Texte intégral du livre "Une histoire de Belleville"
L I E) RAR.Y
ILL LIST. SURVei
Alvin Louis Nebelsick, B.S.; UN M.
Chef du Département des études sociales
École municipale et collège junior
/ v ^ & # 39;
Ce travail est doux
dédié aux pionniers et
Ville de Belleville, Illinois.
Ce volume est principalement le résultat d'une inspiration pour l'écriture
acquis en tant que co-auteur de deux articles dans un magazine, un dans notre pays
Journal professionnel, Illinois Education, mai 1937, et
deuxième dans la revue professionnelle nationale "Social Studies"
En février 1939, j'ai découvert qu'il y avait une chose terrible
manque d'informations sur les communautés locales parmi les citoyens
dans son ensemble. Je crois que l'intérêt de la communauté doit toujours être là
encouragés. Certes, nous ne devons pas nous souvenir de nous
le fondement du gouvernement démocratique réside dans
communauté et dans la capacité des citoyens à
complètement avec ses problèmes locaux. Pour comprendre ces problèmes
est une chose compliquée, nous devons donc planifier judicieusement. C'est moi
croire l'impossible sans connaître notre passé.
Notre histoire est tellement vivante et grandissante que c'est difficile pour moi
pour voir comment n'importe qui peut le considérer comme mort et sec. l'histoire
toujours en avant, pas en arrière; c'est dynamique, pas statique.
En dehors du monde d'hier, le monde d'aujourd'hui a grandi;
Du monde d'aujourd'hui, le monde viendra demain.
Il est impossible de comprendre pleinement le présent sans
connaissance des conditions qui l'ont amené à cette situation; je
il est également impossible de prendre des décisions intelligentes pour
de l'avenir parce que nous n'avons qu'une vision incompréhensible de l'âge
dans lequel nous vivons.
Nous ne sommes pas seulement des citoyens des États-Unis, ni des citoyens
Illinois, mais aussi les citoyens de Belleville .. Dans une étude de
"Belleville" nous sommes passés d'une unité plus grande à
plus petite; du continent, de la nation, de l'État et
enfin à la ville elle-même. Ce n'était pas une tâche facile et il fallait
application constante et énergie inlassable. Mon ambition était
donner une image complète de Belleville dès le plus tôt
le jour de notre pays à ce jour.
Je serais vraiment ingrat de ne pas l'admettre
J'ai une grande dette envers ceux qui m'ont encouragé à écrire et à
de ceux qui m'ont aidé à écrire ce livre. Remerciements
la connaissance vient de nos bibliothécaires publics, Bella Steurnagel
et Maude Underwood, toujours prête à équiper
moi avec les livres et journaux souhaités et donnez les vôtres
critiques et suggestions précieuses.
Il y avait d'autres qui n'avaient pas un accès facile
étagères de référence, mais étaient les bienvenus pour leurs suggestions
et la connaissance de l'histoire locale, ainsi que la relecture qu'ils ont
c'est. Parmi eux, William U. Halbert, un avocat et son avocat
Torian; Robert L. Kern, éditeur et éditeur de News-
Démocrates; Frederick Merrills, avocat et secrétaire du conseil
la commission scolaire du secondaire depuis trente ans; Meta
Stenger et James Clark, professeurs de langue anglaise; H. A. Kanzler,
Professeur de langue latine; L. N. Nick Perrin, Jr., avocat et ex
avocat de la ville; Hugo Ehret, président de la fonderie d'Oakland;
Herman G. Wangelin, notre ancien facteur de la ville; Oliver Muser
et Richard Hampleman, professeurs d'école; P. K. Johnson,
St., un avocat et ancien maire de notre ville, et Herbert W.
Dey, un ancien professeur et maintenant un avocat à succès à Litch-
C'est un grand plaisir pour moi de le reconnaître publiquement
accompagner des étudiants qui ont toujours voulu m'aider
dactylographie et relecture:
Norma Alves, Dorothy Ellis, Shirley Falk, Georgia Goepfert,
Milton Goepfert, William Hassall, Eleanor Hess, Wayne Kissel,
Joseph Krieg, Doris Malzahn, Robert Meier, Helen Moser,
Catherine Novoselec, Jeanette et Joanne O'Banion, Alice
Peters, Doris Schneeberger, Shirly Seiffertt, Lillian Sobcyak,
Shirley Stock, Walter Thouvenin, Gloria Webster, Rita Zar-
Charski, Alice Kock, Jenrose Raetz, Ruth Newton, Alice Miller,
Charles T. Meyer, Joseph A. Johnson et Margaret, Virginie
et Dolores Hirbe. Espérons que ce soit une bonne action qu'ils ont fait
leur ville ne se terminera pas, mais continuera dans le futur.
Trois côtés du drapeau
Demandeurs Espagne 1492-1673 1
Il était habité par les Français 1673-1763 1
Dirigée par les Britanniques 1763-1783 4
Nous sommes devenus membres de l'U.S. 1783. 7
Nos problèmes avec les Indiens 8
Comté St. Clair créé 1790 10
Territoire de l'Illinois 1809-1818 11
L'Illinois est devenu un État en 1818. 12
Notre ville est née
Pionnier indépendant 1700-1800 15
La naissance de notre ville en 1814. 21
Pubhc Square 24
Cabane en rondins 28
Robe pionnière 29
Vie sociale précoce 31
Éducation précoce 1700-1865 34
Premiers médecins 1700-1901 41
Le pionnier gagne sa vie 1814-1850 45
Vie rurale 1819-1850 48
Pionniers américains exceptionnels
Citoyen éminent 57
Pionniers américains 1818. 62
Immigrants allemands enregistrés 75
La croissance de notre ville
Service postal 100
Eau de ville 104
Administration de la police 111
Bâtiments publics 1814-1942
Églises et sociétés associées
Cathédrale Saint-Pierre 1814-1944
Principales églises protestantes 1819-1944
Écoles paroissiales 1814-1951
Écoles publiques 1865-1951
Histoire de la Bibliothèque nationale 1836-1951
Hôpital Sainte-Élisabeth 1881
Industrie et travail
Premières industries 1814-1850
Industrie postérieure 1850
Industries actuelles 1837-1944
Un siècle de progrès
Culture et loisirs
Cinquante ans de progrès 1850-1900
À la guerre
Scott Field 1917-1944
Notre participation à la guerre 1783-1944
Lieux et événements repérés
Quelle bonne ville
Comment améliorer notre ville
Trois côtés du drapeau
Rechercher Espagne 1492-1673
_ SON HISTOIRE ÉCRITE date du continent américain
il y a seulement quatre siècles, et pourtant dans ce laps de temps relativement court
période de temps, des ajouts précieux au stock mondial de connaissances
Selon les archéologues, notre emplacement était cet emplacement
l'une des colonies indiennes les plus densément peuplées de
L'Amérique du Nord, l'une des plus grandes Cahokia. Elle supporte
une population plus importante que tout ce que Columbus avait vu, cependant
seules les ruines sont restées lorsque le premier homme blanc est arrivé ici.
Les revendications espagnoles pour cette région étaient, bien entendu, fondées sur
la découverte de l'Amérique par Christophe Colomb en 1492
Les Espagnols ont été encore renforcés en 1541 lorsque De Soto
débarqué dans la région du fleuve Mississippi. Sa vague affirmation
il englobait l'Illinois parce qu'il était situé dans la vallée de cette rivière.
SUITE PAR FRENC (1673-1763)
Lorsque les Blancs sont venus en Illinois en 1673, ils ont trouvé
ce sera le domaine de l'Illinois Indian Confederation of Five
tribus, à savoir, Metchigans, Kaskaskians, Peorias, Cahokias,
et Tammarois. Dans notre région se trouvaient les Kahokiji. Le Tam-
les marois vivaient un peu plus au sud-est. Ils ne sont pas restés
ici, cependant, d'autres tribus indiennes ont également fait des raids contre
à la fin des temps, nos Indiens de l'Illinois ont été décimés, et
TROIS DRAPEAUX LATÉRAUX
un fragment de ces tribus a trouvé refuge pendant un certain temps dans
Les premiers blancs à regarder le territoire qui est maintenant
y compris St. Clair étaient deux Français du Canada,
Marquette et Joliet. À la recherche d'un chemin vers l'Asie, ils sont partis
descendre le Mississippi jusqu'à l'Arkansas; mais quand ils
ils ont appris que la rivière s'était écoulée dans le golfe du Mexique, ils
est revenu et a campé pendant un certain temps près du comté de St. Louis. Clair
près de Cahokia.
Le prochain Français à suivre était La Salle. Il a navigué
la rivière Illinois à son embouchure en 1679 et l'a nommé d'après
une tribu d'Indiens qu'il a trouvé vivant sur les rives. C'EST
dérivé du mot indien Algonquin, Illini, qui signifie
des hommes parfaits et accomplis. Le suffixe "ois" est pur
Français et signifie une tribu de haut niveau.
La première colonie française a été faite à Cahokia par son père
Pinet en 1700. Leurs caractéristiques prévalaient
manque d'ambition, sociabilité, dévotion aux catholiques
L'église et sa propension à manger, boire et manger. Être
sorte de ne pas avoir beaucoup de problèmes avec leurs voisins,
Cahokias. Leur sociabilité a bien montré la façon dont ils l'ont fait
habitait le comté. Ils n'ont jamais voulu vivre séparément
fermes, mais a préféré le village où ils étaient à proximité
contact les uns avec les autres. Ils avaient généralement un lieu de rencontre
la salle de danse où le prêtre, le patriarche du village, est venu,
joyeux bénédictins, protecteurs bavards, jeunes hommes de passage,
et des femmes de chambre éblouissantes. Vieux et jeunes sont venus, riches et pauvres
ensemble dans un lien commun de joie. dimanche matin
trouvé chaque bon Français dans l'église dans l'après-midi et
nuit dans la salle de bal. L'hospitalité et la générosité ont régné
Ils ont été amenés par une petite mais dure race de chevaux
Du Canada. Ces chevaux ont dégénéré en taille car
ils n'ont pas reçu de soins adéquats. Les Français les ont fait
TROIS DRAPEAUX LATÉRAUX
tantôt célibataires, tantôt par paires, tantôt frappantes
avant un autre. Les rênes n'étaient pas sobres au volant, mais
fouet conducteur avec une poignée d'environ deux mètres de long et
une bande de deux mètres de long a été utilisée le plus efficacement. Il n'y a personne
le temps pensait que les chevaux se tordaient. Des bœufs, à qui il parlait
cornes au lieu de pour le cou, étaient également parfois utilisées pour dessiner
charrue ou chariot. Ces chariots bruts étaient entièrement en bois
et plus tard, les Américains les ont appelés chariots pieds nus parce qu'ils étaient
étaient sans jantes en fer.
L'éducation des Français était très négligée.
Leur écriture était mauvaise et l'orthographe encore pire.
La plupart d'entre eux ne pouvaient pas le croire, mais ils ont signé leurs noms
petite croix. Étant célibataires, le gouvernement français n'a
ment a envoyé des filles en Louisiane pour devenir leurs épouses. Celles-ci
ils étaient surnommés «filles de cercueil» à cause de la petite coque
les vêtements que le gouvernement a donnés à tout le monde.
Kaskaskia était habitée en 1701, soixante-trois ans avant St.
Louis a été fondé. C'est l'un des plus anciens et à la fois
était la ville la plus importante à l'ouest d'Aleghani. Était
la première capitale de l'État de l'Illinois, a eu la première cloche, le premier collège,
la première église, le premier journal, la première loge maçonnique,
et le premier couvent de l'État de l'Illinois.
Le premier palais de justice de Cahokia a été construit en 1716; à
il a également servi de résidence à l'homme qui l'a construit, François
Saucier. Elle se tenait au bord des défilés utilisés à l'époque
par des soldats français qui contrôlaient le territoire. C'était
un fier bâtiment en rondins de noyer taillé en carré blindé de mortier
et de petites pierres de trente-huit pieds de large sur quarante-quatre pieds de long,
et dix-huit pieds de haut, au sommet avec un toit en forte pente de
bardeaux sculptés à la main.
En 1719, l'un des ruisseaux de notre pays a été nommé
à partir de minerai d'argent trouvé par Phillip Renault. Était
testé pour obtenir 7,00 $ la tonne. Il a été découvert près du Liban
sur la ferme maintenant connue sous le nom de Jerry Bennett Farm. Il l'a trouvé
TROIS DRAPEAUX LATÉRAUX
assez pour gagner sa vie, mais il a ensuite été contraint d'abandonner
cela à cause des Indiens hostiles.
C'est le Midwest, de sa date la plus ancienne à nos jours
aujourd'hui, l'un des domaines importants des États-Unis. Soixante
ans avant George Washington, Marquette et
Joliet a fait des recherches sur Father Water. Un an après le lavage
la naissance d'Ington, un site militaire important de Fort Chartres
cela fut fondé. Quinze ans après sa naissance, un moulin a été construit
à Prairie Du Pont. Dommage que ces débuts soient des âmes aventureuses
il ne pouvait pas comprendre le rôle qu'ils jouaient dans l'introduction
le grand assaut de l'Occident à la fois industriel et économique
les changements qui ont suivi dans notre dernière histoire américaine.
RÈGLES D'ANGLETERRE (1763-1783)
En signant le traité de Paris, qui se termine sept ans
La guerre en Europe 1756–63, mieux connue en Amérique sous le nom de
Guerres françaises et indiennes, tout le territoire à l'est du Mississippi
Rivière autre que la Floride, la France a cédé l'Angleterre; mais
à cause des Indiens et de la difficulté de voyager c'était juste
10 octobre 1765, officiellement repris par les Britanniques
Illinois Avec ce contrat, les Français ont remis toutes les réclamations
continent de l'Amérique à l'Angleterre. Les Français dans ce
le pays en voulait à ce transfert de pouvoir en Angleterre et beaucoup
gauche au lieu de se soumettre à leurs nouveaux maîtres. Avec ça
l'armée de réfugiés a quitté la plupart des médecins français, laissant un
voici une boîte gratuite pour les pratiquants d'anglais. Ils ont trouvé de nouveaux médecins
devient difficile, car ils ont été bouleversés par le même vieil homme
ennemis – fièvre du paludisme et blessures de combat – qui bouleversent
tous les premiers colons de cette région.
Peu de temps après la fin de la guerre de Sept Ans, en Angleterre
a publié la célèbre Proclamation de 1763, dont il a traité une partie
avec la question indienne. Ce document prévoit que
terre entre les montagnes d'Alegljani et du Mississippi
La rivière doit être réservée aux Indiens et que toute subvention
TROIS DRAPEAUX LATÉRAUX
cette partie qui était déjà devant les colons
être révoqué. Cette proclamation a été faite pour satisfaire
Indiens; mais de nombreux colons, dont George Wash-
tonnes, ils étaient assez honnêtes pour dire que ce n'était que temporaire
La différence entre les règles anglaises et les règles
Du point de vue indien, les Français sont tous apparus
être discrédité par le nouveau régime. Garnisons anglaises
dans les fortifications françaises capturées, ils n'ont pas donné de fraternisation.
Les commerçants anglais ont fait de grosses offres, et les Anglais étaient intéressés
dans le règlement et non dans le commerce, c'était trop évident.
Pontiac, un patron d'Ottawa avec beaucoup plus de compétences d'organisation
que ce qui était coutumier chez les Indiens, il a été conduit par d'autres tribus
de le rejoindre dans une conspiration contre les Anglais pour les chasser
retour à l'est de la montagne. L'attaque a commencé en mai 1763
et la région frontalière du trou en V. a été paniquée. Dans
1764, de fortes expéditions tvvo dirigées contre Pontiac et
ils ont facilement vaincu les Indiens. En juillet 1766, Pontiac accepte
avec Sir William Johnson sur un traité de paix.
Ceci, la conspiration de Pontiac, a à peine pris fin avec l'autre
une grande guerre indienne a eu lieu ici en 1769. Pontiac, Ottawa
chef, il a été assassiné par un Indien de l'Illinois qui était
soudoyé par un marchand anglais pour le faire, à Cahokia. Dans
cette guerre, les tribus de l'Illinois ont été presque détruites. Alors que ce
a eu lieu dans notre comté, des événements importants se passaient
dans d'autres parties de notre état. En 1776, Washington avait déjà
a été membre de la Virginia House of Burgesses et
elle a épousé une \ ^ dow nommée Martha Custis. Louis était
habité en février)% 1764, et avait 600 habitants
et 150 noirs. En 1770, Richard McCarty partit
sur le site actuel East St. Louis en 1775, lors du
ton a été nommé commandant de l'armée continentale,
Les troupes régulières britanniques ont quitté cette partie de l'État de l'Illinois. 1778
Cahokia se rend à George Rogers Clark.
TROIS DRAPEAUX LATÉRAUX
Nous voyons donc que les trois pays, l'Espagne, la France et
L'Angleterre a apporté sa contribution à la naissance de l'État
de l'Illinois Bien que tout le monde y ait participé
grand ou petit. Les principaux esprits de ce voyage d'événements étaient
Marquette et Joliet, et leur appartient ainsi qu'à leurs partisans
le mérite a révélé au monde une découverte qui
personne d'autre n'est important et qui les a couronnés
noms par immortalité.
Nous faisons partie des États-Unis
l2 _> / uR LA GUERRE POUR L'INDÉPENDANCE a commencé au printemps 1775.
1778, George Rogers Clark, George Washington
ouest, avec des Américains et des volontaires français
a envoyé Patrick Henry, gouverneur de Virginie, pour le capturer
État de l'Illinois. Quand il a atteint Kahokiya, certains Indiens ont couru
au village en criant "longs couteaux, longs couteaux". Ce
fait peur chez les paysans, mais dès que les Français qui
étaient avec Clark a expliqué leur but, a crié les Indiens
"Huzzahs", pour la liberté et l'Amérique. Le fort se rend
En partie à la suite de cette expédition militaire, et en partie plus tard
la base des chartes royales approuvées au XVIIe siècle,
l'État de Virginie a revendiqué la région dans laquelle nous vivons maintenant.
Le 12 décembre 1778, la législature de Virginie crée
Territoire de l'État de l'Illinois et John Todd, ancêtre de Mary
Todd Lincoln, a été nommé lieutenant-colonel
Patrick Henry, qui était alors gouverneur de cet État.
Le traité de Paris de 1783 nous a accordé notre indépendance
de la loi britannique et reconnue aux États-Unis
au territoire du nord-ouest. Le changement de gouvernement est
ne semble pas déranger les habitants anglais de ce territoire,
et la plupart sont restés dans la région.
À cause de la jalousie qui existait entre les petits États
et les grands États, à travers les grandes exigences du pays occidental, les petits
les États ont insisté pour que ces revendications territoriales soient remises aux nôtres
Gouvernement fédéral. 13 septembre 1783. Congrès
Les États-Unis ont adopté une loi fixant les conditions
sur laquelle ils accepteraient la cession de ce nord-ouest
Territoire) & # 39;. 20 décembre 1783, Assemblée générale des
Virginie a adopté une loi autorisant les délégués de cet état,
au Congrès se sont réunis, pour les États-Unis pour tout transmettre
les droits détenus par l'État de Virginie sur le territoire du Nord-Ouest
Ohio River. 1er mars 1784. dûment nommé
les délégués de Virginie ont fait leur document de mission officiel et
ce jour-là, les États-Unis ont officiellement reçu le nord
territoire ouest & # 39;. Il englobait le territoire délimité par l'Ohio
Rivière, ^ Rivière Iississippi et Grands Lacs. Aujourd'hui, il
forme les États du Wisconsin, de l'Illinois, de l'Indiana, de l'Ohio,
Michigan, et cette partie du Minnesota, qui se trouve à l'est de
NOS PROBLÈMES INDIENS
Avec la proclamation de 1763, les Anglais l'interdirent
les colons ont émigré sur le territoire à l'ouest de la ligne tracée
avec la division d'Aleghani. Il n'y avait aucune intention
pour le maintien constant des Américains de cette région, mais
Les Anglais jugeaient déraisonnable de donner aux Indiens une raison supplémentaire
à l'époque en raison de l'insatisfaction en permettant aux paysans de se déplacer
sur leurs terrains de chasse. Les colons, cependant, ne sont pas
prendre la même position sur cette question. Certains sont déjà entrés
ouest et des centaines de familles, troublées par les coûts élevés
une vie amenée par la guerre et désireuse de recommencer la vie
les riches terres de l'ouest étaient prêtes à suivre. Alors, définissez
jeté le long des sentiers de montagne et dès 1767,
des établissements permanents ont commencé à apparaître dans le nord-ouest
Au début, les Indiens de l'ouest étaient de bonne humeur, mais en 1786
ils ont commencé à changer. En fait, de 1791 à 1812.
notre gouvernement a mené une guerre indienne après l'autre.
De nombreux troubles ont été causés par les Anglais, qui sont
contraire aux dispositions du traité mettant fin au régime révolutionnaire
La guerre n'a pas évacué les fortifications britanniques dans cette partie. Aussi,
gardes-frontières prospères, déterminés à posséder des sauvages & # 39;
pays, a exigé que le gouvernement expulse les Indiens.
1783, James Planner) & # 39;, lors de la chasse aux Américains
Le fond a été tué par un Indien. 1786. Les Indiens attaquent un
ici près de la colonie, il a tué James Andrew, sa femme et un
filles, alors qu'il y a deux autres filles de sexe masculin, l'un de James White
et un Samuel McClure fait prisonnier.
Au début de 1787, les agriculteurs, travaillant dans les champs,
obligé de porter des fusils; ils devaient garder la nuit.
Au début de 1788, les troubles indiens devinrent plus importants
aigu. William Biggs a été capturé alors qu'il était ensemble
John Vallis, Joseph et Benjamin Ogle ont marché
de la gare d'Ogle au fort d'un immeuble en Amérique
Le fond. Vallis a été tué, mais les deux Ogles se sont échappés.
L'année 1789 fut l'un des inconvénients croissants de l'Inde pour la nôtre
communauté. Puis trois garçons ont été attaqués par six
Les Indiens à quelques mètres de leur immeuble. Un de ceux-là,
David Waddel, frappé à la tête
gousses et après avoir été scalpées et laissées mortes, plus tard
il s'est rétabli pendant que les autres s'enfuyaient en lieu sûr.
Avec l'arrivée de 1793, il y a eu plus de querelles et d'alarmes,
mais les petites usines ont été renforcées à cette époque
avec l'arrivée de quelques colons du Kentucky. C'était parmi eux
une famille nommée Whiteside, dont les descendants vivent toujours ici aujourd'hui
abouts. Hommes blancs et autres, quatorze en tout
personnes, a mené une attaque contre un camp italien
les dépassant au pied du Bluff. Dans cette escarmouche
Le capitaine William Whiteside a été mortellement blessé, pensa-t-il.
En tombant, il a exhorté ses fils à se battre et à ne pas gagner d'argent
10 J'AI DÉTERMINÉ L'INDÉPENDANCE
un pouce de terre, ni permettre aux Indiens de toucher son corps. Son fils,
Eh bien Whiteside, avec une balle dans la main et ne peut pas
il a examiné la blessure de son père avec un fusil et a constaté qu'il était
la balle regardait contre les côtes, elle était appuyée contre la colonne vertébrale. Avec
grande présence d'esprit, caractéristique de la nôtre
a sorti un couteau, a mis le feu à la peau, a sorti le ballon
et le tenant avec enthousiasme, ils se sont exclamés: "Père, tu n'es pas
mourir. "Le vieil homme a immédiatement sauté sur ses pieds et
elle a repris le combat en criant: «Allez les gars, je peux les combattre
bien que. «Un seul Indien est jamais revenu dire à son peuple
En 1800, les Indiens avaient été pratiquement expulsés de Saint-Louis.
Comté de Clair, mais la preuve qu'ils vivaient autrefois ici
resté. De nombreux monticules ont été laissés tôt dans l'Illinois
Les Indiens, qui les ont construits comme d'immenses tombeaux en terre pour leurs morts,
comme lieux pour leurs bâtiments ou comme cérémonies. le
Kahokiya, ou moine moine, érigé il y a des siècles
premiers constructeurs de tombes indiennes près d'East St.
le plus grand globe terrestre du monde mesurant 1080×710 pieds et
100 pieds de hauteur.
Création du COMTÉ DE ST KLAIRNA (1790)
En 1778, la Virginie a créé un comté sur ce territoire
c'est le comté de l'Illinois. Lorsque ce territoire s'est rendu
Virginie aux États-Unis 1784, dans le comté de l'Illinois
oublié. Le 5 octobre 1787, le général Arthur St. Clair de
Pennsylvanie c. Nommé gouverneur de ce territoire du nord-ouest
tory. En mars 1790, il visite Cascazia. 27 avril 1790
a publié une proclamation créant le comté de St. Clair sa
Cahokia comme siège du tribunal de comté. Tout devait être inclus
sud-ouest de l'Illinois, et puisque c'était le premier
Comté créé dans l'Illinois actuel, comté de St. Louis. Clair
souvent appelé les «mères des comtés». Est
et la partie nord de notre état ainsi qu'une partie de l'état
INDÉPENDANCE ÉTABLIE 11
l'état actuel de l'Indiana était inclus dans le comté de Knox. Illinois
fait partie du Territoire du Nord-Ouest de 1787 à 1802
quand notre état est devenu une partie du territoire de l'Indiana et est resté
sa part jusqu'en 1809. D'autres comtés ont été constitués jusqu'à
En 1818, lorsque l'Illinois a été admis à l'État, il y avait
quinze. Depuis lors, ce nombre est passé à 102, tous jusqu'à présent
formé avant 1860.
Les premiers colons à arriver dans le comté de St. Louis. Clair n'a pas
né à l'étranger, mais il était de 154 natifs américains
à notre comté de Virginie en 1797. Parmi eux, il y avait un
médecins et plusieurs infirmières. Le voyage a également été difficile
dangereux. Peu de temps après leur arrivée, une épidémie de fièvre a frappé
par les immigrants affaiblis pour les voyages et quand ils sont placés sous
contrôle, la moitié de leur nombre a disparu. Manque de commodité
équipements et installations d'hébergement ajoutés à leur remise
forteresse Même les infirmières, par peur de l'infection, ont annoncé la leur
postes et ont fui vers l'est plus densément peuplé
TERRITOIRE ILLINOIS (1809-1818)
Selon le Règlement de 1787, les États-Unis ont fixé un
gouvernement pour le nord-ouest du territoire & # 39; 1788. avec la capitale
à Marietta, Ohio, et nommé par Arthur St. Clair son premier
gouverneur. En 1800, le Congrès a pris des mesures pour l'admission
de l'Ohio en tant qu'État et le reste du territoire du nord-ouest
a été créé comme le territoire de l'Indiana avec sa capitale en
William Henry Harrison a été nommé gouverneur
Territoire de l'Indiana le 10 janvier 1801. Son État d'origine était
Indiana, et quand il a nommé des fonctions,
les gens fédérés de son état. Le résultat était anti-Harrison
un parti développé dans l'Illinois dirigé par John Edgar et William et
En 1809, le territoire de l'État de l'Illinois a été fondé. Inclus
12 INDÉPENDANCE ÉTABLIE
il n'y avait pas seulement l'état actuel de l'Illinois, mais presque tous
Wisconsin, une grande partie de la péninsule nord de Michi-
et tout le Minnesota à l’est du Mississippi. Le sien
En 1810, il y avait 12 282 habitants, dont presque tous vivaient
sud de l'Illinois Sa capitale était Kaskaskia.
ILLINOIS PLACE L'ÉTAT (1818)
L'histoire de l'État de l'Illinois évoluait très vite, car c'était tout
il n'était que de 145 ans à compter de la première arrivée de l'homme blanc
jusqu'à ce qu'il soit admis dans l'Union en tant qu'État de l'Illinois. Dans
En 1673, Marquette explore la rivière Illinois; La Salle avait
le suivit six ans plus tard, construisant Fort Creve Coeur à proximité
le site actuel de Peoria. Peu de temps après, la forteresse de Saint
sur la roche affamée, et au tournant du siècle Cahokia i
Cascas était habitée par les Français. 1763. cette zone vient
sous la domination britannique, mais les forces de George
Rogers Clark l'a pris pour acquis pendant la guerre révolutionnaire
États Unis. Il est devenu une partie des Territoires du Nord-Ouest en
En 1787, le territoire de l'Indiana en 1802, est devenu un territoire
L’Illinois en 1809 et en 1818 un
de la législature territoriale de l’État d’illinois du territoire
le délégué Nathaniel Pope, cherchant à être admis comme État.
Par les efforts du juge Pape, l'acte de réception
l'extension de la frontière nord est autorisée) & # 39; parallèle
42 ° 30 & # 39; latitude nord au lieu de la courbe sud du lac
Michigan. Une partie de ce territoire a ensuite été enlevée
et nous a donné le Wisconsin, mais grâce à un bon travail
Le juge Pope, qui a adopté notre projet de loi d'admission, Illinois retenu
8 000 milles carrés, cinquante et un milles supplémentaires au nord
frontière, afin de nous donner une entrée pour les produits anti-esclavagistes) ^ Nouveau
Angleterre, avec un lac devant, huit comtés, la plupart
six de plus, et la ville de Chicago. L'acte d'admission a été adopté
Le 18 avril 1818 et le 3 décembre 1818, il devient l'Illinois
le vingt et unième État de l'Union.
Kaskaskia est devenue la première capitale de l'État (1818-20) et
INDÉPENDANCE ÉTABLIE 13
Shadrach Bond est devenu notre premier gouverneur. Il avait longtemps
était actif dans la vie publique. En 1806, il était collecteur d'impôts
à Kaskaski. En 1807, il était juge président
La Cour des pétitions conjointes du district de St. Clair et dans le même volume
a été élu premier délégué territorial du Congrès.
Lorsque Shadrach Bond est devenu gouverneur, l'Illinois n'a pas
le nombre requis de personnes pour devenir un état, non
19 742 des 60 000 résidents envisagés pour devenir un État en
Par une ordonnance de 1787, deux ans de son mandat ont été purgés
Kaskaskia, quand il a été décidé de déplacer la capitale
emplacement central. Les bons du Trésor ont été placés dans des chariots à deux roues
et emmené à Vandalia, qui est devenu notre deuxième capitale de l'État.
Exposé est Chicago, connue comme la "ville magique de l'ouest"
En 1830, elle compte aujourd'hui plus de 3 000 000 d'habitants. Comment
son nom n'est pas connu, mais on dit que nous sommes indiens
dans la langue, le mot signifie «fort». Voilà une raison
les gens pensent que cela vient de l'oignon sauvage qui a tellement grandi
s'adapter à ce quartier; d'autres pensent que c'était par ennui
ce qui était également courant; d'autres disent qu'il y avait un Indien
un chef nommé Chicago dont il a été nommé. Dans tout les cas,
une carte publiée dans ce qui était alors le Québec a donné son nom à la ville
La longueur de notre état est aujourd'hui de 380 miles, sa plus grande largeur
205, et le point d'altitude terrestre le plus élevé est supérieur à 1 000
pieds. Il est principalement vallonné dans le sud et le nord-ouest. C'est accompli
avec des beautés naturelles, comme des canyons, des palais somptueux,
grottes, remblais indiens et forêts. Notre superficie totale est de 56 400
milles carrés, dont 55 947 sont des terres et 453 sont de l'eau. Les notres
La population en 1950 était de 8 696 490. Densité de population
est de 157 habitants au mille carré.
Notre oiseau officiel d'État est le Cardinal; notre fleur, la
violet; notre drapeau national se compose du champ blanc sur lequel il est
reproduction de l'emblème du grand sceau de l'état
L'Illinois en noir ou dans nos couleurs nationales; notre devise – "Etat
14 INDÉPENDANCE ÉTABLIE
Souveraineté, Union nationale; «Notre chanson officielle», Illinois. "
sont surnommés "Cotton State", "Garden of the West"
et "The Prairie State".
L'eau de vingt-trois États de l'Union traverse l'Illinois
ou coule le long de ses frontières. Sol riche des prairies,
bien que sans arbres, il est plat ou légèrement ondulé, mais extrêmement fertile
et a beaucoup contribué à notre grandeur.
Notre ville est née
Pionnier indépendant (1700-1800)
Ses personnes qui ont formé cette zone à l'état sauvage étaient
le plus grand de tous les pionniers. Leurs fils étaient parmi ceux qui
plus tard poussé encore plus à l'ouest à la recherche de nouvelles frontières
gagner dans la victoire de l'ouest.
Les premiers pionniers ont eu la chance de s'installer
Le fond américain. Cette partie du pays, qui représente l'expansion
les plaines inondables du Mississippi sont situées entre
la ville d'Alton dans le nord jusqu'à Prairie Du Pont Creek sur
sud et du Mississippi à l'ouest, aux Bluffs à
est. Il fait environ 80 miles de long et 5 miles de large.
Son sol est le plus riche qui soit. Il contient environ
possédait 288 000 hectares, dont environ les deux tiers sont situés dans
Madison County et un tiers dans le comté de St. Louis. Clair. Sol
t) ^ comprennent le limon, l'argile et le sable; et de ces trois, le
loam, qui sont considérés comme les meilleurs du point de vue de l'agriculture,
Les conditions de voyage dans ce pays étaient particulièrement terribles
au début du printemps. C'était un spectacle dangereux de voir un deux-roues
Un fauteuil roulant français au fond de la boue, un homme qui s'en va à des kilomètres pour la regarder
pour obtenir de l’aide, des femmes assises
une équipe de bœufs en deuil mourant dans la boue.
Ces curieux chariots à deux roues français sont entièrement construits
de bois, a des roues qui sont inégales, et ne sont rien
16 Notre ville est née
plus que d'énormes coupes d'arbres. Les essieux étaient généralement
bûches de six pouces qui s'insèrent dans des trous dans des parties d'arbres
servait de volant. Le corps était un cadre reposant sur des essieux,
tandis que six cadres verticaux de ce cadre ont été créés par un entraîneur qui qui
c'étaient simplement des saules ou des noisettes, des tresses tissées.
Des familles entières se sont entassées dans ces fauteuils roulants. Pour la lubrification de l'arbre,
de généreuses portions de savon maison ont été utilisées, pour personne d'autre
la lubrification était disponible, mais cela faisait tourner les roues
Le premier colon avait beaucoup à transporter et à manger, mais le luxe
ils étaient inconnus. Sa nourriture consistait principalement en cerfs, ours, sauvages
canard, dinde, caille, écureuil, maïs, haricots et blé. le
des aliments nutritifs et une vie en plein air l'ont rendu sain, à la fois
mentalement et physiquement. Il a produit et produit beaucoup
les choses, et cela le rendait indépendant du reste du monde.
L'American Bottom était un paradis pour les pêcheurs et
chasseurs, parce que toute la région était remplie de lacs, de marécages,
et étangs. Ceux-ci étaient bien nourris par les eaux arrières de l'époque
fleuve Mississippi incontrôlable et pendant les périodes de forte
l'eau était abondamment remplie de milliers de poissons. Légende
a que les cygnes sauvages, les canards et les oies étaient si nombreux
sur ces eaux qui, parfois, leur charlatan combiné gardé
les premiers colons de dormir la nuit.
Un chasseur de canards aurait tué vingt-deux avec un
coup. C'était simple pour un bon chasseur d'emporter un petit
chargement du wagon en une seule matinée.
Because of the early settlers' isolation, they had to make their
own implements, tan their leather, weave their cloth, hunt game
for food and sometimes fight for their lives. Most of them were
poor and lived very simply, but all were equal socially. Their
homes, clothes and food were nearly all alike, and this greatly
helped to make them democratic.
The homes were often located far from the fields. The
farming implements were usually of the crudest sort. Horse
OUR CITY IS BORN 17
collars were made by sewing together plaited corn husks and
were usually very easy on the horse's neck. Not much can be
said about the harness, as it was usually crudely made. The plow
was little more than a stick that scratched the ground. Iron
plows were yet unknown, and besides, they believed that iron
was not good to use because it poisoned the soil. The early
American, though, had ability to get ahead and make money,
was shrewd, was superior in practical things, had a very even
temperament, could easily adjust himself to tr)ang conditions,
and had the ability to pull up stakes and move on if his first
choice of land proved unsatisfactory.
The dress of the pioneer was very simple but serviceable.
He usually wore a leather or buckskin hunting shirt, leggings
that reached to the waist, shoes that were a compromise be-
tween brogans and moccasins, and headgear that was a coon
skin cap in winter and a plaited straw hat in summer. Men
who dressed in broadcloath and wore boots were viewed as a
curiosity. In the summer time, they often walked bare-foot to
the church, but just before reaching the church they would
put on their shoes. By 1820, the style of dress began to change.
Factory goods began coming in from the East and gradually
relegated the spinning wheel and loom to the realm of the
Women's jobs in the home were plentiful but not easy. They
had to be talented as nurses, housekeepers, seamstresses,
laundresses, hostesses, and when any possessed all of these
abilities, their lives were one great career.
There were few doctors, and illness was often fatal. Malaria
and cholera were quite prevalent and took many lives. Wild
animals were so numerous that they were a menace to domestic
ones. Indian raids were common and many lost their lives in
them. Prairie fires caused much damage and suffering. This
can well be imagined when sometimes sheets of flame, hundreds
of vards wide and many yards high, would sweep over the
18 OUR CITY IS BORN
In 1811, there was the great New Madrid earthquake in the
Mississippi Valley, so severe, it was said, that the church steeples
swayed, that the church bells rang with tremendous sounds,
as though some unseen demon was pulling on the bell cord,
that catde ran to and fro, filling the air with bawling, that the
soil cracked so deeply that the bottom of the crevice could not
be seen, and stone and brick chimneys fell to the ground.
In 1812, a great tornado struck this region. Families took to
their cellars, chimneys crumbled, log cabins overturned, and
fences and strong posts were carried away for miles. Many
people were killed and wide swaths were cut through forests.
Then there was the vear of the cold summer when the corn
crops failed throughout the United States. No record was kept
of the cold in the Mississippi Valley but in New York City
on June 7, 1816, there was three-eighths of an inch of ice on the
ground and the thermometer fell to 30 degrees.
Partly because of these dangers, the pioneer had a high
standard of morals. Theft, forgery, perjury, and the like were of
rare occurance. Drinking liquor was, of course, a phase of
social life that was carried to excess in some communities.
The making of the winter supply of candles was a special
autumnal household duty, and a hard one too, for the kettles
were heavy to handle. Early morning found the work well under
way. A good fire was started in the kitchen fireplace under two
vast kettles, each approximately two feet in diameter. These
were hung on a trammel from a pole, having been filled with
boiling water and melted tallow, which had had two scaldings
and skimmings. At the end of the kitchen or in an adjoining
room two long poles were laid from chair to chair. Across these
poles were placed small sticks about sixteen or eighteen inches
long called candle rods. If the candles were dipped slowly in
a cool room, a good worker could make on an average of two-
hundred candles a day.
The precious candles, thus tediously made, were carefully
OUR CITY IS BORN 19
preserved. They were carefully packed in candle boxes with
compartments, covered over, and set in a dark closet, where they
wouldn't discolor. A metal candle box hung on the edge of the
kitchen mantle shelf always containing two or three extra
candles to replenish those which had burned out in the candle
The American pioneer was perhaps not quite as religious as
was the French. His religious meetings were less frequent and
more irregular. The older people usually stayed at home on
Sunday and read their Bibles. Others would hunt, fish, break
horses, practice target shooting, or indulge in foot races. They
refrained from all ordinary work except such as was absolutely
A book entitled, A Pretty Little Pockethook, printed in the
United States shortly after the American Revolution, served
as a guide for childhood etiquette in many parts of our country.
It contained the following reminders: 1. Never seat yourself
at the table until the blessings have been asked. 2. Never ask
for anything not on the table. 3. Never speak unless spoken to.
4. Always break the bread. 5. Never take butter except with
a clean knife. 6. Never throw bones under the table.
The American pioneer, however, was always very friendly,
sociable, and ready to welcome a newcomer. When a log cabin
was to be built, the neighbors would come to help. Whenever
they made social calls, entertainment was in the direct primitive
style. The boys would vie with each other in jumping, wrestling,
running foot-races, playing leap frog, and shooting. The older
men would gather around and listen to some wild adventure
story of one of their neighbor's experiences to and from New
Orleans. Log rolling, quilting bees, and apple cutting bees called
together the men and women, while the youngsters met for corn
husking. Provisions for eating and drinking were liberally made,
especially the johnny-cake, spread and baked on boards before
an open fire.
