Businesses and Businessmen of Grundy County IL

O. P. ADAMS, Painter

Ad for O. P. Adams

Ad for O. P. Adams

It gives us pleasure to recommend this excellent workman to our readers, as one of the best painters in this locality. Mr. ADAMS has formerly been in business in Chicago, and there acquired an experience in his trade, that will be of real value to our citizens, and from the amount and quality of the work, Mr. ADAMS has been doing in our city during the last season, it would appear that our citizens appreciate his skill. Mr. ADAMS has re-painted the elegant residences of Mr. C. H. GOOLD and Mr. E. SANFORD, and many others during the last few months, which fact is a recommendation to which older workmen would not object. We are personally acquainted with Mr. ADAMS, and we can recommend him to all who need good work.

P. A. ARMSTRONG, Attorney

Ad for P. A. Armstrong

Ad for P. A. Armstrong

Perry A. ARMSTRONG, was born in Licking co., Ohio. In 1831 his parents came to LaSalle county, Ill., and in 1845 came to Grundy county, and settled in Morris. Perry ARMSTRONG was in early life engaged in mercantile pursuits, but finally gave up the trade for the legal profession. His quick perception and clever ways have always made him a prominent man in the community, drawing around him a host of friends. The above qualities backed by extensive reading and hard study, were the means for bringing him in early life before the people as a candidate for public favor. In 1845, he was made postmaster, under President POLK; later he was elected County Clerk, a position which he held eight years. He was chosen as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1862, and to the Legislature, as representative for the years 1863 and 1873, and at these elections was without opposition. He has served both as Alderman and City Attorney, and is at present Master in Chancery. Beside the above political honors, Mr. ARMSTRONG was Grand Master of Odd Fellows, in 1856-57 and is at present D. D. G. M. of A. F. & A. M. of the 8th district of Illinois. Mr. ARMSTRONG is a scientist, with geology as his favorite study. His collection of fossils and minerals is very extensive and valuable, being the finest in the State. pg 290

L. F. BEACH, Dry Goods and Groceries

Ad for L. F. Beach

Ad for L. F. Beach

Prominent among the leading citizens and the many enterprising firms of the city of Morris stands L. F. BEACH. He came to Morris in 1869 and opened the store on Liberty street now occupied by A. F. MALLORY. In 1873 he moved to the capacious store which he now occupies. His success has been uninterrupted from the first, and, at this time, is the largest business in its line of any in Grundy County. He deals extensively in dry goods, which he purchases in New York direct from importers and manufacturers. His is the largest stock of carpets in the city. And, besides, he deals largely in hats and caps, boots and shoes, and crockery, glassware. He makes a specialty in the trade of eggs, butter, lard, of which his shipments are enormous, that of butter alone averaging fifteen thousand pounds per month. The motto of his firm is, “We buy for cash and sell for cash,” and thereby the public have an opportunity to save a large margin. People trading at this store can always be assured of finding a large stock to select from and agreeable salesmen waiting upon them. pg 295

JOHN BROWN, Hopkins House

Many are the traveling men who have stopped in Morris and have partaken of the hospitalities of the Hopkins House. John BROWN, proprietor. Situated centrally, this is one of the most desirable stopping places on the line of the C. R. I. & P. R. R. No one, whose visits to this city are strictly of a business nature, can afford to devote time hunting a hotel; and to facilitate convenience to travelers, lines of ominbuses and baggage wagons are run to and from the Hopkins House, on the arrival of every passenger train day or night. Complete arrangements have been adopted to enable guests to take early trains, and in all respects is this hotel managed in first-class style, for the convenience of its patrons. The head of this establishment, Mr. John BROWN, is a native of England, and a man of extended experience. Since his occupation of the Hopkins House, he has entirely renovated the interior, and by a large outlay has perfected the appointments of the place, and succeeded in establishing an excellent reputation as a pleasant, accommodating and consistent gentleman and landlord.

J. P. M. BUTLER, Jeweller

Although not by any means the oldest citizen of this city, Mr. BUTLER may properly be termed an old citizen, for the greater portion of his life has been passed here. He has been engaged at his present business some 7 years, but has only followed it here for something over a year, but is rapidly convincing the citizens of Grundy county, that he can keep “time”, for them, or regulate and repair their timepieces. He deals in all the best brands of clocks and watches, making a specialty of repairing; also handles, silverware and jewelry, plated ware and spectacles, indeed, any and every thing found in a first-class, well arranged jewelry store, you can find in Mr. BUTLER’s. His work is recognized as of superior quality, and needs no further comment from us.


There is nothing within the city limits of Morris, in point of enterprise, that compares with the City Mills. The soul of the proprietors are in the mill, and the spirit of the mill is dancing to the tune inspiring it. An anticipated demand in machinery or appurtenances necessary to add to the interest of the mill, is immediately supplied to constitute it a first-class mill, and the result proves the proprietors have not reckoned with out their host, for their trade is immense; their flour is meeting with universal satisfaction, and though they are running day and night their orders are imperfectly supplied. This spirit of enterprise has not only animated a like spirit in Morris evinced in the useful, ornamental and tasteful mansions erected on her most popular streets, but it has produced a decided effect in utilizing money influences at home. Very much of the money for bread stuffs formerly went to Lockport, Rock Island and other foreign parts, is to-day used in Morris, where it is benefiting the city and county. Grundy Country contributed largely to the success of the mill. Mazon, Gardner, Verona, Minooka, Channahon and Aux Sauble, besides Lisbon and Seneca are constant patrons of the mill, and teams daily are leaving Morris for those places loaded with flour, which together with the host of farmers teams for gristing, produces a life and animation about the mill and in the city, that no other enterprise could possibly produce. The city of Morris is but little aware of the great worth of these mills are to the city, and when its citizens patronize foreign trade to the exclusion of home industry and enterprise, a blow is aimed directly at their own interests. Its proprietors are both gentlemen, well known to this community, Dr. ANTIS, is a physician of eminence, and the present Mayor of the city of the Morris, while Mr. MEDELL, is one of the leading millers of the day.

