Plano Business Directory in 1878
Published in the Kendall County Record, June 20, 1878
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
The subject of our sketch is situated on the main line of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 54 miles southwest from Chicago. It is located between the two timber belts skirting the pure streams of Big Rock and Little Rock Creeks in the heart of the beautiful Fox River Valley. It lies on a exceedingly rich and fertile soil under-laid with gravel, which affords ample drainage. It is one of the most desirable and admirable localities for an enterprising town. Plano was surveyed and platted in the year 1853. It has steadily improved from the start. Although its growth has never been very rapid it has never taken a backward step. It has maintained all its advantages and added something to its population each year until it is now the largest town in Kendall County. Plano is surrounded by all the natural resources that aid the development of a country, such as a rich alluvial soil, excellent waterpower, plenty of good timber, good building and lime stone and other unremunerated advantages. By utilizing and improving the means at hand, it has advanced its position. This in spite of the fact that the progress of railroad interests, which aid so materially a developing country has caused other rival villages and towns to spring up. This has divided the rural districts until the farming county now tributary to Plano has become more limited in extent. Because Plano has become a manufacturing town its business has not languished nor suffered as it might if depending entirely on the farming community. In giving a resume of the business of our town we do not expect to carry the reader back and review the early settlement, as our space will not permit. Our intention is to give our readers at home and abroad a truthful view of our institutions and industries.
In 1864, after a series of experiments, the Messrs. C. W. & W. W. Marsh, of DeKalb County, Illinois, the inventors of the original Marsh Harvester, commenced the manufacture of the machine in Plano. In company with Lewis Steward, who furnished the capital, they built 25 harvesters, which were placed in trial during the season. These 25 machines were built in the old sorghum mill building once occupied by Latham and Doty as a sash and door manufacturing company. The unprecedented success of this harvester laid the foundation for what has since grown into one of the most prominent institutions in the Fox River Valley. These first machines were very rudely constructed compared to the improved machines of 1878 but they still worked impressively well.
In the year 1865, the number of machines made was increased to 150. In 1866, 300 were made. In 1867, 500; in 1868, 1,000; in 1869, 2,000; the same number were built in 1870; in 1871, 2,300 were made and as usual, all of them were disposed of. In 1872, 3,200 were made. In 1873, this number was increased by 300 to 3,500. In 1874, 4,000 were built; in 1875, 6,000 were built. In 1876, 1,000 fewer machines were built than in the year before. The decline in demand being caused by the drought and grasshopper troubles in Kansas, Iowa and other states in 1875. These events decreased the demand for harvesters. This required that a number of machines built in 1875 be carried over, which were sold in 1876. As will be observed, the demand for this popular harvester has steadily and rapidly increased since it was introduced. The Marsh Harvester is widely and favorably known.
The Marsh Harvester was the first of this class of grain harvesting machines. For some years it was the only one forcing itself into favor against the united opposition of the various reaper manufacturers. These manufactures are now clamorous in their praise for their imitation harvesters. The Marsh Harvester has made practical automatic grain binding. All attempts to put self-binding attachments on other reapers proved futile. Self-binder attachments have only been successful when attached to harvesters cutting and elevating the grain as is done by the Marsh Harvester. The manufacturers of the Marsh harvester have been fully alive to the importance of having a self-binding attachment to their harvester. They have employed uniquely skilled labor for several years. They have invented and patented several important improvements and devices, and have purchased others. They have also had their binders in the grain fields for several years past, following the grain harvest from Texas to Manitoba. Last season this binder did remarkable work. Such minor defects as the most thorough tests and roughest usage developed have been carefully remedied.
This season a large corps of agents and machinists have been at work in Texas, Kansas, and are now getting into Missouri and southern Illinois, where the grain is ripening. They are again testing the Marsh Harvester with the Crane binder. Numerous field trials have been made, where the Wood, McCormack, and other harvesters with their binders have been competing for public favor. The reports come from all quarters of the unrivalled success of the Marsh with the Crane binder over all other machines. Mr. F. H. Lull, Secretary of the Manufacturing Company has read us a large number of letters from agents and farmers in Kansas, Texas and other points where trials have been made. The accounts give the most flattering and cheering reports of the unbounded success of the Marsh Harvester and of the rapid sales of this machine. The following is a sample of the scores of letters and telegrams the company is receiving daily testifying to the grand achievements of the Marsh and binder attachment. We hereto append an extract from a long letter from Byron E. Shonts who attended a trial at Shabonier, Fayette County, Illinois, under date of June 4.
