La Salle County IL
Ottawa News

 

 1840
Ottawa Improvements

1840 Sketch Of Ottawa, Ottawa Centre, Dayton And Geneva (Kane County)

1841
1841 Sketch of Ottawa
Ottawa Band
New Catholic Church

1844

Ottawa Dog Control Enforced

Ottawa 4th of July Celebration

1845
The Ottawa Bachelor's Club
New Ottawa Foundry
Baptist Church Damaged by Fire
Appointment by Post Master General - John Hise
Cogswell and Chapin Open Ottawa Foundry
Ottawa Foundry in Operation

1846
1846 Ladies Fair
Dissolution of Cogswell-Chapin Partnership
Catholic Church Being Erected
1846 Town Ordinances
Construction of the Fox River Bridge
Completion of the New Congregational Church

1847
City Hotel Reopened
Wm. Butterfield Appointed Second Lieutenant
Problems With the Ferry
The New Catholic Church
Mr. Cogswell Enlarging Foundry
New Bridge Across The Canal Completed
Three New Stores in Ottawa
Walker & Hickling Mercantile Erecting New Building
Mr. Delano's Grapes
Black Man Found Dead in River
The American Hotel At Ottawa

1848
First Canal Boat From Ottawa
Ottawa Boat First Through Canal
Capt. Woodruff's Canal Boat
Mr. Hasting's Daguerrean Rooms

1849
Steam Mills

1860
Slave Rescuers Convicted

1868
Corwin and Radcliffe Purchase Ottawa Republican

1879
Wolf Scalps
New Grain Firm
Dellenbaugh Bros Have Exclusive Contract for Flour
Ottawa Republican 40 Years Old


1880
Cutlery Moves and Starch Factory buying Corn
Starch Works Makes 10 Tons Daily
Ottawa Baptist Association Meeting


1882
James Duncan Moves to Ottawa
Ottawa Has Telephones


1883
Ottawa Fairground Sold


1884
Edward Wall Charged with Forgery


1887
Citizen Improvement Association Organized


1890
Charles Ford Found Guilty of Murder

1918
Ottawa To Not Burn Cluster Lights


1926
Dorothy Larabee awarded damages against Charles J. Sticklen


1932
MISSING PRIEST AND GIRL SEEN ON ROAD


1935
English Newspaper of 1781 Handed Down By Pioneer, Thomas Harrington

Ottawa Improvements
The Illinois Free Trader, Ottawa, Ill, June 06, 1840
Our Town
Notwithstanding the present derangement of business, we discover that considerable improvements are taking place in our town. The new Court House and Jail are rapidly progressing and present a fine appearance. The new store rooms, lately erected by Messrs. Cushman & Thompson, are finished in a superior manner and will add much to the business appearance of that part of the town in which they are located.
Our friends of the "Mansion House," we discover, are improving the appearance of their large hotel, which reflects much credit to their enterprise and public spirit. Of their "good things" which daily fills their table, we can give testimony.
The "City Hotel," which has recently been established here, is a splendid building, and friend Douglas, we are informed, is just the man to "make it go."
The "Fox River House," situated on Fox River, a little north of the most business part of the town, is a fine building, and the landlords are obliging and accommodating, and spare no pains to please and entertain their guests in the best possible manner.
Ottawa, as respects public houses, is well supplied, and we venture the assertion, that few places can surpass it.
Several dwelling houses are rapidly progressing and others about being commenced.



1840 Sketch Of Ottawa, Ottawa Centre, Dayton And Geneva (Kane County)
The Illinois Free Trader, Ottawa, Ill, November 27, 1840
Ottawa and the Surrounding Country
Notwithstanding the general cry of "hard times," the improvements of our town during the last summer have been almost incredible. Between forty and fifty new buildings, among which is a number of large and commodious dwelling houses, have been finished, besides which several are still in progress and will shortly be completed. The new Court House, too, which is in progress, will, when finished, add much to the appearance of the place, and, together with the public square, will be quite an ornament to our town. Several buildings, also have had their appearance and convenience very much improved by undergoing important alterations and repairs, and among these the Mansion House is most conspicuous. Upon the whole, the improvement of Ottawa has been as great as could have been expected even under more propitious circumstances, and will vie with that of any other town on the Illinois River; and the approaching summer promises still greater improvements, as several important buildings are already in contemplation, of which the Catholic Chapel may be mentioned as one. Its location will be, we understand, on the west side of the side-cut; it is to be built of stone, and the cost is estimated at $12,000. When completed it will probably be behind no building of the kind in the whole state. The enterprise certainly speaks well for the liberality of our Catholic fellow citizens.

Ottawa Centre has also improved considerably during the past season, by the erection of several neatly finished brick and other buildings, which give that branch of the town decidedly a handsome appearance.

We are pleased to observe that the town of Dayton on Fox River, about four miles from this place, is not behind its neighbors in the march of improvement. An advantage which this place possesses over most is the immense water power created by the construction of the Feeder to the Illinois and Michigan Canal. In addition to the already, extensive milling operations, a large grist mill is in a state of forwardness and will be completed in a short time. A (… text cut off …) shortly be finished. The town is located on the west side of the river and contains a number of fine buildings. The hotel owned by Mr. Dunavan is a beautiful brick building, and in it the "way-faring traveler" can be accommodated to his entire satisfaction. The inhabitants of the place are distinguished for their enterprise, hospitality and unflinching democracy.