AMOS CLOVER, Stock Dealer

We live in an age of progress, and it is to such men as Hon. Amos Clover that we are indebted for much of this progress; it is their efforts that removes us a people forever from the mist of old time notions, that still wrap the countries of the Old World in their folds. Amos Clover came to Grundy County in 1843, a young man with nothing save his hands and head to earn him a livelihood. Had we space, nothing would be more grateful than to portray his struggles and early life up to the time we now find him, the honored representative of this district in the legislature of the State of Illinois, the owner of several fine farms and a pleasant home in the village of Gardner, to which town he removed in the year 1860. He is engaged in buying and shipping cattle and hogs, and does a large business. He has served the county in various public offices, and has the confidence of the entire community, irrespective of party. pg 298

WM. R. CODY, Furniture

Prominent among the many business houses of Morris, is the furniture establishment of the above named gentleman. Mr. Cody has been engaged in the furniture business, for a number of years previous to his location in Morris, to which city he removed in 1872. He deals extensively in all classes of furniture, chairs, bed-steads, mattresses, spring beds, lounges, etc., in fact everything the demands of the trade requires. He moved from Hart’s block on Liberty street, to the opposite side of the street, in Smith’s block, where he contemplates enlarging his store, as his present quarters are insufficient to supply the demands of his trade. His long experience enables him to understand fully the wants of his customers, and at the same time supply them at the most reasonable prices. His energy and business talent stamps him as one of the best business men of Morris and his straight forward course has gained him many friends.

JOHN H. COLES, Boots and Shoes

The subject of this sketch came to the town of Gardner in 1854 or thereabout and began work at his trade (shoemaking). He was the second one in the trade in the town. Mr. Coles has been largely instrumental in developing the interests of Gardner. He was chosen the first President of the Town board of Trustees and also the first police magistrate in 1869, the year the town was organized. He has taken an active part in all questions of interest to the village, and has been known as a friend of the temperance cause. Since his residence there he has been elected time and again justice of the peace, a flattering evidence of the confidence the citizens of Gardner repose in him. Pg 300

A. V. CRISLER, Livery Stable

Among the enterprising men of the city of Morris, we mention A. V. CRISLER, with whom we are personally acquainted, and who is classed among the popular liverymen in this section, Mr. CRISLER has been proprietor of the stables at the cor of Liberty and Jefferson sts., over a year, his stock of buggies and harnesses are new and first-class in all respects. He makes a specialty of ladies riding and driving horses, and that his teams are reliable, is proved by the patronage he receives. Horses, hacks and carriages supplied for weddings or funerals. Mr. CRISLER runs in connection with his stable, an omnibus line, to and from the depot to trains, and also to any part of the city. Mr. CRISLER is to well known to the citizens of Morris and Grundy county, to require any extended comments from us. Those patronizing him will bear us out in the statement, that his terms are reasonable and prices satisfactory.


This prominent citizen came to Morris in the year 1854, and engaged in the boot and shoe trade, which he followed two years. He served two terms as circuit clerk (eight years), and was afterwards engaged in the hardware business with L. IRONS. He served as alderman of the third ward in Morris for three years. Mr. DAVIDSON was born in Beaver County, Penn., and after arriving at manhood removed to Ohio and located on the western reserve, living successively in Middletown, Lowellville and Poland, and for fifteen or twenty years was engaged in the dry goods trade at those places. Mr. DAVIDSON has been a representative man in this community and in the different societies of which he has been a member. A straight business character, he has won the confidence of the business men and is looked upon as authority in their councils, and as one whose judgment is based upon right and justice. He is at present engaged in the insurance business.

J. A. DePEYSTER, Morris Marble Works

The above gentleman we make mention of as being among the prominent men engaged in business in the city of Morris; he has been established here five years, but has been engaged in the marble business over 30 years, is thoroughly conversant with all departments of the business, and is accounted one of the best marble workers in this section. Mr. DePEYSTER manufactures and deals in Foreign and Domestic Marble, Monuments, Headstones, &c., &c., and truly, if long experience is a guarantee of practical knowledge he must be accounted the leading workman in his line, in this part of the country. All his work is guaranteed, and is put up at prices that cannot be equaled for good work. He will be pleased to see any old customer, and also as many new ones as may choose to call, all work promptly attended to in a satisfactory manner.

G. W. FOSTER, Barber

This gentleman’s tonsorial establishment is in the basement of the Hopkins House, where he has been located for a number of years. Those of our readers who appreciate a clean shave, and wish to escape the agony of dull razors, will be pleased if they give Mr. FOSTER a call, and will continue their patronage. He is ever up to the times in styles, and is what may be termed an artist in his profession. pg 297

O. B. GALUSHA, Nursery

Mr. GALUSHA began the propagation of trees in this county in 1851, and has made horticulture his entire business since that time – constantly studying modes of culture and adaptation of varieties. As member of the AD INTERIM committee of the State Horticultural Society he has traveled more than ten thousand miles in this State examining orchards and studying varieties and their adaptation to different soils and locations. He was the first Secretary of the State Horticultural Society, afterward its president, and for the last eight years again its secretary – editing and publishing annually a volume of about four hundred pages of matter upon scientific and practical horticulture in all its departments; he was for six years a member of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois State Industrial University, and for four years a member of the State Board of Agriculture, in both which positions his peculiar province or especial department was to aid in developing the horticultural interests of the State. His twenty-five year’s experience in raising fruits and in growing nursery trees within the county gives him a knowledge of varieties, best adapted to cultivation here, superior to that of any other man and we congratulate the people of Grundy county upon having a nursery in their midst conducted by a gentleman of such large experience, and unquestioned intelligence and veracity. Surely such an enterprise should receive their entire confidence and patronage. His nursery is located on E. 1/2 of N. E. 1/4 section 15 Wauponsee township – being three miles southwest from Morris, P. O., Morris.

H. GOETZE, Tobacconist

Mr. GOETZE, has been engaged in the manufacture of cigars in the city of Morris since 1867, and in this time has established a fine trade, and obtained an enviable reputation, being the leading tobacconist of Morris. Mr. GOETZE, makes of specialty of manufacturing cigars, and of these we make mention of three well known brands: “Our little ones,” “H. G.”, and “Delicious bait,” of which every smoker in our city knows the flavor. He also deals largely in fine cut, plug and smoking tobaccos, handling all the leading brands. His stock of pipes and smokers articles, is the largest in the city, and here the devotees of the fragrant weed will find material to satisfy the most fastidious. Lorrillard’s plug goods, “Vanity Fair”, “Durham”, and “Centennial” brands of smoking tobacco, are to well known and appreciated to require any word of endorsement from us, all we need to say is, if you are a smoker and wish to enjoy a good cigar, or anything in the tobacco line that is fine, go to H. GOETZE’s, and you will sure to find what you wish.

