Joliet, the capital city and township of Will county, is located near the center of the county, in the valley of the Des Plaines river, which flows through it, dividing the township very nearly into two equal parts. Hickory creek enters the township from the east and unites its waters with those of the Des Plaines in the southern part of the city. Those streams, with the Illinois and Michigan canal, and several smaller streams, make it a well watered township, while the bluffs along the river, together with the undulating surface of the land through the township, make it well drained. The whole city and nearly all of the township is underlaid with limestone, and several stone quarries have been opened that have furnished large quantities of excellent building stone. Since the opening of the Illinois & Michigan canal in 1848, and the building of the Rock Island and other railroads into the township, this stone has been shipped not only to Chicago, but all through the middle west in vast quantities.

The township is known and described on the map as Town. 35, Range 10, east of third principal meridian. The township was well supplied with timber, about one-half of it being covered with excellent timber that furnished to the early settler all the building material desired, with a plenty of fuel, which was indispensable in the township before the discovery of coal, in the southern part of the county.

The early settlers of the township were largely from the Empire state, at least one-half of the pioneers of the township being from that state. The early settlers were too numerous to be named here in full, and we shall not attempt the task, but mention only those who were prominent in the history of the township, and became, the most of them, permanent settlers. The first settlement made in the township was in 1831, when several came and settled here, among them being Major Robert G. Cook, and his father, John B. Cook, Phillip Scott, all from New York; Reason Zarley, from Ohio; Robert Stevens, David Maggard, Jesse Cook and William Billsland, from Indiana. In 1832, Aaron Moore, from Ohio; Charles Clement, from New Hampshire, and Seth Scott, from New York. In 1833, Rodney House, from Connecticut; Charles Reed, from Virginia; William Hadsell, Elias, Philo A., James, and Orlando H. Haven, from New York. In 1834, Dr. A. W. Bowen, Martin H. Demmond, Benjamin F. Barker, George H. Woodruff, Edward Perkins, Fehner Aldrich, Charles W. Brandon, from New York; Abner Cox, J. P. King, Joseph and Jacob Zumwalt, from Indiana; Daniel Clement, from New Hampshire; James McKee, from Kentucky. In 1835, O. W. Stillman, from Massachusetts; Robert Duncan, Detroit; William Walters, Barton Smith and E. M. Daggett, from Indiana; Thomas Culbertson, Delaware; Hervey Lowe, S. W. Bowen, Hugh Henderson, William A. Boardman, Michael Shoemaker, John L. Richard, Charles. L. Wilson, Abiah Cagwin, N. N. Marsh, J. Beaumont, Levi Jenks, O. F. Rogers, Rev. J. H. Prentiss, Francis Nicholson, W. B. Atwell, Jonathan Barnett and Elias Hyde, from New York: Allen Pratt, from Massachusetts; George Howliston, from Scotland, and S. B. Hopkins, from New Jersey. In 1836, George Woodruff, Joel A. Matteson, R. Doolittle, Edmund Wilcox, Uri Osgood, Thomas R. Hunter, E. C. Fellows, and Francis L. Cagwin, from New York: Otis Hardy and Horatio Hartshorn, from Vermont; Orange Chauncey, James Stout, Thomas, Edgar and Bennett Allen, John Curry, W. J. Heath, J. C. Newkirk, William Blair, Henry Fish, Morrison Worthingham, Edward E. Bush, David Richards and George W. Cassiday, all from New York, and H. K. Stevens, from Indiana.

By 1837 immigrants came in so fast, that it would be a task to enumerate them all. Among those above mentioned, some deserve special mention. John B. Cook was a Revolutionary soldier, and a feeble old man when he came here. He died in 1833, and was one of the first deaths to occur in the youthful settlement. Robert Stevens was a native of Kentucky, but was reared in Ohio. On becoming of age, he emigrated to Indiana, where he lived until 1831, when he removed to this county and took up a claim to the northeast of the present city, where the E. J. & E. yards are now located. He came in the spring of the year, and raised a good crop of corn for that year. During the excitement from the Sac war, Mr. Stevens took his family to Danville, and then sent them under escort to Indiana. He then returned to his farm and put in a crop of corn for that year. He was elected the first sheriff of the county, but refused to serve. Such things as that have happened, but seldom in the history of the county. In fact it is the only instance on record where a man was elected to an important office and refused to qualify.

Reason Zarley made the first permanent settlement in the township. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was one of the few survivors of the bloody affair at Brownstown, where one hundred American soldiers were attacked by twelve hundred British, and their red allies, and nearly all murdered. He was also one of those included in Hull’s disgraceful surrender. He came to the township in the spring of 1831, and made a claim one mile south of the present city limits. He was a man of influence, and was ever foremost to promote the interests of the township. He died at his home south of the city August 30, 1859.

Phillip Scott settled in the timber on the Five-Mile Grove road, at what has since been known as Babylon, in 1830, and there August 4, 1831, his son Benjamin B. Scott, was born and is now residing in Creswell, Oregon. His is one of the very first births in the township, and he is now the oldest living person, who was born here.

Charles Reed had settled at Reed’s Grove in Jackson in the spring of 1829, but when the Indian troubles arose in 1832, he went back to Indiana with his family, and remained there until fall, when he returned and came to Joliet, built a log cabin on the west side of the river near where the National Hotel now stands. That was one of the first buildings built upon the present site of the city. It is claimed that David Maggard had built a cabin upon the bluff the year before, and that may be so. Mr. Reed built a mill on the river for grinding grain, and the stone inserted in the walk at the corner of Ottawa and Clinton streets, in front of the public library, is said to be one of the mill stones used by him in his mill. After erecting a cabin and moving his family into it he hired a teacher to teach his children that winter, a Miss Cornelia Dean, from Yankee Settlement, and that was undoubtedly the first school ever taught in Joliet. George W. Reed, now a resident of Bradford, Stark county, Illinois, was then eight years of age, and was one of the scholars taught in that school.

William Hadsell, one of the pioneers of 1833, made a claim two and a half miles southwest of the city, on section 29, and that was his home until his death March 12, 1881.

Rodney House located first out at the head of the Ausable grove, in Kendall county, in 1832, but the year following he removed to Joliet, and built a small wagon shop at the corner of Chicago and Van Buren streets, where the Allen building is now located. He worked there at his trade as a wagon maker for more than fifty years, until old age compelled his retiring from active labor. He died January 25, 1899.

Charles Clement, who was a pioneer of 1833, was for many years a merchant in the infant village, and its first treasurer. After it became a city, he was often called upon to fill some official position, and ever performed his duties with the utmost fidelity. He died here December 11, 1878.

Dr. A. W. Bowen was a pioneer of 1834. He was a man of ability and influence, and at once exerted himself in endeavoring to improve the settlement. He was the first postmaster. He was one of the first merchants of the village, the first resident physician, and after Campbell had laid out and platted the old town of Joliet, he laid out and platted East Joliet, and Bowen’s addition adjoining Campbells plat on the east. He removed to Wilmington in 1849, and that was his home until his death, November 21, 1881.

George H. Woodruff came also that year, and was for more than sixty years one of the most prominent and useful citizens. He was the first recorder of the county, when it was organized in 1836, and often filled other positions of trust with the utmost fidelity for the interests of his fellow citizens. He wrote the first history of the county, and that has since proved to be a standard authority upon the early history of Will county. He died at his home in this city, full of honors and ripe with years, November 1, 1890.

Charles W. Brandon came the same year, and settled two miles southwest of the village. He was a stone mason by trade, and erected several of Joliefs first stone buildings. He was ever known as “Deacon Brandon,” and was a very worthy citizen. Dr. David Reed came in 1835, and was a practicing physician here for several years.

Martin H. Demmond, a pioneer of 1834, came and located on the west side of the river, and laid out what has since been known as West Joliet. He was one of the first merchants and an enterprising business man. He built the long stone block on Bluff street, known as Merchants’ Row, in 1837, then by far the most imposing building in the village,—in fact, it is said that even Chicago at the time did not have a building that would equal it. He died of cholera July 25, 1854.

Edward Perkins settled at first at Five-Mile Grove, but soon went back east, where he married and then returned with his wife, and settled in Joliet. He was interested with Dr. Bowen in his laying out East Joliet into lots. He died here September 3, 1846.

Benjamin Richardson settled first in Plainfield. He was a chairmaker by trade and a good workman. He was from Bennington, Vermont, the same town that Judge Norton came from. He was for several terms county treasurer, and many years a justice of the peace. He died August 10, 1869.

Richard Hobbs was one of the early justice of the village, a position he held for many years. He died May 7, 1869.

James McKee was the first justice of the peace on the west side of the river. He bought out Charles Reed in his mill site and erected another mill just above the Exchange street bridge. But when the dam was built for the lower basin of the canal, it ruined his mill privilege, and he sold out to the canal commissioners for $17,655. If he could have held on upon it until the drainage canal was put through the city, he could have received at least ten times that amount for it. Mr. McKee was a man of enterprise and spirit, and did much for the village, especially for West Joliet. After selling out to the canal commissioners, he removed elsewhere. In 1835, there was a large number of new settlers arrived in the village and township. Among them were Hugh Henderson, the first lawyer and afterward county judge. He was a man of ability, learned in the law, and gave promise of a most exalted position in the community. But the cholera claimed him for a victim, and he died October 19, 1854. William A. Boardman was another lawyer, who practiced at the Will county bar for several years, and then removed elsewhere. Russel Frary was a merchant, and purchased the stock of goods of Dr. Bowen. He remained in the business for several years, and then sold out and returned to New York. Michael Shoemaker was a brother-in-law of Dr. Bowen. He was in business in the village until 1840, when he sold out and returned to his old home in Jackson, Michigan. Sherman W. Bowen came here that year quite a young man. studied law, and was admitted to the bar. He was a practicing attorney here for many years. He died near Kimsick, Missouri, December 17. 1891. The Wilsons remained here several years, and then removed to Chicago. Abijah Cagwin settled on section 12, east of the village, where he lived many years, but in 1840, removed to the city to a handsome stone residence he had erected on Joliet street, and that was his home until his death October 2, 1890. Horatio N. Marsh was a cabinetmaker, and worked at his trade for several years. When the Rock Island was opened to Joliet in 1852 he was appointed station agent, a position he held for many years. He was for a time the proprietor of the Old True Democrat, a notice of which will be found in our history of early journalism in Will county. He died October 23, 1900. Rev. J. H. Prentiss was the first resident minister of the gospel. He was a Presbyterian and aided in forming the first society of that denomination in the township. Oliver W. Stillman was the first justice of the peace on the east side of the river and performed the first marriage ceremony ever performed in the county. He was a prominent member of the Universalist church, and aided much in its organization and support. He died June 10, 1890. Levi Jenks was the first clerk of the county court. He remained in the village for several years, and thent went to California. William Walters was one of the first merchants on the west side of the river, and his old sign over the door could be seen for more than forty years afterward. He lived for many years in Grundy county, but finally sold out and returned to Joliet, where he died May 25, 1890. L. B. Hopkins was a merchant on the east side of the river, while Elias Hyde was a carriagemaker on the west side. He removed from Joliet many years ago. We have referred to those who nearly all remained permanent settlers in the township. There were others who came here and remained a short time, and then removed elsewhere, and all trace of them is lost.

The early settlers were greatly in want of grist mills to grind their grain. Some of those who came here first had to go to Peoria to get their grain ground, and that was often a journey of several weeks, as ox teams were about the only kind to be had, and they were always very slow travelers. The first mill was a small one, built by John Norman in 1833, on the river at the head of the island opposite the penitentiary. It was a crude affair built of logs, and with a small water wheel. Fifteen bushels of grain in twenty-four hours was all it could do. The next one was that built by Charles Reed, just below the Jefferson street bridge on the west side of the river. It was built late in the fall of 1833, and the spring following Reed sold out to McKee, who built a large frame mill just north of the bridge, and which the canal ruined. The old building stood there for many years, until demolished by the drainage commissioners some twelve years ago. There were several sawmills erected in the township, which cut up large quantities of lumber for building and other purposes, but those old mills have long since been consigned to the past, and are now no more known. The last one to go was the old one down at the lower dam, what in those days was known as Malcolm’s mill, that did good work for many years, but was finally pulled down to give place to paper and wire mills.

As we have stated elsewhere in this history, the first roads through the county were the Indian trails, and that applies as well to this township as any other part of the county. The trails were generally pretty straight where no obstruction prevented, and hence could be followed with safety, as there was little danger of getting lost.

Of course there were in those days no public highways. A person would take the nearest route to the place where he wished to go, and as those trails led to nearly all the principal groves and places, they were the best roads to take. The first real graded road in the country was the Archer road, built from Chicago to Lockport, by the canal commissioners. It was this want of roads that first brought into use the plank roads. In going through the country in the early days, the trails or traveled roads became impassable in wet weather, and a new road would be made and traveled, but as the country became settled and the roads fenced up, then the traveler was obliged to keep in the beaten track, and that at times was impassable. A stage route was established from Chicago to Ottawa in 1834, but it was simply a trail, no part of it being graded, and even the streams and sloughs were not bridged.

Dr. Bowen had labored to have a postoffice established at Joliet, and in 1835 that was accomplished, and he was apopinted postmaster. Previous to that the citizens had to go to Plainfield or to Gougars or Hickory Creek for their mail. Dr. Bowen held the office of postmaster until 1848, when General Taylor became president, and James T. McDougal was appointed in his place. He held the office for four years, when Franklin Pierce became president, and then Calneh Zarley succeeded to the office.

