Beauty Spots of Mt. Carroll
From The Collection of Leroy Getz
Transcribed by Alice Horner

Transcriber’s Note: There is no author’s name, publisher’s name, or date on this booklet. Judging by the age of the cars in the photographs, and the mention of paved highways leading from Mount Carroll in all directions, it must have been published after about 1924. The reference to the Commercial Club and the Mount Carroll City Council, and the promotional nature of the text may be an indication that it was published by these two groups.

The Cover Page


The City of Mount Carroll, so named because it is built on seven hills, is situated in Carroll County, Illinois, ten miles east of the Mississippi River and six miles south of the southern line of Jo Daviess County, the northwestern county in the state; 128 miles west of Chicago on the C. M. St. P. & P. Ry. Company’s main line from Chicago to Omaha.

Mount Carroll from its natural location is one of the most beautiful small cities in the United States . It is inhabited by Americans, and one of the professors of Chicago University who brings his classes in Botany and Geology to the city, says, if asked to name a 100 per cent American city it would be Mount Carroll .

A view of Main Street south from Monument Corner. The west side of the street is shown.
On the east side is Court House Park

It is one of the God given spots on earth in which to live. The best of water from an artesian well 2500 feet deep. No smoke, one of the cleanest of cities, with beautiful homes, fine business houses, all newly painted every few years. A traveling man who frequents the city calls it “the City of Paint .”

Paved streets, electric lights in all parts of the city and boulevard lights in the business district, fine wide walks, the streets well shaded with stately soft maple trees, the well kept lawns and flower gardens combine to make it “a bower of beauty,” cool, shaded, breezy, few mosquitoes ever, one can enjoy the evenings in summer in comfort, out of doors, on porches or lawns.

The City Park is a beautiful spot, almost in its native wildness except that there are swings, slides, and the like, for children, a shelter house, city water, a cook house, a baseball grounds and athletic track for the schools made by man. A Board of Trustees looks after it. It is approached through a fine arch; foot and auto bridges span the Waukarusa, leading to the picnic grounds proper. Wild flowers are abundant along the bluffs, while well-kept beds of tame flowers are maintained. The grounds have stately oak and walnut trees in abundance; there are tables and sets for those who prefer this way of eating to spreading their lunch on the turf beneath the trees. The Waukarusa winds its lazy way through the grounds on westward for several miles, through most picturesque scenery, high bluffs, vine-covered and flower-blooming.

Market Street between Main and Clay streets, the north side, Court House Park being on the south side.

Smith’s Park Cave is several miles down this beautiful winding stream, although the Park itself commences a half mile down the stream. At Smith’s Park there is a Cave running back into the bluffs about 500 feet, and is electrically lighted. This park is the finest in the state, without a doubt. It is one of the scenic places in Northern Illinois , beautiful beyond compare, with its many rocks of curious formation, all named. The Park is lighted by electricity from a plant maintained there and is available day or night during the picnic season. It is a beautiful place in which to camp. Fresh water from a well, a dancing pavilion, a store, horse shoe, tennis and other play-grounds.

In fact, go where you will around Mount Carroll and there is abundant natural scenery to keep one gasping at the sights.

It is the home of the Frances Shimer School for Girls, endowed by Frances Wood Shimer, who conducted it for many years as a Seminary for young ladies, but who, before her death, endowed it and it is affiliated with the University of Chicago . It has beautiful grounds, the most stately and modern buildings and is one of the beauty spots between Chicago and the Mississippi River . Words cannot describe the beauty of the surroundings making a natural picture which no artist can duplicate.

Mount Carroll is an educational and religious center. Besides the Frances Shimer School for Girls, we have a very fine High School and Grade School with a high class faculty. In the way of Churches we have the Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Church of God , and United Brethren, all with church edifices of their own, and with able pastors.

North side of Market street , looking west from Monument Corner,
showing Mausoleum in Cemetery at west end, among the trees.

The Caroline Mark Home , endowed by the late Caroline Mark, under the control of a Board of Trustees, is an institution which looks after the welfare of aged ladies in Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, Whiteside, and Carroll Counties . They have beautiful buildings, and they are fully occupied at all times by aged ladies who find real homes here. The grounds are spacious, well shaded, with a park close by. There is a matron of experience who looks after the welfare of the ladies.

People will find a royal welcome if they come to Mount Carroll , from the City Council, from the Commercial Club, and from the citizenry generally. We welcome good citizens. We court investigation. All letters sent to the Commercial Club, the City Clerk, or any of our merchants or professional men are promptly and cheerfully answered, and descriptive literature sent for the asking.

