Lines History-Part 6
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Barrington folks have always been lovers of music, and for many years had an organized band. The Silver Cornet Band was one of the earliest ones. An old picture of that group reveals among them (some not recognized at this time of more than seventy years later) Charles Coltrin, Lyman A. Powers, Phillip A. Hawley, John Collen, "Beely" Abbott, "Pete" Miller, John Barnett, Fred Heimerdinger, Jack Creet and August W. Meyer.
In 1889 the Barrington German Band was flourishing with John L. Meiners as President, John Frey as Vice President, Charles Alberding (who was a very fine organist) as Secretary, George Stiefenhoefor as Treasurer and August Miller as Librarian.
A later band which practiced in Sodt's Hall employed Charles Horne of Chicago as its star. A picture of that band shows its members as of the next generation after the two previous ones: John Rieke, Ed Rieke, Otto Rieke, Enoch Landwer, Frank H. Plagge, Orville Meiners, Herbert Plagge, Fred Grabenkort, George Landwer, Fred Wendt, Elmer Gieske, Roy Waterman, Henry Gottschalk, Sam Landwer, Irving Landwer, Ernest Wessel, George Stiefenhoefer, "Valle" (Wallace) Hill, Clarence Plagge, Henry F.W. Meyer, Newton Plagge and Walter Cannon.
A band stand was built around the old flag pole in Park Avenue east of Cook Street. Band concerts were given regularly for awhile on the Hough Street School north lawn before the gymnasium was built in 1924. Those band concerts drew a crowd and were wholesome entertainment. And what small boy did not enjoy walking the sidewalks beside the marching band to the cemetary an Decoration Day, to hear all he could of that stimulating music. Later, an octagon shaped band stand was built in the yard back of Sodt's store on Cook Street.
Music was introduced into the public schools; school bands were organized and gave their public service. Walter Sears as their teacher won for them a number of famous contest prizes.
An independent band of young ladies of the village become very popular. There was a lot of musical talent in Barrington, not only on the piano and the violin, but in band instruments also. The innovation of a girls band organized as the Ladies Cadet Band October 4, 1901, practiced under the leadership of Charles Horne in the Old Sodt Hall which stood where the Bank Tavern is now. Their members, as identified from an old photograph taken on Thanksgiving Day of 1905 at the dedication of the Dundee Road bridge over the Des Plaines River at Wheeling, are:
*Nora Plagge (Mrs. William Sodt)
*Edith Wagner (Mrs. L.B. Paddock)
*Esther Kampert (Mrs. R.D. Wells)
Blanche Shirding (Mrs. Louis Reuse)
*Rose Kampert (Mrs. Clarence Plagge)
*Myrtle Plagge (Mrs. Walter Cannon)
*Jennie Fletcher (Mrs. Anton Watchek)
*Mabel Stiefenhoefer (Mrs. Fred Best)
*Mabel Wagner (Mrs. Dr. H.W. Jones)
*Alma Stiefenhoefer (Mrs. John Cadwallader)
Grace Freeman (Mrs. William Skinner)
Luella Landwer (Mrs. Elmer Meister)
There were three more in the band but were not in that picture: *Iva Robertson (Mrs. Emil Myers), Maud Meyer (Mrs. Walter Shipman), *Sadie Blocks (Mrs. Charles Thies).
*These were the original 12.
The girls had uniforms and caps. The skirts hung to their toes.
On June 16, 1939 a band tax of one mill was permitted by Ordinance #281 to foster and perpetuate a village band. In 1941 a band tax of one-half cent was voted to be included with the village budget.
"Current Population Reports" on Special Censuses from the U.S. Department of Commerce says on March 31, 1955 that the total population of the village of Barrington, Illinois on January 5, 1955 was 4,797. The total figure represents an increase of 588, or 14% over the 4,209 inhabitants on April 1, 1950.
The number of persons living in dwelling units (which excludes persons living in places such as institutions, roaming houses, and hotels) was 4,731. There were 1,455 occupied dwelling units in Barrington on January 5, 1955, with an average of 3.25 persons per dwelling unit.
The special census was taken at the request and expense of the village of Barrington.
Increase 4/1/50 - 1/5/55
Jan. 5, 1955
Apr. 1, 1950
*Includes 6 non-white females
**Includes 6 non-white persons (2 males and 4 females)
At the time of incorporating the Village in 1865 the population is said to be about 350; in 1890 possibly 800 or 900. The following figures are quoted December 10, 1953 by the Courier-Review.
1910 - 1,444 1920 - 1,743 1930 - 3,213 1940 - 3,560 1950 - 4,209 1954 - 4,6?? 1958 - 5,060 (estimated) 1962 - 5,400 (estimated)
Someone has reported that the U.S. Census gave Barrington the lowest illiteracy percent in Illinois, .062% which would be six and one-fifth among ten thousand persons.
While Barrington has not suffered from violent wind storms, its neighborhood has had several bad visitors. So many hard winds and rains coming up from the Southwest, we early observed, would hit the Fox River valley, follow it up a way, and go around us. However, in 1878 one crossed close to the mouth of us doing some damage, according to old settlers. Several others followed that trail with much disaster, destroying the Bruns home and killing three in the family, as told by old timers.
On Palm Sunday, March 19, 1919 a tornado hit Dundee and followed up Poplar Creek on through Schaumburg. Ward Flock, then on the Dr. Kendall farm which was later the Quaker Oats Farm, lost a new car crushed in by the building being blown down on it. Jim McGraw lost thirty-five head of cattle when the barn they were in was demolished. March 28, 1920 a big storm hit Elgin wrecking Peck's Store and several others. The Congregational Church was damaged and the Baptist Church steeple was shot down through the pulpit. On the 19th of March in 1931, a bad one hit the Yoeman Home southwest of Dundee, took off the north wall of one of the buildings leaving the breakfast dishes on the table all in order. Bark was peeled from the trees; loose leaves and sticks swept before the cloud burst forming a wall of the woven wire fences and the flood did its damage.
