Past and Present of Will County, Illinois
By W. W. Stevens President of the Will County Pioneers Association Assisted by an Advisory Board, consisting of Hon. James G. Elwood, James H. Ferriss, William Grinton, Mrs. Kate Henderson and A. C. Clement ILLUSTRATED Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1907 Dedicated to the Pioneers of Will County
The present towns of Lockport and Homer formed what was known in 1836, when the county was organized, as Canal precinct, and they were missioners’ term in 1850, when they were separated into two voting precincts, and each was entitled to a supervisor.
The place was known in early days as Runyontown, and such was once the probability that it would be named, but the first lock on the canal was located there and it is said that the town got its name from that fact. Another theory is as to how the town was named, was that some of the first settlers were from the vicinity of Lockport, New York, and hence gave the name of their native town.
The town is very prettily located, the bluffs rising from the east bank of the river affording ideal sites for residences and giving splendid views of the canal and river and the country to the west. That the town did not become the leading town in the county is no fault of the canal commissioners, for they did all in their power to make it not only the leading town in the county, but the leading town on the whole line of the canal. They not only located the principal offices of the canal there, but they built a great road from the offices to Chicago, at a cost of $40,000 to the state, and named the road Archer Road, in honor of William B. Archer, one of the canal commissioners. After the building of the road it became the great thoroughfare between the western part of the county and Chicago, and hence all traffic in that direction must necessarily pass through the town. The first permanent settler in the township was Armstead Runyon, who came there in 1830. He was a native of Kentucky, but removed to Ohio when fifteen years old, where he remained until 1827, when he came to Danville, Illinois. There he remained until his removal to where Lockport is now located. His first winter there was that of the “deep snow,” as it has since been called, and hence vividly remembered by the old settlers there in the county. He was a man of considerable means for those times, and had a large amount of stock, a part of which he left in Danville and the balance he brought with him. But the severe winter killed nearly all of it, as he had prepared no food or shelter, but was depending on the stock being able to take care of themselves. The next spring as soon as the snow was gone he brought the balance of the stock to his home in Lockport. When he first came there the family had to live in a tent while the cabin was being built, and while living in the tent the nights were made very uncomfortable from the howling of the wolves around the tent each night.
The following spring, that of 1831, Henry Everdeen, Patrick Butler, Edward Poor, James Ritchie, Selah Lanfear, Holden Sisson and Orrin Stevens came into the neighborhood and in the spring of 1832 Patrick Fitzpatrick and Thomas Reed came and built their cabins upon the west side of the river.
The Black Hawk war soon caused a stampede of all of them, and they sought safety wherever they could find it. However, the families of Runyon, Poor, Sisson and Lanfear joined together and went to Fort Dearborn, in Chicago, for safety. When the first settlers arrived in Lockport the Indians were plenty all around them, but they were all of the friendly tribe of Pottawattomies and there was nothing to fear from them. The cabins were built all of wood. The doors had wooden hinges and latches. The latter had a string attached that went out through a small hole in the door and by pulling the string the latch would be lifted and the door opened. Then at night, or when they wished to fasten the door, all they had to do was to pull in the string and the door was securely fastened. Mr. Runyon, the pioneer settler of Lockport, died in California in September, 1875.