F. B. HANDWERK, Hardware

This establishment is one of the leading houses in town. It is managed on strict business principles. Each article of goods is marked to sell at a price, and when sold is accounted for, and at the close of the month the proprietor can give the figures for all his transactions, his orders, sales, etc., and can closely calculate the outlook for the future. This is business, and is just the plan adopted by Mr. Handwerk, and is one of the secrets of his success. F. B. HANDWERK started in life a poor boy. After a long struggle he succeeded in laying-up enough money to purchase an interest in the business of his old employer, and the firm of GROSS & HANDWERK sprang into existence. Over a year ago the firm of GROSS & HANDWERK was dissolved by the brothers William and Frank HANDWERK purchasing the interest of Mr. GROSS. The death of William HANDWERK left Frank alone in the establishment and he is pushing along the road to prosperity, working hard, never despairing and confident of winning in the end. The trade of this house is increasing and well deserves a large patronage. Here can always be found a full supply of everything usually kept in a hardware store. And the best barbed fence wire in the country, is not one of the least items in his sales. The very latest improvements in stoves and ranges can here be found in large variety. In fact, the proprietor makes it a point to keep his stock supplied with only the most desirable goods in the market, and sells them at such prices as makes them good bargains to purchasers. pg 290-1

HART & DODD, Carriage Makers

It is generally conceded that no business can really be a good one, unless it is conducted by one who has a thorough knowledge of it, whatever that business may be, and when any business has been established for a period of 20 years, it is only reasonable to conclude that it has been conducted by someone possessing such requirements. In 1857 Hart & Son, established the carriage and wagon making business in Gardner, and conducted the same until 1876, when the present firm purchased Mr. Hart Srs. Interests, and formed the present firm of Hart & Dodd. They make a specialty of first-class work, their business includes the manufacture of cultivators and wagons, also plow repairing, as well as general blacksmithing, and are prepared to do first-class work at the shortest notice, they are located at the south end of R. R. Square, opposite Snyder & Lutz Elevator. pg 299

O. R. HIGHT, Boots and Shoes

In reviewing our business men it gives us pleasure to mention the above-named gentleman. Mr. HIGHT is a practical shoemaker, and although he has not been in our city as long as some, yet he has built up a reputation second to none in the county. Mr. HIGHT does no shoddy work; he uses the best of stock and guarantees a fit in all cases. He is a pleasant, affable gentleman, and ever ready to please his patrons. He will be found on the cor. of Liberty and Jefferson sts. pg 298


The subject of this sketch is an experienced mechanic and for the past three years has been engaged in the pump and windmill business. By close attention to his calling he has built up an excellent trade and is constantly in receipt of orders from all parts of the county. Mr. HITCHCOCK has arrangements perfected with leading manufacturers whereby he can, on short notice, furnish a first-class style of windmill pump. He superintends individually the setting of the mills and, performs his work in the most substantial manner. He is an energetic man and does not allow any work to lag when once begun. His goods are warranted to be as recommended, and he means at all times to perform his work to the satisfaction of his customers. pg 295-6

JUDGE W. T. HOPKINS, Attorney at Law

There are a few men in the city of Morris, whom it gives us more pleasure to mention than the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this article. Judge HOPKINS came to the city of Morris in 1849, was admitted to the bar in the same year, and began the practice of law immediately, in which profession he has been very successful. As an evidence of his popularity and the favor with which the citizens of Morris and Grundy county hold him, we mention the fact that he was elected Judge of the County in 1861, served four years, was elected Member of the Legislature, and also Presidential Elector in the fall of 1864, and cast his vote for Abraham Lincoln. He was appointed Revenue Inspector of 6th dist. Of Ills., and was afterward promoted a general agent of the Internal Revenue Department in 1865-66. Since the expiration of his term of office, he has followed his profession. Judge HOPKINS is one of the old settlers of the county of Grundy, and has ever taken an active part in his prosperity and welfare, having done much towards developing its resources. It is largely due to his efforts that the bridge across the Illinois river was erected, he being President of the company at that time. The bridge was completed in the spring of 1857, and stands today as secure as when first erected. He also built the fine hotel called after him, the HOPKINS HOUSE this latter was erected in 1853. The Judge is a native of the State of Maine, and studied law in the city of Bangor. It is useless for us to go farther in our comments as Judge HOPKINS is to well know; as a pleasant, social gentleman, a genial companion and a good lawyer, and has a fast hold on the hearts and affections of the citizens of Grundy county, a better testimonial to his worth and favor than any we can give.

R. B. HUSS, General Merchandise

Prominent among the citizens of Gardner and Grundy county, is R. B. HUSS who settled in Gardner in 1863, in 1872 he began business at his present stand, a general dry goods and grocery store and has made the same a success, his sales running as high as $30,000 per annum. Mr. HUSS is one of the most thorough and enterprising business men of the county, he buys his goods direct and sells for cash and can offer extra inducements to customers, his stock of goods is complete embracing dry goods, carpets, clothing, boots and shoes, groceries. pg 298

