To trace tailoring back to its origin would be almost equal to tracing up the
origin of man. If, as Darwin claims, men originated from the monkey, then
tailoring began early in the transition stage when the hirsute covering began to
grow too thin to afford protection from the inclemency of the weather. If the
story of Adam's creation be the true version of man's first appearance on the
earth, then tailoring first began in his family. Man's tastes coupled with his
requirements in the matter of dress have called for many modifications in the
forms of garments and all these had to be studied and worked out by the
industrious and indefatigable tailor. The human form may be divine, and all
that, but the tailor's skill brings out that divinity.
Among the tailors of La Salle deserving of a generous notice may be mentioned Mr. J. J. King, who has for a period of 25 years been engaged in clothing the leading citizens of this city and Peru. Long experience in the business has enabled him to become acquainted with the wants of the community and the fact of his long stay here is conclusive evidence that he suits his customers and gives satisfaction in all cases. It would not be doing him justice to say less than that he is the best judge of cloth to be scared up in this county. If possibly he has an equal in this respect he certainly has no superiors. Customers can always depend on what he tells them in relation to the quality of goods. The quality of cloth varies so greatly that ordinary people or those who have never had opportunity to learn in what a good article consists, find it necessary to learn in each particular instance from one who knows. Mr. King is the man in this city who knows, and his skill and ability are appreciated.
With a good stock of cloth regularly on hand he is prepared to furnish suits or single garments at low prices. If he should chance to have no patterns that please a customer he shows him a high pile of samples among which he cannot fail to find something that exactly suits him, and which is always obtained within a day or two afterwards from some leading Chicago house. With every facility for doing good work and with the ability and sound judgment which long years of practical experience alone can produce, he asks for the continuance of that trade which has been so generously tendered him in the past, and guaranteeing satisfaction in the highest degree both as to quality of goods and workmanship, his business is steadily maintained and customers remain long with him.
A person's first impression in regard to coloring fabrics is that it is a very simple operation requiring no more skill than is necessary in the production of the required shade in the liquid and the dipping into it of the article to be colored. Such however is not the case for there are few arts in which experience, aptness and actual skill are more called for in order to attain even tolerably good results than in dyeing. If each piece of cloth were made entirely of the same material cotton, wool, or whatever it might be and each thread were twisted the same there would be little difficulty then in obtaining any desired color. The same piece of cloth may contain cotton, wool and silk and the warp be tightly twisted like a spool of cotton thread while the woof is perfectly loose, and while the one part would entirely take up the coloring matter the other would absorb it very slowly and thus when removed from the dye the article instead of being of a uniform color would be greatly variegated. The skill is in knowing just how to operate with both cloth and color so as to make all parts of the fabric receive its proper share of the coloring matter. Very often uniformity in the final result is a matter of absolute impossibility and an approximation to the desired result is all that can be hoped for. Mrs. King has had many years of experience in the business and what she does not know about the practical work of dyeing is very little. She seldom fails to produce good results for she knows the boundaries beyond which the impossible lies. With the best of dyes, those imported from France being the only kind she uses, she succeeds where with ordinary dyers, success is impossible. The establishment of this business was something long needed in La Salle. There are few persons, be they rich or poor, that do not often find it desirable to have goods dyed that are not half worn out but which it would be the most unpardonable extravagance to throw away simply because they are faded and not suitable to wear on that account. Almost everything of this nature can be made nearly as good as new by dyeing and should such be necessary, cleaning and repairing, which Mrs. King promptly attends to. She colors all kinds of fabrics, be they cotton, wool or silk. Felt hats cleaned and dyed and silk hats cleaned and blocked. It may be added to the above that the Mrs. King's dye works are in La Salle to stay; they are one of the permanent fixtures of the place.
The day is not long passed since the old fireplace, occupying nearly the
entire end of the family residence, with chimney filling up a large portion of
the adjacent out-doors, was abandoned with its numerous adjuncts in the way of
andirons, cranes, hooks, pots, tin ovens and a dozen or so et ceteras. It had
its day and though some may lament its departure and sigh for the return of the
good old times, the present generation has something better and is therefore
disposed to look upon the picture so vividly drawn by those who entered the
world when the last century was still unfinished as that of a relic of barbarism
or at least of semi-civilization.
