1832  - The Beginning

In 1832, William Maxwell bought land somewhere along the county line in the present eastern part of Washburn.  He built an inn and entertainment house for travelers on the State Road which passed through the area.   He also kept four horses for the stagecoach.

Jefferson Street, Washburn, IL - early 1900's    

1847 to 1850

The first school house was built in Washburn in 1846 on land donated by Henry D. Palmer, William Maxwell's father-on-law and the community began.  It was called Uniontown because it had sprung up on the Marshall-Woodford county line.  

 In 1846, there were three houses in the northwest quarter of Section One.   In 1847, Peleg Sweet bought 800 acres of land along present Parkside Drive.  He divided the land into 80 acre sections for each of his 10 children.  The strip became known as "Stringtown".  


In 1851, Hiram Echols laid out the original town of Washburn.  It comprised 12 blocks, 8 in Woodford county and 4 in Marshall county.  The lots were 50 x 150 feet and were all quickly sold.  The highest sold for $15 and the lowest sold for $3.   The first house was built by Joe Parker in the new town. It stood at 503 W. State Street.  Printer Burgess Smith built the second home (a log cabin) at 411 W. Woodford Street.  Dr. Thomas bought the first lot in Washburn.  He later erected a Two-story building with a Masonic lodge room above and a drug store below.

 Jesse Hammers built the first store for his brother, who had poor health in about 1853.  It was succeded by Americus Pogue and then Cushing and Jenkins.   The post office was established in 1854 in Dr. Thomas' office.  The first postmaster was William Maxwell.  

The town was called Uniontown and then Mantua until Alonzo Howard suggested the name of Washburn.  By 1855, Washburn had one store, one church (Baptist), one minister and one doctor. In 1856,  a shoe shop was opened in a house on the west end of the first store lot and Mr. Ackey built a second store on Main Street.  J.C. Haines had a harness shop next to it on the north side..  

In 1857,   A.M. Harper opened a shop on the southeast corner of the Mashall County part of town and the German Reformed church was built at 808 N. Main.  In 1858,  August Iunker built a mill "under the hill" across the street from the Baptist church and John L. Black operated the Union Hotel that stood across the street from the Baptist church.

1860 to 1870

The Methodist church was built in 1863 and the Christian church was built in 1866.  .  In Washburn's early history, Benjamin Monroe operated a saloon at 705 N. Main Street and Clay Little had a grocery store at 605 N. Main Street.  Johnathan Haines was the clerk.  In a lean-to on the south side of the Little store building, George C. Butler had a tin shop.  Mr. Butler's family lived in the rear of the tin shop.

Phillip Drennun and Charles McCulloch built a grocery store between 1864 and 1867 at the corner of Main and W. Magnolia.  This store was later managed by A.S. Fishburn and his son, Edward.  . In 1864, a millinery store was built by the Bliss Sisters In 1867, August Iunker built a steam mill to replace his original mill.  

The residents of early Washburn used a foot bridge to cross the creek on Walnut Street to reach the east side.  When Snag Creek flooded, a bridge on Stringtown Road (present Parkside   Drive) was used. After a wooden bridge with a walkway was built across Snag Creek on Walnut Street, the Stringtown bridge was used less and the road was eventually closed.

1870 To 1880

By 1870, Washburn had a population of 272.   The same year the tracks to the Chicago and Alton Railroad were laid beyond Old Snag Creek and several blocks east of the original town.  By 1871 Washburn's business district moved to Jefferson Street next to the C&A Depot.  One reason was that  in 1871,   Frank N. Ireland established the Washburn bank on Jefferson Street.  After that, new buildings were erected or "old" buildings were moved from the original town to Jefferson street.  Henry Sangbush moved his harness shop from the west to the east side and bult a front addition to it.  Dr. Thomas moved his building and it was used as a store by M.S. Fulton.  Another hotel, operated by Mr. and Mrs. John Carrithers was moved to 106 E. Chestnut Street.  

In 1871, Washburn was incorporated.  The first board of directors were George C. Butler, F. Bennecke, S.W. McCullough, Samuel Patrick, Henry Sangbush and J.G. Haines.  W.S. McCullough was elected as president, M.S. Fulton as clerk, G.N. Ireland as treasurer, R.H. Richard as constable and William Cotton as street commissioner.

In 1873, Robert C. McCulloch laid out the McCulloch Addition.  Rober McCulloch was a farmer and a tile manufacturer.  His business was just outside the northeast village limits.  After building the addition, he retired and built a home there (now 600 N. Jefferson Street.