The annexed extracts from a letter which we find in the Worceser (Mass.) Palladium, show that the importance of this section of the Great West is commanding the attention of travelers, which augurs well for a continuance of its prosperity:

"Geneva is the county seat, or as a New Englander would term it, the Shire town of Kane county. It is delightfully situated on both banks of the Fox river. It has a neat court house, a large hotel, several stores well filled with goods and several well-built dwelling houses, well painted, and many of a smaller and more temporary character.

"In travelling up the valley of this River from its junction with the Illinois, one can hardly believe, as his mind averts to its recent history, that he is gazing upon realities instead of a fanciful picture. Seven years since, savages were almost the only inhabitants; there were a few scattered white settlers, but they were in constant danger of the Indian rifle and scalping knife; and cruel and bloody were the scenes of Indian butchery exhibited in this region of county.

"Now mark the contrast. Ottawa, which is situated at the junction of the Fox and Illinois Rivers, which six years since contained only a few scattering log huts, has sprung up into a beautiful town, and now has a large elegant brick court house nearly finished, three large hotels, about fifteen or twenty spacious stores well supplied with all varieties of merchandise, and a good supply of lawyers, doctors, mechanics, &c., &c. As you approach it, it has the appearance of a bustling little city. The great Michigan and Illinois Canal, which is now being rapidly constructed, passes through this village and unites with the Illinois river below, and will render this place one of great importance.

"This Canal is destined to become one of the most important works of Internal Improvement ever commenced in the United States, and will materially affect the business interests, not only of the northern and eastern, but also of the south-western States. On some future occasion I will give you a more extended account of this great work, and the bearing it will probably have upon remote parts of the Union by opening a water communication, and forming a connecting link between the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes of the north, the Canadas and the eastern states. As you travel up the Fox River you find extensive farms, with large enclosures, yielding wheat, oats, corn and other agricultural productions in vast quantities. The original log cabins begin to disappear and large, well painted farm houses, barns &c. take their places. On some of these farms there are large stack yards filled with stacks of wheat, some of which will yield 1000 or 2000 bushels of wheat each, as the product of a single plantation this year and cornfields a much larger amount of corn. Pork is becoming abundant. Hogs run wild in the prairies and timber till late in the fall when they are gathered, and often without any more fatting are taken to the slaughter. Some farmers have many hundreds of hogs. Northern Illinois will this year produce a large surplus of pork for foreign markets.

Within a few miles above and below this town (Geneva) other large, flourishing villages have sprung into existence; such as Oswego, Bristol, Aurora, St. Charles, Elgin, &c., &c. The River, as it passes these towns with a rapid current, is about 500 or 600 feet in width, and at each of them a dam is thrown across, thus creating a large water power; and flouring mills on an extensive scale are already in full operation; also saw mills, by means of which the people are well supplied with flour and lumber. It seems almost incredible that these changes are the work of new settlers and almost all the result of four or five years enterprise and industry; that within that time the red man had yielded to the white man possession of these their uncultivated wilds and been succeeded by all this civilization, prosperity and happiness.



Ottawa in May, 1841

The Illinois Free Trader, Ottawa, Ill, May 28, 1841

At the time we commenced the publication of this paper, one year since, we referred to the location, improvements and natural advantages of this place, in order that persons at a distance might be able to form a correct opinion of this section of the State and the thriving condition of Ottawa. In order to keep pace with the times, we feel it our duty to chronicle such improvements as may have taken place during the past year, and to notice such local advantages as promise shortly to be of advantage and add much to the continued prosperity of this town.
The location of Ottawa may not be familiarly known to our Eastern readers, notwithstanding its gradual improvements, despite of the financial embarrassments of the country, and its central location and manufacturing advantages are fully known and duly appreciated by the citizens of Northern Illinois. For the information of such persons as are aware of the precise location of this town and its natural advantages, we will briefly present a synopsis of the same:

Ottawa is situated at the junction of the Fox River with the Illinois, on a gradual elevation of about twenty-five feet above high water mark, and the scenery around presents almost unrivalled attractions. Immediately north of the town is an elevated tract of prairie, skirted with timber, which at this season of the year presents unusual splendor, whilst on the east and south flow the beautiful waters of the Fox and Illinois Rivers, interspersed with delightful groups of islands, whose tall and heavy covering hangs drooping from its parent trunk and kisses the silver surface of the sparkling stream. The town is eighty miles south-west of Chicago, and fifteen miles east of Peru, the originating point of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. It was located by the Canal Commissioners about eleven years since, but for the first seven years its growth was very slow in consequence of the very sparse settlement of the country during that period, and most of the business being then confined to the south side of the Illinois River. We may therefore safely say, that the last five years have witnessed the growth of this place to its present importance, which augurs for the future. If in the short space of five ears the population has increased about eleven hundred, (?) increase may we not expect in five more, when the Illinois and Michigan Canal will be in complete operation and our immense water power rendered useful.

The population of this place is now between eleven and twelve hundred, composed chiefly of emigrants from New York and the New England states, with a small proportion from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and other western states. Within the last year there have been erected in this place upwards of one hundred dwelling houses, and a Court House and Jail, which cost upwards of twenty thousand dollars, and when finished will bear comparison with any similar buildings in the State. The Mechanics Hall is a building which is destined to be of much importance to the place and after it is once in successful operation, will be an institution creditable to its founders and beneficial to our citizens.