There seems to be some dispute that the cold and snows of our youth were worse than of recent years, yet reports of meteorologists and weather bureaus bear that out. We recall of one lady going to the Northside School as a girl holding a hot potato in each hand in her pocket and walking on the frozen snow drifts right over fences. Before autos, your author remembers that snows were too deep at times for a team and a bob sleigh to wallow through, and a team of horses could take a lot more of it than an auto can. Wire fences were cut and farmers coming to town with their morning milk drove across fields or along the inside of hedges which were all too many in snow storms. On January 17, 1918 the snow was so deep at sub-zero that a drift had to be tunneled through to get into Evergreen Cemetary at the middle gate. There was no traction for wheels and a team and sleigh were used for the Fred E. Lines burial. The tunnel fell in and had to be shoveled out again by hand. No scoops or dredges then.
Along about that time, train #504 due from the north at about 9:00 p.m. could get no further. The cut at the east side of the village was too full to ram through even with the usual snow plow which was attached to engines coming down from the north. Passengers were boarded out by the railroad until Sunday morning when a canadian rotary snow plow started out about l0:30 a.m. to bore through the drift and there were more of them between here and Des Plaines. #504 followed with a double header, and a "Zulu" or class "J" engine trailing to drag the train out backwards should it get stuck as did Tommy Dolan's train in Russells's cut at Scarsdale. They went through.
In earlier days when that cut east of the village was filled with snow, a canadian rotary snow plow was sent for, and some of our men laughed and said it could never go through. They sat high up on the fence to laugh and watch, not reckoning with the mogul down there boring a mammoth hole and spewing its snow out to one side. The rotary snow plow went on through about its business, but the scoffers were no longer on the fence, they had to be dug out of the snow.
On January 20, 1943 it was 15 below zero with plenty of wind and drifting snow. There was twenty inches of snow in two weeks. It stayed below zero a few days; school was closed at least one day and there was only 20% of the rural mail delivered on the 17th. Dr. Shearer had to walk the railroad track to make a call on a patient at Deer Grove. Bundled in a fur coat and fur mittens he made it there and back.
In 1933 and 1936 there were plenty of mornings deep below zero. Sleet covering trees and wires did its damage at times disrupting telegraph and telephone service such as on January 31, 1915 when authorities said 225 out of about 400 phones were out of service in Barrington alone. One year sleet weighted the Western Union wires so badly that the poles and lines for miles along the C. & N.W. R.R. from here to Chicago were tipped over onto the track and in some places had to be lifted and braced up before trains could pass.
Early in the 1890's one night two storms from opposite directions met over Barrington and held a bad electrical storm most of the night. For hours there was scarcely a part of a minute when there was not a flash of lightning with its barrage of thunder. That night the lightning struck the taller steeple of the Methodist Church on Cook Street and spewed its lumber around liberally, even across the street. The stove pipes for the stoves in the sanctuary upstairs were wired to the walls and the ceiling. Lightning followed those conductors of electricity and did extensive damage. The steeple was rebuilt from the roof up by Fred Lines, but a little lower than before.
At the end of the hard open winter of 1898, it was found that the ground freezing before what little snow there was afterward, had allowed no water for the roots and about a third of the trees in Pomeroy's woods were killed and, to the pleasure of some of the farmers, miles of their pesky, thorny osage hedges were killed. Nature trimmed the hedges for them.
So many ask "what became of that old house?" We'd like to know about some of them too. But here's the account of some of them.
The First Frame House built in Barrington Township is credited to Shubuel W. Kingsley when he lived on his first farm on Penny Road west of Sutton Road on the second farm west of the creek.
Matt and Feif Friend brothers store at Deer Grove was moved here by thirty-five yoke of oxen when the station was moved here and was set down on the south side of East Main where the Miller Oil Station is now. It was used as Hatje's blacksmith shop for years, sold to Mr. Eisler, torn down and a barn built of its lumber on East County Line Road.
The Depot was picked up at Deer Grove, put on a flat car, moved here and was the east end or freight room of the old frame depot on the south side of the track across from the present depot. Then it was moved in 1915 down the track, and is now, with its additions built on, here in the early days, the present freight house.
The Creet House
was moved here from Wilson's crossing. It stood south of the track at the Southeast corner of Inverness and Baldwin Roads. It was loaded on a flat car, moved here and placed on Mr. Creet's lot which was the southwest corner of Cook and Station where the Schroeder Hardware Store was. It was moved from there to 201 West Station Street and is the west wing of that home.
The William C. Meyer home on South Hough Street, the older part, was Stott's store at Deer Grove, was moved here when the depot came and stood on East Station Street about where Matt Pecak's garage was or just west of the Laundry driveway, where it was Mrs. Milt Henderson's Millinery Shop. It was moved up to 536 South Hough by G.H. Landwer and became Grandma Hastings home. Mr. Landwer then enlarged his store eastward to its present size.
A part of the Warren Hough farm house was moved from the south side of West Main Street near where the "J" track is now and became the west wing of the Willmarth home, now the George Whitcomb home at 117 West Main.
The Old Village Hall high up on a stone calaboose where the lawn is now in front of the present Village Hall on South Cook became a residence at 204 West Station.
The old original frame School House Built in 1855 that stood in the present school yard on South Hough, before the two wings and the center section were added in 1883, is the frame apartment on Station Street west of the pumping station. The south wing is a home at the northwest corner of Dundee and Lincoln and the center section (which was the office and hallway) is next to it on Dundee Avenue with the former front of the building at the rear. The north wing is a home at 117 North Avenue at Chestnut Street.
Squire Ela's store that stood on East Main back of the depot is now at 138 South Northwest Highway.
Sinnott Brothers' Store, later Sodt's Store, that stood facing north where the Bank Tavern is now, is the frame building at the northeast corner of Station and Cook. The rear end of it, which used to be Burkhart's Jewelry Store and Thies' Barber Shop, is Langendorf's Antiques at 110 North Cook.
The Hinsche Home, or later the Lucian Meyer house on East Main across from the St. Paul's parsonage is now a home on West Hillside.
The Dr. Smith Home, later the Volker house, formerly west of the Drug Store on West Main, is at 121 North Hager.
The Billy Hamilton Carpentershop, later Hank Sandman's tool house, then later one of , if not the first, independent home of the Bell Telephone exchange, is a home at 108 Grant Street.
The Old Methodist Parsonage once at the southeast corner of Cook and Hawley is beside the Upholstery Shop an Applebee Street, both torn down in 1960 for the Jewel parking lot.
The Luke Colburn Home once at the rear of the Strand Dress Manufacturing on East Main is now a home south of the Christian Science Church on Wool Street.