IRONS, RIDDLE & CO., Hardware

We call attention of our readers, to one of the leading firms of Morris, and give herewith a sketch of Irons, Riddle & Co. Among the various branches of industry throughout the country, few are of greater importance, and none command more universal attention than the hardware trade. The word “Hardware” is one of those comprehensive indefinite nouns of multitude, of which it may be said that it embraces, as the word implies, almost every ware that is hard; and this describes the articles dealt in by the above named firm. In 1861 Mr. L. IRONS, came to Morris, but soon left to enter the army, he remained in service until he was discharged for disability in 1864 and returned to Morris. In 1866 he formed a partnership with Mr. R. C. CHURCH, and purchased a stock of hardware of N. C. PETTEYS; the firm continued in business 3 years, when Mr. CHURCH sold his interest to Mr. Wm. STEPHENS, who in October of the same year sold his interest to Mr. J. B. DAVIDSON. The following year Mr. IRON’S health failing, they sold out the business to E. R. FIELD & Co., but in 1872 Mr. IRONS and J. H. PETIT, bought out FIELD & Co., and conducted the business until January 1876, when Mr. Geo. RIDDLE bought out Mr. PETITT, and a new firm was formed, consisting of L. IRONS, Geo. RIDDLE and Mr. John THOMAS, and under their management the business is rapidly increasing. Mr. IRONS has been engaged in business in Morris nearly all the time since 1864, has been elected City Treasurer and Alderman, in that time both of which offices he filled with credit to himself, and advantage to the city. Mr. Geo. RIDDLE, is an old and respected citizen, a good business man, and Mr. THOMAS, is a young man of energy and enterprise, and with such a combination, it would be indeed strange did they fail of success. Their stock is large, embracing all the goods usually found in any hardware store, beside many classes of goods usually made a specialty. They carry a large stock of heavy and shelf hardware, stoves, tin, copper and sheet iron ware, cutlery, builders hardware, mechanics tools, house furnishing goods, farming implements, &c., &c., carriage and wagon hardware and woodwork, consisting of hubs, spokes, felloes and bent stock. They also keep in stock, rubber and leather belting, steam packing, in short, everything demanded by the trade, from a rat trap to a steel buggy spring, and from a gimlet to a mill saw. Their store fronts upon both Washington and Liberty streets, forming an L and enclosing the Grundy County National Bank upon two sides; the store upon Liberty street, is 20×80 ft and 20×20 upon Washington street. They occupy two stories and a large basement, and employ from 2 to 6 men constantly in their shops. This firm is well known to our citizens to require any encomiums from us, by strict integrity and attention to business, this firm have gained the confidence of the community, and have every prospect of a prosperous future before them.

JONES & FEY, Meat Market

This firm has been established in Morris eight years, and in that time they have won an enviable reputation. The senior member of the firm, Mr. JONES, is the present City Treasurer, and his partner Mr. FEY, is Alderman of the third ward and have thus far given the utmost satisfaction. They are recognized as the leading butchers and stock dealers of Morris. Both members of the firm are thorough energetic business men, ready at all times to aid any measure that has for its object the advancement of public interests. A visit to their market upon Liberty street, will convince any one that bread is not the only staff of life, at least in Morris, if one may judge from the amount of fresh and salt meats this firm dispenses to the citizens of this place. Mr. JONES & FEY are among the best business men in the city of Morris.

M. K. KELLER, Grocer

The city of Morris, is fortunate in possessing many enterprising business men, and prominent among these, stands the name of Mr. M. K. KELLER. He was born in Lancaster, Penn., and at the age of 14, he entered a grocery store as clerk, in his native town; arriving at manhood, he went to the city of Newcastle, where he remained but at short time, when he was attacked with the “Greely fever” and came west to Morris in 1855, and started a grocery store, near where the Ross house is located, he removed several times until lastly he located upon Liberty st., between Washington and Main sts., his present place of business. Mr. KELLER, is at present doing the leading grocery business in the city of Morris, and has won the esteem and confidence of every resident of the county; in spite of the “hard times,” his store is constantly thronged. pg 296

KNAPP & THAYER, Grain and Lumber

The business which this firm represents, was established in 1865 by Messrs. KNAPP & GRISWOOLD, in March of the year following, the interest of Mr. GRISWOOLD was purchased by Mr. H. M. THAYER, and the firm under the present name of KNAPP & THAYER, set themselves at work to build up a business in Minooka, that should be not only a source of profit to themselves, but develop the interests of that portion of the county. In 1877 they erected their elevator with a capacity of 20,000 bu., this was soon found insufficient for the requirements of their trade, and they erected cribs with several thousand of bu. more capacity, adjacent for their elevator. They have also a warehouse at the Minooka canal landing, with 20,000 bu. capacity, and at Channahon, another of 49,000 bu capacity. This will give some idea of the business of this enterprising firm. They have just completed and have in operation a planing mill at Minooka, and are prepared to supply all customers with dressed lumber, siding, hard and soft wood, sash, doors, blinds, etc., brick, and all building materials. Their grain trade is immense. Last year they handled over 300,000 bushels. They have connections with all the leading transportation lines in the country, and make quick transfers to any portion of the country. pg 300

J. A. LOCKE, Dry Goods

The establishment of the above named popular gentleman is located upon the corner of Main and Liberty streets, and at present is one of the best establishments in Morris. Mr. LOCKE came to Morris, from the State of N. Y. in 1870; he first engaged in the produce trade upon Washington st., but three years ago he removed to his present location, and opened a dry goods and grocery store, also continuing his line of produce, butter and eggs. He is also general agent for sewing machines, and supplys, dealing in all the different machines of the times. Mr. LOCKE’s trade has increased, until at present he has one of the largest trades in the city. He is a gentleman well known and highly respected as a citizen and business man. pg 297

A. LOYD, Ice

We call the attention of the general public, to the above named gentleman, and know that what ever favorable mention we make of him, will be well received by the citizens of Morris. It is our aim in this part of our work, to deal strictly in a business manner, and to point out to our numerous readers, our best business men. Now that the heated term is upon us, it is of importance to the citizens of Morris, to know where they can procure the best ice at the lowest price, and is answering such inquiry, we would say patronize A. LOYD, who deals in the best quality of pure crystal ice delivered to any part of the city, wholesale and retail at the very lowest figures. We recommend him to all those needing ice, knowing that they will receive the best article. His residence and office is on East Washington st. pg 296

F. C. MAYO, Jeweler

Mr. MAYO established himself in the jewelry business in Morris in 1855, in a building standing on the present site of the Grundy County National Bank, and has occupied his present store on Liberty Street about two and a half years. Mr. MAYO is an experienced workman and by patient labor has acquired a good patronage. He keeps constantly on hand a large assortment of jewelry and silverware, watches, clocks, etc. He sells at living prices and endeavors to make all bargains satisfactory to his customers. pg 290

N. McBRIDE, Insurance

The subject of this sketch, Nathaniel McBRIDE, was born in Lawrence county, Penn. He came to live in Morris, Ill., in Oct., 1855, and for a time was employed as book-keeper for HANNA & LEROY. He afterwards went into the insurance business, which has been his principal occupation since – for twenty years. Sixteen years ago he was elected a justice of the peace, an office which he has held uninterruptedly ever since. In connection with other business, Justice McBRIDE has carried on an extensive business in loaning and collecting money. And during and since the late war, collected back-pay, bounties and pensions for the soldiers to a large extent, a business which he has not allowed to reap for him a large store of wealth as his patriotism and sympathy for “the men who faced the toe and accepted the fate of war,” would not allow him to take even the full amount fixed by law, and he has thus returned to the soldiers, their widows and orphans, at least five thousand dollars in fees legally and properly his own. Justice McBRIDE is still engaged in the insurance, loan and collection business. He represents twenty of the best fire, marine, accident and life insurance companies of the world. His loan and collection business is large, and his business transactions extend to all parts of the country.