The first birth in the township was that of Benjamin B. Scott, a son of Phillip Scott, who, as we have above stated, was born in the township, in August, 1831. Mr. Woodruff, in his “Forty Years Ago,” says it was his impression that it was a McKee, but the McKees did not come to the township until 1834, so it was not possible such a thing could happen in that family in this township. The first death, as near as we can learn, was that of John B. Cook, the revolutionary soldier, who died soon after coming here with his son, Major Cook, in 1831. Mrs. Robert Stevens died soon after, so that hers must have been the second death to occur in the township. The first marriage ceremony performed in the township was the marriage of Thomas Ellis and Miss Anne Pence, by Benjamin F. Barker. Esq., a justice, when this county was a part of Cook county. But the first marriage ceremony performed after this county was formed, was that by O. W. Stillman, who was elected a justice of the peace at the first election in March, 1836. We have already spoken of the first school taught in Mr. Reeds cabin in the winter of 1832. The following summer, a Miss Persis Cleveland taught a small school in old Fort Nonsense, on the Bluff, and that was the best use possible that they could make of the fort, for it was a total failure as a fort, and nearly so for a school house, but still it answered the purpose then, as there was no other place to be had. There were but twelve scholars in all, and they had but three or four books among them all. Still they got along very well, and made fair progress with their studies. The first school house was built in 1836-7, and John Watkins the pioneer schoolmaster of Chicago, taught the first school in it. It was said of him that he was an excellent teacher, and was a great favorite with his pupils. He died in New Lenox, March 1, 1887.

The first bridge across the river was a small log bridge, built just below the present Jefferson street bridge. There was a small island in the river there at low water, and the bridge was built across the island. A year or two later the bridge was built across the river where the present middle bridge is located, but the high water the next, spring carried it away, as well as that of the island below, and there was no way of crossing the river but by a “dug out” or by fording when the water was low enough.


The city is finely situated on both banks of the Des Plaines River, that stream passing through the city from north to south, divides the city into two unequal parts, about two-thirds of it being on the east side of the river, and one-third upon the west side. It is a great manufacturing as well as a great railroad center, and hence one of the most important cities in the state, outside of Chicago. Its railroad facilities are unsurpassed by any city in the state, except Chicago. The railroads that center here or pass through the city are the Chicago & Rock Island, Chicago & Alton, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. The Joliet branch of the Michigan Central ends here. The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern has its yards and principal offices here, and Illinois, Iowa & Minnesota road ends here properly, it having been built only to this place. These roads afford every facility for transportation in every direction, and to every part of the country.

We have already alluded to many of the early setlers of the city, in our history of the township, but there are many others who, although not the earliest settlers here, yet they came at an early day, and contributed largely to the growth and prosperity of the city. They were men of energy and ability, who believed firmly in the future greatness of the city, and labored faithfully and earnestly in developing the natural resources of the place of their adoption.

As we have already stated the city proper was laid out by the original proprietors; that of Mr. Campbell being the original town of Juliet. Mr. Demmond’s was West Joliet, and Dr. Bowen’s East Juliet, and Bowen’s addition to Juliet. Mr. Campbell also had an addition over on Eastern avenue, extending from Washington street south, which he named Campbell’s addition to Juliet. There is no knowing how or where the village got the name of Juliet. It was thought by some that the canal commissioners, when they surveyed out the line of the canal, gave it the name. That it was intended to make Lockport the leading town on the line of the canal, and then they gave the name of Romeo to the little station four miles above Lockport, and that of Juliet to the station or place four miles below. But the place was known as Juliet before the canal was surveyed, or the commissioners appointed. It was known as Juliet before Campbell laid out his original town, and he therefore only adopted the name of the place, as it was then known. We are inclined to believe that it was a mistake in spelling, and that it derived its name from the mound, which was certainly known as Joliet mound, which was named in honor of Louis Joliet, the companion of Father Marquette, in his first visit to the Illinois. The mound was known as Joliet mound long before the village or township was settled, for Lewis Cass and Henry R. Schoolcraft visited the mound in 1821, and both spoke of it in their reports of their journey, calling it “Joliet mound.” The legislature in 1845 change the name from Juliet to Joliet, and that was a very good and sensible act of that body.

Otis Hardy came to the village in 1836. He was a native of Vermont. He began business here as a carpenter, and worked at the trade for several years, until the canal was opened, when he started a lumber yard on the east bank of the river, just below the middle bridge, a business he followed for many years with eminent success. He was a prominent member of the Methodist church, and contributed largely toward its support. He died at his home on Union street in the city, November 7, 1889.

George Woodruff, another of the very successful business men of the city, came in 1836, and was for several years in trade as a merchant. After the opening of the canal he erected a warehouse on the east bank of the lower basin, and did a large business there, buying grain and shipping it to Chicago by canal. In 1856 he engaged in banking, and in 1864 opened the First National Bank, and became the president of it, a position he held until his death, which was the result of an accident at the Union elevator, east of the city October 23, 1882.

Edmund Wilcox was another of the pioneers of 1836. He was for many years one of the city’s most prominent merchants and business men. He was alderman of his ward and city treasurer for several terms and also a justice of the peace for many years. His death occurred December 16, 1896.

Richard Doolittle came in 1837, and soon after locating here was elected a justice of the peace, an office he held almost continuously from that time until his death, which occurred March 4, 1880. In the early history of the county, he was very popular among those inclined to matrimony, and performed many marriage ceremonies. He was a merchant for many years and also assignee in bankruptcy under the old bankrupt act.

Uri Osgood, another of the pioneers of 1836, was a native of New York. He was a lawyer by profession, and one of the ablest and most reliable of his time. He conducted for many years a private bank in the small frame building next west of the Calmer Dry Goods Store. He was a man of excellent habits, and a very worthy, upright citizen. His death occurred February 8, 1871.

Joel A. Matteson came also in 1836 and was for many years one of Joliet’s most prominent merchants and business men. He was elected governor of the state in 1852, he being the only man ever elected to that office from Will county. He died February 1, 1873.

Elisha C. Fellows, another of the early attorneys of the village, was a New Yorker by birth. He settled at first in Channahon in 1835, but the year following removed to Joliet, where he was one of the prominent lawyers for many years. His death occurred in Lockport, April 17, 1875.

Francis Nicholson was a native of New York, and a tailor by trade, one of the first, if not the very first one, in the village. He settled on Exchange street at the corner of Nicholson, and that was his home until his death, February 26, 1896.

Henry D. Higinbotham, a native of New York, settled on a claim three miles east of the village in 1834. The old homestead is now the property of his son, Harlow N., of Chicago. He was one of the truest and most “substantial of all the early settlers. He was the friend to all, both rich and poor, and the world was certainly better for his having lived in it. He removed to the city in 1854 to a handsome residence he had erected on East Cass street, and the year following was elected alderman of his ward in the city council, a position he held for several terms. His death occurred at his home in this city, March 14, 1865.

James T. McDougal was another New Yorker who came to the village in the early forties. He was a man of thorough business qualities, of pleasing address and one of the most popular men in the village. He was the successor of Dr. Bowen as postmaster in 1848, and in 1850 was one of the organizers of the old Merchants and Drovers Bank, and its first vice-president. He built a fine house on Scott street, the one now occupied by Judge Fithian, as a residence, and there his death occurred May 19, 1862.

Col. William Smith, was another native of New York, who came in the forties, and was a most reliable, as well as influential citizen. He was one of the prime movers, and also a stockholder, in the Plainfield Plank road, and was for years one of its principal officers. In 1850 he assisted in the organizing of the Merchants & Drovers bank, and was elected president. He died at his home on Western avenue, May 24, 1870.

Charles E. Munger came to the city from his native town, Rutland, Vermont, in 1852. He was a marble cutter and dealer, and opened a shop and yard on South Joliet street, which was his place of business for many years. Several years before his death he removed to Chicago and established a large trade in the same business. He was a most trustworthy and reliable citizen, who had a host of firm friends, who sincerely mourned his untimely death, which occurred June 24, 1885.

Fenner Aldrich, another native of New York, was the old time boniface of the early Juliet hotels. He kept a hotel some two years in Plainfield, when he first came to the county, but liking the name “Juliet” better he removed here and from that time forward he was almost constantly in the business. It was said of him that he knew how to keep a hotel as it should be kept, and that his good wife knew as much or more about the business than he did. He was known to all as “Uncle Fenner,” and was for many years one of the old reliable “landmarks” of Joliet.

William S. Brooks was another of the old time merchants and business of the city. He was in the hardware trade. He was a New Yorker by birth, but a thorough Illinoisan by adoption. He was prominent in political circles and filled many offices of trust and responsibility, with much credit both to his constituents and himself. His death occurred September 19, 1892.

Charles H. Macomber was another down east Yankee, who came to Wilmington in 1854. But when Alex McIntosh was elected circuit clerk in 1856 he appointed Mr. Macomber his deputy, and from that time forward he was a resident of Joliet. After serving four years in the clerk’s office, he started a real estate office, and did a very successful business for many years. His untimely death occurred September 7, 1876.

Silas Wheeler Stone was another of those New Yorkers who came here in the forties to live and grow up with the country. He taught a select school for several years after his arrival, and then built the large brick store next adjoining the Will County bank, on the west. There he opened a grocery store and had a very successful trade for several years. He was Joliet’s first city clerk, an office he held for four years. He removed from Joliet several years before his death, which occurred May 6, 1893.

Judge Jesse O. Norton was a native of Bennington, Vermont. He was educated at Williams College, and came to the village in 1839, where he commenced the practice of his chosen profession, that of a lawyer. In 1846 he was elected county judge. He was a member of the constitutional convention in 1848. A member of the legislature in 1852, judge of the circuit court in 1857, and a member of congress in 1859. He died in Chicago, August 3, 1875.

Nelson D. Elwood came from his native New York to Lockport in 1837, where he was employed for several years in the canal office as a civil engineer. In 1843 he was elected county clerk and he then removed to Joliet and this was thereafter his home. He was one of the promoters of the Rock Island, and held important positions among the officers of those roads for several years. He was elected mayor of the city in 1855 and again in 1856. In 1857 he was appointed by the governor as one of the commissioners to locate and build a northern penitentiary and remained in office until his death, which occurred February 24, 1861.

Joseph Stephen, another of the substantial citizens and business men of the city, is a native of Alsace, France. He came to Joliet with his parents in 1846 and when old enough learned a trade,—that of a harnessmaker, and for many years worked at the business, often suffering reverses of fortune, but he was full of energy and enterprise, and so he labored on until at length success crowned his efforts. He has retired from the active labor of the harness shop and is now the vice-president and manager of the Will County National bank, the largest moneyed institution in the city.

John Shutts was a native of New York and migrated to Illinois and Joliet in 1855. He purchased a fine farm southeast of the city on the Five Mile Grove road, and there made a nice home for himself and family. He was often called upon by his fellow citizens to fill positions of responsibility, which he responded to faithfully, and for the true interests of the entire community. Mr. Shutts departed this life September 7, 1899.

Andrew H. Shreffler was another of those reliable and trustworthy citizens who came here at an early day and made for themselves and posterity a name worthy to be recorded among the good people of the county. He was a native of Pennsylvania, but came west and settled in Plainfield in 1846. There he was one of the founders of the Joliet Manufacturing Company, as it was afterward named, and which was removed to Joliet in 1863. Mr. Shreffler then removed to this city, and this was his home until his death, which occurred December 29, 1896.

Mortimer A. Flack was a native of Essex county, New York, and at the age of twenty came with his father’s family to Joliet, and in the latter part of June, 1845, located on a farm two miles southeast of the city and Mr. Flack made it his home for two years, when he went into business for himself. His death occurred at his home on Second avenue, August 18, 1904.

Edwin Porter came to the city in June, 1856. He at once took an active part in the business of the city and in 1864 was elected its mayor. He was re-elected in 1865, 1871 and 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1882. He is one of Joliet’s most prominent and worthy citizens.

Henry H. Stassen is a native of Germany. He came to American in 1854 and settled on a farm near Monee, in the eastern part of the county. In 1874 he was elected a member of the Illinois legislature and in 1886 county clerk, an office he held eight years. He made his home in Joliet on assuming the office of clerk, and in 1893 was elected mayor of the city. He is now in the real estate and loan business in our city. He is a native of Germany, but came here with his parents a poor boy in 1842. He grew up on a farm south of the city and when of age started in business for himself. Energy, perseverance and good man-ment[sic] have made him a man of large means, while an honest, upright course of conduct in his dealings with his fellow men, has earned for him the good name of that of a respected and worthy citizen.

Eugene Daly, the veteran undertaker of the city, came here in 1850 and started a small establishment on Bluff street and for nearly fifty years labored early and late to make his business, a success. And well has he succeeded. He retired from active business some ten years ago, and is now enjoying the fruits of his labors.

Hamilton D. Risley was a native of New York and came west in 1833, settling first in Channahon, but soon after removed to Joliet, and in 1840 was elected sheriff of the county, holding the office four years. When the Oswego & Indiana Plank Road company was organized he was elected president of the company and general superintendent in the construction of the road. He died November 29, 1862.


Our history would not be complete without some mention of these well-known disciples of the healing art. We have already mentioned in a separate article some of the early physicians of the city, but there are others who came later, who are quite as worthy of mention in this history.

Dr. John R. Casey came to Joliet in 1858, as the first prison physician. He was then a young man, just graduated from his alma mater, and soon became one of our most popular citizens. He was a younger brother of Samuel K. Casey, one of the prison contractors, and the fact that he was prison physician gave him an impetus in the practice of his chosen profession, and he was soon one of the leading and most successful physicians. He departed this life at his home on Scott street, in this city, March 1, 1903.