The Colburn Store of the same place became the veneered three story Commercial Hotel which was reduced to present Strand Dress Manufacturing building. His house was an "ell" attached to the rear eastward. The feather renovators used it just before it was changed to a hotel by Garret Lageschulte.
Lewis H. Bute had a small building he used as a Law Office and Justice Of The Peace Court Room -- after Kortzhaltz' blacksmith shop moved out -- where the Book Rental Shop is now on North Hough next to the track. It was moved over across the Main Street corner back of the Pure Oil Co., when that corner was all residences, and served as Charles Downing's Shop of the Public Service Company; then later it was Vandeveer's garage; and is now a garage on South Cook Street.
The Cheese Box Factory that stood west of the Henry Lageschulte home on the Kilgobbin on West Lincoln was moved by John C. Plagge to 212 North Cook and is now an apartment house.
The William Howarth home once at the southwest corner of West Main and Hough is now at 316 West Main at the northeast corner of Grant Street.
The Old St. Paul's Parsonage is now part of the Mrs. William Gottschalk home at 311 North Avenue.
The Old St. Paul's German School House that stood between the church and the parsonage is a residence at 323 West Main.
The Henry Boehmer-Farrar House on the hill back of Stirlin Funeral Home is a residence at 330 West Main with the belvedere removed from the roof. Ed Sinott built it.
The Ed Hawley - Joe Catlow - Volker House. Once where the west end of the Laundry is now on East Station is a part of the George Hager home at 308 West Main.
The Dr. Dornbusch House that stood where the east half of the Lewis Miller Store building is on East Station is a residence at 239 West Station.
The Dr. Burbank - Ed Clark House on West Main, before Albert Robertson built, is a home at 135 West Station.
The L.H. Bute - Dr. Richardson home at the northwest corner of Main and Hough, where the Drug Store is, stands at 108 North Raymond Street occupied by Frank Trestik.
The Billy Spriggs Home once standing in the middle of West Station Street, and later where the Jewel Tea Parking lot is, was moved to 319 West Lake by August Scherf, the upper part removed, the balance brick veneered, and became "Fox's" own home.
The Benedict House on South Hough, where the Standard Oil Station is now, stands at 320 West Main at Grant Street.
The Cronk House on East Station, where the police station is now, is on East Dundee--Wheeling Road, the first house east of where the packing house burned down.
The Thrasher Jewelry Store, later the Matt Hurter Tailor Shop on Cook, where the north half of Lipofsky's Store is now, is a home at 326 West Lake.
The Al Henderson Hardware Store, later the George Schaefer Meat Market, once the Schroeder Hardware Store the northwest corner of Cook and Station, is a home at 322 West Lake.
The Old Eight Sided Band Stand that stood in the yard back of Sodt's store on Cook Street about the middle of the block, maybe where the Centrella Market is, was moved to the Camp Ground and is a cottage on Highland Avenue.
The Barrington Mercantile Company Building owned by Spencer Otis, Sr. and managed by Lee Winegar and by Mr. Bowen and which stood in the middle of what is now Park Avenue east of Grove Avenue, was occupied by the Rieke Well Drilling Company on Applebee Street, but torn down for the Jewel Tea Company store.
The Church - Comstock Grain Elevator at Grove Avenue and the tracks, and the Sandman Grain Elevator on Main just south of the track west of Cook, burned down.
There are many more than that which have been moved and altered. Barns became someones home, all mentioned and listed in a separate volume. Are we Arabs? No, we improve and progress.
A.S. Henderson Confectionery, Ice Cream, Fruit, Cigars
Pomeroy Co. Barrington Roller Mills
Arnold Schauble B. Gasoline Engine
Barrington Steam Laundry M.C. McIntosh, Atty.
Commercial Hotel Linus R. Lines, Prop.
Miss Hattie Jukes Millinery
Barrington Bank of Sandman & Co. E.M. Blocks, Undertaker Daniel F. Lamey General Merchandise
Barrington Pharmacy School Books
A. W. Meyer General Merchandise
Comstock & Naggatz Livery
H.D.A. Grebe Hardware and Harness
W.H. Gorman Successor to W.W. Welch, Meat Market
Barrington Cafe Ed. Rhodes, Prop.
H.T. Abbott Druggist and Watch Repair
This list is quite incomplete, but serves as a sample of some firms now gone.
Evergreen Cemetery was organized in 1867 under the Illinois law of 1855 as a private cemetery. Although there are several kinds of cemetery associations allowed by the law, this one was owned and used by the lot owners for non profit. The center of the organizing force seems to have been George Ela, M.B. McIntosh and William G. Waterman. A group of citizens was invited to meet March 14, 1867, in the depot, and Trustees elected were L.H. Bute, M.B. McIntosh, Henry Crabtree, Gilbert A. Applebee A.A. Cowdery. At the next meeting on the twenty-first of that same month, M.B. McIntosh was elected President and A.A. Cowdery was Secretary. The five trustees contributed fifty cents apiece to buy a secretary book and several accessories. A committee of these trustees looking for a suitable plot of ground reported a piece of five acres, now a part of the older section at the south end of the cemetery, was available. The committee procured the same from the owner Henry Clausen and gave their private note at 10% in payment.
The plot was designed by a Mr. J.W. Powers in 1868. It was surveyed for blocks and lots by L.D. Kendall, surveyor of Kane County, which survey was confirmed by Alex Woolcott who was the Cook County Surveyor.
A charter was granted them in 1869 and those who were charter lot owners prior to that September 11th, 1869 were: George Ela, Benjamin Chase, Philetus Beverly, Mrs. D. Winter, C. Hastings, M.B. McIntosh, A.A. Cowdery, George W. Jillison, Mrs C. Boyes, James Creet, Sr., Willard Stevens, G.A. Applebee and A.S. Henderson. A few of those lot owners soon after were: William G. Waterman, James Holden, Mrs. S. Abbott, E.H. Nelson, I.W. Clark, C.T. Blair, William Howarth, S.A. Randall, Uriah L. Burlingham, William Spunner, Chester Hutchinson and S.C. Jaynes.
When the original five acres was bought, it was plowed and planted to oats. As the lots were sold off, the balance offered a considerable amount of hay which brought in some revenue. Your author saw his brother, R.M. Lines, when we were both barefooted, kill a poisonous spotted adder with a pitch fork while he was turning hay for grandfather McIntosh.
