Peoria County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

Peoria County Businesses


Brass Founders and Coppersmiths

-Kinsey & Mahler, 400 S. Adams Street, stand at the head of this line of business in the city. The business was established in 1850, and has been conducted for 18 years under the present firm name. They manufacture all kinds of brass and copper goods, distillery and brewery supplies, such as stills, worms, etc. Worked up last year about 25 tons brass and about 12 tons copper, and keep an average of 20 hands employed. Did a local business last year of about $120,000. In addition to what is manufactured, the firm keep a full line of gas fixtures and plumber's material, and also handle extensively iron pipe for steam heating purposes.

Simpson & McGlinn, 228 S. Adams Street, has been in business 10 years, and manufacture all kinds of brass and copper work, for distillery and other purposes. Employ about 10 workmen the year through, and did a business of about $20,000 during the past year. Their stock, etc., is worth about $5,000.

Carriages, Buggies and Wagons

- Geo. PFEIFFER, Jr., 532 to 538 S. Adams Street, has been in business since 1868, and manufactures more wagons and buggies than any other maker in the city. He employs about thirty-five hands and conducts in addition a large livery business. Turned out last year about $52,000 worth of work, and has invested in plant and stock about %50,000. He manufactures exclusively for the home trade.

- D.L. Bigham & Co., 115 to 119 N. Washington Street, have carried on for the last seven or eight years a business established over thirty years ago, at the same location. Employ about twenty-five workmen, and have one traveling salesman during the season. Their business last year amounted to about $40,000, and their stock will run about $18,000.

- Christian GENTES, 115 to 117 Fulton Street, has during the past year conducted a business which was established in 1865. Employs about seven hands, and does an almost exclusively local trade.

- There are several other firms in the city in this line of business, manufacturing principally for the local trade. Among them are the following:

G.W. Smith's Sons, 305 Fulton Street
Johnson & Dalton, 1210 S. Adams Street
Wm. Hupe, 211 Bridge Street
John Schroder, 203 Bridge Street
Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]


- William HUGHES 600 N. Jefferson, has been engaged in business as cooper, at the same location for thirty-five years, and manufactures every kind of barrel that can be made out of elm and oak. Has a general average of thirty hands at work through the year, and thinks about 500,000 staves would be a fair average of his yearly business.

- Hutchinson & Madigan, 104 Henry Street, have been in business about seven years, and manufacture all kinds of barrels. They employ about forty-five men, and do an average yearly business of about 300,000 staves. All the barrels they make are sold in the city.

- Dudley & Mosher, South Water Street, near Lisk, have been established in business about three years and manufacture principally for local distillers. Carry a stock worth about $3,000, give employment to about twenty-five hands, and estimate their average annual business at about 365,000 staves.

- Coopers Union No. 2 -- This shop is located near the foot of Water Street and gives employment to an average of eighteen hands. It has been in existence about eight years, manufactures principally iron bound barrels, and does an average yearly business of about 250,000 staves.

- John ZIMMERMAN, whose shop is on S. Water Street, near Woolner's Distillery, has been in business for five or six years, employs about fifteen hands, and does a yearly business of about 300,000 staves.

- Nixon & Co., employ an average of twenty-two hands, and use about 350,000 staves a year.

- J.M.M. JOYCE on N. Washington Street, near Fayette, employs about ten hands, and does a good business.

In addition to those mentioned there are quite a large number of smaller shops scattered through the city, doing a local business and affording employment to anywhere from three to ten men each.

Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]

Printers, Binders, and Blank Book Makers

-J. W. Franks & Sons, 210 and 121 Main Street, have been in business since 1874, do a large and increasing trade and have the best facilities for doing all kinds of book and job printing of any firm in that business in State, outside of Chicago. They have, besides job work, printed and bound 40,000 volumes during the past year, among them the histories of Tazewell and Fulton counties. They do a great deal of edition work, and have now on hand six different books in process of publication. Their establishment occupies five floors, and gives employment to thirty-five hands. Over 50,000 pounds of book paper and $1,500 worth of gold leaf, were used last year.

- N.C. NASON, 402 S. Adams Street, has been established in the printing business in this city for twenty-six years, and is the founder of the Daily Transcript. Does a large job business, necessitating the use of steam power to run his presses.

- H.S. HILL, corner of Washington and Fulton Streets, has been in the business for twenty-five years, employs an average of sixteen hands, and has facilities for doing all kinds of printing, except the coarser kinds of poster work. His establishment occupies two floors; his paper bill runs about $500 per month, and his business last year amounted to about $25,000. The daily Peoria Commercial Report, for the Board of Trade, is printed by him.