After the meal, the younger people would turn their attention
20 OUR CITY IS BORN
to dancing. The table, chairs, dishes, and all things movable
were placed out of the way and the puncheon floor was cleared
for the dance. The indispensable fiddler was the artist of the
occasion, and everything had to be done as it was back in North
Carolina, or Virginia, or some other eastern state in which they
had grown up. The pioneer jigged, and danced three or four
hand-reels, all of which were very lively dances. The most
popular was the Virginia Reel. In the early morning all went
home, either on foot or horseback.
Corn shucking was one of the most popular forms of
amusement for younger folks. When the farmer's com was
ready to be shucked, instead of shucking it in the field as it is
done now, the stalks were cut and piled beside the crib. Then
all the young men and women were invited and the fun began.
Two leaders were chosen who would select sides and at a given
signal, the shucking started fiercely. When anyone found a
red ear, all shucking ceased for a time until the finder had
kissed the girl of his choice on the opposing side.
Another popular sport of the pioneer was the shooting match
in which the pioneers would bring their trusty old rifles and
spend the day testing their skill. The contestant always shot for
a prize, which was often a nice beef steer. Those that were not
contestants, came to sit around and talk. Old women came to
watch— they usually brought their knitting with them. Often
after the match, they would get a fiddler and have a dance.
The fiddler was in such great demand in those days, that some-
times the pioneer would send as far as thirty miles for one.
The early American also played cards, especially "Loo"—
requisite to gentility— and spent much time at horse races and
often squandered considerable money and property betting on
them. In 1806 there was a horse race on the ice of the Missis-
sippi River between contestants from Missouri and Illinois.
Some of the early settlers seemed to lack moral virtues. One
husband sold his wife for a botde of whiskey; the purchaser,
OUR CITY IS BORN 21
in turn, traded her for a horse, after which she was traded
again for a yoke of oxen.
At this time, 1799, several incidents happened in Washington
which were felt in our immediate vicinity. One of the members
of the House of Representatives from the state of Vermont was
a witty, red-faced and rabid Republican and Irishman named
Matthew Lyons. He and Griswold, a Federalist who was also
a member of the House, had a rough and tumble fight on the
floor of the House. Lyons, fearless and unafraid to say or publish
anything, had criticized in a Vermont newspaper, some laws
passed by the federalist government. For this and for the fight,
he was arrested, fined one thousand dollars, and sent to
prison for four months. Forty years later, after his death,
in 1839, the government returned the fine with interest
to his descendants, in the form of western lands. John Mes-
senger, one of the descendants, was given a 160 acre farm on
the old Collinsville road, which today is owned by a man named
George Hoffmann, a lineal descendant of Matthew Lyons and
THE BIRTH OF OUR CITY
Who the first white man was to set foot on the present
site of Belleville remains a question. It is believed by some that
French traders and trappers had passed through the woods
and prairie that now are occupied by our city.
It is known that in 1794 Reverend James Lemen, Sr., of
New Design, in Monroe County, and six other men of his
settlement camped here for a week. The camp was under a
large pecan tree on the spot where the old Presbyterian Church
once stood. They were on a hunting expedition as well as
looking for better lands to settle. At hunting they were good,
for they killed a bear, several deer, and many turkeys.
Settlements were made in the vicinity of Belleville, and
among the first settlers were John Teter, Abraham Eyman,
William Mueller, John Primm, Martin Randleman, and Daniel
22 OUR CITY IS BORN
Stookey. Roving bands of Kickapoo and Pottawatomie Indians
were often seen by these early settlers and many of them later
fought against them.
The original proprietor of the town of Belleville was the
pioneer citizen, George Blair, whose home, erected in 1806,
was the first to be built in this city. For several years he kept
it as a home and a hotel. As a man he seemed to have no
extraordinary talents, but he was prominent because he owned
a two-hunderd acre farm on which the central part of our city
now stands. Me didn't like to work on the farm and therefore
cultivated only a small part of it. He was not well educated,
but he loved to use words of great length even though they were
not suited to the meaning he wished to convey. He was good
natured and possessed a benevolent spirit.
Contrary to most opinions, Belleville was not founded by the
French nor the Germans but was settled by the Americans to
protect themselves against the French. Studying the map, it
will be seen that our city is ideally located, being about half-
way between the two oceans and evenly divided between the
North and the South. This places us far enough south to escape
the severe northern winters, while our four seasons offer us
a variety of climate. The Mississippi and its tributaries tie us
closely to the South and West, and the Illinois and Lake
Michigan tie us equally close to the North and East. Our
location is in the heart of the Mississippi Valley, one of the
nation's richest industrial, commercial, and agricultural districts.
This valley produces seventy percent of the agricultural pro-
ducts, seventy percent of the petroleum, seventy-five percent of
the lumber, and sixty percent of the minerals of the United
The greater part of our city is located in Section 21, Town-
ship 1, north of Range 8, West. It is situated on a gende rising
plain near the center of St. Clair County. The beauty of the
surrounding country is not surpassed by any place in southern
Illinois. It is not only equal to but even surpasses many of the
OUR CITY IS BORN 23
most fertile and productive agricultural regions of our country.
In distance, it is about midway between the Mississippi and
Although our city had not yet been officially designated as
the County Seat, there was nevertheless a strong desire on the
part of the early settlers for a more central location for their
county government. The county seat had been at Cahokia
since 1790, but this village being French, the Americans were
anxious to get rid of the unprogressive ways of these earlier
The Americans on the high lands east of the American
Bottoms outnumbered the old French setders along the Missis-
sippi River. This almost necessitated a more central location of
the county seat than was the village of Cahokia. This question
was one of the issues in the election of members for the state
legislature in 1813, which was then meeting in Kaskaskia. In
December, 1813, the legislature appointed the following com-
mittee to select a new seat of justice for our county, 1. John
Hay, 2. James Lemen, 3. Issac Enochs, 4. William Scott, Jr.,
5. Nathan Chambers, 6. Jacob Short, 7. Caldwell Cains. These
men met at the home of George Blair on March 12, 1814, and
the majority of them voted to build the county seat on Blair's
land. Blair, in return agreed to give them one acre of land for
a Public Square.
Up to this time our locality had been known as Compton
Hill, but when George Blair decided that he wanted a city on
his farm, he said that he had found a place where he was going
to form a settlement which might become one of the most
beautiful cities of America, and therefore he named it Belleville,
from the French word, meaning "Beautiful City." He appointed
a surveyor, John Messenger, to lay out the city in the summer
of 1814. This survey was completed a few years later by
Governor Ninian Edwards and officially placed on record in
our County Court. In the spring of 1819 the state granted
us a village charter.
24 OUR CITY IS BORN
The Streets were named by Mr. Blair. The most eastward
street was called Church Street, while w^est of that were
Jackson, High, Illinois, Spring, and Hill. North and south of
the Square, the streets were numbered First, Second, Third, etc.
The street extending east and west through the Square was
called St. Clair Avenue, but by common usage, it has become
Main Street today. Main and Illinois were laid off 66 feet wide
and all others 49Vi.
When the city was built, in places part of the earth was cut
away, while in others it was filled in. To the south of East
Main, between High and Jackson, was a pond of water that
extended well into High Street. After rains it was often 80
yards long and 40 yards wide. No trace of it is left today because
it has been filled in.
In 1814, the Court House was removed from Cahokia to
Belleville where it has since remained. In 1793, Saucier's home
had been bought by the territorial government for use as a
court house of St. Clair county which, at that time, included
all of North and Central Illinois.
In September, 1815, the contract for the construction of a
new court house was given to Etienne Pensoneau. It was com-
pleted and accepted by the county on September 10, 1817.
The population of our county was then 3,000, while our little
village had onlv about 150. We remained a village until 1850
w^hen the state granted us a cit)' charter.
THE PUBLIC SQUARE
When our city was created the Public Square was made
a part of it. It is over one acre in size and had been given to
the County for its use and benefit. On it later were built the
County Court House, the County jail, and the market house.
It soon became the civic and commercial center of our city
and became so important that all the early history of Belleville
revolved around it.
OUR CITY IS BORN 25
The first use that was made of our Pubhc Square seems to
be that it was an inclosure for stray cattle. It was on March
8, 1820, that the village commissioners, Ed. P. Wilkinson and
Cornelius Gooding, issued the following official order: "On
petition of sundry inhabitants praying that the Public Square in
the town of Belleville be inclosed, securing thereby citizens
during court from disorderly persons on horseback, and the
public buildings from damage, and the trustees of the town
of Belleville be authorized to inclose the same, letting streets run
around it instead of through it, and that this court allow a
reasonable sum for defraying the same." The petition was
granted, and the court ordered that the sum of $100 be
authorized to defray expenses. The inclosure was to serve as
a stray pound, to be inclosed with posts and rails, neatly finished,
and ordered that the clerk certify the same to the trustees of the
town of Belleville. It was in this inclosure where was located
our first Court House and Market House. It was here that
the housewives of the past haggled while at the market, and,
before the days of the state penitentiary and county jails, punish-
ment for crimes was here meted out. Here, w^e had our pillory
and whipping posts.
In April, 1822, William D. Noble was punished for forgery
by being put in the pillory. He was exposed to the public here
for one hour and was required to pay a fine of $1,000 to the
state and $1,000 to the man whom he tried to defraud. John
ReTiolds was the judge in the case, William A. Beard, the
lawyer, and John Hay, the clerk.
Two walnut trees in the Public Square saved our County
the expense of erecting a special whipping post. In the early
davs there were no jails, and the whipping post was the only
means of punishing a person for a minor offense. The guilty
one was first stripped to the waist, then tied to the tree, where-
upon the sheriff would inflict the legal number of stripes,
making blood spurt at every lick. The usual penalty was from
five to forty lashes.
26 OUR CITY IS BORN
One criminal named Bonham, a cripple, was found guilty
of stealing a black silk handkerchief and was given five lashes
for this offense. In 1833, Sheriff John D. Hughes was the last
to use the whipping post, for the state legislature repealed the
whipping post and pillory statutes largely at the suggestion of
Ex-Sheriff Hughes, who in 1836 had become a member of that
body. The walnut tree and the pillory, though, remained for
many years, and the latter became a respectable hitching post
for the farmers' horses.
Our Public Square changed in appearance with the growth
of our city. On it have gathered the successive generations of
our city. In July, 1852, the city council, under the guidance
of Mayor Goedeking, adopted a resolution that was to make
the Public Square more than a bull pen and offered the
following changes: "In the center shall be an inclosure of 119
by 90 feet laid out in grass plots and planted with evergreens
and shrubbery and surrounded by a pavement 14 feet wide.
The macadamized section of the square will still remain 56 feet
wide in the narrowest parts; at the comers it will be 100 feet
wide. The center place will be surrounded with shade trees so
that we shall have a shady and airy park."
On May 16, 1865, our City Council decided to change the
appearance of our Public Square once more. One group of
council members was known as the "tear-downers," because they
wished to remove the sturdy fence around it, cut down the
fifty shade trees, and destroy the beautiful park in the center.
Mayor Herman Burkhardt, who opposed this plan, had only
three aldermen to support him while five opposed him. To
them, it seemed as if the majority of the City Council were bent
on committing an act of barbarism, one which in future years
would cause the cheeks of the guilty one to tingle with shame.
However, the dastardly deed was done, and the mayor and his
three supporters resigned saying that it was impossible to give
sanction to such acts of vandalism.
The setback which our Square had suffered early in 1865
OUR CITY IS BORN 27
was only temporary, for the city soon restored it to its former
beauty. Once more it was adorned with trees, and in that way
it remained for many years.
It was on June 6, 1903, that we had one of the greatest
excitements in the history of our city. David Wyatt, a Negro
school teacher of nearby Brooklyn, Illinois, shot Charles Hertel,
County Superintendent of Schools, because he would not renew
his teachers' certificate. Wyatt was arrested and taken to jail,
but the aroused citizenry feared that a just and speedy sentence
would not be passed upon him, so they stormed the jail, took
the Negro from his cell, and lynched him on the Public Square.
The County Superintendent had not been wounded fatally
and soon recovered.
There have been many and varied surfaces that have covered
our Public Square. As a part of the old St. Clair turnpike, the
roadways were planked. Later the entire square was covered
with cedar block pavement, which bulged when the heavy rains
came and again went in place when they were dry. On July
16, 1904, it was completely paved with brick. It was then that
it took on the appearance that seems to be more familiar with
our present generation. All the street car lines terminated here,
and the bulky, brightly painted trolley cars stopped for their
passengers in what had been a parking space. Today it serves
the same purpose for our city and St. Louis bus lines.
The Public Square today is highlighted by the Veterans'
Memorial Fountain and is, indeed, a far cry from the old cattle
pound. The fountain in all its beauty does honor not only to the
departed veterans but also to those who in the past have built
the present city around it. It is today a nucleus of our commercial
development. In this area are located the four banks of our city,
the department stores, the large grocery stores, hotels, city and
county government buildings, wholesale houses, and, near the
outer margin, eleven manufacturing plants.
The Log Cabin
_ 'HE FIRST TYPE OF LOG CABIN built in St. Clair County was
the French or Pahsade type. In this the logs were placed
vertically and set in the ground with the cracks filled with
sticks and clay.
The next type was the English or the horizontal log type.
The pioneer chose the log house because it was the cheapest
for him to build, for there was an abundance of timber. Uniform
logs were cut the proper length and hewn down on opposite
sides to a thickness of about nine inches. Then the neighbors
were called in for house raising. The best axemen were stationed
at the corners, as notching or dovetailing was the more technical
operation. The comer men built up the walls by fitting the
ends of the log into the notches. By thus saddling the logs, the
walls were raised to a height of about seven feet. The chinks
left between the logs were filled with sticks and daubed with
clay, which had to be renewed every year. After the house
was up and roofed, an opening was cut for a door, usually on
each side to afford air in hot weather— or if a window instead—
it) was covered with oiled paper. The door was made of spliced
clapboards, hung on wooden hinges. The latch, also wood,
manipulated by a strap attached, was hanging outside through
a hole, and was pulled in to lock the door. The chimney was
built of stone laid flat and heavily coated with clay. The floor
was made by laying sleepers on the ground to be covered with
planks when obtainable. When not obtainable, puncheons—
EARLY LIFE 29
that is, one length of logs split in half, laid flat side up, were
used. No nails or other metals were used, wooden pegs being
employed where necessary. Usually a ladder led to the loft
which was used mostly for storage space. The inside of the
house was as simple and primitive as was the outside. A huge
fireplace furnished heat and means of cooking. To keep the
house fairly warm, the ceiling was insulated with wolves' skins
or other pelts or with the soft bark of bass wood. Light passed
through greased paper windows. The furniture was always
handmade. The axe and the auger were the best tools. The
table was nothing more than a puncheon with four legs inserted
in auger holes. Chairs were usually mere stools with three legs.
The bed was built in the comer with three of its comers fastened
to the wall and the fourth to a peg in the ground. Some who
were more mechanically inclined fixed the bed so it could
be drawn up and fastened to the wall in the daytime, thus
giving more room in the cabin. The eating utensils were mostly
of pewter and wood. While some early settlers had knives and
forks, most others did not. The pack knife or butcher knife
served all purposes at the table when no others were to be had.
With dippers made of gourds and buckets of hard-shelled
squashes, preparing a meal was a difficult task and required
many hours of hard labor.
Besides growing his own food, the pioneer also made his
own clothing and tools. Every home had its own spinning
wheel, for it was necessar)^ to spin the wool that went into the
making of socks, stockings, mittens, shawls, mufflers, and
wristlets. Their homes were poorly equipped in that day, for
there was no running water, no gas, no electricity, no refrigera-
tion, and the old back-yard well was about the only means
available for keeping foods cool, and preventing their spoiling.
Measured by styles of today, the dress of the early French
and English pioneer was very queer indeed. In the summer
30 EARLY LIFE
the men wore coarse blue suits, changing these in the winter
for clothing made mostly of buckskin. The women wore neat
fine linsey-woolsey dresses, made at home and colored to suit
the fancy with homemade dyes which were made by boiling
alum, copperas, and madder, with the bark of trees. Calico or
gayly checked goods were used in making bonnets. They had
little or no jewelry; even a ring was a rarity. Their feet were
shod in a sort of deerskin mocasin, while the men wore a
coarser and a much stronger shoe made of thick leather. Francuski
women have always had a great love for things that are pleasing
and beautiful, and even at this early day they followed the
fashions of Paris and New Orleans. Blue seemed to be the
predominant and favorite color of both of the sexes and they
used it not only for their clothes, but wore blue handkerchiefs
on their heads in winter time as well, preferring this instead
of a hat, or a cap. Instead of a coat they preferred a sort of
capote, which was nothing more than a blanket.
The dress of the early American was, of course, simple. If
a hat was worn at all, it was usually made of homemade
material. Shoes were merely moccasins or tanned leather shoe-
packs. In the summer, many of these things were unnecessary
and at that time of the year, they often went bare-foot, and the
men wore a blue lined hunting shirt. The capote was made loose
permitting freedom of action, with a cap or a cape to turn over
the head. Usually underneath this garment a vest of striped
linsey-woolsey was worn. The later settlers usually wore home-
made shirts of flax or cotton, although a few wore calico and
checked shirts. Their pantaloons were made of deerskin, linsey-
woolsey, and sometimes coarse blue cloth.
The dresses in that day were made fuller and longer than
they are today, usually needing about eight yards of material.
These dresses were plain, with four widths in the skirt— the two
front widths gored, and the waist very short, with a draw string
behind and across the shoulders. The sleeves were enormous
in size and padded like a bolster above, but tapering to the
EARLY LIFE 31
wrist. These were called "mutton-leg" or "sheep-shank" sleeves.
They were kept in shape by means of heavy starched linings
EARLY SOCIAL LIFE
There were few people in the world that were easier to
approach and become acquainted with than the early American
people. Strangers, if they conducted themselves well, were
received most cordially in the best of circles, and the confidence
that was placed in them, upon even short acquaintance, was
remarkable. Probably this was due to the fact that there was
such a similarity of ideas on general subjects. Perhaps it was
democracy at work. In the social life of early days, dancing
v/as the favorite pastime, with the waltz, the aristocrat of all
of the dances, leading. Gallant men bowed low before their
Lady Fairs, their way of asking them for the next dance.
Women in the 19th century possessed unsurpassing graces,
perhaps more than are found in the young ladies of today.
They were taught to be modest and their mode of dress sug-
gested that they were so to the Nth degree Their finery of dress
and delicacy of manner inspired robust men of that day with
an over-whelming desire to protect them from the harsh world.
They seemed like delicate flowers, and there was a dash of
chivalry as the beau of that day stopped to kiss his sweetheart's
hand and ask that he might be her stalwart protector forever.
With music as the chief source of entertainment, it was only
natural that concerts and operas had a more or less universal
appeal. On these occasions women appeared in formal attire,
always wearing wraps called opera cloaks.
Then there was the Home Circle and the Pecan Club,
composed for the most part of the same young men who attended
the operas. These clubs were of a social nature, and for the
men only, but in their more formal gatherings, they also included
32 EARLY LIFE
the fair sex. The registers of these groups included such men
as Fred Daab, Louis and Dave Rentchler, Charles Eimer,
George AIcRogers, Charles and Hugh Harrison, and James
A. Villou' feet from North
High street. Its architectural lines followed those of the Greek
Revival period. It was a two-story brick building and in its
upper story it housed, not only the city offices, but the library
of the Belleville Saengerbund and Library Society as well.
The lower floor was used as an engine house. Here the city
officials met until April 19, 1873.
In 1872 the congregation of the Presbyterian Church, which
then was located on North Illinois street where the present
Bell Telephone company's building now stands, purchased a
lot on South High street for the purpose of erecting a new
church. Because of its proximity to the other city property, the
citv council deemed it wise to buy the old building when the
elders decided to sell it for $4,500. After renovation the first
floor was used as the meeting for the council and contained
the office of the citv clerk and the city marshal. Its basement
was used as the "calaboose" or jail. Fire bells were placed in
its turret, for in those days a fire alarm was always sounded by
the ringing of bells. High wooden steps that ascended from the
north and south, led up to the porch that extended across the
front of this building which remained the seat of city govern-
ment until the present City Hall was built in 1892.
On October 23, 1891, the city council ordered the purchase
of the property on the corner of Illinois and Washington streets
for the purpose of building a new and larger city hall. The
purchase price agreed upon was $4,500, but because of the
city's indebtedness construction was not started until March
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 123
In that year the board of directors of the Belleville Public
Library submitted a proposal to the city council, together with
plans and specifications, for the approval of the erection of a
building which would be built in the library's name but
could be used for both library and city hall purposes. The
city agreed to this and at once appropriated $53,600 for the cost
of the building. The library was to occupy the second floor
and the city offices the lower. The Library remained here until
it moved into its present building in 1916. The city then took
over the entire building and the first meeting of the city
council was held in the old library quarters on August 7, 1917.
CHURCHES AND AFFILIATED SOCIETIES
A modem poet has said, "Show me the churches and the
cemeteries of a community and I will tell you the Godliness
and the spirituaHty of its people." Applying this to Belleville
with its many beautiful churches and well-kept cemeteries one
may rest assured that this quotation casts no reflections on the
religion and culture of Belleville citizens, who are proud of the
fact that about seventy per cent of its people are affiliated with
some church. We have long realized that mankind cannot pass
through lite without some philosophy and virtue obtained from
religion and its teachings. We would, perhaps, relapse into a
savage state were we not sustained by the law of "Love thy
neighbor as thyself.'"
In the early days of this community there were no churches.
Clergymen were very scarce and their visits were like those of
angels, few and far between. Yet our forefathers were a pious
lot, belonging to a God-fearing generation. They firmly believed
in a life after death and that they could some day ascend to
In building the early churches, women played a ver' im-
portant part. In fact, many helped to lay their foundations not
in the sense of mixing the mortar and laying bricks, but through
124 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
their untiring effort of giving suppers, bazaars, and food sales.
Some of these early places of worship stand today as mon-
uments to the Supreme Being. Their walls are of brick and
stone of another era, worn by age, yet mellowed by time to a
greater beauty. They are a monument to the spiritual lives that
dwell within, of the faith of God that lives in the hearts of
men that built these structures. Therein lies the greatest beauty
of all churches.
The oldest Protestant church in St. Clair county to have had
a continued existence is the Methodist Church at Shiloh. The
oldest Catholic church in Illinois is the one at Cahokia built
by Father F. Panet, S. J. in 1700. The oldest Catholic church
in Belleville was built on the present site of St. Peter's Cathedral
in 1843, with Father Kuenster as its first regular priest. Before
his coming here, missionaries from Cahokia visited the area
and offered the Holy Sacrifice of Mass in private homes which
stood in the present 300 block of South Illinois street.
Today there are approximately thirty churches in Belleville,
representing practically every denomination, each one having a
worthy history of its own, but space will permit only the name
and location of most of them. They are arranged according to
the date of their construction, and are as follows:
1831 First Baptist North Jackson and "B"
Rev. Russell T. Phillips
1832 Union Methodist 10 East Washington
Rev. Dr. W. L. Hanhaum
1839 First Presbyterian 225 South High
Rev. Dr. Frank Eversull
1839 St. Paul's Evangelical 2nd and West "B"
Rev. B. ). Koehler
1842 St. Peter's Cathedral 3rd and Harrison
Rev. Msgr. Raymond L. Harhaugh
Rev. C. Thomas Spitz
Latter Day Saints
Rev. ). Edward Nicholson, )r
St. George's Episcopal
Rev. Percy Miller
Rev. F. A. Kaiser
Rev. Alfred F. Schroeder
Rev. Joseph Orlet
Rev. Dr. L. S. McKown
First Divine Scientist
Rev. Emma Stolherg
Signal Hill Lutheran
Rev. William A. Wenger
Signal Hill Methodist
Rev. H. C. Brown
Beth Israel Synagogue
"A" and Church
2020 West Main
105 East "D"
201 North Church
24 North 14th
1716 West Main
311 East Lincoln
8100 West Main
45 South 95th
227 North High
Rahhi Abraham Hartman
First Church of Christ Scientist 112 North Jackson
Rev. H. L. Starling
Blessed Sacrament 8505 West Main
Rev. Louis F. Ell
St. Henry's 5301 West Main
Rev. Edward Killian O.M.I.
St. Theresa 1100 Lebanon Ave.
Very Rev. Wm. Hoff
First Christian 30th and West Main
Rev. Dale Wilhoit
126 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
1935 Trinity Evangelical 47 North Douglas
Rev. Theodore Rasche
1936 Full Gospel Tabernacle "B" and Church
Rev. T. M. Kimherlin
1942 Apostolic (Pentecostal) LaSalle and Sherman
Rev. Paul Froese
1942 Bethel Temple 805 Scheel
Rev. ). O. Underwood
1950 Westview Baptist Church 24th and West Main
Rev. Eugene T. Pratt
1950 Latter Day Saints 611 East McClintock
Rev. Dudley Brown
Many church societies, most of these women's groups, exist
today to help the church financially. Some were organized when
the church was founded and are still functioning. Without
these organizations many churches could not exist.
One of the oldest of these organizations is the Altar Society
of St. Mary's Parish functioning under the name of the Senior
Ladies' Sodality. It originated in 1894, the year the church
was dedicated. Miss Mary Graul was its first prefect.
The Rosary Confraternity of St. Peter's Cathedral, for both
men and women members, was established in 1865 with
Theodore Sickman as its first president. In 1860 the St. Vincent
Orphan Society, and in 1870 the Young Ladies' Sodality were
The Ladies' Aid Society of St. Paul's Church was organized
more than 75 years ago, with Mrs. Fredericka Wehrle as its
first president. A complete record of the minutes of this society
is one of its proud possessions.
On October 20, 1871 the Ladies Aid Society of the Jackson
Street Methodist Church was organized by Mrs. Hienz, the
wife of the pastor at that time, who was also its first president.
The Women's Foreign Missionary Society of the First
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 127
Methodist Church came into being in 1872 with Mrs. VViHing
as its first president.
The Lutheran Aid Society, with Mrs. Loos as the first pres-
ident, was estabhshed in 1876.
The Ladies' Aid Society of Christ Church, the oldest women's
organization of that congregation, was organized in 1893 with
Mrs. Phillip Schmitt as president.
The oldest society in the First Baptist Church is the Halcyon
Club whose first members met in 1896 at the home of Mrs.
M. W. Weir, with Miss Sophie Weir as its first president.
The Art Needle Work Society is the oldest women's organiza-
tion in St. George's Episcopal Church. It was established in
1896 with Mrs. Amelia Reineke as its first president.
ST. PETERS CATHEDRAL, 1837-1944
When, in 1814, the county seat was transferred from
Cahokia to Belleville, a number of Catholics also moved here.
Among these early settlers were the Pensoneau, Munie, Joffray,
Mersinger, Adam, Fegan, Boul, Germain, Rabo, Stauder,
Priegler, Karlskind, Pfeiffer, Perrin, Lutz, and Fournie families.
The nearest church then was at Cahokia, and these early
people attended services there until visiting priests held Mass
in their homes.
The first written record of Mass being celebrated in Belleville
was entered on the Cahokia records December 8 and 9, 1836,
by Father Louisel, who stated that he said Mass at the home
of Mr. Chandler, and that fifteen or twenty persons attended
each day. In 1837, John O'Brien donated land on which to
build a church. Reverend Charles Meyer, stationed at Prairie
Du Long from 1838 to 1843, visited Belleville every two months
and said Mass at first in the old court house and later in the
home of the Huber familv. In 1842 arrived the first resident
pastor named Reverend Joseph Kuenster, and soon a two-acre
tract was bought from Mr. Joseph Meyer for his church. The
128 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
cornerstone was laid by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Peter R. Kenrick
of St. Louis, in 1843. The first church was sixty by forty feet,
but because of a shortage of finances, progress was slow.
The next pastor was Reverend C. H. Osdangenberg, and
by this time his parish consisted of 130 families whose nation-
ality backgrounds were German, French, Irish, and Bohemian.
The first church, completed and dedicated by Bishop William
Quarter of Chicago in May, 1847, was used until 1863 when
it was replaced by another. The cornerstone of the second
church was laid by Bishop H. D. Juncker of Alton. It was
completed in 1866 at a cost of $87,000 and dedicated on
November 6, 1866.
This church remained in use until January 4, 1912, when
at six o'clock in the evening a fire, due to defective wiring, or
some other cause, completely destroyed its interior and the
roof. So far as is known, Joseph B. Reis of South Illinois
street turned in the alarm to the Jackson Street fire department.
George Kohl, the ten-year old son of Emil J. Kohl, discovered
the blaze, which started underneath the roof. The boy notified
Mr. Reis, who immediately turned in the alarm. The next
morning the walls of the building and the spire were all that
remained. Thus, the second building, then known as St.
Peter's Cathedral, entailed a loss of perhaps $100,000.
Labor, worry, details of finance and supervision followed
the building of the third cathedral. The building committee
consisted of Messrs. H. G. Reis, J. J. Gundlach, George C.
Rebhan, Joseph B. Reis, Dominic Bauer, and Peter Fellner.
In October, 1913, the present cathedral was completed, the
largest, most massive, dignified, and beautiful church of the
The first great event celebrated in it was the consecration
of the Rt. Rev. Henry Althoff on February 24, 1914. In
preparation for the event, the interior of this towering Gothic
structure was redecorated to make what today is believed to be
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 129
one of the most beautiful buildings in the Middle West. In
that same year also occured the elevation of the pastor of the
Cathedral, the Rev. Joseph Mueller, to the rank of Domestic
Prelate, which honor gives him the title of the Right Reverend
Monsignor Joseph M. Mueller.
On January 7, 1887, the Diocese of Belleville was created
and the city was selected as the seat of a bishopric. On April
25, 1888, Bishop John Janssen was consecrated as the first
bishop of the diocese.
On September 23, 1934, the first native of Belleville to
receive the title of monsignor, the Very Rev. M. J. Gruenewald,
was invested wdth the title, together with the office of Papal
Chamberlin. The Most Rev. Henry Althoff presided at the
investiture. The investiture ceremonies for the Very Rev.
Msgr. John F. Fallon of Belleville took place at the same time
at Notre Dame Academy. He had been resident chaplain of
the academy but now became the first diocesan school super-
Celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Belleville,
which has been an Episcopal See for over fifty years, was of
interest to all Catholics of not only this district but of neighbor-
ing ones. This district extends as far south as Cairo and contains
approximately 70,000 Catholics. On the same day the Rev.
Henry Althoff, the Bishop of Belleville, was also honored, for
it was the Silver Jubilee of his consecration.
In that same year, 1939, its Centennial, St. Peter's Cathedral
was also consecrated to the service of God.
LEADING PROTESTANT CHURCHES
The Protestant churches too had early representation in the
community for as early as 1779 the Rev. J. W. Lee preached
the First Methodist sermon in the city, although it was not until
1832 that a Methodist church was built. It stood at the north-
east corner of West Washington and South Third streets.
130 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
According to James Affleck, one of the earliest pioneers, its
bell was the first church bell to be rung in Belleville. The bell
was too heavy for the building, so it was suspended in a
walnut tree that stood on the premises. Among the early circuit
riders, for that is how the early pastors were known as they
travelled from church to church to conduct services, were John
Dew, Samuel Thompson, William L. Deneen, Joseph Edmon-
son, and John S. Barger.
The present Methodist Church, located on East Washington
street, was dedicated on December 23, 1849, by Rev. Went-
worth. Its cost was between seven and eight thousand dollars.
Rev. Rutledge was pastor at the time. The parsonage was built
in 1859. It was in that year also that a gas lighting system was
installed in the church. A new organ was installed in November
1873, and in November 1878 the Heinzelman Brothers donated
a 1500 pound bell for the new steeple. In 1937 Mrs. Florence
Rayhill, widow of Dr. Charles G. Rayhill, donated the present
organ in memory of her husband.
The First Baptist Church of Belleville was organized on
September 17, 1831. Its first meeting was held in the "Brick
Hall" that stood on the corner of South High and Lincoln
streets. In 1833 it held its services in the court house, but in
May, 1844, the congregation contracted for a church building
of its own. This they built on the present site of the Penny Store
at 213-215 East Main street. It was a brick building, thirty by
forty feet, and it was dedicated on September 20, 1845, the
dedication sermon being delivered by Elder James Lemen. Its
steeple was added in 1853 and it was then that the town clock
was placed therein.
The congregation used this building as a place of worship
until 1880, when they sold it to C. A. Monk, who used it as
farm implement store. The church services were then held
in the Rentchler Building, which stood where the Sears-
Roebuck store now stands.
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 131
Meanwhile, the church purchased the corner of Jackson and
East B streets, the former site of the old Presbyterian Church.
Here the present church was erected at a cost of $12,000, and
was dedicated in June, 1883, by Rev. Kenrick.
In June, 1887, the old Presbyterian Church, which had been
built on that corner in 1839 by T, H. Kimber, and which was
later used as a residence for himself, was torn down to make
place for a parsonage, which cost $2,200. In 1906 a memorial
window, honoring the Rev. J. M. Peck, a former pastor, was
placed in the church. Until 1921, the church was known as
the Baptist Church of Belleville. It was then that its name
was changed to The First Baptist Church of Belleville.
In the early 1800's the only Presbyterian minister who visited
this city was the Rev. James Gallaher, who arrived at various
intervals. But in 1833 the first church was organized by the
Rev. J. F. Brooks, to be disbanded, however, in 1837. In 1839,
it was reorganized and it is from this beginning that the First
Presbyterian Church of today took root.
Its first building stood at the present site of the First Baptist
Church, and services were held there until 1844. In November
of that year the new church, located on North Illinois street
at the corner of East A street, was dedicated. Its basement was
used for school purposes, for in the early days schools were
conducted in some of the church buildings. In I860 the church
was damaged to the extent of $100 by fire, but it
continued to hold its services there until the present Presbyterian
Church was erected in 1873 at a cost of $20,000.
The cornerstone of this building was laid in July, 1874. The
copper box imbedded in it contained a Diamond copy of the
Old and New Testament, a shorter Catechism, a historical
sketch of the church, the sermon delivered at the time of its
removal from the old building, the list of church members,
a list of subscribers to the Memorial Fund, the names
of the Trustees, the New York Evangelist, which contained
132 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
a sketch of the Presbyterian Church in Missouri, local news-
papers, specimens of coins and fractional currency of the United
States, the program of the cornerstone laying, with names of
participating ministers and a statement of Professor L. Swift
regarding the "Comet Now in the Heavens." Two years later,
in July 1876 the church was dedicated. Its pastor at the time
was the Rev. O. S. Thompson. Several years ago the entire
church was redecorated and is today one of the outstanding
churches in Belleville.
There are three Evangelical churches in Belleville, the St.
Paul's Evangelical, the Christ Church Evangelical, and the
Trinity Reformed Evangelical.
The former dates back to 1835, when Rev. J. Ries conducted
services in the Court House, although it wasn't until 1839 that
a constitution was drafted and a regular pastor, the Rev. William
Flickinger, was named. He was a graduate of the University
at Erlangen and received an annual salary of $150. The first
church stood on a litde hill where now the Franklin school
stands. That little church, which cost $413, was used as a place
of worship by both Protestants and Catholics, and also as a
school. Here also the Saengerbund had its meetings, and it
also housed their library. It served in that early day as a sort
of community house for the cultured Germans.
St. Paul's Church is sometimes spoken of as the first Pro-
testant church here. However, early records disprove this, show-
ing that there were other Protestant denominations in the field
at the same time, and even a litde earlier. It is, in all probability
the first Protestant church of German language in Southern
The original church dates to about 1850, although it
continued as a school for some years thereafter. Practically no
Evangelical services were held between 1857 and 1859. But
then the congregation was reorganized by a few faithful ones
who built the present church in 1861 at a cost of $4,721. The
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 133
original church was sold for $200. In the years that followed
more church property has been acquired and many improve-
ments and additions have been made. An imposing $12,000
parsonage flanks the church on the east, while a spacious hall
is on the west. Its membership is constantly increasing, and
much of this is due to their popular pastor, the Rev. B. J.
Koehler, who has devoted himself unstintingly and tirelessly
in promoting the welfare of the church.
Christ Evangelical Church, located at the corner of West
A and North Fourteenth streets, was organized in 1893. Rev.
Louis Von Rague, its first pastor, charted the church through
its difficult first five years. During that period of time the
present church was constructed and its Sunday School organized.
The first services of the congregation were held on the second
floor of what is now Engine House No. 2. In the ensuing years
many improvements have been added to the church property,
making it one of the outstanding places in the West End. In
1913, a $10,000 church hall was erected, and in 1928 a modern
annex was added.
The Trinity Reformed Evangelical Church, an off-shoot of
St. Paul's was organized in the spring of 1934 as a Mission
Sunday School, but in the following January, it attained the
status of a church. Its first services were conducted in the
Community House at the northwest comer of South Charles
and East Washington streets. Rev. James V. Ingram was its
first pastor. In June, 1936, the congregation purchased the
Henry Ehret home at 47 North Douglas avenue, and this new-
ly renovated edifice was dedicated as a church on December 13,
1936, and its religious services have been held there and will
continue to be held there until the new church is completed.
It was on March 17, 1861, that Zion Lutheran Church was
organized by a group of thirty members, and its serdces were
held in a litde chapel on North Jackson street. In 1862 this
small group of Lutherans purchased the lot on which the present
134 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
church stands, paying $500 for the same. Here, for $864, they
erected a small building, which served both as a church and
a school, for at that time, they had already secured a teacher
to undertake the education of their children. The new church
flourished and in 1867 a parsonage was erected next to the
The congregation soon outgrew the little church and in 1880
it erected the present church building. Its steeple was 128 feet
high and it contained two bells. A new organ was also installed
and the completed church came to $10,000. In 1887 the
adjoining lot and house east of the church was bought, and the
parsonage was moved to it. Some few years ago an attractive
new parsonage was erected back of the church and facing
North Church street, most of the labor in its construction being
donated by members. The Rev. Thomas Spitz is its present
St. George's Episcopal Church is the only Episcopal church
in the city. On Februar)' 5, 1880, fourteen Belleville men and
women met with the Rev. J. G. Wright of St. Louis to
consider the formation of a mission Episcopal church. At the
time of its establishment it was known as St. Luke's Mission.
Its first meetings were held in a building at North Jackson and
A streets. The cornerstone of the present church was laid in
the fall of 1882, and on February 21, 1884, the new church
was dedicated by the Rev. F. Seymore, Bishop of Springfield.
The church was designed by William Hume of New York and
was built by C. Daehnert. Its windows are of rolled cathedral
glass. Its first organ was a gift of St. Paul's Church in Spring-
field, Illinois, but in July, 1896, a new one was bought.
The church is located at the corner of North High and East
D streets. Adjoining it on the east stands the rectory, which was
built at a cost of $3,200 in 1902.
The German Methodist Church, now known as the Jackson
Street Methodist Episcopal church, was organized in 1848
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 135
by the German Methodists in the community. In 1850 they
bought from the Enghsh Methodists the htde church at the
northeast corner of South Third and West Washington streets.
Here they met to worship until 1864 when they bought the
church and school property of the Rev. Homeier on South
Jackson street for $8,000. This little church had been built in
1858 as an Evangelical church under the Rev. Homeier. The
school building was torn down later to make room for the
parsonage. The steeple was added in 1865 and the next year
the church bell was bought. In 1911 the church was entirely
remodeled and furnished at a cost of $4,000. In 1950 it merged
with the First Methodist and is no longer used for services.
PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS 1848-1951
The history of the Catholic school system dates back to the
year 1848, when the Rev. Casper H. Ostlanbenberg, pastor of
the old St. Peter's Church now the Cathedral, established the
first Catholic school in the city, a grade school for both boys and
girls located on the corner of Third and Harrison streets,
which was then, as it is now, the site of the church grounds.
This first Catholic church was a frame building costing about
$300 and the school was held in the basement of the church
until the new school-house, adjacent to the church, was com-
pleted. Here it remained until 1863, when it was moved to
another location on Harrison street.
Other Catholic grade schools and the year in which they
were established are: St. Luke's, 1881; St. Mary's, 1894; St.
Henry's, 1925; Blessed Sacrament, 1926; St. Theresa's, 1926.