Mr. Shonts says: "I was at Shabonier, Fayette County, Saturday, and run our machine in a trial at that place with the Wood and McCormick, There was a large number of farmers out, some 400 as estimated by the newspaper reporter on the ground. We gained a victory for the Marsh that is worthy of being proud of. After the trial 92 farmers came forward and signed a statement saying that the Marsh Harvester and Self-Binder was the lightest of draft, simplest of construction, and the most perfect machine in the field. Advising farmers to buy it in preference to any other machine.
Telegrams have been pouring in constantly for more machines than the company could possibly ship. The close of the 1878 season will see the Harvester shops cleared out of everything in the reaper line.
In 1876, the manufacturer of mowers was begun by taking the Warrior and improving it, which when improved, combined all the desirable points of a first class light draught grass cutter. This machine is now known as the "G. & D. (Gammon & Deering) Improved Mower." It will not clog in any kind or quantity of grass and can be started when standing in stout or matted grass without backing up.
Since the Plano shops were built other manufactories have been built which made the Marsh. The Lowe, Adams & French machines are similar to the Marsh and are made by the Sandwich Manufacturing Company. The late firm of J. D. Easter & Company were manufacturers of the Marsh at Sycamore. The recent failure of this firm did not embarrass Messrs. Gammon & Deering, or in the least interfere with their works in Plano. Although the firm sustained heavy losses in consequence of Easter & Company's failure the territory which the latter firm held by contract reverts back to Gammon & Deering. This may yet prove a blessing in disguise. Messrs. C. W. & W. W. Marsh, of Sycamore, have taken hold of the reaper works of that place and will continue the manufacture of these machines.
Some ideas can be formed of the magnitude of this business by the following collated figures obtained from the Secretary of the Company, Mr. Lull.
The amount of machines manufactured this year will be as follows: Marsh Harvesters and Harvester Kings, 3,000; Easter machines rebuilt, 1,080; Automatic Crane Binders, 2750; Gammon & Deering Mowers, 1,500. Total number of machines made, 8,250. The amount of ash lumber used 1,000,000 board feet. The amount of pine lumber used 1,500,000 board feet. Making two and a half million board feet of lumber.
Sixteen hundred tons of pig iron and 800 tons of wrought iron are consumed for the machines of 1878. Four hundred tons of Lehigh coal, 150 tons of Blossburg, 200 tons of soft coal and 100 tons of coke are also required for this year.
The shops are now running night and day and employing a force of considerably over 400 men. The amount of wages paid annually is upwards of $130,000.
The management of our shops seems to be in competent hands. The firm has large interests in Chicago, yet Mr. Gammon resides in Plano and gives much of his time and personal attention to the business here. Mr. Robert H. Dixon is Superintendent. He has held this position for eight years satisfactorily to all parties. Elijah C. Fields is foreman of the woodworking department. Herman N. Kennedy is foreman in the iron working department, George Haiseldean in the paint shop, Franklin J. Coddington in the cutting, packing and shipping department and Hugh Ferguson in the foundry. All of these men are thoroughly familiar with their respective branches and have the confidence of their employers and the men in their divisions.
Mr. Frank H. Lull is the Secretary and Bookkeeper. He has very ably filled these positions for many years. We are indebted to him for much information.
Considerable talent has been developed since the building of the manufactory here, in the inventing of improvements. John F. Hollister, the oldest pattern maker here has done much toward the improvement of the Marsh in its early history. Two of the foremen, Messrs. Coddington and Kennedy, invented a device for adjusting the reel, also an endless elevator and other improvements, which have come into general use. J. F. Steward, who is still in the employ of the company, is the patentee of a wire twister, which is used on the Crane binder, on which he receives a royalty. Franklin J. Coddington is also the inventor of patent a chain elevator now used on the marsh. In addition to our agricultural works we have the following.
The leather manufactory is located near Steward's Park at the waterpower. Steward & Henning are proprietors of the tannery and have manufactured leather at this establishment since 1865, using hemlock bark. They make an excellent quality of harness and upper leather, which finds good sale throughout this section. They also make an excellent quality of "union," which resembles oak, and still retains all the qualities of first-class hemlock leather.
Benjamin F. Jacobs is Superintendent of this factory and has an interest in the profits. This establishment turns out about $30,000 worth of leather annually.
We have two firms here dealing in agricultural implements and the business is well worked up.