Dr. A. L. McArthur came to the city in 1854, and as he was an old practicing physician he soon had a very lucrative practice here. In 1856 he formed a partnership with the late Dr. A. W. Heise, and the firm of McArthur & Heise was the great leading firm of successful practitioners of medicine until Dr. Heise enlisted as surgeon for the One Hundredth regiment in 1862, and then the firm was dissolved and Dr. McArthur removed elsewhere.

Dr. Willis Danforth came here from New York in the early fifties and opened an office on South Ottawa street. He had a good practice and was a very worthy citizen. Several years later he went to Milwaukee, where he died June 8, 1891.

Dr. H. L. Foster was a homeopath from the east, and opened an office over on Eastern avenue, but he was a victim of ill health, which prevented a very active practice. He died September 8, 1867.

Dr. A. B. Mead came to Joliet from Twelve Mile Grove in the early forties, and was a practicing physician in the city for many years. His death occurred here November 7, 1879.

Dr. J. E. Reece was another of the physicians of the early fifties, and who enjoyed a very good practice. He went from here to Eureka, Nevada, some thirty years ago. He died in San Jose, California, in the summer of 1906.

Dr. F. K. Bailey was a native of New York and practiced his profession with very good success. His home was over on North Hickory street, but he removed south at the close of the Civil War, and died in Memphis in 1876.

Dr. Charles Richards came to Joliet from the east about 1860, and built a fine residence over on Richards street. He enjoyed an extensive practice for many years, until ill health laid hold of him, and he had to give up all business. His death occurred February 5, 1890.

Dr. Elvis Harwood was a native of Wilmington, Indiana. He studied law and was admitted to the bar, but after practicing one year he gave it up and studied medicine. He commenced his practice as a physician at Crete, and later at New Lenox in this county, coming to Joliet in 1850, where he practiced with much success. He was assistant surgeon of the One Hundredth regiment in the Civil War, but resigned in 1863 on account of ill health. He served as alderman of his ward from 1863 to 1867, and mayor of the city in 1868 and 1869. He died February 1, 1870.


Of the many improvements made in the city during the last thirty years we can name the most of them, but have not the space to describe them fully, as we would like to do. The improvements in the streets and alleys, of the system of water works, the two beautiful parks that have been laid out and made such popular places of resort and recreation during the heated months of summer, and more than all the grand improvement in the street car service and quick transit from one part of the city to the other is a great step in advance of the old system of horse ears, and that too only in limited distances in the city proper. Electric cars not only traverse the principal parts of the city, but Chicago, Plainfield and Aurora, Bush Park and Rockdale, Swedish Orphans’ Home and Ingalls Park have now regular service over those lines to those points, thus affording our citizens not only quick but very convenient passage to any point they wish to go.

The improvements in the streets from gravel and mud to smooth asphalt and brick pavements is a grand step in advance, and places the city on a plane with those of much larger ones in different parts of the country. These improvements will now go on from year to year, until every principal street in the city will be thus improved. The parks were a much needed improvement, and now that the people see the benefits derived from those places, will extend the system until those already under improvement are greatly enlarged, or new ones added to the number, and thus give to every citizen the opportunity to out-of-door rest and recreation that shall prove to be of vast benefit to them. Of the improvements in the schools in the city and township, we shall speak of those separately, for they are so extensive that they deserve a special article fully describing them.


The vast system of manufacturing plants in and around the city has been made almost wholly during the past thirty years. The rolling mills were then started, but were in a somewhat weak and unsatisfactory condition, owing to financial difficulties. The Joliet Manufacturing Company was then in operation, but was comparatively a small concern to what it has since become, and those plants, with the tile works southwest of the city, were about all that Joliet could then boast of in the shape of manufacturing plants, that have survived to the present time.

There were then the two great brewing companies, Porters and Sehrings’, but they have been greatly enlarged and improved. The Sehrings Brewing Company, having changed its location from the west to the east side of the city in order to obtain better transportation facilities, which has greatly improved the business of the company, and made it one of the great brewing companies of the state. In the last few years another large brewing company—the Citizens’—located in the eastern part of the city, and is doing a large and profitable business. The managers are citizens of wealth and ability, and are bound to make the company a success.


This is the largest of all the great manufacturing companies of Joliet. It grew out of or was built upon the works of the old Joliet Iron and Steel Company, but so vastly improved on the old plant that we here add a statement, of the working capacity of the plant as it is now operated.


Joliet Works, Illinois Steel Company, Joliet, Illinois. Pour stacks. Nos. 1 and 2, each 78 1/3 x l9 1/2; No. 3, 80×20; No. 4, 90×21-6. Nos. 1 and 2 built in 1873 and rebuilt in 1891; No.3. built in 1903; No. 4, built in 1906. Four Siemens-Cowper-Foote, four Massicks & Crooke, four Whitwell-Gordon and four Illinois Steel Company stoves; fuel, Connellsville and Pocahontas Flat Top coke; ores, Lake Superior and northern ranges; product, Bessemer pig iron; total annual capacity, 576,000 tons: two Heyl & Patterson pig-iron casting machines.

STEEL MILL AND ROLLING MILLS. Built in 1870; two ten-gross-ton Bessemer steel converters; first blow made January 26, 1873, and first steel rolled March 15, 1873; third vessel was added to the plant in January, 1904; annual capacity, 700,000 tons of Bessemer steel ingots. Steel rail and billet mill has seven heating furnaces, one 36-inch blooming train, one 23-inch finishing train and one Sellers three-ton hammer; annual capacity, 600,000 tons of billets. Wire rod mill contains one Garret mill built in 1888 and another added in 1895 and four heating furnaces; annual capacity, 240,000 tons. A third wire rod mill, arranged to roll rods, hoops or cotton ties, added in 1898; annual capacity, 50,000 tons wire rods or about 30,000 tons of cotton ties and hoops. (This mill is now used for merchant products.) Merchant mill, built in 1895, contains machinery for the production of merchant steel and railroad supples, including spikes, bolts, nuts, washers, etc.; annual capacity of the merchant mill, 55,000 tons of merchant products; of factory products, 66,000 tons. Iron, brass and steel foundries are connected with these works; annual capacity, 13,000 tons. In 1906, a new splice bar finishing mill was built; annual capacity, 150,000 tons finished angle bars and rail joints. Bolt, nut and spike works, product, steel bolts, nuts and standard steel spikes; sizes, bolts and nuts, from 1/2-inch to 1-inch; spikes, from 2 1/2×5/16-inch to 6×5/8-inch; annual capacity, 240,000 kegs bolts and nuts and 720,000 kegs spikes. Total number of men employed at the Joliet works, 3,200. The 3,200 men employed receive an average of $177,435 per month, or $2,129,220 a year. In connection with the Works is a large club house, which was built by the company for the exclusive use of the employees and their families, and as this club house is quite an institution in the city, we here give a full statement regarding it and its object.


The Steel Works Club of Joliet, Illinois, was built in 1889 and is apparently the pioneer workingmen’s club of any size in America. It is an inspiration of H. S. Smith, W. R. Stirling and John F. Wilson. The large stone structure was built by the Joliet Steel Company at a cost of approximately $75,000. The maintenance expenses were paid in the beginning by the old Joliet Steel Company and are now paid by the Illinois Steel Company and other local constituent companies of the United States Steel Corporation.

The club building is leased to its members at a dollar a year. The membership is confined exclusively to the employees of the steel corporation—members paying a nominal fee of $2 a year, which carries with it all the privileges of the club. It is managed by a superintendent and a board of directors, the first appointed by the president of the Illinois Steel Company and the latter elected by the members of the club.

The club contains pleasant reading rooms, with more than sixty periodicals and newspapers, a large billiard room with six tables, a well-furnished and lighted gymnasium and handball court, fine bowling alleys, a tennis court and an athletic field. There is a bath room with a swimming pool, shower and tub baths, a kitchen, card rooms, and a large reception room and three pianos, a large assembly room seating more than nine hundred people.

The club has a woman’s auxiliary which attends to the social functions of the club and also sustains some benevolent features outside. Semi-monthly dances, given in season, are invariably enjoyable affairs and are participated in by the friends of the young people in Joliet who are not members of the club. From the funds derived from this and other sources the woman’s auxiliary maintain a room in one of the hospitals and extend some help to others and the unfortunate.

The club’s work is extended persistently along educational lines. The library of 6,000 volumes is considered the heart of the club. It is conducted under modern library methods. It is the aim of the library to supply its members with any good book they want. The latest, best books in fiction are promptly purchased as well as the latest technical works. The technical library with an annotated list of the technical books has been of great value to the men in the mills and is appreciated by them. Books have been furnished Germans, Swedes, Norwegians and Austrians in their own languages.

The club has an entertainment course similar to the star courses of the Y. M. C. A., also a number of classes, among which the mechanical drawing and art classes are the most prosperous.

On November 25, 1894, a smokers’ conference was organized for the informal discussion of current events and has grown to be perhaps the most effective feature of the club and to a large extent moulds public sentiment for good in the city of Joliet. The conference is made up of about equal numbers of mill and railroad people, professional and business men of the city. Some of the foremost men of the state and nation have attended its meetings and it is rare for any one to decline an invitation. Though the freest discussion takes place, the committee manages to keep it upon constructive lines. The disinterested character of the men who conduct it allows of the freest discussion without creating bad feeling, and a distinguished lawyer of the city has said that “it is one place in the city where the impartial truth may be told.” The conference is given credit for having originated many improvements for the advancement and improvement of the city, that are carried on in other parts of the city.

There is a scientific club presided over by the superintendent of the mill converter. Many of the brightest young men of the steel mills are active contributors. The steam turbine, metalography and theories of hardening steel, use of superheated steam, wastes and by-products of a large corporation and their commercial value, bacterial friends and their enemies, scientific agriculture, weather forecasting, and subjects of kindred character have been topics for discussion.

One of the first lectures of the club was given by the Rev. A. H. Laing in 1890 on “Personal Economics.” He has been a firm, active friend of the club for the sixteen years of its existence and is today the only honorary member of the scientific club.

The average membership for 1906 is 1,194. Counting the members of the families who have the privilege of the club and whose children use the gymnasium classes, there are perhaps three or four thousand who have the use of the club. Counting those who attend the entertainment course, social functions, and who are not members of the club, it is estimated that twenty-five per cent of the population of the town are within its hospitable doors some time during the year.

The club also supplies its members with coal at reduced price upon payment of cash on delivery and also purchases books and periodicals at a large saving. In that way the club is free to seventy per cent of its members. It is the intent of its present superintendent to endeavor to make it such while maintaining a club identity of its members. The club house was considerably damaged by fire on the morning of February 21, but it has been repaired and is now in use as usual.


This is another of the large industries of Joliet and employs 2,000 men with an annual pay roll of $1,040,000.00. There are two plants, one north of the city and the other at Rockdale. Drawing steel wire, manufacturing wire nails, and other wire products, is the business of the company.


This is one of the oldest of the manufacturing plants of the city, and one of the most successful, and best managed. It was started away back in 1851, and was located in Plainfield. Andrew H. Shreffler, Andrew Dillman and Lewis E. Dillman were the original proprietors. The plant was operated there until about 1860, when it was removed to Joliet to its present site, where it has since been most successfully operated. It was incorporated as a stock company in 1867, and a few years later Mr. Shreffler purchased the stock of the several stockholders, and then became the sole owner. From time to time the company has manufactured plows, cultivators and other agricultural implements, but of late it has confined its industries to the manufacture of horse powers and power corn shellers, and its patrons are all over the world wherever corn grows. Mr. C. S. Witwer has been the manager of the company for the past twenty years, and the success of the company is largely owing to his excellent management. The Company employs over one hundred men, and its yearly payroll is upwards of $80,000.00.


This company was established in 1885, in the River block on Jefferson street, and was first run by water power. The company was burned out in 1886, and while rebuilding it occupied the old Dillman building on Des Plaines street. When the River block was rebuilt, the company occupied it until 1889, when the present buildings were erected. The buildings were on a small scale at first, but they have since added to and enlarged until they now cover about six acres. The plant is operated night and day, and employs some three hundred men, with an annual pay roll of $280,000.00. Corliss engines, automatic highspeed engines, gas engines, feed water heaters and a complete line of wire working machinery, and a general foundry and machine business are the several lines of goods manufactured by the company. Their goods are mostly sold through agents throughout the entire world. The officers of the company are Joseph Winterbothem, president; John G. Mott, vice-president; William O. Bates, secretary and treasurer and general manager.


Is located on East Jackson street and employs over 200 men. while the annual pay roll is $120,000.00. The business of the plant is mostly re-rolling old railroad rails.


Is one of the older of the manufacturing concerns of the city, and is doing a large business. Some 250 men are employed, and the annual pay roll is upwards of $150,000.00. As the name indicates the manufacture of stoves of all kinds is its principal business, and it has an excellent reputation for good work, while its goods are shipped to all parts of the country.


Is located on the west side of the river opposite the steel works. It is doing a flourishing business in the line of work the name indicates, employing 250 men, and with an annual pay roll of nearly $200,000.00. The officers of the company are E. H. Miller, president; S. H. Roberts, secretary; J. W. Riser, treasurer; Thomas F. Hotchkiss, superintendent.


This company is located north of the prison, on the Lockport road, and adjoining the Aurora branch of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern railway. It has a large plant and manufactures every variety of bridges from the smallest to the largest. The company employs 300 men, and its annual pay roll is nearly $200,000.00.


The shops of this company are located north of East Jackson street, and cover some twenty acres with buildings, shops and tracks. The shops employ 500 men, and its annual pay roll is $225,000.00.


