LaSalle County

1882 City of La Salle

Businesses [ - Part 2 ].

W. F. Corbus' Drug Store [page 12]

Drugs are among the essentials of a well-regulated civilization. The use of them originated with necessity and the science of chemistry; and chemistry was founded by the alchemists who were seekers after the philopher's stone, that imaginary something which had the power of turning everything into gold. The stone was never found, but the elements as we know them now, of which matter is composed, were found, and the practically numberless possible combinations of these result in giving to mankind a series of substances which were unknown in the world's early history but to us are boons that go far towards supplying the necessities of life besides adding largely to its pleasures.

W. F. Corbus is a man who has made the compounding of drugs and the preparations of medicines the study of his life, and in opening the drug business in La Salle in 1876 the design was formed of supplying everything which should properly be found in such an establishment; and an inspection of his store and goods will show that that design has been carried out pretty nearly to the letter.

In addition to the stock of regular drugs, which always consists of the choicest, purest and best the market affords, there is a large and select assortment of all the leading and standard patent medicines prepared for specific and other diseases. Toilet articles of every kind are exhibited in abundance, comprising the finest soaps, brushes, sponges and the like. Wall paper is one of the specialties of the business. The assortment in this class of goods is one of the most extensive to be found in the county, and embraces all the choicest patterns and designs, and the finest colored, tinted and finished papers made. A convenient arrangement for the exhibition of samples enables intending purchasers to see each and every design without the least trouble. A large lot of toys, games, dolls, etc., affords attraction for the children, while a show case filled with the finest, cigars invariably catches the attention of lovers of the fragrant weed and courts their indulgence. Paints and oils are staple articles in all drug stores, and the stock here is very extensive, while the prices are absolutely the lowest. A large assortment of vases is another of the attractions of the store that immediately catches the eye and invites a selection.

Dr. Gilmour's Dental Rooms [page 12]

The highly competent and leading dentist of this city, Dr. J. T. Gilmour, has one of the best supplied offices in the state. He has had large experience, enjoys a good business, and calls the attention of the public to the following:

The American people pay the most attention to their teeth, for they have the poorest of any nation. Whether from peculiar ways of living or the race deteriorating is a question for the dental profession. There are various ways of taking care of the teeth. First they should be kept clean, brushing after every meal, which will not only clean the teeth but make a sweet breath and remove any foreign matter from between them. Meat, for instance, becomes putrid; chemical action takes place; then comes decay, and disease of the mouth and gums. These can to a great extent be obviated by cleansing the teeth, and if any are decayed, call on your dentist and have them filled. Everyone that cares for health should call on the dentist at least once a year. Never crack nuts or bite thread with the teeth. Refrain from taking very warm food or drink, especially after taking anything cold, as it cracks the enamel, causing decay. Have your teeth cleaned once every year.

A word in regard to filling: Gold, silver, tin, gutta-percha and various cement fillings are used. Gold generally is the best on account of its not discoloring, but silver can be used to a much better advantage in weak teeth. Tin without doubt is the best filling in existence if it can be put in where there is no wear, as it seems to agree perfectly with tooth structure; but it is unsightly and always turns black, which leave gold at the head. The other fillings are used principally to cap nerves, for temporary filling, etc. When the teeth become very bad and the patient is suffering with dyspepsia, neuralgia, etc., have them taken out at once and an artificial set put in. Don't wait six months or a year after having the teeth extracted as the lower jaw straightens out and it is difficult to learn to wear them. Rubber, celluloid, platinum, gold and silver are used for plates. The best is gold; the next celluloid. The rubber plate poisons every mouth more or less. Celluloid being composed largely of camphor is healthful to the mouth in any and every case. Pivot teeth also inserted. Gold and porcelain crowns adjusted on roots, etc. These operations are quite expensive, but where there is a good root it pays. No charge for examining teeth. Call and make your appointment a few days in advance. Reasonable satisfaction guaranteed in all cases.