During the Civil War days the Immaculate Conception
Academy staffed by nuns was established for girls, and later
developed into the present Notre Dame Academy. The corner-
stone for this high school was laid on July 27, 1924, by the
Rt. Rev. H. Althoff, D. D., Bishop of Belleville, and the
completed building was dedicated on September 6, 1925. It
136 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
was a four-year high school and boarding school for girls and
was in charge of the Sisters of Notre Dame.
The Rev. F. H. Budde, pastor of St. Peter's established a
school for boys, then known as St. Peter's Institute, which
eventually grew into the Cathedral High School of today. The
Brothers of Mary began teaching in it in 1905 and have
continued so to this day. This four-year high school with
an approximate enrollment of 200 boys, is recognized by
the Illinois state department, the University of Illinois, and the
North-Central Association. The faculty consists of four priests,
nine brothers, and one layman.
On August 6, 1926, the cornerstone of a $50,000 structure
for St. Henri's College was laid. It is a preparator)' school
for young men studying for the priesthood, but includes also
other studies in its curricula. On September 13, 1938, LeClerc,
a four years liberal arts college, was opened for the women.
The teachers in the institution were members of the Sisters of
Notre Dame and the Very Rev. Monsignor John J. Fallon was
the president of the institution. In 1949 it was discontinued
as a college and the building is used today by the students of
In 1861, the Zion Lutheran Church purchased a lot on the
comer of Church and A streets and erected a building to be
used for church and school purposes. The Rev. Mangelsdort
was the first pastor of the church and the first teacher of the
school. The present Lutheran school is at the Southwest corner
of Charles and Washington streets.
There are today nine Catholic and one Lutheran grade
schools which have a combined enrollment of approximately
fifteen hunderd students. The Catholic schools have continued
to grow and today include kindergarten, grade, and high schools.
Sixt'-six sisters and nine brothers instruct the students attend-
ing these various schools today.
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 137
PUBLIC SCHOOLS 1825-1951
The first public school in this community was one built at
Turkey Hill, but it was only a few years later that Belleville
could boast of the beginning of the fine educational system
which it has today. Its earliest schools had their beginnings in
the travelling schoolmaster, the private school, the subscription
school, the church school, and early school associations. Its
schools today with their modern buildings and highly trained
staffs of teachers have travelled a far way from the one-room
schools and poorly educated schoolmasters of the past.
Much of its present educational system is owed to the efforts
of two German intellectuals who were forced to flee from their
homeland after the unsuccessful revolution in 1833. The first
one of these was George Bunsen, who belonged to the liberal
class, left Germany and emigrated to America, leaving his
mark forever on the local culture.
He had always been interested in education, and when he
was a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention in 1847
he tried to establish a state normal school. His ideas, however,
were so far in advance of others that his plan was rejected.
Nevertheless due to his later efforts. Normal University, at
Normal, Illinois, was established.
While on his farm Mr. Bunsen taught his neighbors' children,
named Schott and Reuss, and in 1855 he taught his first
public school in Shiloh Valley. He didn't remain here very
long, for he soon became the country school commissioner,
today known as the county superintendent of schools, and moved
to Belleville in 1857.
Another of these German educators, Henry Raab, became
interested in education after George Bunsen persuaded him
to enter the teaching profession. In 1858 he became a teacher
in West Belleville, and later, the principal of the Washington
School. In 1873 he succeeded Bunsen as city superintendent
of schools, and in 1882 was elected state superintendent of
138 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
schools. When his term expired in 1886, he returned to Belle-
ville and was appointed city superintendent. In 1890 he was
again elected state superintendent, but when this second term
expired, he returned to Belleville and retired from active teach-
ing. The high standard of Belleville's public school system today
owes much to the foundations laid by these two American
pioneers from Germany.
In those early days janitor service was almost unknown, for
most schools were serviced by the students, who usually made
the fire and did the necessary dusting.
A free school law was enacted in Illinois in 1825, but Belle-
ville did not organize a city school system until later when a
better one was enacted in 1855. It was not until April, 1856,
that free public schools were opened. In each ward, there was
a primary school for boys and girls, and one was also established
in West Belleville. Besides there were two grammar schools,
one for boys and one for girls. The boys were taught by Messrs.
Dennis and Fuller, each receiving a salary of $450. The girls'
department of the grammar school was under the tutorship of
Mrs. Charles Edwards and Miss Nancy Hough, the first having
an annual salary of $450, while the latter received $350 a year.
Summer vacations began July 25 and ended August 25. How-
ever, the school day was much shorter than it is now. The first
high school in St. Clair county was established in Belleville
In 1859 a hectic school election was held, with the people
having to decide two important questions at the polls. The first
of these was whether or not German should be compulsory,
and the other was to determine if the regular term should be
ten months. The candidates favoring both the German and the
long term of school, won the election.
The first official document regarding public schools dates
back to 1847, when three school directors were elected. By
1855 the town boasted eleven schoolrooms. However, one gets
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 139
a fair idea of school conditions at that time, when the school
director's report showed that one teacher had one hundred and
tifty-six pupils, and that several of the teachers had no certifi-
cates, and that none of them kept records of any kind. In 1855
the total enrollment was 682, and of these 17 students came
from out of town. The teaching staff numbered fourteen.
In 1850 the Belleville Literary Society was organized. Its
object was, as stated in its by-laws, "… the promotion of
education, science, and literature, by procuring and furnishing
suitable buildings and grounds in the city of Belleville for the
use of schools established by the Belleville School Association,
and for scientific purposes in general." They issued thirty-seven
shares of stock at one hundred dollars per share to the following
members: Theodore Krafft, Henry Goedeking, Joseph Kircher,
Philip B. Fouke, Thomas James, D. M. Hopkins, Charles T.
Elles, Samuel B. Chandler, William C. Kinney, Edward Abend,
Nathaniel Niles, H. Schleth, William Lorey, T. Heberer,
John Scheel, Dr. H. D. Berchelmann, Taylor and Williams,
William H. Underwood, Charles Merck, Theodore Engelmann,
Peter Wilding, John Reynolds, Julius Raith, George T. Neu-
hoff, Jacob Knoebel, Conrad Borman, J. L. D. Morrison, Ed-
ward Tittmann, C. Tittmann, James Affleck, Mace and Heely,
Dr. E. Joerg, J. W. Pulliam, Russell Hinckley, Gustav Koerner,
and James Shields.
Henry Goedeking was its president, and Charles T. Elles,
its secretary-treasurer. One of the first things they did was
to buy the Odd Fellows hall (the present Lincoln Hotel build-
ing). Shortly thereafter they rented it to the Belleville School
Association for school purposes. However in 1863, wanting to
sell the building, they asked the school to vacate, which it
finally did in 1867. In February of 1868, Russell Hinckley, Sr.,
bought the building and converted it into a hotel known as the
Hinckley House. Mr. Hinckley paid $125 for each share of
140 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
It was then that the School Association decided to erect its
own school building, but the project was voted down several
times, finally passing in 1865. Bonds in the amount of
$94,950, with interest at 10 per cent, were then sold. There-
upon the first Washington School was built in 1865 at a cost
of $40,910.20. The first Franklin School was completed next
in 1867 at a cost of $56,451.34.
West Belleville, although an independent community, never-
theless belonged to the local school district. When Theodore
Hilgard laid out that little village he donated Lot 469 to be
used for school purposes. Through public subscription, a small
school house — The Lincoln — was established, which in
1864 was leased for $1.00 for 99 years to School District 4,
later District 118. This transaction makes the Lincoln School
probably the oldest school house in the district. Shortly after the
erection of the Washington and the Franklin Schools an ad-
dition, costing $2,316.20 was added to the Lincoln School.
Prior to 1873, the administration of the schools was in the
hands of school directors. But in 1873 the first school board
was elected. Its members were William Maus, F. J. Staufenbiel,
Henry A. Kircher, George Harvey, Henry Brua, and Theodore
A liberalizing influence entered the Illinois school system in
1870 when the new state constitution eliminated the word
"white" from the school laws, thus assuring Negro children the
same education as others.
German influence has contributed much in directing edu-
cation in the public schools. The kindergarten is definitely a
German contribution, and Belleville was one of the first cities
in the United States to establish such a system for children
of pre-school age.
Earliest mention of kindergartens in the community seems
to have been in 1849-1850, when W. Frank and J. Fraus
each attempted to conduct one. However, no word of their
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 141
success or failure seem to have been recorded. Mr. Fraus
married a Miss Marie Boelte, who had a reputation of being
a pioneer in the kindergarten development.
The first permanent kindergarten to be established here was
a private one. It was in 1874 that the Kindergarten Association
was organized with a membership of one hundred fifty local
ladies. Mrs. Gustav Koerner was its president; Mrs. William
H. Snyder, its vice-president; Mrs. Henry Raab, secretary; i
Miss Josephine Bissel, treasurer. The organization issued seventy
shares of stock at thirty dollars per share. In April 1875 it was
housed in its new $5,000 building. At that time there were
201 children enrolled and three teachers employed. The average
cost per pupil was approximately $20 per annum. This con-
tinued until 1892, when the organization sold its building to
the Philharmonic Society.
Again in 1907 another kindergarten association was formed
and classes were held in the city council's chamber. It was
maintained by the Kindergarten Association until 1915 when it
definitely became a part of the regular school system.
The educators of the city, in 1876, pondered over the
problem of whether or not to open the public schools for the
teaching of an evening course in shorthand, in those days
referred to as phonography. About 100 people had applied for
admission to such classes. Consequently the question arose,
"Is this study of sufficient importance for the city to hire a
special teacher to impart this knowledge?" The question was
finally settled in the affirmative, and before long, students were
given instructions in phonography.
By 1880 the city educational system was comprised of four
schools: the Lincoln, which was remodeled in 1865 and is
now used as a storehouse; the Washington, erected in 1865;
the Franklin, constructed in 1867; and the Bunsen, built in
Belleville always enjoyed a reputation for cleanliness. This
142 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
trait was also made very evident in a decision made by the Board
of Education in 1894, decreeing that the basements of two of
the schools should be fitted with bathtubs to be used by children
found by the truant officer, and others, to be in need of a bath.
The boys who needed a bath received their scrubbing under
the supervision of the school janitor, and the girls were super-
vised by the janitress. The bathtub has long since disappeared
from the grade school, and the shower has taken its place in
some of the later modern school buildings.
Since 1917 a school nurse has been employed and paid a
regular salary. Some of her duties are as follows: (1) inspect
all pupils in September for symptoms of communicable diseases;
(2) visit each school once a week; (3) give each student a sight
test; (4) examine teeth and throat; (5) keep a record of each
student; (6) make home visits to secure correction of remedial
defects; and (7) assist in school dental clinics. The nurse at
present is Mrs. Dorothy Nehrkorn.
Of all the people who have been on the school board, John
Weber served the longest. He was first elected in 1876 and
served continuosly until 1904, a period of 28 years. The man
who served longest as a president of the board is Henry C. G.
Schrader, who was elected in 1931 and retired in 1941, establish-
ing a record of ten years.
During the entire 104 years (1847-1951) of Belleville's public
school system, only three women served as members of the school
board. iMiss Johanna Lorey, a retired teacher, served for a period
of two years, 1922 to 1924, and Mrs. Bessie Steingoetter was
a member from 1923 to 1937, a period of fourteen years, and
Miss Ruth Sterling will have served seven years when her
present term expires in 1951.
Excluding the Lincoln School, which today is used for storage
purposes, and the Central School, which was razed in 1941,
there are nine grade schools. These and the dates of their con-
struction are as follows: (1) Humboldt, 1882; (2) Douglas,
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 143
1893; (3) Henry Raab, 1906; (4) Jefferson, 1912; (5) Dewey,
1928; (6) new Bunsen, 1929; (7) new Washington, 1930;
(8) new Franklin, 1930; (9) Union, 1939. All of these except
the Humbolt and Douglas, are modern and are sturdily cons-
tructed and well ventilated. The most modern of these is the
Union School, a strictly up-to-date and fireproof building that
replaced the old structure which was destroyed by a tornado on
March 15, 1938. All the school grounds are well graded and
The grade schools include the first six grades and the pre-
school kindergartens. The Junior High School, located at the
comer of East Lincoln and South Illinois streets, contains
grades seven and eight for the entire district.
In all there are 93 teachers and supervisors in the public
school system. Its buildings are valued at $2,280,187, while the
valuation of School District 118 is $77,500,000, and the tax
rate is 59 cents.
Work in the Junior High Shool is departmental and is under
the supervision of a competent staff of well-trained teachers.
Music and physical education are taught throughout the grades
and in Junior High School. In the latter, art, cooking, sewing,
and manual training are also taught.
The city superintendents who have served in the public
schools since the establishment of the public school system have
been George Bunsen, Henry Raab, H. K. Updike, J. K. Light,
George Busiek, Oscar Weber, Arthur Odenweller, W. A.
Hough, Harold V. Calhoun, L. W. Van Lanigham, and Ed-
ward L. Allen.
One of the outstanding events of the school year is the
School Picnic. It is the day when all work ceases and the entire
town observes the occasion. The main event of the picnic is,
of course, the school parade that precedes the picnic. Children
from all the schools assemble at each one to form the gaily-
colored procession that is interspersed with bands and drum
144 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
corps. Throngs of spectators line the streets for blocks.
Some classes elected captains to strut along the side of the
children in the parade. They wore uniforms with epaulets, and
tin swords swung from their belts. There were May queens
and flower girls, and the singing of "America" was carefully
rehearsed for weeks. Arriving at the Fairgrounds the children
gathered around the grandstand where they sang "America" to
the accompaniment of the official band. There was no dispersing
until this was done.
The line of march in recent years has been East on Main
Street from the Public Square to Charles street, counter-march
to the Square, west on West Main, then north on Second
street to the Franklin School. Here the students are transported
on busses to Bellevue Park, the scene of the picnic.
From the minutes of the Board of Education it is evident
that the picnic was instituted at a early date, for records of the
May 1858 meeting show that June 18 was designated as the
first picnic day in which all the pupils of the public schools
participated. It was held in the Huff Garden in West Belleville,
and has been an annual event ever since. Committees are ap-
pointed to make necessary arrangements, which usually consist
of the selection of a site, selling of concessions, arrangements
for bands, selection of the line of march, and choosing the date.
The earlier school picnics were even more enthusiastically
celebrated than have been the later ones, for then, in the horse
and buggy days, there was less social competition and present-
day restrictions against the sale of beer at the picnic were not
There formerly was a bar at every school picnic, and a
popular place it was. It, of course, did not receive the unanimous
approval of the citizens and every year the Women's Christian
Temperance Union presented a petition to the school board
asking it to dispense with the sale of intoxicants at the picnic.
However, the opposition to the bar was of no avail until 1916
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 145
when the board finally voted to ban the foamy brew.
Lunches properly labelled, were brought to the grounds free
of charge. Many mothers brought the family lunch in huge
baskets, usually covered with a large red and white checked
tablecloth. There was an ornate merry-go-round, sometimes
called the "Flying Dutchman," that went 'round and 'round to
the organ tune of " The Last Rose of Summer." In the afternoon
teachers would meet their classes at a pre-arranged spot and
games such as "Cat and Mouse," "Clap-in, Clap-out," etc. were
Until recently, the picnic was usually held on a Friday in
May. If it rained the picnic was postponed to the same day of
the following week. However, that has now been changed, and
a Wednesday in June is selected.
Such were the picnics of old. Those of today do not differ
so greatly from those of yesterday. The merry-go-round is still
with us, although its tune has changed. The children still march
as they did then, although not to the old Fairgrounds.
In pioneer days it was always hard to pass new educational
measures, since our forefathers, in their frugality, voted against
new tax levies. As a result of this, many private schools devel-
oped. It was not until the end of the Civil War that interest
in education received any attention from the public and this
period marks the beginning of local high schools. Before that
day, public education consisted only of the grade schools, but
in some of these a ninth grade was included, and from that grade
developed the high school as we know it now.
The high school in Belleville was created by a resolution
passed by the Board of Education on February 2, 1858. This
high school, such as it was, continued in existence until March
15, 1878, when the board passed another resolution abolishing
it because the public still believed that its benefits did not
justify its existence. Even though the high school was dis-
continued, many of the courses continued to be a part of the
146 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
curriculum and in 1886 the eighth grade included such subjects
as geometry, German, physiology, algebra, physics, botany, and
In 1888 all the eighth grades, A and B section, were trans-
ferred to the new Central School that had just been completed.
Here Mr. Klein was the principal and Messrs. Brua, Updike,
and Dapprich were the teachers. In September, 1890, the high
school was formally opened, and in 1892 the University of
Illinois placed it on the accredited list. It was a three-year school,
but in 1908 became a full four-year high school.
It remained in this building and under the jurisdiction of
the Board of Education of District 118 until the year 1916.
On May 12, 1916, a plan for a new high school, to be
erected somewhere in St. Clair Township, was voted on at a
special election. By popular vote, the people decided to replace
the city high school with a township high school. The new
district included all of St. Clair Township, to which most of
Belleville belongs. As a result of this election the Township
High School Board of Education took over the city high school,
but classes continued to meet in the old building until the
completion of the new Township High School.
Three sites were offered as possible locations for the school
( 1 ) a plot of ground to the east of the city; (2) a plot in the sub-
urbs of Swansea; (3) a plot called Christy Place in the western
part of the city. It was put to a vote and the Christy tract was
chosen. It contained twenty-six acres lying between West Main
street on the north, the Illinois Central Railroad tracks on the
south, the Southern Railroad tracks on the west, and within one
hundred feet of South Twenty-third street on the east.
On May 16, 1916, the cornerstone for the main building of
the new school was formally laid with impressive ceremony.
The exercises opened with a prayer by Rev. Highfield and
were followed by a speech by Mr. George Niess. In the corner-
stone located at the northeast corner of the main building, was
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 147
placed a copper box inside of which were placed copies of each
of the local newspapers, a histor)^ of the organization, a list of
the teachers of the school and the school officers, a dollar bill,
a half-dollar, a quarter, a dime, a nickel, a penny, and a message
for future generations written in pencil on three pages of fool-
The Main Building was built by Bauer Brothers and the
architects were Frank Riester and Otto W. Rubach. It was
modeled after the New Trier Township High School at Kenil-
worth, Illinois, and was completed on February 12, 1917. The
dedication ceremony of the completed building was held on
June 20 and 21, 1917.
It began on the evening of June 20, with a speech by State
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Francis G. Blair. On the
afternoon of June 21, a bronze tablet was presented by des-
cendants of four of Belleville's citizens who had been governors
of Illinois. The tablet was unveiled by Mrs. Mary Isabella
Wickenhauser, a great-granddaughter of Lieutenant Governor
William H. Kinney, and by Miss Sylvia Portuondo, a great-
granddaughter of Governor William Bissel. Present in the au-
dience at the unveiling were also Mrs. Gustavus A. Koerner,
a daughter-in-law of Lieutenant Governor Gustavus A. Koerner,
and a granddaughter of Lieutenant Governor Kinney; Mrs. B.
H. Ferguson, a granddaughter of Governor Ninian Edwards,
and Mrs. August Rombauer, a daughter of Lieutenant Governor
The members of the first Township High School Board of
Education were as follows: Louis E. Wangelin, president;
Rollin M. Hayes, secretary; and David O. Thomas, Andrew
Kissel, Charles Lenz, Fred F. Fleischbein, Julius Heinemann,
and C. Braunersreuther, board members.
The faculty at the Township High School in 1916 consisted
of fifteen teachers headed by H. G. Schmidt, principal, and
J. H. Yarbrough, assistant principal. Of the original teachers
148 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
remaining today Orena Farmer, Pearl Johnson, F. J. Friedli,
and John Karch remain. The other teachers at that time were
EHzabeth Beyer, Ludwig Carl, M. G. Humphrey, Maude Kurre,
Lester Miner, Henry W. Brua, Estelle Thurston, Grace Bertram,
Cordelia Gummersheimer, Jennie Knowles, and Kurt Busiek.
In July 1945 Mr. Schmidt as principal was replaced by Dr.
Hal O. Hall, while Mr. Fritz Friedli became the assistant
The cafeteria was added in April, 1917, and was placed under
the supervision of Mrs. Kathr)'n Jones, who remained in charge
until July, 1949, when she resigned and was succeeded by
Miss Jewel Owens. It has a seating capacity of 230 students,
and approximately 1800 students and teachers are served there
dailv during the three lunch periods.
The next buildings added were the present girls gymnasium,
in 1919, and the auditorium in 1924. The enrollment increased
greatly so that classrooms also had to be added. In the south
end of the auditorium are eight rooms available for classes.
The north side contains an assembly room seating 1,200, where
all plays, some graduation exercises, concerts, and lyceums are
held. There the assembly is held for students, faculty, and
visitors. The programs are put on by the students unless a
lyceum program has been scheduled.
The present girls gymnasium was orginally built in 1919
for the boys, but was turned over to the girls when a larger
one was completed for the boys in 1937.
The present library building was added in 1936. It is used
today for both class and library work. There are ten classrooms
on the first floor. The second floor contains five rooms and the
study room, which has tables for 350 students and a library
of approximately 9,000 volumes and sixty periodicals.
The new boys gymnasium was completed in 1937 and is
considered one of the most modern and up-to-date buildings
of its kind in the state. It is 140 by 117 feet and has a seating
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 149
capacity of 600 people in the permanent seats, 800 in the
bleachers, and 1,100 in the telescopic bleachers.
The latest addition to make the Belleville Township High
School a million dollar plant is its magnificient stadium located
in the rear of the cafeteria. Work was begun on this by the
Work Projects Administration (W.P.A.) in March, 1939 and
it was completed in April, 1940. It is today the finest stadium
in the Southwest Conference, and is one that many colleges
would be proud to own.
At the same time that the stadium was built the school also
modernized the track and tennis courts. The track is one of the
finest, containing a baseball diamond in the center, while the
tennis court is an all-weather one of the best contruction.
In September 1950, 1330 students enrolled in the local
public high school. In October 495 more enrolled for night
school, making a grand total of 1825 students enrolled that
year. The six massive brick buildings with the half dozen tennis
courts, track, and stadium are valued at over $1,729,700, while
that of the district is valued at $118,000,000.
The seventy-seven members of the faculty teach a total of
ninety-four different courses. The high school work is divided
into three main divisions: 1. college preparatory; 2. commercial;
and 3. industrial.
The average tax rate is forty-six cents, per $100.00 of assessed
valuation, while non-resident students each pay a sum of $290
The high school is approved by the North-Central Association,
Illinois University, and the State Department of Education. In
September, 1946 a two year junior college offering twenty-seven
different courses was added, making Belleville the first in
Southern Illinois to have such an institution.
The High School Board today consists of Dr. George E.
Meyer, president; Miss Ruth Fincke, secretary; and members,
Elmer Peters, Clarence A. Manring, Eugene G. Hepp, Ernst
150 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
Stein, Herbert Kaufmann, and Russell Thome.
Belleville today has sixteen grade schools, the Junior High
School, three high schools and one junior college. Its education-
al facilities rank high and are the best in Southern Illinois. It
is a recognized fact that education is the first line of national
defense, and as such , it should be extended rather than curtailed.
Horace Mann once said, "A true patriot is known by the
interest he takes in the education of the young." Education of
youth must not be neglected, nor should it be permitted to
suffer any loss of educational opportunity, for our future position
in the world depends gready upon how well the boys and girls
are trained. Teachers, as a group, are contributing a noble
service to the country.
Although school days constitute only a short span of life,
they nevertheless present one with programs for life, making
it easier to choose the right career, and helping to better fulfill
By means of well organized instruction in schools, an op-
portunity is provided to study the principle of right and profit-
able living. Schools are maintained with this in view. They
strive to provide the individual with intelligence to prepare him
for better living, to make of him a more efficient worker, to
train for leadership, to encourage more intelligent voting, thus
making of him the best type of citizen.
Schools are not the only agencies for education, however,
for included in these are the church, the home, the library,
newspapers, magazines, lyceums, public forums, radio, television,
motion pictures, and playgrounds, all of which are educational
institutions. The power of the printed page cannot be measured,
although there is no doubt that much knowledge can be
acquired by contact and conversation with others who are
intelligent, either through association, experience or education.
The school group, though, is the largest medium of education.
It receives the child at the age of five. It keeps its doors open
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 151
to mature adults. It helps to prepare the young people for their
responsibility as citizens, which is important because each
generation profits through the experience of those of the past.
The creed of the public school is as follows:
I am the guardian of the hopes of every generation, and I
am true to my trusts.
In me, all things are equal. In me are no distinctions among
those who come to me, except the paramount distinction be-
tween those who are proud to serve and those who seek only
to be served.
It is my duty not only to teach, but equally to learn; to keep
perpetually a light among my altars, kindling it forever afresh
from the inextinguishable flame that burns in every young
heart— the sacred fires of love of knowledge and love of
.country; for if I succeed, America succeeds. I am the true de-
mocracy. I am the American school.
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY 1836-1951
The oldest library in Illinois is the Belleville Public
Library. It has today (1951) functioned for 115 years, having
been organized in 1836.
In the period of rapid German immigration to the Middle
West in the early 1820's and 1830's, there came to this area
a group of outstanding persons. They were outstanding for their
scholarship, culture, and high ideals; all were graduates of
and professors at German universities. To them the political
oppression in the Germany of that day had become very
stiffling, and America with its opportunity for freee speech,
liberal thinking, and the utter absence of political oppression,
appealed to them.
Brilliant reports of the opportunities for scientific farming
in this fertile area had reached these men and this was the
incentive for them to try farming as a new means of livelihood.
152 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
However, in translating themselves from German scholars into
American farmers, they held fast to their love of learning and
culture. They were known in the surrounding country as "Die
Lateiner" or "The Latin Farmers."
They met regularly, usually on Sunday afternoons, for dis-
cussion of political, social, and economic questions of the day.
It was at one of these meetings held on the farm of Dr.
Anton Schott, June 26, 1836, that the idea of a circulating
library was conceived. Just at this time there was published a
twelve-volume work of "The Life of George Washington" by
Jared Sparks, which was expensive and almost prohibitive for
individual purchase. The burning desire to explore this work
was no doubt the seed which germinated in the mind of Dr.
At this time he read a paper setting forth the value of an
organization of this kind and also showed that each one of the
group could pool his own private collection of books into a
central collection for the common use of all. He found his
audience in a receptive mood and it was agreed to meet again
on July 17 of that year.
Fifteen men responded to this invitation and on that day the
organization was perfected. The constitution and by-laws were
adopted on August 14, and each member of this group of
sixteen men subscribed an initiatory fee of $3.00 in consum-
mation of the plan. Thus the "German Library Society of St.
Clair County" was established and has functioned continuously
ever since. George Bunsen was its first president; Theodore
Hilgard, its first treasurer; and Dr. Anton Schott was appointed
the first librarian with the library located in his farm home in
The following sixteen gentlemen were the charter members:
Edouard Hilgard, Fritz A. Wold, Fritz Hilgard, Sr., Theo.
Engelmann, Theodore Hilgard, Jr., Julius Scheve, Gustav
Koerner, Dr. Anton Schott, Herman Wolf, George Bunsen,
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 153
Wilhelm Decker, Joseph Ledergerber, Dr. Adolph Reuss, Otto
Hilgard, Dr. Adolph Berchelmann, and J. C. Hildenbrandt.
After an existence of four weeks the collection numbered
93 volumes and at end of the first year it had grown to 346
volumes. The set of Jared Sparks' "Life of Washington" was
purchased and this work of twelve volumes is still on the
shelves of the Belleville Public Library. The members donated
generously the books from their own individual collections. It is
a fine index to the patriotism of these new Americans that a
life of George Washington should have become the nucleus of
a public library.
A glance at the financial condition in the first year of this
infant project is indeed interesting. In the first year twenty-four
members paid the initiatory fee of $3.00, making the total
income $72.00. The expenditures were $25.50, leaving a balance
of $46.50. The finances were closely guarded; the annual
budget, receipts, and expenditures were laid before the general
meetings and minutely scrutinized before being adopted. An-
other example of the foresight of these men was that in April,
1839, they began the creation of a sinking fund of 20 per cent
of all receipts toward the erection of a building.
On February 22, 1839, the library was incorporated by the
General Assembly of Illinois and the incorporation papers were
signed by Gov. Theo. Carlin. One of the striking paragraphs
of this charter was Section 4 which says, "Female members of
this society shall not be permitted to vote in elections, nor in
any other cases."
The hbrary remained in the home of Dr. Schott until March
13, 1853, when it was moved to Belleville. The collection by
this time had grown to 1906 volumes, and it was no longer
expedient for the members, many of whom lived in Belleville
to go a distance of several miles to Shiloh Valley for the ex-
change of books. A room was provided by the Belleville Literary
Society in what was the Odd Fellows' Hall, where the Lincoln
Hotel now stands. Later the Odd Fellows' Hall came to be used
154 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
as a school building and the library was moved to a room over
the store of Goedeking and Kircher, where Mr. Joseph Kircher
acted as librarian without pay.
The library remained here until December 16, 1860, when
it was combined with the Belleville Saengerbund. The Saenger-
bund, as the name implies, was an organization for the study
of vocal culture, and it also had a collection of books. In order
to increase the usefulness of both book collections, it was
decided to combine them under the name of "Belleville Saenger-
bund and Librar)' Society." This consolidation took place in
1860 and a charter was obtained in 1861. Dr. Schott became
the first president of this new organization, with Bemhard
Wick, Fred Reiss, and Jacob Weingaertner as its board of
Mr. Gustav Kellermann was the new librarian, but was
succeeded in 1863 by Mr. HenTy Raab, who served until 1883.
His son, the late Dr. E. P. Raab, was the assistant librarian,
whose dutv it was to ser^e the children at this time. Another
noteworthy feature of this period was that in 1873 a rule was
made which admitted "ladies to full membership." The library
functioned under this plan for 22 years; the Dook collection
made rapid increases and had by this time a collection of
In 1883 the Saengerbund, agreeing to dissolve, offered its
library to the citv of Belleville with the proviso that it must
remain forever a free public librar)' and that the city assume its
debt of $1,000. The city was favorably disposed to this and its
council passed an ordinance to that effect.
Two men ^vho were among the original founders of the
libran% lived to see it transferred to the city. They were Gustav
Koemer and Theo. J. Kraft. Mr. Koemer became the first
president of the board of trustees and remained so until his
death 1896. Mr. F. J. Staufenbiel was appointed librarian, and
the librar)' was opened free to the public on March 10, 1884
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 155
on the second floor of the present Engine House on South
By 1872, the space here had become inadequate and the
library board petitioned the city council to permit it to erect a
building. This was granted under the able leadership of Mayor
Herman G. Weber. The present City Hall on South Illinois
street was built by the library board and opened on October
9, 1893, with the city offices on the first floor and the library
and reading room on the second. Here a steady advance was
made, new methods of administration were introduced, and
obsolete ones discarded. The noteworthy thing about this period
of the librar''s history was the splendid cooperation begun with
the public schools.
On December 10, 1903, Mr. Staufenbiel passed away after
almost twenty years of devoted effort. He was succeeded as
librarian by A. M. Wolleson, during whose administration the
most important innovation was the opening of a separate child-
ren's room in 1906, with an attendant in charge. Childrens
rooms were just beginning to be established throughout the
country in the late 1890's.
In 1912 the library was again seized with growing pains. The
second floor of the City Hall was wholly inadequate. Mr. Curt
H. G. Heinfelden, himself the son of a former library trustee
and grandson of former Herman G. Weber, under whose
administration the City Hall was built, was now the president
of the library board. He had opened correspondence with the
Carnegie Corporation trying to interest it in donating a new
building to the city. He met with many disappointments, and
it seemed almost impossible for the city to comply with the
necessary requirements set up by the Corporation. However,
after many months of patient and persistent effort, Mr. Hein-
felden received an affirmative answer. This required, in sub-
stance, that if the city would provide a site for the library and
pledge itself to appropriate annually not less than the sum of
156 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
$4,500.00 for its maintainance, the Corporation would grant
the city the sum of $45,000 for a new building.
This was agreed to by the city council, and an ordinance
was passed setting all future minimum annual appropriations
at $4,500. The preliminary work of planning the building
covered many months of work on the part of the library board.
The construction was begun on March 1, 1915; the comer-
stone was laid on March 22, 1915; and the building was com-
pleted and dedicated on January 20, 1916. In February 1919,
Mr. A. M. Wolleson resigned and Miss Bella Steuemagel was
appointed to succeed him as librarian.
The occuation of the new building in 1916 was no doubt
the most important milestone in the history of the library, and
since then it has enjoyed its greatest period of activity. Steady
and normal progress has been made; as soon as new innovations
in library service have developed they have been adopted. Every
effort has been made to keep in step with the time.
Among the more important innovations have been: entire
recataloguing the book collection, inaugurating a new registra-
tion and checkup system, moving the children's room to the
ground floor, opening a junior adult department, establishing
the West Side Branch Library, introducing classroom collections
in the schools, preparing a mounted picture collection, giving
free library service to the hospital, and segregating the books
on art and music in an art and music room.
That the library has been a good investment for the taxpayer
is due to a composite effort, not only of the persons directly
responsible for its administration, but also to the splendid
response of the community itself, with its spirit of appreciation
of what a power good books and library service can be in
In review of this period of a little more than a century, there
may be singled out three individuals whose vision and devotion
to the cause of library service in Belleville has been most
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 157
praiseworthy. They were citizens who were wiUing to go the
second mile, citizens who actually demonstrated a tine concep-
tion of good citizenship. The first was that grand old man,
Dr. Anton Schott, without whose wisdom, initiative, and in-
telligent guidance this pioneer adventure would never have
been conceived. Gustav Koerner, who through all the years,
still remains perhaps our first citizen, and whose devotion of
sixty years made the library a thing very near to his heart, was
the second. The third was Curt Heinfelden, whose preseverance,
persistence, and determination secured a building which might
otherwise never have been achieved for many years.
ST. ELIZABETH'S HOSPITAL 1881
On November 3, 1875, three Franciscan Sisters from
Muenster, Germany, arrived in Belleville and began a provision-
al hospital. They occupied a small one-story, two-room brick
building on West Garfield street, between Richland (now
South Second) and Race (now South Third), on a plot of
ground in the rear of the present St. Peter's Cathedral. For
many years this hospital was also used for a base and as a home
for the sisters.
There was little room in this primitive building, but the
sisters made up for this in their zeal to alleviate the suffering
of the sick. These three nuns went out on duty calls in their
self-sacrificing way and with great devotion, to administer to
the best of their ability to the patients of all creeds, color,
nationality background, or station in life. Their services were
greatly appreciated and resulted eventually in the erection of
the nucleus of the present hospital a three-story brick building
on the very ground upon which the present modern hospital
has been built.
Prior to this time Belleville had no hospital except what was
then called the County Poor House for indigent persons. In
1880 a new building was constructed upon the hospital's present
158 LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
site on the land that had been donated for this purpose by
Mr. Huber. On May 22, 1881 the sisters moved into their
Shordy after the opening of the hospital it was decided that
it should be opened to patients of all creeds and all denomina-
tions, and that all reputable physicians having a state licence
should be allowed to attend patients there.
Although the hospital was a haven for the sick, the institution
was not patronized as it should have been. There was great
reluctance on the part of all patients to enter it, pardy because
the people did not yet realize the advantages of a hospital.
Patients were usually treated at home and nursed by one of
the family. Only the extremely desperate cases, which members
of the family could not handle, were sent to the hospital.
Naturally many deaths resulted and the general feeling was
wide-spread that entering the hospital was a last resort and was
equivalent to being carried out as a corpse.
In 1892 two wings were added. Another wing was added in
1903, and in 1918 the large west wing as constructed. The
maternity department was built in 1926 on the third floor of
the east end, and so constructed that it is entirely separated
from the rest of the hospital. In the same year a new $200,000
addition was made and all modem equipment was installed.
Those in charge of the hospital today are the Sisters of Saint
Francis, whose Mother House is in Springfield, Illinois. Dr.
August F. Bechtold performed the first operation in the new
operating room of St. Elizabeth's Hospital.
The new $150,000 four-story addition to St. Elizabeth's
Hospital was dedicated on July 29, 1928. The Rt. Rev. Bishop
Henry Althoff opened the dedication. Rev. Thomas Bowdem,
S.J., Dean of the School of Education of St. Louis University,
was the principal speaker, while Monsignor M. J. Gruenewald
acted as master of ceremonies.
The personnel now consists of 35 nuns, more than 50 nurses,
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 159
and 30 general maids. In addition there are the laboratory
technicians, X-ray technicians, dieticians, orderlies, office girls,
general maids, maintainance men, cooks, laundry help, and
others. The first and second floors are for general medical and
surgical cases, and the third floor is for the maternity cases.
The hospital has four operating rooms, two for clean surgery,
one for puss cases, and one for special surgery.
The hospital, as it now stands, is a great credit to the work
of the Sisters of St. Francis and to the people of Belleville in
general— a dream that finally came true.
In 1933 the old Harrison Machine Shop was remodelled and
connected by a corridor with St. Elizabeth hospital and in 1934
part of it became the dormitory' of the hospital maids and the
rest is used as a garage. It will be torn down when the present
hospital is remodeled.
Industry and Labor
Early Industries 1814-1850
'elleville's ideal location in the heart of the great Middle
West makes a vast market area accessible to it. Fertile soil and
an abundance of raw materials have made this location desirable
as a residential district as well as an industrial one.
Of the early industries the mills were the most important
for they were real labor savers. Before their day people pounded
their corn for bread or grated it into a coarse meal
which our forefathers contended produced bread that tasted
just as good as if the flour had been made at the mill.
The first mill in this vicinity was built by Elijah Chapman
in 1810 and was located on the west bank of the Richland Creek,
north of Main street. It was both a water mill and a tread mill.
Actually it was this primitive contrivance that gave Belleville
its real start as a village. Its first power was a brace of oxen
walking on an endless journey on a tread mill. In the spring
and fall, when the stream was high, water power was used to
grind the corn into meal and the wheat into flour. It had been
erected on a most logical location, however, for all the mills,
distilleries, and soap factories, depending on water power, were
located on that creek.
Another mill was built in 1815 by Moses Quick just south
of the St. Clair County Fairgrounds. It was later sold to
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 161
Major Washington West, and remained in operation until it
was destroyed by high water.
In 1882, Edmund Wilkinson and John Ringgold built a large
ox mill on the site of the present R. A. Halbert residence on
South High street. This was sold to Jacob Whiteside, who later
sold it to Samuel Ogle. In 1826 it was bought by Thomas
Harrison and Son who soon thereafter used steam as the motive
power. This steam mill was the first of its kind in the state.
The Harrisons, possessing much business ability, made a
great success of the mill, which in turn proved to be a great
benefit to the entire community, besides providing its owners
with an immense fortune. In 1836 it was moved to the north
side of Richland Creek and West Main street. The mill burned
to the ground in 1884, the fire spreading so rapidly that nothing
was saved but a few barrels of wheat. That which had once
been the pride of the village, in a few moments was nothing
but a mass of ruins, entailing a loss of $80,000. The mill was
rebuilt, but during that time the hundred unemployed millers
created a serious relief problem for the community. In 1889
it was incorporated as the Harrison-Switzer Mills and in
1917 it became the J. F. Imbs Milling Company.
That old ox mill and its successors constituted the most im-
portant of the early Belleville industries. For more than 150
years it has been located at West Main street and Richland
Creek. While not all of the early mills were as famous as the
present Imbs Mill, all of them helped to make the city the focal
point of attraction to farmers for miles around.
Hinckley's Mill, located on the southeast comer of West
Lincoln and South First streets was built by Richard Rapier
in 1832, and disposed of by him in 1837. In 1847 Russell
Hinckley bought it and operated it continually thereafter until
The Crown Mill stood on the northeast comer of East Main
and Walnut streets, occupying the site of a former small steam
162 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
mill, which was operated by a Mr. Meister. One of the best
equipped in the state, it was owned by J. F. Imbs, Charles
N. Hahn, and Fred Engelke. In the early 1880's its capacity
was 600 barrels of flour per day, and at that time it employed
more than fifty men. This company was the first in Belleville
to take advantage of the telephone.
