very disreputable streaks all along the line. Investigation showed that three of Pack's workers had only one eye each, and these three, being able to see on only one side of the broom at the time, left the streaks in the streets. The Colonel commanding them was too busy being admired by the passing throng for his pulchritude [physical beauty] to allow him to inspect the job of cleaning very closely, and besides he was trying to set to music the words:  "I'm a dandy copper of the Alton squad, I'm a sergeant and a beaut you see; And the ladies cry, as they pass by, Look at purty Jimmie Patsy P.  I'm standing in with the aldermen And me trusty club and me, Were put on the police, for to keep the peace. I'm a wonder; I am James P. P."    Another thing connected with the matter is the fact that out of the eight men on the street cleaning gang at the time, only five had two eyes each and that made the total of eyes just thirteen. Thirteen always played the hoodoo's part in Pack's life, and may have something to do with streaked streets.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, 1907?

The tearing down of the third of the three oldest houses in the city of Alton was completed today by the C. L. Gray Construction Co., on the site to be occupied by the new hotel building. The three houses were erected in the early days of Alton and have been the silent witnesses of many stirring events in the city. The houses, in their day, were palaces and were indeed very worthy examples of enterprise in a comparatively new city in a wilderness, as Alton was when the houses were built in 1836 and 1837. The materials used in constructing the houses was the very best, and the houses were well built. It was hard work tearing apart the oak timbers, when even the laths under the plastering were of oak. The members of the new hotel corporation hope to have their plans perfected in a short time and will then proceed with the erection of the building. They are still receiving subscriptions to the fund of $25,000 to be added to the hotel capital stock to enlarge the building. There now remain in Alton very few old houses which date back as far as 1837. Within the last year or two several in the neighborhood of Third and Market have given away to the march of progress. At the site occupied by the Y. M. C. A. building now, several old houses were torn down, and on the site to be occupied by the post office building were several other houses which were as old and were occupied by the big men of the early day of Alton. The settlement in that neighborhood was erected at a time when it was expected Alton would be a big city and the founders were making their homes the nucleus of the city they thought would later stand there.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 14, 1907

The Telegraph today celebrated its 71st birthday anniversary. The date of the Telegraph's anniversary is the date for the launching of another daily newspaper in Madison county, the Edwardsville Daily Intelligencer, the first daily paper established at the county seat, and congratulations are given by the old to the new across the county. The Telegraph intends to grow better and better in its old age, and to be stronger and more pleasing to its good readers. In the past few years many improvements have been made which have met the approval of its constituents. In the future, more and greater ones may be expected. The Telegraph intends to keep step with the growth of Alton, and just a little in advance of it, so that Alton people may always be proud of having a newspaper in it that will be a credit to the city. Good newspapers are the best advertisement of a city, and as such the Telegraph hopes to continue as the hallmark of a growing, thriving city where peace and goodwill thrive and where everyone is working for the good of the community. On its 71st birthday the Telegraph feels strong and in better condition than ever before to cover the news field of Alton, and to give the people an interesting newspaper.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 31, 1907

That a street in Alton could have been passing under an assumed name for three-quarters of a century is a very queer fact, but according to City Engineer T. M. Long, this is the case. He claims that Belle street as it is known should be Beall street, as that was the name on the original plat of the city. It is said that the street was named for Edmond Beall, the grandfather of the present mayor, as he was one of the first residents of Alton and was president of the board of trustees of the First Methodist church of Alton, established over 75 years ago on that street. The records of the old church at Fifth and Belle streets show that certain privileges were granted by the city to that church, located at "Fifth and Beall streets," and this fact aroused the interest of Mayor Beall, who in talking the matter over with the city engineer, discovered that the name of the street was originally Beall street, and that it was so platted. Mayor Beall says that the name Beall was pronounced as spelled "Bell," by many of the olden time people, and that in this way, he believes, the name of the street became changed to Belle street. When street signs were put up the name was changed to "Belle" without any authority of the city council and for many years the street has been known as Belle street. The matter has been taken up by some of the friends of Mayor Beall who say that they will ask the city council to re-establish the old name of the street in honor of Mayor Beall, or rather rescue the original name of the street from oblivion and hereafter give the street the name it had when it was first laid out.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 10, 1907

The formal christening of the new steamer, Alton, and the presentation of a bell by the citizens of Alton for use on this boat, took place Monday afternoon. The Alton arrived at 4 o'clock, escorted by the Spread Eagle. Both boats were handsomely decorated and were flying full stands of colors as they steamed into Alton harbor. The presentation of the bell was one of the features of the program, and it was an incident of the reception which was very pleasing to the Eagle Packet company, owners of the new boat, as it manifested a feeling of cordiality and appreciation of the citizens of Alton for the naming of the steamer after the city, which is the home of the principal owners. Alton has always had a very deep interest in the Eagle Packet Co., as it is here that the stockholders have owned their homes. A large crowd of people went to St. Louis this morning on the Spread Eagle. Headed by the White Hussar band, members of the Manufacturers' association, Commercial club, Retail Merchants, Naval Militia and citizens left here on the Spread Eagle at 9:15 o'clock. The naval militia gun crew was in the party and they had the Hotchkiss gun with them. After the Spread Eagle left, many went to St. Louis on electric cars and trains to make the trip up to Alton on the steamer Alton. Many who could not get invitations paid their fare to be in the party. The Alton had never made much of a trip under her own steam before, and naturally the machinery was a little stiff. The boat is one of the finest on the Mississippi and is the best ever built or owned by the Eagle Packet Co. Her size and equipment are such as to make her exactly suited for the excursion business, for which she is intended principally. The christening of the boat by Miss Dorothy Ferguson, the 10 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Ferguson, was an event in the program. The boat on coming to Alton harbor first touched at the wharf-boat to take a few passengers on board, and then pulled away from the wharf and moved above so the bow of the boat could be stuck in the mud on the bank of the levee. It was then and there that the christening took place. The naval militia gun crew fired a salute of 21 guns from their Hotchkiss gun. Miss Ferguson broke a bottle of champagne over the bow of the boat as the bow stuck in the mud, and then the new flag to float from the foremast was hauled up and saluted. The arrival of the new boat was signaled by whistling of all steam craft in the harbor and by the vigorous tooting of the whistles of the Alton and the Spread Eagle. The presentation of the bell was done by Rev. A. A. Tanner of the Congregational church, in behalf of the citizens of Alton who made up the purse to buy the bell. The response was made by Capt. Leyhe of the Eagle Packet Co.  Capt. Leyhe, in receiving the bell, told of the small beginning of his company and of its career, and expressed the utmost appreciation, in behalf of his company, of the gift of the bell. An address of welcome was made by W. P. Boynton, city comptroller, in behalf of the city of Alton. Congressman W. A. Rodenberg made an address on deep waterways. The White Hussar band played several selections and then the public was invited to inspect the new boat. This evening an excursion will be given by the Eagle Packet Co., which will be complimentary to the citizens of Alton. Invitations have been issued for the excursion, and this will be the first outing on the handsome new steamer.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 11, 1907

The steamer Alton is the property of the Eagle Packet Company. She was pronounced a perfect piece of mechanism by the throngs of people who visited her. She was built at Ed Howard's shipyards in Jeffersonville, Indiana, under the direct supervision of Commodore Henry Leyhe, general manager of the Eagle Packet Company, at a cost of $75,000. The Alton's dimensions are: Length, 246 feet, and beam, 38 feet. She has a 7 foot hold, 5 boilers, 42 inches in diameter and 26 feet long; cylinders of 24 inch diameter and 8 foot stroke. Her cabin is of beautiful design, having staterooms 30 feet long and handsomely furnished. There is also a large and spacious boiler deck with a dancing floor 110 feet in length and 14 in width. No expense was spared in the Alton's equipment, the furnishings, wares and linens being most costly. The lower decks are very roomy, and there is a place for an ice cream and luncheon parlor for the accommodation of excursionists. A gilded gold ball adorns the space between the chimneys - the trademark of her company. The pilot house is octagonal in shape and quite in keeping with her other appointments. The handsome bell, which was presented to the boat by the citizens of Alton, bears on its inscription the fact that it was presented by the citizens of Alton on the 10th of June, 1907, and concludes with the sentiment, "Ring for Alton." The new packet gives every promise of being a swift traveler, and hopes to break the record from St. Louis to Alton, which is as follows: Steamer Alton, one hour and thirty-seven minutes, take a "cut one hour and thirty-six minutes, taking the bends."  The new steamer will be placed in the excursion business on June 20, leaving on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for Alton and Chautauqua. Commodore Henry Leyhe will be in command, with Capt. Frank King in the pilot house. There have been three other Altons, or with that word in the name of the steamers. The Altona, built in 1855; the City of Alton, built in 1860; The Belle of Alton, built in the 1870s; and now the Alton, pure and simple. The Altona was the fastest steamer that has ever turned a wheel on the Mississippi. The City of Alton, a very fast steamer and won fame during the war as a government vessel, carrying the arms from St. Louis arsenal in 1861, bringing them to Alton, where they were placed on cars and taken to Springfield, to arm Union soldiers. She was afterwards used as the flagship of Major General Fremont's flotilla, which carried his great army from St. Louis to Cairo and other near points. The Belle of Alton, built and owned by Capt. John A. Bruner, and which was burned at New Orleans. The Alton has her spurs to win, but she is a good looker, and as the Eagle Packet Company is always lucky with their boats, she will no doubt become famous and a favorite as all the other Altons.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 15, 1907

Rock Spring park was formally opened to the public today. It is a great surprise to people visiting the park that such a good class of entertainment is afforded. The park is almost like a continuous street fair. The vaudeville shows to be given will be of a high order. The opening program, for the first week, in the new theater, will be the complete bill from the Columbia, and hereafter the entertainers will be brought from the Delmar and Forest Park Highlands in St. Louis. Many new buildings have been erected to house the entertainment features and they are brilliantly illuminated. Dancing every evening will be another entertainment, with Mathle's orchestra to furnish the music. Supt. Bailey, in speaking of the opening, said that it is the purpose of the street railway company to interest an orderly, well behaved class of people, that the park will be conducted in first class way, and that if it develops that disorderly people alone patronize the park, the place will be closed up. It will be made a place of refined amusement, he promises, where men can take their families and spend a few happy hours or a day whenever it is desired, with no fear of unpleasant incidents.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 24, 1907

As a result of improvements being made to the Cathedral orphanage on Prospect street, an old landmark in Alton, the "Lee House," erected over fifty years ago on Prospect street by James H. Lee, is being torn down. The house was the original part of the Cathedral Orphanage, but time and increases the number of inmates of the institution made it necessary for additions from time to time. An addition in the form of a wing was built on one end, and then another wing was put on the other end, both wings being fine buildings of modern design. The old Lee house, which formed the center of these additions, was ill arranged for use as an orphanage and it was decided to tear it down and substitute for it a handsome center which would be adapted for the needs of the orphanage. Work of demolishing the old part of the building has been completed and construction of the new part will be started.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 18, 1907

The county court of Madison county will have to declare that the village of South Alton is a dead one and no longer exists, before the people of the territory included within its corporate limits can do anything further towards organizing a village form of government as some of them are desirous of doing. Many residents, however, do not want a village form of government, but prefer asking Alton to annex the territory. The residents of the district at a special election ordered by the County court a few years ago decided to organize the village of South Alton, and later at another special election elected a mayor, clerk, and full set of aldermen. These latter, however, never qualified, it being discovered that the enemies of incorporation were only waiting for such an act on their part to institute quo warranto proceedings and oust them as, after the election, it was learned that the whole proceedings would be knocked out because the village limits took in more territory than allowed by law. The condition has remained in status quo ever since. The village of South Alton exists, as per official result of the election, but it is officerless, and the opponents of incorporation are content without bringing the threatened law proceedings. The friends of incorporation will now have to petition the county judge to disincorporate them or declare the election null and void, in order that further steps may be taken towards incorporating a separate village government or annexing to Alton.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 3, 1907

Work of tearing down the old building on the site sold to the Federal government for the post office has been started. The owners of the property must turn the property over to the post office department cleared and ready for the erection of the building. Messrs. O'Neill and Robinson, the principal grantors, undertake to clear the grounds of all the buildings. The houses on the site are nearly three-quarters of a century in age, and they are in fairly good condition now. Indeed, they might have rounded out the century mark safely but for the sale to the government. Commanding a good view of the river, they were always occupied, notwithstanding their great age, and those who have lived there in the past will envy the occupants of the post office, the magnificent view they will have when the new building is completed. Some of Alton's oldest native citizens, still prominent in business circles, were born in the place. The houses were built by Samuel Wade and William Hayden in 1833. Dr. E. Marsh, the druggist, was one of the Alton men born in one of the houses, and George D. Hayden, another old citizen, was born in one of them. The house at the extreme west end of the row is probably the oldest of all, and was erected before the other. It belonged at one time to Benjamin Godfrey, and during the course of his business ventures was encumbered by debt and relieved of debt so many times the work of making an abstract of the title was very heavy, because of the numbers of transfers.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 16, 1907

The proposed city park project has taken a very promising appearance.  If the owners of Rock Spring park will deed the property to the city of Alton as a permanent park site, property adjoining it will be given also to make the park bigger. William Eliot Smith, who has favored a public park and a more beautiful Alton for four years, has announced his purpose of giving a beautiful tract of 60 acres to the city, on condition that the Rock Spring park tract is given by the street railway company. The piece of ground which Mr. Smith would give adjoins Rock Spring park and would make a fine improvement to the property and a very valuable acquisition for the city. The following letter was received today by Mayor Beall from Mr. Smith, who is at Colorado Springs, Colorado:  "Dear Sir, As we grow older the wish grows to leave some sweet memorial which shall not perish. May not the Beall administration be handed down to time for establishing the park system in the city of Alton? You will remember I began in this line over four years ago and must confess frankly I have been a complete failure. To this date there seems little encouragement. Possibly we went at it wrong. I feel sure you can make a success and should be glad to help you in any way I can. If the electric line gives their present park, and proper restrictions can be had, I shall be glad to deed to the city of Alton say sixty acres of land for a permanent park. I have written to my friend, Mr. Hatch, of Springfield, Ill., to advise Mr. C. A. Caldwell the restrictions which they place on a park given their city, and have also written Mr. Caldwell more fully with regard to the real estate. I shall return to Alton in about ten days and have the honor to remain. Your most obedient servant, William Eliot Smith."    Corporation Counsel McGinnis says that a park could easily be maintained at city expense. He says that under the most recent enacted state park law, municipalities are allowed to levy a tax of 2 mills on the dollar for park maintenance purposes. He cites the law on this point and says that with the present valuation of Alton property about $5,000 per annum could be raised. With this sum a park could be maintained in fine condition and no one would feel the burden of taxation, as the amount would be very small for each $1,000 valuation of property, about 20 cents. The Park Commission was called this afternoon by Chairman P. W. Coyle, to be held Wednesday evening to consider the propositions and will try to arrange some plan whereby the offer can be accepted and a guarantee given that the property can be kept in good condition permanently as a city park. C. A. Caldwell has also received a letter from Mr. Smith, telling him of his plans.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 2, 1907

