TOULON

A Pen and Ink Sketch of the Town and Surroundings

THE UNDEVELOPED WEALTH OF STARK COUNTY

FACTS AND FANCIES RELATIVE TO TOULON AND ITS BUSINESS MEN

Transcribed and Donated by Karen Seeman

    Nearly every county in the State of Illinois can make a greater exhibit of area and population than can Stark.  Few, however, present within themselves more that is of interest to capitalists.  Surrounded on all sides by larger counties with denser population, and boasting more prominent towns, Stark does not, however, content itself with groping along in the dark, but aided by enterprise and capital, the open sesame to distinction, it challenges attention and is aiming to create a distinctive reputation for itself.

    In such an effort the News is only too glad to co-operate, and if the following columns serve their intended purpose we shall be content.  That purpose is to attract here those who desire to create for themselves homes and competencies, artisans, mechanics, tradesmen--men who are willing to work for instead of dreaming of success--men who with labor-hardened hands take hostage of the future.

    The purpose is certainly a praise worthy one, let us hope that it will succeed.

    Until last year little attention was paid to this section of country.  Toulon, the county seat, had no railway outlet, and the surplus of grain and stock found but an indifferent market here.  The vast net work of railways that permeated almost every other section of the country seemed to ignore this place, and the reason, perhaps, is not difficult to find.  The C. B. & Q. with a line from Peoria to Galesburg and the Buda branch were jealous of any corporation that should desire to traverse the rich agricultural country between the Illinois and the Mississippi, while the Peoria and Rock Island were also jealous -- Years ago a charter was granted a road from Peoria to Rock Island but the scheme miscarried and for years lay dormant -- The Peoria & Rock Island company was formed and virtually acted as administrator of the defunct corporation.  The necessity for a road was felt along the proposed  line -- a road which should open up an incalculable wealth of coal and of grain, and it was built.  That road has given Toulon what it most needed, railway facilities; it diffused new life into the town, and as a natural sequence we find it to day in a condition favorable to future growth and development.

    Prior to 1871 the town could claim nothing for itself except the almost barren fact that it was county seat.  To-day it can with truth lay claim to being the natural depot of supplies of the whole county -- the natural market for the whole county.

    Toulon in itself is briefly described:  A place of about 1400 inhabitants, without manufactures, but surrounded by a fertile country.  That would be a simple brief statement of fact, but not all the facts, and, besides, there are some deductions to be drawn.

    Stark county possesses a natural wealth that, developed, must make an important town of its capital.  The topography of the county is that peculiar to prairie, slightly undulating, here and there traversed by  small streams -- Indian Creek, Spoon River and Walnut Creek being the most important -- with small belts of timber scattered throughout the county and especially along the margin of water courses.  The soil is a rich loam, made richer by the decaying vegetation of centuries, and yielding large returns of corn, oats and rye in return for comparatively little labor.  From Toulon go which way you will and the same picture presents itself, and at this season of the year framed in the rich golden tints of Autumn, it is very beautiful.

    Orchards abound on every hand, fields of corn stretch away far as the eye can see, until the beholder would almost believe this the granary and store house of the world.  Neat cottages and fair outbuildings adorn the landscape, and the view taken all in all is a pleasing one.

    So much for the surface.  Beneath is another element of wealth no less potent in attracting attention than rich fields, orchards and vineyards.  In the entire eight townships composing the county there are deposits of coal that must, ere long, become valuable.  Now they are worked to but little extent comparatively, but that will not always be.  The presence of these coals however betoken a new era in the history of this county.  It is destined to be productive in more senses than one.  Not only can it support a large population but it can export largely of the cereals.  With these coal beds developed will come manufactures, attracted by cheap fuel and cheap labor, and the air will resound with the music of machinery.  It may not come in our day -- that depends upon the people themselves -- but it will surely in time.  It is a flat of fate, inexorable  -- a flat, the execution of which, the citizens of Toulon had best hasten, as rapidly as possible.

    The town is increasing its trade largely, and yet it is really behind the country which sustains it.  There has never been a speculative, unhealthy growth of the place, and those who wish to engage in the work of building up a town with all the odds in its favor, will find that

"The rudiments of empire here, Are plastic yet and warm."

