Genealogy and History
Part of the Genealogy Trails History Group
The town of Lena
The town of Lena is located in parts of Sections 32 and 33, on the Illinois Central Railroad, twelve miles west of Freeport, and is, next to that city, the largest town in the county. In 1853, the survey of the present railroad corporation had located its route and the grading of the light of way was begun. As soon as the building of this highway of commerce had been settled, Samuel F. Dodds, who owned eighty acres of land on the present site of the town, acting on behalf of the railroad company, purchased an additional tract of 80 acres, and laid out the town. The survey was made by B. Dornblazer, the original town being in the form of a parallelogram, comprehending twenty-six blocks and a total of 304 lots. Subsequently, I. C. Allen, S. J. Kimball, Underwood & Albee, C. Roush, N. C. Pickard, A. Weaver and A. C. Allen, made additions to the original town, increasing its dimensions to a large extent. When the town was laid out, Samuel F. Dodds owned a stone residence then and now occupying Lot No. 1, on Lena street, while Dr. F. Voightheld title to a log house standing a short distance east of where the depot was subsequently erected. It remained intact until the advance of improvements compelled its demolition. These two houses embraced the list of buildings at that time - there were no others of any description. During that summer, lots sold rapidly, commanding prices varying from $50 to $150 each, William Allen and S. H. McEathron, being among the first to purchase and make improvements. Allen put up a store at once, but McEathron delayed the erection of a building, devoted to similar purposes, until the fall. Both were of frame, but only one survives the lapse of a quarter of a century.
On New Year's Day, 1854, the track was laid, and cars began to run between Freeport and Warren. This had the effect of increasing the number of arrivals and stimulating enterprise. The additions to the population were largely made up of English and Irish, many of whom became permanent residents, together with representatives from the Eastern States, who engaged in business, and have since been identified with the growth and prosperity of the town. In this year, there were about a dozen families in Lena, and the following comprise the business directory: Dry goods and groceries - S. H. McEathron, William Allen, J. E. Ambrose. Lumber yard - J. N. Clifford. Blacksmith - William Young. Grain dealer - N. Perrin. Postmaster and railroad agent - Samuel F. Dodds. Physicians - Drs. N. C Pickard and F. Voight. here were three church organizations in the village, viz. : Presbyterian, Rev. R. Colston, Pastor ; Methodist, Rev. A. Wolf, Pastor ; Baptist, Rev. J. E. Ambrose, Pastor. There were no church edifices in the village or town- ship at that time, and the several congregations occupied the schoolhouse alternately. The public school was in charge of Miss S. D. Hyde. Dr. J. R. Chambers, the only other physician in the township, was located at Louisa. From this date until 1860, the increase in population was quite rapid. The panic of 1857 produced no pronounced effect disastrous to the growth of the town, which progressed in business and importance in a manner that was gratifying to those who had first projected its survey. During the summer of 1855, Reber & Cheney and S. F. Dodds began the three-story brick building at the corner of Railroad and Schuyler streets. It was completed about the fall of 1856, at a cost of about $4,000, and is still used for business purposes.
In the same year, 1856, the Baptist denomination, which had been worshiping in the log schoolhouse at the eastern end of the town, built the church edifice, now occupied by that sect, on Galena street. This was the first church built within the town limits. It is of frame, and the only one of that material in Lena. Before 1860, however, the Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist and German Methodist societies had each erected commodious edifices. In 1860, the population had increased to not less than 600. Lena had become a prominent shipping-point for grain and stock, vast amounts of the latter being consigned to in Chicago, St. Louis, and elsewhere, and the center of trade for farmers residing in West Point, Waddams and Winslow Townships, as also for those residing in the eastern and southeastern portions of Jo Daviess County.
When the war broke out, volunteers responded to the call, and troops from the townships adjoining rendezvoused at Lena. This enlivened business to an appreciable extent, which was continued during the entire struggle. In 1863, the necessities of the case influenced Mr. Weaver to erect an elevator now standing at the corner of South Railroad and Schuyler streets, and, during the continuance of the contest waged between the sections, improvements of a substantial character, consisting of stores and residences, both of brick and frame, were made. With the close of the war, there was scarcely any perceptible diminution in the amount of business transacted; thence to 1870 improvements maintained a steady increase, and the population appreciated in number. There were no vacant houses to be found, and the demand for residences and storehouses was, if anything, greater than had been previously quoted ; in fact, the residents now living say, that, from the time the town was first laid out to the present date, there have not been sufficient houses to accommodate new-comers or supply the demands of business.