Henning & Ross have a large warehouse and sales room on Main Street, near the depot, which was built in 1877 at the time they commenced business. Prominent among the implements they are selling is the celebrated Millburn wagon, Watertown, NY, platform spring wagons and carriages fully warranted. They carry Furst & Bradley's plows and cultivators; Grand Detour plows; Fort Madison plows; the famous Knowlton corn plows; and Buckeye reapers and mowers. Last but not least, they handle the crowned prince of all machines the Marsh Harvesters, Harvester Kings, with the Automatic Crane Binder, and the Gammon & Deering mowers, the cheapest, lightest and most durable mower in existence. This firm is having splendid sales this season. Every patron who deals with them finds their representations always correct. They employ a canvasser who solicits, delivers and starts machines in the field. This firm is determined to not be undersold and are selling on very close margins.
Milo C. Dewey deals in agricultural implements and has a warehouse on Main Street. His is sole agent for the Rossow wagon, manufactured in Chicago. He keeps a full line of the most approved styles of farm machinery. He also sells salt by the barrel and Haish barbed fence wire. He deals in grain and livestock and pays the highest market prices. The hardware business has a good exponent in the trade.
Leonard "Owen" Lathrop commenced business in January 1872. Although burglarized several times, is doing a good business. He keeps a full line of shelf goods, notions, stoves, table and pocket cutlery, silver plated ware and a great variety of farming tools. He manufacturers all kinds of copper, tin and sheet iron ware. He keeps an experienced tinner, and supplies the people in this section with tin roofing and eave troughs at the lowest cash prices. He has the exclusive sale of Pitkin's celebrated prepared chemical paints, in all shades and colors.
W. E. Leonard is located on the south side and keeps tin and manufactured sheet ironware. He is one of the inventors of Leonard & Company's Patent Burglar Alarm recently patented.
Henning & Ross manage the lumber trade. They buy exclusively by the cargo from first hands. Thus they can give the consumer the advantage of the lowest cash prices. Their stock consists of all kinds of lumber, lath and shingles, sash, blinds and doors. They also carry hard and soft coal, salt, lime, cement and stucco, building paper, and Glidden's barbed fence wire. They are extensive dealers and shippers of grain and produce. They have a patented grain dump in their warehouse and pay the best prices for all kinds of cereals.
Christopher C. Rounds is one of the oldest coal dealers in our town. He has the best Vermillion coal on hand for delivery at the lowest prices. He will deliver to any part of the town. He runs a city dray and express wagon. He also supplies a bandwagon for picnics and celebrations. His office is with L. Owen Lathrop.
S. R. Sanderson, our oldest dry goods dealer here, commenced trade in 1870. He keeps a general stock of dry goods, notions, hats and caps, clothing and wallpaper. He is sole agent for J. Miller & Company's and M. Selz & Company's boots and shoes and Libby's fine shoes. All of which are fully warranted. The quality of the Miller boots and shoes have been thoroughly tested. Their value as honest goods is not overestimated. Mr. Sanderson occupies the brick store next to the post office on the north side of Main Street. He is a square dealer, has built up a satisfactory trade and offers special figures to cash customers.
Christopher Dirks our popular south side merchant, commenced business in Plano in 1873. He has been very successful in establishing a fine trade. He is located in Henning's brick block on John Street. His stock comprises all classes of goods usually found in a dry goods and notion store, including clothing, hats, caps, boots, shoes and wallpaper. He has the exclusive sale of the celebrated Finley fine shoes and Randall's home made boots and shoes. He takes all kinds of country produce in exchange for goods, for which he pays the highest prices. He offers special bargains for cash customers. A child will get as good a bargain as a grown person will. He is one of the closest buyers in the northwest and is determined not to be undersold. Customers who desire to make large bills will find it to their advantage to call on him.
Six grocery firms represent the grocery trade. Seirgn P. Applegate commenced business in 1861 and has continued in trade since that time. He is located in Cook's brick block. He keeps a fine line of choice family staples and fancy groceries, crockery, glass, wood and willow ware, and sells Bennett Geneva flour. He also deals in canned and fresh fruit and vegetables and makes cash trade a specialty.
Martin T. Green familiarly known as "Old Mart" is located in the Dixon Block row. He has been in trade since 1872. He keeps a full line of staple groceries, crockery, tobacco and cigars. He is sole agent for the Yorkville Mills choice family flour, which is fully warranted. He always has all the fresh fruits of the season, and enjoys a large patronage.