Stoves as they are now made by the leading manufacturers in all their varied forms evince the most wonderful progress since a few decades ago in the devices for cooking and heating. An illustration of this can best be seen by a visit to M. J. Bungart's commodious store well filled with a full stock of the best and most improved styles the market affords. As a leader among leaders in the line of cooking stoves may be mentioned the "Crown Prince." The highest compliment that can be paid it is to note the fact that more of the Crown Prince stoves are sold in this community than of any two other styles offered to the trade. It possesses every commendable feature found in cook stoves, and further than this nothing need be said in regard to it. The Vapor Oil Stove is one of Bungart's specialties, and its desirability for summer use cannot be questioned. It is safe, convenient, clean and cheap, and does not heat up a room to an intolerable temperature every time it is necessary in mid summer to boil the tea-kettle or heat a flat iron. The prices range from $4 up, and no housekeeper once using it would think it possible afterwards to do without it.
The supply of heating stoves in this store is always large, comprising the best made either for hard or soft coal. Ruby and other furnaces are also furnished when parties desire to heat with hot air. A general assortment of shelf hardware, cutlery, nails, etc., is always in stock, and also a large lot of garden and form implements, such as shovels, hoes, forks, rakes, scythes, and the like. In tinware Mr. Bungart does a large business, having abundant facilities for doing everything in the tin manufacturing line except the making of pressed ware and of this he always keeps a large quantity on hand. He does all kinds of general jobbing, roofing, guttering, etc., and gives his patrons satisfaction every time.
The inhabitants of this world are nearly all after cash. This is the end and
aim of all endeavors the main object of life. How to obtain this boon is
something that has exercised the human mind ever since a medium of exchange was
first devised away back in the early ages, when man learned that he could not
with his own hands make each and every article that his necessities and comforts
required, and he discovered that it was convenient to trade with his neighbors.
A few only, up to the present day, have discovered the great secret that the
best way to get and accumulate cash is to trade on a cash basis. Williamson &
Holmes made the discovery a few years since and reorganized their grocery house,
which they had been conducting in the customary way for along time with rather
indifferent success, on a strictly cash basis. They launched out anew with the
intention of making money themselves and at the same time giving their customers
lower rates than ever on all kinds of goods in the grocery line, thus giving
them a chance to save a little of their own hard earned money. And the plan of
the firm has worked successfully, and they and their customers are satisfied
that true economy consists in paying as you go, contracting no debts, but owning
what you possess.
The stock carried by this firm is very comprehensive and embraces everything in the grocery line. Among the leading articles here may be mentioned teas and canned fruits. Of the former they always carry the best and largest assortment in the county, while the latter includes all the best and most reliable brands of fruits, vegetables and meats. In crockery, lamps and glassware the stock is immense, embracing all kinds of plain and fancy ware, common, china, majolica, etc., with lamps of about every kind made, from the cheapest to the very finest, and glassware of every conceivable kind, style and pattern, not considered out of date.
Green fruits, such as berries of all kinds, peaches, pears, plums, grapes, apples, etc., always on hand in their season in abundance and at the very lowest market rates.
Country produce butter, eggs, vegetables and poultry, can always be disposed of here on the most advantageous terms.
Such things as nuts, confectioneries, jellies and similar goods are always fresh and of the very best. Tobacco, cigars, pipes and other smokers' articles always ready for use. Sporting goods - powder, shot, shells, fishing tackle and about everything else desired by the sportsman always for sale.
Lumber is one of the necessities of our existence. It was not always made as
now by means of expensive and elaborate sawing machinery, but it was made and
used nevertheless when the ax was the only tool in the hands of the artisan. It
is used not only in all building construction, but in the manufacture of so many
different articles in every day use that it may properly be said to be universal
in all its applications to the wants of man.