In 1869, the Lena Star, a weekly paper. Independent in politics, was established, and has since been conducted successfully, without having missed an issue. In 1868, the opera house was built by F. E. Brine, and is still used for dramatic and social gatherings. On the 16th of April, 1866, the village of Lena was incorporated as a town under the general law of the State, and on the 23d of the same month the election of Trustees was held, with the following result: A. W. Hall, A. H. Stahl, William Hayes, A. Weaver and S. H. McEathron. On the 27th, the board qualified, and organized by the appointment of A. W. Hall, President, and Samuel J. Dodds, Clerk. On the 20th day of April, 1869, the town of Lena was organized under a special charter passed by the Legislature and approved by the Governor March 30, 1869, defining the corporation boundaries, providing for the election of Trustees, prescribing their qualifications and duties, and generally clothing them as a legislative body, with powers and duties appropriate to municipal officers. The charter was accepted at an election holden on the day above mentioned, and the following is the roster of town officers who have since served :
1869 - A. W. Hall, President; M. Weaver, James McFatrich, D. W. Hayes and C. Roush, Associates.
1870- M. Weaver, President ; S. G. Stover, A. H. Stahl, H. G. Fowler and William Young.
1871- M. Weaver, President; H. G. Fowler, A. H. Stahl, William Young and Levi Sherman. Z. Stover and George Steckle failed to qualify, and H. G. Fowler and M. Weaver were appointed to fill the vacancies.
1872- H. G. Fowler, President; W. F. Taylor, P. H. Kaufman, D. W. Hayes and Levi Sherman.
1873- H. G. Fowler,. President; Levi Sherman, D. W. Hayes, P. H. Kaufman and I. C. Balcom.
1874- H. G. Fowler, President ; Levi Sherman, D. W. Hayes, P. H. Kaufman and I. C. Balcom.
1875 - Same as in 1874.
1876 - Same board reelected.
1877- Elias Stamm, President ; H. A. Rife, Luther K. Lee, S. Rising and Charles Ferrell. 1878- H. G. Fowler, President; P. H. Kaufman, John Metz, D. W. Hayes and Levi Sherman. 1879- A. S. Crotzer, President; A. H. Stahl, John Metz, William Corning and E. Kailey.
1880 - John Metz, President ; William Corning, David Young, Miles White and F. H. Mealiff.
The board meets the first Monday evening of each month, in the town house, on South Railroad, between Washington and Schuyler streets. The building is of frame, used in part as an engine house, and was erected in 1874, at an expense of $500 and upward.
Clerks.-A. W. Dawes, 1869-76; 0. T. P. Steinmetz, 1877; W. W. Dawes, 1878 ; Samuel F. Dodds, 1879-80.
Treasurers. - James McEathron, 1869 ; Daniel Hursey, 1870-75 ; Henry Wingart, 1876 ; A. S. Crotzer, 1877 ; Edward F. Fowler, 1878-79 ; Henry Wingart, 1880.
Police Magistrates.- X. W. Hall, 1870 ; J. S. Blodgett, 1874 ; Samuel F. Dodds, 1878.
Between 1870 and 1875, a large emigration, composed of young men and their families, to the West, reduced the population to some extent, but their absence has since been supplied by others who came in, and becoming citizens have aided in contributing to the success of the town. The last census gives Lena a population of over 1,500 The town now contains one weekly paper, one bank, one hotel and another of brick in progress, one opera house, one steam flour-mill, one lumber yard, two elevators, one of the largest and finest school buildings in the State, seven church edifices, one wagon-factory, six blacksmith-shops, one cooper shop and forty stores devoted to the sale of groceries, drugs, dry goods, hardware's, cigars and the line of commodities commercially regarded as staple.
LENA FIRE COMPANY.