MURNAN & DALY, Groceries

The business represented by this firm was established in 1867 by Messrs. Thos. MURNAN and R. HUGHES, who conducted the same until the first of Feb., 1874, when they dissolved partnership, Mr. MURNAN entering into partnership with Mr. DALY. The new firm is doing a fine business; both are enterprising, thorough business men, and are rapidly winning their way to popular favor. They make a specialty of fine goods in the grocery line, and when we say there are few houses in their line that can in any way surpass them, we state simply a fact that the entire community will attest as truth. pg 298

C. M. PALMER, Contractor and Builder

Among the best mechanics and business men of Morris, we make mention of C. M. PALMER, who is a gentleman well known to the citizens of this vicinity, as one of the best workmen in the county. Mr. PALMER has erected many fine buildings and residences in and around Morris, among them is that of Mr. GROMLEY, upon Fremont Avenue. He has won for himself a reputation as a builder and architect, and is prepared to furnish plans and specifications for any building desired. His shop and office is located upon Liberty street, opposite the Court House. P. O. address, Morris. pg 294

L. RAVENS, Bakery

Among the creditable establishments our city can boast is that of the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this article. Mr. RAVENS came to Morris 3 years ago and established himself in business, and in that time he has built up a fine trade and gained the confidence of the entire community; he has had an experience of 16 years in the bakery business and understands thoroughly every branch of the profession. He is prepared to furnish to the citizens of Morris the best quality of bread, as well as many different kinds of cakes, the latter made a specialty of. He has in connection with his bakery a fine restaurant, where he is prepared to supply lunches or warm meals, confectionery and cigars. His establishment is located in Hart’s block, on Liberty street. pg 294

REINHARD, MEYER & CO., Clothiers

The firm whose name appears above, is one of the oldest in the clothing line in this part of the State, and representing as they do so large a branch of commerce, and holding a position of such importance, they are deserving of more than a passing notice. The founder and original head of the firm, Emanuel REINHARD, came to Morris in the year 1856, with his sons, M. E., & H. E. REINHARD, from Baltimore. Morris then was only an epitome of today, yet Mr. REINHARD with shrewd sagacity foresaw that the small village was destined to become a flourishing town, and he decided to locate here, and enter into business; he secured a store and with his two sons before mentioned, opened a clothing store. His business prospered, although one of his sons M. E. REINHARD left here the year following, and went to California, where he engaged in business. The demands of trade were such as induced Mr. REINHARD to take into partnership with himself, his son-in-law, Mr. Jacob MEYER, and the firm became REINHARD, MEYER & CO., a name which it has ever since borne. In 1866, Mr. H. E. REINHARD decided to go to Baltimore, where he was joined by M. R. REINHARD, and they concluded to embark in the clothing business, in Baltimore, making that city the headquarters of their business. The same year Emanuel REINHARD sold out his interest in the Morris firm, and retiring from business went to Baltimore to reside, the succeeding year Mr. Jacob MEYER went to Baltimore, and entered the firm, leaving a superintendent to look after the interests of the house in Morris. The house in Baltimore was now doing a large wholesale business, which has constantly increased until they now employ some 500 hands, in the various departments of their extensive manufactory and sales-rooms. Their business in Morris seemed now to demand the attention of some member of the firm, and as in 1876 M. E. REINHARD had retired from business, Mr. Samuel E. REINHARD was taken into partnership, and came to Morris in January 1877, to conduct the business here. Since he took charge, his business has improved until he found his trade demanded more commodious accommodations, and he has just had the store upon the n w corner of Washington and Liberty streets, fitted up expressly for the accommodation of his trade. He has now one of the finest locations and salesrooms in the city. It is scarcely necessary for us to say more concerning this well known firm, every old settler knows where to go to find his wants supplied in the clothing line. The large business done by this house in Baltimore, enables them to supply their Morris establishment, with all the latest styles and best qualities of goods, and to sell them at a low figure, enabling them to compete favorably with any Chicago house.

G. C. RIDINGS, Jeweler and Optician

We admire skill and good work wherever found, and it affords us much pleasure to introduce to our readers the excellent and experienced jeweler, optician and lapidary mentioned at the head of this sketch. Mr. RIDINGS’, formerly resided in Bushnell, Ills., and while there was elected to the office of City Clerk, which office he filled with credit to himself, and satisfaction to his constituents. He has been a jeweler for 30 years, and has worked in some of the best establishments in our large cities, thus giving him a wide experience and practice in his trade. His work speaks for itself. He is building up not only a large trade in Grundy County, but is constantly receiving orders from other towns and counties, where he is acquainted – notably, Chicago, Peoria, Bushnell, and others nearer home. Mr. RIDINGS’ is the only optician and lapidary in Grundy County, and is especially skilled in this branch of this trade. He also makes a specialty of re-pointing gold pens, and we can recommend him to all who need repairing of any kind done. He is located on the corner of Liberty and Jefferson sts. pg 295


When any of our readers find themselves in Morris, and wish to stop at a good hotel, or wish to find a boarding house, we advise them to go to the Rock Island and Pacific Hotel. The city of Morris is well supplied with hotels, but none are more conveniently situated than the above named house. Mrs. Jessie JONES is the proprietress, a pleasant and obliging landlady, as all will testify who have stopped there. The house is clean and neat from cellar to garret; the kitchen well supplied; the food always well prepared; rooms cozy, and beds well arranged, making in fact a pleasant, comfortable home. We advise a trial of the same, assured you will not be disappointed. pg 297