For a period of three years past Geo. Raymond has been engaged in supplying the wants of the people of this city and vicinity with this very necessary commodity, and so well has he satisfied the public in his system of dealing that he has now a large number of firm friends on whose patronage he can always depend.
His stock comprises everything that should be found in a well arranged lumber yard, including common lumber, fencing, flooring, plank, studding, siding, lath, shingles and the like. Dressed lumber is on hand at all times in large quantities as also an extensive assortment of seasoned lumber, including mouldings of dozens of different designs, with matched lumber for wainscotings, ceilings, and the like. He has a fine stock regularly on hand of sash, doors, blinds and other factory made articles for builders, everything being of the very best material and workmanship, well seasoned and guaranteed to give satisfaction in all cases.
When any commodity is purchased at a high price it must of necessity be sold at a high price to afford the dealer a margin for profit, but Mr. Raymond don't buy lumber in that way. He is in a position to secure fully as low rates as the most favored dealer in the State and is, consequently, able to sell at figures which are in every sense the very lowest, and purchasers of lumber will save money by keeping this fact constantly in mind.
In addition to lumber Mr. Raymond keeps regularly in his warehouse a full supply of the best lime the market affords, both for masonry and plastering, also hydraulic cement, stucco, plastering hair and other materials required in building.
Anthracite coal is another article in which Mr. Raymond deals, and has always enough on hand to meet any demand that may be made upon him. The superiority of hard coal over our ordinary soft coal for domestic heating purposes is recognized by all who have had opportunity to compare the two. Hard coal will burn at least three times as long as soft coal and hence the same quantity will last three times as long, produce less than one-half the quantity of ashes, make no smoke or gas, no dust to render rooms unpleasant or unhealthy, while the heat produced with hard coal is at all times by far the most intense. The celebrated Cumberland Blossburg coal, the best known for blacksmithing is also regularly kept on hand.
Mr. Raymond also keeps regularly on hand a full supply of Rubber Paint, the best in use, manufactured in 100 shades, colors and tints, from pure white to jet black, by the Rubber Paint Company, of Cleveland, Ohio. For many years chemists and others have experimented in mixing India rubber with oil, lead, etc., in order to produce a perfectly water-proof paint, and at last, successful in the effort, have formed a chemical combination of rubber with oil paints which, when applied, becomes hard and elastic enough not to crack or peal from the action of the atmosphere, with a gloss equal to work finished with varnish. The company own all the patents covering perfect combinations like the above, known and sold as "Rubber Paint.''
After several years' trial and the severest tests, they confidently assert that 32 worth of paint will cover more surface, and do it better, than 3 worth of white lead and oil, and will last three times as long. Two coats of the Rubber Paint are better than three coats of ordinary paint. The particular point of superiority established for this paint may be summed up as follows: It is the most economical paint, costing one-quarter to one-third less than any other, while one-third more can be accomplished with a given quantity. Its durability surpasses that of any other paint, for the reason that in whatever weather or condition of climate used, it is not effected; while its greater body forms a coat remarkably firm and strong, and at the same time so adhesive and elastic that it will not crack or peel off. It retains color better than any other paint, and brings out colors with more brilliancy and effect. It is available for all kinds of painting, and especially for fine inside work, and may be used with equal advantage on iron, wood, brick or plaster. No paint manufactured will resist water equal to it, making it unequaled tor painting vessels, boats or roofs. In all requisites of a first class paint, the Rubber Paint is unequalled, and, it is believed, must supersede all other paints now in use. The Rubber Paint is prepared in pure white, and in all cottage and other colors, comprising any number of different shades, and put up ready for use, being a great advantage, as it can be spread by any one. One gallon of this paint will cover to thirty yards, two coats.