    Toulon needs manufactures.  We can as yet make but a beggarly exhibit -- a woolen mill, a flouring mill, and three wagon shops.  There is not a foundry or machine shop in the county, unless it be one small repair shop. We need here a planing mill that shall also manufacture sash, doors and blinds.  With an abundance of black walnut near at hand there is no furniture factory, properly speaking.   With a county that annually imports thousands of dollars worth of plows, reapers, threshers, mowers, horse hay rakes, cultivators, separators, etc., there is not an agricultural implement made in the town.

    Perhaps some fault lies with the people; if by forming a joint stock company for the manufacture of one or more of these articles they would set the ball in motion; others would be attracted.

    Stark County and Toulon are now feeling the vigor and strength born of railway enterprise.  This vigor and strength is in its first flush.  It is buoyant, hopeful, and may be worked to good advantage.  If the opportunity is not embraced there will as certainly come depression in exact inverse ratio to the expectancy of to-day.  There are thousands of notable instances to be cited in the older states in proof of this assertion and we hardly believe that those who have lived here during the past five and twenty years would willingly undergo even approximate experiences.  Longfellow's verse:

"In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!"

is as applicable to communities as it is to individuals.

    Toulon offers, besides the advantages we have named, a healthful location, good society, good schools and ample church privileges.  Next summer a High School building will be erected at a cost of about $20,000, and no pains will be spared to minister to the mental needs of the youths of the town.

    The town itself is a pleasant place.  There is sufficient undulation to give fair natural drainage.  The plat is a regular one, the streets crossing each other at right angles.  The railway skirts upon the north and far enough away to relieve the business streets from the confusion, and noise, and danger induced by passing trains.

    The principal business is mercantile, grain and stock.  Maine Street, the chief thoroughfare, has an east and west course, and bounds the Public Square upon the north.  In the center of this square is the Court House, a substantial brick structure, equal to the wants of the county for a long time yet.  The business blocks are chiefly frame, two stories, but the action of Mrs. Culbertson in building the fine block now being finished, will doubtless stimulate others to do likewise and it is reasonable to hope that hereafter a more substantial order of architecture will prevail.

    Throughout the town there are numerous very attractive  residences, but some of the streets stand much in need of grading and are sadly deficient in sidewalks.  These objectionable features will doubtless soon be remedied.

    The churches are all of creditable appearance; there are five -- First and Second Baptist, Methodist, Christian and Congregationalist, and reflect credit upon the place.  They are neatly finished and comfortably seated and afford every reasonable opportunity for worship.

    Two newspapers are published here:  the News and New Era.  Though differing essentially in political creed they are united in the laudable work of advancing the interests of the town, and are accomplishing good.  Both receive a liberal support from the community, and well deserve it.

    Two good hotels offer their attractions to the traveling public -- the Virginia and Toulon House.  Masonic and Odd Fellow Orders flourish here.  Indeed there are here all the component parts of a city, only needing to be magnified a few fold.

    In behalf of the citizens of Toulon we can say this to anyone whose attention may be attracted hitherward by this hastily written review of the town and its trade:  Come, and you will be warmly greeted.  If a merchant you will meet with a generous competition; if a mechanic you will receive a hearty support.  Come and see for yourselves that this is a pleasant place in which to rear a family and in which to pass one's declining days.  Come and see if it is not a capital opening for energy or capital.

    And now we present some personal allusions to those who are the representative business men of Toulon to-day.  As a body none will be found more honorable, more public spirited.  Wherever we may have paid a compliment we have felt it to be deserved.
 
 

SAM'L BURGE & CO.

as conservators of the monied interests of town are given this prominent place in our sketch of the town and its business because it is rightfully theirs.   The bank which they operate has conferred decided good upon the community and continues to do, and it certainly is but right that a small decree of merited praise should be bestowed when so well deserved.  The Bank had its origin with Sam'l M. Dewey, Mr. Burge subsequenlty becoming a partner, remaining such until Mr. D's death in 1868.  Afterward he assumed entire control of affairs, and in 1870 Mr. D. J. Walker was admitted a partner, he now being the "Co." of the firm.  Mr. Burge is also senior member of the dry goods house of Burge & Co., of which we speak elsewhere.  Mr. Walker came here in 1869 from Iowa.  Since then and until entering the Bank almost all his time has been occupied as Deputy County Clerk.  The active management of the details of the Bank are with him (Mr. B having a sort of a supervisonary management) and by nature and business education he seems well adapted to the post -- sometimes both ardurous and delicate.  The Bank is in a very prosperous condition, having a line of deposits averaging from $40,000 to $75,000 and about $40,000 discounts and loans.  Its management has always inspried confidence, and its sphere of usefulness is by no means yet filled.
 
