Description of Newark in 1909
Round-About Newark in 1909
Representative of the Record Makes Trip to the Oldest Town in the County
Published in the Kendall County Record, August 11, 1909
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
Having not been in Newark for more than a year, a representative of The Record boarded the Thursday morning train bound down the river. The purpose of the trip was to renew old acquaintances in the Village of Newark. Formerly known as Georgetown. This town is the oldest in the county, having been laid out in 1836, by George B. Hollenback. Set back from the railroad, it is hard to realize that it should be so thriving with Millington but two miles away. At Millington the bus driven by Win Courtright, who has followed in the footsteps of his father, Ben Courtright, takes the passenger to Newark. The writer is sorry to say the road to Newark has not been improved in keeping with the surroundings. The way is rough and dusty and with the heavy load in the bus the going was slow.
Arriving in Newark one is struck at once by the new brick, plate glass front building that has been erected by R. C. Bibbins on the site of the old post office, which was destroyed, with several other buildings by a fire last spring. The new building contains two stores, one occupied by Mr. Bibbins as post office together with his postal card and musical business, and the other by Harry Prickett who will run a restaurant, confectionery and soda fountain. Under the building is a large cement basement where the steam and gasoline plants for heating and lighting the two stores are located. Besides these there is ample room for storage. Mr. Bibbins has also piped the steam and gas to his house across the street. He will heat and light this building with the same plants. The stores are modern and wonderfully light and cheery. The other buildings in the village remain about the same. There has been but little improvement in the past year. The town is advancing; however, as there will be about 25,000 feet of cement walk laid this fall. Already there is much of this substantial sidewalk in the town. The new will add greatly to the beauty of the place as a residence. There is also talk of a cement walk to connect Millington and Newark.
Since Mr. DeWitt Convis gave up the old Newark Hotel there has been little available for the transient at mealtime. The hotel has been run by several parties but is now vacated and Mr. Prickett is not in shape to supply customers. Through the kindness of Mr. Bibbins and his estimable wife the inner man was cared for in an excellent manner. So the missing hotel was not a matter of lingering regret.
In the afternoon the school grounds proved the center of attraction to the villagers as well as to many from out of town. The Newark Chautauqua was holding one of the sessions of its third assembly. This meet has done much to advertise Newark and bring the people from the surrounding country into the village. The attractions are good and the programs are given in a large tent. There is comfort from the heat of the day and ample room in the evening. Wednesday night is said to have seen over five hundred under the canvas.
Many friends of the Record were met during the day. Among them was Mr. Thomas J. Phillips, one of the old settlers of Georgetown. In his conversation he said that he and his father had voted at every presidential election from Washington to Taft. His father had cast a vote for the father of the country at his first election and Mr. Phillips cast his first vote in 1840. His father died in the next four years and left the duty of voting to him. Mr. Phillips is in good health, though his hearing is a source of annoyance.
On the way home the stop in Millington was long enough to permit a call upon Charlie Pluess. Charlie is the man who has done so much to boom (promote) Millington. His store and bank adjoining are on the prominent corner, nicely kept and encircled by a cement walk and curbing, making a good and safe place for farmers to tie their horses. Mr. Pluess says that Millington is getting her share of grain, pointing out two loads of oats, which had only just come in. These were from a farm north and west of Sheridan, with three markets, Sheridan, Somonauk and Sandwich nearer than Millington. The oats were freshly threshed and ran well. Corn had been coming in and Millington was active with teams and high box wagons.
The oftener one goes to Newark the oftener he is impressed with the value of the field for an electric road with freight hauling privileges in that part of the country. Even if the Yorkville road should be extended, Yorkville would be made the transfer point from steam to electricity, and Newark could be reached. Teams are hauling corn and oats from the far south points. Farms that are twelve to fourteen miles from Millington are sending the grain to this market. Why so many paper roads should be built without a vestige of a tie or rail to promise their completion is strange considering the abundant possibilities of such an undertaking.