Another of the very early industries in our community was
the distiller)' built in 1880 by the owner of the leading hotel,
an ex-justice of the peace, and ex-jailer, named Tannehill. His
farm, mill, and distillery, were mere auxiliaries to his hotel,
in that they supplied most of the things it needed. His distillery,
one of the largest in Southern Illinois, helped to make his
hotel the general headquarters of an indiscriminate admixture
of judges, lawyers, jurors, witnesses, politicians, scalawags, and
others. Here the entire output of his distillery was consumed
and often on public occasions three or four barrels of whiskey
were emptied in a single day. It was generally used in its virgin
purity— made today and consumed tomorrow— by his wholesale
or retail thirstv customers. A few apples, roasted to a rich
brown, were put in to the barrel and these gave it a rich brown
color. Tannehill's distiller)' remained in operation until 1830,
when it burned to the ground.
Tannehill created a bit of a sensation when he undertook to
build a windmill for grinding the grain on his farm. He got
the mill to run, but was unable to control its speed for want
of a regulator, which he did not know how to build. For the
want of this, the entire mill proved a failure.
A storm caused the sails to revolve with such velocity that the
runner was thrown some seventy feet and became imbedded
in the soil. The momentum of the shaft threw it out of place
and it continued to run until it had destroyed all the machinery
in the mill. Thus came to an end the first wind-powered mill
in this vicinity. Tannehill then resolved to try water power
and was more successful with it.
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 163
Before 1828, the reaping hook and the sickle were the only
means of har'esting wheat. It was then that the cradle came
into use. Until then, twenty acres of wheat was considered a
large crop for any farmer, for it would take one man twenty
days to cut, bind, and shock it, but with the cradle he could
do the work in half that time.
Threshing the wheat was still the same process it had been
in ancient days. The old flail was colorful but very difficult,
for it was little more than a stick, and with it the grain was
beaten from the stalks. The only improvement on this was
the threshing of grain by the trampling of oxen and horses.
The bundles were laid two deep on a circular floor enclosed
in a fence. The horses or oxen were then brought in and the
ringmaster would drive them round and round until the grain
was all threshed out. The straw was then pitched out and
the grain heaped in the center. Later came the horse power
thresher, which was nothing more than a cylinder built in a
strong frame into which the wheat was put. The rear of this
was open so that the men could rake out the straw from the
In the late nineteenth century the manufacture of cigars
was a leading industr>^ in Belleville. In 1884 the city boasted
of eighteen cigar shops in which 125 hands were employed.
Statistics showed that in 1883 some 2,770,505 cigars were
manufactured locally all of which found a ready market. Owners
of these shops were: John Ackermann, John Bux, Albert Bert-
schinger, August Fernau, Daniel Fischer, Charles Goelitz,
Martin Henkemeyer, the Kaemper brothers, Charles Knefel-
kamp, Henry Krisher, Jacob Magin, Henry Meyer, Henry
Nagel, Jacob Scheu, Jr., Henry Viehmann, Nic Wilhelm, John
Winkler, and H. R. Willman.
The first tobacco and cigar shop in the city was opened by
Aaron Zeiler in 1840 in the first block of West Main street.
He manufactured his own brand of cigars but also kept on hand
164 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
an assortment of Melle, Principe, Half-Spanish, and Regalia
"Segars," all of which were the leading brands of the day.
Later Martin Henkemeyer opened a cigar store one door
east of the Public Square on the north side of East Main
street. Here he manufactured his famous Henkemeyer cigar
which because of its fine quality, soon became known as a
very fine smoke. It is still being made by the Mohr brothers,
who have maintained its quality and reputation.
As the decade of the 1840's drew to a close, twelve different
industries had already located in Belleville. They were turning
out some of the finest furniture, best carriages, and strongest
wagons, all of which could be purchased at a low price.
The making of whiskey, too, flourished at that time, for a
rather extensive steam distillery was producing, on the average,
sixteen barrels of whiskey each day. Another one was nearing
completion, and it was estimated it would produce twenty
barrels a day. A brewery had been built and was supplying
the public with eleven different kinds of beer, from the famous
London stout down to mere colored water.
In the past as now, breweries played a conspicuous part in
Belleville's industrial history, and it was here that the first
brewer)' in Illinois was established, when Jacob Fleischbein
opened one in 1832. It was located on the south west corner of
the Square where the Highway building now stands.
In 1837 Abram Anderson established one where now the
jail is located on West Washington street. In the years that
followed others were opened, and by 1860 there were seven
in operation. Besides the aforementioned ones, excluding the
Fleischbein Brewery, which had ceased to exist, these were:
Simon Eimer's Washington Brewery (west side of South
Second street between Harrison and Lincoln streets); Fidel
Stoelzle's Brewery (northeast corner of West Main and North
Third streets); The Heberer Brothers' City Park Brewery
(northeast comer of North Second and West A streets); John
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 165
Klug's Illinois Brewery (southwest corner of North Second and
West A streets); Priester and Villinger's Southern Brewery
(in the fourth block on South Charles street); and Philip Neu
and Peter Gintz's Brewery (located in West Belleville). In
those days the government levied a tax of fifty dollars on all
first grade breweries and a twenty-five dollars tax on all second
grade ones. Besides this it collected a dollar for every barrel of
Of all of these breweries Simon Eimer's, established in
1846-47, was the largest. It occupied a half-block, and had
beer cellars two stories deep. Reputed to be the largest brew^ery
west of the Alleghany mountains, it's output w^as 8,000 barrels
per year, much of which was sold as far away as New Orleans.
Fidel Stoelzle started his brewery in 1851 as a maltster, but
in 1853 he added the necessary buildings and machinery and
began the manufacture of beer. His brewery occupied about
a half-block of ground, and the water for its use was pumped
by a twelve-horse power engine from a clear spring situated
about two blocks away. In the early 1880's its capacity was
about 15,000 barrels per annum.
What is now the Star Brewerey was organized by Messrs.
Neuhoff and Bressler. It was called the Nebraska Brewery, a
name given it by someone by reason of the firm's initials, N. B.
When Mr. Bressler sold his interest to a Mr. Loeser the firm
became knowm as Neuhoff and Loese. But Neuhoff soon retired,
and the next proprietors were Loeser and Fuchs. The latter
sold his interest to Hubert Hartmann, and after a time Loeser
passed away, and his interests were purchased by Bernhardt
Hartmann. The brewery was then known as the Hartmann
Brothers Brewery and continued as such until September 1882,
when Bernhardt bought out his brother's interest. Its symbol
was the star that was used on its bottles. Hence the brewery
became the Star Brewery and has remained such even until
166 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
Today's Western Brewery is the outgrowth of one organized
in 1851 by Philip Neu and Peter Gintz, who conducted the
business as partners until the death of the latter on August 1 1 ,
1873. The present brewery was organized when the interests
were taken over by John Kloess, William Brandenburger,
Valentine Steg, and Adam Gintz with a paid up capital stock
of $50,000 dollars. One by one these disposed of their stock
until February, 1881, Adam Gintz acquired it all, paying
$32,500 dollars for the same. Under him the brewery was gready
improved. He conducted it until August 1898, when he sold
the stock for $118,000 to a Chicago syndicate, which, in turn,
disposed of it in April, 1912, to Henry L. Griesedieck, who has
conducted the brewery ever since.
LATER INDUSTRIES, 1850
In 1850, as now, many "shoe string" starts were still possible
in business. Today's and yesterday's foundry heads were not
financiers, but nearly all of them were sand and clay shovelers
with enough initiative and ability, in a favorable economic era,
to rise to greater heights. Some of the early foundries were so
small that today they could be tucked away in a corner of one
of their present storage warehouses. Many of them did not
make stoves but various parts for farm implements. When the
demand for foundry work increased, such products as mining
machines, sinks, and safes were manufactured on a jobbing
Belleville's outstanding industry has undoubtly been the stove
and iron business. In it was invested an enormous capital and
then a year's production was gigantic. It brought more people
and more wealth to the Belleville community than any other
The first foundry to manufacture stoves was the old Pump
and Skein, built in 1873. By 1884 it had grown so large that
it was able to manufacture 20,000 gasoline stoves for a single
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 167
St. Louis firm. The first large and exclusive stove foundry was
the Belleville Stove and Range Company, which was organized
in 1885 and was an outgrowth of the Pump and Skein Com-
pany. By 1890 it was manufacturing some 27,500 stoves a year.
Other new foundries now began to spring up in various parts
of the city, and it was commonly belived there was a great
future in this industry. Prior to 1911 some fifty foundries had
begun here, but many of them either merged, sold out, or went
out of business. There were large jobbing foundries that made
many other kinds of stoves besides the cannonball type. Some
of the early foundries were: Rogers', 1878; Eagle, 1883; Baker's
Stove Works, 1882; Enterprise, 1896; St. Clair, 1890; Excelsior,
1891; Quality, 1903; Oakland, 1905; Orbon, 1902; Roesch,
1907; and Never Break, 1910. In addition to these there are
now the Empire, Harmony, Egyptian, Supreme, and Premier.
A t'pical example of the way some of our foundries have
changed names, is that of the Richland Foundry, which was
organized in 1902. In 1910 it was known as the Never Break,
and today operates as the Karr Foundries.
Philip M. Gundlach has perhaps done more to lighten the
task of the tillers of the soil than any other man in this com-
munity. His grain drills, the most perfect on the market at the
time, were universally used.
Philip Gundlach was born in Germany on July 13, 1831,
and eleven years later, in 1842, his parents brought him to
the United States. The family landed in New York from where
they proceeded to Pittsburgh, remaining there for two months,
and then going to Cincinnati. Shordy thereafter on October 12,
1842, they arrived in St. Louis and from there moved to Belle-
ville. Here his father bought a farm near the present city hall
but later allowed the payments to lapse when he found a farm
much more to his liking one mile east of Belleville. Here he
made his permanent home.
His son, Philip, remained with his parents until he was
168 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
twenty-four years old. When he married he moved back to
Belleville, where he specialized in selling cider made from the
apples on his father's farm.
He was of a creative turn of mind, and in his earlier years
invented a binder and a thresher, which were manufactured
by Cox and Roberts, the forerunners of the Harrison Machine
Works. His research did not cease with the threshing machine,
for he next devoted his efforts to grain drills. He soon invented
one and in 1858 began the manufacture of them in a shop in
West Belleville. In 1863 he changed his location to Main and
First streets. During the Civil War, when the other firms were
being ruined, he continued to prosper, his grain drills contribu-
ting much towards the winning of the war.
By 1880 his business had increased to such an extent that
larger quarters were necessary, so he built a shop north of
town. His business continued to flourish, and with Mr. Severin
Poirot as his selling agent, his sales jumped from 250 machines
in 1875 to 1500 in 1877. Most of these machines were sold
in Kansas, which was then developing into the wheat center of
The Gundlach grain drill ranks with the threshing machine
and the McCormick Reaper as an important factor in the rapid
agriculural development of the Middle West. Here was a vast
area of rich agricultural lands, able to produce bountiful crops
if only they could be harvested. With too few farm hands to
do the work on the thousands and thousands of acres of rich
farm land, the cultivating of a farm by one man became a
problem. These three inventions were the answer and the old
fashioned methods of cultivation and harvesting were now dis-
In 1847 two strangers, the Messrs. Cox and Roberts, arrived
in Belleville, and renting a small frame building near the Harri-
son Mill, started the building of threshers. These machines
could thresh and clean 100 to 150 bushels of grain per day.
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 169
They continued in operation until 1855 when Frank Middle-
coff and Theophilus Harrison bought out the concern. In 1857
William C. Buchanan purchased an interest, and in 1860 he
and Harrison bought the entire interest and it then became
known as Harrison and Company. But in 1874, Hugh Harrison
and Cyrus Thompson joined the firm, and its name was changed
to the Harrison Machine Works under which name it was
incorporated in 1878 under the state laws.
The Harrison Machine Works was looked upon as the most
important manufacturing establishment, not only in Belleville,
but in Southern Illinois. The reputation of its threshers and
engines reached all over the country and even into Mexico.
It v.'as located on grounds now owned by St. Elizabeth's Hos-
pital just in the rear of that institution. The buildings and yard
room covered six acres and in the 80's it employed an average
of 200 men. Its capacity of production at the time amounted
to six engines and eighteen threshers per week. Although it is
still in existence at 1510 East Main street, it is, however, but
a small replica of its former self.
There was a time in the past when clothing was spun by
women in the American home. There was a later time when
clothing was spun in large quantities in woolen factories. Such
a one was built by Louis Krimmel in 1848 on the banks of the
Richland Creek. Farmers brought their year's crop of wool to
the mill where it was carded, spun into yarn, and woven
into cloth. Sheep then brought good prices to the farmer. Mr.
Krimmel lost his life while trying to cross the swollen Richland
Creek on horse back, but his factory continued in operation for
some years after his death, and continued to prosper because a
frontiersman, Jasper Scott, operated a carding machine here,
which helped prepare the wool for the factory.
In 1885 Geiss and Brosius started to manufacture cider mills
and double movement grain drills. They sold out to Esler and
Ropiquet, who in 1875 organized the Esler and Roupiquet
170 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
Manufacturing Company, making grain drills, hay racks, cider
and wine mills, presses, and circular wood saws. The factory
was located at Main street and Mascoutah avenue.
In 1886 Brosius, Geiss, and Company established the first
oil mill that ever existed in Belleville. Its products consisted of
castor, linseed, hickory nut, and pecan oils. This was the only
place in the United States where pecan oil was manufactured
at that time, and it was considered among the finest oils for
table use, being considered much superior to olive oil.
Prior to 1882, electricity was used only for street lighting,
but that year the Romeiser store installed it for lighting purposes,
being the first establishment in Belleville to do so. Power for
the same was obtained from the Electric Light and Steam Supply
Company, which represented an investment of $50,000 in
capital stock. Thomas Knobeloch was its president and H.
Burchardt its secretary and treasurer. Its office was located at
the corner of Mascoutah and East Main streets; its boiler house
and electric light machines were located in a large brick build-
ing which was situated near the palatial residence of Jacob
Brosius, later for many years the home of the widow of the late
Judge Frank Perrin, and now owned by the Knight of Colum-
The steam generated by the plant, which was organized in
1879, was used primarily for running the machinery of the
Brosius Coal Mine, which adjoined the works, and for the
engine of the Brosius, Geiss, Oil Works. In addition, it supplied
heat to a few customers in the vicinity. It proved such a success
that during the season of 1880-1881, there were about fifty
customers being supplied with heat. About 15,000 feet of pipe
were used in its distribution, these being laid in insulated boxes
so as to prevent any possibility of freezing even in the severest
Belleville was the first city in Illinois to introduce this ar-
rangement of centralized heating, and many churches, halls,
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 171
and residences were heated with it. Because of its cheap manu-
facture, for its coal was obtained right at its door, and with
abundant supply of water from the Brosius Lake on the
premises, it seemed that a new era was dawning. However, with
the perfecting of furnaces for private use, and with unforeseen
difficulties presenting themselves, its usefulness passed after
a few years, and with it the Electric Light and Steam Supply
Back in the 1880's, Belleville began to experience its first
big industrial booms, for with the coming of the nail mills, many
new people came to town. They made good wages and spent
them, bringing prosperity to the community.
The Belleville Nail Company was located on a five-acre
tract in the southwestern part of the city, just across the
present Illinois Central Railroad tracks, then known as the Cairo
Short Line. It was often referred to as the Waugh Mills for its
officers were all members of the Waugh family. Col. James
Waugh was its president, W. W. Waugh, vice-president, R.
F. Waugh, treasurer, and J. C. Waugh, Jr., secretary. J. J.
Carey was superintendent of the plant. Its capital stock was
$100,000. In the manufacture of nails, about 52 tons of iron
were used daily, amounting to over 700 kegs per day. It gave
employment to some 360 men and boys, and its payroll totalled
$16,000 per month. Comfortable homes were erected in the
immediate vicinity by Col. Waugh, for employees, and they
were rented for a nominal sum. Prior to moving to Belleville
the company was known as the Bogy Nail Co. of St. Louis,
but when Col. Waugh had purchased it in 1869 he moved
The Western Nail Mills, with a paid up capital stock of
$50,000 was organized in March, 1882. Its erection was begun
on April 15 of that year, and the plant was in operation the
following September 4. It was equipped with 42 nail-making
machines, whose capacity was 2200 kegs per week. After a year's
172 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
operation, the entire plant was destroyed by fire. No time was
lost in its rebuilding, for on June 25, 1883, the new factory,
enlarged and with its capacity gready increased, was once more
in operation. W. H. Powell was its first president and manager,
Conrad Reinecke was vice-president and treasurer, H. L.
Powell, secretary, and E. B. Powell, superintendent. Its payroll
amounted to $20,000 per month. Nails ranging from eight
inch spikes to small three-quarter inch barrel nails were made.
It was located in the northeastern part of the city, and the
L. and N. Railroad ran along its warehouse, affording every
facility for loading and unloading.
A third, known as the Crescent Nail Mill, was estaUished
here by the Belleville Steel and Iron Nail Works in 1865 at
a cost of $60,000. It was located just outside the northern city
limits in Swansea. In 1896 it reverted to B. Hartmann, J. M.
Hay and Henry Reis, and in 1911 its name was changed to
The Hartmann, Hay, Reis Nail Mill. It remained in operation
until January, 1917, when it dissolved. Its spacious building
was used as a barracks in July, 1917, for 600 Scott Field
John A. Day established extensive brickyards on Freeburg
Avenue, adjoining Walnut Hill Cemetery. These were later
known as the Abend Brickyards and were among the largest
in the city.
Others who operated brickyards in Belleville in the past
were Gotdieb Zehnert, John Wittauer, Nic Holdener, Philip
A. Faulstich, and George Rodemeier.
In about 1880 Anthony Ittner found it necessary to find
a new location for his St. Louis Brickyard because of the
increased value of land and the encroachment of residential
areas. In casting about for a new site where raw material and
fuel were plentiful, he finally decided on one north of the
city just outside of its Hmits on the L. and N. Railroad. Here,
in 1899, he bought eighty acres of land and erected a modern
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 173
dry pressed brick plant capable of making fifty thousand bricks
The plant erected by Ittner was a model of nineteenth cen-
tury efficiency. In 1894 a second plant for the manufacturing
of common building brick was erected on the same property
and the last of his St Louis plant was abolished. Here the
supply of raw material, namely red brick clay, Illinois joint
clay, and shale clay was practically inexhaustible. Here he
produced fifteen million face and common bricks, and twenty
million hollow tile and hollow bricks per year.
In the operation of the plants 150 men were employed
throughout the year, and the pay roll average $75,000 annually.
Twenty thousand tons of coal were used yearly and twenty-five
hundred cars of bricks were shipped from Belleville every year.
This good business continued until the early part of the
twentieth century when improved machinery played such a part
that Ittner and his men could not longer compete, and today
the firm remains a fair memory' in the minds of the older
The Belleville Glass Company, established in 1882, was
bought by Adolphus Busch, president of the Anhueser-Busch
Company, in St. Louis, in 1886. He modernized the plant in
every respect, employed 258 men regularly, and by 1900 had
more than a $7,000 weekly pay roll and a plant output of more
than 200 gross glass botdes per day. They manufactured both
green and amber colored blass bottles for beer, mineral water,
soda water, wine, and bitters. It was the largest establishment of
its kind south of Springfield. In 1920 it was absorbed by the
Glass Trust of Newark, Ohio.
One of the oldest grain companies is that owned by the
Sehlingers, dealers in grain, hay, flour, and meal feed, with of-
fices and warehouses until recently at 616 East Grant street.
Its founder, Anton Sehlinger, was a man who possessed ini-
tiative, enthusiasm, and rare business ability. He was born in
174 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
Germany and in 1864 settled on a farm three miles east of
Belleville. In that year he helped to organize the Emerald Isle
Mill, in Mascoutah, and in 1880 he became half owner of it,
changing its name to Sehlinger and Schubkegel. Coming to
Belleville in 1890, he founded the Sehlinger Grain Company
which was discontinued in 1929. Today its successor the
Sehlinger Produce Company is operated by Albert Sehlinger.
The Richland Mill, established in 1896, one of Belleville's
outstanding business establishments, ranked very high in the
production of a high grade flour. It was located on North
Second street, and Joseph Dietz was its first president. In 1904,
it was bought by John and George Kloess. In 1913, five new
concrete elevators with a total capacity of 50,000 bushels of
wheat were added, to make possible the holding of the grain
when the price was low and selling it when high, thereby in-
creasing the company's profit.
The mill produced flour of both hard and soft wheat. The
latter was obtained from local farmers while the hard wheat
was shipped in from the Northwest. The last managers of the
mill were the two brothers, Arthur and Howard Kloess, who
ceased to operate it in 1940.
The Herzler and Henniger Machine Works, which was
organized in 1903, was inspired by a demand for mining
machinery in the local coal industry. Admirably located at
220 Centerville avenue and the Illinois Central Railroad, it
could easily ship its mining machinery, especially hoisting
machines, mine cars, screens and loading machinery.
Its welfare was definitely tied up with Southern Illinois coal,
and since the day for smokeless fuel has arrived, its boom
davs were definitely over. It, too, has passed on, having been
bought by the Gundlach Machine Works, who occupy the
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 175
Belleville is fortunate in being located near one of the most
important commercial centers of the great West, affording it
the advantages of accessible markets for the various products
of its farms, gardens, and factories.
With the establishment of factories, new life was installed
in the city, which stimulated earnings and promoted a rising
standard of living. Where industry flourishes there is no deca-
dence, no poverty, or spiritual death. Many cities, once thriving
communities, are now decaying because their industries have
moved out of the reach of its inhabitants.
The stor)' of brick making in Belleville, one of its oldest
industries, is a most fascinating one. Bricks were first made by
hand, then by horsepower, and still later by steam power.
Nearly all of the early homes were constructed of Belleville
made brick. Generally brick was in such demand for home
construction that by 1870 six brickyards were located here.
One of the oldest, and operating until recently, is the Kloess
Brick Company located at 200 North Twenty-first street, es-
tablished in 1865. At one time it produced three to four
million bricks a year.
Stoves came into use in Belleville in 1837, and soon the
demand for them far exceeded the supply. In time local men,
seeing a potential market, opened up small foundries for their
manufacture. The result was that this work soon dominated
Belleville's industrial life. At one time there were 19 foundries
located here with a capital investment of $2,545,000, and
employing 1,739 skilled workers with an annual income of
$1,496,330. Coal, gas, and electric ranges; oil and water heaters;
coal, gas, oil and electric furnaces were being manufactured
and being sent to the four corners of the world.
The Eagle Foundry, one of the largest and most influential,
contributed in no small measure to make Belleville an industrial
center. It is located at Fourteenth street and the Illinois Central
176 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
tracks, and is modem in equipment. Founded by G. D. Klemme
and William Schlott in 1883 it was moved to its present location
at Fourteenth street and the Illinois Central tracks in 1893.
The plant became famous for its "Star" cannon and "St. Louis"
box and "O.K." stoves. It was originally established to meet the
demand for stove casting, but in 1908 it added an assembly
plant, making possible the production of a complete stove. This
company uses coke from St. Louis; steel from Granite City,
Illinois, and Middletown, Ohio; and sand from Evansville,
The plant soon passed into complete control of Gotdieb
Klemme who, with his sons, continued to manage it. Maurice
G. Klemme became the vice-president and treasurer and has
proven to be a man of great business ability. Another son, Alvin
H., was made the secretary of the foundry, W. W. Klemme,
assistant secretary and treasurer, (while another son, Roland,
is today an outstanding brain surgeon and nerve specialist in
St. Louis.) In 1950 they sold out to an eastern concern.
The Belleville Stove Works and the Snyder-Baker Foundry
were organized in 1885, but the Belleville Stove Works had
been previously established as the Belleville Pump and Skein
Company. Most of the stove factories organized after 1885
were offshoots from the early foundries or from other factories
which produced iron products.
The Oakland Foundry was organized in 1896 by Henry
Ehret and was the outgrowth of the Standard Foundry, which
Ehret and William Althoff purchased in 1 890, when they con-
ducted a plant under the name af Ehret and Althoff until 1 892,
when Althoff disposed of his stock to Adam Ehret. The firm
then took the name of The Ehret Brothers. However, in 1894
it was incorporated under the name of the Enterprise Foundry.
Two years later the Ehrets organized the Oakland Foundry
which is now located on East "A" street at Florida Avenue.
The Oakland Foundry represents an investment of $440,000,
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 177
employs about 325 men and ships products to practically every
state in the union.
In May, 1930, the company suffered a $350,000 loss as a
result of a destructive fire. Invitations came in from many
cities asking the Ehrets to consider them as new sites, and many
offered free plants, free taxes, free power, and other facilities
over a period of from five to ten years. The Ehrets, however,
were so attached to their native city that they disregarded them
all and rebuilt in their home town.
The Excelsior Foundry was established in the southwestern
part of town in 1885 by Mr. E. P. Rogers and George B. M.
Rogers, and since 1893 has been located at 1200 East "B"
street. This plant has steadily increased its volume of business
and at present employs 91 men.
The Enterprise Foundry located on "B" street and the L. and
N. tracks was established in 1896 and it was one of the most
important concerns of the city.
The Orbon Stove Company, originally organized as a nail
mill in 1882, was reorganized in 1902 to manufacture stoves.
It employs 295 people and has an average weekly pay roll of
$7,000, and its president today is S. D. Vale. Since 1903 it
has been located on the L. and N. tracks and Sycamore streets.
The Premier Stove Company was organized by Mr. M. C.
Klemme and Arthur C. Krebs in 1912, and today is located at
100 South Sixteenth street.
The Karr Range Company, located at 300 South Seventh
street, was organized in 1916 to manufacture and assemble
stove castings, but today specializes only in assembling and
The Egyptian Foundry at Scheel and Hecker streets makes
castings but does no assembling. The Lincoln manufactured
and assembled stoves, but is now out of business. In 1920,
the Supreme began manufacturing on a small scale,
178 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
but has grown rapidly since then. The Original Enamel
Range Company is now a subsidiary plant of the Supreme
Foundry. Through coordination of the two factories a complete
stove is produced.
The Roesch Enameling and Manufacturing Co. was organized
in 1916, and was equipped in 1938 with modern automatic en-
ameling ovens, so that it is one of the best equipped enameling
plants in the city, after pioneering in the enameling process. All
of its enamel is produced by the company's exclusive formula
whose results have not yet been duplicated.
The Peerless Enamel Products Company was organized in
1938 to meet the increased demand for enameled ranges, and
does only enameling work.
The Imbs Milling Company, a combination of the early Harri-
son Mill, no longer mills for the local market nor does it buy
local wheat because the supply is too limited. Instead all of
its wheat is bought from the West and its flour is sold to large
chain stores. It employs about 70 men on three 8 hour shifts
daily. Its capacity is 2000 barrels a day, and its power is steam
generated by using local coal. The water is taken from two
wells, each 420 feet deep, safe for drinking purposes as well
as for boilers.
The Century Brass Works, Inc. had its beginning in our
city on July 12, 1917 and has always been located at 1100
North Illinois street. Its president today is R. S. Wangelin and
Frederick E. Lutz is its manager. Its products are sold through-
out the nation.
The Southern Boiler Works was organized in 1898 to build
smoke stacks and repair all types of boilers. Although small, it
renders a most valuable service.
After securing a patent for the manufacture of oil and gas-
burning metallurgical furnaces, Mr. Arthur Jones organized
and established a plant in 1917, known as the U. S. Smelting
Furnace Company. These furnaces are of a special metallurgical
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 179
construction for the purpose of smelting non-ferrous metals such
as brass, copper, and aluminum; and smelting and refining
The well-known contracting company known as Bauer Broth-
ers was organized by Dominic Bauer who was born in Germany
April 1, 1863. He arrived in Belleville in 1883 with only 75
cents in his pockets. His first job was loading coal at $1.50
for a ten hour day, and he had to walk five miles to and from
work. After working at this for six months, he secured em-
ployment as an apprentice carpenter for Val Reis and Sons
at $4.00 a week. In 1893, he established his own business with
Joseph Hilpert as partner. In 1903, Mr. Hilpert sold out to
Mr. Bauer's brother, Casper, and from then on the firm was
known as Bauer Brothers.
At first it built only homes but later entered the heavy
contruction field and to date have constructed buildings valued
at millions of dollars. Included in this are some of the largest
public and private buildings in this area such as: Pleasantview
Sanitorium, Scott Field hangar. County Highway Building,
Oakland Foundry, additions at the Griesedieck Western Brew-
ery, boys' gymnasium at Belleville Township High School,
Union School, Junior High School, Commercial Building, Elks
Home, addition to Court House, St. Peter's Cathedral, Belleville
Shoe Company, and International Shoe Company.
The Minor Construction Company was organized by Mr.
Joseph Minor, who was born here on July 1, 1879, attended the
parochial schools, and upon finishing his education became a
contractor. He worked at all the different phases of this trade,
thereby becoming an expert. He erected many homes and bus-
iness establishments in this city.
Hoeffken Brothers, the company that is engaged in general
road and bridge ^'ork and construction work, was organized
in 1892. Many of the finest modern highways in this vicinity
has been built by it.
180 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
Liese Lumber Company was organized by Mr. Julius Liese
in 1865. The main yard is today located at 317 East Main
street, while a large branch yard is maintained at Twenty-first
street and the Old St. Louis Road. It is managed today by
Oscar Lippert and his two sons, Howard and Floyd, and employs
Beer, wine, and whiskey have been used in this area since
an early day. In 1862 the vineyards in and around Belleville
totaled fifty acres or more and they produced a yield of 450
gallons of wine per acre.
The most commonly used drink of the early pioneer, besides
wines from wild grapes, was whiskey. In 1862, Belleville had
eight distilleries in operation at one time. The two largest of
these manufactured a brand of wiskey called "Chained Light-
ening." So potent was it, people contended, that it contained
64 fights to the barrel.
Two of the only four stencil machine factories in the world
are located in Belleville. The others are in St. Louis. The Ideal
Stencil Machine Company, perhaps the best equipped, receives
its castings from the Excelsior Foundry located in the same block.
Its annual production is about $150,000, and it employs 24
The Marsh Stencil Company, located at 707 East "B" street,
the last of the four to be organized, was established in 1920.
The volume of its business is about the same as that of the Ideal
The A. R. Stanley Nail Company, the first of its kind to
locate here was established in 1880. A continuation of the early
nail mill, it was located in the west end of the city on the
east bank of Richland Creek, and was powered by two large
steam engines. The mill used 35 tons of iron daily and
produced 600 kegs of nails. An artificial lake furnished the
water supply and local coal was used to generate the steam.
The present plant, located at 1200 East "B" street, and L. and
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 181
N. tracks, produces all types of nails, up to 8 penny, various
types of metal staples, and hoop fasteners for both wood and
paper containers. The capital invested is $50,000. It employs
three men and has a weekly payroll of about $200.00. Its
manager today is Margaret Stanley.
The Belleville Pattern and Match Plate Company, located
at 18 South Twelfth street, was organized in 1919 to supply
the many patterns needed for the manufacturing of castings
in the iron and steel factories in Belleville and nearby cities.
The Streck Brothers Packing Plant, located at 401 West
Washington street, was founded in 1915 by three brothers,
Clarence, Ernest, and Joseph with a capital of $300,000. At
first they rented a small building where they opened a meat
market which became so prosperous that in 1918 they opened
a second one, and in 1922 they bought a small plant in which
to do their own kiling. Their success inspired them to enter
the packing business.
Besides having a building for meat cutting, smoking, curing,
and cooling, and one for slaughtering purposes, they have a
second building for the manufacture of meat products, rendering
of lard, and an additional curing cellar. A garage, engine room,
office, and a new killing floor have been added. The plant
today is large, strictly sanitary, and has ideal working conditions
for its employees. In 1931 a rendering plant outside of the
cit}^ to manufacture by-products was erected. In 1934 the Strecks
sold their retail meat markets and are now engaged in the
packing business only.
The original Henkemeyer cigar factory was taken over by
Peter Mohr, who in 1902 moved his place of business to 24
Public Square. Mohr died in 1919 and his two sons, Robert
and Edward, carried on. In 1937 they moved the shop to 707
North Illinois street, and Ed Mohr became the sole owner.
Today the famous Mohr and Henkemeyer cigars are sold
In 1906 more cigars were manufactured here than in any
182 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
Other city in the Belleville-Cairo revenue district.
On April 20, 1900, the Belleville Shoe Factory was organized.
Its capital stock was $10,000, and the directors were W. L.
Desnoyers, Ed. H. Wangelin, George W. Detharding, H. J.
Fink, Adam Jung, I. H. Wangelin, and Phillip Knapp. On
October 21, 1904, it was incorporated by C. H. Leunig, Adolph
Knobeloch, and William Weidmann.
The Charles Meyer Pants Company was established in
1905 at South First and Harrison streets. The company now
employs 50 men and 280 women with an average weekly pay
roll of $12,000. The first building in its present plant was erect-
ed in 1923, and an addition was made in 1926 which doubled
its capacity. In 1935 another three story addition was built,
which pratically tripled the original capacity.
The Belleville Bill Posting Company, now the J. Knox
Montgomery Advertising company was founded in 1906, with
its headquarters at 3400 West Main street.
The G. S. Suppiger Canning Company, canning tomatoes
and other vegetable products, was established in 1927 and is
a branch of the Collinsville Tomato Canning Company. Nearby
farmers produce most of the vegetables for the factory, which,
during the rush season, employs about two hundred workers.
It was damaged by the tornado on March 15, 1938, but has
been rebuilt bigger and better than before. In 1950 it was
leased to Krey Packing Company, and all local tomatoes are
today canned in the Collinsville plant.
The oldest farm implement company here is the J. I. Case
Company, whose business is vitally important to the farmers of
this community. The Case Company, founded in 1842, first
built and sold threshers and later entered the farm tool field
in general. Its local representative is Hugh Edwards, who is
now located on the Old St. Louis road, after beginning his
business without any capital in 1937. Other similar retail es-
tablishments are the International Harvester Company, on Mas-
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 183
coutah avenue, managed by Mr. Ellar Daab; the John Deere
Company, called the Quality Farm Equipment Company,
located on East "A" street and managed by Melvin Timmer-
mann, Festus Becker, and Terrel Dungey; the Allis Chalmers
Company on North High street, managed by Mr. Arthur
Schmidt; and the Minneapolis-Moline Company on the Old
St. Louis Road and South Fifty-ninth street, represented by
A new dress plant was established locally through the efforts of
the Civic Investment Trust Association. It employs a minimum
of 150 and a maximum of 400 girls, with an estimated pay roll
of $300,000 a year. It is located in the plant of the old Belleville
Stove Works, which was remodeled by the Civic Investment
Trust Association. The managers are Ed. F. Keefer, Arnold
Salzenstein, S. S. Rosenberg, and A. L. Cohen.
The Belleville Casket Company was organized in September,
1919, by Dr. Edward R. Houston, James H. Land, and Leonard
Schmidt. In September, 1919, William J. Bien was added as
secretary, and since January, 1923, has been the president of
the company. Edgar G. Fritz is today the first vice-president;
Clem J. Hartmann, second vice-president; and Ruth A. Sterling,
is the secretary and general manager. The company today
employs a total of 42 workers, ranks among the 25 largest in
the United States, and sells its product throughout the Middle
West. It is capitalized at $25,000, represents an investment of
$250,000 and maintains a display room at 115 East "B" street
and another at 4219 Laclede avenue in St. Louis.
The Eddy Paper Corporation, a manufacturer of corrugated
and solid fibre shipping containers, is an Illinois corporation,
the successor of the Eddy Paper Company, a Michigan corpora-
tion, was incorporated in November, 1922. The officers of the
Illinois corporation are J. W. Kieckhefer, president; Anthony
Haines, vice-president; R. C. Meier, treasurer; and W. F.
184 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
The Michigan Corporation, its predecessor, was started in
1906. Henry Eddy of Kalamazoo and Three Rivers, Michigan,
was the founder.
In 1922 a re-organization w^as made, with the Illinois corpora-
tion acquiring the properties of the Eddy Paper Company of
Michigan, and in 1927 the Kieckhefer interests assumed mana-
gement of the company.
The Belleville plant, built in 1948, has an area of 90,000
square feet and is located at Otto and Sahlander streets. It has
a capacity of approximately 1400 tons per month, which means
that approximately 1400 tons of paper can be converted into
shipping containers in that time. Harvey E. Moore, is resident
manager; Robert E. Washburn, office manager; Dean H.
Jones, sales-service manager; and Hubert S. Munson, superin-
tendent. At the present time this plant employs seventy persons
in its factory and 15 in the office.
One of the largest manufacturers of monuments in this region
is the Tisch Monument Works, founded by Theodore Tisch
in 1877. Walter P. Tisch, Sr., his son, is the present manager,
while his son Waldo is associated with him. The business is
located at both Third and West A streets and 9041 West Main
The Adolph H. Honer Monument Works, located at 829
South Illinois street, is owned and operated by Mr. Honer,
who has been in this business practically all his life.
Belleville's products, both agricultural and industrial, find
a steady market in St. Louis. Commercial vegetable gardening
is practiced to a large extent and such produce as sweet corn,
horseradish, tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, spinach, cabbage, aspar-
agus, watermelon, cantaloupes, and smaller fruits comprise the
principal garden products.
More wheat and potatoes are produced in St. Clair County
than in any other in Illinois. Crops grown and sold are wheat,
com, oats, alfalfa, red clover, sweet clover, Irish potatoes, and
sweet potatoes. Pork, beef, poultry, and dairy products also
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 185
are well represented.
One vegetable, the asparagus, has given Belleville nation-
wide fame. Conditions for growing a very fine variety of white
asparagus are most favorable here, and the demand for it
exceeds the supply. Belleville asparagus is featured on the menus
of leading hotels throughout the country. The Goetz farm on
the Freeburg road is especially famous for this product.
The financial status of a community is an index of its ability
to engage in industrial activity and a determination of its buying
power. Local industries are financed almost wholly by local
capital. Deposits in Belleville's four banks, which total more
than $10,000,000, reflect sound business practices and fair
wages. The resources of its six building and loan associations
total more than $4,000,000. Local capital invested in its indus-
tries represents some $6,000,000.
In 1940, there were 47 manufacturing establishemnts, the
leading one being the stove industries. The products of plants
are stoves, cigars, beer, caskets, millwork, containers, dyes,
machine work, stencil machines, shoes, flour, paints, boilers,
tacks, tools, canned goods, and artificial stone.
During the World War II boom our industries received
approximately $1,374,812 in defense work, exclusive of ad-
ditional Scott Field work which was estimated at $18,000,000.
A very active Chamber of Commerce is constantly interested
in promoting the welfare of the local industries. Its officers in
1951 were: Wesley Bloomer, president; Louis Saeger, first vice-
president; Al C. Schwesig, second vice-president; Wilfred Holle,
treasurer; Walter Wagner, executive vice-president; Lois Heu-
blein and Betty Kniepman, secretary and stenographers.
Belleville's Civic Investment Trust Association, with a capital
of $100,000 was formed to find jobs, to increase industrial
markets and retails sales, and to stabilize production, payrolls,
agricultural income, and real estate values.
Three railroads, the Illinois Central, the Louisville and Nash-
INDUSTRY AND LABOR
ville, and the Southern, serve the city, which had, until recently,
connections with the Alton and Southern, and the Belleville
and East St. Louis Electric Railway switch lines.
Belleville's trading area extends seven miles west, thirty miles
east, eight miles north, and forty miles south. The population
in this area is 75,000, of which 32,000 are within the city
limits. In its industries 2792 workers, who are strongly united
in the affiliated unions of the American Federation of Labor,
Today's major industries employing fifty men or more,
their dates of organization and present managers are as follows:
1837 J. F. Imbs Milling Co.
1851 Griesedieck-Western Brewery
1854 Star Peerless Brewery Co.
1878 Excelsior Foundry Co.
1883 Eagle Foundry Co.
1885 Harmony Foundry Co.
1890 Enterprise Foundry Co.
1898 International Shoe Co.
1902 Orbon Stove Co.
1904 Belleville Shoe Mfg. Co.
1905 Oakland Foundry Co.
1906 Meyer, Charles and Co.
1906 St. Clair Ice Co.
1910 Century Brass Works
1911 Ideal Stencil Machine Co.
1912 Premier Stove Co.
1916 Roesch Enamel Range Co.
1916 Karr Range Co.
1917 Streck Brothers
1918 Belleville Casket Co.
1920 Supreme Foundry Co.
1920 Marsh Stencil Machine Co.
1928 Peerless Enamel Products Co.
R. F. Imbs
Ed. D. Jones
A. C. Fischer
M. G. Klemme
J. J. Fox
I. J. Leopold
Clarence E. Rapp
O. W. Wegener
William J. Bien
Edw. P. Karr
R. G. Willman
INDUSTRY AND LABOR
1932 Empire Stove
1941 Princess Peggy, Inc., Items Div.
1949 Reynolds Spring Co.
1949 Eddy Paper Corp.
1950 Krey Packing Co.
J. Edw. Vinning
The smaller, but active ones, are as follows:
Acme Pattern Co.
