Bureau Junction - The City of Side Tracks

Taken From the Henry Republican, Henry, IL
June 6, 1872

Bureau Junction has the significance of being the midway station between Chicago and Rock Island, and nothing more nor less than being a railroad town, relating solely to the interests of the C. R. I. & P. R. R. (Chicago, Rock Island and Peoria Rail Road) Here is where railroad men live; here is where trains come and go, conductors stop, trains are dispatched, cars and locomotives repaired, passengers get their “inner man” replenished, and where there is cessation of locomotive snorts neither day, night or Sundays. Look which way you will and you see endless tracks side by side, and a sea of cars everywhere.  The houses are occupied by railroad men and their families. The school is filled with scholars thereof, and its railroad business forever and aye.

This is Bureau Junction, tucked away snugly under the brow of high bluffs in the valley of Bureau creek, whose existence is for the benefit of our excellent C. R. I. & P. railroad. Located here is Mr. D. D. Dow, the scheduler of time, and manager of the telegraphic operations of the trains. Capt. Reed is train master. Friend Roderick is the clever mechanic that looks after the repairs needed. Frank Foster has charge of the large round house, and its appurtenances, looking sharp to the incoming and outgoing of locomotives.  J. G. Strong is an assistant, Foster’s right hand man and a clever fellow. M. C. Peterson keeps the post office, sells the groceries needed, and keeps dining quarters for many of the men. All of these men are of the first water - 18 carots fine.

Last but not least in the “railroad combination” is the Bureau House, the “center of gravity” for empty stomachs about meal time, presided over by J. L. Ramsey & Co., who have a fine house, and as large, spacious dining room and neat beds as one sees anywhere.  These gentlemen (Mr. Ramsey and Mr. John Jacobson) have been here many years, and by their tact and courtesy have earned an excellent reputation for the house, setting a table every way worthy and acceptable to every traveler. Andy Dean is the clerk, always there, the same agreeable affable gentleman. It is needless to add the house makes friends with all who patronize them.

Eaton is the teacher of the school here, which we called in on, having a few moments while waiting for the train. Edifice of brick, with large room, modern furniture, cupola and bell therein, maps and charts in profusion, and every convenience for school purposes.  Some 40 scholars were in attendance, and by their recitations we found a squad of as intelligent pupils as will be met anywhere. The first principles of reading notes, from the primary books used in Chicago, is very successfully taught here, and ought to be used in every public school. Eaton understands his business, has a thriving pupilage, and gives good satisfaction to his patrons.

September 13, 1877
Taken From the Henry Republican

Bureau Junction

The staid little "City of Side Tracks" remains in status quo. It is always lively when trains are passing and this is about every hour in the day and night. It's a railroad town, having the advantage of other places, being a railroad town and nothing else. Here is a round house with a dozen locomotives ready for use, and where exchanges are hourly made. And it might be said to be the "seat of government" of the C. R. I & P. R. R., so much business of the line seemingly centers at this point. D. D. Dow, the train dispatcher, has been sick with malarial complaints, "out of gear" in railroad parlance, but is on the "up grade," and will so be ready to make his "daily run" as usual.

The depot house kept by Ramsey & Jacobson, keeps a large number of boarders and is doing a flourishing business. It has lost the privilege of furnishing dinners to the several daily trains that pass that way, which is felt, yet we noticed the other day several large tables filled with guests of the house, which is an index that it is doing well even under the change. Messrs. R. & J. are both experienced hotel men, set a good table, provide all the requisites of a first class house, and have made liberally since they located at Bureau eight year ago.

Edward White is the postmaster here. He has a neat, tidy store, filled with choice lines of goods necessary for a country village, is popular, and is commanding a good trade. His choice of a wife from Henry shows good taste and a level head. Mr. and Mrs. W. "keep house" over the store, have apartments well furnished, and the honey moon is passing gaily with both.

G. W. Myers, late of Snachwine, is the schoolmaster of this railroad town. He has a pleasant edifice, standing on an eminence overlooking the town, which is well furnished and equipped. Mr. Myers is an experienced teacher, gives satisfaction wherever he has taught, and is succeeding well at B. With a few fien residences, and a dozen saloons, none of which look inviting even to frequenters of such places, Bureau has nothing to entice anyone to its borders, unless for employment, and that mainly must be railroading. But if you are there "waiting for the train," smoke a cigar with Postmaster White (he keeps 'em), take dinner at the Bureau House, and if you have yearnings for a college course drop in on school teacher Meyers, which will beguile the happy hours away till train time, when you will imagine that the time has not been unprofitable spent even at Bureau Junction.