M. J. Moore, druggist and grocer, is located in Henning's brick block, on the south side. Mr. Moore keeps a full line of pure drugs and medicines and puts up prescriptions with great care and accuracy. He sells staple and fancy groceries, confectionery, cigars, tobacco, pocket cutlery, books, jewelry and notions, paints, oils, window glass and brushes. He has the exclusive sale of the Minnesota Patent Process Flour and other brands fully warranted. He delivers to any part of town.
Morris & Son are successors to Morris & Applegate. Samuel Morris commenced trade in 1874. He is located on the north side of Main Street. He keeps a full line of choice family groceries, crockery, glass and woodenware. They make a specialty of fine fruits, vegetables and canned goods. They are agents for Montgomery and Geneva brands of best family flour, which are fully warranted. They keep a delivery wagon for the benefit of their patrons.
Stephen Winans commenced business in Plano in 1857. He has remained in trade since that time excepting his three years and two month's service in the War of the Rebellion in the 36th Illinois Infantry Regiment. In connection with his grocery trade he has the only bakery in town. He supplies a large trade with their daily bread of the best quality. He has a full line of staple and fancy groceries, fruits, vegetables and canned goods. He sells the best brands of all kinds of winter and spring wheat flour. He also runs a delivery wagon. He is the only merchant now here who sold goods before the war.
Conrad F. Piper, our German grocery man, occupies his own building on the south side. He began his business in 1877 and sells exclusively for cash.
The millinery and fancy goods department is better represented than any other branch of business. Prominent among the dealers is Miss A. M. Smith who commenced business in October 1875. She is located on John Street, adjoining the Herald office on the south side. Her stock consists of every branch of millinery and fancy goods, and abounds in the latest styles. She also carries notions, dress trimmings, embroidery, white goods, jewelry, ladies and children's furnishing goods, parasols and Butterick's patterns. She has competent assistants, visits the markets every week, advertises very liberally and has built up a splendid trade by fair prices and honorable dealing.
Mrs. Loretta V. Pomeroy is also located on the south side, second door from the corner of John and Plain Streets. She commenced trade in spring 1877. Her stock is always replete with the most desirable styles of fashionable millinery and fancy goods. Her specialty is hair goods and hair work. White goods, notions and dress trimmings are always on hand. She also carries the celebrated domestic paper patterns. Her trade has been of a satisfactory character and daily increasing.
The Fashion Bazaar of which Mrs. Belle Gibbons is proprietor is located on Main Street, one door east of the post office. Her rooms are elegantly fitted up for a millinery and fancy store. She is constantly receiving fresh goods for increasing trade. Dressmaking, cutting and fitting is a popular branch of her business. She has the exclusive sale of the Ruscherche patterns. A full line of ladies' furnishing goods and dress trimmings will be found in her stock.
Cyrus H. Morris commenced trade in cabinet furniture in 1875. His store adjoins the Dixon house on Main Street. He keeps the best line of goods offered in Plano, and inferior to none in this section. A full supply of desirable articles is always on hand, including the best upholstered goods. Parlor and bedroom suites, spring, husk and wool mattresses, sofas, rockers and easy chairs are stocked. He makes undertaking a specialty and furnishes a good hearse for funerals. He keeps a nice spring delivery wagon and promptly attends to repairing and picture framing.
Charles N. Lawson opened a meat market in 187_. Since that time, his increasing trade necessitated building a more convenient shop. Last year he completed one of the neatest and best market places in the county. It is fitted up with refrigerators and all the appliances for keeping choice meats. He receives fresh fish from the lakes every Tuesday evening. His market is always supplied with all the varieties of meats the season affords.
The News Depot, so long owned by Andrew Colburn, recently changed proprietors. Cyrus H. Morris has taken charge of the business, which will be managed by his brother, John D. Morris. All of the leading daily papers will be obtained. They will carry the family story papers, magazines, periodicals, books of every kind, and sheet music on orders will be supplied promptly. Every effort will be made to furnish the public with everything desirable in the catalogue of readable matter. A full line of stationery of every variety, choice cigars and tobacco will also be carried. News Depot is in Dewey's block on Main Street.
There are two flouring mills in the vicinity of Plano. Lewis Steward's mill is just east of the corporation. Steward & McCullen now run it. They do both merchant and custom work. They manufacture superior flour and all kinds of feed. They supply a large home trade, besides shipping large quantities to other points.
John E. Turpin has been the proprietor of the Schneider gristmill for the past five years. He is proficient in the art of making fine flour. He has a good run of patronage on custom work in addition to his liberal trade in supplying merchant work. The mill has always enjoyed a good reputation. Its location is well known to the public, being one mile south of Plano.