There are within the limits of the town a sufficient number of Dry Goods Stores, two Drug Stores, five Hotels, one Stove, Tin and Sheet Iron Manufactory, one Hatter, five Blacksmith shops, one Clock and Watch maker, one Merchant and four Tailor shops, three Boot and Shoe establishments, two Cabinet Ware Manufactories, one Chair Factory, two Carriage and Wagon Manufactories, one Saddle and Harness maker, one Sign Painter and Paper Hanger, one Gun and Lock maker, five Plasterers, two Bakeries, and a number of Carpenters, House Painters, Masons, &c. Of professional men, there are sixteen Lawyers, five Physicians, and three Ministers of the Gospel. The organized religious societies are a Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational. A number of members of the Protestant Episcopal Church are in the place, but as yet are without an organization or pastor. A Masonic Lodge is located at this place and is numerously attended. An association is organized and in a flourishing condition, under the name and style of the "Ottawa Band," which promises much for the future enjoyment of our citizens. At present there are two Common Schools in operation and both are liberally patronized.

The Illinois and Michigan Canal passes along the northern limits of the town and a Feeder forty feet wide and four feet deep, which will be navigable for the ordinary class of canal boats, commences at Dayton on Fox River, four miles from Ottawa and joins the main canal at the northwestern corner of the town. This will supply the canal with all the water necessary for navigation, and besides, will furnish a surplus water power to any necessary extent. To facilitate the use of this surplus water and to connect the main canal with the Illinois River, the State has authorized the construction of a side-cut, ninety feet wide and six feet deep - which after dropping down six feet immediately after leaving the canal, by a lock, passes along the western side of the town, on a level, to the second bank of the river, which is here about thirty feet above low, and fifteen feet above high water mark, where it again drops down to the level of the river, and continues in a direct line across the narrow bottom to its junction with the Illinois river. Along this bank, and nearly at right angles with the side-cut, a large basin will be constructed, for the use of mills and other hydraulic machinery. The feeder is entirely completed and the side-cut is now under contract and will be finished by the middle of this summer, when the water will be immediately let in and the hydraulic power ready for use.

In order that the central location of Ottawa may be duly appreciated, we will state that eight mail-routes terminate here, one daily, two try-weekly, four weekly, and one semi-monthly. All the roads centering here run over a high rolling country which is not subject to inundation, and which can be travelled the year through. This advantage in the west, is no slight one, as everyone can readily perceive, who is acquainted with the situation of most of the towns on navigable rivers. Pure water can be obtained in any part of the town, by sinking wells to the depth of from twenty-five to thirty feet into a pure sand rock, which lies a few feet below the surface. Stone coal, of an excellent quality, can be obtained in almost every direction and within a short distance from the town, to almost any extent. Lime rock, of a superior quality, is found within two miles of the place, and can be procured with but little expense. The soil in this section of the State is of the very best quality and the advantage our farmers possess over most others, is their easy access to Mills, many of which are of the best construction and never idle for the want of water.

In bringing our wandering remarks to a close, we have but to say that our sincere wish is that May 1842 will find our population and commerce increased; few bachelors and better morals; good encouragement to our excellent mechanic population, and less practice to our physicians and lawyers; a number of fine churches and few Sabbath-breakers; a good corporation police and few grog-shops, and an improvement in regard to side-walks, clean streets, pigs and dogs, and a determination that our town shall become larger, wiser, better, happier and whatever else may be desirable.



Ottawa Band
The Illinois Free Trader, Ottawa, Ill, April 16, 1841
We call the attention of the citizens of this place and vicinity to the advertisement in another column, relative to the formation of a musical association in this place to be called the "Ottawa Band."
Mr. W. Baldwin, a gentleman well known to the public as an efficient teacher of instrumental music, has had under his instruction a class of young gentlemen of this place for a short time, whose rapid progress in this delightful and pleasant study, had induced them to form an association, which promises much for the future enjoyment and comfort of our citizens.
Mr. B. has lately received from the city of Pittsburgh a number of new instruments - amply sufficient for the equipment of a suitable Band. A number of the instruments are already engaged, and the object of the meeting is to ascertain if a sufficient number of gentlemen are willing to engage in this delightful enterprise and make suitable arrangements in regard to the different instruments.
We hope the citizens generally will give this subject their serious attention, and honor the meeting with their attendance by using suitable exertions in behalf of this association. Its formation is most certainly desired by all. The additional lustre it will shed upon the well-established society of this place, must be obvious to every reflecting mind.
The different instruments can at any time be examined at the store of Messrs. Hurlbut & Russel. Call and see them!

June News - Ottawa Band
The Illinois Free Trader and LaSalle County Commercial Advertiser, Ottawa, Ill, June 25, 1841
We are much gratified in being able to state that this association is in a flourishing condition. On Tuesday evening last the Band serenaded our citizens for the first time, and doubtless afforded much gratification to them. The association is yet in its infancy, many of its members having received only ten lessons from their teacher, Mr. Baldwin, but the accuracy with which they play several pieces, reflects much credit on their perseverance and industry. Judging from this performance and of the character and standing of the gentlemen composing the association, together with the ability and perseverance of the teacher, we may safely predict that the "Ottawa Band" will ere long stand second to none in the State. We understand the Band will head the procession on the 5th of July next, and citizens from the surrounding country should not fail to embrace this opportunity of witnessing their performances.



1841 New Catholic Church, Ottawa
The Illinois Free Trader and LaSalle County Commercial Advertiser, Ottawa, Ill, July 2, 1841
We are gratified to learn that the Catholic Society of this place is making laudable efforts to erect a large and splendid place of public worship in this place. The location is on La Salle street, between the new public square and the canal - is handsomely situated, and well calculated for the praiseworthy enterprise of this Religious Society. The Corner Stone is to be laid on Sunday, the 4th of July. Ceremonies to commence at 4 o'clock, P.M. The Rev. Mr. Raho and the Rev. Mr. Parode are deserving of great credit for their efficient efforts to better the condition and correct the habits of the laborers in this section of the country. We hope they may meet with that encouragement from the citizens, which their philanthropic efforts deserve.