Is located on the west side of the river, and employs upwards of 100 men, with an annual pay roll of nearly $30,000.00. It manufactures every variety of wall paper, and does an extensive and well managed business. The officers are Frank J. Kelly, president; Stephen R. Knott, vice-president and secretary; Edward S. Bishop, treasurer. Located at 101-113 Van Buren street.


Are located on South Ottawa street, just south of the Rock Island depot, and it is one of the flourishing manufactories of the town. Everything in the shape of foundry work is done at the establishment, while the work done is always of the best. They employ sixty men, and the annual pay roll is about $52,000.00.

Leach Windmill & Tank Company: Leander Leach, president and manager.

Joliet Automobile & Garage Company: H. A. Fisher, president; H. F. Piepenbrink, vice-president; F. E. Fisher, treasurer; L. D. Fisher, secretary and manager; G. G. Crane, superintendent. 100 Cass street.

Joliet Engineering & Construction Company: W. W. Ross, president; C. W. Baggott, vice-president and manager; Willard B. Curtiss, secretary and treasurer.

Joliet Pure Ice Company: M. F. Laughran, president; J. J. Gaskill, vice-president; August Sehoenstedt, treasurer; C. E. Woodruff, secretary and general manager.

Joliet Steel Construction Company: Fred D. Mateer, president; Don L. Mateer, secretary; Charles B. Mateer, chief engineer.

Illinois Match Company: Fred Bennitt, president; L. A. Sherwood, treasurer and general manager. Works on west side north of city limits.

From the above it will be seen that Joliet is not only one of the great manufacturing cities of the state, but also of the great Northwest. It has altogether one hundred and six manufacturing establishments and industries. In that regard it is the first of all the cities in the state in the amount of wages paid each man employed, being an average of $631.00 paid each employee, while Chicago, which stands fourth, pays on an average of but $563.00 to each employe. In the amount of wages paid all employes in the manufacturing establishments, it stands second, Chicago being, of course, first. The total amount paid annually being $3,902,268.00. In amount of capital invested Joliet stands fifth in the state. The amount being $15,356,357, while in value of products it stands fourth, the value being $33,788,700.

Thus it will be seen that Joliet as a great manufacturing center, stands prominent among the industrial cities of the state, and as new industries are added each year to those already established, it is predicted that it stands second in nearly all industries at the next census, three years hence. With the development of the great water power below the city, in the near future, many industries and manufacturing establishments will be attracted here, that will add greatly to the wealth as well as to the population and prosperity of the city and township.


There are four National banks, The First National, George Woodruff, president; A. H. Wagner, cashier. The Will County National Bank, J. A. Henry, president; Joseph Stephen, vice-president and manager; Charles H. Talcott, cashier. The Joliet National, Truman A. Mason, president; Robert Kelly, cashier. The Citizens National, C. W. Brown, president; W. G. Wilcox, cashier. There is also one private banking house, that of George H. and E. S. Munroe, in the Munroe Hotel building.


There are forty-three churches and missions in the city. There are seven Baptist, eight Catholic, seven Methodist, five Presbyterian, five Lutheran, four Congregational, two Evangelical, two Episcopal, one Christian, one Universalist and one Christian Science.


The first church of this denomination was organized in 1837, by Elder Ashley of Plainfield. The first meetings were held in the school building on Broadway, and the first pastor was Rev. Solomon Knapp. The first members were Mrs. Higinbotham, Mrs. Channery, Mrs. Cagwin, Deacon and Mrs. Green, Elijah Johnson, and Rev. R. B. Ashley.

For some time after the organization of the society, meetings were held but occasionally, until 1853, when on the 16th of February, a council was called for the purpose of reorganizing the society. Rev. R. B. Ashley presided at the council, and the following united as members: Michael and Margaret Tait, Thomas Tait, Prudence Burdick, J. B. Wait, Jesse Kyrk, Eliza Henry, F. Crouch, Eliza Crouch, Henry Watkins, Julius C. and Sarah Williams. Their meetings were held in the court house until the fall of 1857, when it was determined on the part of the members to erect a place of worship. In July of the year following, Mrs. S. F. Savage was selected as a representative to go East and solicit aid in the building. She was highly successful and sent the society some $3,000.00 in six months. That amount, with what was subscribed at home, furnished sufficient funds for the erection of a handsome church building, at the corner of Scott and Van Buren streets. This building was occupied by the society until 1804[sic], when it was sold to the Italian Catholic church, and a new church building erected at the corner of Second and Baker avenues.

The pastors of the church since its organization are Reverends J. F. Childs, 1853, W. J. Clark, 1854; A. B. Faskett 1856; E. P. Savage 1859; E. Button, 1859; W. P. Patterson, 1862; C. H. Remington, 1864; A. G. Eberhart, 1868; R. Leslie 1871; J. P. Phillips, 1874; H. Stote, 1877; J. W. Conley, 1884; Edward Whitman, 1890; G. C. Wood, 1894; B. H. Martin, 1900; and Joseph C. Dent, the present pastor.

The Eastern Avenue church seceded from the First church in 1892, and was organized with Rev. H. J. White as pastor. Rev. D. D. Odell was called to the church in 1900, and occupied the pulpit until his death in 1904, when the present pastor, Rev. George McGinnis became the pastor.

German Baptist church at the corner of Ross and Summit streets, Rev. Albert Linder, pastor.

Second Baptist church, Ridgewood, was organized some two years ago, with Rev. B. F. Graff as pastor, and who still continues to occupy the pulpit.

Three Points Mission (Baptist) Sunday school, J. E. Bush, superintendent.

Christian Church, 116 Union street, Rev. B. N. Mitchell, pastor.

Christian Science church, at the corner of Sherman street and Second avenue.


The first Methodist preaching in Joliet was way back in 1831-2, when Father Walker and after him, Rev. Stephen R. Beggs, first came to the county. They would occasionally hold services in some cabin, or when the weather permitted, out under some tree. After the building of Fort Nonsense, in the spring of 1832, that furnished a very convenient place for meetings, and the settlers would gather there from far and near to hear the good Father preach salvation to the wayward sinner.

In 1836-37 the Joliet circuit was established, and in February, 1837, the first society was organized by Father Beggs, and trustees elected, as the following certificate will show.

Certificate of the appointment of George West and others, as trustees of M. E. Church of Juliet:

We the undersigned citizens of Will county and state of Illinois, do hereby certify that we were on the 28th day of February in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-seven, appointed trustees of a religious society, and that the name and style of said society is “The Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the Village of Juliet,” and that we were appointed trustees as aforesaid for and during the term of one year from and after the date of our said appointment.

In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals the day and year first above written. Levi Jenks (Seal), George West (Seal), Albert Shepard (Seal), Aaron Moore (Seal), Justus Finch, Jr. (Seal), Charles Sayre (Seal), Otis Hardy (Seal).

Otis Hardy was duly elected trustee on the 22d day of April, A. D. 1837.


George West of the county aforesaid deposeth and saith that the above certificate to which his name is subscribed is true, and that he is one of the trustees mentioned in said certificate and that he signed the same further deponent saith not.


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 4th day of May A. D. 1837, before me.


Recorded May 11th, 1837.


Book C. 143-144.

Those trustees organized and arranged for the building of a church, and that was built in the spring and summer of 1838, at a cost of $800.00, it being the first church edifice ever built in the city or county. It stood where the Rock Island depot now stands, and when the road was built in 1852, it bought the church for $800.00, and used it for a while for a depot and shop for repairs.

The society then built a handsome brick building for a church at the corner of Ottawa and Clinton streets, on the site of the present stone structure, the frame building having been burned in 1859.

The first regular Methodist minister was said to be Rev. Isaac Scarrett. Rev. J. H. Vincent was the minister located here in 1857-8, it being one of his first charges.

The Richards Street Church was organized in 1877, and a small church built, which was some years later displaced by the present handsome stone structure.

The churches and pastors are at present as follows:

Grace M. E. Church, at the corner of Elizabeth and Moran streets, Rev. G. S. Carswell, pastor.

Irving Street M. E. Church, 801 Irving street, Rev. P. S. Lent, pastor.

Ottawa Street, corner of Ottawa and Clinton streets, Rev. J. M. Phelps, pastor.

Richards Street M. E. Church, Rev. J. Hastie Odgers, pastor.

Trinity M. E. Church, Ridgewood, Rev. P. S. Lent, pastor.

Swedish M. E. Church, 315 Park avenue, Rev. J. B. Anderson, pastor.

Bethel M. E. Church (colored), corner of Scott and Reed streets, Rev. C. W. Thompson, pastor.


Congregational Mission (Swedish), 1000 Ohio street, Rev. C. W. Peterson, pastor.

Swedish Evangelical Mission (Congregational), 810 Clay street, Rev. Axtel Bustald, Pastor.

Welsh Congregational Church, 602 Collins street, _______ pastor.


The first Presbyterian society was organized in Joliet, August 12th, 1835. Rev. J. H. Prentiss was the pastor and Rev. Kirby of Hadley, the moderator. Those who attended the meeting and joined the society, were Simon Z. Haven, Stephen Hubbard, Josiah and Eliza Beaumont, Dr. Daniel Reed, and Mrs. Linda Reed, Elias and Mrs. Emily Haven, Mrs. Eliza Prentiss and her sister, Miss Delia Butler. In November, 1838, Dr. Adams and others asked Rev. Lucius Foote of Rockfort, to come to Juliet and hold meetings. He not being able to come at that time, sent his brother, Hiram, and followed himself in January, 1839. Under his direction a Union church was organized, and the First Presbyterian Church and society of Juliet ceased to exist for several years.

In 1844 the Rev. Benj. W. Dwight came and reorganized the society as the Central Presbyterian Church of Juliet, with twenty-two members. For a time they hired a room in the old stone block on the west side of the river, and then occupied the court house for a while, and later the Universalist Church on Clinton street. In 1850 the first church building was erected at the corner of Ottawa and Van Buren streets, at a cost of $3,000.00, but in 1871 the church was enlarged at a like cost. The ministers who occupied the pulpit after its reorganization were Reverends B. W. Dwight, Royal Reed, Mr. DeLoss, who built the church, John Kidd, Mr. Hubbard, H. D. Jenkins and A. H. Dean. In 1884, Rev. James Lewis was called to take charge of the church, and he continued as its pastor until his death, October 28th, 1899. In 1900 Rev. D. C. Milner became pastor, and under his ministration the handsome stone structure on the corner of Richards street and First avenue was erected. Dr. Milner resigned in May, 1904, and Rev. Robert Yost, the present pastor, was called.

The First Presbyterian Church was organized August 3rd, 1866. Rev. O. A. Kingsbury being the first pastor, and there were fourteen members to sign the roll. A neat stone building was erected at the corner of Broadway and Western avenue, and some years later a large addition was made to it. The pastors since that time are Reverends C. R. Burdick, in 1869; J. W. Knott, in 1871; T. L. Gulick, in 1872; James McLeod, in 1873; Thos. M. Gunn, in 1877; W. M. Flindman, in 1887; C. A. Lippineott, in 1890; and the present pastor, Rev. C. G. Reynolds, in 1900.

The Second Presbyterian Church at the corner of Jackson street and Laudau avenue, wras organized, in 1898. Rev. W. T. Angus is the present pastor.

Willow Avenue Presbyterian Church was organized some four years ago. Rev. A. Lewis is the pastor.

Gunn Chapel (Presbyterian), at the corner of Prairie avenue and Richmond street, is under the charge of the First Church. H. A. Fraser is superintendent of the Sunday school.


St. Patrick’s Church is one of the oldest churches in northern Illinois. It was founded by Father Plunkett in 1838, who commenced to build the present structure at the corner of Exchange street and Broadway that year, but his sad death the following March put a stop to the work of building for a while.

He had been out on a collecting mission to raise funds for the building, and was returning home through the town of Channahon in the midst of a violent snow storm. He was on horseback and was riding fast with his head bent forward to protect his face from the storm, when his head struck the limb of a tree that extended over the road, killing him almost instantly. His death caused much sadness and regret, not only among the members of his own flock, but throughout the whole community, for he was much beloved and respected.

After the death of Father Plunkett, Rev. Father DuPontdavis became the pastor, who remained some four years, when he was succeeded by Rev. Father Ingoldsby. In 1846 two clergymen came here to take charge of the church, but neither of them remained long. In 1847 Father Farley came, and remained in charge fourteen years, until 1861 when he was succeeded by Father Power, one of the most active and efficient pastors that the church has ever had. Father Power remained with the church until his death, January 27, 1886.

The present pastor is Rev. Father P. W. Dunne, with Rev. T. B. O’Brien as assistant pastor.

St. Mary’s church was separated from St. Patrick’s by Father Power in 1868, for the better accommodation of those of its members who resided upon the east side of the river. Rev. Father P. W. Riordan organized the church and a place of worship was built at the corner of Scott and Van Buren streets. It was a frame structure and a few years later it burned down, and then steps were taken for the erection of the present magnificent building at the corner of Clinton and Ottawa streets. The cornerstone of this church was laid in August, 1877, by Rev. Thomas B. Murphy, and the structure was completed in 1882. It is 70 by 132 feet, and the spire is 205 feet in height. The entire cost was $65,000.00. Rev. Father J. W. McNamee is the present pastor with Rev. Francis J. Byrne and Rev. Henry G. McGuire, as assistant pastors.

Sacred Heart Church, located at 729 South Ottawa street, is another of the flourishing Catholic churches of the city. Rev. Father C. P. Foster is the pastor, and Rev. M. Flannery. assistant.

