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History of Pierron, Illinois

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser


The village of Pierron, with the main street being the dividing line, is partly in Saline Township, Madison County and partly in Bond County. The village began as a railroad station along the St. Louis, Vandalia and Terre Haute Railroad. The village was laid out by Jacques Pierron in September 1871 and is named after him. The part of the village in Bond County was laid out in 1874.

August Pierron

Upon completion of the railroad in 1869, August Pierron, a son of Jacques Pierron, erected a building which was used as a barroom and grocery store. In February 1870, the post office was established, with August Pierron serving as postmaster. August Pierron died January 1, 1896, and is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Pierron. His father, Jacques Pierron, died October 12, 1886, and is buried in the St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Highland, Illinois. Pierron was incorporated as a village in 1893.

Pierron & Rinderer carried on a business as general merchants for four years. After their dissolution, J. D. Rinderer built a large storehouse on the Bond County side of Main Street.

The first warehouse for grain in Pierron was built in 1870 by J. Pierron and L. Knebel. In 1880, L. Knebel built an elevator at a cost of $5,000, capable of storing 20,000 bushels of grain. In 1870, J. Weindel opened a blacksmith shop. The first hotel was opened by Charles Britsch in 1870.



By 1882, the following businesses operated in Pierron:
General Merchandise – Suppiger & Utiger
Agricultural Implements – August Pierron
Wagon Makes – G. Schwarz and F. Helbolt
Grain and Lumber – L. Knebel & Co.
Physician and Surgeon – Dr. M. D. Tibbitts
Saddler – R. Balsiger
Blacksmiths – R. Lang and W. Seegar
Carpenter and builder – J. Bosler
Hotels – J. Kurz, F. Haenny and L. Lehnert
Dressmaker – Mrs. R. Balsiger

By 1912, the village had nearly three hundred inhabitants, a large Catholic Church, a public schoolhouse, two general stores, and the Pierron Mercantile Company. There was also Mewes & Schrumpf, a blacksmith and wagon maker, three saloons, a builder, concrete works, lumber yard, grain elevator, and a hardware store.


William F. MewesWilliam F. Mewes
One of the foremost citizens of Pierron was William F. Mewes, head of the firm Mewes & Schrumpf. Mewes was a son of August Mewes, and was born February 24, 1874 in Clinton County, Illinois. He was educated in the schools of Jamestown and Greenville until the age of fifteen, when he assisted his father in the management of their farm. He then embarked in the mercantile business with his brother, H. A. Mewes, in Pierron, and after the death of his brother, became partners with Philip Hartlieb. The partnership continued until 1905, at which time Mewes conducted the business alone until 1908, when he took on Benjamin H. Schrumpf as partner. Mewes served as postmaster in Pierron for many years, and was city treasurer. He married Caroline Hartlieb on January 18, 1899.

Philip M. Essenpreis
A native of Bond County, Illinois, Philip M. Essenpreis was born February 13, 1866, near Pierron, on the farm of his father, Leon Essenpreis. Philip clerked in different Pierron stores, including general hardware establishments, until 1886. He then engaged in farming in Bond County for thirteen years. In 1899 he returned to Pierron, where he engaged in the grain and lumber business. On April 19, 1887, Essenpreis married Anna Weindel.

Adolph P. Tribout
A son of Emil Tribout, Adolph was born January 30, 1876 in St. Clair County, Illinois. His grandparents, Bellefontiere and Marguerite Tribout, were of French ancestry. Adolph, after leaving home, moved to East St. Louis where he found work in a large steel plant. He was rapidly promoted until reaching the position of foreman of the plant. Several years later he moved to Edgemont, where he worked in mining for three years. He than moved to Pierron, where he owned a general store. He also opened a harness shop. On October 8, 1901, he married Elise Gauch. Adolph was a baseball enthusiast, and served as manager and captain of many baseball teams. While in St. Louis, he played on the old team of the “Reds” until the formation of the “Trolley League.”

                                             1873 map of Pierron


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