T. L. O'Conor's Tile Factory and Brick Yard [page 13]

The use of tile has become an acknowledged necessity in many places, and everywhere as something very much to be desired by all farmers. Its manufacture is receiving a great deal of attention from scientific men, and capitalists are investing large sums of money in factories and machinery for its production. In this particular industrial branch, La Salle stands in the front rank with one of the best equipped factories in the state, which is presided over and operated by Mr. Thos. L. O'Conor, one of the enterprising young men of the city. His tile machine is of the Tiffany pattern, cylindrical in shape, built of cast iron one inch thick, somewhere about two feet in diameter, and standing probably about four feet high. In the center is a series of horizontal knives attached to an upright shaft. The clay is fed into the machine at the top by means of an endless elevator, and the knives moving around cut and pulverize it and at the same time carry it downwards upon a large screw which forces it horizontally and in a steady stream through a circular aperture, the diameter of which is the same as the tile produced. This aperture is supplied with a revolving core which shapes the interior of the tile and leaves it perfectly smooth. It is cut as it comes from the mill into foot lengths by means of fine steel wires attached to a frame, operated by hand. The tile is then set up on end in the large drying room, where, after drying without exposure to the extreme heat of the sun, which would produce cracking, it is taken to the kiln and burned. The clay used is of a superior quality for the manufacture of both brick and tile and was so pronounced by the late highly competent geologist, Dixwell Lathrop, years ago.

In addition to the tile machine, Mr. O'Conor is operating two brick machines. One is the common style made by G. E. Sibley, New York, with a capacity of 80,000 brick per day. The other is a "Pentfield," with a capacity of 1,800 per hour. This is built somewhat similar to the tile machine, only the screw is here replaced by a plunger which forces the clay out in a stream 4x8 inches square under a pressure of 320,000 pounds or 160 tons. It is afterwards cut up into brick 2-1/2 inches thick with wires the same as the tile. An ingenious apparatus in the interior of the machine takes out all stones, gravel, and other objectionable material that may be present in the clay.

The following facts relating to tile drainage, from farmers of wide experience, may not be amiss here: It is a misfortune to farmers not to know the advantages of tile draining. The results are in all cases to increase the productive power of the land drained. All kinds of grain and tame grasses, fruit trees and shrubbery yield always better, and in many cases several hundred per cent, better, on well drained soils, as experience has long since verified. On land that is not drained the water must soak away by slow process or be taken up by evaporation, which leaves the under soil cold, especially in the spring. On drained land it passes at once to the drains, and in its course through the soil carries with it the warmth of the sun and the atmosphere, by this means making the time of planting the spring crop several weeks earlier. The water also passing quickly down carries food to the roots of the plants. It prevents injury by drouth, letting the air circulate to a greater depth in the soil. On land not drained the decayed animal and vegetable matter is taken up by the atmosphere and produces malaria, while on land that is drained this is carried down by the rains and nourishes vegetation. All lands need draining unless they have a gravelly or sandy subsoil; and drainage is not less useful in making roads than in the raising of farm crops. The distance between tile drains must be determined by the nature of the soil, its depth and the amount of fall. Some porous soil will permit water to reach the drains for a long distance, while a tough compact clay is almost impervious to water and requires the drains to be much closer together. In a black, loose soil drains at the depth of four feet are sufficient at a distance of ten rods apart; but if the land is a hard-pan or a stiff clay, to drain it thoroughly the distance apart should not be more than from four to six rods. Deep drains have a great deal of advantage over shallow ones. Farmers never get any benefit from their land below the level of their drains; but they do get the benefit of the soil above, even if the drain lies eight feet below the surface. An orchard or vineyard should not be drained less than that depth. Always secure a good outlet, if it is at all possible, and make the fall as great as the contour of the land will admit. The greater the fall the smaller the tile that can be advantageously used, and the deeper down they are laid the further apart can be the drains. With a twelve-inch fall in a hundred feet a five-inch tile will carry off as much water as a six-inch tile will if the fall is but four inches to the hundred feet. Always aim to get the greatest amount of water off in the shortest possible time.