President Roosevelt has come and gone, he received the message sent to him by Mayor ____, and delivered to him by an Alton man in an Alton boat, and he was piloted down the river from Grafton by an Alton yacht, the Transit, with Capt. E. H. Webb at the wheel. The parade of steamboats was the most imposing ever seen in recent years on the Mississippi. Nine steamboats passed down the river in Alton harbor and through the Alton bridge, the President's boat, Mississippi, carrying his official flag, leading with the others following in this order: Lily, Col. A. Mackenzie, Sidney, Columbia, Illinois, The David Swain, Liberty, and Belle of Calhoun......From the summit of every bluff, from the sandbars on the other side, from the woods and on the dikes, from yachts and from steamboats, the congratulations of the public were sent and everybody said "Hello Teddy" as loud as he could say it. It was an inspiring sight to witness the parade of the steamboats in the gray of the early dawn. The boats still carried the full blaze of electric lights and presented a magnificent appearance. The whole distance was made slowly as explosions booming from quarries and elsewhere told that people were waiting to see the President. The Chief Magistrate of the nation stood in the pilot house of the [steamer] Mississippi and seemed much interested in the running of the boat. Although the start from Grafton was made at 5 o'clock, just as day began to break in a big bank of black clouds down river, the line of steamers did not arrive at Alton until 6:30 while the trip could have been made in one hour. The pilots exercised the greatest of care, running on "slow bell" all the way and an expert pilot who watched them make the trip said that they were taking the channel exactly. At Alton, the levee was lined with people. Most of them took a tall, stately looking gentleman on the deck of the Belle of Calhoun for Roosevelt. He wore a silk hat and bowed gracefully, while the real President, in the pilot house of the Mississippi, did not make any acknowledgement of the salutes and the ovation he was receiving. The harbor and riverfront were filled with yachts,, and yacht owners preferring to stay ashore, fearing that their boats would be swamped if they ventured out. A big throng stood on the Alton bridge, others could be seen from the river covering roofs of houses, the depot and manufacturing plants on the levee. There is no doubt that the slow progress of the boats after reaching Grafton was for the purpose of allowing the President to take a look at Alton and give the people in Alton an opportunity to witness the fine parade.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 8, 1907

The old clock which stood for many years on the First Baptist church tower, and which has been out of use since the old church was torn down, has been fully repaired and arrived this afternoon. It will be set in place on the dome of the city building at once by the St. Louis firm having the contract. The city council made an appropriation to install this clock. The time piece was a good one for many years, and it is believed that its installation on the city building will be the cause of much thankfulness on the part of the public, who will be accommodated thereby.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 23, 1907

The police department is trying to find out who owns an iron bridge which has found its way into the hands of a dealer in old iron. The bridge weighs about two tons and has a span of 36 feet. It is believed to be the old bridge which formerly spanned the creek on Main street near the foot of the hill, one block west of Belle street. It is claimed that when the bridge was taken out and a stone arch was put in there, the old bridge was hauled to the vacant lot adjoining Eliot hose house and stored there for use elsewhere when occasion should arise. The bridge was never used, and about ten years time has elapsed since it was stored there. Recently the bridge was hauled away by a dealer in old iron, and by him sold to another dealer. The city must establish a claim by identifying the bridge as the one taken from Main street and restitution will be insisted upon.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 21, 1907

And now Rock Spring park belongs to the city. The deeds will be transferred soon, the attorneys for the East Side lines and the City of Alton having been authorized to draw up the necessary papers at once. A meeting of the board of directors of the Alton, Granite and St. Louis Traction company was held yesterday afternoon, and it was unanimously voted to make the transfer. The F___ Commission was present, and Mayor Beall also was there, and the gift was acknowledged. General Manager Haynes instructed the attorney for his company to prepare the necessary deed which will be given as soon as possible, and Corporation Counsel McGinnis was instructed by the Mayor to look after the city's interests. The conditions attached to the gift will be few. The most important one is that the safe or use of intoxicating liquors or beverages within the park be forever forbidden, or as long as the city controls it. Another condition is that the place must be maintained as a place of public resort and that during at least two months every summer there must be weekly concerts in the park, by not less than ten-piece bands or orchestras. None of the conditions which have been named are unreasonable. It is expected that they will be put in the deed with the condition that the park will revert to the street railway company in event of a failure of the city to comply with the terms of the gift. It is expected that the gift of William Eliot Smith of an adjoining tract will be made at the same time, and under the same conditions as the city will agree to in accepting Rock Spring park. Mayor Beall has invited the Parks commission consisting of Chairman P. W. Coyle, J. N. Drummond, H. M. Schweppe, C. A. Caldwell, William Eliot Smith to remain in office permanently. It is expected that the city will be able to dispose of the refreshment and amusement privileges at the park for enough to maintain the park in its present condition and to pay for the concerts.



John Philip Sousa - Great Bandmaster




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 28, 1908

John Philip Sousa, the great bandmaster, will make his first visit in Alton the afternoon of February 4. Manager Sauvage was able to close a contract for the great bandmaster and 53 pieces of music, as he is on his way to St. Louis. The matinee will be given in the Temple, and already inquiries about seats are being made. It will be the greatest musical event since the appearance of the Thomas orchestra of Chicago in Alton, and there is no doubt the attendance will be large. Neighboring cities will send delegations of music lovers.








Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 23, 1908

The Alton lodge of Elks had a big time Saturday night in connection with the housewarming and dedication of their new home at Second and Easton streets. There was a big attendance of Elks from out of the city, and almost every Elk in the vicinity of Alton was present. Harry Shephard of Jerseyville, district deputy exalted ruler, had charge of the dedicatory work, and the officers of Alton lodge filled the various stations and assisted in the carrying out of the ritual ceremony for dedicating a new lodge building. After the program of the evening, a number of addresses were given, and the evening was given over to the enjoyment of a program of impromptu speeches, and some refreshments which had been prepared by Steward George Carroll. It was 1 o'clock in the morning when the 11 o'clock longhorns went home, but it is said that the reason the festivities lasted so long was that someone painted out the 11 figure on the clock and painted a double 11 in the place where 1 o'clock should have been. Starr's orchestra furnished the music.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 3, 1908

The formal opening of Rock Spring park to the public attracted many people there Thursday evening, but before the program was over the crowd was dissipated by a shower of rain. The park was in fine condition. It was the first time many Alton people had seen the new part of the park, given by William Eliot Smith, yesterday afternoon, when a number of people visited the place. The program at the park began at 7 o'clock last evening. Rev. A. A. Tanner of the Congregational church, who has always been deeply interested in the park, and who helped clean up the place on the park cleaning day, delivered the opening address. It was a splendid effort. Rev. Tanner hurried through with his talk and hastened away to get to his church by 8 o'clock so he could attend the last prayer meeting he will be with his congregation before his departure on his vacation trip.  He is going for a tour of chautauquas, delivering lectures. After the address the White Hussars band, always a popular entertaining organization, rendered a fine concert. The band was paid for only twenty pieces of music, but the members contributed the services of ten others to help make a success of the concert. When the shower of rain came up, many people hurried to the street cars and went home, but others arrived later and there was a fairly good attendance, but not what it would have been with fair weather.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 24, 1908

The tearing down of the third of the three oldest houses in the city of Alton was completed today by the C. L. Gray Construction Co., on the site to be occupied by the new hotel building. The three houses were erected in the early days of Alton and have been the silent witnesses of many stirring events in the city. The houses, in their day, were palaces, and were indeed very worthy examples of enterprise in a comparatively new city in a wilderness, as Alton was when the houses were built in 1836 and 1837. The materials used in constructing the houses was the very best, and the houses were well built. It was hard work tearing apart the oak timbers, when even the lathes under the plastering were of oak. The members of the new hotel corporation hope to have their plans perfected in a short time and will then proceed with the erection of the building. They are still receiving subscriptions to the fund of $25,000 to be added to the hotel capital stock to enlarge the building. There now remain in Alton very few old houses which date back as far as 1837. Within the last year or two several in the neighborhood of Third and Market have given away to the march of progress. At the site occupied by the Y.M.C.A. building now, several old houses were torn down, and on the site to be occupied by the post office building were several other houses which were as old, and were occupied by the big men of the early day of Alton. The settlement in that neighborhood was erected at a time when it was expected Alton would be a big city, and the founders were making their homes the nucleus of the city they thought would later stand there.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 6, 1908

Captain Otis Irons of St. Louis, accompanied by his niece, Mrs. Mollie Hymers, is spending several days in Alton, shaking hands with old friends and visiting his former home in the North Side. Captain Irons was contemporary with Captains Lamothe, Bruner, Belless, Adams and Joe Brown, in the palmy days of steamboating on the Mississippi. He was the "man on the roof" of such floating palaces as the Belle of Alton, Shuyler, J. S. Pringle and others, and was the first one to establish a daily packet trade between Alton and Grafton. Captain Irons' home was always open to entertain friends, and he had the reputation of being one of the most reputable men on the river. Not only was he famous in this respect, but he was a man of taste, beautifying his home with many varieties of rare trees, and adorning his lawn with deer. The fence around his home is suggestion of his occupation, and although built some forty years ago, it still stands intact with its graceful wooing curves, not unlike the waves of the ocean. Captain Irons is frequently mistaken for Mark Twain, the famous river man and story teller, and like Mark he himself is a witty and most entertaining talker. He tells the following anecdote about himself: while in Cincinnati he was stopping at one of the leading hotels, and a man coming up behind him slapped him on the back and said enthusiastically, "Why hello, Mark!"  "Hello yourself," said Captain Irons, "but I believe you are mistaken in your man."  "No, I'm not, I know you too well, you've been on the Mississippi too long for me to forget you."  "Yes, I have been a river man, but Mark learned the upper, and I learned the lower, that's the only difference between us."  "You can't fool me," he said, "I know you, and that's the way you always did joke me," then returning to his friends said, "I'll introduce you all to Mark tonight."  Captain Irons is 82 years old and walks as spry as a much younger man, he has a deep interest in Alton and predicts for it a great future.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 24, 1908

The Illinois Shoe Company directors yesterday elected William Hufnagel, one of the stockholders, manager of the Alton factory. The directors hope to get the shoe factory into good condition again and with conservative management of Mr. Huffnagel, will probably do so.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 10, 1909

The Old Ladies Home will not be erected on the old site on Belleview avenue. This was determined yesterday when the building committee, acting under instructions of the board of directors, bought five lots on State street in the North Side, from Joseph Krug, for $2,100. It was stated today by members of the committee that the contractor will be authorized to start work at once on the new building. The old site is for sale. It was said today that if anyone desires to purchase the property, now is their chance, and that if anyone would give the city a park site, or is willing to pay a part of the price that will be asked, a subscription can be made up to pay the balance. The directors believe the property is worth more than $5,000, the price that has been offered, and say that they have a standing offer of $6,000.




Source: Syracuse, New York Post Standard, May 7, 1909

Beds and furnishings of the Alton pest house were stolen yesterday by burglars who broke into the unoccupied building. The city authorities now fear an epidemic of smallpox, as it is expected the beds and coverings will be sold.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 19, 1909

Constable J. H. Dailey yesterday defended his s13 year old son, Joe Dailey, from a vicious attack by an eagle that had a 7-foot spread of wings. Constable Dailey was out shooting squirrels, and seeing two birds sailing around overhead, he mistook them for hawks and fired at one of them, killing it instantly. The dead bird dropped to the ground at the feet of the two hunters. The other eagle disappeared in the tree tops for a few seconds, but in another second appeared on the ground with its wings outspread and every indication of wrath in its action. The bird was doubtless a mate of the surviving eagle, and the living bird was after revenge. Constable Dailey says that the big bird made a rush at his son and got so close he could not use his gun for fear of shooting the boy. The boy backed away and tripped over a log, falling prostrate. In another instant the big eagle would have sunk its talons in the flesh of the boy, and perhaps would have done him injury, but Constable Dailey, the father, seized his shotgun by the barrel and making a stroke with it, struck the eagle on the back of the head and killed it. He brought both dead birds to Upper Alton, and will have them mounted by William Stork.


[Note:  According to  Congress passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act in 1940, making it illegal to kill, harass, possess or sell bald eagles.]




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 7, 1909

Maybe men working in the river in future years may wonder how there happens to be an immense pile of old revolvers and pistols in Alton harbor, if dredgers ever come upon them. There will be a good pile and if the present Chief of Police continues his practice for many years to come, it may pay someone to dredge in the river for old iron. The river is the graveyard of the Fourth of July weapons taken from celebrants, and also the revolvers that are being taken from prisoners arrested for carrying concealed weapons. The revolvers that are good are kept and some day may be sold, but those which are of the cheap, worthless kind that are not worth keeping are being sunk in the depths of the Mississippi. A few weeks ago Chief of Police Maxwell threw into the river 75 old, worthless weapons, and today he added twenty-five more to the river graveyard pile. In addition, he has a good number of weapons of better quality the police confiscated and is keeping them until such time as it may be decided to hold a public sale of confiscated firearms. In the meantime, the valuable ones are being hung up in a chain of revolvers at police headquarters.




Source: Savannah, New York Times, July 16, 1909

A new product called "petrol," is to be manufactured at Alton, Ill. It is deigned to take the place of cow-butter, is made from petroleum, is brown in color, and has all the qualities of good dairy butter, lasts longer and does not become rancid. The continued high price of dairy butter should make "petrol" popular with the average epicure, the days of the cow as a butter machine seem numbered. The Standard Oil Company is behind the manufacture of  "petrol " which guarantees its success as a business enterprise.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 17, 1909

A man with a voice and endurance of vocal organs that would be the envy of a member of the United States Senate making a "talking-against-time" speech, annoyed the people along the river front last night. For eleven straight hours the man "preached" from a houseboat across the river in a clump of trees off McPike Island, and he kept at it without a pause or a break of any kind. No one could understand what the man was saying, and it is believed that he was speaking some foreign tongue, but the intonation of his voice is described by those who heard him as being like that of a person who belonged to the class known as "exhorters."  At the Pieper hotel, the sound was so plain it was believed it was coming from the city jail, and that some insane person was locked up and was making the night hideous with his ravings. The night police got excited about it late in the night, when they traced the sound to McPike's island, but the hour was so late no one could be found to take them across. Capt. W. D. Fluent's boat, "Cash," was disabled and could not be used. This morning, when he got his yacht repaired after 9 o'clock, Capt. Fluent took a party across the river to investigate the man, but after locating the houseboat in which he was living, he found no one inside. The place was vacant, except for the belongings of the inmate. There is no one else on McPike island but the man who lives in the one houseboat, every other craft having been sunk or damaged by the recent storm so they are untenantable.  No one was on the island who could explain the mystery of the man with the big voice who could talk as continuously as if he was a graphophone that had a never-run-down spring in it. His voice was so strong, it was said by Capt. Fluent, he could be heard across the river, a distance of half a mile, as well as if he was close by, the only difference being that his words were not articulated at that distance and only the sound of a continuous shouting could be heard. It is believed that the man is crazed. His shantyboat is unpainted and lies well in behind the willow trees on the island.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 3, 1909