A. H. Honer Monument Works
Beck Cigar and Tobacco Co.
Bauer Bros. Construction Co.
Belleville Awning Co.
Belleville Crate Co.
Belleville Sheet Metal Co.
Egyptian Foundry Co.
Excelsior Foundry Co.
Gundlach Machine Works
Harrison Machine Works
Joseph Magin Cigar Co.
Original Enamel Range Co.
Qualified Range Co.
Quality Plating Works
Southern Boiler Works
Stanley Nail Works
Specialty Tool Manufacturers
Swansea Stone Works
Tisch Monument Works
U. S. Smelting Furnace
829 South Illinois
123 North Illinois
200 North Jackson
820 West "A"
East Main and Florida
1200 East "B"
612 South Third
1127 East "B"
1500 East Main
221 East Main
C. A. Tickenor
1651 North Charles
215 West Adams
1200 East "B"
720 South Illinois
North Third and "A"
1200 West "A"
Karl Merck, Sr., was born in Germany, arrived in this
country in 1835 and opened his first bakery in that year in
T88 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
the 200 block of South lUinois street. A few years later he moved
to 24 West Main street, where the bakery is still located, and
where his son Charles later assumed control.
Feickert's Bakery is among the oldest in the city, having been
established in 1851 by Christian A. Feickert at its present
location. Feickert emigrated to America in 1836, coming directly
to Belleville from Prussia, where he was born in 1819. Before
starting the bakery he was employed as an engineer in the old
Hinckley mill. In 1882 he bought the old jail, which adjoined
his bakery property, from the city. After his death the business
was successfully conducted by his son, C. Arthur Feickert.
Today this modern and up-to-date bakery is owned and managed
by Carl Ruffing.
Albert Buechler, another native German, setded in Belleville
in 1858 where he was employed by Fred Rupp, then publisher
of the Belleviller Zeitung, a German newspaper. In 1872 he
secured employment with the Omaha, Nebraska, Herald, work-
ing later in leading printing houses in St. Louis. His second
son, Joseph N. Buechler, founded the printing company that
today bears his name, and has been active in this for 48 years.
In 1910 he purchased the property at 322 West Main street,
his present location, and today has one of the best equipped
offices in Southern Illinois.
The Record Printing and Advertising Company of today is
the continuation of a printing business established in 1847.
George Semmelroth, a native German, entered the partnership
in 1858, at which time a weekly German newspaper was pub-
hshed. At his death the Belleviller Post & Zeitung was pub-
lished by his sons, Herman and August. Later the business
was changed to a commercial printing and jobbing company,
and operated by Herman's sons, Arthur and Norman Semmel-
Before the advent of the automobile, the horse and mule
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 189
business, as well as carriage manufacturing, were among
the city's most flourishing enterprises. The Baer Brothers firm,
dealers in horses and mules, was established in 1866. It was
originally known as Loewenstein and Baer. In 1886 the Baers,
Aaron and Amson, bought Loewenstein's interest, and there-
after conducted the business as the Baer Brothers. David Baer,
son of Aaron, joined the firm in 1895, acquiring Amson's share
after the latter's death. Later Lee, son of Aaron, also became
associated with the business. Although they sell horses, their
speciality was mule selling, having at one time supplied most
of the coal mines with these. Their location was at 314 North
Wolfort and Company, located at 200 North High street,
are similar dealers. They were organized in 1869 under the
name of Meyer, Neuburger, and Wolfort. Later the first two
disposed of their interests to Leopold Wohlgemuth, and for
some years the business was conducted as Wolfort and Wohlge-
muth. In 1894, Philip Wolfort, one of the original founders
died, and his heirs, buying out Wohlgemuth, have conducted
the business ever since under its present name.
Outstanding in Belleville's industrial life in the earlier days
were its carriage factories, and the town boasted of several.
First of these to be established here was the Volney L. Williams
Carriage Works, which was established at the southeast corner
of West Main and Third streets in 1837. Later it was conducted
by his son Henry Williams, who moved it on East "A" street,
between High and Jackson streets, the site where the Wagner
Garage now stands.
The Heinzelman Brothers Carriage Works, founded in 1857
by John A. Heinzelman and Henry Timken (of roller bearing
fame), occupied the building now used by the Belleville
Casket Company at the intersection of North Jackson and East
"B" streets. In 1866 it was taken over by Heinzelman's sons,
John Jr., and William, who managed it until July, 1892, when
190 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
John's sons William, Reginald, and Fred took it over, and they
in turn operated it until 1917. During the St. Louis World's
Fair in 1904, they received eight awards for their exhibits.
Before the turn of the century, and for some years before,
at the corner of North Jackson and East "A" streets, stood the
Merker, Wirsing, and Hertel Carriage Works, organized in
1883 by William R. Merker, Adam Wirsing and Adolph Hertel.
Most of its production consisted of phaetons, surreys, park
wagons, carriages, and spring wagons, in fact everything made
in the line of horse-drawn vehicles.
In 1878 the Novelty Carriage Works was organized and
operated by Gustave Ludwig, Ludwig Beck, and Joseph Steg-
mayer. Their location was the original location of the Volney
Williams shop. Later it was conducted by Ludwig and Steg-
mayer, and finally only by Ludwig.
Until the day of the chain store, the William Eckhardt
Grocery was for many years the largest and most complete bus-
iness of its kind in this area. Its founder was a musician who
had started his career as a druggist. In 1867, he established the
grocery business that carried his name, at 104-108 West Main
street, where for many years after Mr. Eckhardt's death, it
was conducted by his sons Max and Erwin Eckhardt. Later it
was located at 124 West Main street. In 1945 he sold the
building to Howard Kloess who conducted the Vitality Feed
There are four first-class undertaking establishments in Belle-
ville today. They are as follows. Pete Gaerdner, located
at 250 Lebanon avenue; Renner, Geminn, at East
"B" and North Illinois streets; Gundlach and Company on
East "A" and North High streets; and the Bux Funeral Home
at 3500 West Main street.
The town's leading florists are Grossart Sons on East Main
street, estblished by Gustav Grossart and carried on by his sons,
Amo and Fred. The other is the Klamm Florist on Scheel
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 191
Street, founded and managed by Irvin Klamm today. Two others
are John Miller, 127 Mascoutah avenue, and Matt Schoenen-
berger Florist, managed at present by Irvin G. Krumrich, 811
West "E" street.
The Belleville Commercial College had been for many years
a household word, for most local businessmen have received
some of their education in this institution. Its founder was
Joseph Foeller who opened his first school on August 1, 1893,
at 18 East Main street above the old Savings Bank. Arthur J.
Foeller succeeded his father in 1914. In 1943, after his death,
his sister Adel Foeller continued the school until about 1945
when it closed its doors.
Among the leading bakeries are the Home Bakery, established
by John Wilbert in 1896, the Seifferth, Merck, Phil Stetzner's,
Schneider, and Feickert Bakery.
On June 18, 1900, the Kinloch Company began the installa-
tion of a telephone system and opened it to the public in
November of that year. The Bell Telephone of Missouri had
already been established here since 1882, when the city council
granted it the privilege to maintain and operate an exchange.
The Bell system has, since August 15, 1924, bought out the
Kinloch and has the entire field to itself. Service today is given
by the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, a subsidiary
of the American Telephone and Telegraph. It operates both
local and long-distance switchboards, and, at the present time,
has about 14,500 telephones installed. Its growth has been
very rapid and its service excellent.
In June, 1895, the city of Belleville contracted with the
Bell Telephone Company for the installation of 21 telephones
which were placed in different city wards at a rental of $25
per year. In February, 1 896, the city council passed an ordinance
granting a franchise to W. J. Kurtz to construct and maintain
a private telephone system in Belleville. The rates were 25
cents per week for private or residential telephones and 50
192 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
cents per week for business houses. This ordinance provided
also for furnishing telephones to the city free of charge, for
the police and for fire alarms.
Mr. Frank Sadorf, founder of the Paris Cleaning Establish-
ment, first permanent establishment of its kind to have been es-
tablished here, was born in Austria on September 12, 1875, and
left that country to seek his fortune in the New World. He set-
ded first in St. Louis, working there for a former Austrian school-
mate named Lungstras, who owned the largest cleaning establish-
ment in that city. He remained with him for three years, and
in 1906, while visiting in Belleville, decided to establish a
business of his own. The first location was where the Cook
Paint Store now is, but in 1920 he bought the present location
at 309 East Main street. It continued to be managed and owned
by his two sons, Frank and Matthew, but in 1950 they sold
out to the Klyne brothers. The Paris Cleaner and Dyers is a
business that is fulfilling a vital need in the city.
The firm Julleis and Son Feed Mill, located at Centerville
and Eigth streets was established in 1905 by Herman Julleis
and his two sons, Herman and Joseph.
The St. Clair Ice Company, located at 721 West Main street,
just west of Richland Creek, was established in 1908, and be-
came incorporated in 1927. Water is taken from a well 462
feet deep and is blended with city water and aerated before
going into the plant for the manufacture of ice. It is under the
management of Karl Pflanz, and it operates continually, pro
ducing 50.8 tons of ice daily, all of which is consumed locally.
In 1939 a modern locker plant containing 1000 lockers was
Peter Fellner, late president of the Fellner-Ratheim Dry
Goods Store was bom in Germany, April 18, 1868. Leaving
there on February 28, 1893, he came to Belleville where he
found employment with Kanzler Brothers Grocery and Dry
Goods Store on North Illinois street. On October 15, 1898,
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 193
he accepted a position with the Horn and Rodenheiser Dry
Goods Company, which he and his partner, Paul Ratheim,
eventually bought out, forming the present dry goods firm.
He died in October 1941.
Prior to 1852, Belleville's banking history is vague, and little
of a definite nature has been recorded. But in that year Russel
Hinckley established his private banking institution, and until
its failure it was the leading bank in the community. It was
located on the present site of the First National Bank, occupying
a building erected in approximately 1839 for the Illinois State
Bank. This one-story building was razed in 1896 to make way
for the present bank structure.
Besides the Hinckley bank failure, Belleville's history records
three others. The Bank of Belleville, established in 1855 by
Bogy, Miltenburg, and Company, which was located in the old
Thomas House, failed in 1858. Although the loss was partially
attributed to the lessened value of bank bills, it was due
largely to fraud, and its president was indicted for swindle.
The People's Bank, organized in 1869 with quarters in the
old Belleville House, closed its doors on April 22, 1878, attri-
buting its failure largely to the failure of the Belleville Nail
More recently the Belleville Bank and Trust Company,
organized in 1903, an outstanding institution during its life
time, closed its doors on January 27, 1938, the misappropriation
of funds by its cashier showing a shortage of more than
The Belleville Savings Bank is today not only the oldest in
the city, but the third oldest in the state. It was organized on
February 20, 1859. Until 1869, it was known as the St. Clair
Savings and Insurance Company, but after discontinuing the
insurance business it adopted its present name. The original
bank was located in the Neuhoff Building, a few doors west of
the Public Square on the south side of West Main street. In
194 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
1865 it moved to East Main street, at first occupying the ad-
joining building west of its present location.
At the present Belleville has four banks, the First National,
the St. Clair National, the Belleville Savings and the Belleville
National. The combined capital and surplus is more than $1,-
427,500.00, and the total resources more than $15,000,000.
The First National Bank, established in 1874 and at present
the largest in the city, was the first to join the Federal Reserve
System in 1914 and establish the savings account feature.
On October 15, 1919, the St. Clair National Bank was opened
for business with a capital of $150,000.00 and a paid surplus
of $30,000.00. The officers at the time were William Reichert,
Frank Gundlach, and Arthur Eidman.
The Belleville National Bank was organized on March 28,
1928, with a capital stock of $100,000. Among those prominent
in its progress were John Wilbert, Carl Tritt, Joseph Minor,
Walter Freudenberg, A. T. Sprich, P. C. Otwell, F. A. Keiner,
L. R. McKinley, Harrison Schmisseur, Harvey Lippert, August
Eschman, Otto Neuhaus, E. C. Eidman, Richard Schramm,
Dr. S. W. McKelvey, Lee Grandcolas and William Schmisseur.
All these banks at the present time have first-class ratings, have
shown a steady growth, are conservative, and have given the
city splendid service.
The darkness ruled with very little opposition when night
fell in the young city. The unimproved streets were dark and
treacherous, especially on rainy, stormy nights. It was, therefore,
with much enthusiasm that the people welcomed the coming
of the gas lamp in 1856. Even though it cast a weak and flick-
ering hght, the three cast iron lamp posts erected in each of
the city blocks were a big improvement.
The illuminating agent used in these street lights was a coal
gas manufactured by the Belleville Gas and Coke Company plant
located on Richland Creek where today the electric distributing
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 195
Station stands. It was a local stock company capitalized at $75,-
000. This company laid over five miles of main pipe under the
streets and installed 152 street lamps. Other streets too were
illuminated, and in 1880 the gasoline light, a new type of illu-
mination was tried out on Church street. In 1882, the electric
light, the mar'el of the age, was introduced in the city, which
was now so well lighted that a flock of geese migrating south,
flew over the city on the night of November 2, 1882, the first
night that the lights were on and became so blinded and
confused that they landed in the town. The night, heavy with
clouds and moisture, caused the lights to be reflected so as to
illuminate every nook and corner confusing the geese to whom
it must have seemed that there was one patch of daylight in
the darkened night.
Belleville is supplied with enough electric power today to
meet almost any demand. It is furnished by the Illinois Power
Company through its Cahokia plant in East St. Louis and
Venice, Illinois, and is transmitted by power lines carrying
Belleville had 36 wholesale establishments in 1939 that did
$3,358,000 worth of business that year. Its employees received
a total payroll of $176,000.
Perhaps the largest sales at that time in any one line of
business were those in petroleum products, which totaled $1,-
085,000 and had a pay roll of $53,000 for 29 employees.
In 1850 the following number of businesses, industries, and
professions were located in Belleville: 6 hotels, 12 dry good
stores, 23 groceries, 4 drug stores, 8 doctors, 3 saddle shops,
12 boot and shoe makers, 8 cabinet makers, 9 wagon makers,
3 chair makers, 10 copper shops, 17 carpenter shops, 11 black-
smiths, 4 bakers, 1 iron stove, 1 pill factory, 4 plasterers, 4
painters, 4 tinners, 7 schools, 9 tailors, 12 lawyers, 2 barber
shops, 1 plow maker, 3 soap factories, 6 butchers, 1 carding
mill, 2 silver smiths, 2 flour mills, 3 breweries, 1 threshing
INDUSTRY AND LABOR
machine factory, 2 tanning yards, and 1 woolen factory.
By 1939 there were 5 beer, wine, and liquor firms that had
a yearly sale of $610,000. There were three general line gro-
ceries whose sales totaled $536,000 yearly. Six building and
loan associations, namely, the Belleville Security, Citizens, First
Mutual, Greater Belleville, Home, and West Side, whose
total resources amount to $3,198,526, do business in Belleville.
The following business establishments reflect the growth of
our city today.
A and L Woodcraft Shop
Belleville Botding Co.
Belleville St. Louis Coach Co
Berger, Ben Contractor
Biebel Roofing Co.
Bien and Peter
Blust, Fred Co.
Bonnelle, Tony Co.
Brutto, Syl, Coal Hauling
Building Products Corp.
Coca Cola Bottling Co.
Culligan Soft Water Service
Daesch, E. A.
Dahm Plumbing and Heating
Dr. Pepper Bottling Co.
East St. Louis and Interurban Water Co.
Ebel, Irvin O, Plumbing and Heating Co
Evans Tree Service
Flach, Paul E. Contractor
Frick, L. C. Service Co.
720 West Adams
209 North Illinois
300 West Monroe
503 West Main
123 South 16th
6400 West Main
36 Orchard Drive
Forty-sixth and Belt
South Twentieth and L C. RR
111 West "A"
11th and West "C"
1901 West Main
100 North Illinois
501 South Second
101 North Illinois
6520 West Main
303 West Main
INDUSTRY AND LABOR
Fruth Motor Truck Service
Geissler Roofing Co., Inc.
General Welding Supply
Gooding Truck Service
Gundlach, P. M. Sons
Hessler, F. J. and Son
Hoeffken Brothers Supply and
Holland Furnace Co.
Home-Brite Lumber Co.
Hy^rade Foundry Co.
Illinois Power Co.
Kehrer Bros. Excavating Co.
Keil Tin Shop
Kettler Tool and Die Shop
Kloess Brick Co.
Kloess Contracting Co.
Liese Lumber Co.
Lippert, Harvey and Son
M. and S. Transfer Co.
Mager, Wib L. Supply Co.
Mellon, E. W. and Son
Merck Bakery Co.
Midwestern Butane Co.
Minor Construction Co.
Mohr Cigar Co.
Nehi Botding Co.
Railway Express Agency Inc,
216 East "B"
606 South First
1 1 5 North Illinois
1400 North Illinois
1121 North Church
19 North Thirteenth
Construction Co. 222 West "B"
14 Market Square
1600 North Illinois
2701 Old St. Louis Road
225 East Washington
27 North Illinois
301 North Illinois
200 North Twenty-First
2615 West Main
3520 West "A"
319 East Main
409 South Twenty-second
301 South Second
24 West Main
432 South First
709 St. Clair
707 North Illinois
309 South Sixteenth
400 East "B"
1400 North Seventeenth
II North First
Record Printing and Advertising Co.
Reed, Elmer C, Co.
Renth, Elmer A.
Richland Stove Company
Rust, E. C. Plumbing
St. Louis Dairy
Signal Hill Lumber Co.
Sinn, Lacergne Coal Co.
Southwestern Bell Telephone Co.
Sprague Truck Service
Stolze Lumber Co.
Tritt Brothers Belleville
Tritt Brothers and Hoeffken Brothers
Uhl, Andrew M.
Vangenhen and Son
Veile Contracting Co.
Walter, Michael L. Co.
Wegener, Bill and Mel
Yoch Construction Co.
Ziska, Fred M. Coal Co.
Although organized labor existed in Belleville before the
Civil War it was not until April 12, 1891, that a central body
was organized. The officers of the cigar makers' union, headed
by John Ackerman, called this meeting, and Mr. Ackerman
was elected as its first president, with Mr. Frank S. Bums of
the glass blowers' union as its secretary. Eight locals, with a
total membership of more than one thousand persons, were
represented at this meeting. The organization prospered and
expanded rapidly, and in June of that year two more locals
affiliated themselves with it. The original locals, forming this
central body, were the cigar makers, glass blowers, molders,
115 South Illinois
709 West Cleveland
1705 North Illinois
P. O. Box 239
22 North Tenth
105 North Eighth
9300 West Main
9026 West Main
17 North Illinois
213 East "B"
600 South Illinois
National Bank Building
222 West "B"
106 South Ninth
1701 North Church
804 East McKinley
417 South Fourteenth
700 South Illinois
290 South Forty-sixth
INDUSTRY AND LABOR 199
musicians, brewery workers, coal miner, carpenters, and stove
The chief event for labor locally is the Labor Day celebration.
In the morning a big parade is held, which is followed by a
picnic, graced by a state or a national speaker in the afternoon.
With favorable weather it is always a big success as all groups
cooperate to make it such. It was discontinued during World
War I, and again during World War II.
Those who have serv^ed as presidents of the central body are:
John Ackerman, Emile Kirchner, William Monsen, Al Boston,
Adolph Scheske, William Green, James M. Sewall, John Shultz,
Nic Schilling, George E. Boyce, James Borden, Charles Bender,
William Arey, Henry Diller, William Jones, Nick Falcetti,
Thomas Arey, T. J. Hitchings, Charles Markham, Fred H.
Breuer, William T. Christopher, William Jampel, William Neb-
gen, Thomas Cameron, Gust Fritz, Dave Stuart, Walter De-
wein, Jacob Bollman, Floyd Long, S. D. Easter, Al. Towers,
Thomas T. Wright, Ed. Wolters, George Badgley, and Arthur
Al Towers held office as its secretary and publicity agent for
more years than any man in the history of the organization. Mr.
Towers was elected first on December 1, 1912, and served
until he resigned in August, 1916. He returned in October,
1924, and served until the latter part of May, 1937, when he
resigned again. He died on December 22, 1940. Since his
resignation the organization has divided the position, having
now a separate publicity agent and recording secretary.
The Central Trades and Labor body celebrated its golden
anniversary in 1941 with the annual Labor Day parade and
picnic. Roland W. Jung, then mayor, spoke on behalf of the
city and extended congratulations to the workers for their fine
progress and forward movement.
Some of the city's best known men received their training
in parliamentary law at the meetings of the central body which
200 INDUSTRY AND LABOR
served as a school for many of them. Forty-four locals are affili-
ated with it today, and its membership has increased to 10,000,
all of whom cooperate with the affiliated locals.
Belleville is regarded as a strong American Federation of
Labor city. Ninety per cent of its working men either own
their own homes or are buying them.
The present officers of the Central Trades and Labor body
are as follows: George Badgley, president; Irvin Werner,
vice-president; Irwin Breidenbach, treasurer; Paul Schwesig,
secretary; William P. Reichling, business agent; Blanche Helwig,
Rudolph Strothman, Albert G. Young, trustees; Harold Gain,
A Century of Progress
1^) aseball which had its beginning from the English game
of cricket had its beginning in the United States in 1839, but
it was introduced to Belleville in about 1860. The baseball
square which now has been changed to the baseball diamond
was drawn by Alexander Cartwright of New York City in about
1845. The nine man team was first used in Hoboken, New
Jersey in 1846, and the first rules of this game were drawn up
by Mr. Cartwright.
There have been many changes in the game since it was
first plaved in 1839. The catcher did not always stand right
behind the batter, and the batters at first used clubs that were
very thick on the batting end. Stealing bases was not permitted
before 1860, and laying down a bunt was unknown. The catcher
did not use a glove before 1891, and nine balls gave the batter
his base as late as 1880. The catcher did not wear a mask, nor
did he have a chest protector before 1885. If a ball was lost
during the game, all the players had to hunt for it for five
minutes before a new one was tossed in.
The first baseball team to be organized in our city was in
the late 1870's when the Browns came into existence. The
Nationals organized their team in 1885, and these two teams,
which became the outstanding semi-pro clubs of the early days,
202 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
were both managed by the late Adolph G. Fleischbein, the
uncle of Fred Fleischbein who, until 1946, was connected with
the Belleville Music Store. He was the outstanding sportsman
of early Belleville and was a leader in the sportsman and gun
organization, as well as a writer for a sportsman's magazine.
One of Belleville's early baseball heroes who made good in
the national pastime, in spite of the fact that it was not his
chosen profession was Bob Groom. He had already completed
a year's work as a medical student and hoped to be an out-
standing physician some day, but when the call came to go
to a spring training camp he could not resist. "Long Bob,"
as he was called, pitched a hitless game as a semi-pro for the
old Belleville Simpson Stars in 1903 at the expense of Collins-
ville, who had Art Fletcher, the great New York Yankee coach,
on the mound. While with Portland in the Pacific Coast League
in 1908, Groom pitched a no hit, no run game against Los
Angeles. He was a pitcher for the Washington Senators from
1909 to 1913, with the St. Louis Federals from 1914 to 1915,
and the St. Louis Browns from 1916 to 1917, and with the
Cleveland Indians in 1918. Twenty thousand fans at Sports-
man's park witnessed a no hit, no run game he pitched
with the Browns in 1917 against the Chicago White Sox.
After his baseball career ended he returned to Belleville to
live, indulging in the national pastime only twice thereafter,
once in 1938 and again in 1939 as manager of the two teams
of the American Legion Junior Baseball state champions. He
lived at 1906 West Main street and was president of the Groom
Coal Company, a mine located on the Freeburg Road.
Max Flack, originally of Belleville but now living in East
St. Louis, was another athletic hero, who figured in one of the
strangest baseball incidents in the game's history. In a double-
header between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs,
Max played the first game with the Cards. Between the first
and second game he was traded to the Cubs for Cliff Heath-
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 203
cothe and played tor the Cubs in the second game of the double-
header. He was a great outfielder and hitter, and helped the
Chicago Cubs win the National League pennant in 1938.
Belleville has been represented in major league baseball by
at least 15 men, past and present, including some that have
lived here all of their lives. They are as follows: Norman
Schlueter, Al Glossop, Al Smith, Lester Mueller, Bob Groom,
Max Flack, George Steuernagel, Hamilton Patterson, Billy
Elwert, Jennings Bryan Patterson, Erwin Kreymeyer, James
Decker, Otis Miller, Clarence Hoffman, Jess Doyle, and George
The high school team, then coached by F. J. Friedli, won
a state championship in 1934 by defeating Bloomington in
a home and home series. Besides producing the championship
team of 1934, his other coaching accomplishments are a no
hit game by Jake Ullrich, four homers in one game by Fred
Smith, one state championship, Les Mueller's strike-out record,
and advance of several Maroons into organized baseball.
The lighted athletic field at Illinois street and Cleveland ave-
nue ranks far above some of those used by the minor league
baseball teams today. Here the Stag Beer team has won its many
victories. The city boasts of three championship teams in the
American Legion Junior Baseball League.
Basketball is belived to be the only game played in the
United States today that is purely American in origin. All
others are direct importations or hybrids of other games in
The Southwestern High School Conference was organized
in 1923 with Collinsville, Belleville, Granite City, Woodriver,
Alton, and Edwardsville as members. In 1924, Mascoutah was
added, and in 1925, Jerseyville, Madison and OTallon joined,
making it a ten team league. In 1926, Mascoutah, OTallon and
Madison dropped out, but East St. Louis joined making it
an eight team organization.
204 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
Belleville's first football team, known as the Tigers, was
organized in the 1890*s. Ambng its players were William
Hoppe, Dr. John Gunn, William Andel, Arthur Heinzelman,
Ray Daniels, and Ray Whiteside. Just after the turn of the
century the Belleville Bucks Football Team was organized and
these boys made gridiron history in the rough days of that sport.
The team was in existence seven years, disbanding in 1908.
Theirs was an enviable record, for during their last five years
they not only were untied and undefeated, but during that
entire time no opposing team scored or even crossed their goal
line. This great team averaged only 145 pounds a man, but they
beat outfits, including college crews, which outweighed them
nearly 40 pounds a player. Quite a few of the boys were
offered scholarships to play for colleges.
William (Cuddy) Gilbert was its captain. Among its players
were Theodore R. Smith, Edward J. (Mucher) Engler, Ralph
Leunig, William Huber, Arthur Hoffmann, Dr. Harry Reuss,
William W. Underwood, William Powell, Fred Pope, Assistant
County Treausurer J. Paul Moeller, Errol Kraemer, Charles
McCuIlough, and Lawrance Selle. Aloys Hahn acted as their
Following right on the Bucks came the second Tiger team,
which was organized in 1909 with Charles A. Betz as its
manager. Included among its members were Earl (Punk)
Wangelin, Roy Gilber, Ed Biggs, Arthur Ward, Charles Ehing-
er, Ernst Rodenmeyer, J. Rodenmeyer, George Karr, Elmer
Baldus, Wallace Brandenburger, Oscar Neuner, Arthur Spoen-
emann, Ollie Goss, Roland Nebgen, John Keck, John Mowe,
and Albert Loos.
About 1916 the Tigers underwent another revision. Some
of the previous players held over, but added to these were
Severin Poirot, Adolph Brandenburger, John Holtman, Adolph
Fischer, Peter Maurer, John Roach, and Hugo Stark who gave
his life in the first World War.
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 205
In 1929, the Belleville Township High School football team
was really made up of 1 1 iron men, for in that year they defeated
all the other conference members for the conference football
championship. It was captained by Eddy James Rogers and
coached by Edgar Gunderson. The members of the team were
Leslie Cole, Ernest Glossop, Bernard Cole, Carl Kane, Ellis
Patterson, Robert Aufdenspring, Harley Stiehl, Ralph Coburn,
Walter Rauth, Charles Riegger, Winston Bullington, Relfe
Ehret, and Merlyn Runyon.
With the start of Hubert Tabor's regime as football coach
and the completion of a new stadium at the Township High
School, interest in this particular sport received a boost. Larger
turnouts of candidates for football at both high schools became
evident, the turnout at the Cathedral High School being larger
in proportion to the students enrolled. Charles Gervig and
Elmer Jackson, were placed on the all-state eleven in 1938
and 1939 respectively.
The first championship team produced by Tabor was in
1938 when he had, apparently, eleven perfect gentlemen, and
each of them a star football player. They were Vigil Wagner
and Charles Gervig co-captains, Clyde Wiskamp, Allen Bever-
age, Creighton Cory, Lorraine Schlosser, Bob Seib, John Schell,
William Reichert, Elmer Jackson, Walter Schmisseur, Leroy
Anna, Stewart McCord, Ralph Groh, Edward Dahm, Donald
Le Pere, Warren Taylor, Bill Bevin, Warren Wild, Dean
Johnson, Arthur Corn, Ernst Miller, Robert Moore and Lowell
Grissom. Walter Schmisseur and Warren Wild both made
the supreme sacrifice in World War II. In 1944 and 1949
the team tied with East St. Louis and Alton for the conference
The outstanding annual sports event is the football game be-
tween the Belleville and East St. Louis high schools on the
morning of Thanksgiving Day. This has been a permanent
contest since 1927, and record crowds vdtness the clash every
206 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
year. The playing field alternates between the two schools,
and both the local high school student body and the general
population are always glad when it is a home game.
The high school athletic grounds consists of five all-weather
tennis courts believed to be the best high school courts in the
state, a running track built to specifications furnished by the
University of Illinois, a girls hockey field, and a new concrete
stadium, complete with a band stand and a press box, and
capable of seating 7,800 persons comfortably.
The stadium was a Works Project Administration project
which was approved by the government in January, 1939,
begun in March of that year. It is 420 feet long, 206 feet wide,
has an underground drainage capacity of 1200 gallons per
minute, a lighting system of five poles on each side with six
reflectors on each, a public address system using four of the
latest type reflex trumpet speakers, a drinking fountain at each
end, which is connected to a copper coil fourteen feet under-
ground holding eight gallons of water, a flag pole 60 feet above
the oround, two rest rooms at the east end, and 106 feet of
exit space that make it possible to empty the stadium in three
minutes. The construction cost was $130,840.00.
The stadium was completed in the spring of 1940 and dedi-
cated on the night of the Belleville Township High School-
Cathedral High School game, October 1„ 1940. C. W. Whitten,
executive secretary of the Illinois High School Association
said that it was one of the finest stadiums in the state. Roland
Jung, then president of the school board delivered an address
at the dedication. The Board of Education consisted of Fred
Merrills, secretary; Dr. Edmund Bechtold, Alvin Stenzel, Dr.
Lester Rauth, Ed Fuhrman, Adolph Viehmann, and Elmer
Roberts. Head coach Hubert Tabor and assistant coach Walter
Rauth were also introduced.
A beautiful American flag was presented to the school by
Commander James Burnett, who represented the American
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 207
Legion. While the high school band played "The Star Spangled
Banner," the Hag was raised to the top of the sixty-foot pole
flooded by two spot lights. It was accepted by H. G. Schmidt,
principal, who then introduced F. J. Friedli the athletic director,
who has since been replaced by C. A. Armstrong in 1945,
who took charge of the rest of the program. After a few remarks
he presented Brother Wilfred P. Moran, S.M., Ph.D. who
spoke for the Cathedral High School.
For a while there had been a decline in tennis at the high
school, but Fred Nafziger, the new coach, was largely instru-
mental in reviving it. Past tennis champions include Ellar Daab,
Elmer Hirth, and Howard Braun. Five very modern courts
have been built at the high school.
Great records in track and field events have been made at
the Township High School of late. Coach Ted Harpstreit's
Maroons in 1939 and again in 1944 were the most outstanding
in the history of the school. Wrestling, sport recently added to
the school athletic program, is coached by Walter Rauth.
Although no conference championship team has as yet been
produced, Elmer Jackson, a member of the team, was the first
boy to ever win a state title for the local high school, and it
happened to be in this newest sport.
Belleville is no doubt one of the greatest bowling cities for
its size in the United States. There are nine bowling alleys in
w^hich various leagues play every night except Saturday and
Interest in boxing has been revived by the monthly amateur
Golf too is a favorite sport. Belleville has one eighteen hole
grass green, the St. Clair Country Club, and three nine
hole grass and sand fee courses at Westhaven Golf Course,
Belleville Golf Course, and Oakhill's Golf Course.
In 1939 there was a revival of league competition in horse-
shoe pitching, with special matches taking place all over the
208 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
city. The ringer record holder was Richard Wedel.
Harold Groh brought athletic honors home when he won
the Big Ten diving tide in 1927-28 as a member of the
University of Illinois swimming team.
Strange as it may seem, Amos Thompson, who never owned
a gun and killed only one deer during his lifetime— and that
was accidental— had a son, Cyrus, who became Belleville's great-
est big game hunter. Accompanied by Dr. C. P. Renner and
Oliver Joseph, he made several trips into the southwestern
part of Canada, as well as into the western mountain states for
big game. There he brought down moose, elk, deer, antelope,
bear, foxes, lynx, wild cats, mountain lions, mountain goats,
wolves, and coyotes. Cyrus Thompson lived to the ripe old age
of 92, passing away in 1937. So famous had he become as a
hunter that the leading sportsmen's magazine of the country
requested him to write of his experiences, and his stories made
him a national figure in big game hunting.
Other sports engaged in are horse back riding, fishing,
bicycling, motorcycling, pigeon racing, pocket billiards, soft
ball, table tennis, and trap shooting. The last mentioned takes
place at the Randle Country Club, and its crack shots are Roy
Christmann, Arthur W. Bischoff, and Oscar and Julian Scheske.
In August 1950, Oscar Scheske won the National Trap Shoot
at Vandalia, Ohio.
CULTURE AND RECREATION
Cities play the dominant role in the evolution of human
culture. This is true because urban life powerfully influences
the cultural interests of the entire community. The city is
also a controlling factor in national life, for as the city is, so
is the nation. City people supply most of the national leader-
ship. Through the daily press and the radio the city dominates
public opinion. It sets the fashions— in morals, in manner, and
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 209
in dress. The ideals of the nation are determined by the in-
fluential elements in its population.
Music ranks high in the culture of any city. The Germans
who setded here brought with them their traditional love of
music and song. Belleville's earliest musical organization, a
singing society begun in 1855 and called the Saenger Bund,
was definitely the outstanding singing society of this community.
It gave its concerts at the old City Park Theater.
Belleville has had its native composers. The first one was
John Brosius, who, in August 1863, composed a waltz entided
"Belleville" or "Schoenestadt." Then there was H. G. Paro,
who on October 11, 1895, composed the "Company D March."
This proved quite a success, for it was played by John Phillip
Sousa's band in St. Louis.
The Belleville Band, the city's first, was organized in the
early 1840's. Frederick Krimmel was its president and Peter
Wilding its secretary. It dissolved in the summer of 1846.
Early in 1860, including both string and wind instruments,
the Saxe Horn Band, was organized with Professor James as
its director, and its headquarters in the northeast corner of Main
and High streets. Its leader was John W. Hillim, its captain,
A. L. McKane, and members John C. Hart, Charles Fleisch-
bein, William R. Neighbors, Hugh Harrison, John Thoma,
Charles and Thomas Fleming, John and Thomas Schoupe, and
In the early sixties Frank Boehm also conducted a band,
which in 1864 gave free concerts at the City Park Garden,
the present site of the abandoned Budweiser Garden on West
A street, between North First and North Second streets.
In 1865, the Bavarian Band was organized, and for many
years it was the outstanding one in the entire community. Its
name was derived from the fact that its members had all come
from Bavaria, Germany. John Maurer, its leader for a number
of years, resigned in 1883 to accept the position of orchestra
210 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
leader in the Kansas City, Missouri, Grand Opera House.
1881 saw the organization of the Concordia Band, which
for many years was under the direction of John W. Marsh,
with M. J. Baumgarten as its manager. It, too, had a high
rating, and for many years it and the Bavarian Band were real
rivals for musical honors. However, in the fall of 1899, a con-
solidation of these two bands was effected under the leadership
of Professor Charles Krieger.
Professor Edwin Mayr, an able musician, organized a band
in 1906. However, it was not until the American Legion Band
came into being in 1924 that Belleville once more had a
spectacular and ribbon-winning musical organization.
Today both the grade schools and the Township High
School have splendid bands, as do also the parochial schools.
On November 19, 1866, a group of musicians organized an
orchestral musical society called the Philharmonics, which gave
its first concert on January 26, 1867. The organizers were Dr.
Carl Neubert, Carl Magin, Henry Viehmann, Martin Medar,
Theodore Decker, Martin Hess, and Christopher Espenhain.
It is still in existence and claims to be the second oldest musical
organization of its kind in the United States. Its conductors
have been: Theodore Decker, 1866-69; Julius Liese, 1869-85;
Gustave A. Neubart, 1885-1910; Dr. Adolph Hansing, 1910-11;
Fred A. Kern, 1911-14; Frederick Fischer, 1914-19; Carl J.
Magin, 1919-22; J. W. Marsh, 1922-36; Edwin Peters, 1936-39;
Don S. Foster, 1939-43; Rudolph Magin, 1943-51.
We of the present generation should pause in sober reflection
to pay respects to those responsible for maintaining an organiza-
tion that has played such as important part in the cultural life
of our city. We should pay tribute and do homage to men like
Julius Liese, Gustav Neubart, John Marsh, Carl Magin, and
Edwin Peters, whose inspiring leadership and untiring devotion
as conductors made possible the splendid organization of the
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 211
The Liederkranz Society, organized in February 1873, was
a choral and social group. In 1883 it bought the Heinrich
Opera House for its permanent home and rechristening it the
Liederkranz Hall, used it for all of its brilliant concerts until
disposing of it to the American Legion, whose home it now is.
The greatest of all events in the lives of the members of the
various groups was the Saenger Fest. Once a year all musical
groups combined and would compete in a festival of song. It
was for years one of the highlights of the town.
In 1878, the Thespian Club, an amateur dramatical organiza-
tion of young men and women, was organized, sponsored by
Mrs. Charles Thomas and Mr. Ernest Hilgard. Timber for
its amateur productions was drawn from the social register of
the town bv a man named Schrieber, and its performances
became so outstanding that upon invitations they were presented
in St. Louis. On the programs appeared such names as George
K. Thomas, George Rogers, George Stanley, Fred Snyder,
W. R. Merker, Lee Harrison, A. W. Stuart, Lena Abend,
Gulla Scheel, Helen P. Abend, Mamie Boneau and Alice
Our earliest singing society the Kronthal Liedertafel, was
named after Kronthal, Germany, the former home of Brosius, in
whose residence their first rehearsals were held. This house, later
the home of Mrs. Frank Perrin, was built as a replica of a castle
in Kronthal. As the society grew its rehearsals were held at
various times in the old Belleville House, above the Savings
Bank, and above the Jackson Street Engine House. Concerts
were given four times a year and these were held either in the
Cit' Park Opera House or in the Liederkranz Hall.
A small faction of Liederkranz members, breaking away
from that society in February 1903, organized the Choral Sym-
phony Society, which for a number of years contained some
of the best vocal talent in the city. L. D. Turner, Sr., was its
first president, and Ludwig Carl was its director. Participating
212 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
in a choral contest at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, it
made quite a showing, receiving a commemorative medal from
the World's Fair Association, and remained active until about
The Cecelia Chorus, an organization composed exclusively
of women, was organized in 1911, gaining great popularity
from the very first. It was organized by Sophia Rhein, who
directed it in a talented musical way so that much of the
success that was achieved by the organization was due to her
energy, ability, and talent. "Something new and different" was
Miss Rhein's motto in forming the organization, which in
1914 had a membership of fifty. The charter members were:
Mrs. P. K. Johnson, Mrs. George Brechnitz, Miss Josephine
Baker, Mrs. Fred Fleischbein, Miss Lillian Fuess, Mrs. Charles
Harrison, Mrs. Lee Harrison, Mrs. Charles Huggins, Mrs.
Rogers Hyde, Mrs. George Hilgard, Mrs. Philip Knapp, Miss
Virginia Krebs, Mrs. Ralph Leunig, Mrs. Harry Lederer, Mrs.