Ottawa Dog Control Enforced
The Ottawa Free Trader, June 28, 1844
Ottawa Corporation vs. Dogs
On Tuesday next we expect to hear a doleful yelling in our streets by the canine family. The ordinance of the corporation relative to this nuisance will then be in force and we understand the officer empowered to enforce it will be on hand to discharge his duty. Owners of valuable dogs had better comply with the provisions of the ordinance in time, to save trouble.



Ottawa 4th of July Celebration 1844
The Ottawa Free Trader, June 28, 1844
The Fourth
Our citizens have made every preparation to celebrate the Fourth in a becoming manner. The dinner will be prepared by Mr. Latshaw, of the Mansion House, under a fine arbor to be erected in the yard in front of the court house. Price $1. There will be an oration and singing, and the Ottawa band will be out. It is hoped the people of the country will join us in the celebration.


1845

The Ottawa Bachelor's Club
The Ottawa Free Trader, January 3, 1845
Ottawa Bachelors
The Ottawa Bachelor's Club celebrated the New Year in fine style at the City Hotel in this place. About 30 were in attendance, and amore merry assembly, we are certain, could not be found in this wide land. The preparations made by Mr. West, the enterprising landlord of the City Hotel, for the entertainment of the company, were of the most bountiful nature, and served up in a style equal to the best. All in attendance were highly delighted with the pleasures of the evening and the kind attention and good fare at the City Hotwl will be long and pleasingly remembered by the guests in attendance.



Ottawa Foundry
The Ottawa Free Trader, October 17, 1845

This establishment is now is successful operation, and we understand from persons who are good judges, that the castings are of the first order, and that the best quality of metal is used by the establishment. The enterprising proprietors, Messrs. Cogswell and Chapin, are young men of industrious habits, thorough masters of their business and prompt in filling orders. Persons in this vicinity, who may want anything in their line, will do well by giving them a call.



Baptist Church Damaged by Fire
The Ottawa Free Trader, October 24, 1845
Fire
About half an hour after the lecture on Monday evening, a noise was heard in the Baptist church as of something falling, and there was light inside. On opening the door it was found that the ceiling had taken fire around the pipe, and part of the pipe had fallen. The fire was soon extinguished, without having done much damage to the building. The most serious loss is sustained by Mr. Sharwood. In the hurry and confusion of the occasion, in taking down his paintings, which had been left in the room, many of them were injured, and four of them, we understand, entirely destroyed. $200 would not cover his loss.


The Ottawa Free Trader, December 5, 1845
Appointment by Post Master General
John Hise, late one of the editors of this paper, as post master at Ottawa, in the place of Alson Woodruff.



Cogswell and Chapin Open Ottawa Foundry
The Ottawa Free Trader, October 17, 1845
Ottawa Foundry
This establishment is now is successful operation and we understand from persons who are good judges that the castings are of the first order and that the best quality of metal is used by the establishment. The enterprising proprietors Messrs. Cogswell and Chapin, are young men of industrious habits, through masters of their business and prompt in filling orders. Persons in this vicinity who may want anything in their line, will do well by giving them a call.


1846

1846 Ladies Fair
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, January 2, 1846
The Ladies' Fair
The Fair of the ladies of the Episcopal Church on Wednesday evening, went off charmingly. It was a gay and pleasant time. Although the weather was exceedingly unfavorable, and the streets were distressingly muddy, the turn out by our citizens was very liberal and there were many in from abroad. The receipts, we understand, amounted to about $200.
We have been requested to say, that the ladies return their thanks to the citizens of Ottawa, and the friends from abroad, for the liberal manner, in which they were pleased to patronize the Fair.
If language were adequate, we should also express our gratitude for the splendid treat with which we and ours were honored by the fair ladies.



Dissolution of Cogswell-Chapin Partnership
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, January 16, 1846
Dissolution
The copartnership heretofore existing between the undersigned in the Ottawa Foundry has this day been dissolved by mutual consent. The books and accounts are in the hands of Mr. Cogswell, but payment may be made to either of the undersigned.
WM. Cogswell
E. S. Chapin
Jan. 15, 1846
The foundry will be carried on as heretofore by the undersigned, who solicit a continuance of the patronage of the community.
WM. Cogswell
Amasa G. Cook.



Catholic Church Being Erected
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, March 20, 1846
Our town was somewhat enlivened last evening by the arrival, in regular procession, accompanied with music, of from 30 to 40 teams from La Salle with the cut stone for the Catholic Church now in process of erection in this place. This edifice, the foundation of which was laid four or five years ago, will be completed during the ensuing summer and will be one of the handsomest and most spacious churches in the west, and truly an ornament to our town. The liberality, zeal and enterprise manifested by our Catholic friends in erecting this costly edifice is deserving of especial commendation.