E. SANFORD, Attorney

Prominent among our business men must be placed the name of Mr. E. SANFORD, one of the self-made men of Morris. Mr. SANFORD came to Morris in the fall of 1854; he took charge of the Union school shortly thereafter and continued as principal one year and six months. In 1857 he began the practice of law, in which he has been successful, and by close attention to business has secured more than a comfortable competence. He has engaged in real estate and loan agency, and his reputation as a prompt business man is attested by the fact that he has one of the most extensive loan agencies in Northern Illinois. He employs several clerks, among whom are two able and experienced phonographers who receive their orders, place them phonetically upon paper, afterwards copying them in letter-hand for mailing. So complete is this system adopted by Mr. SANFORD, that he is thus enabled in a few hours to dispose of an enormous amount of correspondence, which, under the usual system of dictating and outlining, would be nearly impossible. In fact, the business of Mr. SANFORD moves like clock-work and in such a manner and on such a scale as only is adopted by firms and heads of corporations whose extensive interests cannot otherwise be conducted. Mr. SANFORD is a gentleman of refined taste; is a genial man – very social – traits of character which are shown in the plans of and arrangements surrounding his beautiful residence which is one of the finest in Morris.

J. S. R. SCOVILL, Jeweler

The subject of this sketch came to Morris in 1866. He was born and reared in Johnstown, Fulton County, N. Y. Contracting the western fever he came west in 1855 and located in the watch making business. For a number of years he was employed in the firm of HOARD & HOES, Chicago, with which house he remained as long as the co-partnership existed, and was then employed by MATTISON & HOES, having entire charge of the watch-making department. He was then engaged by GILES Bro. & Co., and held the same position there until coming to Morris. During his residence here Mr. SCOVILL has not only flourished in his business but has been a prominent actor in the political field. In 1869 he was elected alderman of the 4th Ward for a term of two years. At the close of his term of office, in 1871, he was elected Mayor of the city of Morris, a position which he held for six successive terms. During his administration the city affairs prospered finely. And whatever may be remarked of the failings of the council during the predominance of the SCOVILL faction, all attempts to cast just reproach upon the same have failed. We are glad to notice the property of Mr. SCOVILL. He has just rented the corner store in the beautiful new block recently built, by L. W. CLAYPOOL, where he will greatly increase his stock of goods and offer to the public the most desirable bargains. pg 291

THOS. SHAW, Restaurant

The enterprising gentlemen whose name heads this article, is well known and very popular in Morris, and from the success that has attended him since the opening of his establishment upon Washington st., one door east of the Post Office, he enjoys the good will as well as the confidence of our citizens. SHAW’s Restaurant is already a popular resort, and we predict a pleasant and profitable future for its proprietor. His establishment is elegantly fitted up with every appliance, facility and convenience, making a pleasant retreat to discuss a still pleasanter meal; his rooms having been fitted up for the purpose of a dining hall, and occupied by him this present summer. He has also connected with his restaurant, a fine confectionery, and here may be obtained not only sweets; but a good cigar, and in the season a dish of ice cream or oysters, prepared in a manner to tempt the appetite of an anchorite.


This company was incorporated in 1873 in the city of Chicago. The buildings were completed in Morris in February, 1874. Up to 1876 the company was prospering at which time, Aug. 31st, the wood shop was burned down. The loss was no sufficient, however, to cripple the company, and in a few weeks a commodious brick building supplied the wooden one destroyed by fire. During the close times there has been a large demand for the good of this factory. On an average 150 men are employed, the force somewhat varying according to orders on hand. The extent of the works may be understood as we give the dimensions of the larger buildings. The main building, comprising the warehouse and office, is of brick, one story, 36×214 feet, and strictly fire-proof. Foundry and machine shop also of brick, story and a half, is 60×150 feet and is run by a Crane engine of 25-horse power. The wood-working building, already mentioned, is one story, 40×150 feet, and is run by a Putnam engine. The dry house is 18×50 feet. Adjacent is a lumber yard containing between six and seven hundred thousand feet of lumber, to be used in the manufacture of school furniture – desks, seats and tables, camp chairs, “solid comfort” rockers, &c. The main office of the company is at 199 and 201 Wabash Ave., Chicago. Branch houses have been established at 274 Main street Springfield, Mass., cor Kentucky Avenue and Illinois streets, Indianapolis, Ind., and Chestnut street, St. Louis. The fame of the Sherwood manufacturers is spreading rapidly, and continually new designs in furniture are being turned out to suit all tastes and requirements. F. T. JUNE, is president of the company, with head-quarters at the Chicago office; J. G. COLEMAN is secretary, also a resident of Chicago.

J. W. SIMPSON, Bakery

Mr. SIMPSON’s is one of the oldest establishments of its kind in the city. By close attention to his business, in former years he accumulated a goodly sum and found himself apparently on the high road to success. By poor investments, however, he several times lost all he possessed, and at such failure seemed only strengthened by misfortune, and cheerfully braced himself to “try it again”. So we class Mr. SIMPSON among the most energetic of the business men of Morris and predict for him a successful future. At his establishments on Washington street can at all times be found a full supply of bake stuff of all kinds, and a full stock of stationery. Besides he has a wagon continually on the road disposing of a large amount of goods. pg 296


Americans as a people, are proverbially fond of horses, and it occurs to us that we can do the public no better service, than to point out to them a place where they can obtain a good driving horse and fine carriage. The SOUTHCOMB Bros., have been engaged in the livery business for a term of years. They first located in the town of Gardner, but some over three years ago they came to Morris, and bought the stables they now occupy. They soon increased their business, until they now have from 12 to 18 horses, with carriages both single and double, hacks, and an omnibus line running to and from all trains, hotels and to any part of the city. Their stables are commodious and well arranged, being supplied with all the appurtenances of any first-class Livery and Boarding Stable. They are prepared to furnish hacks and carriages for pleasure, weddings or funerals, upon short notice, everything in first-class style. They keep in connection, two of the finest stock horses in the county, Northern Light, a Bashaw and Messenger, and Buffalo Bill, a Morgan. To any one wishing a good driving horse and fine carriage, we recommend SOUTHCOMB Bros., assuring them they will be well treated and fairly dealt with.