Patrons of Washburn in 1873

Name			Occupation	Birth Place	Year Located Here
Buckingham, A.D.	Stock Raiser	Woodford Co.		1842
Butler, G.C.		Merchant	England			1858
Crawford, M.		Farmer		Ireland			1840
Coen, P.A.		Farmer		Ireland			1856
Carrithers, E.C.	Hotel Keeper	Marshall Co.		1871
Farnsworth, E.N.	Farmer		Cautauqua Co. NY	1846
Farnsworth, S.G.	Farmer		Windsor Co. Vt.		1846
Fisher, Sarah		Farmer		Virginia		1859
Freeman, J.		Merchant	Loraine Co., O.		1860
Ireland, F.N.		Merchant &	St. Joseph Co., Ind.	1858
			Post Master	
Junker, August		Miller		Prussia			1855
Moschel, J.		Farmer		Bavaria			1860
Maloney, N.V.		Physician	Lancaster Co. PA	1858
McCulloch, C.F.		Farmer		Cumberland Co., PA	1854
Patrick, S.		Merchant	Windsor Co. Vt.		1867
Shugart, Oscar		Farmer		Marshall Co.		1869
Seifert, John		Farmer		Bavaria			1833
Sheifer, B.		Farmer		Westphal, Prussia	1846
West, J.		Farmer		Brown Co., Oh.		1857
Webber, Isaac		Farmer		Cumberland Co. PA	1865

1880 to 1890

By 1880 the population of Washburn had increased to 450 residents.  The only water supply for fire fighting in the downtown area was a cistern belonging to the Christian Haase Store.  B.L. Bruce, the editor of the Washburn News (a small weekly paper), tried to publicize the need for a town well.  A town well was finally dug in 1887.  In 1887 Washburn had its "great fire".  Two south blocks of the business district burned and had to be rebuilt.

1890 to 1900

By 1890, Washburn had a population of 598 people.  "The Washburn Leader" newspaper was established by Charles Rowley in 1890.  In 1891 there were two hotels in Washburn:  the Wilson Hotel at 214 N. Jefferson and the Woodford Hotel at 137 S. Jefferson.  The Woodford Hotel was originally known at the Alexander House.  It was built by Tom Alexander, who lived at 507 W. Magnolia Street.  It had been managed by Alexander, A.S. Fishburn, Leslie Hayden and finally Mr. and Mrs. Squire Tribbey.

By 1890 there were four trains each day on the Chicago & Alton Railroad.  Some of the businesses in Washburn were as follows:

Moschel and Tweddale 	groceries, wall paper, jewwlry, silverware and fine shoes
B.W. Taylor 		livestock
Christian Haase 	groceries and drygoods
P.A. Sommers 		contractor and builder
Jonathan G. Haines 	staples and fancy groceries
George P. Gill 		attorney-at-law and Notary Public
M.S. Fulton 		drugs, medicines, paints, oils, toilet articles
Jacob Fuiks 		dry goods, millinery, cloghing, boots, shoes, groceries
Henry Sangbush 		manufacturer and dealer in harness, collars and saddles
Sharp & Tweddale 	hardward 
M. L. Buckingham 	auctioneer
Thos. H. Bratt 		jeweler
Dr. James Tweddale 	physician and surgeon
Thomas Nevins 		C.&A. agent
August Sangbush 	boot and shoe manufacturer
Lesch, Fitschen Co.	Contractor and builder, lumber, sash, doors and blinds
Misses Bliss 		dressmaking and millinery

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Baptist Cemetery

Courtesy Barb Darling

This cemetery is located in Section 1, Cazenovia Township, Woodford County in the town of Washburn on Main Street.

The following was taken from a book "Washburn 1851-1976": Baptist Cemetery- 'This cemetery extends south and east from the corner of Main and Church Streets, lying in Section 1 within the corporate limits of Washburn. Records are not available to determine when this cemetery was plotted, but Merriman Parker was buried here in 1815 (Note-this is incorrect, was buried here in 1846). A small burial. Grounds east of what is now 215 North Main seems to have been the nucleus around which the larger cemetery was developed. Other earlier burials 1818-1819 (should be 1848-1849). Records show that in 1893 the Baptist Church which occupied the Northeast corner was sold to the Lutherans, who razed it in 1922 and the land then became a part of this cemetery. Some of the older markers bear the names Owen, Parker, Phillips, Seifert and Sweet. Edwin Jenkins, Co. I, 11th Ill. Infantry, who enlisted Sept. 17, 1861,died at Bird's Point Missouri, on Nov. 2, 1861 and was the first soldier buried in this cemetery. Nathan Owen, a Jackson Veteran discharged after the battle of New Orleans, walked all the way home to Kentucky, and is the War of 1812 veteran buried here.'