Tomorrow the new Illini hotel will be thrown open to the public. Alton people especially are invited to attend the opening, and many visitors from out of the city are expected also. The rush and hurry of the past week to get the hotel in readiness for the formal opening tomorrow has kept everyone busy. Night and day men and women have been at work, finishing up what was not done and cleaning up. Furniture has been coming in on hurry up shipments, and the hotel has been a scene of hustle and hurry from morning to night and then back to morning again. Manager August F. Ratz said he would have everything ready for the opening tomorrow, and would be ready to receive the public. The kitchen will be given its first trial, the first meal will be served in the dining rooms, and the whole hotel will be thrown open to the public to take a look at it. No expense has been spared in the furnishing, nor in the building of the new hotel. As an illustration of the disregard for expense, it may be cited that the china was made to order, decorated with Indian heads and the hotel's name, and the silver is similarly marked. The hotel, as it will stand completed, exclusive of furnishing, cost $141,000, and more is to be added to it, as Manager Ratz says the owners have promised to build a palm garden on the roof of the dining room where conventions may be held and dancing parties given in the summer time. To those who may be interested to know what kind of a building has been provided for the public by home capital and home enterprise, the Telegraph gives the following description. The Illini hotel is the first expensive enterprise ever carried out in Alton by Alton people in the spirit of trying to boost the city along without any immediate prospect of getting good financial returns. The owners, however, believe that in the future their confidence in this city will be shown to have been justified by good financial returns from the property. At the present they will be content to wait and look to the future for their reward. It is a handsome addition to Alton's real estate, an ornament to the city and a monument to Alton enterprise. It is not doubt a beginning of other and greater things for the beautifying and advancement of Alton, and the new Illini may be denominated the emblem of Alton's new spirit of progression. The Illini hotel consists of five stories in the main building, and two stories in the dining room and kitchen annex. It is ____ feet on Market street and 105 feet on Third street, the entrance being on Market street. The building is constructed of vitrified paving bricks, laid in cement mortar, and all the floors and the roof are made of thick concrete and the whole building is fire proof and rat proof. The contractors say it is absolutely incombustible, a fire, if started in the draperies or bedding of any room, being unable to get outside of the room. It is said that a fire might be willfully started in any room and no damage could result outside of the place where it began. The building was erected by the C. L. Gray Construction Co. of E. St. Louis, with A. P. Garwick as general superintendent of construction. It was started almost a year ago. The builders of the hotel are the Merchants Hotel Co. of Alton, consisting of Alton investors exclusively, and the hotel is operated by the Illini Hotel Co., a separate corporation. There are 67 bedchambers in the hotel above the main floor, all on the second and third floors being equipped with baths, some private and some semi-private, having two rooms opening into the bath room. Above the third floor the rooms have no private baths, but there are two bath rooms on each of these floors. In every room of the hotel is a telephone and both hot and cold water and stationary wash stands. All the bed rooms are handsomely papered, and the ceilings are tinted, there being no two rooms in the hotel having the same pattern of wallpaper. There is also a wide diversity in the carpet patterns in the rooms. The furnishings of the rooms are in conformity with the finish of almost all of the wood work in the hotel, mahogany, and the mahogany scheme of finish is observed throughout in the furnishing. The beds in the rooms are heavy brass frames and are equipped with fine mattresses and with box spring mattresses in addition. Almost all the rooms have immense closets and those not so equipped have large wardrobes in them. In the bedchambers the finish is in pure white, an enamel paint imported from Germany being used in the decorative work, which gives a glassy finish. To the visitor entering the new hotel, the appearance is a great surprise. At the very entrance into the lobby of the hotel, a beautifully designed portal of terra cotta gives an impression of striking beauty. The lobby, lighted by immense windows in the day time and by electroliers of handsome design at night, presents a scene of beauty. The floor of the lobby is laid in mosaic tile. The mural decorations are in olive green. Down the center of the lobby are four large pillars with marble design in decorations. In the top of the lobby is a light court opening from the parlor floor, the sides of which are richly ornamented and the rail is of mahogany. The marble stairway leading from the lobby to the second floor, and marble steps at the entrance and the wainscoting in the lobby, complete a picture of elegance. Opening from the lobby are the buffet, in the rear, of pretty design and richly furnished, writing and rest rooms for ladies and for gentlemen, telephone booths and the hotel office, with a private office for the manager. The counter at the hotel office has a marble top and the woodwork is mahogany finish. The dining room has been declared by those who know one of the most beautiful to be found anywhere, its dimensions are 36x61 feet. On the west side are three oriel windows giving a "tavern" effect. The floor is of a highly polished hard wood, the ceiling is beamed and decorated with ornamental plaster. The lighting of the dining room is very complete and attractive. The furnishing is in mahogany with brass trimmings. The walls are decorated with ground leather paper....There are two fast elevators in the hotel, one at the office for passengers and the other at the rear for freight. In the rear is a flight of concrete steps leading from the basement to the roof, and absolutely fire proof. There is no front flight of stairs above the second floor. Every detail of the building and furnishing of the hotel was decided upon to give the utmost beauty and convenience, combined with durability, and the hotel may well be pronounced one of the finest in the state of Illinois and a great credit to the city of Alton.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 9, 1909

After ten days time, when the new wine room ordinance takes effect, no woman can get a drink or be entertained in any licensed saloon or any room connected therewith, upstairs or downstairs, without the proprietor being subject to a $25 fine, and for second offense the revocation of his license is the penalty. The ordinance, which was passed unanimously under suspension of the rules, is as follows, in effect:  It shall be unlawful for any person, persons or corporation engaged in the business of selling at wholesale or retail spirituous, vinous or malt liquors to permit any female, married or single, to be entertained therein or in any room connected with the building in which liquors are sold, either by side entrance leading to or connecting with the same by stairways to upper room, nor shall wines or beers, or liquors of any kind be furnished to any female connected therewith. The ordinance was made as drastic as possible to abate a tendency toward evil that required some firm controlling power to restrain it. As stated last evening, there was no wine room ordinance in the city revised ordinances, it having been omitted through oversight and the new ordinance is the strictest one that has ever been in force.




Prince of Wales, 1860





Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 7, 1910

The dead King of England, while Prince of Wales, made a tour of this country in 1860, and among other places where he was given great ovation was Alton. He was brought in over the C. & A. in a special train, occupied by himself and suite, and from this city he went to St. Louis on the steamer "City of Alton," then brand new, and one of the most elegantly appointed boats on the river. The streets of Alton and the levee for a great distance were crowded with people anxious to greet the Prince, and was given a magnificent ovation here. George W. Cutter, the ex-engineer and now one of Alton's street inspectors, remembers the appearance of the then Prince very well, and speaks very kindly of the democratic manner of the coming king. Mr. Cutter had charge of the engine which piloted the special train from Dwight to Alton. He was given the choice of taking charge of the engine pulling the king's train, or of the engine which was to go ahead and see that everything was all right. He chose the pilot engine. He says that the schedule was reduced to thirty miles an hour and there was a flagman or watchman at every crossing and country road between Dwight and Alton. Mr. Cutter says the prince was a very slim youth when here, and was between 18 and 19 years old. He was cordial to everybody and interested greatly in all things American he saw, and in the ovations given him.







Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 16, 1910

Felix Yost, who has charge of the steam shovel at the Alton brick plant, yesterday evening scooped up with one big shovel of earth the skull and part of the breast bone of a human body. Search was made for the rest of the body and it was found in about the same condition as the head and breast. News of the "find" spread, and old residents began thinking "back" as it were, and they remembered that the place where the quarrying is now being done was a neighborhood burying ground, forty or more years ago. Peter Meyer, near whose place on the Brighton road the skeleton was dug up, remembers about the old burying ground, and so do others, although its existence had long been forgotten. It is thought the shovel in working on the edge of the burying ground and that is the reason why only one skeleton has been found. Others are inclined to believe there was no regular burying ground where the quarry now is - but that it was further away by one hundred yards at least. However that may be, the bones were found and were afterwards buried elsewhere to lie undisturbed until they return to dust. It is said the property once belonged to David Jones, and that some members of his family were buried there. The steam shovel was moved to that point about ten days ago.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 24, 1910

The "wild man" who terrified the people living in the neighborhood of Hull's bluff was captured this afternoon by Officer Henry Tisius and is in the city jail. He is a harmless old man whose reason has been dethoned, probably by illness and privations. He did not appear to be suffering for want of food. He was clothed when he came to town, notwithstanding reports that came from people near Hull's Bluff several weeks ago that he was wandering around, half naked and terrifying everyone. The old man was polite and grateful for any attentions. On her person were found a number of papers on which he had written incoherent letters as if pleading for some kind of aid. The old man said that he lived 32 years in San Francisco, and he wanted to get back there. His hair is white and his beard is gray. He appears to be over 70 years of age. In the letters he wrote he said he was destitute, and was begging for help. He also had a prayer he had written with ink. He gave his name as Alexander Slermann. He had the address of Roy A. Mount of Decatur, and a card with the name of Joseph W. Amis of Clinton, a lawyer. He is being held in the city jail. It is probably he may be taken into court and adjudged insane. The old man appears to have seen better days. He claims that some marks on his person were received in the Rocky Mountains while he was living in the "fast west," and he seemed very anxious to get back to the place where he had spent so many years.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 29, 1910

A house erected in 1840, or about that time, on Stanton street, and now belonging to John Werts, is being wrecked to be replaced by a fine modern residence, to be occupied by himself and family. The original builder is not known, Mr. Werts says, but old residents years ago told him it was erected in 1840. His father-in-law, Mr. Gent, owned and occupied the building for thirty years or more, and Mr. Werts has lived in the place, but not in that house, for almost a quarter of century himself. The house is fifty-five feet in length and sixteen feet wide. It is two stories high and was built of oak, walnut and poplar. Men tearing it down are wondering where the poplar came from at that time. The weather boarding was covered with clapboards, and the first roof on the house was made of pine shaved shingles - that is shingles made by hand. These shingles are mostly all good now, and were found under a second roof put on since. The walnut and oak rafters, studding, sills, and cross timbers are all sound, Mr. Werts says, and most of the weather-boarding is in excellent condition and can be made use of again. The work of wrecking has not been completed, and workers are anticipating finding some old time relics of historical or actual value yet before completing the job. When the house was built it was out in the woods, and that part of Alton remained "in the country" for many, many years thereafter.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 22, 1910

An old landmark on the corner of State and Cliff streets is being torn down. It is the property of Samuel Pyle, and was erected in 1837 when Alton was nothing more than a big woods in that vicinity. Many of the timbers are simply huge logs, which were taken from the forest and put into the building. It had become unsafe, and it was thought best to have it taken down. The contractor who is doing the work will get the use of the wood for removing the building.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 3, 1910

At the Marsh drug store, Third and Belle streets, there is on exhibition a pile of filled prescriptions written by doctors during fifty-three years. The first prescription, No. 1, was filled September 21, 1857, and the last one on exhibition, although not the last filled in the store, is 237,810.  All the prescriptions are consecutive. During the whole period E. Marsh has been connected with the store, and was a member of the firm. W. A. Holton & Co. was the name of the first firm, and E. Marsh succeeded that firm. Every prescription ever filled by the firm has been kept, and could be refilled at any time if the holder of it so desired.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 12, 1910

Col. Roosevelt was given a small reception this morning when his train stopped for a few minutes at the C. & A. depot, on the way to Peoria. The time of the arrival of the special train was not announced, and this accounted for the smallness of the crowd, probably fifty being on hand. Col. Roosevelt was on the back platform and there he shook hands with the people who were waiting for the train. The people seemed as enthusiastic as Roosevelt, and when he began shaking hands, many in the crowd called "Teddy," and he made no protest. He responded to the name, taking the familiarity in the way it was intended, as a manifestation of affection for him on the part of the people. Someone asked Roosevelt how he liked his ride on an aeroplane yesterday. "Bully," said the Colonel, "it's the only sport I know that beats horse racing; it's the best sport in the world." Then he added, "It was the first time in my life they ever got me 'up in the air.'"  Mrs. S. Demuth was the first one who showed her appreciation of the dignity that attached to the ex-president. She shook hands and said, "God Bless you Colonel Roosevelt." He seemed to appreciate her good wishes, as he grasped her hand harder and thanked her kindly. Miss Irene Gallagher, one of the few ladies who shook hands, afterward declared she would not wash her hand for a week. George Cutter told Roosevelt that he was an old engineer. "Shake hands again," the Colonel said, "I am an honorary member of the enginemen's union." A telegram was handed him between handshakes and as the train was pulling out. He did not have time to answer it, and told the messenger boy so. The train pulled out with Col. Roosevelt still on the rear platform, waving his hand at the people who were watching him.     [Editor's note:  Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States (1901-1909).]



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 12, 1910

Col. Frank Moore of Alton, who travels for the McPike paper company, and Col. Theodore Roosevelt had a reunion at St. Louis yesterday. Twenty-eight years ago Col. Moore was post trader at Ft. Meade, in the badlands of Dakota. He had a cinch there of all the trade in a territory forty miles square. A young man called on him one day, introduced himself as Theodore Roosevelt, who was looking for land to be used as a cattle ranch. Col. Moore, the Indian trader, helped Roosevelt to get his quarter section and introduced him around. Roosevelt stayed with Moore for several weeks, and later he made Moore's office his visiting place, and the two men became very good friends. Tuesday Col. Moore laid in wait for the ex-president at the Jefferson hotel, and managed to catch his eye. Instantly Roosevelt recognized him, and with effusive greetings, inquired how "Frank" was doing, how his family were, and expressed the deepest regret that a completely filled up program precluded his having an old time "camp-fire" with Col. Moore and a recalling of old time stories of the bad lands when Roosevelt was a young rancher. Col. Moore went away feeling that of all the men in the United States, Col. Roosevelt would rather have met him than anyone else, and he doubtless was right.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 5, 1910

The Noll Baking and Catering Company has been compelled to turn its stables into a horse hospital as it has been the past six weeks, according to manager George Geoken, and he says he has given all employees of the company orders to avoid driving on the south side of Second street between Alby and Cherry streets until the street is made safe for horses. Three horses of the company have been disabled by falling on the paving at the corner of Second and Henry streets on the Klinke market side, and Dr. Hooker has had charge of two of the animals for the past six weeks. Dozens of horses fall on the street weekly, either at that corner or at other places where the paving slopes too much and several wagon shafts and lots of harness are broken daily it is said. There is an ordinance requiring drivers to keep to the right, but Mr. Geoken says this ordinance will not be observed by his drivers until the city does something to make driving on that side safe. He thinks a dozen loads of sand would remedy matters greatly if spread on the worst places. Complaint of the condition of the street at Second and Henry street is general among drivers and owners of horses but Mr. Geoken is the first to order his drivers not to use that side of the street coming or going.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 15, 1910

The two story brick building at 431 east Second street, which is said to have been built 70 years ago, is being demolished and will be supplanted by a building composed of Kellistone, a factory for the manufacture of which is being completed in east Second street near Cherry. The old brick building has been occupied many years by Mrs. Ellsworth, colored, widow of Henry  Ellsworth, who conducted a blacksmith shop in Alton in early times. The property is owned by Mrs. K. Shelly, who is 99 years old and is now a resident of St. Louis. The Shelly family in early days resided in Alton, and Mrs. Shelly still owns considerable property here in different parts of the city. She has given a lease to the east Second street property, and the new building will be used as a tombstone factory and H. L. Harford will be superintendent and general manager. Relatives of Mr. Harford own marble quarries in Vermont and elsewhere, and are engaged in the tombstone business on a large scale, it is said, and the Alton company will get some supplies from there for their factory.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 24, 1911

Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Wead were engaged today moving their household goods from the old Dimmock homestead on Second street to the home the Weads have purchased from John Moulton on State street. The house the Wead family are vacating will be without a tenant of the Dimmock family for the first time since 1845, when the house was erected by Mrs. Wead's grandfather, a period of 65 years. The house was one of the finest in Alton at the time it was erected, but business along Second street has grown so, the family will vacate and make a new home farther from the business center. Mr. Wead's friends are speculating as to how long it will take him to break himself of the long, sustained habit of "going home" to the old place on Second street.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 24, 1911

The Pieper Hotel building and furnishings at the corner of Front and Market streets will be sold early next month at public auction to the highest bidder, the owner of the property, Mrs. Pieper, desiring to retire from the business which she and her husband, the late Frank Pieper, founded many years ago and conducted very successfully all of the time. The business has been conducted by the Piepers on that corner for more than twenty-two years, and before that they conducted a similar business elsewhere in the city. Frank Pieper Jr., who was associated with his father in the saloon part of the business during the latter's life, and who has conducted it successfully himself since, never like the business and is anxious to quit it for good. It will be sold with the building or later to other parties.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 25, 1911

Mrs. S. Demuth, health officer, went to the "dump" at the foot of Ridge street, where the Alton horse cemetery is located, to investigate some complaints which have been made that foul odors are being wafted over that end of town from the exposed carcasses of dead horses. Mrs. Demuth found several horses which had not been buried at all, although they were taken there by the official horse undertaker of the city, and she notified him that he must look after them at once. Mrs. Demuth found that none of the horses were being buried deep enough, and in some cases only a few inches of earth was thrown over them, which was soon blown off or dug off, and the animals left to annoy the people living back on the hills.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 14, 1911