The village is protected from the "firebug" by a hand-engine company composed of thirty-five members, supplemented with a chemical engine requiring the services of ten men in addition. These companies were organized in 1874. In that year, a hand-engine, together with 800 feet of hose, was purchased at Canton, Ill., for $800 ; the chemical, however, became the property of the department two years previous. Since the organization of the company, in 1874, 600 feet of hose have been purchased and other expenditures effected, making the value of the property at present about $1,500. The company is officered by H. F. Perkins, Foreman. The chemical is officered by H. M. Dodds, Foreman ; F. McManigal, Assistant. The whole is under the control of Henry Wingart, Fire Marshal, and Samuel F. Dodds, Assistant. The peace of the village is maintained by one town Constable, appointed annually by the Board of Trustees.
The first school taught within the corporate limits of Lena was in a log house belonging to Samuel F. Dodds, which stood in the orchard on the Dodds homestead. This was about the year 1849, and Miss Maria Pickard was employed as teacher. About twenty scholars responded to the roll-call during her administration, which lasted one year. In 1850, a log school- house was put upon what is now known as Franklin street, which served its purpose until 1854, when the stone building still standing at the corner of Lena and Franklin streets was completed and taken possession of, and, though the number of scholars had increased, the force employed to direct their instruction remained the same until years afterward. In 1859, a portion of the Sixth District, which comprehended Lena, was cut off and added to District No. 8, and a schoolhouse erected. It is of stone, two stories high, and cost in the neighborhood of 1,000. The number of departments and force of teachers were increased from this date.
In November, 1866, the two districts were united, and have since been known as Union District No. 6. In 1868, the present commodious school edifice of brick was completed and occupied. In dimensions, the building is 56x60, four stories high, including the basement, containing six departments finished, with the necessary rooms and closets in addition, and cost $20,000. The departments embrace first and second primary, first and second intermediate, grammar and high school, requiring the services of seven teachers, and necessitating an expenditure of $4,000 for the year closing June 30, 1880. Of this, $3,600 is obtained by the levy of a tax on the real and personal property listed in the district, and the balance from the State and township, in addition to fines assessed and collected for the commission of offenses against the State. The schools enjoy an average daily attendance of about 400 pupils, and are under the direction of a Board of Trustees, at present composed of W. P. Naramore, Joseph Sechler and D. W. Hayes.
The first post office established in West Point was called Waddams Grove, John Garner, Postmaster, and located near Louisa ; this was some time in 1837 or 1838, and a year or two later it was removed five miles into Waddams Township, when Pells Manny was appointed Postmaster. The next post office was established at Howardsville, then on the stage road from Galena to Chicago, with Martin Howard as Postmaster. Somewhere about 1845, a new office was established at Lena, under the name of Alida, and Samuel F. Dodds appointed Postmaster. In 1852, the name of the office was changed to Terre Haute, and so continued until 1854, when it was changed to Lena. At that date, the office was kept in the residence of Mr. Dodds, and so remained until 1857, when it was moved to South Railroad street, and F. Reber appointed Postmaster. During his administration the office was again removed to Reber & Dodds' Block. In 1861, S. F. Dodds was reappointed, and served until his death, which occurred in May, 1863. The vacancy thus created was supplied by the appointment of Mary J. Dodds, widow of deceased. In 1869, J. M. Scherraer- horn was appointed to the position, and removed the office to Central Block, thence to Roush's Block, thence back to the Central BloS.
RISING & CO., BANKERS.
The business prosperity of the town of Lena is further evidenced by the existence of a banking institution, which was established in 1867 at its present site, under the firm name of Rising, Smith & Co. The gentlemen composing the firm remained in charge until June, 1867, when the name was changed, becoming S. Rising & Co., and so continuing until November, 1870, when it became " Foil, Corning & Co." Business, which was large and appreciating, being transacted principally with farmers and drovers, in the counties of Stephen- son and Jo Daviess, was disposed of with profit to the gentlemen directing its operation, until February, 1878, when the name of Fall, Corning & Co. was retired, and that of S. Rising & Co. substituted, the substitution remaining the commercial name at present in force. The business is that generally transacted by monetary institutions, and aggregates one million annually.