W. E. Birkenbeuel's Jewelry Store [page 14]

The jewelry business of the city is entirely led by W. E. Birkenbeuel. That only which is actually necessary in life is not all that people live for. The beautiful and artistic is also sought as it should be and the more intelligent the people become the more they seek to gratify their inherent longing for that which pleases the eye as well as serves a purpose of usefulness. Mr. Birkenbeuel opened his store in this city in 1875 in partnership with H. Linnig, of Peru, who some time ago withdrew, leaving the whole business in his hands. Appreciating the demands and wants of the community, he has stocked his store with literally everything that could be desired by the most fastidious, and in soliciting trade he does it with the full confidence that none will find it necessary to leave his counters and showcases in order to make satisfactory selections in the way of anything in the jewelry line. To enumerate his goods would be impossible. He has watches from all the best American and foreign manufacturers in gold and silver cases, and at all prices, from the cheapest to the finest, including chronometers, horse timers, etc. Diamonds in large variety and of the finest quality. The stock of silverware is something unusual, consisting of tea sets, cake baskets, butter dishes, trays, water pitchers, cups, goblets, castors, fruit stands, knives, forks, spoons, etc., etc. Rings and pins are plentiful in plain and ornamental, with gold, pearls, rubies, amethysts, diamonds and other precious stones. Chains, necklaces and bracelets in hundreds of different styles from the plainest to the most ornamental and richly finished, glisten within the cases. In clocks the wonder is that makers can design so many different styles and kinds in wood and metal. There are large and small clocks, round and square finished clocks, alarm clocks, those that strike and those that don't strike, calendar clocks, electric clocks, clocks with springs and clocks with weights, and in short, the whole clock family and all the relatives. Spectacles lie in heaps, and the near sighted and the far sighted, the young and the old, can all find just the kind they need and in styled to suit their tastes and purses, from the plainest steel frames to the finest gold. Gold pens from the leading manufacturers are plentiful and in such variety as to afford something to suit the hand of every person.

Pianos, grand, square, and upright, from all leading manufacturers, can be purchased here; also organs from the plainest finished to the most elaborate and finest toned. Violins in choice assortment can also be found and always of the best. Accordions, guitars, banjos, drums, flutes, clarinets, tamborines, etc., are always on hand in abundance for musicians to select from. Guns and rifles, breech and muzzle loaders of different patterns, including all the best, on exhibition for the accommodation of sportsmen. Powder, shot and shell are also for sale and any hunter can here get a complete outfit any day. Revolvers and pistols, wood and ivory handles, plain, silver and nickle plated, with cartridges, are always in stock.

There are always on exhibition smokers' articles, such as meerschaum pipes and cigar holders; microscopes, telescopes and opera glasses, among them many very fine instruments: thermometers of different kinds. Glass and porcelain vases, among them some of the finest and most elaborately finished every offered for sale in any city of the Union; pocketbooks-in leather, morocco, etc.; drafting instruments in brass and German silver, both Swiss and American make; toilet articles, such as perfumeries, brushes, combs, Japanese fancy boxes, jewelry cases and the like; fancy baskets, Writing desks, music cases, orginettes and sheet music; ink stands, pen holders and fancy stationery; albums in large variety to adorn the tables of the most wealthy; pocket-knives, razors and penknives of almost every style and kind manufactured; nut picks, single and in sets; napkin rings in many designs, both unique and plain; canes, light and heavy, long and short, wood, gutta percha, etc., plain or fancy; watch charms of handsome designs, sleeve buttons studs, collar buttons, and the like, bone, ivory ebony, silver, gold, etc.; Swiss wood work beautiful and useful patterns; playing cards dice, dominoes, chess, checkers and games various kinds; bird cages of all shapes and sizes; pictures, chromos, oil paintings, etc. fishing tackle, poles, hooks, lines, fly-baits etc. Always has first-class workmen in his employ, and in watch, clock and jewelry repairing he guarantees satisfaction. All silverware bought at his place engraved free of extra charges.