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1917 Prairie Farmer's Directory, Washburn, Woodford County Business Directory

  • Arrow Garage
  • R. E. Blackmon, Restaurant
  • Dr. C. L. Boon, Physician
  • G. M. Butler, Garage
  • B. L. Carter, Dry Goods
  • O. F. Dyar, Autos
  • H. Eikelbarner, Blacksmith
  • Anna Ehringer, Furniture
  • F. Ehringer, Undertaker
  • Ehringer Produce Co., John Ehringer
  • Roland Ellis, (Wilbern) General Store
  • M. Faw, Veterinarian
  • Fitshcen Bros. Hardware, Angelus & John A.
  • Fitschen Co. Lumber and Contracting, John B. Fitschen
    & George Harms
  • National Express Co.
  • Owen Construction Co., F. C. & N. H. Owen
  • Orpha Taylor, Meats
  • A. L. Travis, Delco lights
  • DR. B. N. Watt, Physician
  • Peoples Bank, Wm. G. West
  • Public Service Co. of N. Ill.
  • J. B. Fitschen & Co., Contractors
  • G. R. Fulton, Drugs
  • F. M. Garrett, Dentist
  • Harper & Snyer, Livery
  • B. F. Heighway, Wallpaper
  • Chas. Hinck & Co., Restaurant
  • Washburn leader, R. E. Patterson
  • H. Lesch & Co., Contractor
  • A. C. Martini, General Store
  • J. W. Mason, Restaurant
  • Moschel & Robbins, Grain, Coal, Elec. Light
  • Quiram Bros., Grocery
  • J. F. Record, Photographs
  • G. W. Reynolds & Co., Clothing
  • H. M. Strauch, Groceries
  • J. Strauch, Blacksmith
  • J. R. Tweddale, Attorney
  • Washburn Bank, F. N. Ireland

Back To Woodford County Illinois and It's History and Genealogy

(Name, Business, and Date Started Business)

