LaSalle County

1882 City of La Salle

Businesses [ - Part 1 ].

The Telephone Exchange [page 7]

La Salle was among the very first to appreciate and utilize the telephone, and long before Exchanges were thought of had several private lines in successful operation which were quickly followed by many others, when the "Exchange" plan was developed. Outside of the larger cities La Salle was among the first of the interior towns of our state to take hold of this new and novel invention. The general plan of operation is a central office, with wires radiating in all directions to the various subscribers, any of whom desiring communication call up the central office, giving the number or name of the party wanted; the connection is almost instantly given.

The Exchanges in La Salle and Ottawa are controlled by the same company, and free connection is given with each other to all subscribers. In good weather the transmission is as distinct and satisfactory as though but a mile apart. An Exchange at Princeton, recently opened by the same Company, has also been connected with La Salle, and a nominal fee is charged for use of this line. The Exchange here, starting with 45 wires, has run up to 115 with fair prospects for more. Mr. Wm. H. Allington, manager of the W. U. Telegraph Co.'s main office here for the past nine years, was the prime mover in the establishment of the system and is Exchange manager. Under his management the telephonic service has become highly efficient, and with a keen perception of the wants of the patrons, he secures the addition of every new feature which tends towards improvement in the practical workings of the service. His place in charge of the Exchange interests here and his position at the central office would be difficult to fill, as no one could watch matters more closely or more earnestly endeavor to study and meet the wants of the subscribers. The work of the central office is thoroughly systematized. Every ''connection" is recorded, and between 10 p. m. and 6 a. m. the exact time of connection is also noted. The daily average for the week, month and year is ascertained. Last year (1881) 204,960 connections were made, a daily, weekly and monthly average of 561, 3,941 and 17,080, respectively. An operator is always on duty, the central office never being closed. Subscribers and other interested are welcome to call at any time after 3 o'clock p. m., and the practical working details, etc., will be explained by the manager or operator on duty.

The Schools [page 7]

It is impossible for us to give more than a passing notice of our schools in a pamphlet such as this; but the few facts here given will not be uninteresting. The public schools are well organized and conducted under the wise administration of a prudent school board, aided by an efficient staff of teachers. At present there are five gentlemen and sixteen ladies employed, and the school work is acknowledged by all visitors to be characterized more by substantial work than showy pretensions. The High School department is a credit to a city of principally a mining and manufacturing population as La. Salle. The assistant principal, Prof. M. A. O'Conor, A. M., one of the few graduates in the schools of La Salle county, is acknowledged to be a teacher of experience and high literary attainments. He has been engaged for the past eight years in his present position an unprecedented length of time; and though dealing with the children of so many conflicting elements, his bearing has been characterized by firmness and impartiality deserving the public confidence which he enjoys. The wisdom of the school board is shown by the fact that when they have a good teacher they recognize the fact and make it an object for him or her to stay. There are a few private schools which are also well patronized.

Geo. A. Wilson's Boot and Shoe Store [page 8]

Boots and shoes are a necessity certainly where perpetual summer doesn't reign. Hottentots, Ethiopians and Digger Indians may manage to get along well enough without them, as their duties are not usually considered arduous or particularly fatiguing from a pedestrian's point of view; but in civilized communities, from infancy to old age, from the hod carrier to the aesthete, all must have foot-covering. Boots and shoes grew up with civilization. The primitive shoe was simply a piece of skin or some other material fastened to the sole of the foot to protect it from injury by coming in contact with the ground. Then the article was made a little wider and turned up around the edges so as to afford some slight protection to the sides of the foot, and in time it dawned on the intellects of people that they might just as well bring the opposite sides of the piece of skin together on the top of the foot and they had the moccasin or original shoe. Then continuing the skin further up on the ankle the primitive boot was finally developed. Next the attention was turned to the methods of manufacture and the principles of tanning, and as leather became known the form of boots and shoes gradually assumed the shape in which we now find them. Then later inventions brought forth the Standard Screw Fastened Boot and Shoe, and about this time George A. Wilson came to La Salle and opened up a small stock of goods for which he paid cash. Selling cheap soon had the effect to bring him plenty of customers and he kept on buying and selling, and after the lapse of six years or about the present time, he finds himself in possession of a large store filled with every kind of foot-covering made, leading among which is the above mentioned standard screw fastened goods.

