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Alton, Illinois  Photos



                      Alton, Illinois Bridge during 1903 flood. One of the Baker family in photo.                                                                  Alton, Illinois Flood. Downtown Area. 1903.
                       Sign over bridge posted, "Speed Limit Not Faster Than A Walk."                                                                             Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen

                                       Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen



                                                  Third Street, Alton, Illinois                                                                                                                Belle Street, Alton, Illinois

                                           Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen                                                                                                        Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen



                                                      Alton, Illinois Train Depot                                                                                      View from steamboat, Alton, Illinois square, downtown

                                                Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen                                                                                              Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen



                                           Princess Confectionary, Alton, Illinois                                                                                    Eden Washing Machine Company, Alton, Illinois

                                              Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen                                                                                                    Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen



                  Bauer's Barber Shop and Bath Rooms, 210 Piasa Street, Alton, Illinois                                                                              Illinois Glass Factory, Alton, Illinois

                                        Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen                                                                                                               Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen



                                        Sparks Mill, Alton, Illinois Riverfront                                                                                           Theodore Roosevelt High School, Alton, Illinois - 1906

                                          Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen                                                                                 Located on Sixth Street at Langdon, between Henry and Alby Streets

                                                                                                                                                                                                     Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen


Mineral Springs Hotel, Alton, Illinois - 1944

Photo courtesy of Crystal Jensen


Side view of Alton High School, February 1946

Picture taken from College Avenue, Alton

Emmett Porter was a tree surgeon, and he was actually taking a picture

of this tree that he worked on.


Alton City Hall - 1908

Western Military Academy, Upper Alton - 1915


Class Play - "As You Like It" - 1915

Western Military Academy, Upper Alton, Illinois


The Steamer "Alton" on the Mississippi River - 1908

(Notice the wooden gangplank)

First Presbyterian Church, Alton - 1908


Henry Street, Alton - 1908

Hotel Stratford, Alton - 1941


Second Street, Alton - 1908

Third Street, Alton - 1932


Western Military Academy, Upper Alton - 1915

Western Military Academy, Upper Alton - 1916


From Portrait and Biographical Record of Madison County, Illinois, 1894


This home was built in the late 1850s - early 1860s by Nathaniel Hanson, an Alton business owner. Hanson died July 30, 1864 (probably in this home).  Dr. J. W. Enos established a sanitarium in the building at Third and George streets in 1890. Enos added the third floor as his practice grew. The building, is now known as the Enos Apartments.  From The Telegraph


According to an email received [September 2011] from Dick Morris of Anchorage, Alaska, the home is  apparently a few years older than the stated in the Telegraph.  He was an Alton manufacture of agricultural machines, including the Pitts' patent separator, from about 1840 until his death. His firm went by several names and it was a frequent advertiser in the Alton newspapers. The successor to his firm, the Alton Agricultural Works, remained in business until at least 1877 and in its ads it claimed to have been in business from 1840. Mr. Morris also found one article saying the firm had dispatched a thresher to California by ship. Hiram Pitts, co-inventor of the Pitts' machine, was Hanson's brother-in-law and lived in Alton from July 1848 until late 1851. Hanson is buried in the old yard section of the Alton cemetery.


This 1873 photo shows the first administration building of what was to become Western Military Academy, Upper Alton, in 1879. John Bostwick built the ornate home. It later became the home of the Wyman Institute, predecessor of Western Military Academy. The home has since been demolished, but the iron fence that runs along the street was installed in 1835 and still stands at the now Mississippi Valley Christian School on the old campus on Seminary Street.

Noon hour. Illinois Glass Company, Shop #7, Alton, IL.  May 1910.

Source:  Library of Congress (public domain)


Glass workers, Shop No. 6, Illinois Glass Company, Alton, IL, May 1910

Source: Library of Congress (public domain)

Glass workers, Shop No. 7, Illinois Glass Company, Alton, IL, May 1910.

One of the smallest boys is Dennis White

Source: Library of Congress (public domain)


Glass workers, Shop 6 & 7, Illinois Glass Company, Alton, IL, May 1910.

The tiny chap on the left end was Polish, and could not speak English.

Source: Library of Congress (public domain)

Noon hour, Illinois Glass Company, Alton, IL, May 1910.

Smallest boy, Frank Dwyer, working there 3 months.

Joe Dwyer, his brother, working there for over 2 years.