Among the early pioneers of the town, aside from those above mentioned, were Cyrus Bronson, Lyman Hawley and his son Oscar L., Nathan Hutchins, William Gooding, Isaac Preston, A. J. Matthewson, David C. Baldwin, Col. James Wright, James S. Baker, Justin Taylor, Hiram Norton, Edward E. Bush and Turiel C. Haywood. Mr. Sisson was born in Rhode Island in 1790 and died in Lockport in April, 1878. He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and the captain of a company in the Black Hawk war, and built a fort or blockhouse on his place in the spring of 1832. He was a man of most indomitable energy and perseverance, and accomplished a large amount of labor in his day. Before coming to Lockport he lived for fifteen years near Evansville, Indiana. He raised large quantities of grain and other produce, but not having a market for what he raised at home he built flatboats and carried it down the river to New Orleans. He made four of those trips and on two of them he walked all the way back to his home. After settling in Lockport he built his cabin in the fall of 1831 and then prepared ground for the raising of a crop the year following. He managed to get his ground planted before the Indian troubles commenced, and as soon as his company was raised for war he was ordered by General Scott to proceed with his command to Indian Creek, in LaSalle county, and bury the dead that were massacred there by the Indians. After his return home he gathered his crop, and in November of that year went to Michigan to try and collect some debts due him for stock sold while he lived in Indiana. But his trip was a failure, and he started on his return trip riding an Indian pony. The weather was extremely cold and the snow deep, and when crossing Mud lake the ice gave way and pony and rider were precipitated into the icy water. He got out as best he could and rode home with his clothing frozen upon him. He had been detained so long on his journey that he hardly knew whether he would find his family alive or not, but upon entering the cabin he found everything nice and comfortable and his family well. He was so overjoyed that he sat down and wept like a child.
In the meantime Mrs. Sisson, who had been left alone so long, with five small children, became short of fuel and she had to go to the timber and cut wood and haul it home as best she could, in order to keep herself and little ones from freezing. The following year he sold his farm on the east side of the river and removed with his family to a place on the west side, about a mile north of the village. Soon after settling there a prairie fire started and consumed sixty tons of hay, and so scorched or injured his stock that nearly all died—160 sheep and some forty head of cattle. While yet Lockport was in Cook county, Mr. Sisson was elected one of the county commissioners and served as such with much ability. When the county of Will was formed he was one of the first-commissioners, and continued to serve as such nearly all the time until the office was abolished by the new constitution of 1848.
When Mr. Sisson died, May 3, 1878, a Lockport paper paid him the following worthy tribute: “His word was law, his courage has been for nearly two generations a household word:-no taint of suspicion mars the soundness of his public or private character, his children simply worshiped him, and they are a unit in the expression that he was never known to do a mean thing or set a bad example. His widow’s views are tersely expressed in a few words to the writer, ‘That he was the most upright and perfect gentleman she ever knew; that his judgment was always clear; he knew no side but the right.'”
Cyrus Bronson, a brother-in-law of Mr. Sisson, settled on the west side of the river, on section 10. He was born in Connecticut, but had lived for sometime in New York before removing to Illinois. He was killed by lightning September 16, 1857, leaving quite a family of sons, one of them, Cyrus M. Bronson, dying but a year or two ago. The other sons were Montraville, David H. and Eliel S. The widow died some twenty-five years ago.
A. J. Matthewson, the old surveyor, came west in the spring of 1837, and was at once engaged as one of the corps of surveyors on the new canal, and from that time until its final completion was constantly in the service of the state. He was one of the most competent and reliable of all the surveyors employed in that great work, and was ever held in the highest confidence and esteem by all his associates. He was appointed in 1865 by the board of public works in Chicago, to take charge of the deepening of the canal from Chicago to Lockport, and in 1867 he was appointed by the governor to make a survey of the Illinois river from LaSalle to its mouth. He was for several terms county surveyor of Will county. He died in Lockport September 17, 1906.
D. C. Baldwin settled in the township in 1834 and after farming for several years sold out and engaged in the mercantile trade in the village. He is noted for being the first school teacher in the town of Homer. He died December 19, 1896.
Horace Morse, who came there in 1833, built the first hotel or tavern, as it was then called. The building was located on the east side of the street, a short distance beyond the run or gully that crosses the main street.
William Gooding came there in 1833 and was until his death one of the most prominent and substantial men of the village. He, with his wife and child, were the very first passengers to come around the head of Lake Michigan, with the United States mail steamer, arriving in Chicago in May of that year, when there was but little of what is now the great metropolis of the west, but Fort Dearborn and a few cabins scattered about the prairie. Three days later they arrived at the Grove, in the town of Homer, that has since borne his name, as “Gooding’s Grove.”
When the survey for the canal was begun in 1835 he was appointed chief engineer of the work, which position he held until its completion in 1848. He died at his home in Lockport, March 4, 1878.