Ancient Order United Workmen, Eureka Lodge, No. 130 [page 15]

Among the societies of La Salle Eureka Lodge No. 130. A. O. U. W., stands as one of the most prominent, having a membership of nearly 100, composed of the very best men in the city. The Lodge room is on the corner of Gooding and First streets. Meetings every Monday evening. Geo. Wilson, M. W.; J. Y. Thorp, Rec.

The A. O. U. W. is purely a benevolent and business organization, cosmopolitan in its character, having in its membership all classes; men of every vocation working in every department of labor; men who toil with the head and those who know how to use the brawny hand; employer and employee, differing, perhaps, in political and religious beliefs, but all believing in the existence of a God, the Creator and Preserver of the Universe, and extending towards each other that charity taught in the open Book which is found on the altar of every Lodge. The most distinctive aim of the Order is mutual life insurance, the cheapest, most effective and most rational plan known to business men. It was sought among the various systems of life insurance and co-operative aid associations, and believes it has found the method of proving life insurance within the general reach of the masses, as safe, if not safer, than that obtained from the general life insurance companies of the day. Its system or method is as follows: The Supreme Lodge of the Order has original and exclusive jurisdiction over all subjects pertaining to the welfare of the Order, and appellate jurisdiction from the decision of Grand Lodges and of subordinate lodges under its immediate jurisdiction, and its enactments and decisions upon all questions are the supreme law of the Order. It also issue charters to Grand Lodges and to subordinate lodges in territory not under the jurisdiction of Grand Lodges. Grand Lodges are only established in States or Territories having within their limits 2,000 members, Master Workmen in good standing; and when the membership of any Grand Lodge falls below that number it ceases to exist and the subordinate lodges with in its limits revert to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge. The various local lodges in a State having a Grand Lodge are under its jurisdiction, and those in a State having no Grand Lodge are under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge. Upon the death of a member under the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge, the assessments for insurance are levied on the members under that jurisdiction; upon the death of a member under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge, the assessments for insurance are on the members of its jurisdiction. Assessments in jurisdictions having only 2,000 members will be $1 at the death of each member, never more. In jurisdictions having more than 2,000 members, the assessments vary according to the number of members; in some, two assessments for every three deaths; in another only two for every five deaths; the overplus in each assessment is applied on account of the next assessment. All assessments arc made by Supreme or Grand Lodge officers, and are so arranged that the funds to meet one assessment are always ready in the hands of the Receivers of the various subordinate lodges, so that when an assessment is made to pay the policy of a deceased member the money is forwarded by the subordinate lodges to the Recorder of the Supreme or Grand Lodge, and by the proper officials paid to the proper person or persons to whose benefit the insurance policy is issued. Upon the death of a Master Workman, the subordinate lodge in which his name is enrolled notifies the Recorder of the Supreme or Grand Lodge, as the case may be, when an assessment is made and the various subordinate lodges notified. Within 20 days after notification the money must be sent by the Receivers of the subordinate lodges to the Recorder of the Supreme or Grand Lodge, $1 for each member, and the members of the various lodges are then required to pay $1 each, which is then placed in the hands of the Receivers to replace the money sent by them, so as to be ready for the next assessment; and no one to whom a policy has been made payable has yet been heard to say that the A. O. U. W. has not faithfully, punctually and fully met every obligation made to the widows and orphans of its' deceased brothers.

The regulations for' membership are, that the person applying must be over 21 and under 50 years of age, of good moral character, able and competent to earn a livelihood for himself and family, and a believer in the Supreme Being, the Creator and Preserver of the Universe; must submit to a medical examination as rigid and complete as those of the most cautious insurance companies; must undergo a rigid examination as to character, and pass a secret ballot before being admitted.