Presbyterian Church. - Early in 1844, the Rev. Elisha Hazzard, came into the neighborhood of where Lena now is and commenced a missionary work, and, in June of the same year, established what was then known as Waddams Grove Presbyterian Church. The society was established at the residence of Pells Manny, about three miles northeast of Lena, and was composed of Samuel F. Dodds, Mary Jane Dodds, Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Strong, Mrs. Sarah Murry, Mr. and Mrs. Hollander, Mr. and Mrs. George Henninger and Benjamin Tucker. Samuel F. Dodds and Lyman Strong were Elders, and services were held in the residence of Pells Manny and the Montague Schoolhouse, a log structure, 18x20, erected in 1839, near the residence of Luman Montague, in Waddams Grove. Some time in 1847, the first Presbyterian services conducted in Lena were held at the residence of Samuel F. Dodds, the Rev. Aratus Kent preaching, and in 1850, the organization founded in 1844 was permanently located in Lena, though a regular pastor was not obtained until one year subsequently. In 1854, the stone schoolhouse on the north side of Lena street was completed and used by the Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist societies, alternately. In 1857, the church and congregation commenced the work of erecting their present house of worship, a brick edifice, 35x50 feet, with an audience-room above, and a lecture hall on the first floor, which was completed and dedicated in October, 1859, at a cost of 13,057.25. Since that date, there has been expended on the building for copula, bell, lectureroom, paper and painting, upward of $1,595, making a total cost of church and furniture over $4,625. The present value of the church property is upward of |5,000. The congregation numbers not less than seventy-five members, and the following Pastors have officiated since its removal to Lena: The Revs. Robert Colston, E. D. Willis, W. J. Johnson, J. W. Cunningham, L. M. Gates, E. Scofield, H. G. McArthur, J. M. Linn, S. I. McKee, and A. S. Gardiner, the present incumbent.
Amity Evangelical Lutheran Church - Was organized in the old stone schoolhouse of the village on the 14th of March, 1857, with a few members, Levi Woodhart and Benjamin Garman, Elders ; George Breaux and Daniel Rice, Deacons, and the Rev. E. Fair, Pastor. Previous to this date the Rev. G. J. Donmeyer preached occasionally, the families of Messrs. Grossman and Weaver composing his audience, and forming the nucleus of the present organization. When fairly under way, arrangements were completed in that behalf, and the present church edifice, the first in the village until subsequent to 1868, was erected at a cost of 7,000. It has since undergone extensive repairs, being re- furnished, frescoed, carpeted, etc., and will comfortably seat an audience of 300, though it has, upon special occasions, accommodated 500. The Sabbath school connected with the church is one of the best organized and^ most efficiently managed in the county, with an average attendance of 125 scholars. The church also owns a commodious parsonage adjoining the church and one of the most beautiful homes in Lena. Located on the corner of Mason and Washington streets, directly opposite the recently completed and very elegant public school edifice, near the center of town, and yet free from the annoyances of business, the Lutheran property is one of the most desirable in the county. The church enjoys a membership of 150, being a gradual but permanent increase since May 24, 1858, when the communion was first administered to twenty-four communicants ; is free from debt, and has been under the charge of the following Pastors, as far as can be ascertained from the records, which are imperfect : The Revs. E. Fair, A. A. Trimper, W. H. Schock, D. L. Tressler, G. B. Black, J. W. Tressler, C. Baird and H. C. Haithcox, the present incumbent.
St. Marys Roman Catholic Church. - This congregation was first organized during the year 1870, when worshipers were few and dependent upon the offices of missionaries resident in adjoining parishes and passing through the county. Services were at first conducted in the old schoolhouse, whence a removal was subsequently made to the stone building previously used as the hi^h school. The congregation remained here until 1872, when the present brick church on Lena street was completed, consecrated and occupied, and is still in the service. The building is 30x45, one story, and cost a total of $2,500. Services are held every Sabbath, the Irish under the Rev. F. Horgan, of Dublin, occupying the edifice alternately with the Germans, of whom the Rev. E. Freligh is the Pastor. The congregations number eighty-five communicants, and the property of the church is valued at about $5,000.
Free Methodist Church. - The Free Methodist society was organized in the fall of 1874 with fifteen members, under the pastorate of the Rev. C. Wm. Frink. The congregation worshiped in Fowler's Church, on North Railroad street, until 1877, when they removed to the old stone schoolhouse on Lena street, where services are still conducted. Prior to 1879, the church was attached to the Freeport Circuit, but in that year it was assigned to the circuit made up of Lena and Ridott, to which it now belongs, and enjoys a membership of twenty worshipers. The congregation is gradually increasing in number and influence, and contemplates the erection of a house of worship at an early day. At present services are held weekly, and preaching once in two weeks by the Rev. Orville Frink.