In the late 1890's, two men of experience in iron works, Palmer and Smith, located a malleable iron foundry northwest of the village west of Hart Road and south of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, It was a large plant and expected to employ hundreds of men. So a village was laid out in blocks and lots across the track from it. Quite a number of one story cottages were built. A hotel on the street crossing the track was erected by Milwaukee capital. A brick store and restaurant on Hart Road (still standing) was built by William Hobein, who was Postmaster then. Ed Magee used to run a bus from Barrington to the foundry for the employees. Then the Northwestern put up a depot and a platform just west of Hart Road, and the Barrington train for Chicago leaving at 7:00 a.m. used to back down to the Highlands with a load of workers and return in time to leave for Chicago at 7:00 a.m. The #508 Dakota train -- Simon Crowley conductor -- used to stop there in the late afternoon and bring the Barrington workers back.
The Illinois Malleable Iron Works, as it was named, was a good size plant, all in one long building except the two story office building at the west end with the pattern room, operated by Al Whittenberg on the ground floor. Mr. Hotchkiss was the superintendent. Paul Vernon, Mike Ford, Joe Albright, and George Carmichael were a part of the staff. In the west end of the foundry was an immense moulding room with its furnaces and cupola with a core room attached to the south.
The pig iron in the long furnace had to be brought to a certain point of liquidity determined by looking in on it through a dark smoked glass. It was the big job of the fireman to keep it roaring, the grates clean, and work at it steadily. Bob Tremble was an expert at that with few men his equal. Stripped to the waist with his tall, lean body bent over in front of the firebox, he shovelled and stoked until forced into a moment of rest to swab off the sweat with a big turkish towel, while the furnace blower was turned on to roar the fire through the iron. Then he would open the door and go at it again till the welcome call, "Heat's on".
The moulders had made from their beaches all around the room a lot of sand moulds which were hollow inside the shape of the casting to be made, some with a baked sand care inside. These moulds were on pallets at each moulder's place on the floor. Every moulder was ready in line with his ladle of about a gallon more capacity on a long four foot iron handle. When the clay plug in the opening of the furnace trough was forced through, a continuous stream of molten iron ran from the furnace and a man's ladle had to be there above the preceding man's ladle till the heat was exhausted and all moulds were filled. Men were on the run everywhere, hollering "Sooey", sparks from splashing bubbling iron were flying, and hob nailed shoes were worn for shoe protection.
When the castings had cooled enough, the mould was kicked open and the castings were hooked into wheel barrows, or carts on a track that circled the room. From there they were dumped into revolving iron barrels to clean off the burned sand. A group of men in the trimming room chipped off the gates and slag, looked for imperfections, and counted the perfect castings according to the moulder's identification marks so as to give them credit for their piece-work pay.
The castings were then passed on to the annealing room where they were packed in cinders and heated for days. That changed them from cast iron to annealed iron -- not so breakable. When they were dumped out on the brick floor, they were again rattled in the revolving barrels and sent to the last room east where the large shipping room floor was covered with long rows of large steel pans. There the castings were sorted and counted again to be listed against the customers' orders. There were hundreds of items such as sickle guards, tie plates, brakeshoes, etc. which were bagged in gunny sacks or barrels. Freight cars were on the spur track south of the foundry waiting and were loaded at the ramp which was well worn.
Competition was keen from a malleable iron works in Chicago. The National at Rockford and a plant in Racine. The plant closed up in 1903. The many Hungarian workers moved away, houses were vacated, and some were sold and hauled to Barrington, some streets were vacated; the plant was partly dismantled through a period of time to accommodate the needs of later business. The brick store, a street or two and a few houses still remain.
Soon after the turn of the century, business executives from Chicago and the North Shore became interested in coming into the Barrington area west, southwest and northwest of the Village. Some sought to renew a part of the rural life that they had earlier enjoyed; some to live closer to nature in a quieter, more restful, and a safer environment for a growing family.
The Robert Work family came here in 1907. They were much interested in bird and animal life and became students of nature. They were boosters of conservation. Spencer Otis, Sr., through real estate broker Sanford Peck, bought up a number of farms along Goose Lake Road to Brinker Road where he built his country home across the way from the Henry Brinker farm. Mr. Otis organized the Hawthorne Farms Company and farmed his 1000 acres in an extensive way. He also established the National Boiler Washing Company of the Illinois Manufacturers of National Locomotive Terminal Equipment Company. Its plant was along the E.J. & E. Railway at the west end of Lake Street.
Harry Stillson Hart, who was a Partner of Mr. Otis in the railway supply business, came here later and bought up the Dodge farm and the Comstock farm and woods, naming it Hartwood. His hobby in farming was a fine herd of Guernsey cattle. Ed K. Magee was his farm manager.
R.R. Hammond came here to the hills west of town; H.A. Howland came to the George Hager farm on Cuba Road, formerly the Golden farm, naming it Craftsbury Farm; George Van Hager bought and lived on the Fred Wiseman farm on West County Line Road; Floyd Bateman to the John Dvorak farm beyond Spring Lake; and B.C. Buxton to the Henry Hobein, Sr. farm across the County Line from Hartwood.
Other early families were those of J.R. Cardwell, Edwin L. Reid, M.C. Beymer, Selden F. White, Herman Cushman, Harry I. Miller, Orville S. Caesar. E.K. Hardy, Alex Reichman, Carl Buehler, Shelden Clark, J.V. Watson and the Eustice family. These folks, after buying up farms, refurbished the homes and often changed barns to garages unless they had plenty of livestock like Hart, Howland, Hammond and Buxton. The duck pond or slough was usually converted to a lagoon or pool in the landscaping. They kept the estates and the open spaces; they saved the wooded hills and the water spots; they fostered bird life like the Eustice and Henneberry folks.
In order to have the best educational facilities for their children, they established a private school on West Main Street across from the High School. Then, with a desire to extend the privilege, they united the several rural schools into the present Countryside School District #1 with a new school house at Brinker and County Line Road.
A focal point of social life was the Barrington Hills Country Club. Its members bought the George Miller farm and some adjoining land, built a club house (the first one burned down) and layed out a golf course.