Henry Pfingsten has the monopoly in the leather trade He has carried on his trade since 1872. He is one of the best workmen in the country. He makes the best-tanned leather and can furnish as handsome an outfit for the money as any dealer in this section. His harness shop is located on John Street.
William Lockwood is located on Main Street east of Clark's block. He is a young man and only recently commenced the harness trade in Plano. He has some good specimens of his skill on hand and is getting a liberal share of the trade. He keeps a good stock of trimmings and carriage and riding whips at reasonable prices.
Richard Randall's shop is at the rear of the Excelsior House. He has a splendid trade in hand made boots and shoes. He makes a specialty of fine sewed goods. Customers wanting first-class work should give him a call.
Medical & Dental Profession
The medical profession is well represented in our town by four able and skillful practitioners.
Dr. Daniel S. Jenks, our oldest physician, is one of the regular school. He graduated in Chicago Medical College in 1866 and has continued to practice since that time. He has been very successful as a practitioner and enjoys an extensive acquaintance as a first-class medical man. He is a member of the Fox River Medical Association and was President of the organization in 1875. He is also a member of the Illinois State and American Medical Associations. His office is at his residence on Main Street.
Dr. Isaac Eugene Bennett is of the regular school. He is a graduate of the University of Buffalo, New York, in 1872. He is a young practitioner but an excellent physician and surgeon. He has thorough knowledge of chemistry and is working into a good practice. He is a member of the Fox River Medical Association. His office is at Milo C. Dewey's and at his residence on the south side.
Dr. Ethan Allen came from Laporte, Indiana, to Plano the spring of 1874. He is a graduate of the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1874. He is a member of the Fox River Valley Eclectic Medical Society. During the four years he has practiced here he has established a fine practice and been very successful in the treatment of all kinds of diseases. He is well deserving of the popularity he has obtained. His office and residence is on the corner of Abe and James Streets, north side.
Dr. Frank H. Lord is of the regular school and graduated at Rush Medical College in Chicago, in 1874. He commenced practice in Plano during the same year. He is the youngest practitioner here but his ability and persistent energy has made him many friends in the medical profession. He has a fine practice in this vicinity. He has had marked success as a physician and surgeon. His practice is daily becoming more extended. He is a member of the Illinois State and Fox River Medical Associations. In connection with his practice he is the proprietor of the North Side Drug Store. He carries a full assortment of pure drugs and chemicals, notions, jewelry, silver plated goods and a full line of stationery. He has the only stock of schoolbooks in Plano. He keeps a general stock and makes a specialty of prescription trade.
Dr. David R. Pomeroy represents the profession of dentistry. His experience in this art has given him prestige and increased his business. He uses the celluloid plate, and the work he has done in this section is sufficient guarantee of his proficiency and skill. His office and residence is on Hugh Street, south side.
The mechanics in Plano outside of the shops are not so numerous. Among them we mention Samuel Faxon a contractor and builder in stone and brickwork. He is a first-class workman with many years of practical experience in this branch. He also does plain and ornamental plastering in superior style. The large amount of his work done in this section will speak for itself. His residence is on Clark Street, north side.
Christopher W. Beck is a first-class house painter. He does paper hanging and Kalsomining, and his charges are moderate. His residence is on Plain Street, south side.
Thomas Jefferson, a carpenter, joiner and contractor in woodwork is one of the best mechanics this section affords. He has built some of the finest structures in Kendall, DeKalb and Lee Counties to recommend his work. He resides on West Street.
Prominent among our mechanics is two young men, Lowe & Connelly, who are ornamental and sign painters. They make a specialty of carriage painting and scrollwork. They can do such work as well recommend itself. All of their work is warranted. No pay in advance is demanded. They opened their shop, which is on Jones Street between North and Main Streets, in 1875. They are both scroll painters in the Harvester works.
Although we have no national bank here, there are two houses, which do a banking business. Both are responsible and reliable firms. Steward & Henning's Bank is situated on the south side of Plain Street next door south of Gammon & Deering's office. They receive deposits and sell exchange on Aurora and Chicago. Edgar L. Henning is cashier and accountant. He can furnish you foreign exchange on short notice. They receive large deposits from the farmers, merchants and businessmen.
Milo C. Dewey does banking and exchange business and receives deposits from all classes. He sells exchange on Chicago.