1.  Henry Sangbush, 	Harness 			Oct. 1863
2.  Chas. H. Ireland,  	Pres., Washburn Bank 		Jan. 1870
3.  A. Sangbush, 	Boots and Shoes 		Aug. 1871
4.  Col. W. T. Wallace, Auctioneer 			Aug. 1886
5.  Thompson, C. W. 	Paint and Paper 		Sept. 1888
6.  Fitschen, 		Angelus F. Bros. Hardware 	Jan. 1889
7.  Fitschen, 		John A. F. Bros. Hardware 	Jan. 1889
8.  Butler, 		George M. Garage 		Mar. 1891
9.  Sherman, W. A. 	Mason 				Apr. 1891
10. Moschel, George 	Grain dealer 			Jan. 1894
11. Heighway, B.F. 	Painter & decorator 		Mar. 1898
12. Ehringer, H. Frank 	Mgr. Ehringer Furniture  	Jan. 1899
13. Martini, A. C. 	General Merchant  		Feb. 1900
14. C. L. Stewart, 	Undertaker 			June 1901
15. Dr. F. M. Garrett, 	Dentist 			Aug. 1901
16. Oscar E. Shepard 	Mgr. Washburn Telephone Co., 	Oct. 1901
17. Brint Robbins 	Grain dealer 			Feb. 1902
18. J. A. Isch, 	Jeweler,  			Oct. 1902
19. W. E. Taylor, 	Butcher,  			Nov. 1902
20. George Isch, 	News Stand & Cream  		Dec. 1902
21. G. W. Furrow,	Rural Carrier Route 1 		May 1903
22. B. L. Owen 		Real estate & Livestock 	Feb. 1904
23. Charles Hinck 	Hinck Bros. bakery 		April 1904
24. Theordore Hinck 	Hinck Bros. bakery 		April 1904
25. R. E. Patterson 	Ed. Washburn Leader 		Oct. 1905
26. Allen Neff 		Brick Mason 			March 1906
27. F. G. Gill 		Rural carrier route 3 		May 1906
28. Albert Loscher 	Thresherman 			Dec. 1906
29. W. G. Lesch H. 	Lesch & Co. 			March 1907
30. C. E. Spangler 	Real estate & Insurance 	April 1908
31. W. G. West 		Pres. Peoples Bank 		June 1908
32. Dr. F. B. Ireland 	Physician 			July 1908
33. G. H. Harms 	The Fitschen Co. 		March 1910
34. Guy C. Little,  	Rural carrier route 2 		July 1910
35. James Colborn 	Motion picture operator 	Feb. 1912
36. R. E. Blackmon 	Lunch & Ice cream 		Aug. 1912
37. G. W. Reynolds 	Clothing 			Sept. 1912
38. H. D. Safford 	livestock 			March 1913
39. F. A. Ehringer	postmaster			June 1913
40. N. H. Owen		Owen Construction Co.		Nov. 1913
41. H. W. Packard	plumbing and heating		March 1914
42. N. L. Peabody	insurance			Sept. 1914
43. H. M. Strauch	dry goods & groceries		Sept. 1914
44. Dr. C. L. Boon	physician			May 1915
45. A. Wendland		janitor grade school		Aug. 1915
46. William M. Knapp	druggist			Feb. 1916
47. H. F. Eikelbarner	blacksmith			May 1916
48. Ed Jacobs		barber				Oct. 1916
49. George H. Wineteer	village clerk			Oct. 1916
50. L. E. Alton		electrician			Dec. 1916
51. F. C. Owen		Owen Construction Co.		Jan. 1917
52. John Zettlemier	section foreman, C.&A. R.R.	Feb. 1917
53. I. C. Hewitt	soft drinks and lunch		March 1917
54. George R. Fulton	groceries			May 1917
55. O. F. Dyar		Ford sales & service		Nov. 1917
56. J. E. Strauch	Washburn Garage			Jan. 1918
57. C. A. Fitschen	The Fitschen Co.		Feb. 1918
58. George A. Fitschen	Fitschen Bros. Hardware		Aug. 1918
59. John H. Fitschen	Fitschen Bros. Hardware		Aug. 1918
60. Thos. Nevin		Agent C.& A. R. R.		Aug. 1918
61. J. H. Uebler	agent Standard Oil Co.		Dec. 1918
62. William F. Fitschen	insurance			Jan. 1919
63. E. C. Potzler	The Fitschen Co.		March 1919
64. F. C. Quiram	groceries and meats		Oct. 1919
65. A. Woltzen		cashier Washburn bank		Jan. 1920
66. Guy Ingold		hardware			Feb. 1920
67. C. E. Harper	electrician			Feb. 1920
68. J. V. Hollar	mgr. Public Service Co.		Aug. 1920
69. H. A. Snyder	general trucking		Dec. 1920
70. C. E. Bensema	principle, grade school		Dec. 1920
71. R. Tweddale		mayor				May 1921
72. J. E. Walker	drayman				July 1921
73. H. L. Dyar		principal, high school		Sept. 1921
74. Rev. G. A. Winker	pastor, M. E. church		Oct. 1921
75. Ed Wasson		barber				Nov. 1921
76. G. A. Anderson	Washburn Baking Co.		Nov. 1921
77. D. W. McQuiston	pastor, U.P. church		Dec. 1921
78. H. M. Sherman	Commander American legion	Jan. 1922
79. Edward Sommer,	pastor, Lutheran Church		Feb. 1922

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1941 Roster of Washburn Business Firms

(Business, Name and Date Started Business)