Josephine Merck, Miss Loisel Merker, Mrs. Frank Rogers,
Miss Kate Meng, Miss Georgia Reichert, Miss Margaret
Thomas, Miss Edna Sikkema, Miss Mary Turner, Miss Maude
Underwood, Miss Sophia Rhein, Mrs. Carl Weingaertner, Miss
Augusta Wilderman, Mrs. Hugh Wilderman, Miss Jessie
Wilderman, and Miss Posey Woelk.
On August 24, 1906, the St. Clair County Historical Museum,
which occupied a room in the basement of the Court House,
was established. This museum contained all the old French
records of Illinois dating back more than 200 years, and many
other rare documents contributed by various citizens interested
in early histor)^ These were moved to the State Historical
Society in Springfield in 1948.
The Belleville Daily Advocate has for some years concerned
itself with spreading Christmas cheer among the needy through
its annual Empty Stocking Fund. Ever since 1918, it has
appealed at Christmas time for funds to be used in preparing
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 213
baskets of food and gifts for the poor families of our city,
especially for the children who otherwise might face the
tragedy of truly "Empty Stockings" on Christmas Day.
On March 24, 1920, the Parent-Teachers Association which
has become a vital and active branch of the school system, was
formed. Its first officers were Mr. C. A. Grossart, Wilhelmina
Benignus, Walt Marsh and Arthur Niemeyer.
Fraternal organizations have been part of the community
since an early day. Among those in existence are the Masons,
Elks, Moose, Odd Fellows, Eagles, Knights of Phytias, and
Modem Woodmen. The Catholic fraternal orders include the
Knights of Columbus, Holy Name, St. Vincent de Paul, and
Daughters of Isabella. The Masons are represented by Royal
and Selected Masters, Knight Templars, De Molay, Eastern
Star, Job's Daughters and Rainbow.
The first Masonic Lodge was organized on December 14,
1843, as St. Clair Lodge No. 24 A. F. and A.M., with John
C. Teel as its First Worshipful Master. On June 10, 1922,
the chapter of De Molay was organized with thirty-three charter
members. Calvin Mank was chosen to head the new order.
On April 30, 1899 the Elks were organized with seventy-five
charter members, and on November 17, 1910, the Elks Home
was officially dedicated with District Grand Exalted Ruler
Rich presiding at the ceremonies.
Other civic organizations include the Rotary Club, Optimists,
Lions, South Side Improvement Association, West Side Im-
provement Association, Safety Council, and the Chamber of
Commerce. Also of service have been the Women's Club,
Business and Professional Women's Club, the League of Wom-
en Voters, and the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
Among the patriotic organizations are the George E. Hilgard
Post of the American Legion with its women's auxiliary, the
St. Clair County Chapter of the Red Cross, the Daughters of
the American Revolution, the Hecker Woman's Relief Corps,
214 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
the Memorial Day Association, and the Spanish American War
The Hecker Post No. 433 Grand Army of the RepubHc
was organized in Belleville on May 6, 1884, by veterans of
the Civil War. It was named after one of them, the patriot and
statesman Colonel Frederick Hecker, who had also been one
of the leaders of the revolution in Germany in 1848. Today none
The Hecker Women's Relief Corps was organized in 1892
with a membership of forty women. Mrs. Elisa Kueffner was
elected its first president. It devotes its activities to charity and
patriotic work. One of its presidents, the late Carrie Thomas
Alexander Bahrenburg, served as president to both the Illinois
and the national body of the Relief Corps.
The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolu-
tion was organized on August 31, 1916, in the assembly room
of the Public Library. Its membership is composed of lineal
descendants of soldiers of the American Revolution, who have
banded together to preserve the ideals propounded by their
patriotic ancestors. It strives to perpetuate the memory of the
heroic deeds of men and women whose devotion and sacrifices
have made this nation possible. Its motto is: "Home and coun-
try, the two essentials in our democracy." On September 13,
1941, it celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. Its regent then
was Mrs. F. E. Schneidewind. Among the guests at that celebra-
tion were Mrs. O. H. Christ, Danville, Illinois, state regent;
Mrs. John Trigg of St. Louis, national parliamentarian; Miss
Helen McMackin of Salem, Illinois, national chairman of
manuals; and Mrs. Manford Cox of Robinson, Illinois, director
of the sixth division.
An auxiliary to the United Spanish War Veterans was
organized in 1923 with Mrs. Mary Hubert as its first president.
The wives, mothers, and sisters of these soldiers, working hard,
have accomplished some worthwhile results.
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 215
The Memorial Fountain located on the Public Square was
built as a monument to Belleville soldiers participating in any
previous wars. It was the solution to the question as to what
kind of memorial to build, for there was much opposition to
a statue representing war. The majority preferred something
that would beautify the square instead of constandy reminding
them of by-gone wars.
The difficulties of building and financing a fountain were
solved by public subscription. The labor unions volunteered
to donate their services and without them the fountain could
never have been built for its cost would have been prohibitive.
On May 22, 1937, the digging of the pump chambers, and
a room 16 by 24 was ready for the pouring of the concrete.
This excavation proved very interesting for it uncovered four
old cisterns in the center of the Public Square, that had been
used bv our early fire departments.
The fountain was designed by Herbert Schwind. Hoeffken
Brothers donated their digger, and the outer rim was constructed
under the direction of Calvin Johnson. Seventy-five loads of
ground were donated for the landscaping, while the sod, which
was given by Albert Seiber, was laid by Fred Bonhardt. Arthur
Buesch donated and planted the shrubs. The ornamental stone
that was used was donated by Ben F. Affleck, of Chicago, a
Installation of pumps began September 25, 1937, two being
put in, one of high pressure and the other of low. The high
pressure pump forces the water through many pipes to form the
various aquatic formations, having power enough to force the
water fifty-five feet into the air. The low pressure pump forms
the cascade over the lip of the fountain. The water falls into
the surrounding circular pond draining back again to the pump
to be circulated up and over the fountain. The mechanism is
noiseless when in operation and is accessible from a man hole
in the grass plot.
216 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
The Memorial Fountain was dedicated on October 23, 1937,
with Dr. Cameron Harmon as the speaker. It was officially
lighted by Betty Jane Schwind, the daughter of its designer.
It can be seen on Main street as far west as Fifth street, as far
east as Walnut street, north to Lebanon Avenue, and south
to McKinley. The Memorial Fountain was made possible only
through the unselfish efforts of civic-minded individuals and
organizations, and it stands today as one of the finest tributes
to the spirit of our citizens.
Belleville's Chamber of Commerce is an active one, and
its program covers every phase of the city's life. Trenutno
there are 190 men serving on its various committees. It is divided
into, and operates on, a departmental basis, the five divisions
being industrial, civic, commercial, agriculture, and organization.
At the present time its president is Wesley Bloomer, Walter
E. Wagner is the secretary-manager.
The first park used for outdoor recreation was Huff's Garden
now the Knights of Pythias Park, 900 West Main street. It
was long the center of west Belleville's gay life.
In the southwest part of the city was Eimer's Hill, which in
early days was also a favorite picnic ground. Today it has been
Priester's Park, managed by Frank Priester, was built in
1899 and soon became a most pretentious amusement center.
It covered an area of 88 acres and included athletic fields, race
courses, roller coaster, dance pavilions, a restaurant, and beer
gardens. In 1906, it became a private institution and was called
The Priester's Park Driving and Country Club. Today its
buildings and grounds form a part of the huge campus of St.
On May 28, 1922, the first public park to be owned by the
city was dedicated and formally named Bellevue Park. On
this occasion the principal speaker was Mr. John Gundlach
who was one of the pioneers in the park and playground move-
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 217
ment in St. Louis. Other speakers were Dr. J. K. Conroy and
Mayor Joseph Anton. WilHam Twenhoefel, city plan commis-
sioner, was master of ceremonies. The gift of this park site
to the people of Belleville was made possible through the
generosity of the Board of Trade.
On September 18, 1923, ground was broken for the erection
of the new $100,000 Turner Hall.
On August 3, 1925, the South Side Park of Belleville con-
sisting of six and one-healf acres of land was formally dedicated
and opened for public use.
All cities should have parks and playground areas. Long
experience in many cities proves that they can be supported
with little difficulty. There should be at least ten acres of
park for each thousand of population. Of this, approximately
one third of three acres per thousand, should be utilized for
FIFTY YEARS OF PROGRESS 1850-1900
Belleville was incorporated as a village in 1819 and as a
citv in 1850. It adopted the charter of the city of Springfield,
Illinois, and Theodore J. Krafft was elected its first mayor.
The government of the city was then conducted by a mavor
and eight aldermen, two from each of the four wards. The
other cit)' officials were a register, marshal, treasurer, attorney,
assessor, collector, surveyor and engineer, chief of fire depart-
ment, weigher and market master, street inspector, captain of
night police, captain of day police, superintendent of work-
house, sexton, and city scavenger.
The most important street in this town of 5000 population
was East iMain street, and was also the first street to be improved,
for in 1850 it was given a cover of crushed rock to counteract
the mud and dust. It was further improved when on June 10,
1877, the citv council ordered it to be paved with cedar blocks
to Walnut street. Remnants of this type of paving remained
218 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
as late as 1930, when the last of it was removed on the street
leading to the St. Clair Country Club.
Street fairs, the predecessor of the homecomings, attained
their popularity in the late nineties. They, too, had their queens,
parades, and carnivals which were not only attended by the
whole town but also by the surrounding country.
At the time of the California gold rush a number of Belle-
villeans, lured by the mirage of easy money and great riches,
hit the trail for the Great West. Tradition has it that they were
given good advice before they left, for they were warned that
the road was long and dreary, that they would be without meat,
flour, food, and water, and would find no grass in many places.
They were jokingly advised to take a file with them, for if
their trusty rifle should actually get a buffalo they would first
have to file their teeth so they could eat it.
They were also informed that if they got sick on the road
they had better keep toddling along. If they didn't and should
by any chance lie along the road an Indian would come along
and they'd be minus a scalp, they were told.
As a last bit of advice they were given the comforting
assurance that should any of them perish on the way, a little
hole three feet deep would be dug where they'd be buried and
where that night the wolves would hold a council over their
grave, prior to a digging-up party.
How many hit the treacherous, heart-breaking trail to the
Pacific is not recorded, but it is known that many came back
sadly disappointed and poorer than they were before. Some
came back to further disillusionment, for after an absence of
ten or fifteen years, to their dismay, some found their mates
happily married to others, after uncertain rumors had it that the
first husband had been killed by the Indians.
By 1854 Belleville had enlarged its area, increased its wealth,
and more than doubled the amount of improvements to its
streets. The manufacturers were expanding and increasing their
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 219
trade. Most of the early settlers that came from the east brought
with them large families. Those that came from Virginia and
other southeastern states brought their slaves, and their right
to keep them was at once questioned.
At the same time run-away slaves were not tolerated. Any
Negro who could not present the proper credentials of freedom
to the county authorities was regarded by law as a run-away
slave. He was arrested, held in the county jail, and the
sheriff advertised his arrest. If the owner did not reclaim him
within six weeks he was sold into slavery for a period of one
year, at the end of which time legally, at least, he was entitled
to his freedom unless the original owner appeared.
Belleville had more run-away slaves than most communities,
since it was located on the route between Virginia and Missouri,
and the wealthy planters traveling between the two states always
passed through the city.
On November 11, 1841, the town's local paper carried the
following run-away negro advertisement: "Taken up and com-
mitted to jail on the third of November, 1841 in the county
of St. Clair, State of Illinois, a Negro who calls himself Jordan
and says he formerly had been ownied in Richmond County,
Virginia, by Newman Flanagan but was sold at public auction
and does not know his present owner. He is five feet nine,
weight 175 and is about 28 years old. His owner must prove
his property within six weeks or said Negro will be dealt with
according to law."
It was openly contended by many people that slave owners
should move to Missouri, while those not having slaves should
settle in the free state of Illinois, and that Negroes who remained
in this state for ten days with the purpose of becoming a resident
should be fined fiftv dollars. If they were unable to pay their
services they should be sold at public auction.
On April 7, 1857, a mulatto named Jackson Redman made
the fatal mistake of leaving Pennsylvania, was arrested, tried,
220 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
and convicted for the misdemeanor under the IlHnois law.
On April 18, 1857, at one o'clock in the afternoon, his services
were to be sold to any person who paid the said fine and costs.
The appearance of this ad brought a storm of protest on the
justice of the peace, who was only performing his duty in
enforcing the law.
On the day of the sale the great humanitarian Gustav Koerner,
without much ado, paid the fifty dollar fine and immediately
turned the Negro free. By court decision a Negro living here
for a period of five years automatically became a free citizen.
Many slave-owning families therefore left the state.
One of the most tragic chapters of local history was that
written by the cholera epidemic, which originated in St. Louis
in the summer of 1849 and swept away nearly 300 people in
a month's time. Medical men were unable to check it, and the
dreaded disease continued to ravage the lives of the people.
It wiped out entire families who were helpless against its
To prevent the spread of the disease, the people were caution-
ed to purify the air and keep the streets in a sanitary condition,
which was done by sprinkling them generously with slaked
lime. Lime was also abudandy spread on private premises, but
better than this large fires of coal tar and sulphur were kept
burning day and night, and yet everywhere people were dying.
The hopeful housewife, fearing for the lives of her loved ones,
listened and followed every new suggestion by the doctors,
some of whom recommended the burning of coffee beans,
boiling vinegar continuously, and pouring coal tar on the top
of the stove to smother out all impurities of the air. The
epidemic raged on, however, and approximately two-thirds of
all cases were fatal. Not only was this true here but also in
St. Louis, East St. Louis, Mascoutah, Collinsville, and Lebanon.
The disease spared neither young, middle-aged nor old. It had
no regard for the hale and hearty man, the tender and hand-
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 221
some youth, nor the kind and gentle woman.
Since then medical science has discovered that cholera is a
bacterial disease and that the germ is spread through drinking
water, foods, and by the common house-fly. Like today's in-
fluenza, the cholera epidemic of old struck and and then de-
parted after having run its fatal course.
The homes in the earlier days were very sturdy. Sunbaked
bricks, hand-hewn white oak beams, and plaster of clay and
straw were the basic materials for the houses of over a century
ago. Heavy weather boarding was apparendy the vogue in the
construction of the frame houses. Inner walls were of hand
molded bricks made of native clay and baked in the sun.
Wood, now used only in high-grade furniture could be found
in many parts of the home, for often they had walnut window
sills and wild cherry panels.
The cooking stove was an innovation, for the earlier homes
had fireplaces supplied with ketde hooks, which gave the family
hearth its real meaning. But with the coming of the stove the
city in time became the stove center of the world.
Commercial soap in pioneer days was an unknown commo-
dity. At intervals, usually dictated by the supply on hand, a
time was set aside for the making of soap. This was cooked in
a large iron ketde which generally stood on a tripod in the
The bathtub, too, was rare, largely because of the difficulty
in heating the home. It was introduced in the early seventies
and was nothing more than a box-like affair lined with zinc.
Since there was no running water it was filled by carrying the
water that had been heated on a stove beforehand.
It was at this time that a city ordinance was passed regulating
the speed of driving catde or horses through the streets. The
law read that they must not be driven faster than four miles
an hour nor must they be driven with dogs, and anyone guilty
of violating this law would be fined from $3.00 to $25.00.
222 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
It must have been difficult to measure their speed, for speed-
ometers were then unknown.
Another ordinance regulated the cost of digging a grave
according its depth. One of three feet or less depth cost 75
cents, one four feet, $1.00, while that of more than four feet,
After the Mexican War, 1846-48, returning soldiers wore
beards, the most popular of which were the English side whisk-
ers. This new style was not adopted at once by the local people,
but in 1854, when the barbers agreed that the price of a shave
should be 10 cents instead of the prevailing charge of 5 cents,
there was loud and long wailing by the masculine element.
To make their protests more effective, they organized a beard
growers society and not only adopted, but also published this
resolution: Resolved: "That the lather used by the aforemention-
ed barbers, being of a quality which is calculated to advance
the growth of the beard, we emphatically enter our protest
against the agreement referred to unless the barbers also agree
to use nothing but the common castile for lather."
The development of agriculture in this area was constant.
The German immigrants brought from their native land a
knowledge of the intensive methods of farming. Although the
soil was rich, the German farmer unfailingly reclaimed all
wasteland and also improved methods of crop rotations. Their
thrift and love of the beautiful led to the well improved farms
of today. Wheat at the time averaged 20 to 28 bushels per acre,
and in 1851 it sold for 65 cents a bushel. However, in 1867,
it had risen to $3.70 a bushel and this community produced
about six hundred thousand bushels a year.
Although the second panic in 1857 hit many communities
very hard, business here remained good. The streets remained
lively with wagons from the country, bringing produce for cash
and goods. Eever^'where one could still hear the sound of the
hammer and saw, indicating that work was plentiful. Every-
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 223
where one heard the query, "Do you know of a house for rent?"
All were happy and prosperous.
The reaper had now been invented and the old, back-breaking
cradle and sickle were on the way out. The threshing separator
separted the wheat grain from the straw at the time of threshing
and the farmer could now raise much more wheat. It was then
that the old threshing circuits, long famous for their jolting
wagons, the pitching to the machine, the stream of straw
and chaff from the blower, and the bountiful dinners came into
existence. But even these good old days have gone with the
wind, for most farmers now own their own combines.
Coffee, as we know it today, was a luxury that could be
enjoyed only by the rich during the Civil War days, and the
poor housewife besides her many other tasks had to roast the
coffee substitutes such as barley, wheat, sweet potatoes, corn
and even, at times, acorns.
By 1862 Belleville had not only grown in size but had
become more beautiful. A Chicago newspaper referred to it
as a beautiful little village. Much had been done to make it
a safe place in which to live, and in 1867 the city council
passed an ordinance making it a misdemeanor to cast or throw
stones or any other missiles upon or at any building, tree, or
public or private property, or at any person. Anyone doing
so was subject to a fine not exceeding $5.00.
That same city also regarded kite flying as dangerous, and
to curb it the following ordinance was passed: "Whoever shall,
on any highway, or thoroughfare of this city, fly a kite, or use
any sport or exercise likely to scare horses, injure passengers,
or embarass the passengers of vehicles, shall be deemed guilty
of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine."
By 1870 Belleville had a total of forty miles of street, 16
miles of which had already been paved and could be travelled
safely at all times of the year, and twenty miles of sidewalk
had been laid.
224 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
During an era of prosperity Lady Nicotine soothes the hearts
of men a httle faster or a Httle more than at any other time.
The white man learned the art of using tobacco from the
Indians, Sir Walter Raleigh being the first prominent white
man to smoke the "vile weed." Local men could now go to
the cigar store and buy half Spanish cigars, snuff, and smoking
or chewing tobacco. Gentlemen who preferred chewing to
smoking, or inhaling of snuff were kept well supplied, for
chewing then was much more popular than it is today, and the
spitters were also much more accurate.
Before the invention of cigar making machines, the one-man
cigar factories dotted all the cities. Here the cigar-maker would,
with nimble fingers, ply his chosen trade. Whenever a customer
bought a box of these hand-made cigars (then called segars)
the proprietor would present him with an extra one. The cigars
were graded into first, second and third quality, and the
particular quality one smoked usually determined his economic
rather than his social rank— a sort of caste system still carried
on today in the dime, two-for-a-quarter, and quarter brands.
Pipe smoking followed later in popularity, with the result
that many brands of pipes appeared on the market. The old
Germans always brought with them from the fatherland their
traditional Meerschaum pipe. To accidentaly break a friend's
Meerschaum was a serious offense, second only to that of
stealing his wife.
Snuff with all of its snuffing was definitely on its way
out, as apparently chewing is today. No longer does one see
snuff-stained shirts nor do as many brass cuspidors line the bar.
With the passing of these, the cigarette has been ushered in,
as a result of World War I, and more likely, to the effect of
high powered advertising. The introduction of the cigarette
at first brought a deluge of condemnation, and cigar or pipe
smoking fathers would not permit a cigarette smoking youngster
to court his daughters.
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 225
By 1870 a very extensive system of agricultural manufacturing
was being done in this city. $300,000 worth of these implements
were sold annually, with two iron and brass factories kept busy
supplying the wants of these factories.
Although the Richland Creek is small, its history is a color-
ful one. In all probability it got its name from the fact that
it flows through rich agricultural lands. As a stream it has
never behaved too well, for at times it is a rampaging litde
river, while at other times it is almost entirely dry. It has
marked the dividing line between East and West Belleville and
as such has been the scene of many a battle between East and
West Belleville youths in the early days. East Belleville always
regarded itself superior in all respects in those days and the
expression "He's a West End tough" had much significance
Richland Creek in the early days was not only a dividing
line but was also the local Rhine river, for many were the
young people who kept the "watch on the Rhine." It was,
however, never fortified, but some of the battles were perhaps
just as violent, even though the casualties amounted only to
black eyes and bloody noses. The boys on opposite sides carried
on eternal vigilance, challenging one another to cross the line.
Under such watchful eyes, it must have required courage and
a strong right arm at times, to seek the hand of a girl on the
other side. Happily those animosities are things of a by-gone
It was on its banks just south of the city that Kickapoos
usually camped after their raiding parties on the American
Bottoms. Here on several occasions the terrified white captives
pondered their fate as they lay bound in the red man's camp.
Partly because of its rampages and partly because it was
blamed for chills and fever, Richland Creek lost its good reputa-
tion. Some thought it caused the cholera epidemic in 1849,
and perhaps rightly so, for the stream after every overflow
226 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
left pools of Stagnant water that smelled obnoxiously, and were
breeding grounds for mosquitoes and disease germs.
Its overflows have come with regularity. The first was
recorded in 1848 when the creek became so large that it
proceeded to sweep in its path all existing bridges, down to the
On the night of March 4, 1897, a very heavy rain storm
sent the creek out its banks so hurriedly that some of the
flood refugees had to be rescued from their homes by boats.
So heavy were the rains that the dam at Lake Christine broke
and let a perfect Niagara of water into the already swollen
creek, adding to the great damage. Gaping holes occurred
into which the water swirled, even rushing into the coal
mines. The Oakhill Mine and all slope mines were thus flooded.
On August 19, 1915, occurred another damaging flood. For
the first time since the West Main street concrete bridge had
been built, water swirled over it for several hours. Hundreds
of rowboats rescued people from second-story windows. The
power plant was flooded, cutting off all power, and damage
in the city was estimated at $100,000.
The town of West Belleville was laid out on a hill on the
west bank of Richland Creek in the year 1852, the land being
part of a two hundred acre farm owned by Theodore Erasmus
Hilgard. In 1861, there were six hundred inhabitants, and in
that year it offically incorporated itself and adopted the name
of West Belleville. The little village had its own institutions,
for in 1855 a brick school was built with one large room for
classes and two smaller ones for the teacher and his family. It
also had its own market house on the West End Square at
Eleventh street, its own Western Brewery and its own distillery.
By 1874, its population had increased to 2500 inhabitants, with
many nationalities represented, but with Germans predomi-
As time went on, there arose a mutual desire to merge the
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS 227
two independent communities into one, for it was believed
much could be gained by each in such a merger. So, in an
election held to vote on the issue on April 18, 1882, the people
of both towns approved the merger, and three days later, April
21, 1882, West Belleville officially became a part of Belleville.
On Saturday night, April 26, 1882, the ratification celebration
was held at Huff's Garden, now the Knights of Pythias Park,
where events of importance for West Belleville always took
place. A large parade, headed by a blaring band, marched to
the Public Square where the procession was joined by the
citizens of East Belleville, and together they marcehd back
to the park. The night was rainy, the streets were muddy, but
the crowd was large. Here, promises were exchanged to forget
all past animosities and to work together in harmony so that
the new city might prosper.
Belleville had now begun its move to the west. It was
because of the mining industry that its westward expansion
continued, for a string of mining settlements had sprung up be-
tween the city and the bluffs.
The stories of the weather today are much less interesting
than those in the past. Facts and predictions today are based
upon scientific measurements which are undebatable and which
take the personal touch from all weather accounts. Early people
had leeway. The best judges of the weather were the older
residents, who had lived through more of it and therefore re-
membered the days that were colder, the rains that were heavier,
and the summers that were hotter. Blizzards, the oldest inha-
bitants could recall, appeared with the regularity of a clock.
One storv relates how, during the winter of 1885, the tracks
of the Cairo Short Line, now the Illinois Central were so
blocked bv snow that the cars were entirely buried beneath
the drifts. The passengers suffered extremelv from cold and
hunger because there was no settlement or house nearby from
which to obtain food or fuel. A gentlemen in one of the trains
228 A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
had a couple of dogs with him which were killed and eaten by
the starving party.
Another tale tells that during the cold winter of 1856, the
Mississippi River was frozen solid for 64 days. In fact, the
ice was so thick that people rode horseback across it. Then there
was the blizzard of all blizzards in 1890 when eighteen to
twenty inches of snow fell, and all roads and railroads were
Medical science today assures us that aged and rheumatic
people are not as reliable in measuring the temperature as is
The hailstorm that surpassed them all rattled down on Belle-
ville on April 16, 1918. So severe was it that the roofs that
had been rain-proof became like a sieve, and cars and buggytops
were peppered with holes. Thousands of window panes were
Most residents today remember the tornado of March 15,
1938, that blew in from the southwest at 5 o'clock that after-
noon. It demolished the Union Grade School, ruined Suppiger's
cannery, crossed Main street at the Southern crossing, flattened
out homes in a four block area, took a total of twelve lives
and did $500,000 worth of property damage. Many in the east
end of town were unaware of its happening until four hours
By 1884, Belleville was a thriving substantial community of
16,000 people. It had more than fifty miles of improved streets
most of them illuminated by electric lights while some were
still lit by gas furnished by an extensive gas works with a capa-
city to meet all needs both public and private.
It was evident at this time that Belleville was fast becoming
industrialized. The city had acquired good government. There
was law and order. The schools compared favorably with any.
Churches administered to the spiritual hfe. The city was on its
y ' It s early as 1917 it was becoming more and more ap-
parent that future wars would no longer be fought only on
and below the earth's surface, but also in the air, and that
more men were going to be needed to fly the ever-increasing
number of planes. With this in mind the War Department in
June, 1917, purchased a field a mile square near Belleville,
which was to be used as a training center for aviators. $10,000-
000 was appropriated by Congress for its construction, and two
thousand laborers and carpenters were immediately put to work.
Actual building was begun in June, 1917, and work was
pushed so feverishly that it was completed in September of
the same year, for the United States was really in need of
airplane pilots and fields on which to train them. The area
was small and the buildings looked like hastily constructed
crates. Seeing the present base, one would hardly realize that
it could ever have been so small.
Although it may be the opinion of a few of the old-timers
that the installation was originally called Avia Field, such is
not the case, as Avia was merely the name of the railroad station
of the Southern Railroad located a short distance away. Follow-
ing the usual procedure of naming aviation fields in honor
of American fliers who had distinguished themselves, this one
was named Scott Field later changed to Scott Air Force Base,
in honor of Cpl. Frank S. Scott, who met death in an exper-
230 IN WAR
imental flight in the first army aviation school at College Park,
Maryland, in 1912.
In August, 1917, while construction work still going on and
with its 75 buildings not yet completed, three hundred soldiers
arrived for duty. In September four airplanes were received,
the first of the 72 planes ordered for Scott Field. Soon the
actual training of airplane pilots began. On August 27, 1917,
Major George E. A. Reinberg, Signal Corps, became the field's
first commanding officer.
Students began arriving daily, and by the end of September
more than one thousand men were stationed there. With their
arrival from all parts of the country, came quarantine, one of
the bugaboos of camp life. Measles developed, which spoiled
the first Christmas vacation, many having hoped to go home,
while others had received invitations from the kindhearted Belle-
villians. Luckily, a few days before the holidays expired, the
ban was lifted, but with two more squadrons arriving from
Texas, the epidemic broke out again, putting the camp once
more under quarantine.
In January, 1918, Colonel J. C. Fechet arrived, replacing
Major Reinberg. Later in that same year Major Henry Abbey,
Jr., assumed command.
After the Armistice, November 18, 1918, a great deal of
concern was felt as to what would happen to this field. Since
it was no longer needed as a training center for the Army's
aviation cadets, the personnel was cut down until only 65
In October, 1919, Major J. H. Houghton replaced Major
Abbey. During the next year there was very little activity at
the post. In 1920, the government decided that the field should
be converted into the nation's headquarters for the training of
airship pilots and ballon observers, thus discontinuing all heavier
than air training. The United States government then, on
March 19, purchased outright the land on which Scott Field
I N WAR 232
was located. The purchase price for the 640 acres was $119,-
285, a little over $170 per acre.
In 1921 the War Department approved a plan for an erection
of a $1,200,000 hangar, which was to be 220 feet wide, 180
feet high and 910 feet long, with landing facilities, 1,500 by
150 feet, fronting the hangar. This field was now converted
into the home of the dirigible, observation balloon, round free
balloons, and the sausage balloon, all of which were regarded
as supremely important at the time.
Construction of this hangar was approved by the Secretary
of War in 1921. Major Frank M. Kennedy, its designer, arrived
now to assume command of the post in October, succeeding
Colonel C. G. Hall. He supervised the entire construction of
the hangar, which was completed that year at a cost of $1,-
360,000. It dominated the countryside for miles around and
was a greater attraction to visitors that were dirigibles themselves.
Its floor had space enough for 100,000 men to stand in military
formation; and ever)' visitor that saw it would speculate on how
much the hangar would hold in corn, wheat, or hay, while
others would compare it with the Washington Monument or
the Empire State Building. The two doors at its entrance
weighed almost 2,000,000 pounds each. It took electrically
driven motors seven and one-half minutes to open them.
With completion of the hangar. Major Kennedy received
orders to proceed to Germany to supervise the construction of
a Zeppelin for the United States government. He was suc-
ceeded by Major John H. Paegelow.
Other building projects in the $5,000,000 lighter than air
base were as follows: 175 foot high mooring mast, an extensive
helium laboratory where the gas was purified after having been
used in the dirigibles, and an engineering department near
On October 3, 1923, the world's largest lighter-than-air craft,
the United States Shenendoah landed at Scott Field. On January
232 IN WAR
28, 1926, the R.S.-l, largest army dirigible in the world, was
completed at the field and given a successful tr)'Out. The peak
of construction was attained when the T C-14 and the T CTl,
non-rigid air ships, were built. The T C-14 was 237 feet long,
57 feet in diameter and had a 365,000 cubic feet gas capacity.
These dirigibles resembled silver cigars floating in the air,
and they soon became familiar figures to everyone.
The blimp was a non-rigid bag having no inner frame work
and was therefore nicknamed "the rubber cow" or "fat sausage."
The operator in the control car, swung by cables beneath the
bag, controlled its direction and speed of travel.
On August 8, 1925, St. Clair County received $35,292 from
the United States government for the construction of the new
hard road to Scott Field. It was the first time in the history of
the state that federal aid had been secured by a county without
any effort on the part of the state.
During the years 1928-29 it seemed that Scott Field was
fast becoming ITncle Sam's step-child. There was even a move-
ment on foot then, that it be abandoned entirely, as need for
it no longer seemed to exist. Civic groups both in Belleville and
the surrounding territory began to realize what this would
mean, and at once formed a National Defense Committee to
fight for its retainment. Congressman John T. Cochran of
Missouri, on the floor of the House of Representatives, fought
for its continuance. In June, 1930, Congress finally authorized
$1,206,500 for additional construction work at the field. Heavier
than air operations were then resumed, and Scott Field soon
became the largest and most completely equipped government
inland airship base and ballon and airship school.
The year 1933 marked the termination of active duty for
Colonel Paegelow, and in August, Lieut. Colonel Frank M.
Kennedy returned to take over command.
In 1935, Congressman Edwin M. Schaefer of Illinois pro-
IN WAR 233
posed a bill to provide $4,338,000 for further improvement of
Scott Field which congress approved.
In February, 1937, Colonel Kennedy was ordered to report
to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, and was succeeded by Colonel
Arthur J. Fischer, who had been transferred here from Maxwell
Field, Montgomery, Alabama.
On May 14, 1937, the lighter-than-air crafts were discon-
tinued at the field, for with the exception of perhaps coastal
patrol, their day had passed. It was again rumored that the
field would be abandoned, but on May 14, 1937 the War
Department changed Scott Field from a lighter-than-air to a
heavier-than air field. The baby blimps and dirigibles were
deflated and the Ninth Air Squadron was assigned to another
field. The day of the huge cigar-shaped silver painted dirigibles
was over as far as this area was concerned. A total of forty
carloads of cylinders, each cylinder weighing 130 pounds and
capable of holding two hundred cubic feet of gas was shipped
to Duncan Field, San Antonio, Texas, where they were serviced
and sent to the helium plant at Amarillo, Texas.
In 1938, Scott Field was rebuilt in its entirety. The big
helium plant, the dirigible hangar, the mooring mast, the old
wooden barracks, and administration buildings were torn down.
The mile square field was enlarged and criss-crossed by concrete
runways for landing fields, which completed were 250 feet
wide and about two miles long. The field hangar, which
originally cost $1,360,000, was sold to the wreckers for $20,051.
On June 2, 1938, the War Department designated Scott Field
as the new home of the General Headquarters of the Air Forces
of the entire United States Army. An additional twelve hundred
acres of land was bought adjoining the present field to the east
and the north. Because of its ideal geographic location and
strategic regions of defense, this field now was destined to
become the center of all army air activities.
The tearing down of the old buildings began on July 18,
234 IN WAR
1938, and soon the $7,500,000 improvement program got under
way. New hangars, shops, barracks, officers quarters, general
headquarters building, quarters for the various mechanical
equipment, in all 73 major buildings, were soon under construc-
On June 1, 1939, Scott Field was designated as the Scott
Field branch of the Army Air Corps Technical Schools,
and the basic section of the school, which was located at
Chanute Field, Rantoul, Illinois, was transferred to Scott. This
involved the movement of all civilian instructors, 29 enlisted
instructors, and five officers to Scott Field. In August, 1941
an allotment of $1,710,150 was made for the construction of
160 new buildings at the field. This was in line with the plan
that Scott Field was to house eight thousand men.
New buildings on the post were constructed with funds from
the Public Works Administration. An average of two thousand
men worked at the field constantly in connection with this
project, the outstanding feature of which was the new mess
hall that was to serve six thousand men. This building is the
shape of a capital "H" with the kitchen in the cross bar. There
are four dining halls providing eight lines for cafeteria style
serving. The center of the building is used for storage and
To house the more than forty-five hundred students with the
Radio Communications School, a new cantonment area was
constructed on the souteast section of the post. The students
began moving into this miniature city in December, 1940, and
it has since been called the Student Center. Colonel Walcott
P. Hayes, the commanding officer was succeeded on July
2, 1940, by Colonel Fischer. He in turn was succeeded by
Colonel J. P. Temple on February 11, 1944, and he, on March
15, 1944, by Brig. General Shepler W. Fitzgerald.
The last vestige of the lighter-than-air era at Scott Field
disappeared on October 30, 1941, with the shipment of seven
IN WAR 235
carloads of helium containers.
The Air Corps Institute at Scott Field established under the
direction of Co. Frank H. Pritchard in December, 1940, has
the only correspondence school of its kind in the United States.
With applications for the 33 available subjects coming in from
fifty army posts all over the nation, as well as from distant
possessions, the enrollment has far exceeded ten thousand.
Scott Air Force Base is today a complete city in itself, con-
taining all the necessities of life and the comforts of modern
living. It has been enlarged three times its original size. It
contains restaurants, motion picture theaters, recreation grounds,
libraries, service clubs, gymnasiums, community halls, swim-
ming pools, and a day room where the men may play table
games, listen to the radio, read, or play the piano.
The field is also equipped with a prison, an efficient police
force, a new hospital, a modern and completely equipped fire
station, a postal system, a bank, and an extensive sewerage dis-
posal system emptying into a three-mile ditch to Silver Creek.
Approximately twenty-five thousand air corps radio techni-
cians were being trained every year by the Army Corps Radio
Operators and Technician School. Students entered at the rate
of eight hundred every two weeks and received a 22 week
radio course in operation and line maintenance of air craft
radio equipment, and in the installation, operation and field
maintenance of tactical ground radio equipment. Scott Field
had a personnel of around twenty-five thousand including of-
ficers, permanent men, and students. From it were directed
all operations of the United States Army Air Corps. It will
always be the focal point for the wings of the United States
OUR PART IN THE WARS
Whenever this country has gone to war, men of Belleville
have not been reluctant to take up arms and do their part to
236 IN WAR
preserve the ideals and the rights of free men as guaranteed
by the government.
George Rogers Clark was the first to open this area to the
American pioneer. Some of his courageous little band later
settled here, the most noted of these being the Reverend Hosea
Rigg of Pennsylvania, who enlisted when only 19. He fought
in the batde of White Plains, Germantown and Brandywine,
setding in this area a litde later and spending the next forty
years of his hfe here. He died at his home two miles east of
Belleville in 1841.
In 1809, when British agents were stirring up the Indians
in the West, it was the Rangers, their patrols, and blockhouses
that quelled the raids and forced the Red Man to make peace.
A line of blockhouse forts sixty miles long was built from the
Missouri to the Kaskaskia Rivers. This line was pratolled by
22 forts, one of them was near Lebanon, another south of New
Athens, and another in Mascoutah township. Four companies
of Rangers kept this line intact and warded off all Indian
In the War of 1812, many of these Rangers joined the Army,
which later defeated the British at New Orleans. Of them the
most famous were William Whiteside, James B. Moore, Jacob
Short, and Samuel Whiteside. Governor John Reynolds, then
a young man, saw service at this time.
During the Black Hawk War of 1831 to 1832, named after
Chief Black Hawk living in the Rock River County of Illinois,
Governor Reynolds issued the call for volunteers to force these
Indians out of the state. Many men responded, and some of them
fought with the future president, Abraham Lincoln, who was
chosen captain of his company. Among local men who volun-
teered were Adam W. Snyder and John Thomas, the latter
rising to the rank of colonel in this campaign. The result of
this war was that the Indians were forced out.
IN WAR 237
When the call for volunteers came in the Mexican War,
(1846-48), local citizens were eager and ready to fight, and
several companies of volunteers were formed. The first one
known as the Second lUinois Regiment, was organized in May,
1846, by William H. Bissell then a young local attorney. Bissell
later became colonel of this regiment, winning much acclaim
for his service. It was his good work that helped attain the
governor's seat for him. His company did more fighting than
any other, suffering a loss of sixty-five killed, eighty wounded,
and ten missing.
When Bissell's regiment returned at the end of the war,
it was given a reception of welcome, at which Bissell praised
the officers and men of the Second Illinois Regiment, saying
they had fought bravely and well. Bissell dwelt at length on
their high sense of personal honor and the high moral sense
instilled in them by their fathers and mothers, to whom he
accredited all honor.
Another company of volunteers was organized by Nathaniel
Niles, vv'ho later edited the Daily Advocate. He was also captain
of a company of Texas Infantry which fought in the battle of
Monterey and Buena Vista.
When Lincoln issued his call for volunteers in April, 1861,
many answered the call and enlisted. A training camp, named
Camp Koerner, was established at the old Fair Grounds where
a local company of volunteers was prepared for war. Many of
these young men rose from private to colonel and some were
with Sherman in his march to the sea. Others fought in the
Batde of Gettysburg. The Ninth Illinois Infantry, in which
Belleville was well represented, took part in 1 10 battles.
Of particular note is the fact that Germans, only a few years
removed from their native land, fought gallantly for the land
of their adoption. Most noted of these were Colonel Friederich
Hecker, and Gustavus Koerner.
On May 8, 1861, Ulysses S. Grant, then only a captain,
238 IN WAR
paid a visit to Belleville. He was on an inspection tour and
talked to those in charge of the camp, including Captain Koer-
ner, Henry Goedeking, and Henry Kircher. When he arrived,
Hecker's boys were drilling and made a good showing. Grant
met the officers in charge and later had a soldier dinner with
In the War with Spain, April 19, 1898, to December 12,
1898, Belleville's chief contribution was its Company D of
the Fourth Regiment of Illinois Infantry, which was sent to
Belleville is justly proud of its contributions to the Navy.
Captain Joseph B. Coghlan, who commanded the warship
Raleigh in the Batde of Manila, spent his boyhood here. Lt.