Publishers & Printers
The Herald and Book Publishing House was established in 1860. It is located in Henning's block on the south side. Beginning in a small way it has now increased to its present proportions. In addition to its regular edition it does a large amount of job printing. The Herald is a semi-weekly religious newspaper, and the official organ of the Re-organized Church of Latter Day Saints. It has a circulation of 3,000 issues. This publishing company also publishes a children's paper, the Zion Hope, which has a circulation of 2,000. These papers are sent to every state and territory in the Union. Israel Lum Rogers is President, Henry Stebbins, Business Manager, and I. N. W. Cooper, Secretary of the publishing company.
Plano also has two weekly newspapers, which circulate throughout Kendall and neighboring counties. The Plano News, edited and published in Plano by Richard M. and Callie D. M. Springer, is published every Saturday. The Plano Mirror is edited in Plano and published in Yorkville every Thursday at the Kendall County Record office. The Plano Mirror has a circulation of 1,600. It is the best advertising medium in Kendall County. Politics are Republican. Avery Noyes Beebe is the local editor. Mirror offices are in Dewey's block.
The Union Light Guard Band of Plano was first organized in 1868. Although many changes have taken place it was never in a more prosperous condition than at present. Almond Brewster, now deceased, was the first leader and instructor. Elijah C. Field succeeded him. Since then, others have assumed the leadership. The band meets at their practice room in Cook's block Monday and Thursday nights for instruction and practice. They have a complete set of the most approved style of instruments. They can furnish excellent music for celebrations, festivals and parties at very reasonable terms. The following are the names of its members and the position assigned them in the band. F. P. Gaver, leader and instructor; John A. T. Newell, 1st B Flat coronet; James E. Fernley, 2nd B flat coronet; Edmund Marcy, 1st alto; Frank Bush, 2nd tenor; William H. Lawson, 1st tenor; Oscar E. Ervin, baritone; Charles D. Rounds, tuba; Kit "Carson" Hill, snare drum; William Hume, bass drum; George Briggs, Joseph Rube and Homer Crossman, practicing members; Charles D. Rounds, President, William H. Lawson, Secretary.
Mr. James Gilchrist, who controls a large territory in this section for the celebrated Wheeler & Wilson Sewing Machines, represents the principal sewing machine agency. He is doing a fine business and reports large sales each year. The new improved No. 8, family machine is very popular in this section and extensively used. The No. 6 is used in large factories for boot and shoe, and all other kinds of leatherwork. Messrs. Gammon & Deering are now using one of the original Wheeler & Wilson machines with the curved needle, the hook having been in use in this shop for 11 years, and still doing good work.
Not least important is the milk trade, which has grown into large proportions and a paying traffic. J. J. Hume whose dairy is on the east side of the Big Rock Creek is the oldest dealer in the business. He furnishes his numerous patrons with good rich milk delivered at their door early in the morning.
Nason M. Tenney, living one and a half miles north of the town owns the Homestead Dairy. He also dispenses milk of a rich quality to a large line of customers in Plano. It is due to our milkmen to state that the price of chalk and cold water has not advanced during their business career in our town.
The I. O. O. F. has a flourishing society in Plano, comprising about 60 members. The following are the recently elected officers: Orrin Burch, N. G.; John Earnest, V. G.; J. A. LaBrant, Secretary; and Cyrus H. Morris, Treasurer. Regular meetings are held every Tuesday evening. Lodge Hall is in the second story of Henning & Ross' agricultural building on Main Street.
The Masonic Lodge hall is located in Dixon block, over Sanderson's dry goods store. The Regular Communications of Sunbeam Lodge, F. & A. M., are first and third Saturday evenings of each month, and the annual meeting occurs in December. The following are the principal officers for 1878: George H. Carver, W. M.; Charles A. Getman, Secretary; and James B. Sherman, Treasurer.
Blacksmiths and Carriage Makers
Charles Johns is located on the corner of Main and James Street. He engages in the manufacture of wagons and carriages and attends to all repairing. He keeps a competent blacksmith and first-class horse-shoer. He is skilled in the art of painting and trimming carriages.
Corbin D. Zimmerman also has a blacksmith shop, which is located on Hugh Street. He is a number one workman and attends promptly to all that want good work in his line.
For nearly ten years Plano has been somewhat prominent as a place of rural resort, on account of the natural beauties of Steward's Park. The park has been fitted up with a smooth trotting course, and otherwise made so attractive to render it the most popular place for picnics, celebrations and other society meetings in this section. It has come in for a large share of attention as a public park.
Plano has two good hotels; both situated near the depot. The Dixon House is situated opposite the passenger depot. Its affable proprietor, Mr. George Goss, is always ready to administer to the comfort of his guest and boarders. He makes transient trade a specialty and has good accommodations for traveling companies. There is a large hall in connection with the House for lectures, shows and public exhibitions. Board is $1.50 per day.