To preserve the quiet of country life and open spaces of field and woods, this group voted on February 23, 1957 to incorporate and on April 25, 1957 organized as The Village of Barrington Hills. They organized their own police force on a larger scale, and contracted with the Village of Barrington to co-operate in fire protection.
Middlebury, west of them, organized as a village. On November 24, 1962 that village voted to unite with Barrington Hills, giving the latter claim to being the largest area village in the country.
William Grace, a Chicago builder of such as the County Building and City Hall Square, and the Rock Island Depot, bought the William Sandman farm north of Honey Lake and Signal Hill Road and developed a country estate. Out of it grew the Biltmore Club and Community after Mr. Grace died. Biltmore now extends north to Miller Road.
--Lehman Brothers Circus landed in Barrington on the E.J. & E. Ry. at the Main Street crossing? A steam calliope played "Little Annie Rooney" and other popular tunes. They pitched their enormous tent in what then was an open field north of Liberty Street and west of North Avenue (no houses on the west side of North Avenue then; the only two on the east side there were the H.C.P. Sandman farm house and Gussie Blume's). We carried water for the elephant from Arnold Schauble's pump for permission to be sneaked under the tent into the show. 1889 or 1890?
--Village offenders or ordinance violators, especially when they were out of town strangers, were at times set free and escorted out of town? It was cheaper than to pay for incarceration. Legend has it that on one occasion the calaboose was left unlocked. The culprit did escape as was wished.
--The calaboose had two cells on the ground floor in the thick stone foundation room under the old one story frame village hall which stood on Hough Street close to the side walk in the front yard of the present village hall. It sat high up on that stone foundation to allow room for those steel barred cells. It had a platform across the front of the one room building which stood with its long side to the street, with steps the full width of the building down to the Hough Street walk.
--When John Schwemm used to get out before daylight on a morning of deep snow and scrape all the sidewalks before folks went to their train or children to school?
--The torch light parades when McKinley was running for president? The "full dinner pail campaign," and the big tin dinner pail that hung over Cook Street at the old depot. Next morning when the Republicans had won, folks found the tin dinner pail hung before a North Cook stalwart Democrat's shop.
--The early morning parade of citizens after World War I Armistice? My! What a jubilee.
--Outrageous old time Hallowe'en stunts were perpetrated? Horseblocks were moved away -- they rolled and tumbled so easily. Sidewalks and outhouses had queer ways of upsetting? A grazing cow was tethered to the school bell, which consequently rang much of the night? High rear wheels of a buggy were exchanged with the low front wheels, or the whole rig was found astride of the barn ridge?
--When Gussie Blume, for a penny or two from Al Hawley, would sing German songs at school?
--When Constable Greenberg drove into town with one of the first visiting automobiles? Ed. C. Thies owned the first auto, it is said, in Barrington, a used Rambler. Dr. Albert G. Gieske had the first new auto. Isaac D. Fox soon had an open International Steamer, outside levers and a chain drive.
--Folks used to take the wheels off their cars in the winter and jack up the car on saw horses?
--M.B. McIntosh's gray horse fell into a shallow well in a sloughy pasture where the Salem Church now stands? The horse was extricated, and, although it developed a sway back and was sold by him to someone else who pastured it for a year, was resold by the buyer for more than he paid for it.
--Harvey Harnden's big gray which was called Jumbo fell backwards into a well on West Lake in the Lucinda Goodell pasture? There were no houses west of the John Collins house at 201 West Lake; the well is now a catchbasin on the west side of the Wirt Lawrence house. Mr. Harnden got his tripod derrick he used for setting up monuments, fastened it around Jumbo, and up he came. A watch Mr. Harnden let fall in came up too. Just before that time Lake Street went only that far at the top of the hill. There was a fence across the end of the street and a pond beyond the fence afforded us skating. The street still has spells of settling there.
--A wash board and a tub or a hand washer was a common sight on back porches, or once in a while an old lady and a neighbor sitting there smoking their pipes?
--The parlor was opened only on rare occasions? In it was the old foot pumped squeaky organ; a kaleidoscope or stereoscope and its pictures; a framed enlarged picture of grandpa and grandma; straw flowers in a glass case; a hassock made of a group of padded tin cans; furniture covered with horse hair cloth (how it pricked our bare legs), and maybe a chunk stove.
--When newspapers or straw were used for padding under the carpet? We've heard tell of it.
--Rooster crows were heard at daybreak all around? It was music to some of us. An occasional pig pen was here to perfume the air.
--We used to go up to B.H. Landwer's farm on Hillside at end of Grove Avenue, almost out in the country to us small fry, and fill the bed tick with fresh straw? Then mother put the feather tick on that and we had to climb into bed from a chair. We could scrape the frost off the bedroom walls with our hands in the morning.
--Rag carpets or ingrain carpets were the thing? Rush bottom chairs, iron weight clocks, and brussels carpet sofas were in everyday homes; peacock feathers maybe in a vase on the old organ, a chain chandelier from the center of the ceiling, a doily on the marble-topped table and antimacassers on the rockers. A whatnot stood in the corner with its many mementoes of days of yore. A rope bedstead, the large china wash pitcher and bowl on the night stand, a bed warmer handy, a large trunk full of blankets. A stove pipe up through the floor from the stove in the room below kept the bedroom warm, and that bed room, usually kept for company, was called the stove pipe room? And that beautiful patchwork quilt, so large and protecting. Mother could identify each piece.
--How many of the present generation has seen in home use the old wooden churn? How we splashed it for hours until the butter came! The wooden towel rack, the steelyards for weighing, the bootjack near grandpa's chair, the fishoil lamp, the iron pump on the end of the sink ... the iron stove, with a water reservoir in the back that had to be filled so often; and the yawning woodbox which was forever empty it seemed, requiring armload after armload of wood to be carried in by the boy of the family after he had reluctantly split and piled it handy to the kitchen door.
--But there are pleasanter memories ...the friendly hearth of that woodburning kitchen stove. How comforting to warm and dry our cold feet on that hearth and dream by the glowing embers while mother bustled about preparing a savory supper ... or perhaps memory brings back a picture of the large fireplace with a big stone mantel like the architrave of a temple ... logs burning on the andirons, an iron kettle on its crane, contents simmering, and enticing aromas from something baking in the chimney oven ... perhaps a blunderbus over the door.