St. John’s German Catholic church was founded in 1852, and a stone building was erected at a cost of $12,000.00. Rev. S. Regal was the first priest of the parish. On July 31st, 1864, this church was struck by lightning and five persons killed, and some twenty seriously injured. It was during early mass that the spire was struck by the electric-fluid which ran down into the gallery, where it parted into two currents, and descended to the earth. The church was badly damaged, and it was thought at first to be on fire, and there was a frightened crowd of people who made a rush for the doors and windows which were broken out and torn from their hinges. But the pastor had more presence of mind, and thus prevented a serious loss of life. When the excitement was somewhat allayed the injured were taken out into the rain, where they were revived, and then taken to their homes.

Two years later the building was torn down and the handsome stone structure erected at a cost of $50,000.00. This is one of the largest church organizations in the city, numbering upwards of two thousand members. Rev. Polycarp Rhodes is the present pastor.

St. Anthony’s (Italian) Catholic Church, located at 200 Scott street. Rev. Joseph Tonello, pastor.

St. Joseph’s (Austrian) Church, at 810 North Chicago street, is a handsome stone structure, built some two years ago. Rev. F. S. Sustersic, pastor.

Holy Cross (Polish) Church, corner of Elizabeth and Marion streets. Rev. A. S. Viszewski, pastor.

St. Cyrils, and Methodasius (Slavish) Church, on Landau avenue. Rev. Peter Hermann, pastor.


Christ’s Protestant Episcopal Church, was founded May 16th, 1835. It is among the oldest of the religious organizations in the county. Bishop Chace presided at the organization, with Dr. A. W. Bowen, as secretary. The following were the original members of the society: Comstock, Hanford, John Griswold, Miles Rice, Oren Westover, A. W. Bowen, M. C. Bowen, Julia Ann Hanford and Amorette B. Griswold. Rev. J. W. Hellem was the first rector, and held the first services usually in some private house. Rev. A. H. Cornish came here as missionary pastor in 1838. Rev. Charles Todd was appointed Rector in 1845; Rev. Daniel E. Brown, in 1847; Rev. S. D. Pulford, 1852; Rev. Clinton Locke, in 1857; Rev. John Wilkinson, 1859; Rev. Charles A. Gilbert, in 1861; Rev. William Chase, in 1873; Rev. Jonas Green, 1873; Rev. J. W. Tays, 1875; Rev. G. W. Morrell, 1876; Rev. H. C. Kenney, 1878; Rev. J. H. White, 1881; Rev. C. C. Camp, 1890; Rev. William Bohler Walker, 1893; Rev. T. W. McLean, D.D., 1905.

Mission of the Holy Comforter.


The St. John’s Universalist Church and Society was organized in 1836, it being one of the very first church organizations in the county. Rev. Aaron Kenney was the first minister, and held services in the first court house. Mr. Kenney resigned in 1840 and the pulpit was then supplied by the Rev. William Rounsville, of Genoa, until November, 1843, when Rev. W. W. Dean was called as pastor. He remained until July, 1847. During his ministry the first church edifice was built and dedicated by him. The cost of the building being $1,800.00. It was located on the north side of Clinton street, on the site now occupied by the telephone building.

After Mr. Dean’s resignation the pulpit was supplied occasionally until March 18th, 1848, when Rev. J. F. Briggs, was called as pastor, who served until the close of the year 1851. In December, 1852, Rev. Ichabod Codding was installed as pastor. He was followed by Rev. J. P. Averill, and he by the Rev. Henry R. Walworth, in May, 1856. During that year a building committee was appointed to prepare plans for the erection of a stone church on the corner of Chicago and Clinton streets, the cost of which was not to exceed $20,000.00. The plans were prepared and the building erected, and was dedicated by Mr. Walworth. He resigned as pastor in May, 1858, and Rev. Otis A. Skinner called. He continued in charge of the church until his death, September 24th, 1861. The pulpit was then supplied until November 1868, when Rev. S. L. Roripaugh became pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. C. H. Dutton in June, 1870, and by Rev. Asher Moore in October, 1871. Rev. W. A. Start succeeded Mr. Moore in October, 1874, and Rev. T. N. Glover succeeded Mr. Start as the pastor of the church in 1876. September 1st, 1878, Rev. A. H. Laing became the pastor, and has continued as such to the present time.


The United Evangelical Church was recently organized. It is located at 807 Second avenue, Rev. B. F. Lady, pastor.

Zion Church of Evangelical Association, at 326 Herkimer street, Rev. Henry Pope, pastor.


The First German Lutheran Church was organized in 1872 by Rev. Christian Sans, and built the church building at 601 North Ottawa street, in 1873. Rev. Richard Scheile is the present pastor. The other Lutheran churches are:

Norwegian, corner McDonough street and Hunter avenue, Rev. O. O. Riswold, pastor.

St. John’s English, 316 Van Buren street, Rev. H. M. Heilman, pastor.

St. Peter’s, 310 North Broadway, Rev. August Schuesler, pastor.

Swedish Lutheran, 905 Benton Street, Rev. A. A. Jacobson. pastor.


In the year 1890 one hundred and seventeen members separated from the First Baptist church and presented their claims before the Aurora Baptist Association, which awarded them the name and title of the First Baptist church of Joliet.

For two years they worshipped in Hobbs Hall while their present commodious structure was in process of construction at the corner of Eastern Avenue and Van Buren Street. Eventually the name of the organization was changed to the Eastern Avenue Baptist church.

The old First Baptist church edifice located at the corner of Van Buren and Scott streets was erected by the untiring and consecrated effort of Mrs. Sarah F. Savage, who went East and through personal appeal, raised $3,500, her Joliet friends added to this amount $3,000.

The first officers of the church were Clerk, G. L. Vance; Treasurer, E. E. Howard; Trustees—S. W. Lull, F. P. Golliday, D. H. Darling, J. G. Patterson, J. E. Bush, E. E. Howard, Frank Bush, Solomon Williams, Dorrance Dibell.

Rev. H. J. White, Superintendent of the Chicago City Mission Work, was called to the pastorate November 6, and accepted the same to take effect December 1st, 1890. He was ordained by a council called by the church December 5, 1890, the Central Presbyterian church kindly tendering the use of its church edifice for the ceremonials. During the more than four years of Brother White’s pastorate, the church had a steady and vigorous growth, and in the spring of 1892 dedicated and entered upon the use of its present church edifice, which cost, including organ and all furnishings, $35,000, later improvements adding to its value $15,000.

Brother White resigned his pastorate to take effect April 1st, 1895, and on July 1st following, Rev. Herman J. Powell became the pastor. Brother Powell was greatly beloved but owing to ill health he tendered his resignation to take effect February 1st, 1897. On August 15, 1897, Rev. D. D. Odell, Ph. D., became pastor of the church, entering upon his duties about the 1st of September.

In August, 1898, he was appointed chaplain of the 3d Regiment, Illinois National Volunteers, and immediately left for Porto Rico to serve the regiment in the field, the church having granted him a leave of absence for two months which afterward was increased to three months. The pulpit was acceptably supplied during the pastor’s absence by Rev. R. L. Halsey. On November 13 the pastor resumed his duties. He added a large number to the membership of the church and raised a $9,000 mortgage which was placed upon the church at the time of its erection. His pastorate was terminated by his sudden death, which occurred at Silver Cross hospital April 2, 1902. He was buried with military honors at Oakwood.

Rev. Geo. McGinnis was called to the pastorate February 1st, 1903. During his stay the membership was largely increased. The church building was completely renovated and a number of improvements made, including a new pipe-organ which was secured by the personal efforts of the pastor from Andrew Carnegie and Col. John Lambert. Largely through his effort a Chautauqua was organized, of which he was general manager for two years. During his management it was transferred from Rock Run Park to its beautiful location at Dellwood and it became one of the popular Chautauquas of the state. He was actively identified with the temperance reform and law-enforcement. He resigned the pastorate to take effect on April 21, 1907.

The church maintained a mission at Ridgewood and in 1896 built a beautiful new chapel, costing $2,500. In 1903 the mission was organized into a church.

A mission was started at Three Points in 1885 which is still maintained. J. E. Bush, superintendent and Ralph Bush, secretary and treasurer.

A mission school and prayer-meeting are sustained at Rockdale. W. E. Dean, superintendent.

Sunday school at the German Baptist church is cared for by Arthur Stassen.

The church is well organized.

E. T. Brewster, superintendent of the Sunday school.

R. C. Cummins, church treasurer.

T. H. Bruce, clerk.

E. A. Brewster, President of the Brotherhood.

Mrs. C. E. Spicer, President of the Ladies’ Aid.

Mrs. A. J. Steelman, President of the Mission Circle.

Prof. J. Stanley Brown, Treasurer of the Benevolent fund.

Miss Carrie Smith, Superintendent of the Junior Union.

Arthur Heath, Acting President of the B. Y. P. U.



The first Methodist church erected in Juliet cost $2,500 and was the frame building for so many years used by the Chicago & Rock Island railroad for a repair shop. For about fourteen years this was the church home of the pioneer Methodists. In ’52 a fine brick church was erected on the present site at a cost of $10,000. On a hot Friday evening in the midsummer of ’59 this brick church was burned, and not a dollar of insurance on it. When the trustees called on a certain wealthy fire insurance agent for a subscription to rebuild, he said, in substance, “Oh, no, you trustees should rebuild the church, it was part of your duties to keep it insured, and you should not ask others to pay for your negligence.” This man was somewhat of a philosopher and prided himself on always being able to give good reasons for what he said and did, and yet he was, like a well known character in Oliver Twist, so delicately constituted that he could not bear to inflict on a fellow creature the pain of a direct refusal without a reason, and when the committee came again to him for a contribution for a church bell, he asked how much it would weigh and cost, and on being told, he exclaimed that it would be a disgrace for the Methodists to put a mere cow bell in the steeple, and he would not contribute, but if they would put in a bell weighing three thousand pounds, he would be one of three to pay for it. And again the committee pondered, but as before, did not adopt his suggestion.

They do not ring the church bell now; the bell that could be heard all over the city in the old silent Sabbaths when even the railroads ran no trains; the old bell that Brother Casseday could hear away out on the eastern frontier of the city in time to start for church with the white ponies and family carriage. Its ring could not reach Dr. Allen’s home, “Up Hickory,” but he always came with a loaded family carriage.

A new artificial stone step has taken the place of the old flag which was, at the place it was quarried, the longest piece ever taken from Joliet quarry, and it remained at the church door for nearly half a century, a step towards heaven, over which passed innumerable congregations, and Sunday schools, babes for baptism, young men and maidens for marriage, and the forms of those who had laid life’s burdens down.

The horse and carriage equipment that comes to the Ottawa Street M. E. Church on Sabbaths, is the finest in Joliet, and the old timer takes note of fashion’s changes between now and then. In olden times the ministers and other gentlemen wore silk hats; now they wear derbys and fedoras, and the coachmen wear silk hats; now the church aisles are amply broad for ladies to pass each other without the friction there was with the hoops skirts of the days when the church was built, and the gold and silver dropped into the contribution box makes a jingling unlike the silent falling of the fractional currency of war times, which fell as silently as snow flakes.

With the passing of Brother Brayton about the last of the old time kind of Methodists have disappeared from the congregation. A lingering link between the present and the past; at times his fervent responses to the ministers statements seemed like echoes of voices of sainted ones now responding in Paradise.

Almost fresh from the theological seminary, when hope and faith ran high and life was a new thing to him, Rev. John H. Vincent came to Joliet for his second pastorate. He was a born preacher, pastor and teacher, and has gone high on the ladder of fame in the calling for which he was endowed by nature with peculiar fitness. Young and inexperienced, but learned and wise beyond his years, he could preach to please and satisfy the maturer members of his congregation, and instruct and interest the young. He kept the bright pages of the Book open—the black ones mostly closed; he did not fret, rant and fume over the sins of dead and gone generations, but was pleasing, forceful, logical, convincing; had high ideals, aesthetic tastes and ethical notions which were innovations on the time honored, unwritten laws and customs of the church; his religious enthusiasm was tempered by education, culture and refinement. One Sabbath morning when he came into the pulpit, he found a printed copy of verses on the Bible which immediately claimed his attention, and he was amazed to see that the pews had been liberally supplied with copies. Fifty years is a long time to remember doggerel, but as recalled, the verses began something like this:

“Now come ye all to the altar of prayer,

But especially come, the young and fair;

Down on your marrow bones, cast Satan under.

Do it all in a genteel way.”

There were four or five verses of the ill natured rhyming screed, but it did the young minister no harm; only reacted on the jealous, envious author.

Mr. Vincent had his study in the upper front room of the Otis Hardy home, now occupied by the street railway company. It was in this “Blue Room” that he studied, wrote his sermons, and drilled the young people in reheasing the speeches, dialogues and poems he composed for their literary entertainments; his preliminary experience for the great Chautauqua and Sunday school work which has made him world famous. There was a “Palestine Class” which Mr. Vincent took on imaginary pilgrimages through:

“Blest land of Judea, thrice hallowed in song,

Where holiest of memories, pilgrim like throng.”

