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Leclaire, Illinois, Newspaper Clippings

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser




Source: Alton Telegraph, June 26, 1890
From Edwardsville, June 24, 1890
On the “Try, try again” principle, the N. O. Nelson Manufacturing Company’s excursion arrived here last Saturday afternoon, via the Kansas City railroad. There were about 400 people in the eight coaches. An address of welcome by Mayor Glass, and a response by Mr. Nelson, occurred soon after the arrival of the excursionists. After a short time, the pleasure seekers divided into small parties and took a look at their future neighbor, as the town adjoining this will be called Leclaire, after a Frenchman by that name, who in 1842 inaugurated the profit-sharing system with his workmen. Our people were pleased with the visit of the employees and others, and hope that it will not be long before a large number of them will be living near us. We hear the statement made that the N. O. Nelson Company would start the work on fifteen new buildings this week.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, March 12, 1894
A number of years ago, liberal and progressive citizens of Edwardsville gave $20,000 to the N. O. Nelson Manufacturing Company of St. Louis to locate a portion of its plant near their town. Mr. Nelson, with the money given him, bought 150 acres of ground immediately adjoining Edwardsville, and at once began the erection of his plant. The site was outside of the county seat. Mr. Nelson stated that he wanted to be free from municipal control of Edwardsville. He laid out a town and called it Leclaire. It has everything that Edwardsville has. His employees at the plant are compelled to live in Leclaire. From the very inception of the enterprise, a certain portion of the people and subscribers to the fund have been dissatisfied. They felt that the plant was unsatisfactory; that the town of Leclaire was a rival of Edwardsville; and that the subscribers to the fund received no appreciable benefit for the money given Mr. Nelson. Matters have culminated, and on Sunday morning the St. Louis Republic published interviews with a number of the leading citizens. Ex-Mayor Kellar, and Messrs. Bartels and Hack speak in the severest terms both of Mr. Nelson and his company, and charge that he has violated his agreement with the subscribers. Judge Krome, on the other hand, thinks that Edwardsville has been benefited, and has received more than value for its investment. Mr. Wolf, of the Coal Mining Company, substantiates this statement. Mr. Charles Boeschenstein of the Intelligencer makes light of the indignation of the critics of Nelson and Leclaire, and speaks of them as a “few sore heads.” It may be that Edwardsville has hoped for too much from the Nelson plant, and it may also be that Nelson has failed in some respects to keep the loud promises made by him.


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