The Overalls factory, which has been operated in the McPike building at Front and Piasa streets since the Cunningham failure by another firm, has been moved to St. Louis.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 28, 1911

Mrs. A. K. Root's grandfather, General William Eaton, was an intimate friend of George Washington, and an important military figure and diplomat in early national history. When but a boy he served three years in the Revolutionary War, and afterward decided to make military life his vocation. Mrs. Root is still in possession of his commission as Captain, signed by President Washington and Secretary of War Knox, while with many others of her Washington relics, is on exhibition at the Unitarian load exhibit in the vacated VanPreter store room on Third street. An invitation from Washington, dated April 15, 1794, bidding Capt. Eaton to dinner at four, is interesting in that it is so like the present form of invitation, showing that forms of etiquette change slowly. The wording is identical, with the form which is now in vogue, the hour alone seems unusual. We seem to be dining later every century. In 1797, Capt. Eaton, now a General, received a commission as consul to Algiers, which bears the signatures of John Adams and Timothy Pickering, Secretary of State. General Eaton was the first consul to Algiers, and performed important diplomatic errands in that country. He planted the first American flag in Tunis. Also on exhibition is an old quilt made from the satin hangings from Gen. Eaton's Algerian tent, which his daughter-in-law made. The quilt is stoutly sewn, with the yellow and red striped silk tent hanging on one side, and discarded linen dress goods on the other. Another genuine signature of a revolutionary hero is that of "Mad" Anthony Wayne, who wrote a whole letter to Capt. Wm. Eaton in 1794. The contents are very interesting, and the letter is priceless in the estimation of the owner, Mrs. A. K. Root.   H. V. Gifford, of this city [Alton], has loaned a 159-year-old mirror, which Washington is said to have made use of in adjusting his cravat and arranging his wig. It was brought from Holland in 1752 by Adam Vance, great-grandfather of the present owner. The first great American oftener visited at the Vances' Philadelphia home, and it is this mirror which he used for the above mentioned purpose.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 28, 1911

"The sale of the plant of the Illinois Packing Company to August and Herman Luer, at Alton, has brought out some interesting facts concerning the ownership and title of the property. The land is located on Front, Alton, and Second streets, and it is doubtful if any tract in the city has figured to a greater extent in the industrial development of the community," says the Edwardsville Intelligencer. "The lots were originally a part of section 14, Alton township, and were platted by Rufus Easton, January 1, 1818, but the survey was not named Alton. The christening of Alton followed later, and it is said that the place was named after a brother of Rufus Easton, whose name was Alton. Mr. Easton in the plat reserved to himself and his heirs for all time, the right of ferrying, stating expressly that no ferry should be permitted at any of the landings, streets or other public grounds, except his own, and that no rights should ever be granted to any individual or corporation for such purpose. Alton was then a rival of St. Louis to be the metropolis of the Mississippi valley, and Mr. Easton, as others leading in affairs then, had great expectations of the Illinois city. The owner must have become involved later on, for the land was sold at sheriff's sale. Mr. Easton was one of the early postmasters of St. Louis. The property went through various hands, and a portion of it came into the ownership of Jesse Walton, in 1859, who died in 1866, and who made the peculiar provision in his will, which was drawn in 1859, that the property should be divided equally between his four children, 'provided they do not marry slave holders and will not settle and remain through life in a slave state.' He also gives them his 'record books where I have recorded my valuable recipes for cures of man and horse, recipes for taming horses, and almost all kinds that are valuable.'  He provides for the distribution of his library among his children, and made suggestions for establishing a circulating library by his children, and even designate the fees that should be charged for the use of the books.  George S. Meyers and James T. Drummond bought a portion of the property in 1866, and two other portions in 1872. It was there that the Meyers and Drummonds started systematically on the manufacture of tobacco, and laid the foundation for the fortunes. The property went through various transfers, among the names of owners being the Dausman & Drummond Tobacco Company, which was incorporated in 1876 for $100,000, and which changed its name to the Drummond Tobacco Company in 1879. It was acquired by the Drummond-Randle Tobacco Company in 1885, which afterwards started as competitor of the Drummond Tobacco Company, which has moved its plant to St. Louis. Litigation followed that involved the question whether the Drummond-Randle Company could use the name of Drummond on its labels. It was a real fight in the courts between James T. Drummond on one side, and John N. Drummond and Charles H. Randle on the other. John N. won, and the Drummond-Randle company went out of business. St. Louis became the center for the big tobacco plants. They had no more use for the buildings at Alton. The Alton Packing & Refrigerating Company purchased the property in 1892. It became the Alton Packing Company in 1899, and was succeeded by the Illinois Packing Company in 1906. The company lost money, and some time ago decided to liquidate. August and Herman Luer bid in the plant for $41,000. Henry C. Gerke has been making up the abstracts, and when they are completed the deeds will be delivered."




Most of the Members Are Dead, or Have Moved Away - One Engine Was Named Altona; the Flora Temple Hose Cart

Sourced: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 2, 1911

Chief Hunt of the fire department has come into possession of a book containing the constitution and bylaws of Engine fire company No. 1, which was published by the Courier Steam Printing House in 1859. The company was organized in 1835, and had for its motto, "Pluck, Power, and Perseverance." L. B. Hubbell was foreman of the Altona engine, and Thomas Dimmock assistant. G. K. Hopkins was captain of the Flora Temple. The Altona cost $1,400, and weighed 2,500 pounds. The city of Alton paid $800 of the cost, the balance was paid by subscriptions of citizens. The Flora Temple cost $400, and was paid for entirely by subscriptions. In addition to the above officers were: A. E. Moreton, first director; R. H. Clift, second director; A. J. Leakin, secretary; S. V. Crossman, treasurer.  Hon. S. A. Buckmaster was an honorary member of the company for life. There were 72 members, all of whom are dead or have moved away, except George D. Hayden, E. M. Hugo, S. F. Connor and George H. Davis. Most of the members were prominent citizens and took an active, every day interest in boosting Alton and looking after her interests. An article of the constitution provided that all members of the association attend the funeral of a deceased member, unless the family of deceased did not want them to do so. One of the by-laws provides a fine of $2 upon any member who commences a quarrel "or otherwise improperly behaves at a fire." Another says, "Particular attention, at the time of fires, shall be paid to the property of members." The book is in good condition and will be kept as a relic and historical curiosity. The membership was limited to 80.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 20, 1911

Through the ingenuity of Charles W. Foley, a fifteen year old lad, Alton is to have a wireless telegraphy station with which messages can be sent and received for many miles. The lad took an interest in the wireless telegraphy science some time ago, and through books and other reading became well enough acquainted with the system to construct one. He had planned the building of a station for some time, but a few days ago he received a letter from a lad a little older than himself, who was interested and had already erected a station at his home in the central part of Missouri. He had been meeting with great success with his machines, and asked that Foley erect one and correspond with him. Accordingly, John P. Foley, his father, who is a mechanic, put up the steel mast for his son. It was raised at night, and this morning, when neighbors rose, they were confronted with a staff which to them was merely an exceedingly tall flag pole. The staff stands upon a vacant lot next to the Foley residence at 927 Easton street. It is of steel, eight inches in diameter at the base and extending into the air to a height of 96 feet. The top of the pole is about two inches in diameter. Foley has his machines in readiness and in a short time will have the station fitted up and in commission. His coils will not be so very strong to start with, but Foley says that he can send about one hundred miles and can receive about six hundred. He will in time put in stronger cells and then the station can be used to send and receive much farther. He will be able to send messages to Springfield and St. Louis, and will be able to receive them from Chicago and points twice this distance.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 22, 1911

The wrecking of the old house on Second street, next door to where the post office formerly was, between Alby and Easton streets, has more than ordinary interest for Edward P. Wade, president of the Alton National Bank, and Alton's oldest native resident. The house, incidentally, was the first brick house erected in what was then Alton. The oldest brick house in what is now Alton is probably the old Major Hunter house at the northwest corner of Second and Central avenue, which was built prior to 1830, some time in the 1820s. The Middleton house was occupied by the parents of Mr. Wade, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Wade, who came here in 1831. The building was erected in the spring of 1832 by the father of Maj. William R. Prickett of Edwardsville, and Mr. Prickett used to ride to Alton daily to inspect the work being done. The house was built of brick, which were doubtless made in Alton, and are probably the first brick made here. The quality was not very good, as is shown by the bricks disintegrating when they are removed from the walls. Very few bricks of good quality are found, the clay not having been fully burned. Mr. Wade says he believes the house was never changed after it was built. It has always looked the same as it did, except for the signs of age, and even a wooden part on the southwest corner is the same today as when it was built, and is in such good condition that E. C. Mack, who is wrecking the place, says that he can dispose of it intact. Mr. Wade was born in the house in 1833, and he is now 78 years of age. The house is part 79 years of age. It is an old landmark that has many interesting features to it. A few years back Mr. Wade received a gift from a relative, showing pictures of all the houses in Alton in which he had lived, and this was the one in which he was born.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 4, 1911

Another one of the old residences in Alton, one of the old time landmarks in Middletown, is to be moved, and will start doing duty in another spot after seventy years service in the spot it now stands. The home of Dr. A. B. Wyckoff on Liberty, known to the old timers in the city as the John Atwood residence, is to be moved from the lot where it has done seventy years service, and will be used in another place. The house is a sample of the stability with which the old timers believed in building a home. The studding and the girders are solid oak, hewn from the logs. The girders are 2x10, and are twenty-five feet long, the entire width of the house. The weather boarding is of black walnut, and today seems as good as when it was put on. White pine was used inside, and the old residence, even after all of these years, is good for another seventy years of wear. This was among the first residences in Middletown, when the Dr. Marsh home, the O. M. Adams home, the Samuel Wade home, and the Judge Billings and Moses G. Atwood residences marked the beautiful residence spots of Alton. Mr. Wyckoff will build a handsome modern residence on the lot, setting it back from the street, and the construction work will be started as soon as the old residence is moved. Dr. and Mrs. Wyckoff will board during the construction of their new home.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 5, 1911

Alton's old homes have been very successful lately in keeping in the line of publicity. The Telegraph has chronicled the destruction or removal of two old time places, residences of Alton's old and prominent families, and now a third is slated for the scrap heap. The first was the birthplace of E. P. Wade on Second street; the second was the old homestead of the Atwood family, which is to be moved off the site it had occupied many years; and now the third comes - the old Kellenberger place. Dr. J. N. Shaff has bought the property and plans erecting a fine residence on the log. A. J. Kellenberger, a member of the family which owned the place, told the Telegraph that he does not know just how old the place is, but he is certain part of the house was built over 75 years ago, and he believes it may be much older. His father, Louis Kellenberger, bought the place 65 years ago, and the house was regarded as an old one then. The original part of the house contained seven rooms, and to this A. J. Kellenberger added six rooms about twelve of fifteen years ago. Mr. Kellenberger's first guess was that the house is about 80 years of age, and later he said it might be much older than that, maybe 90. He does not know who built the house. It is situated on Central avenue. It is an old landmark in the neighborhood, and its passing away will be one of more than ordinary interest. Louis Kellenberger was a prominent residence of Alton in the early days. Two of his children are in Alton - Mrs. Joseph Hamill and A. J. Kellenberger, and one son, Harry Kellenberger, lives at Godfrey.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 11, 1911

Postmaster Henry Brueggemann has had prepared a list of names of "postmasters we have known" in Alton and Upper Alton since the beginning, and it is an interesting list. The list was prepared in connection with the proposed abolishment of the Upper Alton post office. While Upper Alton had a post office before Alton proper did, the name of the office was "Alton, Madison County, Ill."  It was established August 27, 1819, and the first postmaster was Augustus Longworth, who served over four years. He was succeeded by Bennett Maxey, who served three years, and during his term of office the name was changed to Salu, February 9, 1824. The name remained Salu until August 14, 1826, when George Smith came into office, and the name was changed back to Alton. It stayed Alton this time until July 27, 1835, when the name was changed to Upper Alton, a post office down town having been established November 21, 1834, with Jacob C. Bruner as postmaster. After the name was permanently changed to Upper Alton, the records show the following were postmasters:



David Smith July 27, 1835 Andrew Clifford June 19, 1844
John Cooper August 3, 1844 David Smith June 19, 1844
John Cooper August 3, 1844 David Smith June 3, 1845
Franklin Hewitt April 27, 1848 Joseph Chapman January 2, 1852
James Smith September 24, 1856 Aaron Butler April 8, 1861
T. B. Hurlbutt March 29, 1865 J. H. Weeks January 30, 1877
Mark Dickson August 11, 1885 J. H. Weeks April 29, 1889
Willard L. Gillham April 14, 1894 H. A. Marsh January 16, 1898
John G. Seitz March 14, 1902    


The records of the Alton office show that it was established November 24, 1831 under the name "lower Alton," and continued as such until October 16, 1835, when it was changed to Alton. The following have filled the postmaster's office:  Lower Alton, Madison County, Ill., established, Jacob C. Bruner, November 14, 1831.



Jacob C. Bruner October 16, 1835 Nathaniel Buckmaster April 13, 1838
Cyrus Edwards August 6, 1841 B. F. Edwards July 12, 1843
John Hatch October 11, 1844 Peter Merrill July 31, 1845
Timothy Souther May 24, 1847 H. W. English November 11, 1853
J. G. Lamb March 30, 1861 I. J. Richmond January 25, 1875
Charles Holden Jr. May 31, 1878 T. H. Perrin July 3, 1886
W. T. Norton September 6, 1889 John Buckmaster April 14, 1894
Julia Buckmaster December 1, 1896 W. T. Norton May 10, 1897
Henry Brueggemann February 5, 1906    





Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 16, 1911

C. A. VanPreter [see story below - August 19] today closed a deal with Capt. J. Fowler, whereby the latter conveys all interest in the Madison Hotel block to Mr. VanPreter. The consideration is private. The purchase includes all furnishings, etc., in the hotel, as well as the four store buildings in the block. Capt. Fowler's health is so bad that he desires to get out of business altogether. Mr. VanPreter, when asked if he intended to conduct the hotel business, replied, "No, I bought for an investment. The hotel will be taken over by a new management in a few days and will be conducted as a first class hotel." The investment is a valuable one, the property being located in a good part of the city. The property was offered to others for $30,000. T. E. Gallagher was negotiating to have charge of the hotel, but has decided not to do so.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 19, 1911

The acquiring of the Madison Hotel by C. A. Vanpreter carries with it a little story which ought to be given publicity, because it speaks the doctrine of hope, and may be a spur to the ambition of hopeless people. It is an interesting fact that when the Madison hotel was being erected, among the workmen employed on the building was one C. A. Vanpreter, who worked for $1.75 a day as carpenter. Mr. Vanpreter then had no intention of owning the hotel, at least if he died, it must have looked to be a very far distant achievement for him. That was less than thirty years ago. When Mr. Vanpreter bought the hotel from J. Fowler this week, through the Ed Yager agency, he was able to pay cash for the property. It is not so many years since Mr. Vanpreter was working at the $1.75 wage, and then too, it must be remembered that Mr. Vanpreter, in the intervening time, suffered an accident which made him almost helpless and left him a cripple for the remainder of his life. Fighting against heavy odds of ill health and physical disability, he has achieved much in the thirty years, and today he is able to say he owns the building he helped to erect, and that he does not owe a dollar on it, as he was able to pay cash. Everyone who has seen the account of Mr. Vanpreter's purchase believes that Mr. Vanpreter made a good bargain and has a valuable piece of property. He intends to add ten bath rooms to the equipment and make some other improvements which will raise the quality of the hotel. Another thing is, Mr. Vanpreter will strongly bond the lessee in the lease, to maintain the present good name of the hotel and improve it and will make it a condition of the lease that will void the lease if the leasee, whoever he may be, does anything that will damage the reputation of the place, Mr. Vanpreter is determined to progress, and will not allow any retrogression.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 30, 1911