- There are also many other printing offices in the city, exclusive of newspaper offices, among them the following:

Wm. Cox & Co., B. Creamer & Co.
W.B. Deleplaine, Elderkin & Co.
Lauren & Wiltz, Rouse & Hardin, Singer Bros.
Wolf, Bros & Wolfram
Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]

Paper Boxes

- Benjamin FOSTER, 111Main Street, has been engaged in the manufacture of paper boxes for about eight years. He makes all kinds of boxes for holding candy, starch, buttons, etc., etc., and uses about thirty-five tons of paper annually. Did a business last year of about $7,500, and employs an average of ten hands.

Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]

Crackers and Confectionery

-Kellogg & Davis, corner Sixth and Franklin Streets, have been in business since 1867, but the manufacture of their goods was commenced at that location some fifteen years previous. The factory is three stories high and built of brick; has all the latest improved machinery for kneading, baking, etc., with a capacity of thirty barrels of flour per day. At present they are using fifteen barrels of flour per day (making sixty barrels of crackers) and 1,500 pounds of sugar. Their goods are principally sold in Illinois and Iowa. An average of thirty hands are employed and three traveling men are constantly on the road. The stock runs about $15,000, and the business last year amounted to about $150,000.

-Harsch Brothers, 310 and 312 S. Washington Street, have been established ten years, and conduct a large business. They manufacturer all kinds of crackers and confectioneries, using about a ton of sugar daily, and making about 360 barrels of crackers a week. All of their goods are sold in Illinois. Their business last year amounted to about $130,000, and they carry a stock of about $20,000. In their factory and store, twenty-nine hands are employed, and two traveling men are always on the road.

Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]

Peoria Plating Works

- These are the only plating works in the city, and were established in the latter part of 1878. They are located at 402 South Adams Street, and are under the management of J. S. DUNLAP. The enterprise is a local one, and bids fair soon to become one of considerable importance. All kinds of silver plated goods are manufactured, and they also do electrotyping in gold, nickel, bronze, etc. The works have a capacity of 25 ounces per hours, and a dynamo electric machine is used in the depositing room. Two floors are occupied and nine workmen are presently employed. The business last year amounted to about $5,000 and is increasing rapidly, has in fact doubled every six months since the start. A stock of about $3,000 is carried, and three traveling agents employed constantly. Considerable replating is done, and any pattern in flat or hollow ware can be duplicated. At present rate of business the works are turning out fifty full tea sets a year, besides hundreds of knives, forks, spoons and other small articles. Their trade is almost all in Illinois, with occasional and increasing orders from adjoining States.

Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]

Peoria Pottery Company

- This industry was started in Peoria in 1860 by the American Pottery Company who principally manufactured white ware. The present company consists of George WOLFE, Austin F. JOHNSON, and Mrs. Lydia BRADLEY, and has been in existence eight or ten years. It makes a specialty of fine glazed stone ware, such as milk pans, jugs, jars, etc., which are moulded in plaster of paris moulds, thus securing great regularity of size, shape and thickness; also manufacture vase quantities of flower pots, both plain and fancy in shape. Many of the fancy pots are from original designs, and others from the best imported designs. The finer class of goods manufactured are decorated by skilled and highly paid workmen. Experiments have recently been made in the manufacture of majolica with excellent results, and the company hope soon to make its manufacture a prominent item of their business. Four large kilns are in use for baking the pottery, round in shape, and with a diameter of sixteen feet inside. The foundations for another kiln have been laid, and it will be built and made ready for use in the coming Spring. An idea of the extent of the works may be gathered from the fact that it has a capacity for turning out 30,000 gallons of milk pans, jugs, etc., or 300,000 flower pots per week. An average of fifty hands are employed the year round. Fifteen tons of coal are used per day. The clay used comes by rail from Scottsburg, in McDonough county, in this State, and is of superior quality. Of this, 9,000,000 pounds per annum are used. This clay is also capable of making a very fine brick, and thousands are annually made at the pottery, both in the shape of the plain fire brick, and as boiler tile and cupola brick. The works cover five acres of ground, and use every foot of it, and the main building is 280x190 feet. Upwards of $25,000 is annually paid out for labor, and the works have been in steady operation during the last five years, never missing over a day at a time, and then only through some misadventure. Two traveling men are constantly on the road, and the goods are sold in every State and Territory in the Union, outside of the New England States. The opposition this company has to contend with is from small competitors, and in the matter of price only, as the quality of goods here manufactured, can not be surpassed anywhere. This is the largest pottery for the manufacture of fine glazed stone ware in America. Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]

Sash, Doors, Blinds, Etc.