Methodist Church - One of the oldest congregations in the township, was organized at first under the direction of Father McKean as early as 1835-36, when the class was made up of less than half a dozen and worship was held in the cabins of settlers. In 1850, a class was organized in Holly Grove, and in 1852 the Lena congregation was established, being connected with the Freeport Circuit. At first, services were held in the schoolhouse on the Dodd's property, whence a removal was made at various times until 1857, when the present church edifice was erected and has since been occupied. The congregation is quite numerous, the church property valuable, and the same ministers serving Freeport have generally been assigned to Lena. The Rev. Joseph Odgers is the Pastor at present occupying the pulpit
German Lutheran Church. - This society originally formed a part of the Amity Evangelical Lutheran Church, which was organized March 14, 1857, and so continued until 1869, when the congregation was divided and the German Lutherans erected the church at present occupied. It is a brick, 35x40, handsomely furnished, with accommodations for about 250 worshipers, and cost $2,500. The Rev. G. J. Donmeyer officiated as Pastor for several years, and was succeeded by the Rev. W. Fritch, who is at present in service. The present congregation numbers thirty families, and the value of the church property, including a parsonage now building, is estimated at $3,500.
First Baptist Church - Was organized early in the forties, at Yellow Creek, under the auspices of the Rev. Mead Bailey, when it was known as the Yellow Creek Baptist Church, with a congregation composed of Martin Howard and family, Samuel, Marshall and Aaron Bailey, with their families, and John Harmon and family. Services were held in private houses until the town of Lena was laid out, when the society removed thither and occupied the log schoolhouse on the Dodds place, jointly with other denominations. Soon after, measures were taken for the erection of a church edifice, which resulted in the building of the Baptist Church on Lena street, at a cost of $1,000, which was completed and dedicated and has since been occupied. In 1864, the church was enlarged and is now one of the neatest religious edifices in Lena. The congregation numbers 100 members ; the church property is valued at $1,500, and the following Pastors have served in its pulpit : The Revs. Mead Bailey, Joshua Ambrose, D. S. Dean, Frederick Bower, I. B. Branch, and F. H. Gilbert, now in the service.
German Methodist Church. - In 1850, the Rev. J. J. Young, a minister of the faith, passed through the vicinity of Lena and presented the Gospel to the Germans resident thereabouts in their mother tongue. From this beginning the present society was formed, having been organized in 1852, under the direction of the Rev. John Broear, and worshiping in a log cabin belonging to a Mr. Killman, about three miles southeast of the town. In 1854, the Rev. John Koehler preached in the stone schoolhouse, the first German Methodist minister to Scoite in Lena. In 1855, H. Rosenstiel, Charles Altenberndt, C. Rosenstiel, Frederick Koch and Frederick Luedeke were elected Trustees, and in 1856 the Germans built their present church edifice, which was for some years the only church in Lena, the Rev. H. Vosshall being the minister. The society was poor and owed an indebtedness of $850 on the church, which was prevented from being sold through the personal efforts of the trustees. Notwithstanding which embargoes, the congregation prospered and is to-day independent. The original members were Mr. and Mrs. Rosenstiel, Sr., Mr, and Mrs. C. Beine, Mr. and Mrs. F. Luedeke, Mr. and Mrs. F. Koch, and Mr. and Mrs. Carl Altenberndt ; the congregation to-day includes sixty members. The value of church property, including a parsonage erected in 1877, is $8,500, and the following ministers have accepted calls to the charge within the past twenty-eight years : The Revs. John Broear, John Koehler, H. Voshall, H. Richter, P. Schaefer, R. Feigenbaum, John Haas, Jacob Schaefer, W. Schreiner, F. Schmidt, H. Sauer, P. Hummel, and C. C. Miller, the Pastor at present in charge.