Not until a young lady fainted on the steamer Sidney Tuesday afternoon after dancing the Ostende dance for over an hour, did the young desist for this popular dance. Mr. Sauvage, in charge of the excursion, forbade the orchestra playing the Ostende any more amid a storm of protest. When the steamer Sidney left Alton Tuesday morning, the air was cool and bracing and the young people started dancing. They called for the Ostende first thing, they called for the second thing, they called for it all the way to Kampsville which was not reached until 2 o'clock in the afternoon. About this time the dancers, many of them were beginning to look haggard and suddenly a young lady fell on the floor, fainting from sheer exhaustion. This caused a call for the stewardess of the boat and she came prepared for just such a case. The stewardess wanted to cut the stays that held the young lady's clothing bound tightly about her body but the ladies crowding around would not let her do it. The young woman was finally revived and recovered by the time the boat reached Alton. After the fainting of one of the dancers, Mr. Sauvage put the lid on the Ostende and the orchestra was not allowed to play it. The Ostende is not as strenuous a dance as the waltz and two step, but seems to demand a longer run. Most of the Ostende is side stepping and forward stepping and is such a gentle dance one does not realize fatigue. Dancers waltz or two step three to four minutes, but you "Ostende" an hour, so it seems. Mr. Sauvage, who was in charge of the excursion yesterday, stated this afternoon that the Ostende is taboo so far as he is concerned and the boat management are of the same mind. Beside the girl who fainted, two other girls were made sick from dancing the Ostende too long and this has caused a lid to be clamped on this popular dance on the Sidney.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 30, 1911

Miss Florence Fowler had a very trying experience at the Madison Hotel Tuesday evening due in the most part by the love of her little nephew for a gun. Miss Fowler was acting as clerk in the hotel while the regular clerk was eating his supper, when some one of the gentlemen who were staying at the hotel called for some stamps. In the drawer where the stamps are kept is a thirty-eight revolver which is used by the night clerk and she, not even suspecting that the gun was loaded, held it in her right hand while she got the stamps and made the necessary change. She was just ready to put the gun back in its place in the stamp drawer, when her nephew, Everett McCauley, tried to get the gun and she jerked it out of his reach. This slight pressure that she exerted during this operation was enough to fire the gun. When she looked up and saw that there were eight or ten persons standing about the room, her first thought was that she had killed someone and this idea caused her to faint. The ball, however, had gone through the ceiling and did very little damage except to frighten the guests who were standing in the lobby. When Miss Fowler regained consciousness, it was found that the ball had passed so close to her left hand when the gun went off that her hand had been burned by the powder. Miss Fowler is confined to her room today suffering from nervousness and will undoubtedly remember how it feels to be close to the business end of a pistol for some time to come.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 20, 1911

The demolishing of the top of the building owned and occupied by the Alton Carriage Company is causing much interest from the old residents who pass the place, and as they perceive the work they all ask if the building is to be torn down. When they learn that the work is only to remove the gable walls and strengthen the building, they look pleased and fall into reminiscence. When the building was erected over sixty years ago, it was one of the pretentious stores of Alton. It was built of the best material and workmanship. The timbers of the frame are of white oak, and are now as solid as the day it went into the structure. Even the sheathing of the roof is of white oak, and the only mark of decay is in these where in the past the roofing was permitted to fall into holes that decayed a portion of a few planks. It has been used for every line of commercial purpose, save that of a millinery store. It has stood on this corner of State and Fourth, and witnessed the passing of many strange scenes. It saw the booming days of the river traffic, and its decadence, and will again see, it is hoped, the revival of this important feature of our internal commerce. It witnessed the triumph of the freedom of the press that Lovejoy defended through his independent stand for the cause he judged righteous. It stood over-looking the prison when the circumscribed walls housed but few criminals, saw it compelled to widen with how much of sadness for the rise of those evils we must ever combat; and then time began to move in ever swifter flights, and the events of crowding issues came as in a wave. Through all these, the old citizen still dreams of and clings to the old landmarks that were then existing as to certain friendly spirits.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 21, 1911

Forty-one years ago next month - November 7 - Sisters of Charity invaded Alton and founded the present St. Joseph's hospital. It was a small concern at first, but grew steadily, and has done a great amount of charitable work in the interim. It was located for many years at the corner of Second and Walnut streets, and left that place only when the fine building was erected on the top of Walnut street hill. The annual donation day will be November 7, and the Sisters ask the public to be as charitable as possible. Money, clothing, dry goods, groceries, and provisions of all kinds are acceptable. During the year a great many improvements have been made at the hospital, including an ambulance driveway, new laundry, boiler house, new boilers and other things, and they have not been fully paid for.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 14, 1911

Alton is going to have a skating rink, it will be in the top floor of the Armory building, where many years ago this sport was carried on to the enjoyment of many. Arrangements were completed today whereby the old rink will be revived, and the hall will be decorated in Japanese colorings and scenes of various kinds, and will be named the Mikado Skating rink. There are many of the older Altonians who always connect this building with the skating rinks of years ago, and now it will again be made the scene of merry skaters. The promoters of the plan have announced they will run the rink each evening from 7:30 to 10:30, but that there will be no skating on Sunday, the rink being closed on that day.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 17, 1911

Joe E. Noll's cigar store in east Second street has been converted into a sort of Indian reservation and exhibition emporium, and many people are calling to look at and admire and wonder about the collection of Indian articles displayed there. The exhibit belongs to W. A. Hoppe, formerly of this city, who is back from Wyoming on a visit, and is valued at $75 actual cash paid therefore. It is not for sale, however, at any price, but anyone who cares to do so is welcome to call and examine. That there are dudes among the 'Noble Redmen' is attested by the belt and vest of one on exhibition. The vest is of heavy black broadcloth, and is embellished with elaborately worked beaded flowers on the front, as well as the back. Two stars made of vari-colored beads adorn the back of the vest also. Beads of many colors have been stitched into the belt, and make it very attractive looking. The vest cost $25. The war bonnet of Crazy Moon, a noted Arapahoe Indian chief, was purchased by Mr. Hoppe last Labor day celebration at Lander's, Wyoming, and cost him $35. The feathers in the bonnet, and the long piece of cloth hanging from the headpiece, were taken from wild turkeys and make the bonnet look rather fierce. There are famous Indian Medicine Stones and Medicine bags among the exhibits, and many strings of beads, moccasins, pipes and other articles, each of which has an interest of its own. Mr. Hoppe also has placed nuggets of silver and gold in the exhibit, and samples of wheat and oats grown in Wyoming indicate that agriculture there must be a paying calling. Many thousands of little beads were used in adorning the various articles exhibited, and the wonder is where do the Indians get all their beads?




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 22, 1911

If the men who are present digging holes in Hop Hollow do not give up the work soon, they will have the place looking like a honeycomb. It is said that these men are after the treasure, which tradition says was buried about one hundred years ago by Hop, the namesake of Hop Hollow. From the traditions which have been handed down, Hop was a hermit and a river pirate as well, having his home in the hills of what is now known as Hop's Hollow. He would lay in wait for the men who passed by up and down the river, and would then make a sally out and bring back the treasure, which he is supposed to have hid somewhere near his home. It is thought very likely that all of the treasure which he might have buried had been taken out some fifty years ago when the craze for hunting that treasure prevailed, but now some Alton men are after it again, and it all came about in a very queer way. An old lady who died in Middletown about a month ago is the cause of all the renewed hunting. It seems that in her childhood she had heard the tales of the buried wealth in the hills, and had always remembered them. One night just a short time before her death, she had a dream in which was revealed to her the hiding place of the larger part of the old man's treasure which had not been found. In the dream she saw just where the treasure was hid, and could see the place so plainly that she described the location to the members of the family when she awoke the next morning. Now one of the members of her family, with a couple of other men, is busy in the hollow trying to find the treasure. So far they have been unable to locate the spot exactly as described by the old lady before her death, but they have made several attempts at places which looked somewhat similar, but with no results that were productive of great wealth.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 13, 1912

It is recalled that in the winter of 1877-8, the thermometer registered 28 degrees below zero. It was the winter of the disease known as pink eye, that effected the horse and put them out of use. The Alton express offices used oxen to move their stuff, as did the breweries and transfers.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 16, 1912

An illustration of the wonderful preserving power of old time paints is given in a discovery made at the Sparks Machine Co.  It was a signboard painted many years ago, which was decayed by the weather all around the letters, the paint having resisted the weathering effects, and the inscription stands out iin bold relief, while around each letter is decay. One of the handsomest and oldest signs that is known of in Alton, and probably the only example of the ancient high art in sign painting, has been unearthed by Ralph G. Webb, in the buildings occupied by the Sparks Machine Co. on William street. It is a sign of the iron company that ushered in the Nelson-Hayner Hardware Company. The sign reads, "Sligo and Tyrone Iron and Nail Store." It is painted on a board almost three feet wide and about ten feet long. But mere description fails to convey an idea of the singular beauty of the lettering, which was done sixty years ago. The paint has disappeared but the oil and the preserving qualities of the paint has so protected the wood upon which the letters were drawn, that the faintest line of the painter's brush remains boldly standing out from the board, just as an etching is brought out by the acid bath. The action of the weather has worn the board away from about the painted lines as a sand blast cuts the relief of glass. The design of the letters was as fine and as accurately drawn as though it had been expected to have been looked at through a fine glass. The scroll work is a marvel of delicacy, and every line laid down by the brush stands out prominent as if raised by hand carving, and is in most exquisite taste and skillful handling. There is at first an impossibility to realize that it had not been carved so perfectly as the fine lines carried out, but it is the work of the years it hung in front of the old store building at Second and William streets, its face held up to the storms of wintry wind and the scorching of the searching sun. The painter was T. Selwell, whose name appears in fine script down in the right hand corner of the sign, and it too is etched out in delicate, yet bold lines of a vigorous skill. The name looks at first glance like a bit of lacework, as it follows Hogarth's line of grace, but it stands out fresh, an illustration of that well quoted phrase, "It pays to do your work well." It is needless to say the sign will be preserved by Captain Webb as a prize. Taken as a whole, it is one of the strange freaks of nature setting at work her forces to carve this old sign, as if the old dame had moments of unrest and thus engaged her moments of leisure.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 25, 1912

The old house on the bluffs, used as an Old Ladies' Home until the new Home was erected on State street, is being torn down. David Ryan has bought the bricks and will use them in erecting a house at Fifth street near Alby. The house was formerly a fine residence. It was erected by S. R. Dolbee and used as the home of his family for many years. It was handsomely fitted inside, but since it was vacated it has been looted of all that was valuable and had become a ruin.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 7, 1912

The handsome drug store of S. H. Wyss was destroyed at 5 o'clock Tuesday night, when a fire in the cellar of the store caused one of the most stubborn conflagrations the firemen have fought for some time. The entire store floor was destroyed, the stock dropped down into four feet of water in the cellar, all of the line cases were destroyed, and the pretty store generally despoiled. Mr. Wyss stated this morning that he believed his loss would be close to $12,000, and that he has between six and seven thousand dollars worth of insurance. The loss is mostly in the stock, the damage to the building being little more than a thousand dollars. Paul Ufert, the boy in the store, discovered a fire in the cellar when he went down after something about 5 o'clock Tuesday night. He called to Mr. Wyss, who came and did not view the matter seriously, believing they could easily overcome the small blaze. But just about this time a container of carbolic acid exploded and the fumes of the hot chemical permeated the air and made it impossible for any human to breathe the air of the cellar, and the force ran to the street. Ufert had the presence of mind to turn in a fire call, and companies two, three and four responded. By the time the firemen arrived, the oils and chemicals in the cellar had become fired, and the place was a furnace of flame. Explosions from time to time caused more fumes to be turned loose, and soon it was impossible to get on to the store floor, and to go into the cellar meant suicide, not from the fire but from suffocation. Ufert managed to hold his breath long enough to get some money out of the stamp drawer and to lock the safe, but was burned about the face and had to run for his life without getting any of the prescription books or loose papers that lay on the desks. Chief Hunt stated this morning the fire was one of the most peculiar he had ever dealt with. Even when they had four feet of water in the cellar, the fire seemed hotter than ever. The barrels of oil, as they broke, emitted their contents, and as the oil floated to the top of the water it became fired. It was only after the flames had burned off the joists and dropped the store floor with its contents down into the cellar, that the firemen were able to get at the names. All who watched the fire, and it is estimated there were two thousand persons, were loud in their praise of the good work of the firemen. The men were so wet water ran from them, and it was cold enough to freeze their clothes on them, but they stayed at their posts from five o'clock to after seven o'clock, and confined the fire to the Wyss building. The family of Mr. Rosenberger residing in the second story of the building were forced to flee without getting out their effects, and believed they had lost all, but the firemen prevented the fire reaching the second story, and beside being well smoked, their goods were not injured. Mr. Wyss stated this morning that he will find a temporary store until he can repair the damage done to his store. He will probably take one of the rooms in the Luer block across the street. It will be necessary to purchase all new fixtures, even the soda water fountain being badly injured. Mayor J. C. Faulstich was among the first to get busy at the front when the fire alarm was sounded at the Wyss store. He ran to the Beardslee Hardware Store and secured a bundle of rope, which he tied across the street at Ridge street and at the Foreman clothing store, blocking all cars and teams from getting by what might have been a danger space because of the likelihood of the chemicals in the cellar exploding. He also helped with the fire fighting. The firemen made a brave fight and had several narrow escapes from falling into the cellar when the floor collapsed. On one occasion, one man did go in, but was held back by another who grabbed his coat. This man also began falling and was held back by a third, who drew out the other two.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 29, 1912

When application was made by a local manufacturing industry for rights on the riverfront to erect a plant there for manufacture of boats, some objection was made on the ground that the site desired could not be used for any purpose but a public promenade and landing place for steamboats. Research has been made since then, and some curious facts have been discovered. One is that the city of Alton itself, in 1858, erected a city hall on the ground that Rufus Easton reserved as a landing place. Furthermore, since that time, the city has from time to time made other grants of the same land. The Union depot and the Bluff Line depot are on the reserved ground, and likewise are the Big Four, C. & A., Bluff Line and Illinois Terminal Railroads. But stronger than this, the Alton bridge has its Illinois end on this same tract of ground, and this location was picked by the United States War Department. High attorneys for all these corporations considered that the city had a right to allow the use of the ground for the purpose to which it is now devoted, and it is considered that the present applicants for the ground have as good a right as any.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 6, 1912

A strange object was found nine feet in the ground this morning by Joseph Snodgrass, a workman employed by F. E. Snyder, who is digging out the cellar for the Flach building at Second and Alby streets. The object is made of steel, is shaped like a plumb bob, and weighs 8 1/4 pounds. In the side of it is a hole which has been drilled through the hard metal, and the side of the hole is threaded. The surface of the find is smooth and shiny. One end of it is hemispherical in shape, and the other end is drawn out to a sharp conical point. The workman found the piece of steel nine feet in the ground. It was buried in a bed of sand. How it happened to be there no one who has seen it can tell. In digging the cellar on the Alby street side and extending from the southeast to the northwest corner, there was found a very unexpected bed of deep ____ sand that is very hard to cope with. The suggestion is made that it may have been a projectile from some gun, but the Flach building had stood on that property since the early days of Alton, and the object that was picked up must have been buried away back in the times when the building site was part of the bed of some stream. The steel object may have dropped on the surface of the ground and worked its way through what might have been quicksand. It caused considerable speculation, but there was no one who would give any positive opinion either as to what the object was or how it happened to be buried so deep in the ground.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 10, 1912

While excavating in the bed of sand and clay on the Flach property on Second and Alby streets, the workmen this morning uncovered a well preserved ivory tusk, which was stuck in a thoroughly decayed piece of a jawbone of some animal, whose identity is not known. It was only last week that a curious and unidentified find was made there, a metallic object that is nickel plated. F. E. Snyder, who has the grading contract, is keeping a sharp lookout for other curios. The old bed of sand seems to be a rich depository for such finds. The tusk that was found is about 7 inches in length, and has a very sharp point that would have made it a wicked weapon of offense. When the jawbone was picked up the bone fell away like powder, but the tusk and three or four teeth remained intact. The teeth were thrown away by the men, but Mr. Snyder preserved the tusk.