 


BURGE & CO.

is the well known style of one of our most prominent business firms, comprising Sam'l Burge, C.H. Burge and E.A. Burge, their co-partnership dating from last October.  The senior member is also connected with the Exchange Bank, of which we have already spoken.  He has been a resident of the town for the last 16 or 17 years, commencing his mercantile career here as a clerk for his uncle, Samuel M. Dewey, and afterward becoming a partner with him both in merchandise and banking.  Three years ago he abandoned general trade, only to resume it, however two years later.  Messrs. C.H. and E.A. Burge, brothers, and cousins to Sam'l Burge, came here from Missouri, although originally from New Hampshire, to enter trade.  They had previously been engaged in farming, but seem to have adapted themsevles perfectly to the ways of the mercantile world; indeed their native energy and industry will win for them favorable position anywhere.  Both give their whole time to the business which has reached large proportions; a well merited compliment to the firm and their mode of doing business.  Their trade is quite general in its character, necessarily so, embracing dry goods, notions, boots and shoes, clothing, hats, caps, and groceries, and a considerable quantity of butter and eggs is also handled.  The house has won the esteem of the purchasing community; it is founded upon a safe, sure basis, and is managed by three gentlemen of acknowledged ability, all of whom are young  men -- that is, decidedly on the sunny side of life.  The News tenders them congratulations upon the success thus far achieved, and hopes the past year may but prove an index of the future.
 
 

BEN. O. FOLLETT

is another of our active business men; one who has in seven years attracted a trade of large and increasing proportions; one that has by no means as yet reached the full extent of its growth.  Mr. Follett like the majority of the business men of Toulon, is a young man.  He came here in 1865 from Chillicothe, O., and soon after commenced business in partnership with his uncle Jno. Culbertson, since deceased.  During the last three years he has been alone.  For years Mr. Follett has been annoyed by the inconvenience of his quarters; they were too small, and gave little chance to display his goods.  This will not be cause of complaint, however, after the 1st of December, for he will then take possession of the finest store room in Stark county, now being built by Mrs. Follett.  The building is of brick 72 x 82 feet, 2 stories high, the 2d floor being designed as a public hall.  The first Floor will be occupied by Mr. F.  It will be finished in a very attractive manner, and will afford every facility he could wish.  The building contains a fire proof  vault -- the only one in the county, and it is highly probable that Mr. Follett will engage in banking in the spring in connection with his other business.  With the completion of this building will come, we hope, a new era in the history of Toulon and that others will follow suit, supplying the wooden shells on Malo Street with substantial brick structures.  Upon occupying his new quarters Mr. Follett will largely increase nearly all lines of goods, especially in carpetings, and though in such snug quarters we don't believe he will be a bit less pleased to see his old friends who have stood by him in the old establishment.
 
 



JAMES NOWLAN & CO.

Are wielding a large power in the commercial world of Stark county, and are well deserving of being classified among the representative business men of Toulon.  The firm embraces four brothers, James, Henry, George and Joseph, though the active management is with the first and third named.  Their co-partnership was formed a year ago last July, at that time succeeding to the old established house of P. & J. Nowlan, formed in 1850 we believe.  Mr. James Nowlan is a native of Massachusetts, but came to Stark county when a mere boy; the other brothers were born here.  All have made farming more or less their business, and Henry and Joseph are still engaged in that pursuit, varying it with teaching during the long winter months.  During the many years that have passed since the establishment of this house it was always commanded the good will of the people, and this fact is daily evinced by their large and increasing business.  Trade in Toulon is not very well classified, so in common with the other dry goods houses the Messrs.  Nowlan are compelled to carry a very general stock embracing nearly everything but hardware.  Their trade is largely derived from the country; and the old stand, corner Main and Franklin Streets, has been the Mecca of many a pilgrimage.  We have found the members of the firm courteous and attentive and believe they are not lacking in public spirit.