The Hawleys came to the village in 1835. Lyman Hawley, the senior of the family, was born in what is now the state of Vermont, August 4, 1782. He married Althea H. Moore, who was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, September 3, 1787. They came to Lockport in the fall of 1835 and that town was thereafter their home. Mr. Hawley settled on the west side of the river, where he had a fine farm. He was one of the proprietors of the first mill in Lockport, and also of the subdivision known as West Lockport. He died April 29, 1844.
When Mr. Hawley came to Lockport he had a family of nine children, only one of whom now survives, Mrs. Hannah E. Finch, widow of the late Charles W. Finch of Batavia, Ill. Walter B. Hawley, the youngest son of the family, was deputy county clerk under his brother, the late Oscar L. Hawley, and in 1873 he was elected to the office himself, which he held for four years.
Oscar L. Hawley, eldest son of the family, was born in Schoharie county, New York, in 1809 and came to Lockport with his father in 1837. He lived for a few years in Homer, but soon returned to Lockport, and there remained until 1849, when he was elected county clerk. He then removed to Joliet, and that was his home until his death. He was re-elected county clerk in 1853 and in 1857 was elected county judge, which office he held until his death, November 8, 1861.
Patrick Fitzpatrick settled on the bluff. He was born in Ireland and came first to Canada, and thence to Lockport in the fall of 1833. He died May 21, 1887.
Selah Lanfear was a pioneer of 1832 and settled near the Homer town line. He was a member of Captain Sisson’s company in the Black Hawk war.
Justin Taylor settled in Lockport in 1834. He was at Chicago at the Indian treaty that year and saw several hundreds of the natives depart – for their new hunting grounds beyond the Mississippi. He died in 1847.
Isaac Preston was born in New Jersey in 1792 and settled in Lockport in 1836. He was a man of much note and ability. His son, John B. Preston, was the youngest man that ever was appointed to the office of surveyor general. Mr. Preston died in Lockport January 4, 1883.
Hiram Norton was one of the most enterprising men the village ever had, and did more to build up and improve the town than any other man. He was a member of the Legislature in 1859 and 1860 and held offices of trust in his town, all of which he filled with the utmost fidelity. He died at his home in Lockport April 2, 1875.
Colonel James Wright came from Saratoga, New York, to Lockport township in 1837. He was of old Revolutionary stock, his grandfather being a soldier in the Revolutionary war and was present at the battle of Stillwater. Colonel Wright died November 12, 1895.
Barrett B. Clark came with his father to Plainfield, but soon after they removed to Dupage township, but in later years he was a resident of Lockport, where he was engaged in the mercantile trade.
John W. Paddock was a native of New York, and came to Lockport early in the year 1847. He was the first member of the legal profession in the village, and when the town was organized into a voting precinct under the constitution of 1848 he was elected the first supervisor. Some years later he removed to Kankakee, where he died many years ago.
Dr. Chauncey White was an early settler, and one of the first physicians there. He was soon followed, however, by Dr. John F. Daggett, a native of Vermont, who was a practicing physician of the town fifty years. He died October 28, 1890.
James B. Marvin settled about one mile east of the village in 1834 and that was his home until his death, some thirty years ago.
Robert Milne was a native of Scotland and came to the village in 1836, but was for a time in the lumber business in Chicago. In 1840, however, he took a large contract on the canal and then removed to Lockport with his family, and that was thereafter his home until his death, November 1, 1891.
As stated above, there were many of the native Indians still near when the first settlements were made in the town, but they were friendly, and as lazy as they were friendly, and as a rule would steal anything they saw, whether they needed it or not. In those days the crows were numerous and the farmers would put scarecrows out in their cornfields to scare them away. But the scarecrows seldom remained but a few hours, if there were any Indians around.