In imagination they wandered in the Holy Land, studying its geography, its history and its legends; saw snow clad Mount Hermon, from its two-mile height, keeping watch and ward over all Palestine, as it had done when Bible history was making; passed up and down the valley of the Jordan, crossed the bridge of Jacob’s daughters and the fords where Abraham, Jacob, Joshua and the Israelites crossed; marveled at Gennesaret and the Dead Sea, so many hundred feet below the level of the Mediteranean. Followed the paths of the pilgrimages of the Babe of Bethlehem from His cradle in the manger to the cross and crown of thorns; went with Him into Egypt and thence back to the carpenters bench at Nazareth; strolled on the strand of the sea of Galilee, and saw the fishermen mending their nets, when Jesus called them to go with him, and become fishers of men; saw Cana, memorable place of the first miracle— water turned into wine at the marriage feast; saw the humble home of Lazarus and his sisters, the scene of Christ’s greatest miracle; heard the sermon of the Mount; wandered into the wilderness of the forty days’ fast and Satan’s tempting offers; considered the “lily of the field” and the fragrance of “the rose of Sharon;” marveled at many miracles and understood some of the parables. Pondered over the history of Jerusalem; grieved at Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed: “O, my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, thy will be done.” And at last came through Golgatha to Calvary, the place where stood the cross that has become the symbol of the world’s greatest tragedy, the tragedy that has, for centuries, kept the church bells ringing.



Odd Fellowship was first made known in the village in 1847. On July 13th, of that year, a charter was obtained by certain of the Brethren here, and the following named organized themselves into what has since been known as Powhan Lodge, No. 29. I. O. O. F. James T. McDougal, Abijah Cagwin, Phineas Wheeler, Mansfield Wheeler, Sherman W. Bowen, Alex. Mcintosh and William McDougal. The first officers of the lodge were: James T. McDougal, N. G.; Phineas Wheeler, V. G.; Sherman W. Bowen, P. S.; Abijah Cagwin, Treasurer, and Wm. McDougal, P. S. They met in the third story of the frame store building at the northwest corner of Bluff and Exchange streets, it being the same hall where the Masonic lodge was held for several years.

Wilhelm Tell Lodge, No. 219, was chartered October 13th, 1857. The charter members were: Leopold Schwabacker, Adam Werner, Solomon Louer, Gabrael Houek, J. L. Gurrard and Martin Wagner.

Joliet Encampment, No. 72, was chartered October 8th, 1867. The charter members were: Edward Cleghorn, G. H. Uhlman, Isaac Watson, Jacob Witmer, Gabrael Houek, Fred Sehring and C. C. Braun.

Eagle Encampment, No. 139, was chartered October 8th, 1872. The charter members were: Franklin Haines, James McEvoy, F. J. Richards, John Beaver, John F. Tarball and George S. Kinney.

Pocahontas Lodge, No. 59, Daughters of Rebecca, was chartered October 14th, 1873.


Freemasonry in Will county, dates back to the year 1840. In that year, some of the fraternity in Joliet and vicinity, applied to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, for a dispensation to open a lodge here, and the dispensation was granted and a lodge opened.

In October, 1841, a charter was issued, naming the lodge as “Juliet, No. 10.” Among the thirty-five members who constitute the lodge, were: Joel A. Matteson, David L. Gregg, James Brodie, Chas. Wetherbee, Jared Runyon, Henry G. Brown, Jacob Patrick, Norman L. Hawley, Robert G. Cook, Aaron Kinney, Fenner Aldrich and Thomas Williams. In the meantime a Grand Lodge had been formed in Illinois, but the brethren of Juliet, No. 10, did not in any way recognize it, but paid their dues to the Kentucky Grand Lodge. In 1845 complaint was made to the Grand Master of Illinois, an investigation was ordered, the lodge found guilty, and, on October 15th, 1846, the charter of No. 10 was revoked. Two day’s later a charter was issued by the Grand Master of Illinois for a lodge in Joliet, as Mount Joliet, No. 42. The charter named William E. Little, as Worshipful Master; Joel George, as Senior Warden, and Adial S. Jones, as Junior Warden. The charter members were: William E. Little, Joel George, Joel A. Matteson, Adial S. Jones, James Brodie and Daniel Parish. Among the members were: Nelson D. Elwood, T. J. Kinnie, William Smith and Daniel Curtiss.

The lodge, for several years after it was formed, had no permanent place of meeting, but sometimes in a room in the old National, and many times at private houses. But in 1852, an arrangement was made with Powhan Lodge of Odd Fellows, and the lodge went into their lodge room in the third story of the building on the northwest corner of Bluff and Exchange streets, and that they occupied until December, 1859, when the Masonic Hall, on the south side of Jefferson, was fitted up, and dedicated. The lodge, at first, held its regular meetings on the Saturday evening on or before the full moon, but in 1848, changed its night of meeting to Thursday evening thereafter. In 1866 it was changed to the first and third Friday evenings in the month, and it has continued to be the regular night of meeting. The lodge has now a membership of 362.

Matteson Lodge, No. 175, A. F. & A. M., was constituted by warrant, October 3rd, 1855, and by charter, October, 1856. The first officers were: Colonel Wm. Smith, W. M.; Nelson D. Elwood, S. W.; William S. Brooks, J. W. The regular meetings of the lodge have always been on the first and third Tuesdays in each month. The present membership is 345.

Joliet Chapter, No. 27, R. A. M., was constituted by Warrant in October, 1855, and by charter, October, 1856. The charter members, William Smith, Nelson D. Elwood, Adial S. Jones, William S. Brooks, John Young, Benjamin Foster, Mahlon Ayres, Joel M. Parks and James T. McDougal. The first officers were: William Smith, H. P.; Nelson D. Elwood, K.; Adial S. Jones, S.; Jas. T. McDougal, Capt. H.; Samuel D. Foot, P. J.; William S. Brooks, R. A. C.; Benjamin Richardson, M. 1st V.; Edmund Wilcox, M. 2d V.; Oliver P. Phillips, M. 3rd V.; George R. McGregor, Secretary; Abijah Cagwin, Treasurer; Henry D. Higinbotham, Tyler. The regular meetings of the Chapter were the first and third Saturday evenings in each month, but in 1858, it was changed to the first and third Mondays, and those are the times of meeting at present. The present membership is 305.

Joliet Commandery, No. 4, K. T., was constituted by warrant, February 23rd, 1858, and by charter November 5th, 1858. The charter members were: Nelson D. Elwood, William S. Brooks, Hiram W. Hubbard, W. C. Hunt, Hart L. Stewart, H. W. Bigelow, L. P. Hilliard, Reuben Cleveland and James Wadsworth, all residents of Chicago, except the three first named. The first officers were: Nelson D. Elwood, E. C; William S. Brooks, General, and Hiram W. Hubbard, Captain General. The membership is now 238.

The following are the officers of the several Masonic bodies in Joliet for the present Masonic year:

Mt. Joliet Lodge, No. 42. A. F. & A. M.; Norman Angus Macdonald, W. M.; George Harold Jennings, S. W.; Harvy Miles Price, J. W.; John Woods, Treasurer; Fred Eugene Whallon, Secretary; William Benjamin Curtis, Chaplain; Charles Alfred Clement. S. D.; William Hadsell Zarley, J. D.; Henry Foster Howard, S. S.; Walter Frederick Ramsey, J. S.; Thomas Stephenson, Marshall; Edward Hurd, Tyler; Theron Julius Converse, Organist.

Matteson Lodge, No. 175, A. F. & A. M.: Charles Thomas Mason, W. M.; Nelse Peterson, S. W.; Charles Frederick Hinrichs, J. W.; Goedon Hayward Sawyer, Treasurer; John Barnard Fithian, Secretary; Benjamin Etlinger, Chaplain; Lawrence Dubien, S. D.; Eugene Eddy Woods, J. D.; William Hall Plumb, S. S.; Claranden Stillman Seaver, J. S.; John Butler, Tyler; George Michael Scholl, Marshall; Theron Julius Converse, Organist.

Joliet Chapter, No. 27, R. A. M.; Jesse Wilson Brockwas, M. I. H. P.; Charles Thomas Mason, King; John Kenyon Bush, Scribe; John Woods, Treasurer; John Barnard Fithian, Secretary; John Clement Lang, Chaplain; Harry Miles Prise, C. of H.; Walter J. Biddle, P. S.; Clarence Franklin Louer, R. A. C.; Thomas Houts Clow, M. 3rd V.; Milton John Millhouse, M. 2nd V.; Harrie Magee Hamill, M. 1st V.; Edward Hurd, Steward; John Butler, Sentinel; Theron Julius Converse, Organist.

Joliet Commandery, No. 4. K. T.; Gordon Hayward Sawyer, E. C.; Don Louis Mateer, General; Carl Adam Groth, C. General; Frank Crist Fisher, S. W.; George Michael Scholl, J. W.; George Anton Bissell, Prelate; Charles Henry Talcott, Treasurer; John Barnard Fithian, Recorder; John Kenyon Bush, Standard Bearer; Otto Henry Staehle, Sword Bearer; Charles William Berger, Warder; John Butler, Sentinel; Theron Julius Converse, Organist.

Joliet Council, No. 82, B. & S. M.; William Henry Nevins, Th. Ill. M.; John Woods, Ill. Dep. M.; Erastus W. Willard, Pr. Can. Wor.; Guy Marble Leonard, Treasurer and Recorder; Charles James Starr, Captain General; John Clement Lang, Com. Coun.; Jesse Wilson Brockway, Steward; John Butler, Tyler.

Marguerite Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, No. 187, was instituted August 27th, 1891. The following are the present officers: Miss Mabelle Boyd, W. M.; George Bissell, W. P.; Miss Glennie Haggart, A. M.; Mrs. Stella Scharf, Conductor; Miss Blanche Beauley, A. C.; Miss Lizzie Morrison, Secretary; Mrs. Susie Eib, Treasurer; Miss Florence Hurd, Adah; Mrs. Alfie Mason, Ruth; Mrs. Merinda Schneider, Esther; Miss Florence Lang, Martha; Mrs. Carrie Fisher, Electa; Mrs. Katherine Smith, Marshall; Mrs. Ceeile Clement, Warder; Mrs. Carrie A. Ball, Sentinel; Miss Stella Mateer, Organist.

Bethany Shrine, No. 7, White Shrine of Jerusalem was instituted February 17th, 1905. The following are the present officers: Mrs. Bertha Van Arman, W. H. P.; Mrs. Anna Clyne, N. P.; Walter Biddle, W. of S.; Mrs. Rosa Bissell, N. S.; Mrs. Marie Forkel, W. G.; Mrs. Emma Van Horn, Chaplain; Miss Lizzie Morrison, Secretary; Mrs. Cora Haggert, Treasurer; Mrs. Nellie Smith, First H. M.; Mrs. Minnie Mauer, Second H. M.; Miss Margaret Gray, Third H. M.; Mrs. Emma Scholl, Guardian; Mrs. Katherine Blood, Guard; Mrs. Katherin Smith, Herald; Mrs. Belle Fisher, Organist.


There are two orphan asylums in or near the city, the Guardian Angel’s Home and the Swedish Orphan Home. The first is located on the west side of the river, at the junction of Buel avenue and the Plainfield Road. It was founded ten years ago, and was first located in a cottage near the St. Francis Academy, but the following year the present beautiful site was purchased, and the home established there. The whole establishment, including site and furnishings, has cost upwards of $30,000.00. More than one hundred children find a good home there, the most of them having been deprived of both parents. It is supported principally by charity.

The Swedish Orphans’ Home is located one mile southeast of the city, near the Manhattan road, on a six acre plot of ground, a part of which is under cultivation, and furnishes a quantity of vegetables to the inmates. The society was organized some five or six years ago, and soon after the large stone structure was erected, and was soon filled with nearly one hundred boys and girls, who had no home but that to go to. The home is supported wholly by charity, and as it has a large number of friends here and elsewhere in the state, it receives a liberal support.


“Almost every institution of learning which has secured any prominence in its own field, has had a struggling and somewhat flickering existence at some period of its history. This condition is found to have been true of the Joliet high school from 1858 to 1874, when the first class, consisting of Alice Clement, Addie Simonds and Bessie Davis, was graduated. No graduates or commencements are recorded from 1874 to 1879. Each year since 1879 has witnessed a high school commencement, at which young men and women, varying in number from three to ninety-four have been launched upon the sea of life. The school seems to have taken on a new life when, in 1880, the east and west sides were placed under one superintendent, Colonel D. H. Darling, and the high school under S. V. Robbins.

It was about this time that the former high school building, now used as the central grammar school, was built. This building ranked well among the high school buildings of the state at that time, and was much admired and loved by teachers and pupils.

Mr. Robbins, who was principal for six years, is now teacher of physics in a Chicago high school, and was succeeded in September, 1887, by O. L. Manchester, whose term of service continued until 1889, when he was called to his present position in the State Normal, at Normal, Ill.

He was succeeded by Mr. Van Petten, who served as principal for one year and a half, when he resigned and later took the superintendency of the schools of Bloomington, Ill. F. Martin Townsend, at present superintendent of schools at Newark, Ohio, was then secured and acted as principal for one year, 1892-3. Superintendent Darling and Inspector Sanger Steel, acting for the Board of Inspectors of the city schools, then secured the services of J. Stanley Brown, who has had charge of the high school since September, 1893, under Colonel Darling one year, under W. H. Campbell, at present principal of the Wentworth School, Chicago, three years, and under Mrs. Kate A. Henderson, the present city librarian, two years.

At this time, June, 1899, the township high school was established, and since that time the superintendency and principalship have been entrusted to one person. The growth of secondary school attendance in the United States for the past ten years has been wonderful, indeed. That of our own school has kept pace with those of most rapid growth. In 1893, there were enrolled 208; in 1894, 275; in 1895, 311; in 1896, 348; in 1897, 399; in 1898, 443; in 1899, 482; in 1901, 600, and 1907, 1,000.

Since 1894, some continuous effort has been made to inspire the pupils to continue their work in some high institution after graduating here. The result has been to keep in school those who were otherwise inclined to think their education was ended when they had received their diplomas. The cultivation of this ambitious spirit, which was warmly endorsed and encouraged by Superintendents Darling, Campbell and Mrs. Henderson, the improvement of the curriculum, the bettering of teaching force, and the civilizing of the school spirit, have made it possible for our young men and women, who have honestly completed the work prescribed to enter unconditionally any institution east or west where students are received on certificate.