LENA "STAR" first set its "light upon a hill," in Lena, on the 4th day of January, 1867. At that time, Lena was a thriving town, and recognized as one of the best grain and stock markets in this section of the State. The population was a composition of energetic, go-ahead business men, alive to the importance of building up and sustaining any enterprise having a tendency to enhance values in the vicinity. Hence, J. Gishwiller, a native of Pennsylvania, and S. J. Dodds, an attorney, of Lena, experienced little difficulty in making a beginning and securing 350 subscribers to enable them to accomplish that end. These gentle- men purchased a seven-column Washington hand-press, with sufficient body and display type to set up a patent inside, seven-column folio, and at once entered upon the duties incident to editing and publishing the Lena Star, in the second story of what is now known as "Weaver & Siehler's " Block. The Star was neutral in politics, and furnished to subscribers for $2 per annum. The partnership between Gishwiller and Dodd continued until March 1, 1867, when Mr. Dodds retired and Gishwiller conducted the enterprise alone until April 27, when he, too, turned a rule, metaphorically speaking, and sold out to J. M, Shannon, who assumed editorial and managerial control at once, remaining in charge until February 12, 1869. At that date, a financial cloud dimmed for the time, the shining rays of the Star, and before a dawn of better days the paper was sold under foreclosure proceedings, James S. McCall, editor of the Freeport Journal, becoming the purchaser. The management of the Star was placed in charge of James W. Newcomer, of Freeport, a practical printer and ready writer, who discharged the trust faithfully, and was rewarded by a rapid increase in the circulation and advertising patronage obtained. He remained in charge nearly nine years, when the present editor, W. W. Louis, formerly editor of the Carroll County Gazette, purchased the material and assumed control. Mr. Louis changed the paper to a five-column quarto, from a neutral to an independent paper in politics, reduced the price to |1.50 per annum, and otherwise improved its appearance and attractions. The paper is now one of the most complete in its equipment and management in the State of Illinois, having a bona-fide circulation of 700 copies and a large list of advertisers. It is devoted to the building-up of Lena and the surrounding country, and commands the confidence, good will and support of all who are similarly
Lena Lodge, No. 174,, A; F. A. M. - Was duly organized October 3, 1855, although a meeting of those subsequently constituting the charter members was convened on the 25th of the previous July. The members and officers then were G. L. Taylor, W. M. ; S. F. Dodds, S. W. ; J. R. Chambers, J. W. ; W. Allen, Secretary ; H. Truesdail, Treasurer ; R. Patterson, S. D. ; W. R. Goddard, Jr., J. D. ; F. Voight, Tiler. Meetings were thereafter held in a building since rented for a term of years and fitted up with the equipment and insignia of the order at a great expense. The lodge prospered from its organization under the dispensation, and now has seventy-four members, officered by S. J. Dodds, W. M. ; J. H. Gunsaul, S. W. ; F. A. Darling, J. W. ; W. W. Stahl, Secretary ; John Metz, Treasurer ; E. R. Prindle, S. D. ; J. A. Clark, J. D. ; Wyman Roe, Tiler. Meetings are cenvened monthly, on the Wednesday evening of the full moon, and the lodge property is valued at $500.
Lena Chapter, No. 106, R. A. M. - Was organized under a dispensation granted October 5, 1866, unto ten members, as follows: J. M. Schermerhorn, S. F. Dodds, E. H. Shumway, J. R. Berry, Adam Kemper, D. B. Packer, Albert Bliss, F. W. Byers, R. M. Clark, F. A. Darling, George Heniger, James McFaftrich and G. L. Taylor. Of these, J. M. Schermerhorn was elected H. P. ; E. H. Shumway, King, and D. B. Packer, Scribe. Meetings are held on the evening of the second Tuesday in each months at Masonic Hall, and the Chapter now numbers fifty-three members. The present officers are F. A. Darling, H. P. ; W. Corning, King, and J. H. Gunsaul, Scribe. The property of the society is valued at $1,000.
Lena Star Lodge, No. 106, I. O. G. T.-On Wednesday evening, July 2, 1879, a number of the citizens of Lena met in the lectureroom of the Presbyterian Church for the purpose of instituting a regularly chartered Good Templars Lodge. After prayer by the Rev. A. S. Gardiner, Mr. Colgrove, of Freeport, in whose hands the meeting had been placed, administered the obligation to about twenty-five of the forty-one charter members present. The lodge was named, at the suggestion of the Rev. Mr. Gardiner, "Lena Star Lodge," and the following oflScers chosen: S. Rising, W. C. T. ; Mrs. Chambers, W. V. T.; Theodore W. Clark, W. R. S.; B. McFatrich, W. F. S. ; Miss M. A. Smith, W. T. ; F. H. McManigal, W. M. ; N. B. Heth, W. C. ; Miss Mattie Hall, W. I. G. ; M. 0. Naramore, W. 0. T. ; W. W. Hall, Lodge Deputy. At present the roll of members includes ninety-four names, and meetings are held Friday evenings in Frisby's Hall. The present officers are Theodore W. Clark, P. W. C. T. ; J. S. Best, VV. C. T. ; Miss Mary Knepley, W. V. T.; Miss Mattie Hall, W. R. S. ; J. H. Wright, W. F. S. ; Miss Linnie Smith, W. T. ; Leslie Goddard, W. M. ; E. F. Fowler, W. C. ; Miss Mary Smith, W. I. G. ; George Lemon, W. 0. G. ; W. W. Hall, Lodge Deputy. The lodge property is valuable.