Everything that any ordinary person could ask for in the way of foot gear can be had in Wilson's store. He has everything in the way of mens' boots, from the finest calf to the coarsest and heaviest brogans and plow shoes. Boys' wear is one of his specialties, and parents will do well to remember this, as there are no better goods of the kind made than can be found on his shelves. Childrens', misses' and ladies' shoes and slippers, light and heavy, lace and button, kid, pebble goat, calf, cloth, etc., etc., are in large assortment. In rubber goods, boots of all kinds can be found, as well as overshoes.

Mr. Wilson asks the attention of every careful and economical buyer in the vicinity to the following:

He has no old or undesirable goods to offer at apparently low prices to catch the eye and look cheap in print, but having largely increased his facilities offers a large and complete stock of standard goods, made on honor, that will give service and satisfaction.

He makes a uniform bottom price on all goods; not bating a person on staples, such as plow shoes, etc., and then gouging him on custom fine goods.

If a merchant buys a large stock twice a year on four months' time he pays enormous interest to the jobber. He must sell a part of the goods at or below cost in order to make his payments at maturity, has left on hand the sizes that his trade does not demand, which soon become shop, worn and unsalable, and finds when he has taken account of stock, that although he has made a profit on a part of his goods he has gained nothing by his year of hard labor. But Wilson doesn't do business on that plan, and his paying customers don't have to make good to him his losses on bad debts. He buys for cash.

He asks a trial knowing that honest goods, bottom prices, promptness in attending to customers' wants, and a careful consideration of their interests, will hold their trade.


"I that rustic path was treading, when the sun his rays were shedding beaming, gleaming, fairly streaming thro' the trees; and I watched the streamlet glistening, as, entranced, I there was listening to the melting, merry music on the breeze, when, beneath a tree reclining, where no ray of sun was shining, lo ! I saw a fellow-being on the ground ! Though no other feature shifted, quickly he his eyes uplifted upward lifted as he wildly looked around. 'Good friend,' said I, approaching, "do not charge me with encroaching are you waiting for some messenger of news;' But no other word he uttered, and no other sentence muttered, save 'You'll find there's none like G. A. Wilson's boots and shoes !' "

"That's a strange expression, surely," said I, looking down demurely. "I trust, dear sir, that you the question will excuse." But he only looked the prouder, as he spoke the words the louder, "There's always perfect comfort in G. A. Wilson's shoes!" "Why bless me, man, I shouted, as his sanity I doubted, '"Tis surely naught to me what people's goods you use!" But he only cried the higher, with enthusiastic fire, "You'll save your cash by wearing G. A. Wilson's boots and shoes!" So I left him there reclining, where no ray of sun was shining, and frequently I wondered at the words the man did use; thinking surely 'twas a mystery, and that some hidden history was weaving 'round myself and G. A. Wilson's boots and shoes. So then I resolved to buy them and have since had cause for gladness.