Commander William Braunersreuther, who lead the party of
Marines which took possession of the island of Guam, was
also a Belleville resident. He too took part in the Batde of
Manila Bay. Among the Navy's admirals in the Spanish-Amer-
ican War were Hugo Osterhaus and Kossuth Niles. Major
General Wesley Merritt, the son of an editor of the Daily
Advocate, led an American force which stormed the city of
Manila after Dewey had destroyed the fleet and silenced the
forts. He served as the first military governor of the Phillippine
Islands. Admiral Louis Kempff, commander of the warship
Monterey, became governor general of the Island of Guam in
recognition of his services.
On June 28, 1914, World War I broke in Europe. When
the United States entered it on April 6, 1917, Belleville boys
again played a heroic part in this great conflict as they served
on all of its far-flung battle fronts. On June 16, 1917, more
than fourteen thousand men from St. Clair County registered
for the selective draft. The boys, from 21 to 31, who registered
from here numbered 2,024 which was nearly ten per cent of
the 1910 population. Forty-two names are on the first World
War's honor roll of war dead. Heading this list is Major General
IN WAR 239
George E. Hilgard after whom the American Legion Post was
The mihtary and naval heroes from this city have been many.
To single out any one as being greatest, would be an injustice
to the rest. Every war leaves not only its dead, but also the
organizations that spring up to perpetuate its memory. There
are still such organizations as the Daughters of the Amer-
ican Revolution, Spanish American War Veterans, American
Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars, the latter an offshot
of the preceding one. Any World War veteran may belong
to it. The local chapter was organized on January 14, 1934,
by August Franke, John Pollock and Frank Yerk with 65
charter members. Its membership today has increased to three
hunderd, and its past commanders have been August Franke,
Philip Wagner, Dr. William Kneedler, Charles Ehinger, Arthur
Nowotny, Frank Yerk, and Harry Morton.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars sponsor a colorful drum and
bugle corps, which was organized by Dr. Kneedler while he was
commander of the organization in 1936. It won first place
during 1938 and 1939 at the department encampment of
Veteran of Foreign Wars.
In 1940, when World War II was looming on the horizon,
one city and two county draft boards were created to arrange
for the induction of draftees into the army. They classified all
registrants and took care of the administrative duties pertaining
to their respective areas. The members of Belleville's draft board
were Dr. G. C. Otrich, chairman; Wilbur E. Krebs, secretary;
and Robert L. Kern, Albert B. Baldus, and Joseph B. Herman.
Frank C. Wuller was the chief clerk; Mildred E. Moehrl, as-
sistant clerk; and Jeanett L. Schiermeier, typist.
The Burke-Wadsworth Selective Service Act required all
men and boys between the ages of 21 and 35 to register for
army service on October 16, 1940. Thirteen per cent of the
city's population, or a total of 3353, registered. Again on July
240 IN WAR
1, 1941, boys who had attained the age of 21 since October
16, 1940, were also required to register for army service. The
draftees had to report to the local board headquarters from where
they were sent to the induction center, which at first was East
St. Louis, then Peoria, and later Chicago.
On February 16, 1942, men between 20 to 45 registered,
while on April 27, 1942 those from 21 to 65 were required
to do so. If called, those from 44 to 65 were not to be used
for the army, but to fill gaps in the skilled labor field. When
the war ended on September 2, 1945, 107 of Belleville's boys
had been killed in the service of their country.
On July 11, 1942, Rogers D. Jones, president of the Town-
ship High Board of Education, and Republican nominee for
the board of review, entered the United States Navy as a
lieutenant. He was elected president of Township High School
Board in 1941 and re-elected in 1942, having served, at the time
of his resignation, about one and one-half terms. He was con-
sidered the youngest president of a board in the state of Illinois
since he was 31 at the time of his election.
In time of war, service organizations always attempt to make
the life of the soldier as pleasant as possible. Early in World
War II, so as not to have many small and conflicting groups,
a United Service Organization was established by public sub-
scription, although its building was erected by the War Depart-
ment. Here games, reading rooms, telephones, radios, phono-
graphs, arts and crafts, dancing, and pressing rooms were pro-
vided for the enlisted man.
Belleville asked for a $93,000 two-story brick building, but
instead, the government built a rambling one-story frame struc-
ture, which was furnished with leather chairs, couches, desks,
and tables. Many townspeople contributed their radios, phono-
graphs, books, and magazines. The service club was also supplied
with a library, three billiard tables, and a lunch counter where
IN WAR 241
sandwiches, soup, jelly, pie, cake, candy, and soft drinks are
served. It is located at 710 East Main street.
Another service center was maintained by the Catholics at
500 East Main street, and one by the Lutherans at 409 East
llinois, a prairie state, ranks fourth in the United States in
population, third in wealth, and twenty-third in area. It is a
mineral giant with oil for blood and coal for its backbone.
In 1941, it outranked 42 states in wealth of mineral production.
Its total mineral production in 1940 was $275,000,000, of which
oil amounted to $165,000,000 and coal to $78,000,000 Others
such as clay, shale, flourspar, silica, limestone, and Fuller's
earth made up the balance. It ranks second in the production
of coal, third in the production of oil, and contains more un-
mined coal than any other state. St. Clair County ranks fifth in
coal production, being surpassed only by Franklin, Williamson,
Sangamon, and Macoupin counties.
In the immediate community an unlimited amount of high
grade Mississippi limestone is found just west and southwest
of the city. Bricks have long been made from the clay which
is found beneath the top soil in this area. Building sand is
obtainable in unlimited quantities from the Mississippi River.
One of the less heroic, but no less important feats of LaSalle,
the great French explorer of 1679, was his discovery of Belle-
ville coal. He was the first white man to use it for fuel, one
of the men of his party remarking how black his hands and face
were from the coal he had carried on to the fire during a cold
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 243
night on their trip on the Mississippi River.
The out-cropping coal along the bluffs is so close to St.,
Louis that its commercial value soon became established. It was
mined first in open trenches and then by tunneling into the
bluff along the seams of coal. It was not yet suspected that this
coal could also be found under the city. These miners sold
their coal in St. Louis and to neighboring Illinois cities. The
blacksmiths of Belleville were the first to use local coal in
their shops and found it so much better that they never again
used wood in their forges.
The first Belleville coal mine was opened by Willam Fowler
in 1825 just south of the city in the bluffs where Richland
Creek meets the highlands. It was then believed that coal could
be found anywhere and all one had to do was to sink a shaft
In 1940 there were a total of sixty mines operating within
a few miles of the city, with a combined output of six million
tons a year. Most of the coal is mined from the No. 6 seam
and is commonly called Belleville Coal. This seam averages
6 feet, nine inches in thickness, and lies at a depth of 150 feet.
The area has an unlimited supply of bituminous coal, and
all of it can readily be converted into coke with a tar yield
of ten gallons a ton. It is the very soul and life of this community
and is destined to keep this city one of the largest cities in South-
ern Illinois. It is estimated that no more than one-fiftieth of this
coal has been tapped despite nearly a century of extensive
In analyzing the No. 6 seam, the following contents were
found: moisture 9:30, volatile material 37.2; fixed carbon,
40:65; ash, 12:85. The sulphur contents is 4.58 and B. T. U.
rating is 12,300.
Belleville coal is being used less today than it was in the
past. Two reasons for this seem to be the introduction of gas
and oil from Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, and St. Louis
244 OUR CONTRIBUTIONS
Smoke Abatement Ordinance. More coal will again be used
when this coal can be processed to meet the requirements of
the St. Louis ordinance; when both cities become more reci-
procally trade minded, and when some legislation is passed
that would make gas and oil equal in cost in heat units to that
of coal. Until that is done these mines will no doubt continue
to close until only a few remain to furnish local needs. By
1950, the number of mines still operating had decreased to five.
The St. Clair Gazette which made its appearance on De-
cember 25, 1838, was the first successful newspaper to be
published in Belleville. Since then it has changed its name many
times and is today the Belleville Daily Advocate, the oldest
established newspaper in St. Clair County and the first in the
state of Illinois to issue a daily edition. When it was first printed
as a weekly in the building on the corner of Main and High
streets it was considered the leading Democratic paper in South-
ern Illinois. In 1854, when the Free Soil Party was organized,
it switched to an anti-slavery paper, and in 1856, became the
leading Republican newspaper in this district.
Soon after its establishement, T. C. Clark retired from the
printing business and from 1839 to 1841 James L. Boyd carried
on the work alone. Then he sold out to Philip S. Fouke, and
later the paper was taken over by Robert K. Fleming and his
five sons. Edward, one of the sons, managed it until 1849
when he caught the gold fever and left for California leaving
his brother, William in charge. Jehu Baker, considered to be
the ablest editor and the leading statesman in the Middle West,
joined the paper at this time as the editor. He later became
congressman and United States minister to Venezuela.
The Advocate was next under the editorship of James W.
Merritt and Judge Nathanial Niles, who where succeeded by
James S. Coulter. The latter changed its name to Daily Advo-
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 245
cate. In 1851 Nathaniel Niles became its editor, while the ex-
goldseeker, Edward Fleming, reurned because of his health.
In 1856, Edward Schiller joined Judge Niles, but remained
with him only a year. In 1857, Collins Van Cleve and T. C.
Weeden assumed the editorial chair for three years, until E.
J. Montague became the new proprietor in 1860. In 1861,
Alexander G. Dawes became the assistant editor, and the pro-
perty went back to Van Cleve. Dawes remained but a year
and a half when F. M. Hawes took over. In 1863, G. F. Kim-
ball occupied that position, and he remained with the paper for
nine years, until it was bought by J. H. Thomas. Kimball
returned as its editor, succeeded later by John Woods.
The paper in 1898 changed its name to its present one,
namely The Belleville Daily Advocate. It was then joindy owned
by James A. Willoughby and John E. Thomas, who disposed
of it on December 23, 1913 to Fred E. Evans, Preston K.
Johnson, and Edward Julleis. Johnson and Julleis soon with-
drew leaving Evans in charge until his death in 1930. It is
today owned by the Belleville Advocate Printing Company
headed by Cyril Arnold its president; Miss Anna L. Stolle,
secretary-treasurer and general manager; Leslie Crow, news
editor; Cyril Arnold, business manager; and Al. R. Schmidt,
city editor. Its plant is located at South High and East Wash-
ington streets, where it moved in 1924. It is a thoroughly modern
and up-to-date newspaper plant.
The first issue of the Belleville Daily News Democrat ap-
peared on January 16, 1858, but prior to then, in 1857, its
prospectus had been presented to the community.
Its founder, Rev. Boyakin, was born in Corinth, Mississippi,
in 1807 and came to Belleville in 1840. During the Civil War
he served as a chaplain, and was known as "the fighting parson."
His father had saved Andrew Jackson's life during a skirmish
with the Indians at Horse Shoe Bend, and out of gratitude for
this heroic deed, General Jackson defrayed the expenses of
246 OUR CONTRIBUTIONS
sending the son, William F. Boyakin, through college, where
he prepared for the ministry.
He was an aggressive person and with the financial help of
the wealthy J. S. D. (Don) Morrison, the Weekly Democrat
was launched. Morrison donated the original press, which was
of the Washington Hand type brought from Philadelphia.
In 1859, Bovakin, feeling the urge to "go West," sold the
paper to E. R. Stuart and W. H. Shoupe. These two gendemen
held it until 1860 when it was acquired by G. A. Harvey, who
conducted it with no small amount of success until August,
1863, when it was purchased by William Denlinger and Alex-
ander B. Russell, both practical printers from Pittsburgh, Penn-
sylvania. Besides being a printer, Russell was a good newspaper-
man and served as the editor, soon becoming quite a prominent
figure in the community. The price of the weekly was at this
time raised from $1.50 per year to $2.00. In 1863, the plant
moved from its North High street address to the building then
known as the Kaysing Building, where it occupied the third
In the summer of 1880, Russell's health failed, and Judge
William J. Underwood, then one of the leaders of the De-
mocrats in the community, succeeded him as editor. It
was his ambition to convert the Weekly Democrat into a daily
paper, but failing in being able to do so, he resigned after
serving as editor for slightlv more than a year. Instead he
organized the Daily News earlv in the spring of 1882. Articles
of incorporation were filed in the offices of the secretary' of
state for the Daily News Publishing Co., with William J.
Underwood, Curt Heinfelden, R. A. Halbert, F. F. Metschan,
and Robert Rogers as incorporators. The capital stock was $5,-
000. Judge Underwood was managing editor of the publication
that commenced about the first of April.
That Belleville really needed an English daily was evident
by the success of the new publication in the community. In
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 247
fact, it was not long before the Weekly Democrat began making
overtures of wanting to come along. An amicable agreement
was soon reached, and in 1883 the Daily News and The Week-
ly Democrat were consolidated under the name of the Belle-
ville Daily News-Democrat, the caption which the paper has
since borne. It was the only English daily in the city.
Having controlling stock. Judge Underwood not only be-
came its president but contributed the editorials of the day.
William G. Russell served as its business manager, while Ben
Boneau was city editor. The paper now became definitely
Democratic. Besides the daily paper, a weekly edition was also
put out, and this enjoyed a large rural circulation. Judge Under-
wood, who was the first president of the Southern Illinois
Press Association, had established quite a reputation as an
At the time of the merger the paper was published in the
building direcdy back of the First National Bank on North
Illinois street, then known as the Abend Building. Today that
is the site of the Christmann Building. The business office,
the editorial and the composing rooms occupied the second floor,
while the job room was on the third. About twelve men were
regularly employed by the company.
The paper continued under the management of Judge Un-
derwood until December 15, 1891. When his health began
to decline, he sold the paper to Fred J. Kern and F. W. Kraft
of the East St. Louis Gazette. Mr. Kern had charge of the
editorial and news departments, while Mr. Kraft became the
business manager. This partnership continued until January
1895, when Mr. Kern purchased the interests of Mr. Kraft
and became the sole owner of the paper.
In 1898 a disastrous fire inflicted much damage to the plant
of the News-Democrat. The damages ran to approximately
$18,000. Valuable files of the old copies were also destroyed.
Moving from the Abend Building, the paper was then located
248 OUR CONTRIBUTIONS
in the northwest comer of the Pubhc Square. Mr. Kern then
bought the corner property at South Ilhnois and East Lincoln
streets, where the modern plant is located. Today Robert L.
and Richard P. Kern, his sons, are its publishers.
In the past, Belleville supported more newspapers than it
does today. In the decade beginning with 1880, it had, besides
its two dailies, four weeklies and one Sunday paper. The
Zeitung Und Stern, a German publication, issued both a daily
and a weekly paper. This was the leading German paper in
the state, outside of Chicago, and it was supposed to have had
the largest circulation. It was published by the firm of Sem-
melroth, Heinfelden, and Metschan. The Belleville Post was
established as the organ of the German Republicans in 1884.
Later the Zeitung and the Post merged under the name of
the Post and Zeitung, and for years it was an outstanding Ger-
man daily. Sometime later, the Morning Record, a new daily
morning paper made its appearance. It was Belleville's only
The Intelligencer Blatt was a monthly paper published by
William Homeier as an advertising medium for his real estate
business and to gratify his taste for the literary.
The Belleville Tageblatt Und Arbeiter Zeitung, published
by Hanz Schwarz, Sr., was a German weekly relished by many
for its spicy articles often directed at some public official.
There was also the Treu Bund, and a Sunday paper published
and edited by Fred W. Kraft.
When Belleville's first city council was elected in 1850, it
was agreed that its meetings would be held on the first Monday
of each month in the city hall, which then stood east of the
Market House, on the present site of a parking lot and filling
Some early city officers met certain specified needs, but
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 249
today their offices no longer exist. There was a time when
a coil oil inspector was very essential because all illumination
was done with kerosene. Its use constituted a fire hazard, and
to reduce this it could not be sold in the city unless it had
been passed upon by such an inspector who used the ignition
test. Only oil that ignited or exploded at a temperature of less
than 150 degrees was considered unsafe. He also made sure
that the traditional coal oil can, with a potato stuck in the
spout as a cork, would not blow up easily.
The salaries of the city officials were much lower than they
are today. The city was naturally smaller, and prices in general
were much lower. The mayor's salary in 1844 was fixed at
$200 a year, and the aldermen each received $35 for their serv-
ices. The city clerk's salary was set at $150, and the city
treasurer received $75 a year. The city marshall was granted
$100 a year, plus a cut of all the fines and fees. The all im-
portant master of the city market received a salary of $50 a year.
We may laugh at some of the city offices of the early days,
but they, too, would find much reason to laugh at some of
our ways in these modern days. For instance, a dog catcher
was added to the city's payroll as late as May 21, 1913. In that
year too, a city ordinace was passed making it unlawful for any
fowls to run at large vdthin the city limits.
In Belleville's one-hundred years of existence it has had
41 mayors. One of them, Louis Barthel, died in office, in 1889.
Fred J. Kern held office longer than any other, serving five
terms, from 1903 to 1913. Peter Wilding was elected five
times in 1859, 1860, 1871, 1875, and 1879, resigning in 1860.
Herman G. Weber also was elected five times, in 1873, 1874,
1883, 1885, and 1891. He resigned in 1885 and in 1891. Upon
receiving the appointment as United States marshal in 1885,
he handed in his resignation as mayor on July 6, contributing
his two months salary to help defray the expenses of a special
election which was held on July 28, 1885. In this election
Michael Reis was elected mayor, as he was again in the election
of 1887. Following is a list of mayors and the years they were
Theo. J. Kraft 1883
Ed. Abend 1885
John W. Pulliam 1889
Joseph B. Underwood 1889
William C. Davis 1890
J. W. Hughes 1891
Edward Abend 1893
Peter Wilding 1893
F. H. Pieper 1895
Henrv' Goedeking 1897
Charles Palme 1899
Herman Burkhardt 1901
Edward Abend 1903
Joseph Kirkpatrick 1913
Frederick Ropiquet 1919
Henry Abend 1921
Peter' Wilding 1929
Herman G. Weber 1931
Peter Wilding 1935
Henry Kircher 1941
Peter Wilding 1945
B. J. West, Jr., 1949
Herman G. Weber
Herman G. Weber
Fred C. Knoebel
Edward F. Winkler
Henry T. Fredericks
John B. Hay
Fred J. Kern
R. E. Duvall
P. K. Johnson
Joseph J. Anton
George A. Brechnitz
Roland W. Jung
Ernst W. Tiemann, Sr.,
Harold V. Calhoun
The city officials in 1951 were as follows:
Harold V. Calhoun, mayor; Carl Siegel, city clerk; John
Courar, city treasurer; Casper Arndt and Philip Huling, custo-
dians city hall; Mrs. Jack Gundlach, secretary to mayor.
Members of the city council are as follows:
George Glakemeier, Calvin Isselhardt, Carl Lenz, John (Red)
McDonald, Charles Nichols, Ben Sauer, John Schloemann,
Edward Schmitding, Henry Schwarz, Irvin Stein, Ava Teel,
Ernest Tiemann, Roy Torloting, and George Uhl.
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 251
St. Clair County, throughout its history, has at various times
entertained distinguished guests. It was in April, 1769, that
Pontiac, famous Indian chief, visited Cahokia and was murdered
on the streets of that village.
During his American tour in 1824, Lafayette, at the invitation
of Governor Coles, spent one busy day in Kaskaskia, where
he was the guest of honor at a reception in the home of
Colonel Edgar and at a banquet at Colonel Sweet's tavern.
In the evening, he attended a gay ball in the imposing residence
of William Morrison, departing at midnight, by steam boat,
for Nashville, Tennessee.
In October, 1876, Robert G. Ingersoll, a guest of the local
Republican Club, addressed the largest Belleville audience
that had ever been assembled up to that time, in the City Park
Wilham Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, was in the city
on several occasions. At various times Belleville audiences have
listened attentively to the campaign speeches of such renowned
Americans as Abraham Lincoln, Richard M. Johnson, William
Jennings Br)'an, William H. Taft, Thomas R. Marshall,
General Leonard W. Wood, Wendell Willkie, and Henry A.
Wallace, all who expounded the issues of the day.
The presidential election of 1840 was memorable for having
been the most extravagant of all previous campaigns. At that
time the Whigs were well organized. The backwoods Hfe of
their candidate, William H. Harrison and his victory in the
battle of Tippecanoe were typified in parades that stressed
log cabins, canoes, hard cider, coon-skin caps, brass bands, and
fifes and drums. Such a demonstration was staged in Belleville
on April 11, 1840. After the parade a political meeting, attended
by about three hundred people, was held at which most of the
speakers were from St. Louis. The first of them denounced
as traitors all who would not support their candidate. The second
252 OUR CONTRIBUTIONS
speaker to mount the rostrum was Abraham Lincoln. The
Belleville Advocate commenting on the meeting, while giving
two columns to it, was not very complimentary. Its introductory
remarks were as follows:
"As we anticipated, a more perfect farce has rarely been
exhibited in this or any county, than the Whig celebration on
Saturday last . . .
"We expected from the array of orators, that the people
would have been informed something of the principles, of the
measures that were to be carried out by General Harrison if
elected; in this all were, like ourselves, disappointed . . .
"Mr. Lincoln followed next, a federal candidate for elector.
His speech was weak, and feeble. 'How different,'
remarked many of the Whigs, 'to what we expected.' Poor
Lincoln! he should have rested his fame upon his printed speech,
going the rounds in the federal papers, as purported to have
been delivered by him at Springfield. He predicated his whole
speech upon the sale of a one-eyed horse for twenty-seven
dollars, that happened to be sold by a constable during the
day. To what slight accidents are we frequently indebted for
our great things! How very fortunate for the Whigs, that Mr.
Lincoln saw the sale of the one-eyed horse that day! He was
then enabled to prove that Mr. Van Buren caused it, together
with all the other ills of life that us poor mortals 'are heir to'."
Late in the summer of 1839, Belleville was honored by a
visit from the vice-president of the United States, the Honorable
Richard M. Johnson, whom tradition credits with having shot
Tecumseh, and was the only vice-president to be elected by
the United States senate. He was making a tour of the states,
feeling out the Democratic convention in 1840. He was a guest
at the Neuhoff House, then a newly erected, large hotel. Here
he held a meeting in the morning, which was attended by men
in great numbers, regardless of party affiliation. In the evening
a brilliant ball was held, which was attended by the elite of
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 253
the town and the surrounding country.
Although Belleville has never been entirely flattered by its
mention in the "American Notes" by Charles Dickens, it does
feel a bit of pride in having had him as a guest as he and his
party passed through here in April, 1842 on their way to the
Looking Glass Prairie, near Lebanon. His stay here lasted but
an hour or two while he took dinner. Court was in session at
the time of his arrival, and "the path, nearly knee deep in mud
and slime, which led to the forest," that he sacarstically refers
to, was the Public Square. Of course there was no paving and
there may have been some mud and trees, and the buildings
surrounding the Square were early pioneer buildings of the time.
Instead of the present court house, the old, square, brick one
stood a little northeast of it, to which members of the bar hitched
their horses, but they were not temporary "hitching racks" as
Dickens described them.
"The old, shambling low-roofed outhouse, half cowshed and
half kitchen" in which he says he was entertained, was the
Mansion House, the best and largest brick house in the town,
with the exception of the court house and the mill. It was
anything but what he described it, actually being roomy and
well furnished, and having been recently erected at great cost
by the Reverend Thomas Harrison, whose daughter and hus-
band, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. J. McBride, were its proprietors.
The local paper, reviewing his visit, refuted his story that
Belleville was a "land of mud and brush," of "frogs and pigs."
It even inferred he was "decidely drunk" when he stated that
the sun set on the opposite side of Looking Glass Prairie which,
according to his story, would have been in the northeast.
Abraham Lincoln paid his second visit to Belleville in the
campaign of 1856, when he came at the invitation of William
Bissell, who was then running for the governorship of the state.
He was a guest in the home of John Scheel on South Illinois
254 OUR CONTRIBUTIONS
Street, where the Junior High School now stands. He met all
of the leading local Republicans and in the evening spoke from
a platform erected on the eastern end of the Market Square,
on the site of a filling station today.
There was no heckling or disappointment by the audience
at this rally, for Lincoln displayed the greatest ability, and
it was admitted that his was the speech of the day. He cap-
tivated the Germans uith his "God bless the Dutch," as he
lauded them for their definite stand against slaver% saying that
thev were more enthusiastic for the cause of freedom than any
of the other nationalities.
Although none of the Lincoln-Douglas debates were held
in Belleville, Douglas was a guest here in 1858. He made a
pompous entrv accompanied by his beautiful wife, who had
been the belle of Washington society. The town was crowded
for the oration, for more than five hundred people came
from St. Louis to see and to hear him, but the local people,
on the whole, showed little enthusiasm.
In the late '60's Mark Twain visited Belleville. He was
writing a histor^ of J. A. Slade, the Robin Hood of the
Rocky Mountains, whose brother, James P. Slade, was a teacher
in the Belleville schools and was able to supply the information
sought by Mark Twain.
On March 13, 1900, Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist nominee
for president, delivered a speech here on libert)
NOTED PLACES AND EVENTS
The Dr. A. W. Wagner residence at 313 South High street
has been at one time or another the home of Lvman Trumbull,
Uniter States senator from Illinois, and Theodore Krafft, first
mayor of Belleville.
The site of Hotel Belleville marks the location of one of
Belleville's first log houses which was constructed bv a Mr.
Kerr in 1855. Later a Mr. Knoebel erected a fine brick hotel
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 255
there, which in 1844 was razed to make way for the original
Belleville House, which remained in use until 1930 when
the present hotel was built.
The Thomas House stood at the northwest corner of High
and Main streets where it was built in 1854, when Belleville
had a population of eight thousand, at a cost of $20,000. Its
proprietor specialized in vacation trade. It was a rather pre-
tentious building, having rooms that were larger than those
usually found in hotels, thereby affording better accommoda-
tions for those who spent their summer away from St. Louis.
Other early rooming and boarding places were the California
House, located on the west side of Charles street and South
Lincoln; the City Hotel on the southwest comer of West Main
and South Third streets; the Farmer's Home on the north side
of Main between Church and Charles streets; the Franklin
House on the south side of Main near Charles street; the Illinois
House on the south side of Main between High and Jackson
streets; and the Prudo Hotel located on the southeast corner
of Illinois and Washington streets. Besides these there was the
Railroad House; the Hinckley House, which is now the
present Lincoln Hotel; the Green Tree Hotel; the Hanover
House and the Napoleon House. Although classified as hotels,
none of these, with the exception of the Belleville House,
the Thomas House, and the Hinckley House, were actually
that, but rather rooming and boarding houses. With few ex-
ceptions they had their wagon-yards where farmers would tie
up their horses and teams while in town. Hotel Belleville today
is Belleville's leading hotel, with a total of 125 rooms. The
Lincoln Hotel has 28.
It is undeniably true that no city in Illinois has a more
bewildering combination of the old and the new in architecture
than ours. Up-to-date bungalows and dwellings over a
hundred years old can be found side by side. The use of brick
in the construction of the early homes was due to the fact that
256 OUR CONTRIBUTIONS
the city abounded in brick manufacturing plants, instead of
saw mills, making it, not only the best, but the cheapest construc-
tion material available.
On January 17, 1844, a movement was started to buy some
land for a county home for the poor. Forty acres northwest
of Belleville were bought from Henry L. Million for $450.
The first building erected here was constructed by George
Eckert and Simon Eimer at a cost of $850, and was opened
as a poor house on December 5, 1844. John Wright and his
wife, its first superintendent and matron, received a salary of
$150 a year.
The City Park and Theater, after its contruction in 1859,
was for many years one of the city's leading places of amuse-
ment. It was located at the northwest corner of West A and
North Second streets, and at one time was the site of the
Heberer Brewery. The City Park Garden, patterned after the
European beer gardens, was for many years the gathering place
of Belleville's old German families. It was a place of dignity
and refinement, and had much of the flavor of "Old Vienna,"
expressing so typically all that is meant in that German word
"Gemuetlichkeit." The theater was the scene of many gay
balls where the youth of that day whirled in the waltzes and
polkas— the selfsame folks who, today, are the grandparents
of our modern jitterbugs.
In 1884 the theater was remodeled, having then a seating
capacity of one thousand. Later it became known as the Opera
House. Shordy after 1900 it was destroyed by fire and had
to be abandoned. Later it was replaced by a light wooden
structure and called the Garden Theater. Anheuser-Busch
Company of St. Louis had bought it in 1895, and at that time
it catered to stock companies. After a few successful seasons this
too, finally failed and the place became the Budweiser Garden
and was used only as a public dancing place.
On the east half of this block stood the magnificient home
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 257
of the distinguished citizen and stateman, Adam W. Snyder.
It was built in the 1830's and remained the homestead of
three generations of his descendants, when it was purchased
by Dr. Edward M. Irwin, who later became Republican con-
gressman from this district. He, in turn, sold it to the federal
government, which erected in its stead the present Post Office
In 1910 George P. Stolberg established Belleville's first sum-
mer resort. He had bought the deep valley just west of his
home, built a dam across the lower part of it and had, as a
result, a fifteen acre lake that was as much as 6 feet deep in
In June 1902, Christian L. Ebsen, who was at that time the
physical culture instructor for the Turner Society, purchased
the lake known as Knispel's Lake in the Star Brewery Park.
It was one of the most popular resorts for swimming and outings
for many years. Later he disposed of it to the Turner Society,
which made extensive improvements in making the pool a
modern one and in improving the grounds for picnic purposes.
In February, 1944, it was sold to Mr. E. J. Somers of the
Somers Manufacturing Company.
Westhaven Swimming Pool was built by Arthur Buesch.
It is located on South Illinois street, just outside of Belleville
and next to Westhaven golf course.
St. Clair County's first county fair was inaugurated on
October 18 and 19, 1854, and from then on it was held yearly
until the early part of the 1920's. A modern version of it was
revived in 1939, and it has been an annual event since. It was
originally organized by the farmers and merchants, who called
themselves the St. Clair County Agricultural Society. The first
fair was held on the Mascoutah Plank road, south of the stone
bridge three-fourths mile south of the Court House. Later a
tract of land was bought south of Belleville in the Richland
Creek Bottom, east of the present South Illinois street. This
258 OUR CONTRIBUTIONS
was given the name of the Belleville Fairgrounds. It was
splendidly equipped with all the necessary exhibit buildings,
an amphitheatre and a fine race track. Well-kept flower beds
were laid out. This attractive spot was also the early place for the
annual school picnic, an event which was unsurpassed by any
other in Belleville.
Fair days to the early citizens were gala ones. For many
weeks farmers and their wives prepared and planned on entries
that would certainly bring them glory. The Fair was among
the best in the state and ten to twenty thousand people attended
every year. It was a meeting place for friends and relatives who
rarely saw each other more than once a year.
The Fair proved so successful that it became necessary to
run it an entire week. Thursday was the big day, and as many
as seven thousand tickets were sold. People came as far as forty
miles by train and horse-drawn vehicles. When the roads were
"good" the dust was six inches deep, and when it rained the
mud was twice as deep. One of the outstanding events held
on Thursday was "The Ladies Driving and Riding Contest."
In those days women would not ride astride as they do now,
but used a sidesaddle with but one stirrup. Their riding habit
consisted of short jacket, a long draped skirt, and a light hat,
giving them a picturesque appearance.
An annual event of recent years is the Homecoming, sponsor-
ed each fall by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. At times it
has been held at the Athletic Field, located at South Illinois
street and Cleveland avenue. For the last few years it was held
on the parking lot between North Illinois and High streets.
One of the most successful of these was supervised by Waldo
Tisch, who was the general manager of the committee in 1940.
In pioneer days people took their politics seriously, and
Belleville was no exception, for its citizens entered into all of
the campaigns with great enthusiasm. Many spectacular parades
were held. Streets were decorated with flags, and business places
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 259
were illuminated, adding color to the occasion. The Republicans
and Democrats vied with one another in their ambition to put
on the biggest show.
One such noted event was the huge demonstration staged
by the Republican party on Saturday evening, October 18,
1856. The number taking part in that torch light parade in-
cluding those at the speakers stand, was estimated at six thous-
and. Lebanon was represented with three hundred, Mascoutah
with three hundred, among other cities that sent their delega-
tions, each carrying a banner emblazoned with different slogans.
One of them read, "We earn the bread we eat, and we eat
the bread we earn." There were eight hundred torches carried
in the parade, thirty ornamental lanterns on poles; several bands
furnished the music and many banners were waved. Seated on
the platform with Abraham Lincoln were Lyman Trumbull,
William H. Bissell, candidate for governor, and Gustave Koer-
ner, speakers on the occasion.
On May 23, 1879 a Women's Christian Temperance Union
was organized here by Francis Willard, its national leader.
Twenty members attended the first meeting, and all signed
the charter. It was disbanded in 1881, reorganized on March
16, 1882, and still retains a small membership here.
Whereas fatal accidents today receive only passing interest,
such was not the case in that of Belleville's first traffic tragedy
on June 5, 1911. It occurred when Carl Forst was instantly
killed and S. F. McKenney, a sixty-year-old contractor, was
seriously injured. McKenney 's car was travelling west on Main
street near the Belt Railroad when the machine was struck by
a fast westbound suburban street car.
On March 10, 1914, the hundredth anniversary of the selec-
tion of Belleville as the county seat was duly celebrated. The
program began at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon with an in-
vocation by the Right Rev. Henry Althoff, after which Gover-
nor Edward F. Dunne delivered an address, calling attention
260 OUR CONTRIBUTIONS
to the great men who had Hved in this county. Following this,
a celebration was held at the Elks Club, at which a bronze
tablet which had been placed in the northeast corner of the
building marking the spot where the first building in Belleville
had been erected, was unveiled.
Belleville's population growth has been a uniform one. Ac-
cording to United States census statistics it has been as follows:
1850, 2,941; 1860, 7,239; 1870, 8,146; 1880, 10,683; 1890,
13,361; 1900, 17,484; 1910, 21,132; 1920, 24,835; 1930, 28,-
425; 1940, 28,405; and 1950, 32,700.
Of its present population, 93^2 per cent of its people are
of native white birth, 6 percent are foreign born and one-half
of one per cent are negro. It has 7,630 families, living in 6,833
dwellings, of which 4,576 or 67 per cent are privately owned. Its
population is a cross section of many nationalities, but those
of German descent gready outnumber all others.
Democratic institutions, besides giving us political and reli-
gious freedom afford every man an equal chance to get along
in the world. They have welded us together in an incredibly
short time, while still allowing the individual his national dif-
ferences in nonessentials. Nothing impresses the foreigner visit-
ing our country more than do our fine schools and universities
and the rapidity with which immigrants emerge from the melt-
ing pot as real Americans.
Belleville now represents the result of 145 years of growth.
It has never been a boom town, but has reached its population
and size through a steady, unaltering advance, which has given
As far as numerical strength of family names is concerned,
the Mueller family leads them all. The 1941 edition of Polk's
City Directory lists 102 persons by that name. Those next in
order were: 100 Millers; 97 Schmidts; 65 Smiths; 59 Johnsons;
37 Browns; 33 Jonesses; and 32 Brauns.
Belleville's altitude is from 420 to 630 feet above sea level.
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 261
while that of East St. Louis is but 415 feet. The average tem-
perature is 56.3 degrees fahrenheit. The seasonal range is
48.4 degrees, from a Januar)^ mean of 31.9 to a July mean of
89.3 degrees. Thus five months are cool, three are warm and
four are hot.
The growing season extends from April 4 to October 27,
amounting to about 190 days. The mean annual rainfall is
39.7 inches, while the average humidity is 70. The mean annual
sunshine is 62 per cent, although four months have more than
70 per cent. Prevailing winds are from the south. This is an
average, established by the measurements taken by the govern-
ment over a period of 85 years, from 1837-1922.
What Makes a Good City
1 11 community is a group of people living together in a
given locality, and bound together by common interests and
common law. A community as a whole will make an effort to
be a model one, so that it will be attractive to others, and its
citizens will desire to live in no other place.
Ever)' community has features which prove to be an asset
or a liability. If it is located on a river, it has a natural means
of transportation, and thriving trade is likely to develop. Lacking
that, it behooves it to provide some other means of transporta-
tion, such as highways, and railroads, to and from some large
commercial center. This always pays great dividends.
The first step toward making a good city is to study the
causes which have made the best cities as good as they are.
Every citv has its individual peculiarities. No two are identical.
The more familiar one is with different cities, the greater a
variation is revealed. Clothes, care, entertainment, and interests
mav seem similar, but a deeper study of them reveals that these
similarities are only skin deep. Some cities are very negligent
in their provisions for health, comfort, education, recreation,
and other features of good living and well-being. This is partly
due to lack of resources, and partly to the inactivity of its
citizens to realize what a city can and should be. Its inhabitants
fail to compare their city with more progressive ones and
LOOKING AHEAD 263
are unaware of what others have accomphshed.
On the other hand, there are cities which have nearly attained
economic perfection, though many of their residents are ignorant
of their good fortune.
One of the first lessons that citizens should learn is that
it is not only the prevention and the cure of disease, but the
preservation of health that is the goal of modern health agencies.
To preserve health they must learn to cooperate with all the
agencies teaching modern hygiene and sanitation.
Some facts relative to the average American city are summed
up as follows: 60 per cent of all 16 and 17 year old boys and
girls are in school; 23 per cent of the homes use gas; 24 per cent
use electricity; 12 per cent have telephones and radios, and the
infant death rate for one year is below 63 per thousand.
Cities differ greatly in qualities which are vitally important
for human living. The chances that a baby will die within a
year after its birth are greater in some cities than in others.
This is partly due to ignorant and careless parents. It is also
due to standards of living which are high or low according to
the community's management of its health and sanitation prob-
lems. In some cities the infant death rate is five times as great
as in others. In some the deaths, per thousand population from
typhoid, are over twenty times as great as in others.
Standards for health are measured by the general death rate.
The better cities are those in which the people have a better
chance of living. In 1929, the total national bill for medical
care amounted to $3,656,000,000 or about four per cent of the
national income, a per capita expense of $30 for every man,
woman, and child in the country. The government contends
that there should be 142 doctors per 100,000 population, which
should give us forty-five. There should be 179 dentists to
every 100,000 population, which according to Belleville's popu-
lation would amount to fifty-five.
Educational standards are measured by the per capita public
264 LOOKING AHEAD
expenditure for public schools as a whole, for teachers and their
salaries, for text book supplies, for libraries. It is measured
also by the percentage of people 16 to twenty years old attend-
ing school. A city ranks high educationally when its citizens
are given more dollars' worth of educational opportunity and
when its youth can remain in school longer. To rank high in
recreation a city must consider two things: one, the per capita
public expense for recreation; and two, the per capita cost of
acreage. Where human problems, the housing program, wages
and working conditions, educational and health facilities, are
constantly watched and corrected to meet new and progressive
social and economic conditions, a better city will be the result.
Human needs are the first requisite of any well governed city.
Some cities, hoping to improve themselves, have gone into
various forms of business enterprises, operating transit systems,
electric utilities, gas plants, and even housing projects. In 1938,
four-fifths of all cities of more than five thousand population
owned some form of public utility. Seventy-two per cent owned
their own water works; 15.8 per cent owned their own light
plants; 40.7 per cent had sewage disposal plants and 22.5 per
cent owned and operated a city airport.
Contributing factors towards community welfare are reflected
in the lowered rates of mortality from social diseases, homicide,
and automobile accidents. It is reflected also in the value of
a city's property, its schools, libraries, parks and recreational
facilities. It is good to live where there are only a minimum
of violent deaths, where, through wisdom and honesty of good
administration, liberal provisions have been made for educa-
tional, recreational, and health programs, without burdening
taxpayers with a heavy debt.
As a rule, suburban residential cities are considered preferable,
for here homes are located away from the noise and grime of
traffic, factories, or railroads. They usually have comfortable
homes, large enough to provide comfort for every member of
LOOKING AHEAD 265
the family, and they are equipped with modern plumbing,
electric lights, gas or electric stoves, central heating systems and
all the other conveniences of labor-saving devices. When, in
congested districts, homes lack the bare essentials for decent liv-
ing, tenements and slums result. Here ten to fifteen people live
in two or three small, unsanitary, dark, dingy rooms. In some
cities one-fifth, or more, of the total population lives in miserable
hovels totally unfit for human habitation.
The question then arises, "Why do so many Americans live
in poor houses?" The answer is that their income is too low.
A city's general welfare depends just as much on wealth and
income, as it does on personal,moral, and mental qualities.