The Excelsior House on the corner of Main and Plain Street has recently changed hands. Mr. Charles Flanders is the new proprietor. He has re-fitted the House and already has it full of boarders. He is fast making himself popular by his painstaking efforts to provide for the comforts of his guests and patrons. His hotel is near the shops and is a popular resort for mechanics as well as traveling men.
Real Estate & Loan Offices
In addition to the mercantile business we have a real estate and loan office here, of which Milo C. Dewey is the proprietor. He has had an experience of more than ten years in this branch. He is the first party making eight- percent loans. He makes this business a specialty and works for a reasonable commission. He will furnish any amount of ready money when the required security is offered. He loans in Kendall and adjoining counties. He has done more business in this line than any other agency outside of Chicago. Mr. Dewey is also agent for the White Star and Inman Ocean Steamer lines. He can furnish passage tickets to and from all foreign points.
Avery N. Beebe represents the celebrated Anchor Mail Line of ocean steamers with the largest sailing fleet on the ocean. The lowest rate fare is furnished to and from all points both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Plano has three churches, all of which are well supported and have good congregations. Each hold regular services at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. every Sunday. The Methodist Church and society is the oldest organization in the place. It has a membership of 135. Their church edifice was erected on the north side in 1856. Reverend W. H. Tibbals is the present pastor. He was placed in this charge at the last conference session.
The Methodist Sunday school is in session every Sabbath at 2:30 p.m., and has an average attendance of 200. Mr. A. L'Hommdieu is Superintendent. Earnest Kendall is Librarian with Miss Jencie E. Beebe, assistant.
The Baptist Church does not have a church of their own. They occupy the brown church, which was built by the Congregationalists. This society was organized in March 1876 under the most discouraging circumstances. Nevertheless it has succeeded and now has 40 members. Regular service is held each Sunday morning and evening at the usual hour. Reverend Lansing Steward, formerly of Brooklyn, New York had been its pastor since the date of its organization.
The Baptist Sabbath School hour is 12:00 p.m. and is conducted by David "Gordon" Graham, Superintendent. T. G. Steward is Secretary and Miss Hattie Bradley, Treasurer. Average attendance 100.
The Latter Day Saints Church is a substantial stone edifice on the south side erected since 1870. This society has about 150 members in Plano and vicinity. Church service is held Sabbath morning and evening at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Elder Joseph Smith pastor.
The Latter Day Saints Sabbath School is held every Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Frederick G. Pitt is Superintendent and Mrs. Amanda Hoagland, Librarian.
Times have been hard. The religious societies have had hard work to meet their expenses, yet they are all clear from debt and are in as prosperous condition as neighboring societies generally.
Among the most important of our home institutions are our public graded schools and educational facilities. They are considered inferior to none in this section, and are by far the best in Kendall County. They are divided into seven divisions. The following is a list of the teacher corps and the divisions to which they are assigned, and the number of terms taught.
Professor J. H. Ruston, Principal, 15 terms. Assistant, Miss Georgia A. Crawford, one term. Grammar Room, Miss Lizzie Jacobs, 12 terms. Second Intermediate, Miss Fannie Parsons, three terms. First Intermediate, Miss Mary Burns, three terms. Third Primary, Miss Angie Bean, six terms. Second Primary, Miss Lillie Webster, two terms. First Primary, Miss Lucy Wolcott, 11 terms.
The average attendance is 350. Yearly pay, $3,465. Annual cost of teaching per pupil, $10.00
The studies pursued in course are reading, writing, spelling, language, geography, composition, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, physiology, natural philosophy, zoology, botany, political economy, U.S. history, ancient history and civil government. Pupils passing satisfactory examinations in these studies graduate after 1878.
As will be seen, we have much the largest school and more teachers than any other does in the county. Pupils are carried further at the same or less expense. It is unquestionably a fact that there is more economy and advancement in a graded school than is possible in the district schools. Where pupils are classified there is an incentive to reach a higher division and therefore more rapid advancement. In viewing the progress of our public schools within the past few years, and noting the results the people of Plano have just reason to be proud of our school system and satisfied with the able Principal and assistants.
For the purpose of improving the stock in this vicinity, a stock breeding association was formed in Plano, in 1873, by Messrs. Lewis Steward, William T. Henning, J. W. Jacobs and Gilbert D. Henning. They visited Canada and other points and imported some fine thoroughbred horses. Among which were Young Lion, Clydesdale, Panic and Revenge. The results of this venture have been very satisfactory to the members of the association. The equine family in this region has been greatly improved in quality. The association now has three of the famous Clydesdales, four trotters, one horse of all work, one thoroughbred or running horse, and one Shetland pony, all for stock. They are now kept at Mr. Stewards Park barn. J. W. Jacobs is not now a member of the association.