Hall & Allaben, Attorneys [page 9]

Law is older than man; it is as old at least as matter, for matter has always obeyed law. Divine law is said to be perfection itself; natural law may not be divine, but it seems to work after a pretty regular system. The intervention of man don't influence it very much, and he has been principally engaged heretofore in endeavoring to find out something about it. Human law man made himself, and of course he knows a little about it, or ought to. It is recognized as being somewhat imperfect and operating differently on different occasions and subjects. It has its uses and abuses. Its principal defect lies in its inability to maintain justice on a par with money, that is, with justice on one side and money on the other, human law holding the scale, justice is apt to fly up. As the world progresses this defect will doubtless be wiped out. Anyway law is necessary and not always abused. The abuse of it in most cases lies with the lawyer, though good, honest, intelligent and upright lawyers are not by any means few. And right here the attention of this community is called to the law firm of Hall & Allaben some time since established in La Salle. They are gentlemen in all that the term implies; men who are thoroughly posted in law matters; who know right from wrong and are ever ready to work in the cause of justice. They believe in faithfully serving their clients and earning the money they ask for their services. They practice in all the courts, and have been retained on a number of important cases now on the dockets. They will always be found reliable by those requiring legal services of any kind, and are worthy to be trusted with the management of any case requiring adjudication.

Philip Conlin's Livery Stable [page 9]

As man's strength is limited so is his ability to get over ground or, in other words, to move himself from place to place by walking. There is consequently a necessity for his being carried and no practicable automatic mechanical device having been heretofore invented that would pick a person up and carry him around, he has to resort to the old method of riding by horse power or else go on the cars. In cases then where it becomes necessary or desirable to ride, La Salle people always go to Philip Conlin for a livery rig, as he keeps the best and charges the least. His horses are always safe and at the same time as good travelers as can be found. With carriages always in good shape, heat, stylish and ready for service, Philip Conlin is one of the business men whom the city could not well do without.

John Martin's Grocery Store [page 9]

John Martin has been for years one of the most popular of La Salle's grocers. He handles reliable goods only and sells at bottom figures, and customers always rely on getting what they pay for when trading with him. He has all kinds of staple and fancy groceries, dried and canned fruit and other goods, fish, vegetables of every kind in their season, hams, bacon, and other dried meats, with pickled pork, etc. Butter, eggs, and other country produce always on hand. The best brands of winter and spring wheat, graham and buckweat flour, with candies, nuts, and all sorts of confectioneries, flavoring extracts and the like; syrups, oils, etc., etc. Mankind, as well as all other animal creations must eat, or at least the opinion prevails that eating is a necessity, and until somebody proves that it is only a useless habit, eating will be continued. But starvation science advances slowly, and the head of the family and his better half acknowledges the case settled, anyway for their day and generation, and when they meet in friendly conference to discuss the matter they always resolve to trade hereafter wtih Martin.

The La Salle House [page 9]

It was ordained from the beginning that man must eat. Some have maintained that, eating is only a habit contracted in earlier days when primitive man roamed the forests with a caudal appendage and shook from the boughs of trees in showers the nuts they bore, and then in sport gnawed the bitter shells and found the sweets within. Such may have been the case, but the habit, if such it may be called, served to encourage in animal organizations the growth of an elaborate digestive apparatus that has never been eliminated and which insists now on being kept in operation, whether a fellow is a disciple of Tanner, a gouty epicure, a millionaire, or a tramp. But such is life, and as we find it pretty much so we must let it remain. S. E. Foster detected this feature of the case a number of years ago, and it was this which primarily induced him to open up the La Salle House and cater to the famishing public. He regularly feeds the hungry and gives drink (but not that which intoxicates) to the thirsty, and he shall have his reward, though with his moderate charges it is hard to understand how he manages to get it on this side of the river. That is his affair however. Nevertheless, for a square meal, a good bed or regular board, the La Salle House justly claims the preference every time. And it gets it.

Solomon Rosenhaupt's Real Estate and Insurance Agency [page 10]

The real estate and insurance business is well represented in La Salle by Solomon Rosenhaupt. He represents a number of insurance companies, among them the Royal, of Liverpool, recognized as the largest in the world; the Queen's, of London; and the National, of Hartford. Insurance is something that every man wants who owns property. The security of perishable property can really be attained in no other way than by insurance, and even here there is great liability to loss unless the companies to whom the risk is given are perfectly sound - "time tried and fire tested." Rosenhaupt's companies are all of the class on which complete reliance can be placed, and a policy issued by him is good for its face in case of loss.