La Salle has at least one really fine harness store - that of Jacob Knapp. He has been in the harness business here for many years, is a practical workman himself, understands every detail of the trade and the business and is a popular man in the community. His stock comprises a large assortment of the different kinds of harness in general use, grading from the finest, best made, and most stylishly finished buggy harness to the lower priced though substantial and durable article. Following these comes all kinds of harness for draft horses from that, suitable for the heaviest truck harness to the light team, of the express driver, all made in the best manner and of the best material. A stock of saddles which includes about every kind in use, from the most common to the finest is always on hand. There is a large lot of collars regularly in stock for customers to select from just what they want. Whips by the hundred afford an ample assortment for every one to find something to suit him. Fly nets, horse covers, blankets, and in fact all kinds of articles used by horsemen can always be found in this store, and to the general stock is added a lot of trunks, valises, traveling bags and the like. All kinds of repairing neatly and promptly done.
La Salle has generally had an efficient police force. The order, as a rule, maintained in the city, has been as good, if not a little superior to that maintained in other places where the population is the same in number and character. And it can be properly and truthfully remarked here that the thanks of the citizens for the peace and quiet of the place are largely due to the efforts of the efficient Chief of Police, Mr. Jas. Murtha. He is one of the those who are natural born detectives, if there are such, and has long ago made for himself a most creditable record. He has been engaged in a number of very important cases, and his success in ferreting out criminals and securing evidence against them has been by no means meager. He has served as an officer in La Salle for many years, and though he did not at first he has of late years given his whole time and attention to police and detective work. He is now supported by an efficient and competent body of men, who act in the capacity of policemen: Messrs. Larney, Doyle, Michbach and McGuire, and the city is probably as free from hoodlums and thugs as any set of men could make it.
Since the day when Sir Walter Raleigh got a pail of water clashed over him by a servant, who, seeing the smoke emanating from his mouth, thought lie had caught fire and was burning up, men have persisted in smoking. As to whether the practice is hurtful or otherwise is a matter for those to discuss who are qualified to say something on the subject. The substance of this paragraph is to set forth the good qualities of the cigars manufactured by Messrs. Cummings & Nink. They have had seventeen years experience in the business and claim not without the best of reasons that there is no better cigar in the market than they make. The following are a part of the brands they have on sale: La Cosmopolitana, 4-1/4, Clear Havana; Aurora, 4-1/4, Clear Havana Filler; Morning Dawn, 4-1/4, Half Havana Filler; El Clarino, 3-3/4, Part Havana Filler; Revolution, 4-1/4, Clear Connecticut Seed. The public is recommended to try these cigars and they are offered with the full confidence that they will be found good in every sense of the word. They are in all cases just exactly what they are represented to be.
No matter how good or how poor the times are it is always beneficial to know where the best articles can be had for the least money. Should you wish to purchase anything in the clothing line you are referred to B. Lachmann & Co. They are the oldest and most reliable clothing firm in La Salle. Having had many years' experience in the business, and being very close bbuyers, they come right to the front rank as leaders in low prices. Headquarters for well made and well fitting garments for Men, Boys, and Children, and everything else that is usually kept in a first class Clothing establishment. This enterprising firm has lately established, in connection with their extensive business, a Merchant Tailoring Department, where none but first class garments are turned out, from 15 to 20 per cent less than tailors will furnish the same. From 200 to 300 seasonable patterns always in stock to select from. Good suits range from $18.00 to $25.00, and a perfect fit gurranteed. A fall line of North Western Hats, in all colors and styles, manufactured expressly for B. Lachmann & Co. Every Hat is warranted to give satisfaction. Also a full line of Sweet's Overalls on hand. Farmers and mechanics will please take notice that this is the best fitting Overall made and will never rip. For further particulars call at the Golden Eagle Clothing House of B. Lachmann & Co.
As everyone must have clothing, the question of where to buy comes to every
family at one time or another. La Salle people have solved this question as a
general thing, find have pronounced in favor of Stone's clothing house as about
the best place in the county to procure ready-made garments. The stock of men's
ready-made clothing for young and old is one of the largest in the county. He
keeps not only goods of the finest grade, but carries a full assortment adapted
to the wants of the farmer, mechanic, laborer and all classes of young men,
middle-aged men and old men, or large or small men, as well as every size
between, with prices in all cases graded down to common sense figures. In the
low priced grades there is nothing but good, honest goods, such as will wear
well and look well and are worth every cent asked for them. In the higher grades
are suits made from the best imported and domestic fabrics and in the latest
Mr. Stone's goods are of a far better quality of cloth and of superior workmanship, sewing, etc., than ready-made clothing generally. He is a close and careful buyer, and workmanship is considered by him with the same importance as texture and quality of goods. He warrants every article sold to be exactly as represented. It is impossible to get cheated here, as everything is strictly one price, and each article is marked in plain figures so that all may read them, a child as well as a man. Boys' suits, suitable for all ages and for parents whose pocket books arc poorly supplied with money as well as the prosperous merchant or mechanic.