Our town is supplied with two good livery stables. J. K. Bullock has recently rebuilt his stables in the rear of the Excelsior House. He has put in a windmill for water supply and now has one of the largest and best stables in this section. He offers an outfit of good horses and carriages, and the public can ride in good style at a moderate rate.
Robert Fralick is also competing for his share of public patronage, and keeps a well-regulated stable on West Street near the Dixon House. His good rigs can be had for reasonable rates.
One good artist is worth a dozen poor ones and Mr. J. S. Skinner is a credit to the profession and a first-class photographer. His rooms are on the corner of Main and James Street, where you can get everything in the line of his profession at the lowest price. His work is as well done as by any other artist. You need not go away from home to get good pictures.
John H. Smith represents another branch of this business. This segment embraces portrait painting in India ink, and French watercolors in every variety. He has employed a competent lady artist from the east, who executes in splendid style everything in the line. Old pictures are enlarged to life size and finished. All work is warranted. Their office is in Skinner's photo gallery.
Two good barbershops are in running order. You can get good work at either shop. Granville W. Young may be found adjoining Cook's block and William Reif in the basement of the Excelsior House.
Fire insurance is represented by three agencies. Milo C. Dewey has the American and Agricultural. John H. Smith is traveling solicitor for the American, Lycoming, PA, and an agent for the Phoenix, of Brooklyn, NY, and German, of Peoria, IL.
Dewey and Beebe have the old reliable Etna. Avery N. Beebe represents the Hartford, Home, New York, Phoenix of Hartford, and Continental of New York.
In 1863, Plano voted to be an incorporated town. During the session of the Legislature in 1864-5, a special charter was granted under which the town is now working. The corporate limits were made to extend three-eighths of a mile from the central point, the northwest corner of block No. 1, near where the town well, at Cook's block, is now located. Thus making the Corporation three-quarters of a mile square. Our charter and ordinances provide that five trustees shall be elected on the first Monday of December of each year, and a police magistrate once in four years. The trustees have the appointing power of all the minor officers. At the last corporation election, D. Gordon Graham, David R. Pomeroy, Isaac E. Bennett, Samuel Faxon and James F. Coddington were elected as trustees. Frederick G. Pitt was elected police magistrate. When the Board was organized, David R. Pomeroy was elected President and Samuel Faxon, Clerk. Orrin Burch was appointed Police Constable. James B. Sherman was appointed assistant Police Constable and Pound Master.
An indication of the intelligence of people is the newspapers and reading matter they receive. Calling on Mrs. Jane Eastman, our postmistress, who has very acceptably filled this position since 1870, we obtained some facts in relation to the Plano post office.
From 400 to 500 letters are handled and distributed from two mails each way. Mail is received at midnight and mid day. The number of patrons using lock drawers is 283. The number using glass front boxes is 196. Over 400 weekly papers are received. The postage on prepaid printed matter amounts to over $40 per month. The money-order business is comparatively large. Although there are two banks where exchange is bought, the money order business has reached $1,100 per week. The post office is one door east of Dixon Block, on Main Street.
The railroad business at our station shows well for the enterprise of the town. Our accommodating station and express agent, Thomas J. Beebe, has supplied us with a few figures. Freight revenue averages $6,000 monthly, and has reached $7,000 in a month. Ticket revenue is over $5,000 annually. Telegraph business during the busy shipping season averages $70 per month.
The impression has gained current in some localities outside of Plano, that ours is a "Mormon town," and that this class of people contemplates removing from Plano back to Nauvoo, or some other place, and thus depopulates our town. We refer to this matter simply for this reason. People in the near vicinity of Plano do not credit this absurdity. Those from a distance, not acquainted with the facts, are quite liable to be misled by a wild rumor. The Latter Day Saints, commonly called Mormons, are a peaceable, respectable, and law-abiding community. Among them may be found very intelligent and excellent people. In addition, this class does not constitute more than one-seventh of the population of Plano.
Our town has, after many severe struggles become a temperance town. It has no licensed liquor saloons within our corporate limits. To those who are looking for a healthy locality, with the best schools, good churches and societies, plenty of employment for the laborer and artisan, and a town filled with intelligent and enterprising people, we say, come and reside with us.