1846 Town Ordinances
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, September 25, 1846
Town Ordinances
Be it Ordained by the Trustees of the Town of Ottawa
1st. That no person shall erect or establish any slaughter-house or carry on the business of slaughtering within the limits of said town, under the penalty of fifty dollars.
2d. That no person shall make any lime-kiln, or set fir to or burn any lime-kiln, within the limits of said town, under the penalty of fifty dollars.
3d. That no person shall obstruct any street or side-walk in said town, under the penalty of five dollars and an additional sum of two dollars for each day such obstruction shall be permitted to remain, after notice shall be given by a street commissioner to remove the same.
4th. That no person shall immoderately ride any horse or other animal, nor shall immoderately drive any horse or horses or other animal or animals with any carriage or other vehicle, in any street in said town, under the penalty of five dollars for each offence.
Attest, H. G. Cotton Clerk
Dated, Sept. 15th, 1846


1847
Construction of the Fox River Bridge
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, January 8, 1847
Fox River Bridge
We are pleased to state that this structure is now progressing rapidly, notwithstanding the unfavorable state of the weather for the last few weeks. A few days since, great fears were entertained respecting the safety of the work on account of the mildness of the weather, which caused the running ice to lodge against the staging and threaten its destruction. In fact, several parts of he staging did give way, but by the aid of ropes and additional braces it was firmly held in its place. Now that cold weather has set in and firmly frozen the accumulated mass of ice above the staging, no fears are entertained for its safety as but a few days labor are required to place the work out of danger.
The Bridge will be a noble piece of workmanship and of immense value to the business of our town. It is of the most permanent character, and when once completed will not only be a profitable investment for the Company, but add materially to the character of our place and the convenience of the people. The enterprising builder deserves much praise for the manner in which the work is executed, as also for the great energy with which it is prosecuted. In five or six weeks the bridge will probably be ready for use.



Completion of the New Congregational Church
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, January 8, 1847
The New Congregational Church
We omitted last week to notice the completion and dedication of the new building erected by the Congregational Society during the past year in this place. The building is of brick, 40 by 60 feet and contains 56 slips besides the gallery for the choir. The structure and materials are of the most permanent character and the workmanship throughout the whole building of the first order and reflects much to the credit of our mechanics. The cost of the building is about $3,500 and to meet the full liabitics of the society for its erection, about one-half of the slips have been offered for sale, most of which have been already been sold.
The building was dedicated to the purposes for which it was erected, on Thursday the 31st ultimo. The dedication sermon was delivered by the able and worthy pastor of the congregation, Rev. G. W. Bassett.
We are pleased thus to announce the completion of the first permanent house of public worship in our place, and hope to see many more added to it. No better evidence of the permanent prosperity of our town can be presented.



City Hotel Reopened
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, March 26, 1847
City Hotel
The City Hotel, in this place, which has been undergoing repairs for the last few months, has now been re-opened by Messrs. Fisher & Smith. The building is located in the most pleasant and business part of the town and well situated for the convenience of travelers and sojourners. It has been thoroughly repaired and newly fitted up and from the known business qualifications of the present worthy proprietors, we have no doubt it will be conducted in a manner highly creditable to themselves and the community in which they reside.



Wm. Butterfield Appointed Second Lieutenant
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, March 26, 1847
We observe by the Washington Union that our fellow townsman Dr. Wm. Butterfield, has been appointed second lieutenant in the Marine corps. Dr. B. has been a resident of this place but a short time, yet he has many warm friends and will take with him to his new field of labors, the good wishes of many warm personal and political friends.


Problems With the Ferry

The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, March 26, 1847
The Ferry
To the Citizens of the South Side:

Having devoted a large portion of the past two weeks in attending upon the Board of Trustees, at Ottawa, during the leasing of the Ferry, I have thought that you should know what has been done in that matter and the position in which it now stands.

At the time the ice left the Fox River, the old Ferry company were without even an apology for crafts, more than a miserable hulk of a skif
f hastily re-bottomed with rough boards. This was the only means provided for the business of the Ferry for the space of an entire week, and no exertions were being made for the further accommodation of the public.
In this state of affairs, Mr. Cyrus Fields applied to the Board of Trustees of the village of Ottawa, composed of the following persons, viz: Jabez Fitch, Abram Hoes, Harper Morrell, Edward Hollins and G. L. Thompson, for the right to run a skiff. This they objected to on the ground that he was not able to put on a flat also, and this might interfere with the future letting of the ferry. He then asked a license for thirty days and this was denied and no anxiety was manifested to provide for the then pressing wants of the South side. At last, when on the point of despairing of making any impression, we were able to induce them to give a general license to all persons to run boats on the Ferry until a license was granted in due form; and an order was issued inviting proposals to be presented at the next meeting of the Board.

This privilege was with difficulty obtained, and even at this early stage there manifested itself a desire to favor the late incumbents of the Ferry. Mr. Fields now put on his skiff and reduced the rates by one-half. Papers, remonstrating against the re-licensing of the late Ferry-keepers or any of them, and asking for an Ordinance to punish the ferryman in the event of a neglect or refusal to cross a person or team, were circulated.
At the day set for receiving proposals, but one of the remonstrances came in; those who held the others having neglected to bring them in. Many persons had intended to be present, who doubtless were prevented by the state of the weather. Of those who came to town, some allowed themselves to be discouraged from opposition and to go home, by the representations made by the counsel of Mr. Fredenburgh, who very speedily spread the report in the streets that the mind of the Board was made up not to give license to any other person than Mr. Fredenburgh. Notwithstanding this maneuver, however, some and those respectable, citizens from among you were present who testified to the Board of the shameful abuses which had been practiced upon the Ferry during the past season, while on the other hand, Mr. Fredenburgh, who appeared in person and by counsel did not hesitate to claim the Ferry as his property and charged us who opposed him with attempting to rob him of his property. It was evident at this time that three members of the Board had long since settled their minds form Mr. Fredenburgh and as the Board consisted of but five, the majority was against us from the start. Mr. Thompson, moreover was absent.

Two propositions were received: one from Mr. Fields, who applied (as it was understood the Ferry was to be leased for one year,) and offered a bonus of fifty dollars for the privilege, asking to be guaranteed against opposition from the old Walker charter, and it was understood that the license was to be an exclusive one: the other proposition was from Mr. Fredenburgh, who asked for five years and offered a bonus of two dollars per annum for the privilege.