    Under the same roof but in another room is the millinery and fancy goods store of two well known ladies, the firm name being N. & E. S. Nowlan.  Their enterprise was inaugurated on the 1st of April last, and has already passed beyond the experimental stage and become a reality.  It is an enterprise that should succeed, and the ladies conducting it have our warmest wishes for success.
 
 

W. S. MERRIMAN

Has been busily engaged during the past 22 months in demonstrating the fact that those most ready to prophecy failure are not gifted with prophetic vision.  In other words, nearly two years ago he bought out a grocery store that had been completely "run into the ground."  His effort was to resurrect it and make it a pecuniary success.  How far those efforts have been successful is well known to this community, and today there is not a house in town upon a better footing or with better credit than his.  Major Merriman is something of a cosmopolite.  He has always paddled his own canoe and generally among strangers; has seen the ups and downs of life, but now is evidently one of the fixtures of Toulon.  In 1861 he was living in Bureau county.  He was among the first to enter the army, joining the 12th infantry as a private soldier.  He was a stranger to all, without influence, and served with the regiment four years and three months.  By his own merit he received promotion passing from one grade to another, and when mustered out wore the uniform and straps of a Major.  Subsequently he was appointed revenue assessor at Princeton and from there he came here for three years previous to engaging in business occupying his time in farming.  His capital was comparatively small 22 months ago and there were a thousand obstacles in the way of success, but he has triumphed over them all.  His personal popularity as well as punctuality in all business matters has accomplished this result, and as the years roll by we hope he may gather new mercantile laurels.
 
 

DAVIS & RHODES

Are engaged in the Hardware, Stove and Tinware trade, and if appearances are indicative of anything, they are and have been transacting a very prosperous business.  The firm comprises D. J. Davis and John F. Rhodes, and has been in operation a little over two years, succeeding to the house of Nicholas & Davis. Mr. Davis is from Portage county, Ohio, coming to this State in 1864, and since then until commencing trade here, has chiefly been engaged in teaching.  His partner, Mr. Rhodes, is a native of this vicinity, and is now at Duncan in charge of a branch establishment there, one that the firm organized a couple of months ago.  It, like the parent house, is doing well.  The establishment here is well suited to the needs of town, carrying a full line of hardware, a large variety of stoves and tinware, besides the thousand and one things one naturally expects to find in such a place.  Agricultural implements are also handled, and in the rear of the sales room is a well equipped shop for the manufacture of tinware and general jobbing.  The business is presided over by a pleasant, courteous gentleman, and is, in every respect a credit to the town.
 
 

JOSEPH WALTHER

Is the pioneer in the furniture business in Toulon.  Mr. Walther came here 18 years ago from Ohio and established a small cabinet shop.  He was not overburdened with cash capital but he had confidence in himself, and he fought it out on this line, and, to his credit be it said, in a successful manner.  Business has grown very much since 18 years ago, and he now occupies two buildings, one as a repository for upholstered work and fine setts, the other for more common stock, coffins and shop room.  His undertaking business is also large.  He manufactures a general line of bureaus, tables, sofas, secretaries, coffins, &c., and will execute any order.  Until within the last few years Mr. Walther worked at the bench most of the time; now he takes things a little easier, and finds his time occupied with a general supervision of the business.  He has done well and no one can envy him.
 
 

H.Y. GODFREY & HOADLEY & CRAWFORD,

Although not in partnership, find their interests identical, and consequently operate together.  Their trade is wagon and carriage making in all its branches; a business which they are well fitted to conduct as all the parties are practical men, Mr. Godfrey being a wood workman and Hoadley and Crawford blacksmiths.  Mr. Godfrey is an old resident of town, he has lived here 20 years or more and has been in this trade constantly.  The co-partnership between Messrs. Hoadley & Crawford was formed less than one year ago.  The combined establishments are well adapted to the business, have recently been materially enlarged; one building -- the woodwork and paint department -- being 18 x 50, two stories high, blacksmith shop 20 x 30 and lumber shop 16 x 82.  These facilities give the proprietors decided advantages, and they propose to improve them.  Hereafter more attention will be paid to carriage work, and from 50 to 70 new jobs will be turned out each year, while each department, as heretofore, will attend to repair work.  The well known skill of the gentlemen named insures their sucess, at least they will leave no honorable effort untried to achieve it, and we believe Toulon through them will acquire an enviable reputation for its carriage manufactures.
 