The stock of gents' furnishing goods is immense, and comprises mens' and boys' white shirts, with working shirts of cheviot, flannel, cassimere, etc.; with collars, cuffs, ties; underwear, cotton, flannel, etc.; gloves and everything desirable in a gentleman's wardrobe.
All the late styles of hats and caps are kept regularly in stock, and the aim is to make this the place where a person can find any style of hat or cap for men's or boys' wear that may be desired.
There is a fine line of trunks and valises of all kinds, sizes and qualities, and at all prices, elegantly finished or plain; also a lot of excellent traveling bags for ladies or gents, many of them perfect marvels of convenience, in cloth, rubber, split leather and alligator skin, with shawl and trunk straps, and the like. A large lot of rubber goods, such as coats, legging, hats, blankets, etc., is also regularly in stock.
Remember the place, one door east of P. O., old stand.
Geo. A. Elliott is one of the oldest and best known merchants in the city of
La Salle, having been engaged in his present business for a period of over
twenty years. He keeps the best farm machinery the market supplies, and is
always ready to meet the demands of the farming community for anything in this
line. He has an assortment of old ground plows from leading manufacturers, such
as the Furst & Bradley, Peru City, Buford, Grand Detour and others, including
the Hapgood sulky plow which is warranted to run lighter on the team than any
walking plow made; the Corbin disc harrow, something that is rapidly coming into
popular favor and entirely supersedes the old style; also the Acme harrow, a
very effective implement; the celebrated Challenge and Farmer's Friend corn
planters with the Hayworth and Joliet wire check rowers; Union seeders, the very
best known; Furst & Bradley, Buford, Grand Detour, Hapgood and other leading
walking spring cultivators with the Buford tongueless cultivator, embracing all
the latest and best improvements and devices in this class of machinery;
different styles of mowers, including the Empire, D. S. Morgan and Hopkins,
which perhaps have no superiors anywhere; the Furst & Bradley horse hay rake;
also the celebrated Thomas self-dump rake, which is discharged by the power of
the horse, steel tooth, very strong and durable; also the Eagle sulky rake,
which can be dumped either by hand or foot.
Leading among the machines in stock is the Empire twine binder which stands at the head in the way of harvesting machinery. It does its work automatically and to perfection, draws the band tight, ties it firmly and binds only when the bundle has reached the proper size, and is the lightest draft machine in the market. Mr. Elliott also takes orders for Aultman & Co.'s threshing machines, horse powers, portable steam engines, etc. He is also agent for Russell & Co., Massilon, O., manufacturers of threshing machinery, portable and traction steam engines, saw-mills, and the like.
Corn shellers of various kinds, among them the Eureka, made at Joliet, including hand and horse power, promptly supplied to the trade. The celebrated Studebaker wagons, buggies and carriages, and Oshkosh buggies and carriages.
To enumerate everything kept in the warehouse would be a heavy task, but enough articles have been mentioned to show that he keeps the best of everything and the supply is never exhausted.
When a person has been successfully engaged in business for a long period of
years it is evidence that, he knows the wants of his patrons and supplies them.
John G. Feldes' grocery and crockery house is the oldest German establishment of
the kind in the city and was first opened up thirteen years ago. The large
business now being done points conclusively to the fact that the proprietor has
the tact and good judgment to discern just what the people in this community
demand in the line of his business and keeps the purpose constantly in view to
supply that demand. His mammoth emporium, for such it is in reality, is stocked
with everything in the way of groceries, provisions, fruits, crockery, china,
cutlery, glass, wood and willow ware. He is actually the largest dealer in
crockery, china, glass And decorated ware, lamps, etc., in this county and as a
natural consequence sells cheaper than any other house. He also imports and
deals in wines, liquors, champaign, fine Kentucky whiskies, etc., and handles
none but first class goods.