In the Will County Gazetteer for 1860 there is a very interesting article from which we take the following extract: “From the observations of the first white settlers in this vicinity, it is evident that what is now Lockport had long been a favorite resort of the Indian tribes that had occupied, this section of the country. The spreading oaks, the clear running brooks, the rapid river, all made this one of the brightest spots in their paradise of the red men. Here their graves are found, their caches or places for hiding, their corn, etc., and arrow heads, stone axes, and other evidences of their having lived and died here. Even after the settlements by the whites commenced, the Indians often came here to spend their hunting and fishing season. Another reason why this became an important stopping place for them was that here was the best ford across the Desplaines river, and a crossing could be effected here in consequence of the rapid fall and the numerous channels into which the river was divided in extreme high water, when it could nowhere else. But the time came when they must leave these pleasant scenes, their old hunting grounds, and the graves of their kindred, and seek a home beyond the Father of Waters.”
It is said that the first white child born in the township was Orrin Runyon, who was born May 27, 1833. This is probably very near correct, for it is the first of which any record was made. The first birth on the west side of the river was that of Eliel S. Bronson. a son of Cyrus Bronson, April 23, 1835. The first marriage in the town was that of Michael Noel and Louisa Webb, and C. C. Van Horn, a justice of the peace from Hickory Creek, performed the ceremony. The first death was that of a maiden lady—a Miss Miner, and a sister of Dr. Miner of Runyontown. The father of Nathan Hutchins was of the early deaths. He was quite an old man when he came to the settlement and the hardships incident to frontier life soon carried him off. Jared Runyon was the first justice and was elected when the county was formed, in 1836.
The Indian trails were the first roads, and were the most direct, for they usually went pretty straight, unless there was some obstruction that was impassable. We have already alluded to the Archer road as the first graded road to Chicago. That was built in 1838, and the year following a road was constructed on the bluff, on the west side of the river, down to Ottawa, which became the stage road between that town and Chicago. The first mill was that before alluded to as built by Lyman Hawley, William Gooding, William Rogers and Eli S. Prescott, in West Lockport. It cost $30,000 and was completed in 1838. It had four runs of stones and was considered a very excellent mill for that day.
A Rev. Greenwood was the first minister to preach in the town. He was sent out from Massachusetts by the Home Mission of the Presbyterian church and preached for a year and a half at the house of Cyrus Bronson, on the west side of the river. He afterwards went to Wisconsin and while there got lost in what was known at an early day as the “Big Swamp” in that state, and came very near starving to death before he found his way out. He owned some property and when he believed himself doomed to perish there he sat down and wrote his will, threw it on the ground, and then lay down by it to die. But, reviving somewhat after sleeping a while, got up and wandered along in a sort of listless manner until the crowing of a cock infused new life into him and made him feel that relief was at hand. He soon found the cabin of a settler, who took him in and gave him food and kept him until his exhausted condition was fully restored.
Not long after the departure of Rev. Greenwood, Rev. Stephen R. Beggs, an itinerant preacher from Walker’s Grove, came occasionally to hold religious services in some cabin, and also a Rev. Blackburn, from the same locality, came to administer to the spiritual wants of the settlers. Another preacher of about that time was a Rev. Foster, a Congregationalist, who preached in the school house in Runyontown. Mr. Woodruff, in his history, relates how this minister had a very objectional way of wiping his nose on his coat-tail when preaching, and the performance was not an agreeable one to his hearers, so they raised a contribution and bought the pastor a beautiful red bandana, which with due solemnity they presented to him.
Cyrus Bronson was in Chicago one day with his team, and when about starting out to return home he was accosted by a very polite and courteous gentleman, with a slight foreign accent, who asked to be allowed to ride out with him. He consented with pleasure, and, taking him into his wagon, brought him to Lockport. On the journey out he found his passenger to be a very intelligent and agreeable companion, so much so that when he reached home he very kindly asked him to remain with him over night. The passenger consented and in the morning left for Joliet. A few days later Mr. Bronson was in Joliet, when his passenger came up to him and appeared to be very glad to see him. Upon inquiry he learned that his companion was Father Plunkett, who had come to Joliet to take charge of the Catholic society, just formed in the village, and whose melancholy death we have already alluded to in the history of St. Patrick’s church.