 

    WM. CHAMBERLAIN, M.D.,

Is another of the old citizens of town, having come here in 1845 from Rock Island.  Medicine was his profession, and he has constantly followed it since.  In 1854 he established his drug store and has combined that with his practice.  A clever, accomplished , and social gentleman; few would be willing to spare the Doctor from the business or professional circles of town.
 
 

G. W. NICHOLAS

Is another of those for whom agricultural pursuits have no attractions, and who, though educated to plant, sow and reap, forsake the old-time ways and launch upon the sea of mercantile affairs at the first favorable opportunity.  We cannot blame them, either.  Merchants -- real merchants, like poets, are born not made, and they will find their proper sphere of action sooner or later, no matter what interferes to prevent.  Mr. Nicholas, although a young man, is an old resident of the county, having lived in it nearly 18 years.  Previous to five years ago he was engaged in farming near Wyoming, and still owns a valuable tract there, but in 1865 his soul yearned after the flesh pots of Egypt as illustrated  by trade and accordingly came here and opened out a hardware and stove trade.  This he continued until two years ago last March when he made a change of base and forsaking hardware embarked in dry goods and general merchandise.  Competition has been very active, not only here but in neighboring towns, yet, notwithstanding this, he has built up an excellent trade.  The only disadvantage friend Nicholas labors under is, he hasn't sufficient store room in which to display his stock, which is large and comprises everything in the general merchandise line.  His trade has been largely influenced by his personal popularity, but the real secret of his success is in giving value received -- a QUID PRO QUO for every dollar.  Like the majority of our business men Mr. Nicholas is a young man, energetic, and willing to do all in his power to promote the best interests of his chosen home.
 
 

J. B. COOLEY

Is the leading manufacturer of boots and shoes in town.  His trade, like many others here, small at first, has felt the favorable effects of time and reputation has now reached proportions well worthy of mention in this exhibit.  Mr. Cooley came here six years ago from Fayette county, Pennsylvania.  For one year he worked as a journeyman and then commenced business for himself.  Now he gives employment to two men and annually does a good trade both in manufacturing and repair work. Mr. Cooley is a thoroughly practical man, and he evidently believes in the dignity of labor, for almost all his time is spent at the bench, and if even greater success can be worked out he will accomplish it.  With the best of reputation as a fitter and with a rapidly increasing trade, and possessed of the requisite energy, the skies certainly has a prosperous look for him.
 
 

C. KISTLER

Is building up an excellent trade in the jewelry line, and we take pleasure in making these comments upon himself and his business.  He came here about four years ago, from Chicago.  He was a total stranger, but he opened out a large, neat and attractive stock of goods, embracing all grades of watches and jewelry, and though the business dragged a little at first he soon found enough to do.  Comparatively few people know, if a watch needs repairing, the full extent of its injuries, and fewer still know whether it is propertly repaired or not.  They must rely wholly upon the skill of the jeweler. Mr. Kistler with an experience of 15 years, much of the time in some of the best establishments in the country, is, we believe, thoroughly competent.  His work here has always given satisfaction, at all events.  He is selling goods of all kinds very cheap, too, and we can cordially invite our readers to call upon him.
 
 

GEISENHEYNER & WARD

Well deserve mention at our hands in this exhibit of the town and its trade, for they are doing a prosperous business in hardware, stoves and tinware, a business that had its origin years ago in the small way and which has since grown with the town and strengthened with its strength.  Mr. H. Geisenheyner came to this place 18 years ago and is the pioneer in this line of trade here.  He was the first to establish a tin shop in the town and he  has been identified with the business ever since.  Since then he has had several partners, the present firm having been formed since last April.  The junior partner, Mr. C. D. Ward, has lived here for the past seven years, for one year preceding having been in the army.  He learned his trade as tinner here, and afterward worked as a journeyman until this firm was formed.  Both gentlemen pay personal attention to the business.  Their intimate knowledge of the wants of this community enables them to cater successfully to the needs or necessities of the people; they carry a large and well selected stock, and are well entitled to be called representative business men.  For the new firm we wish even greater prosperity than attended the old house.  They also handle all varieties of agricultural implements, pumps, &c., and in every way strive to keep up with the times.
 