In determining the mental or moral qualities, the following
must be considered : number of persons per thousand graduating
from public high schools per year, the per cent of taxes devoted
for maintenance of public libraries, the per cent of literacy
in the total population, the per cent of literacy among those be-
tween ages of 15 to 24, the per capita circulation of public
library books, the per capita number of homes owned, the per
capita number of telephones, the number of dentists divided
by the number of lawyers, the excess of the number of physi-
cians, trained nurses, and teachers over the number of male
domestic servants, a low per capita number of deaths from social
diseases, and a low per capita number of deaths from homicides.
Measured by this standard, cities differ vastly. It is indeed
a high-ranking community whose citizens live decently, who
demand the best in education, who read good books, who spend
their personal money to buy a home, who are more concerned
about their children's teeth than they are in engaging in a law
suit. They insist that public money be wisely spent for teachers,
schools, libraries and parks, and they abhor meddling politicians,
jails, and lack of law enforcement.
Some of the present trends which are impairing residential
areas in cities and which constitute so important a part of the
266 LOOKING AHEAD
economic structure are: the withdrawal of the population to
suburban areas, the emergence of large blight districts, the
depreciation of property values, the impairment of tax structures,
and the increased cost for police, fire, and welfare services in
the worst run-down areas.
There is also such a vast difference in living costs in various
localities. This, too, is important to the breadwinner, who quite
naturally chooses to live where his money buys most. In cities
where both wages and salaries are below the average, people
fool themselves into believing that their cost of living is lower,
when in reality this is not the case. The real fact is that their
scale of living is low, and that the citizens live in less com-
fortable homes. They eat cheaper qualities of food, wear cheaper
clothes, enjoy cheaper entertainment, and have inferior schools.
It is not and cannot be, the same life at a lower cost. One gets
what one pays for.
It is essential that a city maintain a good reputation. Too
often it is belitded by would-be writers, who think it is smart
to write derogatory articles, exaggerating its weaker points in-
stead of extolling its many good ones. Too many people know
Pittsburgh, only as the place where "hunkies" make steel, Joliet,
Illinois, too often is associated only with convicts. Chicago
always conjures up gangsters, while Belleville is too often spoken
of deridingly as a litde German village. Let us remember that
the good name of a city is as priceless as is the reputation of an
individual. It is up to the citizens themselves to maintain the
good name of their city by constandy boosting it. Everybody
likes the man who is proud of his community and the one whose
community is proud of him.
To attract outsiders, many cities have adopted city planning.
Often financial difficulties of municipalities may be traced to
their failure to adopt effective measures for the present and
future. City planning holds city expenditures and the direction
of its development and growth within the bounds of econo-
LOOKING AHEAD 267
ical and wise administration. Effective city planning depends
upon an understanding of what planning can and should do
to protect the standards of living. Effective planning will also
stabilize property values. To arouse an interest and to maintain
it, the slogan, "It pays to plan," should be adopted universally.
No growing community can afford to be without a
planning program lest it encourage waste and disorder. A plan-
ning program charts the way to order, convenience, safety, com-
fort, and beauty.
In 1922 there were only 185 cities and towns that practiced
city planning. Today there are more than 1700 and there would
be many more, were it not for the lack of understanding on
the part of the citizens. Present day city planners relegate
residential areas to quiet, clean neighborhoods. They lay out
a city— its streets, parks, recreation centers, businesses, industrial
and residential sections— with the idea of providing the utmost
in health, beauty, and convenience for the entire community.
HOW TO IMPROVE THIS CITY
Recognizing the factors that contribute toward making a
city good or bad, we have yet to mention that which makes a
city better. Today both industry and business use scientific
measurements as an index to their financial condition and well
being. No longer do they merely take a casual look to see how
things are progressing. Instead they have explicit measurements
which indicate clearly and concisely what each department
is accomplishing. Cities can do the same. It is important to
know what is being done for health, education, character,
comfort, security and entertainment.
When a tornado sweeps through a community one imme-
diately reads about it in the newspapers where it is given much
publicity. On the contrary, when an epidemic breaks out, news-
papers scarcely mention it, or if they do, it is put on an obscure
page. When new homes are built one sees them, but if the
268 LOOKING AHEAD
circulation of the public library, or the number of property
owners increases, few citizens are aware of it. The following
ten-item yardstick, which anybody can apply, will tell fairly
accurately how a city measures up in general welfare.
Item 1. Get from the health officer the number of deaths
per year of infants, ranging from 1 to 365 days, per 1,000
live births. Substract this number from 120 and multiply the
result by 2. Cities vary from 20 to 164 points.
Item 2. Get from the city treasurer the year's expenditures
for the operation and maintainance of the department of re-
creation. Divide this amount by the estimated population of
the city and take ten times the quotient expressed in dollars.
Cities vary from 5 to 40 points.
Item 3 Get from the city treasurer the estimated value of
all the city's property in the form of schools, libraries, museums,
parks and other recreational facilities. Divide the amount by
the estimated population of the city, then multiply the result
expressed in dollars by 1.25. Cities vary from 72 to 161 points.
Item 4. Get from the city treasurer the total value of all
public property used for municipal and public services (exclusive
of streets and sewers.) Get also the net public debt. Substract
the latter from the former, then divide by the population. Enter
a credit of one for every $3 per capita excess of property over
debt. In case the city owes more than its public property is
worth, enter the appropriate negative number. Cities vary from
10 to 46 points.
Item 5. Get from the city treasurer or from the superin-
tendent of schools, the expenditures for the operation and main-
tainance of schools. Do not include capital outlays or payment
of interest of school debts. Divide the amount by the population.
Multiply number of dollars in the quotient by two, that is,
*Your City by E. L. Thorndike, 1940, Harcourt Brace and Co.
LOOKING AHEAD 269
enter a credit of one for every 50 cents per capita spent. Cities
vary from 23 to 56 points.
Item 6. Get from the person in charge of the pubhc hbrary
the circulation of books as he would report it to the American
Library Association. Divide this number by the city's population.
Multiply the result by 5. Cities vary from 11 to 84 points.
Item 7. Get from the superintendent of schools the number
of persons who graduated from senior high school during the
year, and divide this number by the city's population. Multiply
the quotient by 14141. Cities vary from 69 to 191 points.
Item 8. Get from the superintendent of schools the number
of pupils in school who were aged 16 years and no months,
to 17 years and 11 months, living in the city at that date and
give a credit of one for each per cent. Cities vary from 52 to
Item 9. Get from the superintendent of the telephone com-
pany the number of subscribers. Multiply the number of phones
by 333 and divide the product by the city's population, that
is, give a credit of one for every three phones per thousand
population. Cities vary from 25 to 90 points.
Item 10. Get from the power company the number of
homes that are supplied with electricity.Multiply by 200 and
divide by the city's population. That is, give credit of two
for each domestic installation of electricity per 100 population.
Cities vary from 30 to 64 points.
Add the results of the 10 entries. The total should be be-
tween 300 to 1000. The average city totals 575.
To improve a city therefore one must begin with the home,
with the neighborhood, and with the individual family. Trees
should be planted along vacant lots which should be cleaned.
Support the neighborhood grocer or he will leave. One must
live within one's income, at the same time providing well for
one's family. Nothing justifies a loafer, dead-beat, or family
deserter. To raise a city's status we must avoid the things that
270 LOOKING AHEAD
tend to lower the standard of living. To raise the standard it
behooves us to remove our slums because they are wasteful
and dangerous, and it is cruel to tolerate them.
Suburbs should co-operate with big cities in providing re-
creational facilities, even though they have private yards, gardens
and country clubs. Better still, they should merge with neigh-
boring communities because their territory is contiguous, there-
by sharing in the public benefits, which now they are denied,
such as sewer and garbage disposal systems, public parks, and
reduced insurance rates with added fire protection.
A good citizen is as loyal to his city as he is to his family,
his church, and his clubs. Even the poorest city protects his
person, his property, and educates his children. Few citizens
give as much as they receive. Too many take the streets, sewer,
water, light, schools, and parks for granted, like so much
sunshine and rain. We belong to our city, and it, in turn,
belongs to us. A city needs to see itself as it really is, so as to
see itself better in the future. Its citizens need to sell it to
others and to do so they must believe it is a good one. Always
point out its good features instead of emphasizing its short-
comings, remembering always that to sell a community to others,
its dwellers must be sold on it themselves.
Schools may profitably consider extending the distribution
of educations so that it will reach all those who crave and de-
serve it. Churches may profitably consider the further develop-
ment of activities in which they are already engaged. They can
increase their support of welfare work, they should maintain
a well-balanced budget to provide for the upkeep of the church
buildings, the minister, good music, overhead expenses, and
charity; there should be a consolidation of churches; the in-
creased promotion of spiritual life should be their prime con-
cern. If a church fulfills this duty it cannot help but improve
Political parties should agree to support and keep out of
LOOKING AHEAD 271
politics the impartial recommendations of experts in public
health, education, recreation, prevention of crime, prevention
of poverty, and general welfare.
Business men and manufactures can do much to improve a
city. If they pay low wages, it will handicap the schools,
churches and clubs. Businessmen should be honest and should
protect their customers from paying for lies, flattery, false hopes,
and deceptive advertising.
In order that a city may remain in a high level, citizens
must constantly keep before them the following: 1. How many
babies born in the community die during their first year?
2. How many of the boys and girls at 16 or 17 years attend
school? 3. How many of its people own their own homes?
4. How fully are the homes provided with electricity? 5. How
many have telephone services? 6. How general is illiteracy?
7. How much crime is there? 8. How many of the homes are
worth less than $1500, or rent for less than $15 per month?
9. How much is spent for teachers' salaries (per capita)? 10.
How well are the residents protected against communicable
diseases? Every good citizen must always resolve to do every-
thing within his power to improve his community in each of
the above mentioned. He must also help in seeing to its clean-
liness, beauty, health, order, leisure, and security.
It is our solemn duty to transmit the city to the coming gen-
erations more beautiful than it was transmitted to us. Let us
remember that all the good the past has had, remains to make
our own time glad. When we build, therefore, let us think
we are building forever; let it not be for present delight, nor
for present use alone; let it be such work as our descendents
will be grateful for. Let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that
a time is to come, when those stones will be held sacred be-
cause our hands have touched them, and that men will say
as they look upon the labor and the wrought substance of them,
"This our fathers did for us."
Arnold, Joseph I.,
Challenges to American Yotith,
Row Peterson & Company 1940
Barnes, Ham' Elmer,
Society in Trandtion^
New York, N. Y.
Beuckman, Frederic, Rev.,
History of the Dioce'ie of Belle-
Buechler Printing Co., 1919
Brink and McDonough,
IJi'itory of St. Clair County,
Brink,' McDonough Co., 1881
HoUman, Frank and John,
Atlas of St. Clair County,
Buechler Publishing Co., 1936
Lohman, Karl B.,
A Community-Planning Primer
University of Illinois 1935
McCormack, Thomas J.,
Memoirs of Grtstave Koerner
Vol I & 2,
The Torch Press. 1909
Capen and Melchior,
My Worth to the World,
American Book Co., 1937
Dodd and Dodd,
Government in Illinois,
University of Chicago Press,
The Historical and Business Re-
view of the City of Belleville,
Included in Hollands Belleville
City Directory for 1868-1869,
Webster Publishing Co., 1869
Ried, J. A.,
Greater Belleville, The,
Ried Publishing Co.,
Chamber of Commerce of the
Balanced Rebuilding of Cities,
Washington, D. C. 1937
Thomdike, E. L.,
144 Smaller Cities,
Harcourt Brace & Co.
New York, N. Y.
W. P. A. of Illinois,
Americaiu Guide Series,
Sponsored hy Henry Horner,
A. C. McClurg & Co. 1939
Chamber of Commerce,
Industrial Survey of Belleville,
Belleville, Illinois 1927
Chamber of Commerce,
Industrial Analysis of Belleville,
Belleville, Illinois 1948
Illinois Planning Commission,
Looking ahead with Illinois
Cities and Villages,
Chicago, Illinois 1937
Belleville Daily Advocate Cen-
October 25, 1939
U. S. Chamber of Commerce,
Opportimities for City Planning,
Washington, D. C. 1934
St. Clair County Centennial Edi-
October 5, 1941
St. Louis. Missouri
Butts, L. A.,
Evolution of Belleville Puhlic
Washington University 1931
St. Louis, Missouri
Petty, Alvin French,
Economic Geography of Belle-
Washington, D.C. 1939
St. Louis, Missouri
Abend, Edward 57, 83, 85, 106
Abend, Henry 57
Abend, Joseph 57
Abend, Lena 32
Ackerman, John 198
Adams, John Quincy 59
Advocafe, location of 245
Afflect, Benjamin Franklin 97
Afflecf, James 130
Agricultural Products 184, 185
Alexander, H. A. 92
Althoff, William 116
Althoff, Rt. Rev. H. 128, 129, 135,
American Bottoms 105, 107
American Legion 239
American Notes 253
Andel, Col. Casimier 86
Anderson, Abraham 121
Andrew, James 9
Annual rainfall 261
Aristocratic School 38
Armstrong, C. A. 207
Arnold, Cyril 245
Automobile Regulations 95, 96
Avia Field 229
Bader, Frank 111
Boer Brothers 189
Baker, Jehu 63, 71, 74, 244
Baker, Margaret 74
Baker, William 74
Bakeries 188, 191
Baldree, C. E., Dr., 45
Boll, Champness 103
Balloon, travel 97, 98
Banks of Belleville 193, 194
Baseball player from Belleville 203
Bauer Brothers 147, 179
Bauer, G. L., Dr., 45
Baoman, Charles, Dr., 45
Beard, William A. 25
Bechtold, August, Dr., 44
Bechtold, Edmond, Dr., 44
Bechtold, John, Dr., 44
Bechtold, Louis J., Dr., 44
Becker, Charles 62
Bedwell, James W. 100,
Beese, David 115
Bell, Robert 115
Belleville Academy 38
Belleville Casket Company 183
Belleville City Railway 92
Belleville Coal Analyzed 243
Belleville Daily Advocate 244
Belleville Daily News-Democrat 245
Belleville Fair Grounds 258
Belleville House 89, 255
Belleville Incorporated 1850, 248
Belleville, J. D., Dr. 45
Belleville Literary Society 139
Belleville Public Library 77, 122, 123,
Belleville Saengerbund and Library
Belleville Post 248
Belleville Shoe Factory 182
Belleville-Smithton Rood 97
Belleville Township High School 69
Bellevue Park 216, 217
Bennett, Jerry 3
Bennett, Timothy 48
Benton, Thomas Hart 49, 59
Berchelmann, Dr. Adolph 42, 43, 153
Biggs, William 9
Billing, Joseph 32
Bischof, Jacob, Sr., 118
Bischoff, L. A., Dr., 45
Beske, Arthur, Dr., 45
BIssell, Mrs. Elizabeth 69
Bissell, William H. 62, 68, 69, 253
Black Hawk War 73, 74, 236
Blair, George 22, 48, 67, 118, 119
Blue Goose Motor Coach Co. 99
Board of Education 147, 149, 206
Board of Public Works 65
Boelte, Miss Marie 141
Bond, Shadrach 13
Boneau, Ben 247
Bornman, Conrad 83
Breese, Judge 59, 60
Breitwieser, Arnold 100
Brethauer, H. A., Dr., 45
Breweries 164, 166
Brick, early use 255
Brickyard operators 172
Brodt, S. E. 97
Brooks, Rev. John B. 39
Brosius, Geiss Co. 169, 170
Brosius, Jacob 80, 81
Brosius, John 209
Bfownlie, Arthur R., Dr., 45
Brua, Henry 140
Bruss, Fred 111
Bryan, William Jennings 251
Buchonan, William 169
Budde, Rev. F. B. 136
Budweiser Garden 256
Buechler, Albert 188
Buechler, Joseph 188
Boesch, Arthur 257
Buechler Printing Co. 188
Building Committee, St. Peters 128
Building Contractors 120
Bunsen, George 41, 78, 79, 137, 152
Burcl.ardt, H. 170
Burnett, James 206
Burns, Frank S. 198
Busch, Adolphus 173
Business establishements 195, 198
Butzinger, Raymond 115
Bott, Frank 115
Bowdern, Rev. Thomas 158
Eoyakin, William F. 246
Boyd, James L. 242
Brauer, Eugene 102, 103
Braun, Charles 111
Braunersreuther, William 238
Cahokias-lndian tribe 1
Cains, Jacob 23
Cornfield, Emma 32
Canning Companies 182
Carlin, Gov. Theo. 153
Carriage Works 189, 190
Cartwright, Alexander 201
Case, Col. W. 37
Case Company, J. I. 182, 183
Cathedral High School 136
Catholic families, early 127
Centerville Avenue 56
Central School 146
Chamber of Commerce 185, 216
Chambers, Nathan 23
Chandler, S. B. 117
Chapman, Elijah 160
Cliouinard, John 111
Churches today 123, 126, 177
Cigar Manufacturers 163
Circuit Riders 130
Citizens duty 271
City Council 110, 113
City Hall 72
City official salaries in 1844, 249
City officials today 250
City Superintendents 143
City Park Garden 256
City Park Theatre 251
Civic Investment Trust association 183,
Civic Organizations 213, 214
Civil War 74, 77, 85, 237
Clark Brothers 94
Clark, George Rogers 5, 7, 236
Clark, T. C. 244
Clay, Henry 58, 60
Cleaning and Dying establishment
Clinton Hill 37, 63, 64
Clyne, Arthur A., Dr., 45
Coal discovered 242, 243
Cool Oil inspector 249
Coal production 242
Cody, William 251
Coghlan, Joseph B. 238
Communications school 234
Communify, definition of 262 Early Hotels 255
Conroy, C. R., Dr., 45 Early politics 258
Continental Army 5 East St. Louis and Interurban Railway
Cook, Daniel P. 49 99
Correspondence school 235 East St. Louis – Settlement 5
Coulter, James S. 244 East St. Louis and Suburban Railway
County Home 256 Company 93, 94, 96, 99
Court House 3, 118 Ebsen, Christian L. 257
Cox and Roberts 168 Eckert, George 256
Crocker, Earl 100 Eddy Paper Corporation 183, 184
Cron-thal 80 Edgar, John 11
Crow, Leslie 245 Edwards, Charles 39
Crown Mill 161, 162 Edwards, Ninian 23, 48, 55, 62, 64,
Curtis biplane 98 65, 67, 69
Custis, Martha 5 Edwards party 65
Edwards party, anti 65
D Ehret, Henry 176
Eimer, Charles 32
Daab, Fred 32 Eimer, Simon 53, 165, 256
Daehnerf, C. 134 Election 1840, 251
Daesch, Raymond 111 Elks Club 260
Daily Advocate 71 Elliot Liquor Store 58
Daughters of American Revolution 69 Ellis, C. P. 40
Davis, Irvin W., Dr., 45 Engelmonn, Adolph 5>7 , 103
Davis, Jefferson 68 Engelmann, Friedrich 83
Dawes, Alexander G. 245 Engelmann, George, Dr., 57
Day, John A. 93, 172 Engelmann, Sophie 58
Day Line 93 Engelmann, Theo. 152
Debs, Eugene 254 Enochs, Issoc 23
Decker, Wilhelm 153 Erhardt, William 40
Deep Wells 106 Esler and Ropiquet Co. 169
Deknent, Charles 110 Esfes, Dr., 48
Denlinger, William 246 Estes, James P. 100, 103
Dennis, John H. 39, 62, 71 Evans, Fred E. 245
Deobold, Henry C. 95 Eversull, Rev. Dr. Frank 124
DeSoto 1 Eyman, Abraham 21
Dexheimer, Herbert, Dr., 45
Dickens, Charles 59, 263 F
Dietz, George 174
Differences in Cities 262, 265 Falcetti, Edward 111
Dobson, Reese 115 Fallon, Rev. Msgr. John F. 129, n.5
Duvall, R. E. Mayor 96, 97 Family names 260
Doctor fees 44 Farmer, Orena 148
Dog catcher 249 Feder, N. H., Dr., 45
Douglas, Stephen A. 60, 61, 254 Federal Barge Line 100
Dress plants 183 Feickert's Bakery 121, 188
Dunne, Edward F. 259 Fellner, Peter 192, 193
Ferguson, Mrs. B. H. 147
E Fincke, Miss Ruth 149
Finklein, John 111
Eads Bridge 91, 102 Fike, Nathan 48
Eads, James B. 39 Fire Department 108, 111
Eagle Foundry 175, 176 Fire prevention week 111
First Church of Christ Scientist 121
First coal mine 243
First County Fair 257
First traffic tragedy 259
Flock, Max 202
Flannery, James 9
Fleischbein, Adolph G. 202
Fleischbein, Jacob 82, 164
Fleming, Edward 244
Fleming, P. K. 51
Fleming, Robert K. 244
Fleming, William 244
Fletcher, Art 202
Flickinger, Rev. William 132
Florists of Belleville 190, 191
Football players 204, 205
Fort Chartres 4
Fouke, Jacob 90
Fouke, Phillip B. 40
Fouke, Philip S. 69, 244
Foundries 166, 167, 175, 178
Frank, W, 140
Franklin School 140
Frons, J. 140
Fraternal Organizations 213
Freeburg Avenue 56
French – education, etc. 3
French and Indian War 4
Friedii, F. J. 148, 203, 207
Frontier life and dress 17, 20
Gallaher, Rev. James 131
Gallup, William 37
Geissener Immigration Association 78
Geist, Jacob 80
General Headquarters of Air Forces
Germans, early 85, 86
German immigrants 57, 75
German Library Society 77
German pioneers 86
Glen Addie 65
Goedeking, Henry 26, 40
Goforth, William Gale, Dr., 43
Good citizens, value of 270
Good Roads Booster Club 97
Gooding, Cornelius 25
Grade schools 141, 143
Grant, Ulysses S. 61, 71, 237
Gratiot, Charles 42
Graul, Miss Mary 126
Graves, Richard 103
Great Western Mail Route 101
Green, Joseph, Dr., 43
Groom, Bob 202
Groom, Charles 115
Growing season 261
Gruenewald, Monsignor M. J. 129,
Gundloch Machine Works 174
Gundlach, Philip M. 167, 168
Hackenbruch, Emil 111
Haines, W. F., Dr., 45
Halberf, R. A. 246
Hall, Dr. Hal O. 148
Hancock, Dr., 43
Hangar, first 231
Harper, L. C. 96
Harpstreits, Ted 207
Harrison, Charles 32
Harrison, Hugh 32, 168
Harrison, Theophilus 169
Harrison, Thomas 46, 161, 253
Harrison, William Henry 11
Hart, Frank 111
Hartman Brothers 50
Harvey, G. A. 246
Haskins, Jack T., Dr., 45
Hassoll, Clarence 115
Howes, F. M. 245
Hoy, John 23, 25, 72, 73, 103
Heothcothe, Cliff 202, 203
Hecker, Colonel Frederich 2, 4
Heiligenstein, P. C, Dr., 45
Heinfelden, Curt 157, 246
Heinzelman, A. C. 109
Heinzelman Brothers 130
Heinzelman, George 109
Heinemonn, Henry A. 118
Hempel, C. R. Rev. 97
Henke, Ewold 111
Henkemeyer Cigar Factory 181, 182
Henkemeyer, Martin 164
Hepp, Eugene G. 149
Hertel, Charles 27
Herzler and Henniger Machine Works
Hess, William 110
High School teachers 148
Highway Thirteen 99
Hildenbrandt, J. C. 153
Hilgard, Edouard 152
Hilgard, Frifz, Sr., 152
Hilgard, George E. 239
Hilgard, Theodore 81, 82, 152
Hilgard, Offo 153
Hinckley, Maria 72
Hinckley, Russell 161, 193
Hock, Edword 111
Hodo, Monroe 115
Hoeffken Brothers 179
Hoffmann, George Engelbert 21, 64
Holcomb, Clarence 111
Home Circle 32
Homeier, William 248
Horseless carriage 94, 95
Hotel Belleville 255
Hotel, National 48
Hough, C. R., Dr., 45
How to improve our city 267
Huber Family 127
Hughes, James W. 85, 103
Hughes, Sheriff John D. 26
Hume, William 134
Hundredth anniversary 259
Ice Companies 192
Illinois 12, 13, 242
Illinois Central 99
Illinois – Settlement of 1
Illinois Territory 11
Illinois Fire Company 108
Illinois volunteers 109
Imbs, J. F, 162
Imbs Milling Company 161, 178
Importance of City planning 267
Industries 186, 187
Ingersoll, Robert G. 251
Ingram, Rev. James V. 133
Intelligencer Blatt 248
Irwin, Dr., Edward M. 257
Isselhard, R. M., Dr., 45
Ittner, Anthony 172, 173
Jaeckel, Fred, Dr., 45
Janis, Professor 98
Jansen, Bishop John 129
Jeffrey, Oscar 115
Johnson, Fred 115
Johnson, Pearl 148
Johnson, Preston K. 245
Johnson, Richard M. 251, 252
Johnson, Sir William 5
Joliet, Louis 2, 4, 6
Jones, Rogers D. 240
Joseph, Oliver 208
Joseph, R. J., Dr., 45
Joyce, Professor 98
Julleis, Edward 245
Junior High School 143
Kaltenbrown, Herbert 115
Kansas – Nebraska Bill 70
Karch, John 148
Korstens, Wallace C, Dr., 45
Kaskaskia 12, 64
Kaskaskia – Indians 1
Kaskaskia – Settlement 3
Kaufmann, Herbert 150
Koye, Raymond J., Dr., 45
Kellermann, Gustav 154
Kempff, Louis 238
Kensinger, Richard 111
Kern, Fred J. 118, 247
Kerr, Joseph 49
Kimball, G. F. 245
Kimber, T. H. 131
Kindergarten Association 140
Kindergarten Private School 38
Kinsen, E. P. Captain 97
Kinney, William 64, 65, 69
Kircher, Joseph 154
Kirkwood, Andrew 115
Klemme, Gottlieb 176
Klincar, Paul 115
Kloess Brick Company 175
Klotz, Philip 111
Kluge, Emil 115
Knab, Fanny 32
Knispel Lake 257
Knobelock, Thomas 170
Koehler, Rev. B. J. 133
Koerner, Gustav 57, 63, 69, 91, 152,
154, 157, 220, 259
Koerner, Mrs. Gustav 141, 147
Kohl, Emil J. 128
Kohl, George 128
Kraft, F. W. 247, 248
Kraft, Theodore J. 140, 154, 217
Krimmel, Louis 169
Kroenig, Milton 115
Kubitschek, John D., Dr., 45
Kuensfer, Rev. Joseph 127
Kuhn, F. AA., Dr., 45
Kurrus, Richard 115
Lobor Unions 198, 200
Lofayelte, General 251
loke Christine 106
lake Lorraine 106
lambrechf, A. 94
lange, H. L., Dr., 45
Lanmann, Everett, Dr., 45
La Salle 2
Latin Peasants 82
Lawrence, George 115
Lebanon Avenue 56
Lebanon – Silver Ore 3
Le Clerc College 136
Le Coq, Sophie 79
Ledergetber, Joseph 153
lee. Rev. J. W. 129
Lehman, Elmer 115
Lehr, Jacob 40
Lemen, James Rev. 21, 23, 130
Leunig, I. A. Jr., Dr., 45
Leunig, I. A. Sr„ Dr, 45
Liederkranz Hall 32
Liederkranz Society 211
lienesch, John Thomas 65
Liese Lumber Company 180
Lincoln, Abraham 61, 77, 251, 254,
Lincoln Hotel 39, 72
Lincoln School 140
Lincoln Theater 51
List, Clarence 111
log Cabin 28, 29
Logan, General John A. 61
Looking Glass Prairie 253
lorey. Miss Johanna 142
lorey, William 40
Louisville and Nashville 99
Lucky, Enoch 87
luthern Church School 38
Lyon, Annie 63, 64
Lyon, Matthew 21, 63
Magin, Walter 115
Mangelsdort, Rev. 136
Mann, Horace 150
Manring, Clarence A. 149
Mansion House 51, 253
Marquette, Jacques 2, 4, 6
Market House 117, 118, 248
Marshall, Thomas R. 251
Martin, C. L., Dr., 45
Martin, G. R., Dr., 45
Mascoufah Avenue 56
Mascoufah Plank Road 257
Mass, first 127
Matfison, Governor 79
Mayors of Belleville 250
McBride, William J. 253
McCarty, Richard 5
McClintock, William 37
McClurc, Samuel 9
McCullough, J. J., Dr., 45
McEvers, Williams 115
McLaughlin, Robert 54, 55
McRogers, George 32
Mears, William 54, 55
Medicine Mon 41, 42
Melrose, James, Dr., 43
Memorial Fountain 215, 216
Merck, Karl, Sr., 187
Mertens, William, Jr., 115
Mertens, William, Sr. 115
Merritt, James W. 244
Merritt, Wesley 238
Messenger, John 21, 23, 37, 62, 65
Metchigans – Indian tribes 1
Mexican War 68, 71, 74, 237
Meyer, Rev. Charles 127
Meyer, George E., Dr., 45, 149
Meyer, Joseph 127
Meyer Pants Company 182
Middiecoff, Frank 169
Miller, Rev. Joseph 129
Miller, Percy 115
Miller, Wallace 115
Million, Henry L. 256
Millitizer, Henry G. 103
Ministers today 125, 126
Minor Construction Company 179
Mississippi River 100, 102, 105, 107
Missouri River 100
Mitchell, James 62, 71, 103, 117
Mitchell, William, Sr., 43
Model School 57. 58
Mo«ssinr)cr, Fred 115
Monk, C. A. 130
Monks Mound 10
Montague, E. J. 245
Mooring Mast 231
Morning Record 248
AAorrison, Col. J. I. D. 65, 69, 85,
Mueller. William 21
Mullett, Clarence 115
Music in Belleville 209, 212
Nofzigcr, Fred 207
Noil Mills 171, 172, 180, 181
National Hotel 51
Nebgen, Albert 111
Needles, Jos. H., Dr., 45
Nehrkorn, Mrs. Dorothy 142
Nesbit, Francis W., Dr., 45
Neuhoff, A. D., Dr., 45
Neuhoff House 252
New Design 37
New Madrid earthquake 18
News-Democrat, early location 246,
Nlles, Nathaniel 70, 71, 244
Noble, William D. 25
Norbet, Paul, Dr., 45
Northwest Territory 8
Noted visitors 251
Notre Dame Academy 135, 136
Parent-Tcochers Association 213
Paro, H. G. 209
Paule, Hugo 115
Paxon, James 1 1 1
Peck, Rev. J. M. 131
Pensoneau, Elienne 48
Peoria Indians 1
Perrin, Frank N. 80
Perrin, J. Nick 67
Pestalozzi, Father 78, 79
Peters, Elmer 149
Phillips, George I. 94
Phillips, Rev. Russell 124
Piggot, Captain James 87
Pinet, Father 2
Pioneer dress 29, 31
Pioneer social life 31, 33
Police deportment 111, 115
Poniske, Melvin 1 15
Pontiac 5, 251
Pope, Nathaniel 12
Portland Cement Association 97
Portuondo, Miss Sylvia 147
Post office 102, 104
Postal Rates 100, 101
Prairie Du Pont 4
Presbyterian Church, eafly 122
Priester, Frank 216
Priester's Park 216
Primm, John 21
Proclamation of 1763 4, 8
Public Square 25, 77
Purple Swan Coach Co. 99
Oakland Foundry 176, 177
O'Brien, John 127
Ochs, F. A., Dr., 45
Odd Fellow Building 72
Ogle, Benjamin 9
Ogle, Joseph 9
Ogle, Samuel 161
Ogle Station 98
Ohio River 100
Opp, Louis 103
Ostlongenberg, Rev. C. H. 128, 135
Otrich, G. C, Dr., 45
Ottawa Indian tribe 5
Owens, Jewel 148
Quick, Moses 160
Raab, E. P., Dr., 154
Raab, Henry 41, 62, 79, 157
Raab, Mrs. Henry 141
Randall, Peter Wilklns, Dr., 42
Randleman, Martin 21
Rapier, Richard 161
Rauth, E. L, Dr., 45
Rauth, Walter 206
Rayhill, Mrs. Florence 130
Reconstruction Period 70
Record Printing and Advertising Co.
Redman, Jackson 219
Reeb, Phillip 96
Reineke, Mrs. Amelia 127
Reiss, Fred 154
Ries, Rev. J. 128, 132
Renal, Dr., 42
Renault, Phillip 3
Renner, C. P., Dr., 45, 208
Rentchler, Anna 32
Rentchler, Dave 32
Rentchler, Louis 32
Reputation of a city 266
Resch, Frank 111
Residential areas 265
Revolution of 1830, 75
Revolution of 1833, 78
Reuss, Adoiph, Dr., 153
Reynolds, James M. 103
Reynolds, John 25, 49, 60, 62, 66,
67, 69, 85, 88
Rhein, Sophia 212
Richland Creek 48, 105, 106, 160,
161, 169, 225, 226
Richland Mill 174
Riesenberger, Frank 115
Ringold, John 103, 161
RItzheimer, Earl 111
Robertson, D. R., Dr., 45
Rock Road 96, 97, 111
Rodenmeyer, Edward 111
Rodenmeyer, Wilbur 111
Rodenberg, W. A. 118
Rogers, Robert 246
Roman, William, Dr., 43
Rombauer, Mrs. August 147
Rombauer, Edgar 62
Rose, Fred, Dr., 45
Rose, Wm. F., Dr., 45
Roth, L. W., Dr., 45
Rubber Cow 232
Ruebel, Walter 115
Russell, Alexander B. 246
Russell, William J, 247
Rutherford, William 115
Rutz, Edward 62
Sadorf, Frank 192
Saucier, Francois 3
Sauer, Robert 1 1 1
Sargent, Charles 103
St. Clair, Gen. Arthur 10
St. Clair County 10, 11
St. Clair County Agricultural Society
St. Clair County Fair 258
St. Clair County Court House 119, 120
St. Clair County Turnpike 93
St. Clair Gazette 244
St. Clair Tribune 72
St. Clair Volunteers 109
St. Elizabeth's Hospital 157, 158, 159
St. Henry's College 136
St. John's Orphanage 65
St. Louis – Settlement 5
St. Louis Turnpike 84
St. Paul's Church 38, 132
St. Peter's Cathedral 127, 129
St. Peter's Sand 105
Schaefer, Edwin M. 232
Scheel, John 57, 253
Scheve, Julius 152
Schiller, Edward 245
Schilling, A. D., Dr., 45
Schlesinger, Norman 111
Schlott, William 176
Schmidt, A! R. 245
Schmidt, H. G. 147, 148, 207
Schmitt, Mrs. Phillip 127
Schmitz, Erwin 111
Schmitz, Floyd 111
Schools 34, 41
Schatt, Anton, Dr., 152, 157
Schroder, Henry C. G. 142
Schwarz, Hanz 248
Schwind, Herbert 215
Scott Field 103, 104
Scott Field, Commander of 230
Scott Field, completness of 235
Scott Field, construction of 229
Scott Field, measles at 230
Scott Field, named 229
Scott Field, need for 229
Scott Field road 232
Scott Field saved 232
Scott, Jasper 169
Scott, Joseph 67, 68
Scoft, William Jr., 23
Sears, Roebuck 96
Sehlinger, Anfon 173, 174
Seller, Emil 111
Semmelrofh, August 188
Semmelrolh, Herman 103
Settlers from Virginia 75
Seven years' war 4
Shenandoah dirigible 231
Shepherd, Elihu 38
Shields, James 62, 70, 73, 74
Shoal Creek 101
Short, Jacob 23, 48
Shoupe, W. H. 246
Sickman, Theodore 126
Silver Creek 48
Silver ore 3
Simonin, Norman 115
Sintzel, A. R., Dr., 45
Slade, James P. 62, 72, 254
Small pox 44
Smith, Dr., 42
Smith, John 115
Snyder, Adam W. 54, 55, 257
Snyder, William 103
Snyder, Mrs. William H. 141
Sopp, Philip H. 103
Southern Roilroad 99
Spanish – American War 238
Sparks, Jared 152, 153
Star Brewery Park 257
State Militia of Illinois 73
Staufenbiel, Mrs. F. J. 154
Stein, Ernst 150
Steingoetter, Mrs. Bessie 142
Sterling, Miss Ruth 142
Sterthman, Raymond 115
Steuernagel, Bella 156
Stoelzle, Fidel 165
Stolberg, George P. 257
Sfolberg Lake 257
Stolle, Anna L. 245
Stookey, Daniel 62
Strauss, J. B. 93
Streck Brothers 181
Stuart, A. C. 54
Stuart, Alphonso C. 48
Stuart, E. R. 246
Swift, Professor L. 132
Tabor, Hubert 205
Taft, William H. 251
Togeblatt Und Arbeiter Zeitung 248
Tammarois – Indian tribe 1
Tannehill, James 51
Tannehill Hotel 48
Tannehill, Raechel 48, 162, 163
Taylor, Francis M. 103
Teachers, early 138
Telephone Companies 191, 192
Tennis at B.T.H.S. 207
Territory of Illinois 7
Territorial Post Office 100
Teter, John 62
Thebus, John 118
Thespian Club 211
Thomas, John E. 103, 117, 245
Thomas, J. H. 245
Thomas, Colonel John 73
Thompson, Amos 208
Thompson, Cyrus 73, 103, 118, 169,
Thompson, Fred 1 1 1
Thome, Russell 150
Tisch Monument Works 184
Todd, John 7
Torch Light Parade 259
Tornado of 1938, 228
Towers, Al 199
Transylvania University 58
Trap shooting 203
Treaty of Paris 4, 7
Treu Bund 248
Trumbull, George 84
Trumbull, Lyman 62, 69, 84, 259
Turkey Hill 137
Turner Society 257
Twain, Mark 253
Twitchell, B. E., Dr., 44
Twilchell, Standlee, Dr., 44, 45
Turner, William 38
Tyndale, Sharon 103
Undertaking establishments 190
Underwood, Joseph B. 71
Underwood, William H. 71
Underwood, William J. 246
Union Fire Company 109
Vollis, John 9
Van Cleve, Collins 245
Variation in living costs 266
Veterans of Foreign Wars 239
Vicksburg, battle of 71
Village Board 108, 109
Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 109
Von Lengerke, Matilda 79
V/addel, David 9
Wade, John 111
Wagner, A. W., Dr., 254
Wagner, M. W., Dr., 45
Wallace, Henry 251
Walta, Robert 111
Walton, W. H., Dr., 45
Wangelin, Evans H., Dr., 44
Wangelin, Herman G. 80, 102, 103
Wangelin, Colonel Hugo 102, 103
Wangelin, Hugo E., Dr., 44
Wangelin, Irwin H. 102, 103
War of 1812, 47, 236
Washington, George 5
Washington School 140
Water system 103, 108
Water Tower Hill 107
Waugh Mills 171
Weber, Herman G. 106, 155
Weber, John 142
Weeden, T. C. 245
Wehrle, Fredericka 126
Weingaertner, Jacob 154
Weir, M. W. 127
Weir, Sophie 127
Wellinghoff, J. L. 100
West Belleville 226, 227
West, B. J. 62
West, Jr., Washington, Dr., 44
Westhaven Swimming Pool 257
Wheeler, J. E., Dr., 45
White, Charles O., Dr., 45
White, James 9
Whiteside, Jacob 161
Whiteside, Captain William 9, 66
Whiteside, Uel 10
Wick, Bernard 154
Wiggins Ferry Company 87
Wilbret, C. L., Dr., 45
Wilbret, M. E., Dr., 45
Wilderman, M. N., Dr., 45
Wilding, Peter 85
Wilkie, Wendell 251
Wilkinson, Ed. P. 25
Wilkinson, Edmond 161
Willard, Francis 259
Willoughby, James A. 245
Willoughby, James B. 32, 103
Wilson, C. S., Dr., 45
Wilson, Edward 111
Winkler, T. J., Dr., 45
Wold, Fritz A. 152
Wolf, Herman 152
Woodworth, Charles, Dr., 43
Wolleson, Mr. A. M. 155, 156
Women's Christian Temperance Union
Women's Temperance Union 259
Wood, Leonard W., General 251
Woods, John 245
World War I, 77, 238
World War II, 239
Wrestling at B.T.H.S. 207
Wright, Rev. J. G. 134
Wright, John 256
Wyott David 27
Zeiler, Aaron 163, 164
Zeitung Und Stern 248
Zinser, Emil 111