1.  Washburn Bank, Ireland Family ............	......	1870
2.  Dr. B. N. Watt, Physician ................	August	1866
3.  Butler's Garage, Geo. M. Butler ..........	August	1891
4.  Fitschen Hardware Co., George & John H. ..	......	1899
5.  Frank Heighway, Furniture Restorer .......	April	1898
6.  Dr. F. M. Garrett, Dentist ...............	August	1901
7.  John R. Tweddale, Attorney ...............	October	1901
8.  Hinck's Restaurant, Chas. S. Hinck .......	April	1904
9.  Washburn Leader, Mrs. R. E. Patterson ....	October	1905
10. West. (Wm. G.) & Spangler (C. E. ) Real
	Estate & Ins. ........................	January	1908
11. G. W. Reynolds, Clothing .................	Sept.	1911
12. Packard Plumbing Co., H. W. Packard ......	March	1914
13. H. M. Strauch, Grocery ...................	Sept.	1914
14. Dr. C. L. Boon, Physicain & Surgeon ......	May  	1915
15. Hughes Pritchard, Painter ................	January	1916
16. Jacobs Barber Shop, Ed Jacobs ............	October	1916
17. Owen Construction Co. (F.C. & N.H. Owen)..	January	1917
18. Knapp's Drug Store, Wm. M. Knapp .........	Feb...	1917
19. Fulton's Grocery (Geo. R. & Russell) .....	May  	1917
20. Ora F. Dyar - Dodge & Plymouth Salesman ..	Sept..	1917
21. Fitschen Lumber Co. (Carl & others) ......	......	....
22. Ed Potzle, Contracting & Building ........	March 	1919
23. Ingold Hardware, Mrs. Guy Ingold, Sr. & 
	Guy Jr. ..............................	Feb... 	1920
24. Hary A. Snyder, Trucking .................	Dec... 	1920
25. Harper's Variety Store, Roy Harper .......	May	1921
26. Parkside Hatchery, Livestock Products Co,,
	Heike Tjaden .........................	April	1924
27. C. B.'s Beauty Shop ......................	May	1924
28. Beschorner Electric Co., Ray H. Beschorner	May	1925
29. Holt's Attrition Mill, Herbert L. Holt ...	Sept..	1925
30. Richett Memorial Home, Earl & Olive Rickett	Dec...	1926
31. Fred Zook, Real Estate ...................	......	1926
32. Standard Service Station, Parkin & Cordes	......	....
33. Pacey Memorial Home, Roger L. Pacey ......	April	1927
34. Wm. Ingold, Painter & Paper Hanger .......	......	1927
35. Ray Flick, Phillips 66 products ..........	......	1930
36. Wm. B. Ramsey, Cabinet Maker .............	......	1931
37. E. S. McCully, Trucking ..................	......	1932
38. Texaco Service Station, George & John H.
	Fitschen .............................	......	1932
39. Eddie's Tavern, Eddie Fitschen ...........	......	1933
40. Georg's Beauty Shop, Georgia Kenyon ......	......	1933
41. Janssen Grocery, Lawrence Janssen ........	......	1934
42. Washburn Dairy, Earl Unzicker ............	......	1934
43. Barnes Bros. Construction Co., John & Jerry	......	1934
44. Nelson Iunker, Trucking ..................	......	1934
45. Robert Braun, Painter & Paperhanger ......	......	1935
46. Charles Danhof, Trucking .................	Feb...	1935
47. George Sperry, Photo Service .............	......	....
48. Wm. T. White & Frank Peabody, Coal, Ice,
	Farm Implements ......................	......	1936
49. Wm. Barth, Hudson Agent ..................	......	1936
50. Ora Jenkins, Trucking ....................	......	1937
51. Ray Zeiger, Garage .......................	Nov...	1937
52. Jesse Buckingham, Real Estate & Insurance	......	1937
53. Washburn Postmaster, W. W. Lesch .........	......	1937
54. Ehringer's Bowling Alleys, John Ehringer .	October	1937
55. Ed. Imhoff, Trucking .....................	......	1937
56. G. & S. Pastry Shop, Madeline, Martha
	Garber, Ruth Schrock .................	......	1940
57. Dr. L. A. Wilcox, Veterinarian ...........	......	1939
58. Washburn Oil Co., Clifford W. Cordes .....	Feb...	1941
59. Kalb's Drive-In, Rachel and Charles Kalb .	......	1940
60. Standard Oil Agent, Roger P. Kelly .......	Feb...	1940
61. Woodford Co. Service Station, 
	Chas. Tweddale........................	......	1941
62. Woodford Co. Service, distributor, 
	Jay Laible............................	April	1941
63. Supreme Dairy Co. .......................	......	1941
64. Ford Motor Sales, Chris Frahenbuhl ......	......	1941
65. Crabtree Service Station, Bill Crabtree .	January	1941
66. Wolford Cream Station, Ray Wolford
67. Kroger Grocery
68. Super Service Station.
69. Beshorner Garage
70. Dr. A. Y. Yazarian, Physician
71. Ford's Barber Shop, Wm. Ford
72. Stephen's Barber Shop, Howard Stephens, Roy Stephens
73. Dr. S. M. Shannon, Veterinarian
74. Alton's Woodcraft, Frank Alton
75. Renken Blacksmith Shop, Bill Renkin
76. Vi's Beauty Shop, Mrs. Russell Fulton
77. Woltzen and Ireland, Insurance
78. Anderson Saw Mill, James Anderson