 

HAYS & HIGGINS

Are a comparartively new firm, and the only one here making a specialty of pianos, organs, sheet music, sewing machines, periodicals, books, &c.  For two years Mr. Hays had been working up the interests of the Singer Sewing Machine, and had succeeded in securing the bulk of the trade of the county in that line, so last Spring in partnership with Mr. Higgins, they determined upon their present business.  To a certain extent it was an experiment at first, but long since all doubts passed away and it is a gratifying success.  They handle the Steinway, Chickering and Hardman pianos, and Mason & Hamlin and Taylor & Farley organs, and the reputation of these instruments is so well established they require no commendation at our hands.  Of the Hardman piano, however, we will say that it is the best instrument for the money in the market.  Messrs. Hays & Higgins have filled what would otherwise be a notable vacancy in the business circle of town, and we are confident they will leave no effort untried to expand their trade to much larger proportions.
 
 

JOHNSON & CARR

Is not exactly the style of the institution of which we now speak, but perhaps it will do for a firm name, although the parties named are not in partnership.  In other words Wm. Johnson and the Messrs. Carr brothers are engaged in the manufacture of carriages and wagons.  Although their interests are identical, yet there is no formal partnership, Mr. Johnson running the blacksmith shop and the Carr brothers the wood work department.  Mr. J. has resided here 18 years, coming from St. Joseph county, Ind., and has followed this business most of the time since.  The Messrs. Carr are from Saratoga, New York, and have been here about four years.  The two establishments, in everything except name, are one.  They occupy convenient and well arranged shop room; the wood shop being 18 x 30 feet, 2 stories, and the blacksmith shop 20 x 23 also 2 floors, and usually build from 20 to 25 vehicles per year, the market being chiefly a home one.  The paint shop is occupied by Mr. Allan Bennett, who also carries on business on his own account, and is said to be one of the best carriage painters in this section of country.  This "happy family" -- we guess we may as well call it such -- have achieved a most desirable reputation on the score of quality of work done, and the fact that the demand is constantly increasing speaks well of their efforts.  Whether as a firm or individuals they are deserving of success and we wish them well.
 
 

RHODES & HEADLEY

Are operating the only flouring mill here.  The mill is a very good one, having been built in 1863, and has two run of stone, one for wheat the other for corn.  It is not constantly run now on account of the difficulty of obtaining good wheat, and the active competition from the larger establishments in Davenport and Peoria also tends to lessen its productions.  Its chief business is now upon custom work.  The firm of Rhodes & Headley was formed a year ago last April succeeding to Headley & Gulick.  The senior member devotes no time to the business, his attention being occupied by farming and stock operations.  Mr. Wm. Headley consequently manages affairs.  He is an old resident of the county, has been in it 33 or 34 years and in town 17 or 18, and has been connected with the mill in one capacity of another most of the time since it was built.  He is an energentic, go-ahead gentleman who regrets the condition of affairs as much as anyone else can, and is willing to do all in his power to improve it.
 
 

STEPHEN DEAVER

Operates the woolen mill which is connected with the flouring mill, though using separate apartments and power.  The mill is a one set affair, well provided with machinery for doing good work, and it is managed by a thoroughly practical woolen manufacturer -- one who has had fifteen years or more of experience. Mr. Deaver has been connected with the mill for four years, having come here from Monmouth, where for some time he had been employed in a similar enterprise.  For two years he was in partnership with Mr. James Frill, but he has since been alone.  When in operation the mill employs about six persons and is chiefly employed on custom work, making jeans, flannels, blankets and yarns, and under Mr. D's management has acquired a first class local reputation.  It is not equipped, however, to compete with large concerns, nor has Mr. D. the necessary capital, but the business can be made a success if the people here would form a joint stock company and start a first class concern with Mr. D. in charge.  We make the suggestion any way.
 