Entering a little more into particulars it may be mentioned that his grocery stock comprises selected goods in all the different branches. Among his specialties may be mentioned canned goods, which include fruits, meats and vegetables of every kind put up in tin, always of the leading and best brands and guaranteed to prove satisfactory. Teas, coffees and spices he keeps in very large assortments and can suit the most fastidious in these goods. Green fruits are always to be found here in their proper season and sold at the lowest market rates.
Tobaccos, cigars, pipes and smokers' articles generally are in largo supply and variety and no one can fail to find here what will suit him in this class of goods. The display of crockery is something fine and there is nothing made in this line that any ordinary person has occasion to use which is not to be found on the shelves in Feldes' store. In majolica ware there is an assortment which is not equaled for variety and excellence in any other store in the county. In the glassware line may be seen nearly every style of lamp now in domestic use, from the plainest and cheapest to the most ornamental and finely finished.
In addition to the stock above specially mentioned there is always on exhibition a large and fine lot of vases, toilet sets, work baskets and fancy goods in almost endless variety, all of which like everything else in the store, is sold at the very lowest rock bottom prices.
The Dry Goods firm of Lucey & Theiss, successors to Scott Bros. & Co., has
been recognized since its first opening as one of the standard business firms of
the city, always alive to the interest of their customers, and knowing how to do
business they deal in what their customers want to buy. They believe that the
men who would build up an honorable and successful business, must see that the
foundations are well laid. In this respect integrity and honor areprinciples
which cannot be ignored. They practice close attention to their business,
economy in expense, fair judgment, no misrepresentations, give fair prices, and
are always ready, if possible, to do better for their customers than others in
the same business. In addition to these principles, which form the foundation of
their business, Messrs. Lucey & Theiss are never sleeping when the interests of
their customers are at stake. In every department in their store the stock is
ample and well selected, they being always ready and in a position to take
advantage of any bargains that are offered by the wholesale trade and giving
their patrons the benefits derived therefrom.
There has not been a year, within the recollection of the oldest inhabitant, where cash buyers have had advantages such as have been offered this year. Many goods, especially Dress Goods and all imported goods, can be bought at their counters for less money than the same goods were offered at wholesale in the early part of the season, and this means is taken of suggesting to buyers of Dry Goods that have not yet called on Messrs. Lucey & Theiss to go there, examine their stock, learn their prices and manner of doing business, and you will be sure to receive courteous treatment, whether you purchase anything or not, as the firm are always pleased to show customers through their stock. Their Dress Goods Department is second to none, and in it may be found full lines in black and colored of the celebrated Black Crow and Golden Cross Cashmeres, Nun's Veilings, Buntings, Stripes and Plaids, besides many novelties that are shown for the first time this season. Their Silk Department embraces all the standard brands of imported and American Silks, both black and colored, and the best line of Summer Silks in the county, with prices guaranteed as low as any house in America. Samples and prices of Dress Goods and Silks will be mailed free by request. Their stock of Lawns, Ginghams and Prints was never as well selected as now, and they are showing many novelties. In Housekeeping Goods they make a specialty, selling Table Linens, Napkins, Towels, Crashes, etc., fully 10 per cent, below competitors. They have the best line of Parasols and Fans in the county and fully 25 per cent, below last season's prices. See their Silk Parasols for $1.00, and Cambric Parasols for 10 cents. They beat them all. Ladies' Cloaks, Wraps, Dolmans, Ulsters, Shawls and Skirts are a specialty.
Space forbids any more enumeration of this stock, but all are advised to call and see Messrs. Lucey & Theiss. They will be pleased with your visit, and save you money in your purchases.
Extracted 24 Aug 2018 by Norma Hass from City of La Salle, Historical and Descriptive, with A Business Review, published in 1882.