Genealogy and History
Part of the Genealogy Trails History Group
A VISIT TO ELEROY
Is Surrounded By A Good Farming Country
The Business Men and Mechanics Who Cater to the Wants of Their Patrons
The General History
To the northwest of Freeport, in the township of Erin, is situated the pretty little village of Eleroy. It sits smiling down amidst fertile farms, and from it stretch the wide level prairies in nearly all directions. Some distance southwest is the "point" the next highest spot in the state, which frowns down like a protecting tower on the happy homes of the country and village folk.
Eleroy was not always so called. In years long gone by it was distinguished by the name of Huron, and so it remained until after the advent of the railroad. It has always been an excellent town to live in, and its citizens compare most favorable as to industry and enterprise with any in the country.
The Illinois Central Railroad which drains Eleroy in a commercial sense, has a most efficient and obliging agent in E. B. Lund, who has been with the company for over a year. The shipments are principally oats, rye, stock, butter, and fruit in season. The Passenger trains depart as follows:
No. 6, west bound..........7:45 a.m.
No. 2, west bound..........5:10 p.m.
No. 1, east bound..........9:31 a.m.
No. 5, east bound..........3:20 p.m.
No. 4, west bound..........4:35 a.m.
No. 3, east bound..........1:08 a.m.
The Two Churches
are the St. John's German Evangelical, Rev. W. Knauer pastor and superintendent of Sunday School; Union Church of United Brethren and Evangelical, Rev. H. D. Healey pastor of the former and Rev. Mr. Messerschmidt, of Freeport preacher for the latter, The Union Sunday School is under the superintendent of J. W. Stocks.
The Public School
is in charge of Miss Maggie McGuire. The directors are Henry Vemeier, Henry Miller and E. Moore.
There are two secret societies: Eleroy Lodge, No. 129 Good Templars, meets in Churchill's hall; Eleroy Lodge, No. 247, I.O.O.F., meets in the hall above Mideke's store.
Trade and Labor
J. H. Mideke operates the only store in the place and it is a good one. His father, A. Mideke, one of the early settlers of Eleroy, is the owner of the building and goods and J.H. is the manager. The latter took hold of affairs about eight months ago, and he is making it as much of a success as though he had been brought right up in the business. A general line of goods, such as farmers use, is kept in stock. There is hardware, boots, and shoes, dry goods, groceries, patent medicines and dishes at prices most reasonable.
D. Denure is the postmaster, having been appointed by President Harrison. IN connection he carries a small stock of tobacco and cigars. E. H. Woodbridge assists in the postoffice, which is on of the cosiest places in the world to spend an afternoon in hearing the stories, real and unreal, spun by those who congregate there.
J. H. Fye is a carpenter who dies all kinds of work in a contract way, as well as repairing wagons in which he has a big business. He has been at the trade twelve years and understands it tip top. He has taken the job of putting up some of the finest residences in the town and always does satisfactory work. E. G. Harris, Ex-postmaster, was formerly engaged in shoemaking, but now devotes his time and talent to fruit raising, in which he is quite successful.
Charles Mideke is the owner and proprietor of the Eleroy creamery, built entirely new last summer. It has new and latest improved machinery throughout and is one of the best creameries in the country. The upper part of the building is used for residences. THere are two Alpha separators and the other day the record of the world on fast separating was broken. In one hour and twenty-one minutes 6,189 pounds of milk were separated. The amount of milk received each day is very large for Mr. Mideke is well known to the farmers and they place great confidence in him. F. P. Likens who attends to the butter making is an experienced workman and a brother of C. C. Likens of this city. He has been in the business for fifteen years and wherever he has been employed has given unqualified and unbounded satisfaction.
Charles Fronke, a shoemaker of forty years experience does all kinds of repairing and new work. He was formerly at Waddams Grove and as a mechanic in his line has few superiors.
Rudolph Stoderman operates a cider mill in season and does a big business in his line. He is also the owner of a fine farm in Erin Township.
E. Moore is a carpenter of thirty years experience. He is a native of Pennsylvania and came here when the country was very young, and at which time he was a farmer. There was then a great demand for carpenters and the trade was taken up and has since been followed by him. He draws all kinds of plans and makes estimates. Mr. Moore has erected some of the largest and finest barns and residences about Eleroy, and his work stands as a testimony of his capability and skill.
B. Derry is a mason who has a great deal to do. He has worked at the trade some years and is experienced. The work he puts up is always O.K., and his ability in the trade he follows is marked.
W. Seidell buys and ships livestock of all kinds and pays the highest market price. He is well-known throughout Erin township as a hustler, and the farmers have always desired to deal with him, because of his known fairness and squareness in business transactions.
J. A. Fye is the manager of the Hill & Son elevator. He has been in the business since 1879 and knows it like a book. All kinds of grain and live stock are bought. Mr. Fye also handles coal on his own hook and in which he has a remunerative trade. For a jolly, wholesouled fellow you will have to look a great ways before you will find one equal to J. A. Fye.
J. W. Winters, blacksmith, has had thirty-seven years' experience, one of which was spent in Missouri and the remainder in the neighborhood of Eleroy. His son John A. assists in the shop. All kinds of repairing and horseshoeing are done in a specialty is made of plow work. The Wood self-bonders, mowers, and rakes are sold in season. Mr. Winters has a finely equipped shop, he turns out No. 1 work and his trade comes from a wide range of country.
A. J. Buffington is a dealer in fruit and has had four years of experience. He carries a very fine line of strawberries among the varieties being Warfield No. 2, Pineapple, Buback No. 5, Jumbo, Boyinton, Old Ironclad, Wilson, etc. The raspberries include Cutbert, Turner and Crimson Beauty. The Snyder blackberries and a variety of dewberries as well as grapes are raised. Both plants and fruits are sold there being large shipment of the latter and most of which find a market in Freeport. Mr. Buffington is in the painting business and is assisted by his son Thomas O. He is having a big trade and deserves it, too. [Freeport Weekly Democrat April 15, 1892]
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