The buying and selling of real estate is a branch of his business which receives a large share of his time and attention. He has always on hand a number of choice lots or other city property, and frequently farms to sell or lease and intending purchasers or parties desiring to sell can always find it to their advantage to call on him.

As agent for steamship lines, Mr. Rosenhaupt represents the Monarch, North German Lloyd, Hamburg, and several other lines, running regularly to and from principal English and Continental points. Parties wishing to visit the old world or bring their friends here can always be supplied with tickets at the most reasonable rates.

Mr. Rosenhaupt is also a Justice of the Peace and Notary Public, qualified to take acknowledgments, affidavits, etc., and attend to other notarial business. He holds the scales of Justice and where the blind goddess is offended by those with lax regard for law, he designates the atonement due her, levies the assessment and collects the tax. Conveyancing of all kinds promptly attended to and deeds, mortgages and other papers made out in proper form. Last, but perhaps, not least, he is qualified to tie the connubial knot when lovers call and so request, and the opinion seems to prevail among many that the work is better done by him than others though this is probable a mistake. A divorce can generally be obtained in court if the reasons for asking it are good and sufficient.

By way of appendix, it may be added that the Royal Ins. Co. is the only company doing business in this country that pays its losses in cash on demand without asking time or discount, and persons desiring insurance would do well to remember this fact and call on Rosenhaupt.

Thomas Crotty's Marble Works [page 10]

Thos. Crotty's Marble Shop in this city is an attractive place, by reason of the many finely finished monuments of various designs, sizes and styles. They are works of art, of the highest taste and skill, and of the finest grades of marble and granite to be obtained in this country. Extravagantly high priced work is not to be found here, but fine quality of stone, artistic excellence in finish and design are conspicuous features in every piece. Mr. Crotty has long been engaged in the business, understands it thoroughly and personally warrants all contracts and guarantees satisfaction in every case. Besides the finished stone-work on hand there is always in stock a liberal supply of the best material, with skilled marble cutters ready to execute any job required by patrons. There are a large number of monuments in every cemetery in this vicinity that have come from this shop, and each one speaks highly to its credit. Mr. Crotty gives his personal attention to the setting up of each monument ordered from him and never leaves one on an unstable foundation. Those wishing good work at low figures cannot find a better shop to patronize. Foreign and domestic granites, marbles, etc., always in stock. Mantles, and, in fact, all kinds of fine stonework executed with promptness and in a style to suit the most fastidious.

George Orsinger's Pacific Bakery [page 10]

The man with an appetite agitating him asks where to eat. If he sojourns in Greenland his best plan is to hunt for a seal; but if he is in La Salle he cannot do better than call at the Pacific Bakery. All the delicacies of the season be it spring, summer, autumn or winter, are promptly served on the shortest possible notice. And not only are individuals served but parties as well. As a baker Mr. Orsinger has no superior. He has every facility for doing good work and good work is the only kind that he does. People in La Salle know this, and everybody patronizes him. Those giving select parties and wishing refreshments of any or all kinds invariably obtain them here. Festivals, excursions, pic-nics, etc., supplied with everything in the way of refreshments at the most reasonable rates. The dining- and sales-rooms have recently been most beautifully fitted up; and with ice cold soda, excellent ice cream, cool and pleasant rooms, everything contributes to make the Pacific Bakery and Restaurant the most attractive resort in the city. Mr. Orsinger first opened here 25 years ago, and in saying that he has distanced every competitor, is, at least equivalent to the statement that he has worn well.

Breuning, Kilduff & Co. -- Dry Goods [page 11]

The extensive dry goods house of Breuning, Kilduff & Co. was opened in La Salle last September, though the members of the firm have long been known as thorough business men in this community. Opening with a complete stock of dry goods, notions and fancy goods, and believing that in coming before the people and soliciting a share of their patronage the success attending business would be more securely attained by a few rules well observed, they adopted the following platform to which they adhere strictly in all cases:

1st. Polite and courteous attention to all.