--Butcher shop windows were heavily coated with frost in the winter time? Very little heat in a butcher shop, if any. A big lamp was set near the window to defrost a circular patch.
--Every wedding was followed by a charivari. Those who did not get invited took every sort of a noise making affair he could find -- an old horn, a stick with a tin pan, or an old pail were most prevalent. They kept up the hubabub and the din outside of the home where the wedding was held till someone came out and treated the crowd of uninvited.
--We coasted down the school house hill on the Hough Street sidewalk to the village hall? Then it was leveled off and we went elsewhere. Holmes' hill north down Grove Avenue was a swell slide. As one said, it was "Zip, then walk a mile." Castle's hill -- northeast down back of L.D. Castle's to Russell and Summit. We poured water on it to freeze real slippery, and was it swell. If we did not fall off the sled at the bottom in the bogs and get the wind knocked out of us.
--We played "Ducky on the Rock" out in the street? Or "Shinny" with a tin can in vacant lots, on the streets or on the ice? Or "Pullaway" in the old school yard, with a long line of boys and girls? How the tail end of the whip did get thrown! And we always played scrub ball in the school yard and after each "out" we worked up to bat again?
--We skated on a big pond down near the "J" track at the west end of what is now Russell Street? It was all farm stubble then. Everybody skated then it seemed. Later Bill Hobein flooded the pond that was at the edge of Dundee Avenue where Lincoln Avenue is extended now. We paid ten cents a day to skate. We played "Pig": two sides chosen either side of a skated line with two circle goals on each side. And "Shinny on the Ice"? A dangerous form of hockey.
--Two gangs played "Blue Blocks" or Barabee, chalking the corners we came to on the run, calling "Blue Blocks" and trying to evade the gang following us by tricks that the leading gang would pull?
--The man about town with the wooden leg that squeaked at the knee hinge for want of oil made himself known, though not seen, by that thump and squeak?
--The locust plague of 1888? Plagge's pasture, south of Russell where Cook Street is now, and Lester Castle's hill were covered with them. Their empty shells lay everywhere.
--Ticket agent C. Seymour in the local North Western Depot was slugged and robbed of $1690 by two armed men? (January, 1938.)
--When bed bugs visited the Village Board meeting one night in 1933? The president very loudly and unexpectedly whacked his gavel on the desk. The meeting was all in order; the aldermen were, but a bed bug on the president's desk was out of order. (They had come up from the infested jail room below). Extermination followed adjournment.
--In September 1940 when the village fathers in a spirit of economy, not safety, voted to turn out all the street lights at midnight except those in the business section? Was it a good curfew?
--When August W. Meyer was village president and the W.C.T.U. presented the village a cement drinking fountain designed by John of Park Ridge? It was placed at the west end of the Depot Park, now gone. The fountain was unveiled by four Boy Scouts: Warren Meier, Harry Brasel, Elmer Dubs and Lester Bartholomew.
--When the Sons of Veterans (of Civil War) was going good in 1890? We do. The Review of Dec. 8, 1940, says Frank Willmarth was captain.
--The U.S. Army powder plant at Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, blew up in 1909. The blast was so strong that the roar and tremor was felt here many miles away. Plate glass windows in the Schroeder Hardware and the A.W. Meyer Stores on East Main Street were shattered. People rushed out into the street in fear. Damages were repaired by the owners of the powder plant.
--A company sought rezoning in 1946 to build a 120-foot relay booster tower on Stand Pipe Hill? It was refused here, so one was erected in Lake Zurich.
--When that fine, big oak tree stood on top of Hollister's Hill along side of the east fence? It was the scene of four deaths, as we recall, one at a time; was once called the "Hangsman's Oak". It was shattered by lightning in 1931. Offsprings are taking its place for a better purpose of shading new home lawns. (A mystery tree near by has stood as its mate in many a storm and although it resembles a hackberry, the best authorities still can not identify it we understand.)
--When M.B. McIntosh's Ayrshire cow, with brass tipped horns, was pastured in the open field from where the Canteen is now west to the Kilgobbin Creek? The field was surrounded by a three board fence. McIntosh had just laid out and opened West Lake Street to the top of the hill.
--When West Station Street, in front of what is now the Harvey Hamper Works, was a field of bogs with a southeast to northwest drainage ditch across it, affording winter skating in Willmarth's pasture? The Kilgobbin was open along the west side with a deep waterfall at the northwest corner.
--When Lambert Tasche's cow was pastured where the Barco Mfg. Co. plant is now? When from Liberty Street north to where the newspaper office is now was Ed. Heise's gooseberry patch?
--When Hawley Brothers refused $10,000.00 for their stallion, Boaz as reported by the Review on Jan. 4, 1890?
--When the Hawleys had a race track midway of Dundee Avenue and Hough Street, and Hillside to Monument Avenue? The present Lill Street would probably have bisected it. Hawleys kept fine horses, and many a day of fun was enjoyed looking over the rail at races, such as LeRoy Powers black competing with other local favorites.
--The "Welcome Home Celebration" in honor of our boys, who were in Military and Naval Service, held Thursday, September 11, 1919? "The celebration will commence at 10:00 A.M. and continue throughout the day and evening". The invitation cards were signed by "A.W. Meyer, Chairman Welcome Home Committee".
--When milk was delivered in a big can with a spout, and was poured into the customer's pitcher at the door?
--There was a roller skating rink in Lamey's Hall on East Main Street, across from the depot? It was the style then for grown up men and women.
--That we had no flat tires sixty years ago?
--When women still talked of walking to the "North Side School" on snow drifts frozen right up over four board fences, and that they may have carried a hot baked potato in each hand in their pocket to keep their hands warm?
--When every boy had fire crackers of many sizes, exploding them under tin cans or promiscuously in the air, sometimes too near eyes, ears; or some had toy cannons or black powder between two anvils was exploded with an awful roar by touching it off at a safe distance with a long red hot iron rod? Then came the fire cracker ban in about 1939.
When Ike Fox peddled ice from door-to-door for people's ice boxes? Refrigerators were not invented yet. Ike hauled it in with his team from an icehouse near him in Lake Zurich. At every step a crowd of children would gather around the rear of the ice wagon where Ike would have to saw and chip a chunk to fit a certain ice box, and the children would scramble far the pieces of broken ice to suck on. Ike's frequent vacation was to drop an ice pick on his foot and be laid up a while.