H. J. Barker's Grocery House [page 16]

Young men will get married. Adam was the first man who objected to living alone, and his sons all the way down to the present day have raised the old man's objection, followed in his footsteps, and sought out a woman for an everyday companion. This is of course all well enough, and everything is apt to run along smoothly providing there is no difficulty encountered in getting the provisions. Here is where the rub may be expected. If the old folks happen to be millionaires the rub won't be very hard, but otherwise look out for tough scratching. This can only be avoided in one way: by purchasing the family supplies at H. J. Barker's. The question - what does he keep? - can be best answered by the simple statement: everything that regularly belongs to a well assorted stock of groceries and provisions. Then, enlarging on this a little, it may be added that his goods are always the best, on which account they are naturally the cheapest, and, as a rule, made still cheaper by a careful and judicious system of purchasing in large quantities for cash, and at the same time taking advantage of any good bargains that may chance to be offered by the wholesale houses.

Entering somewhat further into particulars, mention may be made of his fruits, which either green, dried or canned are absolutely the best in the market. The impression prevails with some that buying canned goods is like "buying a pig in a bag." However correct the impression may be as applied to others, it don't fit Barker at all. He warrants every can, and if not found as represented may be returned. His prices on this class of goods are so low that no woman under the circumstance can afford to can her own fruit. Leading fruits, such as California pears, apricots and peaches, are sold by the case at about the same price at which common goods are sold elsewhere. Teas, coffees and syrups are among Barker's specialties, and he has lots of splendid bargains to offer in these goods. He is also the leading commission merchant in the city.

Barker's teas are leading all others in quality and price. Those that have not bought tea of him don't know what bargains they are losing every time they buy elsewhere.

Anderson's Furniture Store [page 16]

An attractive home is one of the most desirable acquisitions of life. While the Bedouin Arab may be perfectly satisfied with his tent, in which he keeps his wife, children and horses housed together, the race which has passed the nomadic stage of its existence and finds the possession of a local habitation one of the leading objects of an inherent ambition naturally wants its interior, if not its exterior, fitted up in such a way as to gratify a sense of the beautiful, as well as to serve the purposes of the useful. And therefore the representative of that advanced race, which is the intelligent man or woman of the present day, always goes to K. Anderson for furniture. The stock he keeps comprehends everything that naturally should be found in a well regulated household in the shape of furniture. Chairs are comfortable things to sit on, and Anderson has them in all possible varieties; the plain wooden chair, made strong and substantial; the wooden arm chair and wood rocking chairs for children and adults. Then he has a better grade, consisting of caned chairs, including rockers, arm chairs, etc., finished up in the neatest and most tasteful style. In the finest grade of chairs he takes the lead, in these parts at least. His easy rockers and others are simply superb, finished in rep, raw silk, velvet, hair, cloth, etc., with spring bottoms, adjustable backs, and every other feature which can in any way add to their real usefulness and beauty. In tables the variety is large, ranging from the plainest stand to the finest walnut marble-top center table. Bedsteads are abundant and embrace the cheaper articles in stained wood, the better finished ones, though plain, in walnut, ash, etc., and those handsome and stylishly finished, which go with the finest bed-room sets. The stock of bureaus could not well be more attractive; and from the convenient and nobby little bureau to the best finished marble-top, all are excellent. Hair, wool, husk and spring mattresses of all the leading kinds are constantly in stock, as also picture frames of all kinds.

Undertaking is a leading feature in Mr. Anderson's business, and receives the most prompt attention. He keeps everything in this line, so that patrons can always find just what will suit them. A handsome hearse, the finest absolutely in the Twin Cities, is free to patrons. He is the only undertaker in this vicinity who embalms and preserves bodies without the use of ice, having made a special study of this branch of the business and practiced it for years.

All kinds of furniture repairing and upholstering done in the best manner, and all goods sold at the very lowest rates.