Source: Alton Telegraph, July 18, 1912

A heavy rain, said to be unparalleled in destructive qualities, caused tremendous damage in Alton Sunday morning, involving the loss of four lives and a loss estimated to be about $250,000. Included in this is the destruction of the gas manufacturing plant of the Alton Gas & Electric Co., with a complete severance of all gas service in the city until the plant can be rebuilt.....Hundreds of families have lost heavily, some losing their all. Immense damage was done to private property throughout the city. Telephone and railroad companies suffered costly loss in Alton and vicinity. The dead, as the result of the storm are: Mrs. Frances Maguire, aged 45; Goldie Maguire, aged 3; Hesler Moss, 46; Archie Boyce, 29. The story of the great rain of July 13-14, 1912, is one to be told with due consideration for the heroin conduct of men and women who risked their lives to save those of others. Unless the sacrifices had been made, the loss of life would have been very much greater. People living in humble homes, men and women who know what their fellow beings have to contend with and who had many depending on them for support, offered their lives and won in the gamble with fate. In all the world there is no more heroic set of people than those who inhabit the territory known as the Piasa valley and Shield's branch, where the greatest menace of the flood appeared. The rain was falling about 11 o'clock and it was light. It came from a cloud that had been hanging in the northwest, and was ominous, and there was no end of the rending, cracking sound of the thunder. It was a fearful night. Terror was abroad in the city and many a person was brought to a state of religious frenzy by fear of the lightning and the heavy downpour of rain which was carrying away property, swallowing up every thing that its all devouring maw seized upon. The cloud which deluged Alton, strange though it may seem, circled three times the city and at no time departed very far from it. The rain had been falling steadily from 11 o'clock, the clouds would sweep around, come back and then go away again. According to those who were watcvhing the cloud, about 1 o'clock it came back in one of its swings; there seemed to be a sudden flash of light as if there had been some tremendous explosion of elemental nature, and then down came water. It was no ordinary rain, and could not be compared to anything that has ever happened in Alton. According to estimates made of the rainfall, rain gauges not being adequate to make a measurement, there was from 8 to 10 inches of water that fell in a short time. Nothing could withstand such a deluge. Even the highest parts of the city felt the effects of the torrential rain. It was as if a great river had suddenly changed its course and had poured forth on what had been dry ground. The water courses suddenly became congested with water they could not carry. Sewers choked to their capacity, gave way beneath the tremendous pressure and burst outwardly. Stone arch culverts which had withstood the pressure of many years floods, were too weak to withstand such a strain as that, and the result was havoc. By far the greatest damage was done in the Belle street district, drained by Piasa creek sewer. Beginning at Sixteenth and Belle streets there is a great culvert or rather, was. Made of the most lasting masonry, it was supposed to be able to withstand any pressure. It proved its infantile weakness before the flood that came tearing, racing, plunging down from the hill tops to the valley. The first big event was the bursting of this sewer at Sixteenth and Belle street. The water began to wash it out underneath a saloon owned by the Commercial Liquor Co., and occupied by John Schweiger. The building was undermined and left tottering on the verge of a deep hole. Then the water began taking out the stone culvert, yard by yard until the whole of Belle street for a distance of more than a block was a huge hole, 25 feet in depth, with the wreck of the culvert in the bottom. Spanning the great hole is the wreck of the A. J. & P. track. To illustrate the volume of the water that was racing down Belle street from the hills, on Madison avenue, a paved street, the paving bricks were torn out for a distance of 500 feet the full width of the street and deposited at the bottom of the hill. When the culvert gave away, a great tidal wave, checked momentarily at the sewer, went racing down Belle street. It was no small sized wave, either. It engulfed the street, made a deep river run down the paved Belle street which was 8 and 9 feet deep at Hamilton street. On either side were deep waters where the ground was low, and the whole was a boiling, seething caldron in which wences, barns, outhouses, drift of all kinds were struggling as in a mighty whirlpool, and was clushing [sic] to gather in all the stray human lives it could capture in its voracious way. On down the street it sped, covering up houses, wiping out property, destroying what came its way and reaching out for more. It was here that the work of heroes began.


Down in the Charles Bohart saloon a group of young men were staying. They had been drinking and having their idea of a good time. Some of them have been sought from time to time by the police, but it took a calamity such as that to bring the better side uppermost. They were men and they showed it and they bore the part of men. William Dacey, one of the group of five, raced off down the street when he saw the wave coming and he knocked at doors, smashed in windows, half swam, half ran, anything to aid him in going the full length of the street from Hamilton to Ninth to give warning. He cut his hand badly breaking in windows. On his way he met a woman whom he boosted into a tree and there she stayed until the flood was over. Louis Youngblood, Charles Wilkinson, Charles Bohart climbed to the top of the Bohart saloon on Belle street, Jerry Bohart and W. J. Brady climbed telegraph poles and stayed there. Ted Riley reached out and grasped a negro woman who was whirling toward certain death, and drew her to a place of safety on the porch of Thomas Gavin's house. Further on, in Hamilton street, a Mr. Osborn was doing the heroic act of saving the life of Mrs. Spellman and her three children. Plunging into what looked like a suicide's grave, he made his way to the party and rescued them. Mrs. Lizzie Weeks and her two children were rescued at the same time. George Steinhelfer saved his two children, while William Deshirley got his four children to a place of safety. Robert Blankenship saved his wife and two children under heavy odds. All this, while the mad turmoil of the torrent was making a noise that would give terror in the most courageous breast. The water marks on the buildings show how high the water was when all these acts of valor were being performed.


Further down the street there was a tragedy, but a hero, a little man with not very robust strength, was saving three people and a mother was losing her own life and with a lack of understanding allowed that of her child to be lost also. Frances Maguire, a widow, lived at Ninth and Belle streets in the old homestead of William Atkinson. She kept as boarders with herself and three children, Mrs. Mary Moore and her son, Wesley Moore. The tidal wave burst open the doors and took possession of the house. It began to fill the low ceilinged rooms to the top. First Wesley Moore saved his mother, his filial love turning to her. This accomplished, he set about saving the children. Two of them, Fanny and Willie Maguire, he set on the roof. Mrs. Maguire was too heavy for him to handle. She was deaf from scarlet fever when a child. Failing to understand the efforts of Mr. Moore, she would not give him her 3 year old daughter, Goldie, and held the child in her arms while both drowned. Moore finally crawled to the roof with his mother and the two children and there he stayed until taken off later on when the fury of the flood had subsided. The screams of Mrs. Maguire, in her efforts to attract help, will never be forgotten by brave men who could not get to her to render any help, owing to the depth and violence of the water between them. Men sat on house tops in the low place bounded by Main street and Belle street and Hamilton street, and waited for the end. Houses rocked under the hammerings of the flood and of great volumes of drift that came down. Small houses came down in the flood and lodged among them. There was good cause for terror.


In the house in what is known as Tar G alley, at number 907, Mrs. Moss kept boarders and Archie Boyce and William Grice, all negroes, were staying with her. Grice managed to escape, but Mrs. Moss and Boyce were drowned in their rooms. The water was up to the ceiling.


Down at the gas works, Harvey Buchanan, Otis Brown and Joseph Moore were on duty at night. They were driven from the gas works by the rush of water which took possession of the building where the engines and gas making retorts were. The men had no choice about going, and they went to save their lives. It was about this time that the stone culvert running under the gas works property to cross from Belle street to the Piasa sewer, collapsed and with it went down about 150 tons of coke which was stored on top of it. Thus completed the choking of the sewer. The sewer gave away, place after place. Finally the walls of the gas house began to go down and within a few hours the entire building where Alton's gas supply was manufactured was in ruins and the six benches of retorts were ruined. It is this that causes Alton's gas service to be suspended and will remain so until the new gas plant which is necessary, can be built.


....The little body of Goldie Maguire was carried down two blocks to Seventh and Belle streets, where it was found at daylight lodged against a fence. Down in town there was terror too. On Piasa street in front of the Telegraph office there was over three feet of water in the paved street. The horses in the Seibold livery stable and other stables were removed. Buildings at Fifth and Piasa streets belonging to George Hildebrand and next door belonging to Charles Seibold were undermined and started to fall. The inmates fled in terror. One building at 414 Piasa street is a partial wreck and the whole structure will probably have to come down. All the buildings and cellars along the way were filled with water. On lower Piasa street, north of Third street, the water gouged out a great hole in the street paving, where it had run like a Niagara rapid, and further down the street it burrowed down under the paving again. The wreck was complete along the line of the path of the cloudburst.....


Newton A. Hines, W. T. Williams and Robertson and Cahill are three grocers on Belle street who were put out of business by the flood on Belle street. The Hines grocery had water in it five feet deep and everything was overthrown, counters, shelving and goods being piled in a heap. The loss of Mr. Hines will be almost total. W. T. Williams at Ninth and Belle streets suffered a similar loss in his place. The Williams store was filled with mud, the furniture overturned and goods strewn around the place....


While aiding in getting four horses out of Benno Miller's stable and six out of the Rubenstein stable to keep them from being drowned, Walter Budde fell into a deep hole and it took some hard swimming to enable him to escape......


The entire plant of the Illinois Glass Co. was shut down because of a flood of water that poured over from Shield's branch after the big culvert became blocked by buildings lodging against its mouth....Harry Griffis, a traveling exhibitor in the line of getting out of rope bonds, was giving an exhibition in a club house when the flood came in. He had been securely bound, hand and foot, and was to release himself. The water broke in the door and began filling the room and before he got the ropes off he had a good fright. He is clever at the work, but he had to work harder and faster than he ever did before to release himself so he could get out of the water.....


During the flood John Stutz, who lives on Second street, near the creek, lost every outbuilding he had. A coal shed, woodshed, chicken house with fifty chickens, a wagon shed and a good buggy and a big barn were his losses from the flood. The raging stream picked up the big barn and carried it for half a block with such a force that it broke several planks in the foot bridge where the branch crosses Second street. The Stutz family did not realize their condition until they heard the crash of the barn and looked out to see their yard filled with water to the depth of three feet and all of their outbuildings going down the creek.....


Harry E. Strunge and William E. Strunge, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Strunge, 1606 Greenwood street, saved the family of Asa Grafton,the eight children being sons and daughters of the late John Ryan. The two young men swam and fought with the current until they had the whole family safely out of the mad rush of waters that had spread over from Shield's branch. William swam with a 5 year old child on his back and was carried down 100 yards before he could cross a stream 20 feet wide.


The torrent of waters that rushed down Ridge street overflowing the sewers was one that has never been equaled as far as the memories of the oldest residents can call. The water there dashed from one side to the other, taking up curbing with the pavement and taking trees and sidewalks and making four feet cuts in many places. The waters rushing around the corner of Fourth and Ridge streets tore up the sidewalks from in front of John Merkel store and Harry Getsinger's residence, and then crossed the street where it took the entire sidewalk in front of Charles Luft's home and made a cut four feet deep. At the corner of Third and Ridge the real cutting began, and a place fifteen feet wide from there until Second street was dug out curbing and everything. Sidewalks on the east side of the street went with it and the overflow caught several of the buildings in the vicinity of Second and Ridge street. All of the debris from entire washouts gathered at the foot of Second and Ridge street in a pile seven foot high. Among the pile was a tree fifteen inches in diameter which had been dug out by the roots from the Getsinger home, two blocks above, and placed in the pile....After leaving the pile of debris at Second street, the torrent journeyed on until it reached the side of the Luer Bros. Packing Company, where it tore another gash for a hundred feet and then went to the railroad for one last damaging stroke before it entered the river.....


In Godfrey Township, the residence of J. E. Deterding, ex-tax collector of Godfrey township, located a short distance north of Alton on the Godfrey road, was struck by lightning and about $300 damage done. The lightning struck the cupola on the building and shattered it. Going down, it played in every room in the house and then went to the cellar and tore things up. Phil Deterding and his sister, Miss Sophia, were both shocked and Phil's should was sore and stiff....The lightning jumped from room to room, and from one place in a room to another, leaving a plain and destructive trail behind. The plastering was torn from the ceiling of every room in the house and the wonder is that any of the three inmates of the house escaped. A dog was killed by the lightning as it went down through the house. Two horses belonging to George Schmitt, living near Deterding, were killed outright. They were standing in the barn lot near the barn when struck....Water filled the barn on the Mrs. Scheffel farm near Deterding's place and their milk cow was found Sunday morning swimming around with hay and other things. Her calf was drowned in the barn. The highway bridge over the Godfrey road near the Scheffel place was washed out and it is said that further down the creek in the Watts pasture the mud on trees where the bridge and other drift stopped, mud on trees show that the water there was at least thirty feet deep. Thousands of game fish escaped from the big Godfrey pond going over the dam or through the drain pipes and hundreds of them were picked up Sunday morning a half mile or more from the pond......


Mill creek over the Branch went out of the banks and swept bridges and all other things encountered with it. A gardener named Smith woke up Sunday morning to find his entire crop of vegetables - and he had a big, lot of all kinds - covered with several inches of mud and debris, and all was lost.....


Saturday evening Chris Rain, who lives in the North Side, took his wife and three children down to Hop Hollow to spend the night and Sunday with him in his ice cream and refreshment establishment, and all of them had a thrilling night of it, and several narrow escapes from death. It was after midnight when the terrific thunder and lightning caused Chris to leave his bed, and opening the door of his establishment, he looked out. What he saw terrified him and he closed the door and rousing his wife told her to get up and dress, that trouble was on the way. He attired himself also and again looked out. He saw mountains of water, fallen trees large boulders and other things tumbling down the hollow and all headed apparently for the house. "Grab the children and run for the hills," he shouted to Mrs. Rain and she grabbed two of them, Lydia about 2 years old and Geraldine, four months old, and stepped outside. She went into the water up to her waist and the current swept her from her feet. Chris caught her and the children whom she held tightly in her arms and he carried them all out of the deepest of the water to a higher spot. Then he ran back to the house and picked up his son, Chris Rain, Jr., who was asleep. He also picked up a blanket and managed to get back to the place where he had left his wife and the other children. Mr. and Mrs. Rain kept close together and the blanket was placed over the heads and shoulders of both in such a way as to keep much of the water off the children in their arms. They struck out in the darkness and deluge for higher ground. They had no idea where they were going or what would happen to them. Behind them was a roaring, seething torrent of water filled with big trees uprooted and rocks dislodged and they kept going. They were aided in this by the vivid flashes of lightning. They were shocked four different times when lightning struck trees not far from their course and once Mrs. Rain stepped on the wire of a knocked down wire fence and the shock of electricity went through her system and caused her teeth to ache for hours afterwards. After wandering in this way for about an hour and half, a lightning's flash showed a large barn nearby and they headed for that. When they reached there, another flash show a large white house close by and Chris, leaving his wife and three children in the barn went to the house and called for help. It was Joe Junnettes' home and it was less than a mile from the place they had left more than an hour before. Mr. Junnette threw open the doors and got all of the half drowned family inside where attention was given them by himself and wife. They are all right apparently today, and will suffer no bad permanent effects from their frightful experience.  Hop Hollow resembles a tract of country after a cyclone has visited it. Trees are lying across the roads and paths and boulders and debris are piled high up all around. Big trees were torn out by the roots by the waters, while others were felled by lightning. All the bridges were washed away and it will be impossible to get in or out of the hollow with a vehicle for several days it is said......