The early settlers of the town took an active part in establishing schools for their children, although they labored under many disadvantages. Of course there were no school houses, and at first no way of having them. Mr. Sisson had built a small addition to his cabin, and this he gave the use of to his neighbors for a school room. The first school taught in it was in the summer of 1833, by a young lady from Joliet, whose name has been forgotten, and the second was taught in the same cabin by a Miss Royce, from Dupage township. In 1835 the neighbors all united together and built a log school house. The work and material were all donated, one giving the logs, others hauling them to the proposed site, while others assisted in its erection and the finishing of it for the use intended. A stick chimney was built at one end, logs were split open and hewed smooth for the floor, others were used for seats and roof. A piece was sawed out of one log to make a small window, a door was provided with wooden hinges, and then the school house was ready for the teacher and scholars.
But times have changed in Lockport since that primitive school house was built, and now handsome and well constructed school rooms are provided in every one of the ten school districts in the township, and excellent, well-trained teachers are selected to teach the young and rising generation.
At the land sale which took place in Chicago in 1836 the farmers of the township formed themselves into a protective association to guard against speculators who would be at the sale and appointed Holder Sisson as their agent to bid in the land for them, and faithfully did he perform the trust imposed on him. The agent, who acted as the auctioneer, favored the settlers, and thus they got the land at government price. While the canal was building sickness prevailed al___ universally along the line of it, especially among the laborers, and deaths were very frequent. Pork was the common meat for all, and many, especially those from abroad, were not used to eating meat of any kind, and as a result sickness was common in all camps, and deaths so frequent that but little notice was taken of them. There was generally a wake over the body in the evening and then early the next morning the body was deposited in a shallow grave, or perhaps several bodies together, then the dirt thrown back, and that was the end of it all.
Lockport got its canal in 1848, but no railroad entered the town until 1857, when the Joliet & Chicago road was completed through the village. That road is now a part of the Chicago & Alton system, and adds greatly to the prosperity of the town. The Santa Fe and Chicago and Joliet electric railway now pass through the town, and those roads afford ample facilities to the inhabitants for all transportation required. The canal is nearly abandoned and will be in time disposed of by the state and the ground it occupied used for other purposes. The township is one of the best farming communities in the county. The soil is of the best, the occupants thrifty business men, and prosperity everywhere prevails.
The north part of the village was laid out by Armstead Runyon, in 1836, and was known as Runyontown. The year following the village proper was platted, and laid out as a town, by the canal commissioners under the direction of William B. Archer. This plat included the site of the canal office, and all that part of the village to the south of it. The canal office was erected that year, and November 27, 1837, a sale of lots took place of the commissioners’ village and some $6,000 realized from the sale. West Lockport, which was intended to be a part of the village proper, was laid out in 1836 and many lots were sold. It was from the sale of these lots that much of the money was raised to build the flour mill, which was erected by Lyman Hawley and others in that part of the village. The first postoffice in the village was in West Lockport, Edward E. Bush being the first postmaster. In 1839, however, the office was removed to the east side of the river and there it has since remained.
The removal of the canal office to Lockport did not have the effect of building up a large town there, that the commissioners had hoped and expected. Many lots were sold, but the prices realized were comparatively low, and but few of them were improved for many years. The work on the canal languished for want of funds, and hence there was but little there to support or build up a village. The building of the West Lockport mill was looked upon as a valuable improvement. Yet but few men were required to operate the mill, and hence but little benefit was derived from it for the village.
From 1839 to 1842 there was almost a total cessation of work on the canal, especially in that vicinity, and the village suffered accordingly. But in the latter year funds were raised by the state and a revival of canal construction was the result, and from that time forward, until its completion there was little delay in the work. The first canal boat to be used on the canal, the General Fry, was constructed there in 1847 and launched in 1848.