The Board now adjourned. At the next meeting the Board announced their determination to give the license to Mr. Fredenburgh under the terms of his proposition and after passing some Ordinances relative to the rates of ferriage, adjourned. At the next meeting, the Bonds of Mr. Fredenburgh were made out and signed: some Ordinances relative to the management of the Ferry were drawn up and passed, but not executed.
In this position it now stands, and thus is the old regiment to be continued on the Ferry 5 years longer, and there is no guaranty for its being better managed hereafter, unless each person, so soon as aggrieved, shall commence prosecution regardless of trouble and expense. To enable each person to determine how this is to be done and to know what the liabilities of the ferryman are, I intend to publish in a future number of the Free Trader an abstract of the various titles and laws relative to the Ferry; and also a copy of the Ordinances and License of the Board on this subject. For all these, I ask from each of you a careful and attentive perusal.
Good will undoubtedly grow from this demonstation although it has been impossible to get from the Board the dismissal of a man who has been so remiss in his duties heretofore.

Bronson Murray



The New Catholic Church
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, August 27, 1847
Ottawa People are framing a Church here for the Episcopal Society under Rev. Mr. Kelly of Gothic architecture. As the timer is taken from here, it is a saving of freight to hew it here. This shows the want of a canal. - Chicago Democrat.
We presume the above is a mistake so far as relates to the frame being for the Episcopal Society of this place, who we understand have deferred building until next season.
The "framing" alluded to is doubtless the roof and other fixtures for the new Catholic Church at this place, now in course of erection, under the immediate direction of the Rev. Thomas O'Donnell, who is sparing nothing to make the building worthy of his numerous congregation and an ornament to our place. The building is of brick, 90 by 50 feet and will contain a spire about 110 feet high. A large amount of cut stone is used in the building, and when finished it will undoubtedly be one of the handsomest and most durable edifices in the west.



Mr. Cogswell Enlarging Foundry
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, August 27, 1847
New Foundry
We see Mr. Cogswell is laying the foundation on a lot in the neighborhood of the new square for a foundry on a large scale, the building he at present occupies being too rickety and contracted for the increasing demands of his business. The roar of the huge bellows and the indefatigable puffing of the steam engine at Drew's cabinet and machine shop, will give a highly business tone to this part of our growing city.



New Bridge Across The Canal Completed
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, August 27, 1847
The Bridge across the canal on La Salle street is completed and we regret to say has disappointed expectation. It is a strong, massive and expensive structure and ought to have been an ornament to the canal. But all must concede it is "anything else." It is uselessly built in an arch, whereas with the pier in the centre, it might with advantage have been perfectly flat, and still left ample space between it and the water. Then it is altogether too narrow. Teams cannot pass each other on it, and being an arch, a man driving upon one side, can know nothing of a team coming up on the other, until he meets it on the bridge, when a retrograde movement of one of the parties becomes necessary. To say nothing of the many contentions and broken heads this may occasion, the inconvenience of the thing is so obvious that we are surprised at the want of foresight in the projectors in not avoiding it.



Three New Stores in Ottawa
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, September 17, 1847
Three new stores in Ottawa - a drug store just opened by Mr. Hunter next to G. L. Thompson's; a dry goods store just opening next to Buchanan & Eichelberger's tailor shop; and another in Mr. Wood's building, the old "Ottawa Market" stand. Ottawa is going to be a great city.



Walker & Hickling Mercantile Erecting New Building
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, September 17, 1847
The Largest yet - As an evidence of the business prosperity of our town, no notice that one of our heaviest mercantile firms, Messrs. Walker & Hickling, are laying the foundation for a mammoth brick building, a part of which will be completed this fall. The building will be One Hundred and Fifty feet deep, (extending from Canal to Water stree,) Twenty-four feet wide, and we believe three stories high. It will be built of the most substantial materials as it is intended to be proof against fire.



Mr. Delano's Grapes
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, September 24, 1847
We are under many obligations to Mr. Delano, of the Fox River House, for some splendid bunches of grapes. Mr. D. has demonstrated that at least the Isabella grape can be cultivated as successfully in this climate as in any other in the world. We never saw grapes grown in richer clusters and it would be hard to find any more delicious.



The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, August 27, 1847
The body of a black man was found floating in the river this morning and was picked up by the ferryman, who, upon examination, proved to be Ep, a negro that has been employed on Mr. Glover's place, we believe, on the south side of the river. He had been in town day before yesterday, got on a spree, and in a state pretty considerably the worse for liquor had started for home. It is probable he fell from his horse in attempting to ford the river. His horse was seen yesterday morning quietly going home alone. The coroner's jury we understand have returned a verdict in accordance with the above facts.



The American Hotel At Ottawa
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, November 26, 1847
This well know establishment (formerly kept by Mr. R. Thorn, who is now catering for the public at the Mansion House,) has been purchased by Mr. Jacob Miller, a very agreeable and accommodating old gentleman, and who makes every effort to make you comfortable while you remain with him, and if he does not please, the fault is not his. His table is well furnished with the good things of which our Sucker markets afford so great an abundance, and his bar, though not tilled with "choice liquors," yet affords an abundance of cold water - for which he makes no charge. And another very important item which should be taken into consideration by persons (like ourselves) who are not overburdened with the needful - his charges are exceedingly moderate.


1848

First Canal Boat From Ottawa
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, April 14 1848
Our enterprising fellow citizens H. F. Eames launches this afternoon his new and staunch built freight boat, the Coal Trader, at the side cut, near the lock. The "Trader" is a fine boat of 120 tons burden - creditable to her builder, her owner and the place. We understand Mr. E. will leave with a load for Chicago tomorrow.