W. A. Locke's Fine Art Studio, 99 First Street [page 17]

Photography, as a branch of the fine arts, receives its due share of attention in this city. The gallery long and favorably known under the management of George Syphers, has for a number of years been operated by W. A. Locke, who is a man of fine talent and thoroughly posted in all branches of the art. Mr. Locke has added very largely to its facilities and popularity and brought it to the highest standard of excellence.

The success of any business depends on the satisfaction afforded its patrons, and judging from the reputation of the gallery its patrons can safely depend on obtaining the very best work in every case and securing the full value of their money. The photographic art is ranked among the finest, and one requiring a great deal of experience and skill in order to attain any approximation towards perfection. The apparatus for successful work is very expensive and the most delicate and sensitive work is required in every detail. Mr. Locke's gallery and operating returns occupy two floors of one of the large brick store buildings on First street. One floor is used only for printing and finishing, while on the other are the operating rooms, the reception rooms, parlors, etc. The display of pictures and specimens of fine art is truly beautiful and consists of photographs in all the latest styles; also portraits finished in oil, India ink, crayon, etc. The walls of the art parlor are adorned with fine steel engravings, artotypes, albertypes, oleographs and many other fine speoniens of the fine art; also a magnificent display of fine silk, plush, velvet and gold picture frames. In addition to the taking of fine pictures, Mr. Locke carries the most extensive line of elegant picture frames to be found, from the plainest grades to the most delicate gold frames, all of which are of the newest and latest patterns.

Photography is one of the arts chemistry has made possible and practicable. If is the compelling of the sunlight to perform the work of the painter and it does it in a manner vastly superior to anything that the hand of man has attained to. It has also brought within reach of the poor as well as the rich the power to indulge in the love for the beautiful, which is one of the inherent characteristics of human nature. Its use is not strictly confined to the formation of pictures; it is used for other purposes, principal among which it that of making stereotype and electrotype plates for printing.

M. D. Brown & Co.'s Dry Goods House [page 17]

The dry goods house of H. D. Brown is one of the oldest establishments in the county, twenty-five years ago having been under the management of Adams & Hatch. The present firm, in which Mr. Frank Longworth figures as the "Co.," acceptably to the public, occupies the old field to-day, prepared to show the people of this vicinity a most extensive and complete stock of dry goods, carpets, hosiery, curtains, notions, furnishing goods, etc., and a cordial invitation is extended to all to examine the same. The character of the stock is constantly being improved by placing on the counters at all times in all departments the best goods the market affords. This gives persons in search of fine goods an opportunity to purchase without going out of town to find them. It would be impossible here to give an adequate idea of the extent and variety of the goods comprised in this stock, but all should see it for themselves. The advantage in having a mammoth stock to select from is obvious, and prices are the lowest in every instance. H. D. Brown & Co. keep regularly on hand a superb stock of silks, black and plain, colors and fancy, from the cheapest to the very best; also the latest novelties in black and colored dress goods in the finest fabrics, together with an elegant line of ladies', children's and men's hosiery and gloves, parasols, ribbons, laces, fancy goods of every description, and suits for children in many elegant styles. They have a fine stock of ladies' cloth and silk wraps, such as jackets, ulsters, doimans, etc. Better bargains than are offered in this house are hard to find, as the aim has been and always will be to satisfy in every sense of the word every customer in every purchase, be it large or small. "Brown's" is a household word in scores of families, and many never think of going elsewhere to purchase dry goods. They have always traded there, always knew that they got full value for their money, and will continue to patronize the house as long as they buy and the firm sell goods. With business tact, judgment and foresight to grasp new ideas in the line of their trade, the ability to anticipate and prepare for supplying at all seasons the numerous wants of the community, Messrs. Brown and Longwort have a long lease of business prosperity before them and at the beginning of the next century will doubtless be found still in the field selling good goods at the lowest possible prices.

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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