2d. Keep a complete stock of desirable goods.

3d. All goods marked in plain figures and strictly one price to all.

4th. No goods misrepresented, and all goods taken back if not found as represented, and the money refunded.

The stock they offer is entirely new. There is not an old piece of goods in the house, and hence customers need have no fears of having forced on them unsalable or shop-worn articles. In the dress goods department the assortment is simply complete, comprising everything that the trade demands. A special feature is black and colored silks, many choice pieces being found on their shelves.

A full line of dress trimmings and buttons in all the latest styles form one of the principal attractions for purchasers.

The stock of hosiery is unsurpassed and comprises a fine line, from the cheapest cotton to the finest brilliant lisle.

Parasols, fans, etc., are exhibited in large and fine assortment at all prices and in all styles.

The white goods department includes everything that should be found here. Special attention is called to an elegant line of ladies' and children's muslin underwear, unsurpassed in variety and excellence. Cloaks, dolmans, and tolmas are kept in quantity, and made up from the finest and best goods.

The firm are determined in all cases to be leaders in the dry goods business and not followers. They defy competition, and guarantee the very lowest prices on every piece of goods sold. They have one of the neatest and most finely fitted up stores in the city, and the entire force, proprietors and employees, know all the ins and outs of the dry goods business, and deem it a pleasure to wait on customers. During the short time since their store was opened they have acquired A trade and reputation that many old houses might well envy, and their determination to merit prosperity has already given them a prestige guaranteeing the future.

J. Y. Khorp's Sewing Machine Depot [page 11]

The "Crown" comes into the market the last of all but it has sprung to the front rank at once because it has taken the good features of all other machines and put them in one grand combination, making the handsomest, largest, most silent and lightest running machine yet offered. All the "points" that twenty years' experience with all kinds of family and light manufacturing work have proved to be absolutely good are found in the "Crown." Other machines may have one, or two, or three, of these "points," but none has them all. Every device really desirable is found in the "Crown." Advantage has been taken of the experiments and experience with all machines ever, invented and the "Crown" is a perfect embodiment of everything good in them. It is the most powerful and durable machine made. It is kept in sewing order for five years free of cost. This is not done on any other machine.

Next comes the Wilson OSCILLATORY SHUTTLE Sewing Machine. "Perfection having been obtained, further improvements are impossible." The old style sewing machines are fading away, and the Lightning Sewer stands solid as the Rock of Ages. Its capacity for speed and a large range of work is unlimited. It is made from the best material known; its shafts, needle bar, presser bar, presser foot, hemmer, screws, and all small parts, are made of the best steel. Its "take-up" is automatic, flexible, adjustable and positive, and gives satisfaction wherever used.

Next is the New B Howe. It has the loose pulley and improved bobbin-winder above the table; new treadle motion; light running in all its parts; improved stitch indicator; and wood work of the best and latest styles.

Last comes the Improved Singer - a Singer that doesn't sing, but sews admirably. It is light running, has quick action, perfect working. Its steel parts are accurately made by improved machinery from the latest patterns and models. It has loose balance wheel so constructed that the bobbin can be wound without removing the work from the machine; has selfthreading eyelet, check lever and needle clamp; nickle plated balance wheels, oil-polished cases and Gothic covers. Every machine warranted.

The above machines have all the latest improvements; are backed by the best companies, and sold at bottom figures. Mr. Thorp has had the widest experience in this line of any man in the county: and you will always find him with a full stock of machines, attachments, needles, oil, etc. Repairing done promptly. Examine and get his prices before buying.

Extracted 24 Aug 2018 by Norma Hass from City of La Salle, Historical and Descriptive, with A Business Review, published in 1882.

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