Ottawa Boat First Through Canal
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, April 28, 1848
The Canal - First Boat Through. The "Gen. Thornton," one of Hardy's line of freight boats, built at La Salle, commanded by Capt. F. G. Mills, has the distinction of being the first boat through the entire length of the canal, from Peru to Chicago. The Thornton reached Chicago Saturday. She made the trip in 3 days. The "Industry,", another boat of the same line, passed up on Sunday. The Col. Yell left here for above on Wednesday, with a full cargo, and the Trader left yesterday. There have other boats started up, the names of which we have not heard.



Capt. Woodruff's Canal Boat
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, May 5, 1848
Our old friend and fellow townsman, Capt. A. Woodruff, of the splendid canal packet, "Illinois," is at length fairly afloat on the "raging canawl." He made his first appearance with his beautiful little "palace" at our wharf on Wednesday. As to furniture and all the internal arrangements for the comfort and convenience of passengers, the Illinois is unquestionably so far the crack boat on the ditch, and we are sure that the public on a fair trial will agree with us that she is "nothing shorter" so far as her Captain, steward, and crew generally are concerned. We know all about them, and fearlessly challenge the moving world to test our judgment in the matter.



Mr. Hasting's Daguerrean Rooms
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, December 8, 1848
We had the pleasure of visiting Mr. Hasting's Daguerrean Rooms, over Mr. Folger's store, a few days since, and of examining a large assortment of miniatures and landscapes, all of which we found to be remarkably fine. A number are likenesses of citizens of our town with whom we are familiar and which are so precise and life-like, that one can almost imagine he can see them breath. Thy are decidedly the best pictures of the kind ever taken in Ottawa.



1849

The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, December 7, 1849
Steam Mills
It is a remarkable fact, that every branch of business which has been commenced in this place, has succeeded even beyond the most sanguine anticipations of those who have embarked in it. The large foundry owned by Cushman & Co. keeps up its ceaseless hum, yielding a good profit, though every pound of material must be imported from without the limits of the State.
The splendid sash and door factory and planning mill erected by King & Bros., and the steam Turning Lathe of Mr. Drew, besides all the rest of our numerous mechanical shops, present a scene of life and activity which tells plainly that they are doing well.
There are, however, several branches which have not yet been commenced, and which we greatly need. The first in importance of these is a Steam Flouring Mill. We notice that one has just been completed at Lockport, Will Co., Ill., by Mr. Grinton, and that its prospects are highly flattering. Ottawa certainly possesses many advantages over Lockport for propelling machinery by steam; and if that place can sustain a steam mill, Ottawa should be able to sustain at least tow. Why do not some of our capitalists engage in the enterprise?


Illinois State Democrat, Wed. Oct. 10, 1860

Contributed by Candi Horton

The Ottawa Rescuers.

The parties convicted at the July term of the United States Court for participating in the rescue of a fugitive slave at Ottawa last October, were sentenced as follows: John Hossack, ten days imprisonment and one hundred dollars fine; Joseph Stout, ten days imprisonment and fifty dollars fine; Claudius B. King, one day's imprisonment and ten dollars fine.—Chi. Dem., 5th.

Alton Daily Telegraph (Alton, Illinois)
June 22, 1868

Hon. Franklin Corwin, of Peru, late Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and George M. Radcliffe, Esq., of Tonica have purchased the Ottawa Republican, and will be hereafter conducted by them. Both gentleman are eminently fitted for the positions they have assumed. They both have ripe experience in the politics of the State, and possess scholarly Attainments.

Taken From the Henry Republican
January 16, 1879

The Ottawa Republican says 42 wolves scalps were brought to the LaSalle county office during the year 1878 and over $300 in county orders issued to the slayers.

Taken From the Henry Republican
May 22, 1879

From at item in the Ottawa Free Trader, we learn that members of the new grain firm here (Henry) are men of means and are extensive operators. They formed a new firm at Ottawa the past week, under the name of H. S. Gilbert & Co., leasing elevator, etc., purchasing also the propeller Peerless and the barges Tempest and Sunshine. They expect to do a large business at Ottawa, their elevator having the capacity of about 100,000 bushels.

Taken From the Henry Republican
June 5, 1879

Dellenbaugh Bros. Of Ottawa have made arrangements with J. F. Gates of this city (Henry) to sell their brands of flour exclusively. Parties wanting flour at wholesale or by the single sack, may reply on getting the best quality and lowest price. Their brands of wheat, rye and graham flour are ground by water power, unequalled for milling purposes, and they do no slip grinding. Buy a sack from Gates and you will find it A. No. 1.

Taken From the Henry Republican
August 14, 1879 - State News

The Ottawa Republican is now 40 years old, and claims to have more subscribers than any other newpaper printed in LaSalle county.

Taken From the Henry Republican
January 1, 1880 - State News

The Ottawa Cutlery works will remove to Moline.

The starch factory at Ottawa is buying corn in Iowa, because Ottawa business men do not handle their starch. They now propose to run a branch store to feed their employees

Taken From the Henry Republican
February 5, 1880 - State news

The Ottawa starch works makes 10 tons of starch daily, and the glass factory turns out 60,000 fifty-feet boxes of window glass annually.