There were several contests in the village on the question of having it incorporated, but it was not until February 12, 1853, that a charter was obtained and an election held to ascertain whether a majority of the citizens were in favor of an incorporated village. The vote stood for incorporation and 55 against it. The following were elected as the first trustees: Isaac N. Steward, Henry Torry, S. S. Chamberlin. D. O. Baldwin and Chauncey Dowd. At the organization of the trustees Henry Torry was elected president; Isaac H. Steward, secretary; Chauncey Dowd, treasurer; L. S. Parker, constable, and John Milks, street commissioner.
The first Fourth of July celebration in the village was in 1839. Hiram Norton was president of the day, and General James Turney, a recently arrived attorney in the village, was the orator. The first store in the village was a small grocery, kept by a man by the name of Kellogg, in Runyontown, and the first dry goods store was that of Gass & Parks, in the same place, but it was soon afterward removed to Lockport proper, and the name of the firm changed to that of Gass & Gooding.
The first building of any pretensions in the whole village was the canal office. There were, in fact, but few buildings, except the cabins of the settlers, and they were scattered all over both of the plats of the village.
Since the opening of the canal, in 1848, Lockport has been a good market for grain. The first grain buyers were Hiram Norton, John Milks and George Gaylord. Hiram Norton was called the pioneer grain dealer, although the others entered the business about the same time. Gaylord & Co. were the first dealers that bought grain by weight, or, as it was termed, “legal weights.”
In 1849 George B. Martin came to Lockport and built a warehouse and commenced to buy grain. He also opened a private bank, and received money on deposit, doing a large business for several years. But finally there was a failure and a loss to the people of Lockport and vicinity of upward of $200,000.
Joel M. Parks was one of the pioneers of Lockport. He was a native of Lockport, New York, where he was one of the prominent citizens of the town, having been its postmaster for several years. He came to Lockport with his family in 1837. Judge G. D. A. Parks was a son, and Mrs. Nelson D. Elwood and Mrs. George R. MacGregor were his daughters. He died there some forty years ago.
Nelson D. Elwood came to Lockport from New York in the spring of 1837, where he was employed in the canal office as a civil engineer. He remained there until 1843, when he was elected county clerk, and then removed to Joliet.
Joel Manning, who was a native of New York, came to Lockport in 1836, at the time the canal board was organized, when he was appointed its secretary. He continued to reside in Lockport until 1862, when he came to Joliet and made it his home, with his son-in-law, the late Henry Fish. He died in Joliet January 8, 1869.
Charles E. Boyer came to the village as a contractor in the construction of the canal. He was a man of energy and enterprise, and did much for the town. He took the contract for the construction of the Joliet & Chicago Railroad in 1856 and completed it in a year. In 1862 he was elected as a member of the Legislature, and was a candidate for the State Senate when he died, September 21, 1868.
Colonel Jacob Fry was another native of New York and came to the village in 1837, having been appointed as one of the commissioners for the construction of the canal. He served with much satisfaction to the authorities, and so well were they pleased that he was promoted to general, and the first canal boat built to ply the waters of the newly constructed waterway was named the “General Fry.” He died many years ago.
Fred W. Walter is a very promising young attorney of Lockport, and has also offices in Joliet, opposite the court house, where he is in partnership with Mr. Higgins.
There were formerly several stone quarries in the vicinity of the village, but they have been worked out or so exhausted of good stone so that very little is now done in the business.
Immense quantities of the stone was shipped to Chicago and all through the west and some of the most substantial works and buildings in that city are built of the Lockport stone.
The first church founded in the village was the St. Dennis Catholic church, organized by Father Plunkett in 1837. The first church building was erected by the society in 1848, but it was small, merely a shanty, and it was replaced by the present Gothic structure, erected in 1877, at a cost of $25,000. The first priest in charge there was Father Dennis Ryan. There is now a large membership belonging to the church, the largest in the village.
The first Methodist church was formed there in 1838. Rev. William Crissey was the first pastor and it was included in the Joliet circuit, Rev. John Clarke being the presiding elder. Rev. Beggs was often in the village on religious duties and ever ready to assist in the services. In 1842 Colonel Joel Manning was appointed class leader in the church, a position he held for fifteen years. The present fine stone building was erected in 1854-5, during the pastorate of Rev. Reed.