Local Gossip for Bureau Junction

September 5, 1872
Taken From the Henry Republican

From Bureau Junction

We have returned to this city of side tracks to resume our application. During our absence many of our citizens have been very sick and several are the same at present.
William Willard’s family were made happy last week by an addition of a lovely son to their family. We congratulate them.
M. C. Peterson with his family has moved to Wyoming and engaged in the grocery trade.

Taken from the Bureau County Republican
March 1877

The concert at the Bureau church, Feb. 28th, was a success; led by Prof. Kellogg.
A. S. Lenne is building a $4000 house.  Main room 24x32, with a L 20x18 - two wings.
Mrs. A. McKee is building a barn 32x40.
Mr. Hazen is building a barn 48x64.
L. Zearing has a number of Clydesdale horses for market.  Fine animals.
D. Cochran has 100 head of nice cattle.
F. Coddington is cutting stalks.  Has ploughed some sod.
J. D. Phillips and wife went to Chicago this week, to attend the funeral of her brother.  They will come home by way of Joliet, to visit their son, Rev. J. Phillips, pastor of the Baptist church of that city.

The Putnam Record, April 27, 1877

From Bureau Junction, Bureau, April 23, 1877

Born on the 20th, a son to Mr. And Mrs. Ed Barop, also a son to Mr. And Mrs. Ackerlin, born on the 22nd.

Tracks held an election last Tuesday for village officers resulting as follows: D. D. Dow, president; Thomas Menary, L. McLaughlin, D. S. Miller, Andrew Meyer, trustees; clerk, Edwin Roderick.

The Bureau Valley Water Mills

October 24, 1878

The Bureau Valley Water Mills at Bureau is the "old reliable" custom mills in this section. Hardly a farmer in this region but what has been served at them and found Masters Sons the right kind of men to deal with. They also have the reputation of making good flour, which is kept on sale at A. C. Weis's grocery store in this city.

The Bureau Valley Mills Burned

Taken From the Henry Republican
January 26, 1882

On Friday evening, Jan. 20, about  o'clock, the Bureau Valley mills, owned by John Master's Sons, and situated just south of Bureau Junction, on the Peoria branch of the C. R. I. & P. R. R. , were discovered on fire, and before anything could be done to prevent it, the building was in ashes. The total loss is about  $10,000, which includes $2000 worth of flour and wheat which was in the mill at the time of the fire. The fire originated from a hot boxing underneath the purifier. The mill had been afire in the afternoon, but was extinguished, and all was thought to be safe. It was shut down about 6:45, and at about 7, Mr. Masters went back to the mill to do something, when he discovered the building to be in flames.  He saved all the papers of the firm, but everything else in a loss.  The Masters Bros. will rebuild immediately. There was an insureance of $3000 on the building; $1000 had just run out.

Visit to Mr. and Mrs. Edward White
The Henry Republican, Henry Illinois, March 29 1883
On our way home from Chicago the first of the week, we had the pleasure of calling upon Mr. and Mrs. Edward White at Bureau Junction in their beautiful home, while waiting between trains. Mr. White is the leading merchant and grain buyer here and postmaster of the place. He also is a great lover of that noble animal, the horse, and very courteously invited us out to his stables. Here he has on exhibition the Percheron Norman Stallion "Enchantress," for which he has just paid $3000. He is a noble specimen of his kind. He is large, well formed, of good bone and action and weighs 1800 pounds. He was imported in 1877. He stands in the stable without a halter, so docile and tractable as to be fondled with the ease and safety of an ordinary family nag. There are few superior stallions of his class. Mr. White's Durango stallion, "Perduro," one he raised, two years old, is his "betting" trotting stock. He is a daisy to look upon, and is admired by all who see him; $1000 wouldn't buy him we don't think. He is also tractable, showing the gentle and careful training of its patient, painstaking owner. Mr. White has eight other horses, of all ages, all improved stock and good blood, and hereafter will devote his energies to the raising of good horses.

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