The stone wall running west to east of the Gaddis residence, across from the Ursuline convent, was torn down in the storm. The high wall fronting the Rudershausen place at Eighth and Easton streets was washed away.....


Four families on the south side of Hamilton street all had narrow escapes from being drowned. Mrs. Thomas Jones, who has resided on that street for fifty years, says that the flood never was so bad there as Saturday night. She generally awakens and warns the rest of the neighbors of the danger of the rushing water, but this time she did not happen to be awake and barely had time to get out when someone rapped soundly on her window and told her to get out. She and Mr. Jones and the other members of their family climbed up a steep ledge back of the house and got out of danger. A great many went to the home of Mrs. Francis, which is high out of the way. Mrs. George Weeks and two children and her sister, Mrs. George Steinhoffer and husband, were rescued by aid of a clothes line thrown to them by Mrs. Pearl Bowman, a neighbor on the north side of the street. Mrs. Bowman and others grabbed the other end of the line and rescued the entire six persons who clung to it. Mrs. Mary Spellman, a widow, and four children were rescued themselves by wading, except two of the Spellman children who were brought to safety by Earl Osborn. Osborn swam across in his night shirt when other men trembled at the task, grabbed the two youngest children and swam back, making a perilous fight and urging the rest to wade on. Mrs. Spellman led the other children, with water surging up to their heads. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Smith and five children, and Mr. and Mrs. John Deshirley and three children, waded on both sides of the Weeks and Spellman houses, waded out with water reaching almost over their heads. The rest of the residents on Hamilton street had upstairs rooms and went there.....




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 8, 1912

At the regular monthly meeting of the Park Commission held last evening, plans for improvement of the Riverside Park were presented by B. B. Stakemiller and the commission practically accepted them as they were. The plans when carried out will make the Riverside Park the beauty spot of Alton, and the little park will be one of the most beautiful parks in this part of the country, and a place which every Altonian should be proud of....According to the plans the three acres will be turned into a model spot according to modern architecture. A four foot concrete wall will be erected on the river side to keep small children from falling into the quarries below. The hills back of this will be terraced and benches will be placed on the terrace so that parties going to the park may occupy these benches and enjoy the view of the river. Directly at the end of Bellevue avenue a promenade will be erected. It will be built of concrete and will be forty foot in diameter, and will be almost circular. The promenade will be erected high enough to command a good view of the river and the surrounding territory, and it also will be equipped with benches. A tier of concrete steps from Bellevue avenue will lead to the promenade. The plans also call for a bandstand to be erected on the highest spot in the park, this spot was formerly the site of the Old Ladies Home building. On the west side of a park a large shelter house, twenty-five by fifty foot will be erected, and there will be comfort stations. Besides these improvements, the part of the park now known as the "sink hole" will be filled in to within four feet of the street level. and will be turned into a summer garden. Walks will wind in and out through the park and a roadway entering at the north of the park and leading to Summit street and then around the bandstand and out at Vena avenue will also be built. The plans for the new park are so extensive that it will be impossible for the commissioners to carry them out fully for several years to come, on account of the lack of funds. However, they intend to get busy on some work during the coming spring. The iron railing along the riverside will be left, and the promenade will be erected together with the bandstand, and that part of the roadway leading from Vena avenue and circling the bandstand. Paths and benches will also be put in the park. The other improvements will be made as soon as possible.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 7, 1913

One of the larger, double track cars used on the Union street line tobogganed down the steep grade north of the City Cemetery Monday evening, carrying twenty-seven passengers and her crew, and all of them had a marvelous escape from death or fatal injury when the car left the rails at the curve at the northeast corner of the cemetery, and going in the ditch turned over on her side. The passengers, all of them shaken up, and most of them suffering slight cuts and bruises, were taken from the wreckage or crawled out to help others from the splinters of the car. The worst injured were Walter Day, John Mischell, Miss Freida Netzhammer, Thomas Moran, William Coleman, Thomas Swift, Walter Heller. Thomas Swift, a boy, was badly hurt in the hip joint and his injury may prove serious. The conduct of the car crew was heroic according to those who were in the car. Before starting down the hill, the motorman, William Coleman, who is known as a cautious man, stopped the car at the top of the hill, tested his sand and his airbrakes, then eased the brakes off and started to let the car drop down the hill slowly. The rails had been slickened up by a thin coating of ice, and the car started down the grade like a toboggan on a slick track. It did not check the speed any to put on the brakes, and all that the motorman could do did not serve to slow up the car's speed. Conductor Fred Wentz told the passengers to keep their seats and they obeyed, which undoubtedly prevented many being hurt by being thrown together during the wild ride. Wentz himself sat down on the car floor. When the car left the rails it started down a steep incline, but struck an obstruction and went over on its side, smashing in the whole side of the car and piling up the passengers. Some were caught in the wreckage and had to be liberated by others. Motorman Will Coleman, who had stuck to his post during the wild ride, and afterward helped out the passengers and aided some of them to get to their homes, collapsed afterward and suffered a form of nervous prostration. He was taken to his home. The accident, so far as could be learned, was unavoidable, as every precaution was taken by the motorman before starting down the grade. Similar accidents under similar circumstances have occurred on other steep grades in Alton, twice on State street hill and several times on Washington street hill. While the car was on the decent, it was going at such a rate of speed that it was impossible for the conductor Fred Wendt to keep his feet, and he sat down on the rear platform to await the outcome. When asked why he told the passengers to keep their seats and would not give them a chance to jump from the car he replied, "That car was going faster than I ever traveled before, and no one would have been able to live who jumped, even if they had made the way to the door successfully." ....hill. After this everyone in the car was still as death until the crash, and the car turned over. After the accident Miss Netzhammer, although hurt, waited until the victims had been carried away and then she inquired, "Have any of you gentlemen noticed my music?" The music was found buried under the car. After the accident most of the men in the car scrambled out and preceded to help the remainder and less fortunate ones out of the wreckage. All of the injured were taken to the bottling department of the Bluff City brewery to await the coming of an ambulance. Jack Mischell was bruised about the body and suffered from the shock but spent a very peaceful night. Walter Day spent a very restless night and seemed slightly worse this morning than he was last evening. His back was severely hurt and he suffered from bruises all over his body and especially from a fractured rib. Miss Freda Netzhammer was much improved this morning and had thoroughly recovered from the nervous shock. She was cut by the falling glass on the hands, arms, and face, and was slightly bruised on the body and head. Thomas Moran probably fared the worst from the accident. For ten minutes after the accident Moran's legs were pinned under the wreckage, as the result his left leg is so badly swollen that it is impossible to tell whether it is broken or not, and there is a deep gash in his right leg. He passed a very uneasy night but was somewhat easier this morning.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 21, 1913

A $15,000 bath house, a rule for compulsory bathing, a doctor to inspect the men and determine their condition of health and cleanliness, and company-bought clothes for the men to work in - all these are part of the plans of the Federal Lead Co. at Alton to live up to the spirit of the law passed by the last Legislature to prevent the contracting of diseases peculiar to certain occupations. In some departments of the lead refining plant at Alton, it is claimed the men are subject to some diseases which may be prevented if the men live proper lives and keep clean. The theory is that frequent, perhaps daily bathing, will prevent many physical disorders among the employees in these departments of the refining plant. Dr. D. F. Duggan has been retained as the company doctor to inspect the men, according to Rudolph Porter, the general superintendent, and he must make daily inspection to determine the state of health of the employees in the smelter. Mr. Porter said that the Federal Lead Co. willingly made an appropriation of $15,000 to build a bath house, in which 350 men at one time may take a bath. There are showers with hot and cold water, lavatories, and there will be soap and towels furnished by the company, and a regular laundry will be maintained to keep the towels and washrags clean. The plan decided upon was to put the bathhouse next to the office where every man working in the plant has to pass through going to or from their work. If any man is found who fails to keep himself clean, he will be subject to discharge, the company doctor being the judge. In this connection, Dr. Duggan says that he did discharge one man who had failed for two weeks to wash his face, the lack of washing being discovered through some spots of dirt which remained on his face that length of time....Supt. Porter said that the bath house will be ready in about six weeks. The men will be led up to the baths, going in and out of the plant, and it is up to them to take their baths regularly and help maintain their good health....




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 24, 1913

Contractor Louis Biesemeyer was engaged today in wrecking the old brick building on Piasa street which was formerly occupied as an office by George A. Ginter, and which was since purchased by Charles Seibold. The walls of the old building were strong, and it was with great difficulty and much concerted effort and ingenuity that the brick walls were overthrown by the contractor's men. The strength of the walls gave a silent tribute to the effectiveness of work done many years ago by the old time builders. An old resident of Alton tells a Telegraph reporter that, while he is not exactly certain, he thinks the building was part of the structure in which the Chicago & Alton railroad at one time built its first sleeping car. It will be remembered that George M. Pullman, the founder of the sleeping car business, was a resident of Alton and built his first sleeping car in Alton for the old Chicago and Alton. The shops were on the lot where this building stands, and it is believed that this building was one of those occupied at that time as the home of the first sleeping car. The old building will make way for an addition to the Bluff City Garage, conducted by the Alton Automobile Co. Work of erecting the annex will be pushed rapidly, when the old brick structure is cleared off the ground.




Source: Alton Telegraph, April 10, 1913

The improvement work being done to the building at the corner of Third and Piasa streets, recently vacated by the Goulding Jewelry Company, has started recollections to work and many middle-aged Altonians stand a moment in passing and look down into the cellar, or basement, where they say they got their first shave. The first shave of many young boys or men is a memorable event, too, do not forget that, and sometimes the youth is a proud as a flock of pea fowls when he emerges from a barber shop after his first shave. The basement of that building was occupied 46 or 47 years ago by Louis Axtheim, who conducted what was then the high-toned barber shop of Alton, and that is why the uncovering of the old basement has aroused recollection, mostly of a pleasant kind.




Source: Alton Telegraph, June 19, 1913

Will Dailey has sold his saloon in the East End to his bartender, Ed Young, and Mr. Dailey plans to re-open the "Forkeyville" resort in big style. Some time ago the State'a Attorney, J. M. Bandy, gave his word that the "Forkeyville" saloon would not be opened. It is within a mile of the city limits of Alton and no license for the place can be granted. Barr Dailey, father of Will Dailey, told a Telegraph reported today that his son would start at once fixing up the Forkyville place he recently bought. He will do some more building, erect a dance pavilion, have a merry-go-round, and will sell beer and other liquors there. It is said that the Forkyville saloon can not be closed unless the Yager Park saloons are closed, they, too, being within a mile of the limits of Alton. Dailey plans to build a concrete dike around the place from Wood River's floods. It is very probable that the attempt to open the saloon will be resisted by persons interested, as the Western Military Academy is strongly opposed to any saloon at "Forkyville," and there are others who are opposed, too.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 12, 1913

E. Harry Decker, many years ago the star catcher on a star Alton baseball team, who caught Al Warner in the memorable game in which Alton defeated the Drummond Horse Shoes by a score of 9 to 5, has been sent to the state prison at San Quentin, Cal., for forging checks. The poor fellow has been an inmate of Kankakee and other institutions for the insane in the past on similar charges, but it seems the Californians did not believe he was "daffy." Decker on his first trip to the plate clouted a three bagger on Paul McSweeney, and each time up hit safely. He also caught the game at Hannibal two weeks later, coaching Warner splendidly to another great victory, 9 to 4. The famous "Eagle Eye" Jack Beckley only secured a lone single out of a total of four hits. A dispatch from Los Angeles says: E. H. Decker, who was arrested at Los Angeles under the name of Earl H. Davenport, for passing forged checks, was found guilty by a jury in Judge Willis' court and sentenced to serve three years in the penitentiary at San Quentin. A plea of insanity was set up, and it was shown that Decker had been an inmate of the Elgin and Chester, Ill. asylums. It was claimed that while playing with Pittsburg in 1891 he was hit in the head with a ball pitched by Bobby Caruthers, then twirling for Brooklyn, from the effects of which, it is claimed, he has never recovered. Decker had played ball with Philadelphia, Detroit, Indianapolis, Toronto, Macon, Keokuk, Jacksonville, Decatur, and other clubs, and is said to be the inventor of the safety catchers' mitt now in general use. It is also said that he has invented a pneumatic mitt that is to be placed on the market next spring.


[Note:  According to the website Evolution of Baseball Catchers Equipment "Mitts were a taken-for-granted part of catching. The earliest documented use of a glove by any player occurred on June 28, 1870 and that was by a catcher. A sportswriter for the Cincinnati Commercial cabled his office, [Doug] Allison caught today in a pair of buckskin mittens, to protect his hands. Historians quibble over whether Harry Decker or Joe Gunson first used the padded catcher's mitt in the 1880′s The "Decker Safety Catcher's Mitt," a contraption that was basically a glove stitched to the back of a round pad that covered the palm of the hand. These gloves were literally flat pillows that got their pockets broken in on the job at the expense of the catcher's palm." 


See more on Harry Deck at]




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 16, 1913

Laverne Chappell, who was auctioned off to the White Sox for $15,000, the highest price ever paid for an outfielder in professional baseball, was in Alton today for a short time on his way to his home in Jerseyville...Chappell, who is only 21 years old, played with the Greenwood team in the North Side [Alton] as his first appearance in a baseball team away from home at McClusky. He is well known in Alton because of the good work he did with the Greenwood team. He will join the White Sox team in Chicago Friday, and make his debut as a big league player. He is expected by the White Sox management to make good, as is shown by the big price that was paid for his release from the team where he had been doing star work. It is the fact that Chappell is a hard-hitter, as well as a star outfielder, that makes him valuable, and he is young and ambitious and ought to make good....