The St. John’s Protestant Episcopal church was organized in 1845, although religious services were held as early as 1834. but no regular church was formed until 1845. The first rector was Rev. Andrew Cornish, of the church in Joliet, where he resided, but Rev. William Bostwick was the first regular rector who resided in the village. The first church was built in 1844. In 1870 the corner stone of the new church edifice was laid by Bishop Whitehouse, assisted by several local clergymen.
The Congregational church was organized in 1838 by the Rev. Isaac Foster, the following being the first members: John Gooding and wife, Erastus Newton and wife, Harvey Raymond and wife. Dr. Chauncey White and wife, and William B. Newton and wife. Their first minister was Rev. Isaac Foster, and the first church building was erected in 1839, at a cost of $2,000. Their first Sunday school was started in 1841 by Eli Eddy, who conducted it most successfully for many years.
The Baptist church was organized in 1844 by Rev. Solomon Knapp, with twenty-one members. Several years later their church building was erected at a cost of $1,500.
The German Lutheran church was founded in 1872, Rev. C. M. Magusson being the first pastor.
We have already alluded to the Lockport Telegraph, the first paper established in that village, in our history of early journalism in the county. The next journal to be issued there was the Will County Courier, which was founded at a little later date, but its life was a short one, and we can learn but very little now of the paper or its promoters.
The Phoenix was started by J. S. McDonald in 1875, and is still in existence, a live, staunch republican paper. Soon after it was first issued it was enlarged, and then it branched out into five editions, one of each to the towns of Joliet, Wilmington, Braidwood, Lemont and Plainfield. It did a big business for a while, but the expense was more than the income, and so all were abandoned in 1879 but Lockport.
The Lockport Commercial Advertiser was started in 1878 by J. Curran and A. G. Hawley, with small branches in the adjoining villages. It was absorbed by the Phoenix several years ago, and it is now the Phoenix-Advertiser. It is published by the Will County Printing Company, of which Leon McDonald, the general superintendent of the Illinois & Michigan canal, is president, and Thomas A. Cheadle, secretary and treasurer and general manager.
Lockport Lodge. No. 538, A. F. & A. M., was chartered October 1, 1867. The first officers were C. H. Bacon, Worshipful Master; John C. Backus, Senior Warden, and William J. Denton, Junior Warden. The lodge is in a flourishing condition.
The following are the present officers of the lodge: S. C. Orrel, Worshipful Master; G. H. Bush, Senior Warden; G. C. Kettering, Junior Warden; W. J. Bruce, Treasurer; E. R. Morgan. Secretary; J. L. Besk, Senior Deacon; R. C. Bruce, Junior Deacon; J. R. Lotts, Senior Steward; R. Lynn, Tyler. There are now about 100 members.
DesPlaines Lodge, No. 23, I. O. O. F., at Lockport, is one of the oldest lodges in northern Illinois. It was chartered January 12, 1847. The following were the charter members: John Blackstone, Harvey Mosier, William P. Whittle, John W. Paddock and B. C. Waterman.
We referred to the first physicians, Doctors Daggett and White, in our history of the township, they being the first of the medical faculty who came to the town. Those who have settled in the village since are Dr. C. H. Bacon, a native New Yorker, who came there before the Civil war, in which he served as assistant surgeon of the volunteer corps at the beginning of the war, but was promoted as surgeon in 1863, which position he held until November, 1865. In 1869 he was appointed prison physician, which he held until 1874.
Dr. E. A. H. Larned came there at the close of the war and was a prominent citizen of the place until his death, September 6, 1884. Dr. Shoop, the leading physician of the village at the present time, has practiced there several years with eminent success. The village at present is about as it has been for many years, there being very little perceptible growth in it, yet it is a pleasant place in which to live, and doubtless always will be.
Number of pupils enrolled in 1906, 869 Number of school districts, 10 Number of teachers, 29 Number of graded schools, 2 Number of ungraded schools, 8 Number of pupils enrolled in 1876, 869 Loss or gain, none