Henry Maul, Frank Schenk, Emil Ohley, William Jarett, Fred Metz,

Source: Library of Congress (public domain)

Note:  See this website for more information: 

Mornings on Maple Street



Image, Source: original negative

Portrait of State Senator Edmond Beall of Alton, Illinois

Standing in a room in Chicago, Illinois. March 7, 1913

Source: DN-0060250, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.
From the Library of Congress (public domain)

John M. Krum

First Mayor of the City of Alton (1836-1837)


William H. Wiseman Studio, often called the "World's Fair Building"

Located at Broadway and George streets, it is the former photography studio belong to William H. Wiseman. Wiseman purchased wood and fixtures from an exhibit at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, and brought the material to Alton to building his studio. During the building in 1905 it was dubbed the name "Fort Wiseman."  (see story to the right)


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."



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 21, 1906

William 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.



Illini Hotel, Alton, Illinois

Opened in September 1909 with 67 "bedchambers"

Lincoln Hotel/Franklin House, Alton, IL


The Franklin House building on State Street in downtown Alton was constructed in 1836 as the Alton Marine & Fire Insurance Building and later housed the First National Bank & Trust Company. Around 1840 the building became the Franklin House Hotel, and later was named the Lincoln Hotel, and then the St. Charles Hotel.  It currently houses the Lincoln Lofts apartments.


Fowler Fuel Company on Piasa Street in Alton

Founded by C. O. Fowler and Charles H. Degenhardt in 1905.

Was at one time the largest shipper of coal in Alton, from mines at Gillespie, Hornsby and Hillsboro.

Andrew Clifford Grocer - Alton, Illinois

Andrew Clifford Wholesale and Retail Grocer, Alton

Established in 1836, and was still in business in 1886. Offered wine, liquor, flour, beer, and feed. The location was 407, 409, and 411 Belle Street in Alton, which is currently a parking lot, across the street from the Hayner Library parking lot on Belle.



In 1865, just after the Civil War, Frederick Shelly purchased a lime works on County Road in Alton from D. Martin & Co. He expanded his business and became a large and well known company, employing as many as 50 workers. "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." In 1868 Mr. Shelly purchased his rival firm of J. Lock & Brothers for $30,000 [which would be $525,782.40 in the year 2014]. In 1871 he purchased a home on State street known as the Keating property. In the late 1880s he moved to Quincy and purchased a lime works there, and later in the 1890s he moved to St. Louis.



Drawing of the Alton House hotel, which stood on the corner of Front and Alby streets in Alton, facing the river.

As early as 1807 there was a small building constructed of loose rock near the site of the Alton House. This house was used by French traders to barter with the Indians. A substantial frame building was erected on this site in 1832 by Johnathan T. Hudson, in which a hotel was opened under the name of Alton House. This building was destroyed by fire in 1837. Calvin Stone replaced it with a brick building about 50x25 feet in dimensions and three stories in height. It was kept for many years by Amos T. Corson, who was succeeded in the spring of 1866 by William Siemens, who was the proprietor until it burned down January 8, 1870.

Mention of the Alton House was made in a letter written by Hon. William F. DeWolf of Chicago, who arrived at Alton in 1836. He stated "we arrived after dark at Alton, and found shelter in the Alton House. Such a hotel in almost any town or village in Illinois would now, 1882, be considered very inferior."

Daniel Webster, during his visit to Alton in 1840, spoke from the porch of the Alton House. Champagne had flowed freely that day, and he had to hold tightly to the railing to maintain his equilibrium. It was at this building that Stephen Douglas had his temporary political headquarters before his debate with Abraham Lincoln.

Stage coaches ran daily from the Franklin House on State Street and the Alton House on Front Street to Jacksonville, Jerseyville, and Edwardsville.  Following its destruction in January of 1870, the land was purchased by J. H. McPike.



Alton Baking and Catering Company, Alton, IL

Alton Baking and Catering Company

This company was established in 1903, on the corner of Front and George Streets in Alton. The business produced "fine bakery products, ice cream and confections." Thirty people were employed there.  The company was purchased by J. J. Beeby in 1926, and later Noll's Bakery purchased it.  It was later sold by Noll to Colonial Bakery.


Alton, Illinois panoramic view, c. 1908

Source: Library of Congress (public domain)


Western Military Academy, Upper Alton, Illinois,  c. 1908

Source: Library of Congress (public domain)

Click here to visit offsite Western Military Academy webpage - photos included!


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