W. D. SPEER, Grain

Among the prominent business firms and houses of Grundy County deserving of especial mention is that of W. D. SPEER, of Gardner, proprietor of the Gardner Mills and Elevator. Mr. SPEER has been engaged in business in Gardner some nine years. He was first engaged in coal-mining, but in 1870 he engaged in the grain business, which he has since followed. He has built up an extensive trade, some years handling as many as 400,000 bushels of grain. He is the proprietor of a fine elevator, which is one of the most complete in the country, and has a capacity of 25,000 bushels. He has a large amount of crib-room for storing the surrounding section with ground feed, doing an extensive business. Mr. SPEER is known throughout the country as one of the best representative business men therein. pg 299

M. W. STEINER, D.D. S., Dentist

Every city should have at least one first-class dentist, and Morris has such in the above named gentleman. The Dr. is a graduate of the Philadelphia Dental College, and has followed his profession the past five years in Morris, we can say unhesitatingly that Dr. STEINER is a thorough master of his profession in all its various branches; he has received the patronage of nearly all of our leading citizens, as well as many from Chicago, who pronounce his work unsurpassed. In order to meet the emergencies of the times, the Dr. has reduced the price of his labor below that of any other reliable workman, in order to allow any and all, the means of securing his service. The Dr. is a refined gentleman, a careful and judicious operator, and fully deserves the liberal patronage he has received.

LEWIS C. STRASBURGER, Wines and Liquors

Among the most orderly and well kept saloons of Morris, is that of the above named gentleman. Mr. STRASBURGER has been established in the business since Jan. 1875, and has built up a fine trade, doing a large jobbing trade, and making a specialty of Sour Mash Whiskys of LaSalle Champaign Bottled Beer, the latter delivered to families in town during the summer months. Mr. STRASBURGER, has a choice supply of wines and liquors, for medicinal purposes, and druggists throughout this portion of the country will find it to their interest to give him a call, as they can be supplied at Chicago prices. Mr. STRASBURGER is known as an affable, genial gentleman, has gained many friends, and a host of patrons. Those of our readers who appreciate a glass of good liquor or beer, will not regret visiting L. C. STRASBURGER, corner Liberty and Jefferson streets.

M. C. STURTEVANT, Homeopathic Physician and Surgeon

Prominent among the medical fraternity of Morris, is the above named gentleman. The extensive practice of the Dr. shows at one the appreciation of the public, as well as his skill and ability. The Dr. is a graduate of the Cleveland Homeopathic College, and has had an extensive practice both in Ohio and Wisconsin, previous to his location in Morris, to which city he came in 1872, and since that time has won the good will and respect of the entire community. It is certainly something highly satisfactory in case of sickness or an accident, to know of a thoroughly competent physician, to whom we can go for advice or treatment, and that Dr. STURTEVANT is such, all who know him will testify.

THOS. TETLOW, Blacksmith

The name of Tom TETLOW is too well known to the citizens of Morris and Grundy County, for us to give him any formal introduction in this article. Mr. TETLOW established his business here twelve years ago after his return from the union army. This length of time is enough to recommend him to the citizens of Grundy County. His business is blacksmithing, horse shoeing, carriage and wagon ironing and general repairing, and his numerous patrons will readily and willingly attest to his mechanical skill. Mr. TETLOW makes a specialty of horse shoeing, and we have the best authority in saying that no one who has ever had horses shod by him, no matter how difficult the job, but have continued their patronage. pg 297

G. J. THOMPSON, Tailor

Every gentleman living, knows the difference between a well fitting and comfortable suit of clothes, and their opposite, yet every one may not know where to go, secure this most desirable attainment. The object of this article is to point out such, and G. J. THOMPSON is the tailor that can supply you with a fine suit with the latest styles, and give you a fit every time. Mr. THOMPSON has been located in the city of Morris for a number of years past, and has acquired a reputation of being a first-class workman. His establishment is supplied with a fine stock of goods, from which to select, and at bottom prices that make it an object to patronize him. One trial will convince any one that Mr. THOMPSON is master of his profession, and thoroughly prepared to supply any gentleman with a suit of well-fitting clothes. Most of our leading business men are his patrons, and such an endorsement speaks more for his taste and skill, than anything we can say of him. From our personal knowledge, we can conscientiously add our endorsement to theirs, that G. J. THOMPSON is the best tailor in Morris.

L. D. THORN, Morris Pump Factory

We call the attention of our readers to the well conducted establishment, of Mr. THORN who is well known in and around Morris. The Morris Pump Factory however was, until within the last few months conducted under the firm name of J. H. ALSDURF, & Co., being J. H. ALSDURF & L. D. THORN, but Mr. ALSDURF desiring to go farther west, sold out his interest to Mr. THORN who is now carrying it on. Mr. THORN manufactures all kinds of wooden pumps both for wells and cisterns, he also keeps the celebrated Starr iron pump, thus enabling his customers to make a choice and in all cases insuring entire satisfaction. L. D. THORN makes a specialty of wooden cistern and well pumps, which he manufactures, but those desiring pumps of any description, either wooden or iron, will do well to call on Mr. THORN where they will have no trouble in being suited. The Morris Pump Factory is located on Jefferson st. 3 doors E. of Liberty st. pg 291 & 294




This gentleman is conducting a business of no little importance to our city, and judging from the liberal patronage he is securing his enterprise is highly appreciated by our citizens. Mr. TURNER receives and sells all kinds of merchandise on a very fair commission, and aims besides to keep his store stocked with a full line of general merchandise which can be bought either at auction or private sale at lower price than can be bought at any other establishment in the city. His establishment is located on the corner of Washington and Franklin sts., where he will have regular auction sales ever Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday of each week. pg 294