Our own great University of Illinois admits our recommended graduates into the sophomore class, without conditions, and enables them to complete a four years’ course in three years. Lake Forest University, Northwestern University of Chicago, Cornell College, University of Michigan, and Yale University, all contribute their testimony to the excellence of the work done by our students.

Some of the elements which have tended toward the keeping of the young people in school are: The introduction of a larger number of male teachers, the limited cultivation of athletics, literary contests, the inspiration to go further than the high school in education and a more flexible course of study, which makes it possible to consider the temperament, intellectuality, and in general the personal equation of the pupil. A resolution introduced by President Marshall makes it obligatory to publish as alumni of the high school all who have graduated since 1874, thereby making no lapse and no distinction in passing from the city high school in June, 1899, to the township high school. The alumni are found in every business and profession in the city, and constitute a highly respected and influential company of citizens. The city schools are particularly fortunate in enrolling among its teachers between forty and fifty who have graduated from the high school. Some of the best teachers on the high school force now are graduates of this school. The school has never attempted to interfere with the Divine Architect in proposing to create intellectual capacity, but it is doing much and will continue to do much to develop the natural ability of the pupil.

We believe we are preparing pupils for life, and in that preparation, no training is education which does not provide for honest struggles with difficulty on the part of the pupil. Energy bound up in a pupil not to be suppressed, but directed, and fortunate, indeed, is that teacher who can direct along proper lines that energy which, if left undirected or misdirected, brings about havoc, disaster, anarchy. These secondary schools are the colleges of the people, because the vast majority of those who enter, never receive any further training. They are, and must continue to be, the most democratic institutions in the land. The aristocratic institution is dying everywhere, because it cannot survive when compelled to breathe the air of a democracy. There was a time when we looked to the east for the best in secondary education. Now, it is a well recognized fact, that the best-public high schools are fund in the west, and if our own school and its teaching force can keep the pace set by this building, we shall continue to find some of the best schools in the west.

With a community patient and generous beyond all expectation, and with a board of education thoroughly awake to its opportunity, with all the proud unwritten history connected with the establishment of this school, with the past and present briefly sketched, the future will take care of itself under direction, as good as that in the immediate past.


J. Stanley Brown, A. M. A. D. Arendt, A. B. Elizabeth Barns, A. B. John K. Bush, A. M. Helen A. Baldwin, A. M. George A. Barker, M. S. Clayton D. Crawford. LL. B. Vincil C. Coulter, A. M. W. N. Clute W. E. Durstine, B. S. H. A. Graves, A. B. Y. D. Hawkins, A. M. Margaret Johnson. Elizabeth Kaplan, A. B. Vergil C. Lohr, B. S. J. M. Large, A. B. Emily B. Mack, Ph. B. Helena Marquardt, B. L. Mary H. O’Brien, Ph. B. Mary O’Leary U. G. Potter, A. B. Jane V. Pollack, A. B. C. E. Spicer, M. S. Edna Pearl Strohm, B. A. Clare Winship Sylvester, A. B. Elsie L. Sawyer, A. B. Louis M. Sears, A. B. Mabel A. Sammons, A. B. H. D. Smith, Ph. B. Freeland G. Stecker, A. B. Jennie S. Shipman, A. B. Jane Chapin Tunnell, S. B. Charlotte Van Der Veen, B. L. Carrie I. Woodrow, M. A. Julia Woodruff. Hattie M. Wood. Ethel McClenahan, A. B.


Joliet is more proud of its school system than of any other public institution, not excepting its magnificent public library.

The policy of this city toward its schools has always been exceedingly liberal. It was about the year 1890 that the modern school system of Joliet was really begun. From that time up to the present time there has been a steady improvement until today the school property of Joliet is valued at close to $1,000,000. Of this amount, one fourth or $250,000 is invested in what is claimed to be the finest high school in the United States. There are 1000 pupils attending this institution which has a teaching force of 38 and which has grown with marvelous rapidity in the past five years.

When the high school building was erected, it was supposed that it would care for all the pupils that would wish to attend for fifteen years. Already it is crowded and plans are being discussed for an extension of the present building or the erection of a second structure.

The present enrollment in the Joliet schools is 6,407, an increase of nearly 2,000 in ten years.

The grade schools have some of the finest and most substantial school buildings to be found in the state of Illinois and the school grounds of Joliet are the finest possessed by any public school system in Illinois.

In 1906, Prof. John A. Long was elected to the superintendency of the Joliet school system and under his direction the work of establishing a manual training and domestic science department has been rapidly pushed. It is probable that the next important move will be the construction of a building on the Roosevelt school grounds near the center of the city, that will be especially adapted to these and other practical features of modern schools. A splendidly equipped gymnasium will also be one of the features of the proposed building.

The present school board consists of the following:

President—Frank H. Marsh.

Vice-President—Adam Wilhelmi.

Secretary—Bryan Hutchinson.

Elmer Grundy, C. L. Stevens, James M. Michaels and Dr. J. B. Shaw.


Name of School, Principal, Enrollment 1905-6.

Moran Street, Florence E. Murray, 319 North Hickory Street, Mary McPartlin, 121 Broadway, Minnie F. Balensiefer, 407 Farragut, Anita M. Parsons, 227 Pleasant Street, Belle Brophy, 37 Sheridan, Charlotte Rogan, 371 McKinley Park, Mary S. Wurtz, 78 Eliza Kelly, Nellie L. McNiff, 393 Logan, L. Alice Cope, 128 Longfellow, Edna Keith, 190 Richards Street, M. F. Gleason, 326 Irving, Jenny Larking, 100 Woodland Park, Anna L. Smith, 331 Ridgewood, Florence L. Carpenter, 363 A. O. Marshall, Anna L. Hicks, 202 Henderson, Elizabeth A. Gougar, 357 Lincoln, Mary E. Blair, 357 Forest Park, Agnes L. Connelly, 75 Parks, Sadie J. Burke, 333 Eastern Avenue, C. U. Mottinger, 552 Roosevelt, Elizabeth Patterson, 153 Total 5,420

Total enrollment, including high school. 1895-6: 4,582 1905-6: 6,407

Valuation school property, high school not included: 1895-6: $326,000 1905-6: $554,000

Valuation school property, township high school: 1905-6: 250,000

Number teachers in Joliet public schools: 130 Number teachers in Joliet township high school: 38


Number of pupils enrolled in 1906: 6,674 Number of school districts: 9 Number of teachers enrolled during year: 196 Number of graded schools: 23 Number of ungraded schools: 7 Number of pupils enrolled in 1876: 2,353 Gain in thirty years: 4,321 Total gain in the county in thirty years: 4,503 Total loss in the county in thirty years: 3,678 Total net gain in the county in thirty years: 648 Whole number of pupils enrolled in county in 1906: 13,486 Whole number of teachers enrolled in county in 1906: 456 Whole number of pupils enrolled in Joliet: 6,674 Whole number of pupils enrolled in balance of the county: 6,826


The Joliet Public Library is only second in importance as an educational institution, to our city schools. It is well sustained and cared for by the city authorities, and well managed by those who have it in charge, and to say that it is well patronized would not half express the fact, for it is the great center towards which the reading public, both old and young, of our city are attracted. Every department is patronized daily, and especially the youth’s department, which is at times crowded by the young, who go there not to play or for recreation, but to learn something new.

The idea of a public library for the city was started in 1875, when Capt. Phelps in behalf of the old Historical Society, of Joliet, presented to the city the library of that Association, to the end that the books thus presented might form a nucleus for a library for the city. The gift was accepted and the first Library Board was appointed September 15th of that year. That board consisted of Judge Parks, Judge Olin, Dr. Heise, Edwin Porter, George Munroe, J. I. Mather, Mrs. H. S. Smith and Mrs. G. C. Raynor. Judge Parks was the first president, and Miss Lottie Akin the first librarian. Rooms were secured in the Cagwin Bank building, but they soon proved to be too small for the purpose and the library was removed to the second story of the Akin Block. There it was well accommodated for a few years, but in time it out grew its quarters, and it was then removed to the Gorman building on Van Buren street. There the accommodations were ample for several years, but the library increased year by year, and soon the question was rased of building a home for the library that should suffice for all coming time. The suggestion proved to be a popular one, and the city purchased a large lot at the corner of Clinton and Ottawa streets. The contract was let and on December 14th, 1893, the library was opened in its new home. The building is a magnificent structure, and is well adapted for the purpose intended. Its cost when completed was $175,000.00. It has two departments, one for adults, and a large room in the south part for children and young people. The children’s department contains furniture suitable for the young, while the books for their use are arranged around the walls of the room, and easily accessable to them at all times, when the room is open for their use.

The present librarian, Mrs. Kate A. Henderson, has had charge of the library for the past eight years, and has managed it in a most admirable and satisfactory manner.

In her last annual report made May 31st, 1906, she reports 25,772 books in the library, while the circulation for the year preceding was 130,973. A large portion of these were books of fiction but every class of books was well patronized. In that report, Mrs. Henderson states, that the library was open 305 days during the year, that the largest issue of books in one day was 1,016, and that the average daily issue throughout the year, 422. That the total number of men using the reading room during the year was 13,717, and of women, 12,617, making a total of 26,334 persons who used the reading room during the year preceding. The number of boys using the children’s room was 21,055, and of girls 13,859, making a total of 34,914, who used the room during the preceding year.

It will be seen by the report that the public library is a very popular and well patronized institution. Take the number of persons in the reading room, the children in their room, and then take it for granted that at least one person visited the library for each book issued, and we have a total of 191,221 persons who visited the library during the year, on an average of some 627 persons each day of the 305 days that the library was open.

The library is growing in popular favor each succeding year, and we think that the report of the librarian on the first of June next will show a much larger number of visitors to the rooms, and also a larger number of books issued than that of last year.


The Public Library has a statute of this celebrated trader and explorer erected in the yard in front of the library building, of heroic size, though modern except in dress. That is primitive, but his equipments are modern, for he is armed with an old fashioned musket, with a percussion lock on it, which is at least a hundred years before they were invented or used. The statue is, however, excellent in form and feature, and is that of a man in the prime of his manhood, with an intelligent countenance and a well balanced head, showing him to have been a man of intelligence, and well worthy to be the godfather and patron saint of our enterprising and growing city.

Joliet was incorporated as a city, June 19th, 1852, and was divided into five wards, by act of the legislature. At the first election, Cornelius C. Van Horne, was elected mayor, S. W. Stone, city clerk and the following aldermen: First ward, N. H. Cutter and D. Cassiday; second ward, Joel George and Michael Shields; third ward, Edmund Wilcox and Thos. J. Kinnie; Fourth ward, F. L. Cagwin and S. W. Bowen; fifth ward, Uri Osgood and Patrick O’Connor. Joseph E. Streeter was the second mayor of the city, and Nelson D. Elwood, the third.

The present officers of the city are: Richard J. Barr, mayor; Mat Berschiedt, city clerk; George Q. Sehring, treasurer; Robert E. Haley, city attorney; C. R. Speers, supt of streets; David J. Emery, chief of police; W. W. Armstrong, chief of fire department; J. J. Kelly, collector; Allen F. Cooper, weighmaster; Dr. Walter B. Stewart, health commissioner.


There are two large hospitals in the city. St. Joseph’s is located on the west side on North Broadway and is a large and well conducted institution. It is supported largely by the Catholics and that support is a liberal one. Hundreds of patients are treated there each year and ail are admitted whether able to pay for treatment or not.

The Silver Cross hospital is located northeast of the city near Ridgewood and is supported largely by the Protestant churches. Like its sister institution on the west side all are admitted whether able to pay or not. Although it is expected in both hospitals that all will pay for care and treatment who can afford to do so.


The people of Will are proud of the Order of the White Cross, a fraternal and beneficial society with supreme offices located at 222 North Chicago street, Joliet, Illinois. The Order of the White Cross is organized under the laws of the State of Illinois, having been chartered by the state insurance department, December 7th, 1899. The order commenced business, January 1, 1900. The promotors and first board of supreme officers were:

John H. Garnsey—Supreme Commander. George J. Arbeiter—Supreme ViceCommander. Ervin T. Geist—Past Supreme Commander. Thomas Stevenson—Supreme Recorder. Henry T. Truby—Supreme Treasurer. Coll McNaughton—Supreme Counsellor. Dr. Will R. McGurfin—Supreme Medical Director. Louis Stocker—Supreme Prelate. Edward L. Reinhard—Supreme Marshal. William S. Rodger—Supreme Inner Guard. William M. Roberts—Supreme Outer Guard. Albert E. Williams—Supreme Auditor. Charles O. Bond—Supreme Auditor. Alfred E. Mottinger—Supreme Auditor.

The Order of the White Cross is a fraternal and beneficial society, having for its object the protection of the home and the promotion of the fraternal, social and material interests of its members.

Its purpose is to unite fraternally on the broad liberal plane of humanity and a common brotherhood all white persons between the ages of 18 and 50 years who are physically and morally acceptable.

To establish a benefit fund from which shall be paid, upon the death of a beneficiary member in good standing, to the widow, children or others dependent upon him or her, a sum not to exceed $2,000.

Benefit certificates are issued to men or women in sums of $500, $1,000, $1,500, $2,000.

The plan of organization is fraternal and representative; combining the best features of successful fraternal societies, discarding those which have proven to be unprofitable, adding new advanced ideas in keeping with the progress and practical business methods of modern times.