Taken From the Henry Republican
June 10, 1880

The Ottawa Baptist association held its 32nd annual meeting at Tonica, commencing May 25, and lasting two days.  The attendance was good.  The officers elected consisted of N. A. Reed, D. D., of Ottawa moderator, Rev. J. B. Murch of Seneca clerk, and S. A. Hall of Tonica treasurer. Thre were the usual church reports presented, and the interests of education, temperance, home and foreign missions, publication society, woman's missionary work, etc., were not forgotten. The papers read was one by Rev. Murch on "Sunday school literature," one by Charles G. Elliott of Tonica relative to sunday school work, and one by H. R. Clissold of Chicago, state sunday school missionary, on the "Evidences of Inspiration of the Scripture."   The sermons were by Rev. D. P. McPherson of Ottawa, on "Social, moral and religious status of the present and the coming generation;" by Rev. E. P. Bartlett of LaMoille, and Rev. H. H. Hicks of Paw Paw missionary sermons; Rev. I. C. Tallis on "Christian Experience," and Rev. M. H. Worrall of Princeton, Phases of society adverse to Christainity,"  It was a very enjoyable meeting.


Taken From the Henry Republican, March 23, 1882

State News

James Duncan, the prominent lawyer of La Salle, has moved to Ottawa. He was presented with a solid silver service by his many admirers before his departure.


The Henry Republican, Henry Illinois August 31, 1882

Ottawa has now telephonic connection with 14 towns and 135 telephones in use in the city. A prospect is on foot to connect and depot and down town in our own city with telephonic facilities and it should not be long e'er we have talking relations with all our neighboring towns.


Saturday Herald (Decatur, Illinois) November 17, 1883

The Ottawa fairground have been sold for $5,500. Though having acquired them for private uses, the ground will also be maintained for fair purposes and the county agricultural association is to have the free use of them for holding their annual meetings.


The Milwaukee Journal, Jan 2, 1884

Submitted by K.T.

Edward J. Wall, a prominent young lawyer of Ottawa, Ill., is charged with forgery.


Saturday Herald (Decatur, Illinois) May 21, 1887

A citizen’s improvement association has been organized by the businessmen of Ottawa.


Taken From the Ava Advertiser, Ava, Jackson County, IL
December 26, 1890

At Ottawa the trial of Charles FORD, the second of the four defendants for  the murder of David MOORE, resulted in a verdict of guilty, the jury fixing  the penalty at hanging.  David MOORE, a traveling man, was enticed to his death by Kate FORD, the wife  of the  defendant. On June 23 last, at the appointed place, Kate was met by  FORD, William O'BRIEN and Minnie WINTERLING, and FORD and O'BRIEN, after  being refused blackmail, beat MOORE's brains out  with a coupling pin.  - Courtesy Susan Cook

Taken from the Henry News Republican, Henry, IL
Thursday, January 17, 1918

The city of Ottawa will not burn their cluster lights in their business section in an endeavor to save fuel.  Commissioner Campbell was in favor of discontinuing the use of cluster lights for all time to come, as the gas light on the top of the pole furnishes more light than the old arc lights did.


Dorothy Larabee awarded damages against Charles J. Sticklen

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) December 22, 1926

Gets $1,200 Damages

Ottawa, Ill., Dec. 22 It will cost Charles J. Sticklen, merchant of this city $1,200 to recompense Miss Dorothy Larabee of Chicago for injuries sustained when she fell through an opening in the sidewalk in front of his store. She sued for $25,000 but a jury decided that the smaller sum named was ample and that the merchant was obliged to see that proper safeguards were taken.


From the Ironwood Daily Globe, Ironwood Mich.
September 10, 1932

Donated by Christine Walters

MISSING PRIEST AND GIRL SEEN ON ROAD
Ottawa IL Sept. 10, 1932 (AP)

Officials seeking Miss Collette Haley, 22 year old rural school teacher and the Rev. William Courtney, pastor of St. Thereas's Catholic Church at Alexis IL who have been missing since Tuesday had a multitude of clues but no word as to their whereabouts today. The priest was charged in a warrant, issued at the request of the girls brother, with having kidnapped her.

Yesterday a suitcase containing clothes belonging to Miss Haley was found in a clump of woods near Lenore not far from the Vermilion river. Earlier in the day an abandoned automobile, said to have been one borrowed by the priest, was found on a lonely road not far from where the suitcase was discovered. The sheriff found a number of farmers south of Lenore who reported seeing a man and a girl walking on the highway Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The sheriff was told both had informed the farmers they were hitchhiking to Texas.



English Newspaper of 1781 Handed Down By Pioneer, Thomas Harrington

Borrowing books and neglecting to return them was a failing of human nature even as far back as 1837. Thomas Harrington, grandfather of Miss Dolly Fleming, at the age of 23, came to America from England with a chest full of books. He loaned them to men who in the early days of Marseilles, were employed in digging the I. & M. canal through the town. Only one book from the entire lot was returned, which is now in Miss Fleming's possession.
The prized treasure is 12 copies of The Westminister Abbey of the year 1781 which are bound together.
John Harrington's father was born in Scalby, Cumberland county, England, September 12, 1764. His mother, formerly Mary Barbara Bell, was born in Glasconybeck, April 5, 1779.
The couple following their marriage, in England, came to America in 1833. Leaving the homeland March 2, 1833 on a ship, "Lady Portsmouth," they landed in New York, Saturday, June 9, after a six weeks' sailing voyage.
They continued from New York to Albany by boat up the Hudson river, then to Syracuse by canal, as there were no railroads at that time. With their seven children, they settled on a farm near Central Square, N.Y.
Their eldest son, Thomas Harrington was married to Miss Margaret Summers at the Hotchkiss hotel in Central Square, March 10, 1836.

[Daily Republican Times, Ottawa, Ill; Thursday, August 29, 1935]
 

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