Letia Lodge, No. 194, I. O. O. F Was instituted March 13, 1856, and chartered October 17 following, with S. F. Dodds, J. M. Schermerhorn, J. Simpson, Daniel Thomas, D. De Graff, John Swarts and J. D. Dewey, members. S. F. Dodds was N. G. ; Daniel Thomas, V. G. ; J. M. Schermerhorn, Secretary, and J. Simpson, Treasurer. At first, meetings were held in Dodds' Hall, from which a removal was made to W. J. Clark's Hall, where the lodge meets weekly on Monday evenings. The present membership includes forty -eight of the craft, officered by F. P. Byrne as N. G. ; C. W. Grosscup, V. G. ; W. A. Newell, Secretary, and John Metz, Treasurer. The value of lodge property is stated at $1,200.
Centennial Encampment, No. 172, I. O. O. F. - Was instituted February 16, 1876, and the charter issued October 10, of the same year, to the following members and officers: W. A. Newell, L. K. Lee, John Reeder, S. S. Pauley, O. T. P. Steinmetz, Emanuel Kailey and Charles E. Dollenmeyer. 0. T. P. Steinmetz, C. P. ; S. S. Pauley, H. P. ; John Reeder, S. W. ; Charles E. Dollenmeyer, J. W. ; W. A. Newell, Scribe, and Emanuel Kailey, Treasurer. The lodge has since increased to twenty members, who convene in the regular session on the evenings of the second and fourth Fridays monthly, at Clark's Hall. The present officers are H. Wingart, C. P. ; J. S. Best, H. P. ; W. W. Sisson, S. W.; Thomas Foley, J. W. ; W. A. Newell, Scribe, and
Lena Steam Mills - Located at the corner of Schuyler and Lena streets, are the oldest in the village and among the most extensive in this part of the State. The business was established in 1855, by Schermerhorn k Munns, when the present edifice was erected. It is of brick, three stories high, exclusive of the basement, and cost, with the additions and furniture, $11,000. These consist of an engine-house, 16x30, supplied with an engine of thirty-five horse power, and a grist-room 12x40. The mill has three run of buhrs, and, when run to its full capacity, can grind 480 bushels of wheat every twenty-four hours. In time, Messrs. Schermerhorn & Munns disposed of the property to J. S. Soule, who in turn sold it to J. P. Ring, and, after subsequent transfers, it came ! into the possession of A. H. Stahl, the present owner, who paid therefor, $14,000. He employs six hands, and does a business of $8,000 per annum.
Shannons Carriage Works - Located on Schuyler, between Lena and Railroad streets, were established February 4, 1874, by A. Shannon and A. Weaver at their present site. The year following, additions and improvements were made to their establishment, which have been increased each year since, until now, Messrs. S. & W. have one of the most complete repositories in Northern Illinois. Their line of manufacture embraces all qualities and grades of vehicles, from a track skeleton to a hearse, and from the ordinary "democrat" to a coach. In the building of these, the firm employ skilled labor only, use the best materials and plans, originating with themselves. They have patented a sliding- seat wagon, and the work turned out is of a well-proportioned and durable character. As a result, their stock is in constant demand, and, as none of it is shipped elsewhere for sale, purchases are made at the shop by dealers and others from a distance. The firm employ a force of nine hands at a weekly compensation of $141, and do an annual business, estimated at $25,000.