[Note: Chappel played for the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, and Boston Braves.  He died at the age of 28 in an army camp from the Spanish Flu, in 1918, and is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville, IL.  See more info at ]





Source: Alton Telegraph, August 21, 1913

Architects have completed, in colors, a picture of the Luer Bros. big building now being erected on the site of the old Illinois packing house on Front and Second streets and the picture shows a very attractive looking and very imposing structure. It is in a display window at the store of Bennie Winters and is attracting a great deal of attention. It will entirely change the appearance of Front, Alton and Second street in that block, and will be one of the distinct and substantial improvements of Alton. The annex on Second street, that low building between the Heuser & Meyer garage and the old retail store of the packing company, is to be built up as high as the rest of the building and the restaurant and saloon will be in there. There will be an entire new front put in the building on the Second street side and handsome stucco work will adorn the building on all sides. The entrance to the baths will be on Alton street. The summer garden will be on the river side and will extend from Alton street one block east. The top floor will be devoted to large airy sleeping rooms and the entire building will be modernly furnished and equipped throughout. There will be several entrances and exits of course, but the main ones are as stated above.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 30, 1913

The Alton Glove Company, in its new quarters on Piasa street, started its cutting machines today, cutting the cloth for making gloves. By Wednesday the remainder of the plant will be put in full operation manufacturing white cotton gloves. About twenty-five girls will be used in the factory. This industry, it is expected, will grow in importance. It was recently moved to Alton through the efforts of the Alton Board of Trade.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 5, 1913

A sensational shooting affray occurred at 1102 Belle street this noon, when Dan Boyle fatally wounded his wife, Mrs. Mae Boyle, and killed himself. He fired five shots, four into his wife and one into his head. Mrs. Boyle was wounded once in the chest, once in the abdomen, once in the leg, and once in the shoulder. Boyle shot himself through the head, the bullet entering one temple and coming out on the other side. Boyle died about an hour after the shooting when he was placed on the operating table at St. Joseph's Hospital. His wife was hurried to the hospital in an automobile by the two doctors, Fisher and Duggan. Boyle was left on the porch where he had fallen until an ambulance was sent for him. Her thoughts filled with fear for the safety of the children, Mrs. Boyle returned to the house from which she had fled when her husband first shot her, and was in the act of picking up the youngest one of her three children, Louis, when her husband ran out and fired two shots more into her, one ball lodging in her left breast and the other in her leg. The shooting is attributed by the father, Adolph Pfeffer, who is employed in the Morrissey shoe store, to jealousy. The father says that there was no cause for the jealousy, but that Boyle seemed to distrust his wife and that quarrels were frequent. Mr. Pfeffer had come home to dinner as usual, had finished dinner and was just departing when he met his son-in-law, Dan Boyle, entering the house by the back door. Boyle had tried to enter the front door but failing to get in had gone around to the kitchen door. Though Boyle seemed in an ugly humor, his father-in-law paid no attention to him and walked on down the street. He had gone about a block, and hearing some shots he returned to the house to find that his daughter had been shot and that her husband had shot himself. The father was prostrated when he saw the plight of his daughter. According to the story gleaned at the Boyle home after the shooting, when Boyle entered his home and found his wife, he began upbraiding her, and then drawing his revolver he shot Mrs. Boyle twice. She ran out of the house, her thought being to escape. Then it flashed into her mind that she must look after her children, and she turned back and went up on the back porch. Boyle seeing her, came out of the house and as she was in the act of picking up her little child he shot her twice again. The mother picked up the child and ran fainting with the boy to the store of N. A. Hines, where she was found by Dr. D. F. Duggan and Dr. Waldo Fisher, who attended her. The doctors then put her in Dr. Duggan's automobile and held her in their arms until they reached the hospital, making a flying trip with her. When Boyle saw that his wife had escaped from him, he put the revolver to his own right temple and fired one shot, the bullet going clear through his head and coming out on the left side. When the doctors were called, they paid no attention to Boyle, but devoted all their attention to the wife. Boyle later was moved to St. Joseph's Hospital, but expired before the surgeons could make an examination of him. Dr. Duggan said that Mrs. Boyle's wounds are not necessarily fatal, except one, which passed through her abdomen and may have perforated her intestines. One shot in her left shoulder broke the shoulder; another went in her left side and came out her right side. The third was below the liver and through the intestines, and the fourth was in the left leg. Mr. Pfeffer said that Mrs. Boyle had returned Tuesday night from a visit at Harrisburg, Ill., where she had been for three weeks. When Boyle came home this noon he would not eat any dinner, and in every way demeaned himself as though he was very angry at his wife. It was not believed, however, that he was possessed of a murderous mania. He was a brother of Frank Boyle, and has two other brothers, Daniel and Leo, and a sister, Mrs. Louis Angel, living in Alton. Frank Boyle is proprietor of the Savoy Hotel at Front and Market streets. There are three children of the couple, Morris, 5; Leo, 4; Edmond, 3.  Mrs. E. C. Whither was a witness of the shooting, and when she heard it she ran to make an investigation. She helped attend Mrs. Boyle at the Hines' grocery store. Several years ago Boyle had trouble with his brother-in-law, Louis Pfeffer, and he slashed Pfeffer with a knife across the neck, which did not prove fatal.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 6, 1913

Pleading her love for her husband, begging that he be brought to her, and unconscious of the fact that the man who had made four bullet holes in her body had slain himself immediately after she had escaped, Mrs. May Boyle, the young wife of 26 year old Daniel Boyle, pleads at St. Joseph's Hospital for her husband. The couple had been married less than six years, and the little woman had loved her husband and had shown her love by her faithful efforts in his behalf, and for her children, and by keeping their little home in the tidiest of condition. Though he had tried to murder her, the young wife pleaded for him to be brought to her side, according to friends. The attendants have been instructed not to inform her of the sequet to the tragedy on account of the change it might make in her condition. Mrs. Boyle will undoubtedly be greatly shocked to learn of his self-destruction when she gets in such a condition that she can be informed of it. Neighbors and close acquaintances of the family say that the marriage of the couple was one of love on both sides, and a love which did not run smooth. They had frequent quarrels, and she was said to have been counseled at times not to have anything more to do with him, but each time she replied that she "could not live without Dannie." Immediately after the shooting, as she sat in the rocking chair in front of the Hines store, with her body pierced by bullets fired by her husband's revolver, she cried, "O Dannie, why did he do it. I love him. Why did he do it?" ....The funeral of Boyle was held this afternoon at 3:30 o'clock from the home to the Cathedral. The body was lying in the front room of the home, while the inquest was being held from 1 to 2:30, and was viewed by many friends and acquaintances of both families. The burial was in Greenwood Cemetery. The pallbearers were Warren Dick, John Lenne, Albert Schmidt, John McAnally, Lloyd Lovell, and Harvey Challengsworth.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 26, 1913

Mayor J. C. Faulstich is going back into the cigar business and will have his store and factory in the Temple Building, in the room that was the restaurant room of the Temple bar. Mayor Faulstich, when questioned about the new business he is to enter, stated this afternoon that he had nothing to give out until he had fixed up the place and was ready for business. The cigar business is the first love of the mayor in a business way, he formerly having conducted a prosperous cigar business. The cigar business in Alton right now seems in a particularly prosperous way, and many are being attracted to it.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 30, 1913

C. A. Halsey has bought the homestead of the Baker family on Fifteenth street, the land included being 111x136 feet. The sale of this piece of property is especially interesting, in that it will be the third time the old house has been remodeled since it was built. The first part of the house was erected away back about the year 1820, now the west wing of the house. In 1845, a grandfather of H. S. Baker and S. B. Baker bought the house, and he added what is now the center wing of the house in 1847. Later, a son-in-law, Judge H. S. Baker, added the east wing to the house in 1876. The house has been vacant for some time. It was many years ago one of the finest homes in Alton, and is a large, roomy structure. The new owner plans to make important improvements, completely renovating the building, and he will occupy it as a residence. It is the first time the property has been out of the possession of some of the Baker family or its ancestors since 1845, when it came into the family, a period of sixty-eight years.



WILL REMODEL OLD TIME BUILDING - Residence that was built in 1820 will undergo some additional changes.

Source: Alton Telegraph, October 2, 1913

C. A. Halsey has bought the homestead of the Baker family on Fifteenth street, the land included being 111x136 feet. The sale of this piece of property is especially interesting in that it will be the third time the old house has been remodeled since it was built. The first part of the house was erected away back about the year 1820, now the west wing of the house. In 1845, a grandfather of H. S. Baker and S. B. Baker bought the house and he added what is now the center wing of the house in 1847. Later, a son-in-law, Judge H. S. Baker, added the east wing to the house in 1876. The house has been vacant for some time. It was many years ago one of the finest homes in Alton, and is a large, roomy structure. The new owner plans to make important improvements, completely renovating the building, and he will occupy it as a residence. It is the first time the property has been out of the possession of some of the Baker family or its ancestors since 1845, when it came into the family, a period of sixty-eight years.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 13, 1913

An old flagging sidewalk at the John Snyder place, Grove and Liberty streets, was being torn up today to make room for a handsome granitoid sidewalk which Mr. Snyder is building around his property. It is an interesting fact that this old sidewalk was built away back when Alton was very young. It was the walk in front of the old "Insurance office," now the home of Mr. Snyder. According to the old time residents of that vicinity, the sidewalk was laid when the old insurance company erected the building that still stands, and which, it was believed, would be the nucleus of the city of Alton. M. G. Atwood was president, and John Atwood was secretary. The old time business men of Alton had big schemes in their minds. The Chicago fire put the company out of business. The sidewalk has stood ever since, and has been used by innumerable thousands of people. The lapse of time, the upheaving force of frost, and the even more powerful lifting power of the roots of trees caused the stones to get out of line and the going has been very rough over the walk. The new improvement will be a fine thing, and pleases everybody who has occasion to walk that way.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 28, 1913

Fire destroyed the Thomas Morfoot livery barn this afternoon, and threatened to burn the new Elks' club building and the Illinois Corrugated Paper Factory in the block between Easton and Alby streets and Second and Front streets. The loss on the Morfoot livery barn, including the stock of carriages, is estimated at $10,000. The cause is believed to have been spontaneous combustion in a car of new hay, which was stored away yesterday and was supposed to be slightly damp. Mr. Morfoot said his insurance was light....The fire was discovered by Jacob Crawford, one of the stable employees, who with R. Harmon, began the rescue of the twenty-five or more horses downstairs. The horses were rushed out in twos and threes, and tied along on Front street. The last horse taken out was burned on the back, but it is not thought the burns are serious. The stablemen were quickly joined by a crowd of outsiders who did what they could and there were many little heroic efforts made to get the harness and other effects belonging to the stables. The carriages and hearse upstairs with fifty buggies being nearest the starting place of the fire could not be saved, and were left to their destruction. Thomas Morfoot was in front of the city hall talking with some friends when he heard of the fire. He rushed over and found that the police had instructed the men to stay away, as the building was about to fall. He disregarded the instruction of the police, and broke a window and ordered some of his men to follow. Several tied handkerchiefs over their face and began throwing the harness out. There was about $300 worth of brand new harness saved in this way. One of the men became ill and had to go out, but he recovered on getting outside. Previous to this time the fire fighting had been confined to the Front street side. It now began breaking out upstairs in the buggy room in full swing, and the flames leaped high into the air and began to be blown in a northwesterly direction towards the Elks' building and the Illinois Corrugated Factory on the west. On account of some irregularity in the telephone service, three calls were sent to the fire department before the companies responded. When the companies finally reached the scene of the fire, all of the horses had been rescued and the entire building was filled with smoke....It was seldom if ever that such a willingness to fight the fire is seen on the part of the firemen. Chief Hunt and Assistant Chief Feldwisch were both on a line of hose fighting where the fire was the hottest, and directing the movement of the men at all times. At one time a force of men, headed by Driver Barney Osterman, came nearly being caught when a large mass of the framework of the building gave away. With the first cracking, the men made a run for liberty, and several of them were knocked down by the falling timbers. Bystanders quickly gathered them out of the way, and with the exception of Barney Osterman, all the men returned to the firefighting. It was a wonder with the risks that were taken that more men were not injured. Shortly after the fire started, word was passed out in the paper plant, and all of the girls and other employees were advised to leave the building. The girls joined the throngs that watched the fire. For a time when the fire was at its height it seemed as if the Elks building would go down in the fire. The flames broke the windows of the third floor, and leaped into the meeting hall, but they did not make much headway on account of the metal ceiling. When the Elks realized that their building was in danger, they fought like mad men. Dr. Pfaff organized a bucket brigade and he and a number of others ran through the building with buckets of water. George Sauvage, E. L. Rose, Ben Eible, William Miller, and a number of small school boys, joined them in their efforts, and in a few seconds a hundred persons were streaming in and out of the Elks building carrying everything that was movable to the streets. In the meantime, Joe Steck asked the mayor to have a line of hose put on the fire from the Elks building, and the mayor replied that there was no more hose at the fire, but he would go with Steck to get more. The two mounted number two auto truck and drove at full speed to the hose house and back with all the hose they could get. William Bauer and George Goeken manned another truck and made a similar trip. The hard work of the Elks and the fact that the building caved in at an opportune time probably saved their splendid home. R. Harmon, Jack Crawford, and Hudspeth saved all of the livestock in the barn shortly after the fire started, with the exception of one dog. The barnmen tried to get him to leave the stable, but he lingered two long and was gone. One of the horses, "Ledder," broke away from the man that was holding him and rushed back to his stall after he had been rescued, and it was necessary for the men to make another trip after him. He was slightly burned on the side as the result of his old trick. Crawford was the only one who witnessed the starting of the fire, and he said the carload of hay which was stored in the center of the barn, went up, as it had been soaked with gasoline. At first the blaze was at the top of the hay and so mall, that he attempted to extinguish it with a bucket of water, but it spread so rapidly that after the horses were rescued no one would venture in to save the wagons. Outside of the loss of the buildings, nine cabs, and a hearse valued at over $5,000, seventy-five buggies valued at $4,000, and a number of small wagons owned by Alton merchants were lost. When a Telegraph reporter put the question, "Did you save anything in the buggy line?" to Thomas Morfoot, he smiled and answered, "Yes, one cab was in the repair shop." Morfoot was unable to say how much insurance he carried on the building and equipment, but he said he had kept it small on account of the high rate. A car of hay which arrived yesterday, and should have been in the barn, had not been unloaded, so that this was saved. The damage to the Elks and the Illinois Corrugated Paper Company was comparatively small. Both of these fireproof structures were damaged by the moving about of the furniture and the smoke.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 16, 1914

Roller skating, which has had periodic revivals and just as many funerals in Alton, will die again next Saturday night, and this time may be buried for a number of years until somebody resurrects it. R. W. Wingert, who has been conducting the Mikado rink, said today that Saturday night will be his last night. He intends to close up shop because business had come to be so bad it wasn't worthwhile holding it open any longer. Mr. Winger thinks that the hall may be turned over to a club and that it may resume its old time line of business of being a popular dance hall, but of this he isn't certain.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 30, 1914

August Schippert of the Alton Baking and Catering Co., who will celebrate his twenty-fifth anniversary in the baking business on May first, claims that he has supervised the making of about two hundred million loaves of bread and one hundred million pies during his time in the business. This is enough pastry to give every resident of the United States two loaves of bread and one pie, and then have a large amount left over.....He has worked as the foreman of a number of the larger factories over the United States, and has been connected with Alton plants for the last fourteen years. Twenty-five years ago he started to learn the baker trade in Germany. At that time the average day's work for a baker was two hundred loaves of bread per day, and it was handled entirely by hand. Since that time he has seen the machine introduced into the plant until one of the large machines used at present will turn out twenty-four hundred loaves of bread per hour with the aid of but two workmen, and the men handle the bread but once during the operation. When asked what he considered the greatest improvement in the baking business, Schippert said that the improvement along sanitary lines equaled anything he had noticed. He said that while in the old days little effort was made to keep things clean, everything that can be done along that line at present is being carried out. "Few persons paid any attention to flies in a baker shop in the old days, but now a fly seldom ever gets through the screens, and if it does every effort is made to kill it." During his fourteen years' stay in Alton, Schippert has been connected with the Noll Baking Co for three years, but when the Alton Baking and Catering Co. was organized, he bought an interest in the plant and has since been in charge of the baking department.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 12, 1914

An ordinance may be presented at the meeting of the city council tomorrow evening calling for the sale of the old pest house property north of Upper Alton. Since States Attorney Bundy gave out notice some time ago that the city of Alton could no longer use the pest house because it was outside of Alton township, this matter has been under consideration. If it is possible to get the ordinance drawn up by tomorrow evening, it will be presented to the council. The records at Edwardsville show that the city of Alton purchased the land of the pest house site in 1869 for a cemetery. Besides the house on the grounds, the city owns 59.32 acres of ground according to the records. It is the plan of the present administration to dispose of this property for enough money to purchase another site of four or five acres with a good house on it. According to the state law, the new pest house site will have to be located within the city limits of Alton. It will be up to the city officials to locate the new site for the pest house. There may be some difficulty in getting the property owners to sell their property within the city limits for that purpose. City Clerk Barth Kennedy discovered on looking up the records that the pest house property, consisting of sixty acres, were paid for by a $10,000 bond issue at 10 per cent, for eight years. The price paid for the land was very high, especially since it was never devoted to any use. The land has never been productive of revenue to the city, except for a small rental sometimes not collected and sometimes collected. The land has been really "mined," it is said, and is in a bad condition. No one would pay the city anywhere near the price the city paid for the property, owing to the lack of care that has been shown for many years in keeping the farm in good condition.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 25, 1914

Mrs. James O'Brien, wife of the chief engineer at the plant of the Illinois Glass Co., of 1203 East Third street, is said to be in a very satisfactory condition at St.