Lee County Biography


Joseph P. Plummer, manager of the Riverside Shoe Factory at Dixon, was closely connected with the inception of this well-known factory, one of the most important institutions of the city. The buildings occupied by the establishment are conveniently constructed and arranged after the most modern plan and with a view of sanitary conditions. It is devoted to the manufacture of children's, misses and ladies shoes, while the Dixon Shoe Factory, which is under the same management, turns out men's shoes only. They give employment to as many as six hundred hands and have a capacity for five thousand shoes the regular output being about three thousand. The men's department is about 700 per day and is usually run at its full capacity.

The company also has a factory at Jefferson City, MO for mens and womens peg work in boots and shoes, and owns a small factory in Chicago for a similar grade of work. Frederick Watson and Joseph P. Plummer have the management of the concern while all goods are shipped to Chicago for common distribution by the owners of the factories, C.M. Henderson and Co. Mr. Plummer has been associated with the Henderson Boot and Shoe Company since 1875 with the exception of two years during which he was with his father in wholesale drug trade in Chicago. Prior to removing to Rockford he was with the company in Pittsburg PA and came West when its headquarters were transferred here.

Mr. Plummer was born in Richmond IN Feb. 8, 1859 and when 15 years old commenced in business for himself. His father, Jonathan W. Plummer, is a member of the firm of Morrison, Plummer and Co. one of the largest importers of drugs in Chicago, located at No. 200-206 Randolph Street. His mother whose maiden name was Hannah Ballard, was born in Loran County OH, the daughter of Thomas Ballard. The parents of our subject are adherents of the Friends Church and prominent in the society at Chicago. He has been largely to charitable institutions and benevolent purchases, and is a man of upright character and large influence.

In Pittsburg PA, Joseph P. Plummer was married to Sarah H. Lightcap, who was born in that city, and is an accomplished and refined lady. Mr. Plummer is Secretary and Treasurer of the Electric Light Company of Dixon, and one of the organizers of the company. He is also Vice-president of the Dixon Ice Company, of which Mr. Watson is President. His business abilities are of no common order, and his judicious management has been rewarded by the possession of a competency.

Source: Portraits & Biographical Lee County 1892

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