Lena Powntry (?)- Established in 1867 by J. McCulloch & Son, on Grant, between Center and Schuyler streets, where for thirteen years they have conducted a successful trade in all parts of the country, and acquired a reputation for responsibility and character. Their line of manufacture comprehends every variety of moldings, in addition to leather-rollers, boot-crimpers, feed-cookers, etc., one hundred of each being turned out annually and shipped to various points in Northern Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. In addition to the branches cited, the firm does a large jobbing and repair work, the business in this and the general class of work completed aggregating $10,000 per annum, and requiring the services of five hands at a weekly compensation of $60. The investment represents a valuation of $6,000.
Central Elevator - Owned and conducted by P. H. Kaufman, is located on South Railroad street, opposite the depot of the Illinois Central road, where the buildings were erected, in 1875, at a cost of $4,000. The premises consist of a main building, 40x60, three stories high, with an addition 24x38, one and a half stories high, and containing an engine of twenty-five horse-power by which the machinery is operated. The elevator has capacity for 20,000 bushels of grain, and during the year 1879 a total of 345,738 bushels of oats, wheat, corn, rye and barley, were handled by the management, for which was paid $98,530.91, in addition to $26,000 paid for clover-seed and $25,838 for bags.
Lena Elevator - Located on Schuyler street contiguous to the track of the Illinois Central road, was erected in 1868, by Moses Weaver, at a cost of $10,- 000, and has a capacity for 25,000 bushels of grain. Mr. Weaver conducted the business for a number of years, but in 1873 John Reeder purchased the enterprise for $5,000, and still controls the establishment. During the year 1879, 238,931 bushels of grain passed the hands of the proprietor, requiring the outlay of $71,290, and adding materially to the prosperity of the town of Lena. The present year it is anticipated the business will be materially greater.
Lena is the headquarters of Company H, Third Regiment Illinois National Guards, organized in 1877. The company is made up of fifty-two muskets, officered by George H. Sherry, Captain, F. M. Halliday and George Houser, Lieutenants, with the usual complement of Sergeants and Corporals. Drill-meetings are held once a month.
OPERA HOUSE, located on South Railroad, between Schuyler and Center streets, was erected by F. E. Beine, in 1878, at a cost of $7,500. The premises are of brick, two stories high, and finished in a handsome style of architecture. The ground floor is devoted to the occupation of stores, while the second story is appropriated to the uses of offices and the opera house auditorium. This latter is about fifty feet square, supplied with a stage, and can comfortably accommodate an audience of five hundred. The building is an ornament to the town, and its uses a convenience to residents, public speakers, lecturers, the strolling player, and all with a stock in trade consisting of genius or wit.
CEMETERY, consisting of four acres, was laid out by S. F. Dodds in 1854, and, though burials took place from that date to the time when it was transferred to the village, July 30, 1866, no cemetery organization was perfected. It is located in the southern part of the village, handsomely laid out and platted, decorated with evergreens and ornamental shrubbery, and contains some decidedly artistic monuments. The cemetery property contains an aggregate of 368 lots, almost wholly taken up, and is under the charge of the Village Trustees
LENA CATHOLIC CEMETERY, without the limits of, and a short distance from, the northwestern portion of the village, embraces three acres, and was laid out and dedicated in May, 1880. It contains upward of 200 lots, but few interments have as yet been made. [Source: Containing a History of the County, its Cities, Towns &c... Western Historical Company, pub. 1880]
The Lena Bank is a private bank, the firm being George L. Baldwin & Company. The officials are: President, F. A. Latham; vice president, Peter Seise; cashier, George L. Baldwin. The bank was organized in 1867 by S. Rising, under the name of Rising, Smith & Company, and in 1870 changed to Foil, Corning & Company. In February 1878 the firm name again became S. Rising & Company. Later, the firm became Foil, Narramore & Company, and in 1906, became George L. Baldwin & Company.
The Citizens Bank of Lena was organized in 1880 by Andrew Hinds and George L. Stevens. Later, the firm name was Charles Waite & Company. The present officers of the Citizens Bank are: President, Anthony Doll; vice president, Charles Leseman; cashier, J. C. Dunn. The directors are the above officials, and George Shick, A. J. Clarity and J. D. Hinds.
Both banks do an extensive business in Stephenson and Jo Daviess Counties and are sound and reliable institutions. The Lena Bank steered safely through the panic of 1873 and both banks have weathered the panics of 1893 and 1907 in a way that proves the stability of their organizations. [History of Stephenson County, 1910]
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