Transcribed by Nancy Piper
Is a village in Farm Ridge township, eight miles south of Ottawa, 011 the line of the Fox River Division of the C. B. & Q. R. R·. The first business house was built by E. Core, in 1870, the same year the railroad was completed and put in operation. In 1873, J. T. Porter erected a grain elevator. In 1874, the owners of the land on either side of the road, David Crumrine and Joseph Boyd laid off a part of their respective lands adjoining the track, in town lots, after which building was commenced on a more extended scale, and now it is a very handsome farm village, and is a point from which a large amount of grain and produce finds its way to market. In the latter part of 1876, Porter sold his elevator to F. Mc Ilvaine, who still conducts the business. E. Cole conducts another elevator and it is estimated that at least 1,200 car loads of grain are annually shipped from these elevators.
The second business house was erected by F.H. Poundstone, in 1871.
In June, 1873, Garrison & Hornick opened a first class dry goods, notion and grocery house, meeting with lucrative return. It is estimated that the aggregate business of Grand Ridge will amount to $75,000 annually.
There are nine business houses in Grand Ridge, including dry goods and grocery houses, etc., two physicians, and a proportionate number of mechanics. A good two-story school-house is in course of erection. The Presbyterians have a good house of worship, and the character of the people for thrift, enterprise and morality, will rank with that of any other people in the State.
The Presbyterian church in Grand Ridge was organized June 17, 1865, in the Van Doren school house, by a committee from the Peoria Presbytery, consisting of the Rev. Robert Johnson and Rev. John Marquis, The original members were Wm. McMillan, Jane B. McMillan, Amarinta Poundstone, Joseph Boyd, Elvira Boyd, J. T. Van Doren Sarah C. Van Doren, James H. Boyd and Isabella Boyd. The house of worship was erected in 1864, at an expense of $1,800, and soon after, a parsonage, costing $800. The first pastor was Rev, John Moore, who remained some time. At present the pulpit is vacant.
Victor Lodge, No. 578, I. O. O. F. - Instituted June 11, 1875. Officers, E. A. Dearth, N. G.; John H. Moss, V. G.; Jas. E. Jones, Sec'y; Lacy Hibbs, Treas. Meets at Grand Ridge, Ills.; every Saturday evening.
[The Past and present of La Salle County, Illinois : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, general and local statistics, map of La Salle County, history of Illinois, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, etc, etc.. Chicago: H.F. Kett & Co., Ottaway & Colbert, printers), 1877. Page 350-351]
The village of Grand Ridge was so named by the officials of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, because it is on the highest point of land on the road from Streator to Aurora. The station was established by the railroad company in 1871.
The first store was built by Elias Core in 1870. Core sold out to his son-in-law, F. H. Poundstone, and he in turn disposed of the business to Core Bros. Poundstone then had it again for a time, and was succeeded by Crow & Parshall. Crow sold his interest to D.A. Dearth, and the firm is now Dearth & Parshall.
H. J. Hornick, the principal merchant here, went into business in 1872 with a Mr. Garrison. The latter sold his interest to a Mr. Casey in 1875, and five years later the firm became R. J. Hornick & Co. They keep a stock of general merchandise.
The first hardware store was established by James Garrison in 1876. In 1879 he was succeeded by Evans Finley, and in 1882 J. E. McMillan took possession of the business. The first drug store was kept by A. S. Core, who sold to E. A. Dearth.
John T. Porter erected a grain elevator in 1871 and since then the grain business has been successively in the hands of Porter & McIlvaine, S. J. Hayes, J. H. Dole & Co. (of Chicago) and H. S. Gilbert (of Ottawa). A second elevator was built by E. Cole. He sold it to W. H. Lunt & Son, they to William Young & Co. (of Chicago) and they to J. H. Dole & Co. (of Chicago). H. S. Gilbert purchased the house of Dole & Co. and combined the business.
The first lumber merchants here were Ambrose & Brooks, who began in 180. They were succeeded by G. N. Safford, who sold to C. N. Harford. The first blacksmiths were Nelson Jones and W. C. Anderson. The latter was followed by Joseph Chinon. John N. Core opened his butcher shop in 1880. There is also a harness shop, which has been kept successively by Robert McKay, E. S. Starrate and L. H. Foster.
The postoffice was established under the name of Lavonica, and Elias Core was appointed Postmaster. The office was first kept in the store on the corner opposite the Presbyterian church; afterward it was moved into the village and F. H. Poundstone was appointed Postmaster. He was succeeded in 1883 by J. T. Van Doren, the present incumbent (1886).
Dr. J. S. Lewis was the first physician here and since him there has been resident Drs. G. S. Gordon and A. C. Heister.
The village has a fine school-house, erected in 1878. There are two rooms and two teachers are employed to instruct the seventy-five pupils who attend.
There are also two churches Presbyterian and Cumberland Presbyterian. The former was organized June 17, 1865, in the Van Doren school-house, by a committee from the Peoria presbytery consisting of Rev. Robert Johnson and Rev. John Marquis. The original members were William McMillan, Jane B. McMillan, Araminta Poundstone, Jospeh Boyd, Elvira Boyd, J. T. Van Doren, Sarah C. Van Doren, Jane H. Boyd, and Isabella Boyd. The hosue of worship was erected in 1864, at an expense of $1,800, and soon after a parsonage was built at a cost of $800 more. The first pastor was Rev. John Moore, who remained some time.
St. Pauls Evangelical Lutheran church, in the northern part of the township, was built in 1868, at a cost of 3,400, by a committee consisting of Jacob Diehl, Basil Sessler, Charles H. Green and William A. Black. At that time Rev. S. Weilds was pastor. The first pastor after the dedication of the church was Rev. S. S. Lawon; second, Rev. H. H. Acker; third, Rev. I.N. Gustine. The church has a seating capacity of 500.
[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 233-234]
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