It is rendered absolutely safe and secure by an approved rate of monthly payments based upon the latest mortuary tables, the exclusion of hazardous risks and a rigid medical examination.

As an additional guarantee and for the safety and protection of its members it provides a surplus fund, which is recognized by all old line insurance companies, by our national and state laws and by conservative business men as the only safe plan on which to do insurance business. The accumulation of this fund will be amply sufficient to meet all claims upon it and guarantee the payment of every benefit certificate, and that not more nor less than twelve payments a year will be required from its members. In this manner it combines the safety and stability of the most approved old line with the cheapness and attractive feature of fraternal insurance.

It has a representative form of government, not a close corporation. It is a co-partnership organized on the theory and the fact, that in union there is strength, that distributing the burdens among many makes it light and easy for all. The supreme council is the law-making power of the order, all its officers are elected every two years by representatives from subordinate councils, each representative having a vote for every fifty members or every fraction thereof. No fancy salaries are paid to its officers; they are paid fairly well, and they earn all they get. In the interim of the supreme council meetings the business of the order is managed by the supreme commander, who has general supervision of its affairs and a board of directors composed of five business men of integrity, all of whom are elected by the representatives to guard the interests of the membership.

The government of this order is vested in supreme, and subordinate councils. The supreme council has power to make laws for the government of the whole order. The collection and disbursement of the Benefit Fund is controlled exclusively by the supreme council.

Subordinate councils have charge of the order in their immediate vicinity, and are the agents of the members for the collection of the Benefit Fund.

No person can be admitted to membership who is engaged in a hazardous occupation—select risks only is what is wanted to build up the membership of the order.

Do you want to win in life’s struggle? If you do, put it in the power of your family to say that you won for them comfort while you lived, and left them provided for at death. He is a good citizen who provides for his wife and children; but he is a better citizen who provides for his widow and orphans. Would you start on a long journey and leave your wife and children without the means of sustenance? You may start tonight on a journey from which you will never return. How would you leave your loved ones?

At the first biennial convention of the order, held at Joliet, Illinois, January 14, 1902, Ervin T. Geist was elected supreme commander, in place of John H. Garnsey, and William W. Smith was elected supreme prelate, in place of Louis Stocker, all other officers remaining as given above.

At the second biennial convention, held at Joliet on January 26, 1904, Thos. Stevenson, who had served as the supreme recorder during the first four years of the order, was elected as supreme commander, and Elmer S. Grundy was elected as supreme recorder, those being the only important changes made in the board of supreme officers.

At the third biennial convention of the supreme council, held at Joliet on January 23, 1906, the following supreme officers were elected and installed and are at the present time serving the order:

Thos. Stevenson, supreme commander, 222 North Chicago street, Joliet, Illinois. Felix B. Tait, supreme vice-commander, Decatur, Illinois. Ervin T. Geist, past supreme commander, Joliet, Illinois. Elmer S. Grundy, supreme recorder, 222 North Chicago street, Joliet, Illinois. Henry T. Truby, supreme treasurer, Joliet, Illinois. George J. Arbeiter, supreme counsellor, Joliet, Illinois. Dr. W. R. McGuffin, supreme medical director, Joliet, Illinois. W. W. Smith, supreme prelate, Joliet, Illinois. John R. Pitts, supreme marshal, Lockport, Illinois. Mrs. Emma Stevenson, supreme inner guard, Joliet, Illinois. O. W. Odell, supreme outer guard, Chicago Heights, Illinois. Supreme Auditors — Edward L. Reinhard, Joliet, Illinois; A. E. Mottinger, Plainfield, Illinois; John Allen, Decatur, Illinois.

At this writing, January, 1907, the order has established sixty subordinate councils, with a combined membership of four thousand benefit members. The order is now doinsr business in the states of Illinois, Michigan and Colorado.

Since the order commenced business it has paid out many thousands of dollars to the beneficiaries of its deceased members. In Will county alone the order has paid in death claims during the past six years the sum of $44,168.40.

The order has seventeen local branches or councils located in Will county, ten of these being located in the city of Joliet, the total membership of the order in Will county being 2,500.

The following is a complete list of the councils located in this county, with their location and the name of the commander and recorder of each council:

Illinois Council, No. 1, Joliet, Illinois—John P. Hanson, commander; A. J. Schroder, recorder. Joliet Council, No. 2, Joliet, Illinois—Harvey Wood, commander; George J. Arbeiter, recorder. Fidelity Council, No. 3, Joliet, Illinois—Mrs. Frances Newton, commander; Miss Lorena F. Baker, recorder.Garnsey Council, No. 20, Joliet, Illinois—Mrs. Minnie A. West, commander; Mrs. Jennie Foster, recorder. Stone City Council, No. 22, Joliet, Illinois— John J. Dempsey, commander; P. A. Condon, recorder. Juanita Council, No. 27, Joliet, Illinois—Mrs. J. Tarbell, commander; Mrs. J. Schofield, recorder. Progress Council, No. 38, Joliet, Illinois—Mrs. Ettie J. White, commander; Mrs. Maud Reitz, recorder. Fraternity Council, No. 40, Joliet, Illinois— A. Ibbotson, commander; Elmer Van Aukin, recorder. Svea Council, No. 42, Joliet, Illinois—A. J. Lindgren, commander; H. A. Hanson, recorder. Welcome Council, No. 50, Joliet, Illinois—E. C. Stevenson, recorder. Washington Council, No. 4, Plainfield, Illinois —H. H. Bayles, commander; G. S. Wightman, recorder. Friendship Council, No. 5, Mokena, Illinois— George H. Cooper, commander; Frank Less, recorder. Manhattan Council, No. 6, Manhattan, Illinois —A. A. McDonald, commander; Nelson Z. Lynk, recorder. New Lenox Council, No. 7, New Lenox, Illinois—Chas. F. Pelkey, commander; Dr. F. W. Searles, recorder. Lockport Council, No. 9, Lockport, Illinois— H. Liebig, commander; John R. Pitts, recorder. Braidwood Council, No. 18, Braidwood, Illinois— Joseph Kain, commander; John M. Steen, recorder. Jackson Council, No. 23, Elwood, Illinois— John Coldwater, commander; George N. Blatt, recorder.

The order publishes an official paper monthly, The White Cross, of which Thos. Stevenson is the editor. This paper is entered as second class matter at the postoffice at Decatur, Illinois, and is mailed to each member of the order.

During the recess of the supreme council, the board of directors is clothed with the executive and judicial power thereof, subject to appeal and approval at the next session of the supreme council. This board passes on all death and other claims against the order, has charge of all funds and property of the society and has a general supervision of the work of the order. The members of this board give a surety company bond for the faithful performance of the duties of their office. The order makes a yearly report to the superintendent of insurance in each state in which the order is doing business, and is subject to inspection at any time by said insurance departments. The present board of directors consists of Thos. Stevenson, supreme commander; Felix B. Tait, supreme vice commander; Ervin T. Geist, past supreme commander; Elmer S. Grundy, supreme recorder, and Henry T. Truby, supreme treasurer.

By hard, earnest work the Order of the White Cross has now a larger membership in Will county than any other fraternal society. The social features of the society are not forgotten by its members. The order has a pleasing, interesting and instructive ritual; it teaches the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man and loyalty to home and country. Its motto, Friendship, Fidelity and Fraternity.



As the successor of the True Democrat, which was founded by Alexander McIntosh in 1847, the Joliet Republican is the oldest newspaper in Will county. Its weekly issues were continued without interruption from the date of its foundation until September 1, 1906, when, owing to the general establishment of rural free delivery, which enables the farmer to have his daily paper delivered at his door quickly and regularly, it was decided to abandon the weekly issue and publish only the daily edition.

Alexander McIntosh, who began the publication of the True Democrat in 1847, became, during the following year, a victim of the California fever and sold out the paper to H. N. Marsh, who continued its publication and controlled its editorial columns for nearly four years. McIntosh, in the meantime, had returned to Joliet and in 1852 returned to newspaper harness by repurchasing the paper from Mr. Marsh.

Five years later, in 1857, the Democrat was again sold, the purchaser being Joseph L. Braden, a prominent politician and later postmaster of the city. During the ante-war excitement and, indeed, throughout almost the entire duration of the great struggle the paper retained its old name, although it was a strong supporter of the government. In 1864 Mr. Braden changed the title to The Republican and continued in control of its destinies for nearly five years longer.

It was not until 1869 that the Republican again changed hands. It then passed into the possession of James Goodspeed and he assumed the editorial as well as business management of the paper. In 1874, however, he enlisted the services of Alexander McIntosh as political editor and shortly afterward Judson C. Porter became city editor.

Major Robert Mann Woods was the next owner of the paper, he purchasing the plant and taking possession on March 17, 1879. Under his management the paper continued to flourish for more than twelve years.

In 1872 the Sun had been founded by C. B. Haywood, first as a weekly and then, in 1874, coming out with a daily issue, but in 1882 the good will and subscription list were purchased by Major Woods and the two papers were consolidated under the title of the Republican and Sun, which was later altered to Republic and Sun, about the time of the Conkling-Arthur disagreement.

Major Woods tired of newspaper proprietorship after twelve years in the harness and in 1891 sold out his interest to Hayes and Fletcher. The hyphenated title was discarded and the old name, the Republican, was restored to its place at the head of the page. Messrs. Hayes and Fletchers connection with the paper continued for three years, and then they disposed of the property to the corporation known as the Joliet Republican Printing Company, of which Gen. P. C. Hayes was president.

Although there have been a number of changes in the ownership of the stock in the corporation, there has been no interruption in the standing of the paper as an outspoken exponent of the principles of the republican party and it remains, as it has been for more than two score years, the recognized mouthpiece of that party in Will county. At present the officers of the company are as follows: President, Dwight C. Haven; vice-president, Leon McDonald; secretary, John T. Clyne; treasurer, William D. Heise.


In newspaper life Joliet has had three fairly well defined periods. First, the pioneer; next the violently partisan, engendered by the know-nothing movement, the slavery issue and the war; later a period in which the upbuilding of the city, its departments, schools and its adornment have been the leading thought.

These periods dragged somewhat into the others with politics intermingled all the way through, but it so happened the coming of the News was at a time when a change was in progress.

The steel mills were converting the village into a city. At that time Joliet, Lockport and Wilmington were rivals for supremacy.

Judge McRoberts came upon the circuit bench, and the character of the bar and the character of the courts and of the city changed. A coincidence, perhaps, or rather a natural development, the same as other communities experience—but it was a change, not even now fully completed. There is progress year by year.

The birth of the News was no startling event. A four-page paper of three columns per page, printed upon a Gordon jobber, it was more of a curiosity than a wonder. The Joliet Daily Sun, the first and only daily up to that time, was still in existence. Afterward, when four or five dailies were printed here, the Sun, founded by C. B. Hayward and George F. Radcliffe, gave way and presented its subscription list to the Joliet Daily Republican.

The News was started by Chas. Dutcher, a printer and theatrical man in hard luck, April 9, 1877, in the office of the Joliet Phoenix.

In the following autumn the greenback party, now known as the people’s or populist party, needing an organ, bought the News for $225, with its sixty paying subscribers and sixty complimentary copies, a Washington hand press, and two cases of bourgeoise type. Jas. H. Ferriss and Robt. W. Nelson, formerly with the Phoenix assisted in the purchase financially and otherwise, but with no thought of doing more than to start the paper. They felt that they had sufficient experience in newspaper business and intended to return to commercial pursuits.

No other candidate appeared for the editor’s position, and they felt compelled to undertake the task, at least until other editors could be found. H. E. Baldwin, formerly upon the Phoenix and News, was taken in as a partner, and Edw. Keist, owner of the Dallas (Texas) Daily Herald, was employed as printer, pressman and carrier. A few days after the force was increased by the employment of Warren O. Hodgdon, present city editor of the News. Mr. Nelson remained but a year or two, and is now president of the American Typefounders, with headquarters in New York. Either Ferriss or Baldwin, however, have been with the News continuously since the purchase from Dutcher, and a large proportion of the present force commenced as boys many years ago. Mr. McOwan, manager of the stationery store, has been with the paper over twenty-five years, and some of the printers are as long in the service. During the past year Geo. F. Seely became business manager, returning to the paper again where he was formerly manager of the job department.

The paper continued in the populist faith without faltering. The business consists of a daily and weekly paper and a stationery store, all located in the News building, corner of Ottawa and Van Buren. The daily has established routes of its own in all the towns of the Wilmington coal field, and from Morris to Mokena, Manhattan to Lemont. Both papers are local in character, devoted principally to the affairs of Will county.



This daily, which was started November 18, 1904, as a liberal republican paper and in opposition to the radical measures of the so-called “stalwart” organization faction of the party, has taken a high rank among the local papers of the city. The so-called liberal faction of the party refused to submit to the dictates of the regular republican organization headed by Congressman H. M. Snapp. Hence a movement was started for the establishment of an opposition paper that would represent their political views. Subscriptions for stock were opened and soon a sufficient fund was secured to place the paper on a permanent foundation. Articles of incorporation for the “Joliet Printing Company” were secured with a capital stock of $75,000 and soon the Herald made its appearance.

A large subscription list was secured, together with a liberal patronage of advertisers from the merchants of the city and the paper was issued with a good prospect, of success.

Its equipment was modern, it being provided with linotype machines and a sixteen-page web perfecting press with color attachment, which permitted it to attract notice from the public. The paper has a large job and book binding department with material to make it complete in every detail.

The policy of the paper was announced as republican in national, state and county matters and independent in local affairs, a policy which met with much favor from the people. As a journal it is quite popular with the reading public and in local affairs is of considerable importance, exercising a wholesome influence for the good of the public.