Mount Carroll is the County Seat of Carroll County. The Court House, the County Office Building and the County Jail are situated in the center of the business section, occupying a full block. The buildings are surrounded by stately maples and elms forming a beautiful park right in the business district, with a large concrete, electrically lighted Band Stand from which concerts are given every Thursday evening, during the summer season.

Carnegie Library on the corner of Main and Rapp streets, of which Mr. Carnegie said
“It is one of the few libraries I have given in which there was no graft in building.”

One of the finest Soldiers’ Monuments, one which causes all to stop and look, with its Annex, stands in the northwest corner of Court House Park, like a sentinel guarding the city.

Mount Carroll has the best of Hotels, Restaurants, Tea Room, Confectioneries, Ice Cream and Soft Drink Parlors, two Bakeries, able Doctors and Lawyers, a Daily Newspaper, beautiful modern homes and a citizenry unsurpassed anywhere. Our schools and churches are our pride, our parks are cool, pleasant and inviting, and to live in Mt. Carroll is a pleasure and satisfaction to all our people, one that would not be exchanged.

The fact that we are the hub for current roads would make it an ideal place for factories as we are on the main line of the C. M. St. P. & P. Railroad from Chicago to Omaha and Kansas City . We have cement highways leading in all directions from the city, five arterial highways connecting with the through routes from east to west and north and south. One can go anywhere from Mount Carroll without getting the wheels of an auto wet or muddy, unless one drives on a side dirt road, which makes it easy to get supplies or ship finished products.

There is also some fishing in the Waukarusa, catfish and suckers and a good many fine bass are taken during the summer. The stream has been stocked with fry for several seasons, bass, crappies, sunfish, pike. Of course, the carp are also denizens of the stream and some very large ones are taken.

Clay Street south from Market, showing the residences of Mr. and Mrs.
John R. Connell, on the corner, Dr. Petty’s and south to Filling Station.
This is the east side of the street, Court House Park being on the west side.

The city has adequate fire protection, new trucks and pumps. And the fact that we have but one policeman is proof positive of the caliber of the city from a crime standpoint. Burglaries are almost unknown, and riots and disturbances are known to the citizens only from reading of them in city papers.

Our stores are as good as those found in towns and cities many times the size of Mount Carroll . People come for miles to take advantage of the large stocks and the price inducements offered. Mt. Carroll is one of the few country towns that has “held its own” during the past ten years, as shown by the census.

The winding Waukarusa, with its beautiful vine-clad trees, and flower-covered rugged bluffs on each side, spanned by one of the finest concrete bridges ever built by the state, electrically lighted, is a picture seldom or ever equaled, runs through the city.

So far as hard roads are concerned, Mount Carroll has been favored by the state. One can go north, northeast, south, southeast, west and east, without leaving the cement, or gravel, connecting up with Route Five (the Grant Highway) on the north, or Route Six (Lincoln Highway) on the south, which reaches from east to west over the United States, making it one of the most convenient of places to get to or from.

The soldiers Monument, one of the finest in the country,
showing Court House in background, among the trees.
A view of the Annex is obstructed by the Monument itself.

Mount Carroll is an agricultural district, surrounded by the finest of farms and farm houses. We have little manufacturing, several monument factories, two mills which grind feed, a Co-operative creamery, an ice cream – making establishment, two bakeries, include about all manufacturing, but it is a great retail town, with its fine stores, drawing trade from many miles.

Clothing, Dry Goods, Boots and Shoes, Millinery, Beauty Parlors, Drug Stores, Tonsorial Parlors, Billiard Parlors, Groceries, Furniture Stores, Radio, Cleaning Shop, Public Library, Garages and Filling Stations, Hardware and Plumbing, Jewelry, Novelty Stores, Bank, Electric Station, Telephone Station, Insurance, Real Estate and Loan Agencies, Abstract Office, County Seat, with Court House and County Office Building, the finest Soldiers Monument and Annex to be seen anywhere, all go to make for Mount Carroll.

Anvil Rock, a curious formation in Smith’s Park.

You are invited to visit Mount Carroll , make yourself known and we guarantee a cordial welcome.


Mount Carroll’s High School Building. In the rear, not shown, is the modern,
up-to-date Gymnasium, and to the south of the building, also not shown, is the Primary School Building.
The School grounds occupy a full city block.

The State Bridge on Clay Street. State Roads 78, across the Waukarusa, built at a cost of $65,000.
It is 400 feet long and 75 feet above the creek. The scenery looking east is beautiful.

Another view of the Court House, with the Office Building
in background and the Annex to the Soldiers Monument shown at left.
A picture taken from Pleasant View hill west of Mount Carroll , looking northward
into Jo Daviess County and, it is claimed, into Wisconsin . It is a scene that causes all
kinds of exclamations from people who first see it.

Beauty Spots - Page 2