Wagner House and Hotel

Wagner House and Hotel

In hotels as in so many things else, America leads the world. Other countries may boast of their palaces, temples, churches and cathedrals, and the curious throng to behold the same. Yet after returning to our land all will admit this truth, that while these are all grand to look upon, and triumphs of architectural skill, that as dwelling places he would not exchange American hotels for them all. Here he finds convenience for supplying the creature comforts, cosy rooms, comfortable beds; and when he sits down to the table his soul expands into a hearty benison upon the designer of our hotel system. He gets any and all that the markets afford, and better than all else it is toothsomely prepared, and he eats, drinks and is merry. But you ask where can we find all this? Did you read the heading of this article? If so you know where it can be found. Mr. WAGNER is well known throughout this county as “mine host”, and he has lately added largely to his conveniences and capacity, to accommodate guests, by building to his old stand, upon Main street, between Liberty and Wauponsee streets. He now has the best stabling, and most extensive hotel in the county. There are now under his roof 50 rooms, all large and comfortable, and Mr. WAGNER is the host that knows how to make his guests forget that they have any other place to call home. His building is of brick, with french plate glass windows and front, is two stories in height, 120×140 feet, and is complete in all respects and appointments. Mr. WAGNER has expended large sums of money upon his improvements, thus affording employment for many mechanics and laborers, that would otherwise have remained idle, as well as helping to build up the city of Morris. Mr. WAGNER has been a resident business man of Morris since 1867, and is to well known to require any praise or endorsement from us, to the citizens of Grundy county; but in closing our remarks, we would say to the traveling public, and to any who may read this, and may wish to stop at a good hotel, the Washington House is such a one, and when there you will feel at home, be cordially welcomed and kindly treated.

S. J. WATSON, Druggist

The firm of S. J. WATSON is one of the most flourishing in the village of Minooka. Mr. WATSON is successor to Daniel FERGUSON, well known to the people of Grundy County. Mr. WATSON makes a specialty of compounding eclectic medicines, on which he has gained an excellent patronage. He has a large stock of patent medicines, besides his supply of drugs, and prepares all prescriptions at any hour of the day or night. In addition can be found at this store on assortment of the best perfumes and toilet articles. pg 300


Mr. WHITNEY was, in early life, a resident of LaSalle County, Ill. In 1857 he went to Kansas, and at the breaking out of the war enlisted as a soldier from that State, serving his country faithfully for four years and seeing much severe service. He was at one time regimental commissioner of the 7th Kansas Cavalry, with the rank of First Lieutenant. At the close of the war he came to Morris and located here, where his good qualities soon became known and he was frequently chosen to different positions of honor and trust. At one time he was city clerk, then assistant under Postmaster SOUTHARD, and in 1873 was commissioned Postmaster, a position which he has held, agreeably to all patrons of the postoffice, to date. His modest and genuine manly ways have made him hosts of friends among all classes, castes and parties, and his hold upon the good graces of the public are a capital which all may admire and many may envy. At present, Mr. WHITNEY is a member of the insurance firm of DAVIDSON & WHITNEY, representing in their list of companies some of the best in the country, as the Hartford, Phoenix of N. Y., Franklin of Philadelphia, German American of N. Y., Continental of N. Y., Traders of Chicago, American Central of St. Louis, Lancashire and Royal of England. He is also agent of several railroad and steamboat lines.

FRED A. WILLIAMS, Planing Mill

The above named gentleman, although he has not been long in business here, has evidently been long enough to build for himself a considerable amount of patronage, and to convince the citizens of Morris and the county, that he is energetic and thoroughly reliable, and understands fully the wants of the trade. Mr. WILLIAMS is a practical mechanic, having been brought up in a carpenter shop; he has been engaged in business here some over two years, in that time he has erected the planing mill, which he now occupies, and where he is prepared to do all manner of job and custom planing, manufacture frames, sash, doors and blinds, furnish moldings, supply plans and specifications for buildings, and erect the same. Mr. WILLIAMS has a wide experience, having spent four years in Kansas engaged in business, and upon his return here established himself in business with his father. Any one employing him may be assured of obtaining good work at reasonable prices.

MRS. J. S. WILSON, Commercial Hotel

It has been said that the state of civilization, at which a nation has arrived, may be estimated by the amount of care expended in the preparation of its food; and by its hotels, for the accommodation of travelers. Be this as it may, a good hotel is a desideratum, one where the traveler may feel at home – may find the comforts of a home, and we can do the public no better service than to point out such a place. Such a one is the Commercial Hotel, it is of brick, three stories in height, the lower one being occupied as stores; it contains 27 rooms, well furnished; is orderly and well kept, the rooms are large, airy and comfortable, the table generously provided, and nothing is left undone that can add to the comfort and convenience of the guests. pg 299

D. C. WILSON, Livery

Mr. WILSON, is an old resident of the city of Morris, and has for a number of years past been engaged in the livery business, is prepared to furnish upon the shortest notice, horses and carriages at reasonable rates. His stables are situated upon Main street, opposite the Washington House; he is contemplating building an addition of 42 feet to his present stables, when this is completed he will have one of the best arraigned livery barns in Morris. We can recommend Mr. WILSON, as we are personally acquainted with him, and know that those transacting business with him, will be fairly dealt with.

WOELFEL & SPARR, Boots & Shoes

This firm is composed of Geo. WOELFEL and Chas. SPARR, and is one of the most energetic business houses in the stirring city of Morris. They established their business of shoe dealers in 1857, and in 1868 became proprietors of the large tannery on Griggs street, south of the Canal. They have been prosperous in their enterprises, and from a modest beginning have risen to become employers of a large number of hands, and owners of some of the most valuable property in Morris. Patience, perseverance and fair dealing have accomplished this, and well they deserve their reward. In their different establishments they employ about 30 hands, a portion in their large boot, shoe and harness establishments in Washington street, and the others in the tannery already mentioned. Mr. SPARR is a partner with Jacob GIESEN, as owners of the commodious Post Office building, and also in the new brick store adjacent on the east. Mr. SPARR has several times been before the people as a nominee for public office, and has been elected City Treasurer and Supervisor; at this writing serving in the latter capacity.


Woolsey, Burmeister & Co.

Woolsey, Burmeister & Co.

While passing upon the leading merchants, manufacturers and professional men of Morris, we also deem proper to make some mention of her mechanics and tradesmen, and in doing so, we take great pleasure in pointing out to our readers the enterprising firm mentioned at the head of this article. They are proficient in every branch of their business, which consists of house and sign painting, graining, glazing, calcimining and paper hanging, and we cheerfully recommend them to all those who need anything in their line, they are at this writing painting the elegant new block of L. W. CLAYPOOL, cor. Washington and Liberty sts. Their excellent standing in Morris, enables them to give the best of reference; their establishment is located on Liberty st., opposite the Court House.


Source: Lawrence & Thompson’s Grundy County Directory, 1877-1878

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