When crosswalks were just two wooden planks laid across the dirt or mud roads, and maybe full of slivers for our bare feet?
When the grade levels of the streets marked by a spike in the tree on the corner and Hank Sandman knew where to find everyone?
When most every one had a hitching post in front of the house? And when many or most folks, had a two story barn in their back yard? There seems to be only one now, maybe two, and that is a garage now.
The street lights were only a kerosene lamp on a wooden post at one corner of a street crossing? The other corners if they had a sidewalk were probably dark, or somewhat so. The night policeman's son usually went around at dusk with a two or three foot stop ladder and lighted the lamps. He brushed off the black part of the wick that had burned the previous night, might have to wipe the chimney a little and maybe did not have time if he started late, and he would set the false bottom so the wick would be up out of the oil by the time the moon would be up, and thus put the light out and save oil. We used to enjoy walking along the route with the village lamplighter.
When it got out of style for cows and horses to roam at large, and when the "Pound" stood in the village back yard where the village water reservoir is? The "Pound" later was changed for the "tramp house" where the police allowed hobos to stay for a night. The police allowed them a fire in the stove and were locked in for the night and let out in the morning when they were escorted out of town or seen to start that way.
The wooden flag pole stood across Cook Street from the National Bank and across Park Avenue from the Bank Tavern near the old village pump. The village President and the village engineer told us it was eighty-five feet tall. There was a band stand built high up around it so all in the street below could see the performers. From that spot was displayed our fireworks on the Fourth of July. One sky rocket went backwards into the crowd and hit Ida Hutchinson who was standing in front of Sodt's store.
When the town pump was of much importance for both pedestrians and the many teams of horses into and out of the village? The one near the flag pole had a fine platform in front of it, which on a hot summer evening, was a sort of a got together for the Village Board, an exclusive spot during that particular hour.
"Shube" Kingsley with his gentle old black horse used to take his invalid wife Waity for a ride in her wheel chair in the back of his light wagon? A convenient ramp was built from the front porch out to the wagon, and they would drive slowly around the town. She was a Waterman girl.
Charles P. Hawley drove every day in his light wagon to his duties as Superintendent of Evergreen Cemetery? Another familiar sight was when Mr. George Jackson, Sr. (he lived in the Ed Wichman House on Grove Avenue) drove through town daily to the Jackson farm out on Donlea Road?
Frequently a man was seen in the center of the street with a horse on the end of a long rope trotting in a circle about him for exercise?
When the first bowling alley in town was in Walterscheid Brothers Tavern at the northwest corner of North Cook and North Railroad Streets which formerly belonged to Jacob Zimmerman? After a short time when that alley ceased to be, a new one was set up in the basement of the Groff Building where the Ben Franklin store is now at 133 Park Avenue. Then it moved to 113 East Main, where Howard Wenzel's Jewelry store is, and was operated by Mark Babcock.
The Locomotive Terminal Equipment Company's whistle (end of Lake Street at the "J" tracks) blew twice every morning, telling us when to get up and to get going?
Men played "Jack-knife" sitting on a wooden sidewalk or bench? The art was to toss an open knife into the air a certain way and get points for certain angles as it stuck in the wood when it fell. One of our well-known men always walked lame because the knife stabbed his knee.
In 1841, history says, Shubuel Kingsley built the first frame house in Barrington Township, fourteen by twenty feet, on his farm on Penny Road. He was the first to ship milk out of here via Dundee to Chicago. He hauled oats to Chicago with his yoke of oxen for ten cents a bushel. It sounds right to your author, for his father as a boy used to haul corn on the cob to Kenosha, and was told by his father if he could not get more than ten cents a bushel for it, to bring it back home and they would use it for fire wood, and they did. That was from where he was barn in a log cabin south of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
When in 1882 John W. Seymour went to France and brought back blooded Parcheron horses.
The pot bellied soft coal stoves that used to be in the old frame depot waiting rooms? The stove door was usually open to keep it from burning up the place, but the fire gave off a ruddy flickering glow of light for the hunters who sometimes stayed there waiting for daybreak to come so they could start up the track to hunt.
When the men or the boys had a hang-out somewhere downtown. Human companionship had a desire to get together for fun or to compare their jobs or methods of daily work, to gather the daily news, or to get another man's advice. Sometimes women hated to go around the bank corner because it was crowded with young men who were perhaps loud in their comments or careless in their language. The first ones there got a seat on the bank steps, and, if he wanted to expectorate while smoking or chewing, he feared going to the edge of the walk lest he lose his coveted seat; so the sidewalk was the alternative. Men hung out in the drug store; boys played cards in the livery stable office. Some loitered long in the barber shop after being nicely scented by the tonsorial artist. The west end of the depot platform which sat up on wooden posts, often had a fringe of legs dangling from it.
When "Hoof and Mouth" disease struck the cattle of this community in about 1917?
When Jerry Cohen, engineer on the Northwestern used to come through here on the "400" sitting quietly poised in the rocking cab with his hand out of the cab window doing the ocean wave. It was explained that he had been in the movies.
When M.B. McIntosh, local lumber dealer and banker, "built a bridge on Lake Street over the raging Kilgobbin Creek" (as mentioned in the Barrington Herald) when he had opened up West Lake Street and put its lots on the Market.
The boys enjoyed the old swimming holes: "22", the gravel pit in McClure's slough -- now the Jewel Tea Company lagoon, Randall Lake, and the Spile Creek.
When eggs were $.10 a dozen, and calico per yard was less, sugar was twenty pounds for a dollar, navy beans and coffee and round steak were ten cents a pound.
When dances were held in Lamey's Hall, in Sinnott hall, in Schwemm's livery barn hay loft, in Stott's hall and in the town hall before the library occupied it. The more prominent musicians were Carrie Kendall, Lewis H. Bennett, Bill Hill, Billy Cling and Herman Heuhouse.
When a Medicine show wagon would stop downtown for an evening and put on a show of songs and music, and fun; then sell bottles of patent medicine "guaranteed to cure" everything plus Bridget's torn dress?
When we rolled a hoop? Some were two or three feet high, some were large buggy tires. We had a wire loop on the hoop which stuck out some for a handle. Some drove them with sticks and we nearly had the right of way.
When Carl Naehr and Gutace Meyer ran the Cheese Box Factory on Lincoln Avenue near the creek? It's now a flat on North Cook Street.
