Bureau County Illinois  
History of Buda Illinois


Buda is in Section 34, and joins the south line of the township. It is among the neatest and thriftiest villages in the county. It is one of the results of building the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad through the county, and was only laid out in 1854. Prior to this French Grove Post office was a little trading and meeting point for the people. But the road ran south of French Grove, and the result was When Buda started up French Grove came down. So much was this a railroad town in its inception, it was named by the railroad authorities after Buda, Hungary. Judge Jesse Emmerson laid off on his land the plat of the town. James S. Zink laid out the land on the west, and on which the main or business part of the town is. Judge Emmerson's residence is on the part laid out by him.

Judge Emmerson made the first important improvements in the place; opened the first store, and erected shops for workmen who desired to locate here, even hiring blacksmiths and putting them to work on salary, in order to give the town the best possible start in life. He also similarly hired Peter J. Westervelt, a shoe-maker, and also a wagon-maker, named Louis Stety. It was thus, as it has before happened in the world, that the liberal enterprise of a single individual was the turning point in the history of the new place, that made this a prosperous town, full of business and business men, while other equally well located places apparently dwindled and nearly decayed.

The next man to erect a store house and open a store, was W. H. Bloom. In 1855 Dr. Holten, physician, located here. J. B. Stewart & Co. erected a large flouring-mill here in 1869. It had a capacity of 100 barrels a day. But the change in farming and the abandonment of wheat-raising in the county has induced them to arrange at this time to remove their mill to the wheat growing districts.

The branch railroad known originally as the Buda & Rushville Railroad, was built in 1869. The same year the Buda Manufacturing Company was organized by J. B. Stewart and Capt. Ford. It was a joint stock company. The shops were completed and started August 29, 1871; Capt. Rufus Ford, President; James W. Stewart, Treasurer. These parties ran it two years, first manufacturing reapers and mowers, and then they manufactured cultivators on a royalty, and introduced these valuable farm implements into use in this section of the country. They continued in this line for some time, and sold the factory to George F. Chalender & Co., who have owned and run the works since 1882. In 1881 Mr. Chalender, Superintendent of motive power of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, leased the works of Mason & Ford. In 1883 a charter was obtained and the name changed to Ford & Mason Company, with a paid up capital of $24,000; W. J. Watson, Chicago, President; Charles C. Shepherd, Secretary and Treasurer. The business now is the manufacturing of railway and mining supplies, architectural iron works, casting and forging of all kinds in iron, and also woodwork. The works employ an average of forty to fifty men.

[History of Bureau County Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor, Chicago Publishing Company 1885, Concord Township, Page 432-434]

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