 

GEO. S. LAWRENCE

Has, during the past four years been building up a trade of which he need not feel ashamed, and there is no prospects of its proportions lessening.  Mr. Lawrence came here from Kewanee four years ago, and at once engaged in the general grocery provision and queensware trade.  He had had extended experience in it and was certainly well qualified to make it a success.  Last Spring, to still further adapt himself to the wants of his customers he added staple dry goods to his stock, but now, as heretofore, groceries and queensware are the most prominent features of his trade.  Mr. Lawrence has had any amount of competition to content against, but he has not only held his own but given other dealers a little amusement in the way of low prices, and the people have not been slow to appreciate the fact.  There is not a more energentic business man in town, nor one who, during the same time has won more friends.  He, too, is a young man, with not an old fogyish hair in his head and his future is no uncertain one.
 
 

    CHARLES MYERS

The principal grain operator of Toulon, next comes up for a few moments consideration.  Mr. Myers came here from Pennsylvania about sixteen years ago, and since then has resided in town or vicinity and been variously engaged in farming and school teaching.  When the Peoria & Rock Island Railway was completed he engaged in the grain trade here, and on the 1st of August, last year, shipped the first car load of grain from Toulon.  As a pecuniary investment it wasn't a success, netting him $25 out of pocket, but we imagine there was some satisfaction in the operation after all.  In June and July of this year Mr. Myers built his elevator, the only one here. It is a well arranged, well built, and modern concern, 24 x 20 feet, having storage capacity of about 7000 bushels.  In addition to this he has crib capacity for 8000 bushels.  Last year Mr. Myers handled about 7000 bushels of grain, a large per cent, being oats.  This year he expects to handle not less than 100,000, and probably considerably in excess of this amount.  He has done a good deal for Toulon and the farmers of the surrounding country in building his elevator, and we hope his entire business operations may prove as remunerative as they deserve to be.
 
 

J. BLANCHARD

Is another of our prominent business men, and his yearly business forms no slight item in the general transactions of town.  Mr. Blanchard is an old resident of Stark county.  Originally he is from "way down East," from near Portland, Maine, and came to the State in 1838.  In '41 he came to Stark county, and since then his interests have been identical with those of the county.  He has proven himself an active, energetic man, and can always be counted on in matters of any public good.  Until last year Mr. Blanchard was engaged in farming.  He then entered the lumber and grain trade, in the latter making a specialty of corn and oats, and has since handled between 40,000 and 50,000 bushels.  The lumber trade, too, is constantly growing, and we predict that the day is not far distant when it will absorb all of his time.  He intends soon to Increase his facilities in that line, and we believe he is in the habit of making a success of whatever he undertakes.
 
 

THE CITY DRUG STORE

Is one of the institutions of town, and one, too, of which the citizens of Toulon have no need to feel ashamed, as it is a complete and prosperous concern.  It was originally established in 1863 by C. E. Harrington, who conducted it until 1868.  Mr. Harrington came here in the fall of '63 from Middlesex county, New Jersey.  He had had extended practical experience, and he made the trade a success.  From 1868 to 1870 he was engaged in the dry goods trade, and from that time until last Spring was variously employed.  In the meantime the drug house he had established changed hands and underwent some vicissitudes. Mr. Harrington again assumed control in the Spring for other parties, and it prospers as of yore.  Well located, and carrying a large stock, and managed by a gentleman, who not only has the confidence of the people, but is also a practical pharmacist, the old City Drug Store still lives, counting its friends and patrons by the score.
 
 

PRICE BROTHERS

Are in the harness and saddlery trade.  The firm is a comparatively new one, having been formed one year ago the 15th of August last, but it has already entered upon an era of prosperity that betokens a successful future.  The firm comprises R.H. and J.F. Price, both of whom are from Peoria, or rather the first named is, the latter being still in that city  and connected with the wholesale leather house of Barnham, Bingham & Co.  Mr. R. H. Price is the practical man of the firm and manages the business, giving employment to one or two workmen also.  When he commenced trade here the prediction was made that the house would live but about three months.  What space of time and a year besides has passed and we as yet see no signs of failure.  On the contrary friend Price looks as happy and contented as can be and his trade constantly increases.  The establishment has been weighed in the balance and not found wanting, and the end is not yet.