When Barrington had large water tanks beside the track at the depot to give water to the steam engines?
When the Illinois Malleable Iron Works had a large plant at Chicago Highlands and there was a Hotel across the track from it and quite a number of houses were built on the lots and blocks laid out?
When the church bells used to toll the age of a deceased when the funeral cortege was leaving the church for the cemetery?
When boys wore short trousers and long stockings and a wide ruffled collar on their blouses?
When "Duke", August Meyer's large mastiff, used to trot from the store to George Schaefer's market (where Lipofsky's is now) with a basket in his mouth of an evening for his ration of bones? He made a wide detour from the Livery Barn on the way back to avoid the dog there who might want to partake of Duke's feast against Duke's wishes.
When LeRoy Powers' black horse and Mr. Powers enjoyed a fast ride down Lake Street for home?
When the Hawleys were often seen about town driving a sulkey exercising a fine horse.
When a buckboard was a handy rig? When Justin Fellows drove about town in his phaeton?
When Dan Haven drove about in a cutter behind his grey horse. He whipped up the horse when we tried to flip. Who knows today what flipping bobs was?
When, maybe about 1931, the body of a Chicago character was found full of bullet holes in a burning round ice house on the northwest shore of Otis Lake?
On November 27, 1934 how the boys hurried out after school to the Northside Park at the Northwest Highway entrance and dug the bullets out of the telephone poles. "Baby Face" Nelson who was being pursued by Federal authorities had turned into the Park Driveway, probably thinking it was Hough Street and Route 59; fought it out from behind car and posts, as related to visitors in the FBI office in Washington. Although a stray bullet went through a screen window and out the screen door of a house in Jewel Park, no one was hurt except the culprit who was found, the papers said, by the road side near Niles Center.
When runaway teams were rather common? When August Rohlmeier's fine frisky team took a notion to start for home in a hurry one morning? They tore down Cook Street from town. When they came to the usual turn West on Russell the team made the corner on the run, but the wagon did not make it so well; it rolled over and over into Ezra Canon's yard. Fred Bauman had a fine team of dapple grays. They, too, lit out one morning on the dead run south on Hough Street. At Searles or Elvidge's at Russell Street, the wagon tongue broke and pierced the left side of the belly of the off horse. Farmers to the rescue filled the hole with chewing tobacco quids. They all went home at a modest pace, and the horse recovered.
In December, 1918 when everybody was helping the committee boast the laying out of the new Northwest Highway -- a more direct route to Chicago?
Milk shipping to Chicago was so good about 1890 that the railroad had to leave two cars on the side track where the brick depot is now instead of one car? Later on they left three cars. The village was alive with teams and milk wagons then; hot or fourteen degrees below zero, men were there. Every milk farmer was a slave to his place, milking twice a day, and getting it to town every morning after milking by hand before daylight. If the drifts of snow were deep, they cut a wire fence and went through the fields. With heavy felt boots and bob sleighs they came to town with icicles on their faces or around the upturned collar of their fur coats which were tied around the middle with a rope or a belt. It was a common sight in zero weather.
When Paul Banks used to ride around town on his big high wheeled bicycle, the kind that had a little baby wheel behind?
When Tommy Dolan's first train out of here about 5:15 a.m. for Chicago got stuck in a big snow drift in Russell's cut, now leveled down somewhat near where Stonegate is? It could not go ahead. It could not back up. Too much snow during the night, and the snow drifted right over the coaches and part of the engine, before another Barrington engine dragged it out backwards. The date is not recalled, but it might have been around 1908 or before.
Then, too, many an evening the northwest wind was so strong and cold that the seven o'clock evening train to Barrington could not keep up enough steam to climb the grade from Palatine to Deer Grove. There we stayed until Tommy Dolan's 8:00 p.m. train came along and pushed the 7:00 p.m. train over the grade. We used to think some of the "tea-kettles" were good, but not like our powerful modern diesels.
In 1910 or 1911 when #504 from the North due here about 9:00 p.m. got stalled in the heavy snow here in the big cut on a Friday night. The railroad boarded out the passengers around the homes and waited. By Sunday morning a Canadian rotary snow plow opened the big cut and the train again headed for Chicago, rotary in the lead, a double header on the train and a "Zulu" trailing to drag them out if they got stuck again.
When anthrax killed dairy cattle so much around here? It was a sight on the Wessel farm, then south of Main Street along the E.J. & E. to the cemetery, to see cows driven into a deep trench up near the woods, shot, covered with quick lime and buried.
The first year that women voted for U.S. President in 1916?
Mrs. Arnett C. Lines was the first woman from Barrington to serve on Cook County Jury?
The Baptists were still worshiping at the Barrington Center South Church, the preacher and the deacon who ran the creamery or cheese factory south of the church (near what is now the E.J. & E. crossing of Sutton Road) engaged in a discussion about his taking in and handling milk on Sunday morning? The upshot of it was that the deacon declared "as long as the Lord caused the cows to give milk on Sunday" he was going to take in the milk on Sunday.
Barrington's first telephone switch board was in the Review office. The switch board was in Linus R. Lines' three-story Commercial Hotel on East Main Street.
When most every one of us, and our folks did too, had an autograph album in which we had all of our acquaintances write a verse and sign their names?
They wrote such verses as:
"When you are old and cannot see Put on your specks, and think of me."
And often times the strength of the acquaintance determined the tone of the verse.
When we look back and think of the list of friends and recall how many are gone, we think with Thomas Moore:
"When I remember all The friends so linked together, I've seen around me fall, Like leaves in winter weather, I feel like one Who treads alone Some banquet hall deserted Whose lights are fled Whose garlands dead, And all but he deserted."
Books about Barrington Area History
History of Cook County, Illinois
Stowaway to Heaven
Barsumian, Nazareth Sarkis
They Builded Better Than They Knew
Benson, Barbara L.
Echoes of a Century
First Baptist Church (Barrington, IL).
A Club in the Country: The Story of Barrington Hills Country Club
Schmitz, Patty Dowd.
Hark Back to Barrington: Fifty Years with the Fox River Valley Hunt
Fitch, Victoria R., and D. Susan Johnson.
A History of Barrington, Illinois
Lines, Arnett C.
Tales of Old Barrington
Sharp, Cynthia Baker