- Wm. Truesdale & Sons, corner of N. Water and Fayette Streets, have been established since January, 1852, and do a very extensive business. They employ an average of forty hands, and did a business last year of about $100,000. Their workshop is 168x80 feet in size, with a height of three stories on river side. The warehouse, containing the office, manufactured goods, and rooms for glazing, etc., is 100x60 feet, and two stories high. They do a great deal of jobbing trade, and used last year about 1,000,000 feet of lumber. No traveling men are kept, as all the goods they can manufacture can be sold without them.

- H.A. BUSH, 716 S. Washington Street, has also been some time in the trade, and is doing an increasing business.

Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne]



- We find manufactories in existence here under this head as early as 1844. Among the first was the firm of Aiken & Sutton, who were located at the head of the quay on Water Street. They manufactured patent shingles. The first door, sash and blind factory of which there is a record was established about 1850, under the name of the Peoria Sash Factory, superintended by a Mr. Piper. About this time Charles S. Paine also established a factory on Water Street. In 1856, we find Bramble & Barr in Business on Washington Street, between Hamilton and Fayette; Charles Ulrichson, on Water Street, between Walnut and Chestnut; and William Truesdale, on Water Street at the foot of Fayette. Mr Truesdale continued in business for a number of years, the concern later being known as the Truesdale Manufacturing Company, which, at that time, was one of the principal mills in the line in Central Illinois. At the present time, we note the following concerns doing business; Bush Brothers Manufacturing Company, 1717 South Washington Street; The Garside Manufacturing Company, Washington, at the corner of Oak Street; Todhunter & Alfs, 210 Walnut Street; and the Wahlfeld Manufacturing Company, 1101-1109 South Washington Street.  [from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Peoria County, Volume II, 1902- submitted by Dennis Devault]

Founders and Machinists

- Nicol, Burr & Co., corner South Water and Walnut Streets, have for the past fifteen years conducted the business established about the year 1855 by William Peters They at present do much the largest business in this line in the city, and have about forty-five hands in steady employ. During the past year they constructed the two engines and other machinery of the Monarch Mills, and much of the machinery for the Peoria Sugar Refinery. Last year's business amounted to about $75,000.

- O'Rorke & Co., corner Maple and Washington Streets, are proprietors of the Washington Foundry, which was started in 1868 on the cooperative and joint stock plan. Mr. O'Rorke has bought out the other interest, and now conducts the business himself. An average of ten hands are employed , and about three hundred tons of castings are annually made. They claim to make the best castings in the West. Value of building, etc., about $10,000.

- Mosher & Armstrong, 830 South Washington Street, carry on business as machinists, and do considerable repair work. They have been in business about five years, employ nine hands, and did a business last year of about $10,000.

- Adam LUCAS, 211 Fulton Street, has been established in business for twenty-three years. He for many years manufactured safes, but at present makes supports for buildings and iron railing. Employs seven hands, and did last year a business of about $8,000.

Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]

File and Rasp Cutter

- Louis STEIER, 610 S. Washington Street, has been established in the city for over ten years, and is the only file cutter in the county. Manufactures all kinds of files and rasps, and disposes of them almost exclusively in Illinois and Indiana. He does a business of from $8,000 to $10,000 a year.

Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]


- David ROWAN, 132 N. Adams Street conducts a business that was established some eight years ago, and became sole proprietor about seven months ago.
Employs an average of eight hands, manufactures about 2,000 trunks and 1,500 satchels annually, carries a stock of about $5,.000 and does an average yearly
business of about $14,000.

Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]

Stove Foundry

- The Challenge Stove Works, owned and operated by Cutter & Procter, are on corner of N. Water and Fayette Streets. All kinds of cooking and heating stoves are here manufactured, giving employment to about one hundred hands. The works have been established for about fifteen years. Three traveling men are kept constantly on the road pushing the sale of the goods, the bulk of which is sold in the States of Illinois, Missouri and Iowa.

Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]

Sheet Steel Workers

- J.J. STEIGER, 213 to 217 Harrison Street, has been engaged in the manufacture of saws, sickles, sickle sections, moulding bits, etc., since 1855, and has about $15,000 invested in his business. He employs on an average ten hands, and his goods are sold all over this western country. His yearly business amounts to about $8,000.

Source: History of Peoria 1880.[Transcribed by: Yvonne! Thanks Yvonne]









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